Diaper Bag Round-Up


There was a definite silver lining to the black cloud that was the first half of my pregnancy. Had I not been feeling so awful, I'd probably have been shopping. As loyal readers know, I'm a shopper by nature, and pregnancy and babies? Whole new world of things to shop for, my friends. Shiny, expensive things.

Now that I am feeling like my old self again, the shopping bug has come back. I'm trying to moderate it, but it's not like I can go cold turkey--there are actually things we need for this kid, you know? So, to at least make some of the financial damage worthwhile, I thought I'd share some of my shopping with y'all.

One thing I was really excited to buy is a diaper bag. I love bags. Bags fill my need for accessories AND my need for things in which to put other things. They're one of my favorites. And I am typically uncharacteristically practical when it comes to bags--I don't buy a lot of them and I don't change them out very often. A diaper bag, though, that's a whole new world. And once I started looking around, I saw that people take these things VERY seriously.

Some of the best ones I found:

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Timi & Leslie Marilyn II in Raspberry, $169.99

I love the color of this bag. I also like the shape, the way it looks like a regular big bag and not necessarily a diaper bag, and the roomy exterior pockets. I'm also a fan of the long straps. It's got a matching detachable clutch, a detachable bottle holder, and a mesh bag with changing pad. The Amazon reviewers love it. The only downside I see is that it's PVC, not leather, and for that price, I want a leather bag.

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Skip Hop Duo in Wave Dot, $58

I believe a friend of mine has this bag, and it looks like a great choice. It's sturdy, made of wipeable poly-canvas, and is built for comfort and utility with a lot of pockets and a padded strap. It comes in several great fabrics (though some do add to the cost) and looks to be easily convertible to a stroller bag. It was also the 2010 Parents' magazine pick for "Best Diaper Bag."

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Petunia Picklebottom Sashay Satchel in Indelible Iris, $129

I've been contemplating getting a Petunia Picklebottom bag just to use as my everyday work bag for years. I love the patterns that are available--just as cheerful as Vera Bradley, but not so loud--and the style of the Sashay Satchel in particular appeals to me a lot. It's on the small side, I think, for a diaper bag, but still roomy. It comes with a wipes case and changing pad and has four bottle pockets. The downside, based on reviews I've read, is that some of the patterns (including the one I've shown here) are not PVC glazed and thus not stain-resistant.

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Sally Spicer Baby Messenger Bag in Rattan Cote D'Azur, $130

I love this Sally Spicer messenger-style diaper bag for lots of reasons. It's so neutral and versatile, and doesn't look the least bit like a diaper bag. It comes in tons of fabrics. It has changing pad, bottle holder, and internal pockets, but no extra muss and fuss--it's very utilitarian. And? It's made in the U.S.A. How much do I love that?

StorkSac Helena in Rose, $410

Would I pay $400 for a diaper bag? No, I would not. However, if I were going to, this might be the bag I'd choose. The StorkSak Helena is just a gorgeous, gorgeous leather bag. The organizer and bottle pockets and changing pad all pop out, too, so it could easily transition to a regular bag after the diapering days are through. It's Italian leather, brushed gold hardware, jacquard lined...very classic, but updated with the rose color. I really love this bag. This bag is far too sophisticated for me.

Babymel Slouchy in Twisted Olive, $75

This is another bag that I just love the shape of--that slouchiness makes it look not so huge, while still retaining a lot of interior space. It's made of laminated canvas, so it's wipeable, and it comes with an insulated bottle holder and a changing mat. One thing that differentiates this bag slightly from a lot of other ones is that the changing mat is made of the same fabric as the bag, rather than a corresponding neutral. I like that.

Nest Hudson in Black, $280

I tend to be a fan of colored and patterned bags, but if you're a black leather purist, I'm not sure diaper bags get better than the Nest Hudson. It has a great classic shape, really nice subtle hardware detailing, and all the necessary baby-bits, like handy interior pockets and a removable changing pad.

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Ergo Organic Backpack in River Rock, $64

Several of my mom friends expressed a strong preference for backpacks as diaper bags, siting convenience and ease of use, as well as gender-neutrality. I'm not a backpack lover myself, but I did want to include at least one option in this list, and I like the rugged look and smallish size of this Ergo version. It has lots of zipper pockets, padded straps, and can be attached to an Ergo carrier.

