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Are you looking for a diaper bag to compliment your style? We have placed our hands on more than 35 contenders and whittled them down to the 11 top bags available today to compare and test side-by-side. Finding a diaper bag that works for your whole family can be difficult but essential. Outings with little ones can be much easier and more enjoyable when you feel prepared. We focused on the most pertinent factors, including weight, capacity, organizational features, cleaning methods, etc. We provide the pros and cons of each bag, along with our insider buying advice, so you can determine which bag is best for your family, lifestyle, and budget.
Dimensions: 12"W x 16"H x 5"D | Carry Style: Backpack
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Difficult to adjust straps
The Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back is an easy-to-use and perfectly sized backpack-style diaper bag with a plethora of features to make your life as a parent easier. We love the extra-wide zippered openings and find that there is always a pocket right where you need it. The down-to-earth style comes in various colors that will keep both mom and dad happy, and it has memory foam padded straps that are comfortable to wear all day.
This bag may not be the best choice for perpetual over-packers or parents of multiples. Its smaller size means that you will have to carefully select the items you bring along or risk overfilling the bag. Our biggest gripe with this bag is the strap adjustment method. Double D rings keep the straps securely in place, but the design is challenging to adjust, especially on the go. If you can make peace with these issues, the Be Right Back is a bag that almost every parent will love.
Dimensions: 14"W x 12"H x 6.5"D | Carry Style: Crossbody/Backpack/Tote
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
The Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. is a great, smaller tote or backpack with unique organizational features. There is a pocket for everything, and each compartment is well-designed and thoughtfully placed. Some of the bags we have tested have pockets that are weirdly sized or not arranged helpfully; however, this is not the case with the Ju-Ju-Be. While it is not as large as other bags, its strategic arrangement makes it easy to organize your personals and your baby supplies all in one bag. As a bonus, the B.F.F. is also machine-washable. We've experienced how messy things can get when carrying food, drink, creams, and even who knows what else. So the fact that you can toss it in the machine and go is something we appreciate.
Despite the smaller size, the Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F weighs in as one of the heaviest options, so you may want to consider how you'll load your bag. Are you an over-packer? Do you need to carry items for multiple children? If this is the case, you could get weighed down or have difficulty finding enough space in the bag. Also, there are some reports about faulty zippers on the B.F.F. We did not experience this during our testing, but it is something to consider. If you have an issue, the return window is only 30-days, so this isn't a bag you want to purchase ahead of time and wait to use. However, we don't think these faults should deter you from considering this bag. If weight isn't a concern and you value organization over other things, the B.F.F. should be at the top of your list.
Dimensions: 14.8"W x 14.2"H x 6.2"D | Carry Style: Crossbody/Backpack/Tote
REASONS TO BUY
Easy internal access
Good exterior organization
REASONS TO AVOID
Straps are uncomfortable
Needs more interior pockets
The Skip Hop Mainframe Wide Open diaper bag can easily stay open to help you find your desired items. It has several good-sized exterior pockets, including two large side pockets perfect for your water bottle and cups for the kids and enough space for your essentials. This bag is well-made and can transition from tote to backpack, all for a great price.
The backpack straps almost look like a seat belt but are thinner. While the material is soft, it isn't padded, which could be uncomfortable. You'll want to ensure it isn't painful, making it a bag you want to try before you buy. Also, while we like the exterior pockets, there is very little internal organization, requiring investing in storage bags to avoid a black hole situation. Nevertheless, given how often you'll reach for items and how often you may only have a single hand for searching, we think the Mainframe is a game-changer for parents who enjoy an open bag they can manage with one hand.
Dimensions: 18.5"W x 14"H x 6.5"D | Carry Style: Tote/Crossbody
REASONS TO BUY
Ergonomic & well-padded
REASONS TO AVOID
The Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared does precisely what the name implies; it helps you "be prepared" for almost anything. This bag is super spacious and well organized, so you never have to decide whether or not to bring that extra snack or pack of wipes; go ahead and toss it in. There are multiple compartments and pockets to store your baby gear, plus a nice-sized parent pocket. The Ju-Ju-Be puts padding in all the right places to make this large bag more comfortable to carry, whether using it tote style or crossbody. It is an excellent investment if you plan to use it for multiple children, as it is durable with plenty of space. The bag's exterior has a Teflon coating to make it waterproof, and the color won't fade no matter how many times you need to wash it.
