Becoming a parent means saying goodbye to regular purses and backpacks, and saying hello to schlepping around a diaper bag full of baby essentials. Why do babies require so many supplies? You’ll need diapers, of course, and an extra outfit for that inevitable car seat blowout. Wipes and diaper creams are a must. And as they get older: toys, snacks, bottles, extra mittens and hats, and maybe even a portable sound machine. Count your blessings if you can fit your wallet in a side pocket before you sprint out the door.
Finding the best diaper bag means finding a bag that has enough room for all of your baby’s stuff—and your stuff too. It also needs to be easy to use and not so big that it’s heavy or unwieldy. They get bonus points for being attractive, easy to pack, and easy to clean. We spent a month toting around 11 of the most-loved and highly-rated diaper bags on the market.
We found ourselves reaching for the Ruvalino Diaper Bag Backpack(available at Amazon) every time we got the chance. It’s attractive for parents of any persuasion; my husband even said he would use this as a work bag because he found it to be so stylish. Plus it holds everything you need to keep your baby (and you) happy, your supplies stay well-organized throughout the day thanks to well-thought-out pockets and dividers, and the backpack style makes it a hands free baby bag.
For parents who prefer a luxury brand and a more traditional diaper bag shape, the JuJuBe BFF Convertible (available at Amazon) is an excellent choice.
These are the best diaper bags we tested, ranked in order:
Ruvalino Diaper Bag Backpack
JuJuBe BFF Convertible
Halova Diaper Bag
KiddyCare Diaper Bag Backpack
Skip Hop Duo Backpack
Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag
Itzy Ritzy Boss Backpack
HapTim Diaper Bag Backpack
Freshly Picked Convertible Classic Diaper Bag Backpack
Bag Nation Backpack
Eddie Bauer Places and Spaces Diaper Bag Backpack
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Ruvalino Diaper Bag Backpack
JuJuBe Legacy Collection B.F.F. Convertible Diaper Bag
The Ruvalino Diaper Bag Backpack is more backpack than diaper bag, aesthetically, giving it a gender-neutral appeal that my husband and I loved. No matter who was on baby duty, the Ruvalino was a non-embarrassing option that drew the admiration of our parent friends, too. And beyond looking good, it’s functional. The backpack has 16 pockets and two large compartments, which meant we could easily fit a full load of supplies inside—diapers, wipes, diaper cream, a change of clothes, toys, snacks, and several bottles.
The Ruvalino comes with a changing pad and insulated bottle pockets on the inside of the bag, plus two outer pockets that fit both wallets and taller baby bottles. One contains a wipe slot, if you want to use the outer pocket for easy-access wipes. The Ruvalino even has a laptop pocket for the days when you’re headed out on your own.
The Ruvalino doesn’t open as wide as some of the other diaper bags we tested, which means items do occasionally get lost in the bottom, but the organizational pockets help with this. We especially appreciated the diaper pockets, which tucked the diapers off to the side to provide more room for digging. You can wear the Ruvalino as a backpack, thanks to the padded straps, or you can carry it as a purse, using the two small handles up top. It’s not machine-washable, but you can use a warm rag with a small amount of soap to scrub the interior, should you end up with spilled snacks or milk. And a big bonus: The Ruvalino is inexpensive, running you just over $40.
JuJuBe Legacy Collection B.F.F. Convertible Diaper Bag
At more than four times the price of the Ruvalino, the B.F.F. Convertible Diaper bag by JuJuBe is one of the most expensive bags we tested. That said, it really delivers for the price. The bag comes with straps that can be attached in many configurations, allowing for a backpack or messenger bag carry, and you can choose from a variety of patterns.
The outer fabric of the B.F.F. is made with Teflon, which makes it ultra-stain repellant; it was the only machine-washable option in our testing line up, too. The zippers are like butter, the straps are padded, and the included changing pad is made with memory foam, which easily slides into the back of the bag for extra padding against your hip while you’re carrying it. Like the Ruvalino, the B.F.F. has a “mommy pocket” for adult items, with ample space for a phone and credit cards. It even has a key leash and lens-cleaning sunglasses pocket.
When it’s open, the B.F.F. sits upright like a piece of luggage, and it unzips wide open which makes it easy to load and unload. Because of these qualities, including the all-metal hardware, the B.F.F. is heavy, and it can sometimes slide off your shoulder, although the padded straps help. There are dozens of pockets for bottles, diapers, and snacks throughout, including insulated side pockets to keep milk cool. While it’s an upgrade option, we think it’s worth the money for the durability and state-of-the-art features.
I’m Jenni Gritters, a journalist with a decade of experience writing about all things health and science. I previously edited longform product reviews about the outdoors, parenting and travel for Wirecutter. You can also find my bylines in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, the REI Co-op Journal, Gear Patrol, and beyond.