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Lug Life Tuk Tuk Carry-all in Plum, $84.99

Another slightly more utilitarian option, I think this Lug Life bag looks really useful. It looks to have really well designed pockets, comes with a removable changing pad and wet bag, and is easily wipeable. It also comes in various bright colors, which endears it to me, and is supposed to be great for use as an overnight bag/carry-on after the baby is through with it.

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JJ Cole Mode Tote in Mulberry Patch, $49.99

Totes are another bag style I tend not to prefer--I like to be able to put things over my shoulder. That said, if you are a tote-lover, this JJ Cole bag is both affordable and super cute. It's made of laminated canvas for easy wipe-downs, has a nice slim profile but still offers a good deal of space, and comes with a coordinated changing pad and a removable padded shoulder strap.

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JuJuBe Be All in Jungle Maze, $140

It took me a minute to figure out why I liked the JuJuBe Be-All bag so much, but I think it's the boxiness. Something about the shape is just really appealing. I also like that it is available in non-floral patterns and in this green and orange color scheme. Another really smart thing about it is that it has a separate, zipped outside pocket intended for all your diapering supplies--way to keep a potential mess contained! Finally? It's machine washable. Good deal.

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Amy Butler Wildflower in Fuschia Tree Navy, $201.99

I have kind of a love-hate feeling about Amy Butler fabric designs in general, but I love this particular pattern, and I am really intrigued by the unusual shape of the Wildflower bag. It really looks like a purse, and I like that the handles and closure are leather. It has contrast printed fabric lining and comes with a contrast printed fabric wet bag and changing mat, too. Mmm...

Clearly, all of these bags could be considered overkill. A diaper bag is not a necessity, at least not a fancy one. But it's still fun to look at them, and if you, like me, are thinking you're going to be carrying something every day for the next 2+ years, it might be worth considering getting something you really like, right?

Anybody have a diaper bag you just loved? Leave me a comment!


Keep the maternity/baby round ups coming. I'm striving to be a more minimalist/eco momma but you have great taste so I can appreciate the eye candy.

BTW - Congrats to you and your partner! I've been reading for a couple of years and it's fun to have a local (I live in Alexandria) blogger pregnant at the same time. I'm in the countdown phase, so only 9 weeks until my due date.

My husband and I like unisex "non-diaper bag" diaper bags, that we both can use. That way we don't have to transfer the contents from a "purse-y" bag to a more "masculine" bag when he's going out. And if I get tired of carrying it, he'll happily carry one that doesn't look too feminine.

He prefers this one, with a cross-body strap. http://www.mxdirtrider.com/h-products/gravis/2011-08/pr-gravis-luggage-men-purses-bags-the-kaz.htm

I like it, except I don't like carrying it while wearing the kid in the Ergo. With the Ergo, I prefer a large tote bag (but it has to have straps long enough to go over my shoulder. We have this one: http://shopping.c.yimg.jp/lib/icefield/img58169913.jpg If it had a zipper top it would be perfect, in my opinion.

Both are by Gravis. Both have a good number of pockets, especially the second one.

In case you're curious about what we like to carry, we cloth diaper, so we need room for 2-3 spare prefold diapers, 2 small wet bags, an extra diaper cover and onesie (and socks), a couple of toys and a book (once he got old enough to like books, that is), a Skip Hop changing pad with a wipes case, a warm hat or sun hat (depending on season), snacks, and sometimes a bottle or sippy cup (but not always). If it's cold, maybe a blanket. And sometimes a small folding umbrella or baby sunblock, depending on weather. Plus wallet, keys, and phone. Whew!

For shorter trips we leave it all at home and dash out with keys and wallet in the Ergo pocket, but it took months before we were ready to risk that (but we live in a big city and don't have a car, so we usually like to be prepared for a lot of possibilities).

No Vera Bradley!!!!?? What's wrong with you?
Diaper bags spawned my VB obsession. I was constantly on a quest for the perfect bag; not too big, not too small and two in diapers. lol.

The bags are really great, i would have never guessed they are diaper bags.

We have the wave dot bag. It's pretty perfect. Sometimes I wish it were bigger inside, but really we should probably just get better at packing it. And it would help if the baby wasn't going through 3+ outfits a day.

I would love to get a backpack one, especially for traveling, I'm going to check out the ergo you posted.

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