This bag is large, and the use of heavier materials makes it one of the heftiest options in our review, weighing 3.5 lbs. While the bag is well-designed, all the extra weight will ultimately be on your shoulders. While it is one of the pricier options out there, the knowledge that you can use this bag for years helps create value in this product. We recommend this bag for parents who have multiple young children, or even those of us who are just habitual over-packers trying to prepare for everything.
Dimensions: 12"W x 8"H x 3"D | Carry Style: Clutch
REASONS TO BUY
Large changing pad
REASONS TO AVOID
Wipe container doesn't seal
The Skip Hop Pronto is a compact changing station perfect for shorter outings or ultra-light packers. Two zippered pockets, one mesh pouch, and a wipe case offer a great organizational system that you can use on its own or upgrade to a bag you already have. Many moms love to slip this foldable package into a large tote along with their items, so they don't have to carry a purse and a diaper bag. Additionally, the Pronto has a removable changing pad larger than those included with most of the competition.
Unless you are an expert at pairing down, the Skip Hop is unlikely to replace your regular diaper bag. You can only fit the bare minimum of diaper changing supplies in the Pronto, so you should opt for something with more storage if you aren't a minimalist. We also found that the wipes container does not seal completely, allowing wipes to dry out very quickly. Many users complain that the case is too small and requires frequent refilling. However, this is part of what keeps the system so compact, so we didn't have issues with the size. We think that the Skip Hop Pronto is an affordable accessory to add an element of simplicity to your on-the-go diaper changes.
We spent over 100 hours researching, analyzing, and testing diaper bags to determine the best options (just like we do with all of our baby gear test subjects). We use several essential factors such as capacity, weight, ease of use, accessories, style, and quality to determine the rank of each product. As a final test, we pack the bags full of diapering essentials and evaluate their performance to help you determine which bag is best for your family.
Our diaper bag review team consists of parents who've been trapped in a car with a diaper blowout and sick baby while carrying a useless diaper bag. The team lead is Dr. Juliet Spurrier, mother of two and a board-certified pediatrician. Dr. Spurrier has used multiple bags throughout the years and strongly believes that organization is key and more important than style. Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz is a mom of two that got locked into a pricey bag her husband liked that they received as a baby gift. It was far too heavy for her to carry. After a year of frustration and shoulder pain, she realized there had to be something better. Abriah Wofford is a Senior Review Editor with 7 years of testing experience with BabyGearLab and many more years of hands-on use as a nanny and older sister to 5. All three women are driven to find quality bags that make trips with a baby easier and help keep all the supplies you need close and easy to find. The bags in this review reflect the team's twelve years of combined bag experience. With extensive test and research backgrounds from working at BabyGearLab on all kinds of gear, we have unique hands-on experience with a large variety of bags that you can't find anywhere else.
Analysis and Test Results
Our analysis details the pros and cons of each product. We looked at over 110 diaper bags and purchased the top bags for testing. We then spent time testing and comparing the bags individually and side-by-side to give you the information to find the perfect bag for you and your family.
You'll likely be carrying a diaper bag for at least the first two years of your child's life. Bags go through a lot and can get pretty worn and beaten up depending on your lifestyle and how often they leave the house. Because they act as such a lifeline, we think there is value in spending a little more to get a product with a better chance of seeing you from start to finish with the features you need the most. The Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. is one of the more expensive options in this review. If you are on a tight budget, it may not be a non-starter, but if you can swing it or put it on a registry, we think there is value in it as the higher quality construction could translate to a longer lifespan and the features make it more useful.
When searching for the perfect diaper bag, you should consider storage first. By "storage," we mean both the overall capacity and the organization features, including pockets and other things that make locating and storing supplies easier. A key thing to remember is that more pockets do not always mean better organization. The Columbia Carson Pass backpack has one of the highest pocket counts in our review. However, all the pockets are about the size of a credit card, making them much less helpful than the Skip Hop Mainframe Wide Open, a bag with half the number of pockets but more efficient storage.
The top scorer in this metric is the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared, with a 9 of 10. True to its name, the Be Prepared has enough space for you to prepare for any worst-case baby scenario. The diaper bag with the lowest storage score is the Skip Hop Pronto with a 2. This small clutch provides only enough room for the bare minimum in supplies, but it keeps your load light. First-time parents may be surprised by how much stuff they need to haul around for one baby. If you toss in a few things for yourself, you'll understand the value of a well-organized bag. Here's our list of the typical supplies you'll find in the well-stocked diaper bag of an experienced parent:
Bag for dirty diapers
Bottle(s) or sippy cup(s)
Binkies and toys
Chapstick and sunscreen
Reading material or a tablet
A great bag needs to fit all or most of your supplies. In addition, items should be easy to access, and you should have the ability to quickly determine when you need to restock the essentials (diapers and wipes). We believe that the most functional bags have exterior pockets for bottles and snacks and compartments for a smartphone, changing pad, diapers, and wipes. We especially love when bags have a dedicated "mom pocket" that keeps personal items organized separately from baby supplies.