I had my first baby—a little boy named Liam—in December 2019, and since then I’ve been reviewing baby gear and writing about the psychology of parenting. In the past, I’ve covered infant vitals monitors, baby swings, bottles, and baths. We currently live on the road while my husband works as a traveling nurse, so a good diaper bag is a must for keeping Liam comfortable during our long car trips and other adventures. This guide was first written by Sarah Kovac, whose bio follows.
Hi, I’m Sarah Kovac. I’m a mama of three, and over my nine years of parenting I’ve had several diaper bags and learned what works and what doesn’t. I need a diaper bag that I don’t mind being seen with in public. I need zippers that can be operated one-handed. I need a bag that holds it all without killing my shoulders. I need a place to stow my wallet, phone, and keys where they won’t get buried under baby diapers or in the folds of a blanket.
To find out how these diaper bags stacked up, we rotated through them for everyday use with our toddler for a month. Then we loaded each with six diapers, a pack of wipes, a bottle, a spare outfit, a container of Boudreax’s Butt Paste, a book, a blanket, snacks, and a burp cloth, among other necessities.
I packed the bags carefully, then took them to daily activities like swim lessons, daycare, hikes, and brewery visits. When we got home, I unpacked them to test how easy it was to find the items I needed, and I surveyed my partner and parent friends about their favorite options. I wiped spilled milk and crushed goldfish crackers out of the bases of the bags and, in the case of the machine-washable JuJuBe, I ran it through the wash—straps and all.
Tips for Buying a Diaper Bag
Make Sure It's Easy to Clean
Babies are messy, and you’re likely to end up with many spills inside the bag. Think: Cheerios, leaking milk, exploding pastes and melting snacks. Ideally, a diaper bag should be easy to clean, whether that means you can throw the whole bag into the washing machine, or spot clean it with a rag and some soap.
Look for Durability
Ideally, you’ll want to use your diaper bag for the first few years of your child’s life, and maybe for the next kid, too. We prioritized bags that were built to last, with sturdy straps and zippers and durable material.
What's Your Style?
A bag’s aesthetic is subjective, but you’ll want a bag that you’re proud to carry. For many couples, finding a gender-neutral bag allows both caregivers to tote the bag around with ease. Diaper bags come in many styles, and you’ll likely want to check out a few before making a decision.
Is It Large Enough to Hold All Your Gear?
Perhaps the most important criteria on the list, a good diaper bag should fit all of your supplies without a lot of hemming and hawing, and you should be able to find the items you need with ease, too. A typical diaper bag load includes four diapers, diaper rash prevention supplies, wipes, a toy, bottles, snacks, extra burp cloths, a change of clothes, and an extra blanket.
Is It Organized?
There’s nothing more annoying than having to take everything out of your diaper bag in order to find that one item you’re looking for. A good diaper bag will have lots of pockets and dividers to keep things separated, making for a more organized experience.
Consider Portability and Storage
Because you’ll be schlepping this bag from place to place, you want it to be easy to pack into a car. And when it’s not in use, you’ll want a bag that you can stuff into a closet or sit on a shelf in your baby’s room without taking up too much space.
Is It Comfortable to Carry?
While you won’t be carrying these bags on long hikes (most likely), a good diaper bag will have comfortable, padded straps that make it easy to carry from place to place. Especially if the bag is packed full, you’ll want it to sit on your back or shoulder in a well-balanced way.
Other Diaper Bags We Tested
HaloVa Diaper Bag
The cheapest bag on the list turned out to be one of our favorites. Similar to the Ruvalino, the HaloVa is an attractive backpack that you might want to use when you’re not taking care of a small human, too. It has many handy compartments, but the zipper drops down deeply on each side, which means items will fall out if the bag is overpacked.
Thankfully, the HaloVa has a thoughtful zipper opening toward the bottom of the back panel of the bag so that parents can access the contents of the bottom of the bag without disturbing the items on top. That secondary opening is also lined with a waterproof compartment and functions as a small wet bag to transport wet clothes back home.
The inside of the bag opens into a square shape, with side pockets for diapers, which keeps them from falling into the bottom of the bag. There are also three therma-lined bottle compartments in the front pocket, which fit bottles up to 9 ounces. One of the outer pockets has a slot to make wipes accessible, too. The big downside of this bag: It doesn’t last for long. After just a few uses, the strap broke.
The KiddyCare is similar to the Ruvalino, but less pleasant to carry. Despite being slightly smaller, it’s actually heavier. The extra weight was noticeable but I wouldn’t go so far as to say the KiddyCare was uncomfortable, especially compared to the other bags on this list.
The elastic on the insulated bottle holders was much tighter and difficult to get bottles out of, and the tissue pocket was just enough smaller that the opening to our wipes packet didn’t line up like it did in the HaloVa. These subtle differences added up to us preferring the Ruvalino, but a lot of the things we loved about the Ruvalino still apply to the KiddyCare, so you wouldn’t be disappointed with either.
Despite being less attractive than some of its competitors, the Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag Backpack was one of the better bags we tested. It’s more shallow and wide than most of the other backpacks, which makes it quite easy to pack.
