Hands-on Gear Review

DadGear Backpack Review

Price:   $99.00 List | $99.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Highly functional, great specialized pockets, two insulated bottle pockets
Cons:  More expensive, large pockets are more difficult to keep organized, no mesh backing to promote airflow against your back
Bottom line:  This is a great backpack diaper bag for dads seeking a utilitarian backpack.
Editors' Rating:   
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Carry Method(s):  Backpack, Carry Handle, Stroller Straps
Weight:  2.1 Lbs
Bag Dimensions:  8.5" D x 11" L x 18" H
Manufacturer:   DadGear

The Skinny

Although it has a classic backpack appearance, the DadGear Backpack is a heavily-equipped, highly functional diaper bag that dads will love. Made in the USA, this high-quality, luggage-like piece features bells and whistles in all the right places like a unique diaper wipes dispenser on the lower front. While it gets a little tricky to keep organized and is on the heavier side at 2.1 pounds it delivers at a good price. As a bonus, it is inconspicuous: no one will ever know it is meant for your babe's stuff.

RELATED REVIEW: The Best Diaper Bag for Dads

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Natalie Hale & Juliet Spurrier, MD

Last Updated:
July 1, 2016

The DadGear Backpack has been around for quite awhile now receiving rave reviews since 2008. Parents love its functionality, and we agree. With a lot of zippers and compartments, we found a lack of organization in the larger volume spaces which can result in the 'black hole effect' if not prepared.

Performance Comparison

DadGear Backpack being tested overseas  fully loaded.
DadGear Backpack being tested overseas, fully loaded.

Storage and Ease of Use

The DadGear Backpack scored 6 of 10 in storage and ease of use. While its internal volume is capacious, it lacks structure in its main compartment so things can get pretty jumbled up in there unless you plan ahead and are organized with a pod-like system. Nonetheless, the main compartment does fully zip down, so you can 'let it all hang out' when possible. With 8 exterior pockets, there is enough storage for personal items like cell phone, wallet, 2 water bottles, and keys via a key clip and quick-access baby items. There is even a bonus area for easy access to wipes; though they rest at the bottom of the main compartment, there is a secret velcro panel that opens up (with some elbow grease)( to expose them.

In the pocket nearest to the front of the DadGear Backpack we stored our phone  keys  wallet  frequently requested snacks and pacifier wipes.
In the pocket nearest to the front of the DadGear Backpack we stored our phone, keys, wallet, frequently requested snacks and pacifier wipes.
In our testing, we found the backpack's hardware to be quality and fabric and stitching to be sturdy. However, we did find the polyester weave more difficult to clean, similar to that with the Obersee Rio. A few online reviews comment on issues with hardware quality, but we did not experience this. Lastly, the changing pad is by far the smallest in our review.


Mesh fabric on the shoulder straps of the DadGear Backpack helped us keep cool and made the bag more comfortable to carry when fully loaded.
Mesh fabric on the shoulder straps of the DadGear Backpack helped us keep cool and made the bag more comfortable to carry when fully loaded.
The DadGear received a 6 of 10 in comfort for its backpack. In terms of carrying comfort, it is quite similar to the Obersee Rio with both weighing 2.1 pounds. The shoulders straps are well-padded with breathable mesh lining though the material feels rough. Adjustment of the straps is easy. The back panel is decently cushioned. Where both the DadGear and the Obersee let us down is on the fabric that rests directly against your back- the polyester is not conducive for airflow, typically leading to a sweaty lower back.


This backpack received an 8 of 10 in quality, scoring on par with the PacaPod Picos Pack. The metal hardware, zippers, pull tabs, and fabrics used all held up well in our testing. The external bottle pockets are fabricated from a hefty mesh. There is a nice reflective strip on the front of the backpack.


This backpack scored 6 of 10 in style. Some of the DadGear packs can look like they belong on a school campus. However, all 51 styles are functional and utilitarian and there is likely one particular design that will suit any dad. And, major kudos to DadGear for a nicely disguised reflective strip; safety and style rarely blend so well.

Best Applications

The DadGear Bag is a utilitarian diaper bag for dads that want a backpack and are not desperate for the extra bells and whistles as found with the Pacapod Picos Pack and OiOi Wax Canvas Satchel. The DadBag should easily last through your kiddos childhood and perhaps long after if looked after well.


This bag is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum but the price is easily justified by the intelligence with which it is designed. If you are looking for a backpack and not keen on the Editors' Choice Pacapod Picos, the DadGear should be your second choice.


The DadGear Backpack is a great diaper bag and an excellent choice for dads looking for a mid-priced bag with a consistent track record of use among seasoned parents.

Other Versions and Accessories

This pack comes in a whopping fifty-one different color and style options. There is a style of bag for just about every dad out there.


Natalie Hale & Juliet Spurrier, MD

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