There's likely no parenting accessory that's going to see as much mileage as your diaper bag. You take it everywhere, from birth to preschool and possibly even beyond, and for good reason. It holds everything you need to make sure your baby is fed, warm, clothed, safe and entertained, wherever you go.
Unfortunately, diaper bags are also notoriously heavy, bulky and, in many cases, less than fashionable.
But that's where a backpack diaper bag comes in. A backpack diaper bag holds all you need and more but fits comfortably on your back, for no more ultra-sore shoulders or swapping your diaper bag between arms to get a little relief. Just pop your diaper bag onto your back, and you're ready to go hands-free, but with all your baby gear still right within reach.
Sound like exactly what you need, whether you're a new parent, prepping for an upcoming baby or on your third or fourth child and just looking for a more effective way of carrying your essentials? To make your shopping a little less cumbersome, here are some of our favorite backpack diaper bags.
But Wait — Do You Actually Need a Diaper Bag?
Before you start your shopping, ask yourself: Do you really need a diaper bag? While this accessory was once thought an absolute must-have for new parents, there are other options if you just don't have the cash to drop right now. The primary concern is having something on-hand to carry all the necessary gear for your baby, including diapers, food and a change of clothes.
If you have a fashionable tote that you like to take around, that could work just as well as a regular backpack.
So what's the benefit of diaper bags, then?
The good thing about diaper bags and diaper bag backpacks compared to totes and regular backpacks are that they're made with parents' and babies' needs in mind, resulting in features and functionality you won't find with just any old bag.
Diaper bags and diaper bag backpacks often come with organizational features made for items like bottles, pacifiers and the rest, so you have easy access to everything you need, anytime. Some come with extra gear for quick diaper changes on the go. Others offer bottle insulating capabilities.
Check out our 12 best backpack diaper bags and see which might be best for you.
This stylish, large-capacity diaper bag backpack doesn't even look like a diaper bag, especially when you go with one of the solid color options, like the black, olive green or navy blue variants.
The affordable bag (at only $35 on Amazon) fits a ton of gear, with lots of well-organized interior and side pockets. The inside, larger pocket features elastic, stretchy pockets along the sides, perfect for holding extra diapers and clothes. In contrast, the front pockets hold quick, grab-and-go items, like bottles (there's even an insulated bottle holder). A separate wet cloth pocket keeps everything clean.
A somewhat pricier version of the HaloVa option above, this Skip Hop diaper bag backpack is a bit of an upgrade. It's lightweight and stylish, plus it comes in five attractive colors. The Skip Hop also has tons of pockets that hold both baby and parent essentials. There are two exterior pockets and bottle holders, and even an interior pocket designed to fit your cell phone and other tech.
If you don't want to use this diaper backpack as a backpack, it also comes with stroller straps, and top carry handles for multiple ways of wearing it.
This affordable option (starting at $22 on Amazon) is so budget-friendly that even if you get it and don't like it in the end, you won't be losing out on money in the long run. Available in more than 10 colors and patterns, the polyester bag features 15 pockets and a sleek look.
It can carry up to 20 diapers, six clothing items, five toys, three bottles and a pair of shoes, all at once. A zipper along the bottom allows you to reach objects without digging around up to your elbows while your baby cries for their bottle or pacifier.
Despite the price, the bag is also high-quality and ultra-durable, as it's both waterproof and wear-resistant.
This roomy backpack has a little more of a masculine look than some of the above options. The pack features a double-decker design for separated storage on the top and bottom of the bag, accessible via an easy grab-and-go back pocket.
There are 18 pockets in total, including an insulated pouch and a pocket designed for wipes. The fabric is waterproof, and the backpack comes with stroller straps.
If you’re looking for a stylish, useful and vegan option, look no further.
Karin Shoup, the founder of SportChic shared, “SportsChic Vegan Backpacks and Totes have multiple easy access insulated pockets that keep baby formula and snacks warm and Mom’s drinks hot or cold, the entire bag is easy to keep clean and the exterior is UV protected and waterproof as is the nylon interior lining.”
“The easy access pockets keep bib, binkie, mask and sunglasses on hand. There is a separate compartment to store diapers and changing pad and the rest of the interior affords space for blankets, change of clothing and toiletries, Shoup continues.”
The bag amenities and appearance all speak for itself, and you can snag your vegan diaper backpack in metallic bronze, metallic pewter or titanium white.
While most diaper bag backpacks come in one size only, this backpack offers you three different sizes, so you can pick the version that best suits your needs. The smallest option is excellent as a travel carry-on when you don't necessarily need a lot of gear for that two-hour flight, but you need more than what you can stuff in your purse.
The smaller size is likewise a good fit for those parents with older children who don't need as many items while on the go.
The bag clips onto strollers with ease and can fit tablets, e-readers, breast pumps and whatever else you might want to bring along. It also comes with a miniature changing mat.
Eddie Bauer has been outfitting outdoorsmen and women with durable, stylish and comfortable clothing plus accessories for years, so when it comes to diaper bag backpacks, you can rely on the brand to provide that same level of comfort, style and durability.
