In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Review

High-quality, limited capacity, uni-dimensional as backpack
Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back
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Price:   $140 List | $93 at Amazon
Pros:  Quality fabrics and hardware, well-organized
Cons:  Expensive, limited carrying options
Manufacturer:   Ju-Ju-Be
By Natalie Hale ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 26, 2015
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64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Storage/Ease of Use - 40% 5
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Quality - 15% 9
  • Style - 15% 6

The Skinny

The Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back works well for those who desire hands-free functional capability of a dedicated backpack. With this, come perks including better ergonomics of well-padded, well-placed straps as well as a nicely padded back with exterior mesh for added breathability. Its fabrics and hardware are quality so in this sense, you truly get what you pay for with Ju-Ju-Be. For more bags that feature the backpack carrying option, see our review of the Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel and the Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F., the later is covered in our Best Breast Pump Bag Review but it is actually designed as a traditional diaper bag.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back is a diaper bag specifically designed to be a backpack. It does have a small handle at the top for grab and go, but for the most part, you will be slinging this on your back. Every feature of the bag has an intended use, and it is rare to find such a well-planned product executed so nicely. Read on for the full scoop.

Performance Comparison



Storage and Ease of Use


Though the Be Right Back excels at the old adage, "a place for everything and everything in its place," it received a 5 of 10 for storage and ease of use mainly due to functional issues. With 12 specific utilitarian pockets, it is easy to fill yet remain organized. There is a sunglasses pouch made of soft fabric for quick and easy cleaning, a zippered back pouch which clandestinely fits the changing pad like a glove, zippered compartments for diapers and extra clothes, small personal pockets for cell phone and wallet, a picture pocket, a key clip, and external Thinsulate 3M insulated drink pockets. The changing pad compartment can also serve double duty as a padded home for laptops/tablets.
Here we have the front pocket which is secured with a magnetic snap closure  so we do not recommend storing anything valuable in it (too easy to access by thieves).
Here is the top zippered pocket which is perfect for small delicate items like a cell phone or glasses.
The mommy pocket on this bag is great for storing your keys  wallet  sunglasses and other small important items.

There are a lot of included perks with the Be Right Back. The memory-foam changing pad is cushy as can be. The bungee key clip is super handy for keeping keys where they need to be. An easy access zippered shallow pocket at the bag's peak is great for quick-grab items like binkies. And, the exterior pockets are not only insulated, but they are large enough to fit a parent's water bottle. As with traditional backpacks, it also includes a quick grab handle at the top of the bag to carry it from.
The Be Right Back features a lot of zippered pockets. We found the top pocket was great for storing items you need to access as quickly as possible such as a binky.
It even easily accommodates a large water bottle for mom or dad.
Here is the top handle of the Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Syrah Syrah Backpack.

This bag boasts some of the largest external measurements out of all the bags in this diaper bag review, yet was still one of the lighter bags of the group, weighing in at 2 pounds. We thought the larger size and plethora of pockets would translate to the bag being able to carry a lot of items. However, while it did fit everything we needed, it was difficult to keep the main compartment organized and there was little room to spare. In fact, compared to other popular Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags such as the B.F.F. (lower left) and Be Prepared (lower right), the Be Right Back Backpack (lower center) is actually quite small in size.
Size comparison of three different Ju-Ju-Be styles (from left): B.F.F. Legacy (reviewed in our breast pump bag review)   Be Right Back Backpack  and the generously sized Be Prepared.
Size comparison of three different Ju-Ju-Be styles (from left): B.F.F. Legacy (reviewed in our breast pump bag review), Be Right Back Backpack, and the generously sized Be Prepared.

The main pocket also has unintended issues related to the zipper, while we liked that it zips all the way to the base of the bag, this caused the contents to fall out the side of the bag several times. Unlike the BEABA Stockholm which also unzips completely, this bag does not have a fabric barrier to prevent this issue.
Here is our first major problem with the Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Syrah Syrah Backpack. The main zippered pocket zips all the way to the bottom on both sides. We learned quickly that any items not secured would spill out given how easily the zippers unzip. We thought it was a fluke  but after the fifth time the entire contents of the main compartment spilled out while we were searching for a snack for our toddler  we decided this feature was more of a problem than a solution.  Our advice would be to only unzip it half-way.
Here you can see just how far down the zipper on the main compartment zips down. This is great for packing but a problem for easily accessing things when you don't have a table to place it on.  The whole thing flips open and items can easily spill out the sides.