Your needs will vary when it comes to storage. For example, you may need an extra roomy bag for more than one child in diapers or overnight and multi-day trips. A large bag like the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared is ideal if you need additional storage, while the Skip Hop Pronto has almost no storage and is better for short outings like running errands.
Ease of Use
Your next consideration should be ease of use. Imagine you are in the middle of changing your infant on a public changing table only to discover that your diaper cream is buried at the bottom of the bag in a pocket with a faulty zipper. Scenarios like this make you appreciate a well-designed product where you can retrieve the cream quickly with one hand. Smooth zippers and elastic closures allow easy access and mesh displays all contents for quick spotting. The product with the highest ease of use score is the Skip Hop Pronto, earning a 9 out of 10. The small package keeps everything immediately accessible, is super lightweight, and will fit in your purse, stroller basket, or backpack. The Columbia Carson Pass earned the low score of the group with a 3. We found the numerous pockets in this bag nearly useless due to their size and placement.
We prefer products with a light-colored interior and a wide opening so you can see and access contents easily. We feel bags with deep interiors, narrow openings, and dark linings are akin to locating items in a black hole. It doesn't matter how many pockets a bag offers if you can't see the supplies or quickly find what you need. We also love some excellent pocket variations. It is helpful to have a few zippered pockets, open pouches, and 1 or 2 insulated compartments to keep milk warm or cool. The Petunia Pickle Bottom Pivot is entirely insulated so that you can pack snacks wherever convenient. A dedicated bottle pocket lets you keep milk at a different temperature than other food items.
Closures also impact the ease of use of a bag. Compartments and pockets have a variety of closures, including zippers, snaps, magnets, or Velcro. We believe it is essential that your chosen bag has an internal compartment that zips closed. If you leave a pocket open, you can lose items if the bag turns over or upside down. Magnetic closures often do not close or stay closed with a full load.
In our opinion, bags without Velcro are a big deal. Velcro is noisy and may wake your sleeping baby. It is sticky and may cling to and damage some fabrics. Velcro also wears out much faster than zippered or snap closures. Once the Velcro has stuck to anything and everything, the hooks get clogged and fail to function properly. For these reasons, we recommend avoiding hook-and-loop closures if at all possible.
Your bag must include a secure place for personal items such as smartphones, wallets, and keys. It can be challenging to carry a purse and diaper bag simultaneously, but you shouldn't need to if you have a great diaper bag. Finding a bag with a parent pocket is valuable but often overlooked. Key clips are also helpful and prevent your keys from getting lost in the bag (which happens more than you'd think).
When selecting the right diaper bag, you may not consider weight, especially with so many other features to examine. However, you'll likely be carrying this bag a lot. When you look at the long list of items in the diaper bag, it is clear that it will be heavy. Paying attention to the bag's weight and style might mean the difference between a sore shoulder and a happy back.
The Columbia Pass Carson is the lightest traditional bag we tested at 1.1 lbs. In comparison, the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared is a hefty 3.5 lbs. The Skip Hop Pronto is a clutch-style bag and is the lightest option in this review at only .75 lbs. Consider how you'll use your bag before settling on your final purchase. Will you take it in the car or bring it on walks? Drop the bag off at daycare or bring it along for errands? Your bag will carry crucial stuff, so find one you are comfortable lugging around day in and day out. If you aren't taking it for long distances but using it in the car, weight may be less important in your final decision.
A diaper bag's features and accessories can greatly impact your bag experience. Extra thoughtful features like insulated bottle holders, padded shoulder straps, internal key clips, and bag feet can improve your daily use.
Bag quality is more important than most parents think. Ideally, your bag should last through toddlerhood and unpleasant situations. Think of your bag purchase as an investment in a helpful tool you'll use for years. A broken handle, strap, or zipper could be frustrating when you are out with your baby, and replacing that bag is inconvenient. The three Ju-Ju-Be bags and the Petunia Picklebottom Pivot are tied for the high score in this metric. All four packs earned a 9 of 10 thanks to their use of high-quality materials, sturdy hardware, and durability-minded construction.