It contains two removable packing cubes in the front pocket, which you can fill with snacks or other small items you don’t want to lose. The side pouches fit all kinds of bottles, and it comes with internal pockets for diapers, plus a washable changing pad.
The only downside is that this bag is quilted, which makes it a bit harder to clean, and the weight balance is a bit odd when you’re carrying it around. Still, the affordability makes it a winner.
Initially, the Duo Signature looked appealing because it has similar features to the JuJuBe B.F.F. at less than half the cost. But after testing, it became clear that each reflects their price-point. The Duo isn’t as big as most of its competitors, but it can fit a reasonably-sized load of baby supplies.
The struggle comes with getting the supplies back out of the bag again: Because the Duo is small and not well-divided, items get lost in the shuffle. To access a new diaper, we ended up pulling everything else out, too.
The Duo comes with a thin changing pad, several large pockets for diapers, and outer pockets for a wallet and keys, plus two bottle pockets that are made with mesh—a useful idea for leaking, but not helpful for keeping bottles cold.
If you’re looking for a style-forward bag, the Boss Backpack might be a good fit. It’s still a backpack, but comes in a variety of color combinations. The pockets and body of the backpack are made with vegan leather, and the backpack itself is a lot bigger than expected—in fact, it contains 17 pockets. A divider in the main compartment keeps things separated out—a good idea that falls short when the bag is full—and there are lots of nooks and crannies where you can tuck smaller items.
However, the straps are thin and uncomfortable, and the zippers feel a bit cheap, as does the faux leather. We wished that the bag opened more widely, to make it easier to pull items out or put them back in, and we worried that the leather would likely show scratches and rips quickly. Another downside: The bag’s look is quite feminine, and may not appeal to all parents.
HapTim Multi-function Large Baby Diaper Bag Backpack
Our original tester used this diaper bag backpack for six months, so she has plenty to say about its pros and cons. It’s comparable in price to the Ruvalino and HaloVa, but less stylish than either. There’s also the issue of durability: A strap broke after about 6 months of use.
The color scheme feels fairly gender-neutral, and the bag is big enough to hold a weekend's worth of baby gear—but the gear often gets lost in the bottom of the bag, and sometimes you have to dump everything out to find a particular item. Inside the bag, there’s a larger pocket for a changing pad, plus several smaller pockets for diapers.
The front pocket is a good place for a wallet and keys, and the side pockets offer room for even the tallest bottles—but they’re not cooling and can be tough to clean out. The HapTim excels during long schleps with its wide, comfortable straps and a cooling panel that keeps the bag away from your back. But overall, this bag is all about basic function, no frills.
If you’re looking for a stylish purse that also contains diaper bag-like qualities, the Freshly Picked might be a good option. It’s the most expensive bag we tested, and most of the parents we encountered while using it commented on how stylish it looked.
But while the style is a bonus, the functionality of this bag is lacking. It’s tough to load because it doesn’t open up wide, and the materials made the bag feel quite rigid. The outer pockets are not meant for bottles. In fact, the outer pockets are barely wide enough for a cell phone.
The bag comes with a thin changing pad and straps to convert the Freshly Picked into a shoulder bag or a backpack. But in practice, it fails to stay closed with a normal-sized load of baby gear inside because the opening locks with a magnetic clip that easily comes undone. It was also awkward to carry because it holds itself in a rigid, square shape and the straps are so thin that they cut into your shoulders. The luxury look is amazing, but using this bag feels like cramming baby gear into a purse.
The smallest diaper bag we tested, the Bag Nation Backpack could barely fit a standard load of baby gear inside. The “full open” zipper opened so wide that things started to fall out, and I had to dig to access the socks that had fallen into the bottom.
There are 14 pockets, and one of the side pockets has a quick-access wipes slot, but the pockets available don’t fit more than one to two diapers each. It’s also less attractive than most of the other bags we tested, and we found the straps to be fine on short jaunts, but annoyingly uncomfortable during long hauls. That said, the lifetime warranty means you’ll never have to worry about replacing the bag on your own dime.
Eddie Bauer Traverse Places & Spaces Backpack Diaper Bag
The Places and Spaces Backpack is another just-too-small contender on the list. It’s more attractive than the Bag Nation bag, but the Places and Spaces is far too narrow. I had to stuff a normal-sized load inside and was only able to fit four diapers in the pockets, then it was difficult to access the items later because the space was so crammed.
Cooling pockets are a nice addition, but they don’t fit taller bottles. And the included changing pad doesn’t fit well in its pocket; you have to fold it down really small, then it takes up too much space. The only big win: a vented back for hot days, and padded straps.
Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and smart home editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.
Jenni Gritters is a Seattle-based freelance journalist who covers health, psychology, business, and travel. You can find her bylines in The Guardian, Wirecutter, Outside magazine, 538, Mindbodygreen, and beyond. When Jenni isn't working with words, she's teaching yoga and mindfulness; hiking, camping, and snowshoeing in the Pacific Northwest mountains; and running with her husband and puppy.
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