This bag has a ruggedly stylish and unisex look, 11 pockets (including two insulated pockets), a changing pad, padded straps and a top handle. With lots of functionality, this is a bag that won't leave you with a headache as you try to find that missing pacifier somewhere in your diaper bag's depths.
If you're not quite sure whether you want a traditional diaper bag or a diaper backpack, consider this convertible option from JuJuBe, which switches between both easily.
It features four gusseted pockets and three zippered pockets in the main compartment, two insulated bottle pockets, a microfiber glasses pocket, a quick-reach cell phone pocket and even a special pocket for your key fob.
The Agion-treated interior resists mold and mildew, as well as bacteria. The Teflon-treated exterior resists stains, but beyond this, even if you want to wash the bag, it's as easy as tossing it into the washing machine.
Extra features include a crumb drain, luggage feet and a memory foam changing pad.
Of course, if the price is no object for you when it comes to buying gear to make your life as a parent that much more comfortable (not to mention fashionable), then you may want to spring for the designer, $750 Burberry Watson diaper backpack.
Practical yet still pretty, the diaper backpack features two outer bottle pockets, four interior pockets, a top handle and a removable changing pad. Of course, when you open the pack up, you'll see that classic Burberry tartan.
For more ways to wear your diaper backpack, go with this option from Petunia Pickle Bottom. The canvas bag can be worn as a backpack, messenger bag or crossbody bag, and also clips onto your stroller or can be carried by hand.
The water-resistant bag features five interior pockets, a key clip, two exterior bottle pockets, a zip-out diaper changing station, protective feet, stroller straps, a wipes case and a removable (and washable) changing pad.
And for when you just can't seem to fit all of your gear into any other diaper bag backpack, go with this oversized option. Favorited by parents with multiple children who all need to store various items, this bag has 14 pockets (including four insulated bottle pockets).
Still, beyond that, it offers a whole bevy of accessories. There are two packing cubes to organize your stuff, a cube for wet or dirty clothes, a changing pad, a baby wipe pocket and stroller straps. And it's all waterproof.
This diaper backpack is as stylish as it gets. The leather bag comes in five neutral colors and features a water-resistant lining, insulated bottle pocket, stroller hook attachments and even a built-in laptop sleeve that'll fit 13-inch laptops. Add-on extras are available, such as a changing pad, leather shoulder straps and leather stroller hooks.
This amount of luxury comes with a price tag, though. The Harper Backpack is $350.
What to Look for in a Diaper Bag Backpack
When shopping for your diaper bag backpack, whether you choose one of the above options or another, there are a few things you'll want to make sure are checked off the list.
How much do you need to store, and can a particular bag do it all? Think about all you like to bring along with you on your outings with the baby (are you a minimalist or a notorious over-packer?). Will a specific backpack or diaper bag handle everything with ease, or will your bag be left straining at the straps?
Look for specialized storage as well if you think you'd like to have an insulated bottle holder, a special pocket for dirty items, special pockets for parent-only items or any other similar feature.
What kind of backpacks do you find most comfortable? Do you need something with extra support?
If you're going to be using the bag for years to come, you want it to be something you won't dread wearing.
Speaking of dread, you also don't want your diaper backpack to be a bag that you dread using only because it's so unattractive. Keep style in mind when choosing a diaper bag, just as much as function. A bag can be the most functional in the world, but if it's ugly, you're less likely to use it.
Be on the lookout for any extra features that make your diaper backpack easier and more convenient to use, whether stroller straps, a changing pad or any other plus that makes your life simpler. (Just note: if you use stroller straps, you don't want to load up your backpack that much with any bulky items, as the extra weight can actually tip over your stroller, putting your baby in danger!)
No matter how much you pay for your diaper bag backpack, you want it to be durable and able to withstand all of the challenges that come with parenting. You definitely don't want a pack that's going to start splitting at the seams after a few months of use.
Look for a backpack with reinforced seams, as well as reinforced stress points. Look at the hardware, like zippers and clasps, and check for overall quality.
You'll also want to consider how easy the bag is to clean, whether it's machine washable, whether or not it's waterproof and if it has any stain-resistant qualities.
Price is always a personal choice, but don't feel like you have to spend a ton of money ($100 or more) to get a nice diaper bag backpack. You can find perfectly stylish and durable options for less than $50.
Now that you can bring all your essentials on any trip, thanks to your new backpack, the world is waiting for you to begin exploring with your little one.
You might also like: What NOT To Put On Your Baby Registry (For Your Own Benefit)
The 12 Best Backpack Diaper Bags:
- HaloVa Diaper Bag Multi-Function Waterproof Travel Backpack
- Skip Hop Mainframe Diaper Bag
- Land Diaper Bag Backpack
- Hap Tim Baby Diaper Bag Backpack
- SportsChic Women's Vegan Midi Backpack
- Indi Diaper Backpack
- Eddie Bauer Places & Spaces Bridgeport Diaper Bag Backpack
- JuJuBe B.F.F Multi-Functional Convertible Diaper Backpack/Messenger Bag
- Burberry Watson Diaper Backpack
- Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack
- Bably Baby Large Capacity Diaper Bag Backpack
- The Harper Backpack