Inexpensive bags often include lower-quality materials, construction, and function, in our experience. The cost of two less expensive bags can equal more than one higher-quality option that will last as long as you need. Cheaper bags can have flimsy linings, weak seams, and subpar storage. Even a small bump in price can provide significantly better quality and durability. Our advice? Choose something at a mid-range price. It often buys a quality product that you can use even after your child is out of diapers. Of course, high-end bags often have more bells and whistles. If your budget is limited, you can add your diaper bag to your registry. The lowest scoring bag we tested is the Ruvalino Backpack, earning a 2 of 10. This backpack has an affordable price tag but many zipper issues and flimsy materials.
Diaper bags manage to get soiled in ways you would never imagine. So, we recommend choosing a product made with materials that are easy to clean and maintain. Smooth, wipe-clean linings are excellent, and water-repellent and stain-resistant exterior fabric can save you from some ugly stains. However, a bag you can throw in a washing machine is the bomb. At the very least, you'll want a bag that you can wipe clean inside and outside with a damp rag, as spills are inevitable. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for your bag's care to maintain its longevity and best appearance.
Diaper bags are more susceptible to microbe growth because they often carry items such as snacks, breastmilk, or even human waste, aka used diapers. Some manufacturers line products with Agion, an antimicrobial finish, to prevent this kind of growth. This coating is useful in hindering the ability of microbes to spread and grow. Agion is cradle-to-cradle certified, which means it is safe for humans and the environment, which is a bonus. We like an eco-friendly bag; because your baby's belongings will go inside the bag, and babies put everything in their mouths. We encourage parents to select healthy materials to help limit their family's exposure to chemicals.
We do not recommend using polyvinyl chloride (P.V.C.) plastic (aka vinyl) in anything that might come in contact with a baby or baby products. P.V.C. can be a soft plastic often in the interior of a diaper bag or changing pad linings. The material creates a flexible, water-resistant surface which seems ideal, right? Unfortunately, P.V.C. has some potentially significant health effects.
To make P.V.C. soft, plasticizers, also known as phthalates, are added during production. There are concerns about the health effects of exposure to plasticizers (phthalates). There are also durability problems with soft P.V.C. as it can harden and crack over time, especially if exposed to sunlight or cold temperatures. Soft P.V.C. also has a strong chemical smell. Aside from being unpleasant, we prefer not to use products with chemical odors around developing babies and children due to the potential risks. The Environmental Working Group has a plethora of information surrounding plasticizers and the possible consequences of childhood exposure. "In general, the E.U. considers many plasticizers safe for use with the caveat that they not be used in children's items." While the subject of chemical plasticizers' effect on health is a very complex one, there are PVC-free products available, and we recommend opting for those whenever possible. The Skip Hop Pronto and Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back are two examples.
Try Before You Buy
We strongly suggest taking your top contender on a test run to ensure it is a good fit. For this test run, gather your essentials, organize them, and see how it feels to carry everything. Pack it around the house for a bit to gauge comfort. See if you can find each of your items quickly and access pockets using one hand. Zip and unzip, clip buckles, and snap snaps. Hold your baby while carrying the bag. If it is uncomfortable during these stages, you may want to reconsider. We suggest checking the return policy before purchasing so you don't get stuck with a mediocre bag.
While not the most critical factor, style is the final consideration that could influence your buying decision. Choosing a bag that suits your style means you are likelier to continue using it long after your kids have graduated from diapers. Depending on who spends more time with your little one, it is also good to consider a bag that both parents will feel comfortable using. Freshly Picked is our highest-rated bag in the metric, earning a 9 of 10 with its simple but elegant design. With a 3 of 10, the Ju-Ju-Be Be Prepared is our lowest-rated bag for style. It is the most traditional diaper bag we tested, and while we love the storage capacity, it definitely looks more like a mommy-only bag.
Style is heavily dependent on lifestyle, and your surroundings and ultimately is a personal preference. We gave higher scores to bags that showcase a fashion-forward design that is versatile enough to blend into multiple settings (or are less gender specific). Our favorites will fit into your daily routine and not be out of place strolling through a museum or a nice restaurant. We also consider how the bag looks when fully loaded and how it looks after heavy use.
The perfect diaper bag is going to be different for each family. With factors like family size, lifestyle, and personal taste influencing your decision, it can be a very personal choice. However, our hands-on experience with various bags and our years of outings with little ones can provide the information you need to choose the best bag for your needs and budget. Our favorites provide functional storage and organization, are comfortable to carry, and are durable enough to potentially last through the diapering years and beyond.
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Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.