The Be Right Back and the BEABA Stockholm are the only bags we in this comparative review that are machine washable, a great option for busy moms. In addition, the exterior nylon is easy to spot clean as it is treated with Teflon for stain-resistance which incidentally also gives this bag some water-resistance.

Comfort


For comfort, this backpack earned a score of 7 of 10. Because it is carried on the back, it feels light and the padded shoulder straps are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The fabrics feel nice to bare skin, not harsh like many backpack straps can become. We do recommend avoidance of wearing delicate clothing as indentation marks may be the result of the straps rubbing. Unique to this backpack, is a well-padded, memory foam backing which is lined with mesh. This does a great job of keeping shirts dry while spending a warm day in the sun. Adjusting the shoulder straps to the appropriate size can be a bit tricky; they always seemed to need readjusting during use which quickly became bothersome.
The mesh fabric on the backpack's backing not only has cute detail but it creates breathability to help avoid back sweating. Also  notice the ergonomic shaping of the this bag's dedicated backpack straps.
The Be Right Back's padded  adjustable shoulder straps though comfortable need to be frequently readjusted as they can slip out of place easily.

Quality


The Be Right Back scored a 9 of 10 for quality. We have come to expect this from the Ju-Ju-Be brand, as time and time again, very high-quality craftsmanship shines through. This backpack is no different and very well made. Closures are finished with beautiful metal hardware, zippers are bejeweled, the magnetic closures close firmly. The nylon fabric is soft with detailed stitching and devoid of any visible flaws in integrity. There is zero velcro to be found anywhere which is music the ears, not even on the changing pad. Speaking of the changing pad, it is the cushiest in our comparative review complete with memory foam.
Zipper detailing. Super cute and sturdy!
The comfortable memory foam changing pad unfolded.
The nicest changing pads in this diaper bag review are the Petunia Picklebottom Sashay Satchel (left)  Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back. (center left)  LeSport Sac Ryan (center right)  and OiOi Messenger (right).

The backpack's exterior is treated with Teflon for stain-resistance and interior linings are treated with AgION antimicrobial. While these extra treatments definitely serve a useful purpose, we are left with a big question mark regarding probable use of synthetics chemicals and honestly would prefer that this measure be left out entirely as it just feels like overkill, in our opinion. After all, Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags are machine washable.


Style


Although the backpack-style of carrying is comfortable and secure  it isn't the most stylish way to cart your gear.
Although the backpack-style of carrying is comfortable and secure, it isn't the most stylish way to cart your gear.
Where the Ju-Ju-Be stumbles is in terms of style and it received a 6 of 10 in this metric. Yes, the fabric offerings for the bag are very cute, but the overall package when worn in our opinion resembles that of a college student heading off to class. It is a true-to-form, ergonomic backpack, which is not a bad thing but it is not on trend with what moms are utilizing these days. We found convertible backpacks, like the Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel offer moms more versatility, but they are indeed not as comfortable. So, this is really a matter of personal preference and tolerance.

Best Applications


This is a great bag for those who desire the ability to stay organized while still remaining hands free. It is easy to use on the go. You really forget that you are wearing it until you have to navigate a small space or need something from it.

Value


With a higher list price of $140, this backpack lands in the lower half of value ranking for the bags we tested in this comparative review. Indeed it is a more expensive bag, but it does a great job of maintaining longterm integrity because of its quality craftsmanship. So, in this sense, the value is there if you will be taking this bag with you and baby for the long haul.

Conclusion


For those who want to carry their gear in a specifically designed, ergonomic backpack and don't want to fuss with other carry options, the Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back is the mom diaper bag to get. In our opinion, it is the extra cost to invest in a quality bag and this one delivers. Keep your eye out for our upcoming Review: The Best Diaper Bag for Dads where we will be pitting 8 dad bags against one another, 3 of them backpack-specific.

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Natalie Hale