Today’s Hint: The Most Comfortable (and Frugal) Diaper Bag

One piece of baby gear that I splurged on: a diaper bag. I bought myself MZ Wallace’s “Kate” diaper bag. At the time, I figured that the nearly $400 purchase was somewhat frugal since I’d be able to use the fashionable bag as a purse once my daughter graduated out of diapers.

Fast forward nearly two years later, however, and the stylish diaper bag has been relegated to storage in favor of a bag that makes a much better – and more frugal – diaper bag.

This is why today’s hint is that soon-to-be, or new parents, in the market for a diaper bag go for this option – a backpack – over more stylish, and more expensive, over-the-shoulder designer bags.

Given how much gear needs to be stuffed into a diaper bag, I’ve found that a heavy backpack is much easier, and much more comfortable, to carry than an over-the-shoulder diaper bag.

Plus, regardless of whether we’re talking about a backpack you already have around the house or a special dad diaper bag, backpacks generally cost much less than designer diaper bags and typically are more “dad friendly” than other designs. Though if you already have a backpack around your house, you can just use that and skip shelling out money for a special “dad diaper backpack,” as you can just put travel wipe containers and other diaper gear in any old backpack.

Other parents, from Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks to moms commenting on Baby Center and What to Expect, to Whitney Moss of Rookie Moms, are also fans of the diapers on-the-back approach. “Whomever came up with diaper bags is laughing all the way to the bank,” wrote Whitney in a comment on Hint Mama a while back.

Meanwhile, my go-to baby gear book, Baby Bargains, also mentions the “make your own” diaper bag approach, noting that “most folks have a favorite bag or backpack that can double as a diaper bag.”

To be sure, as I pointed out earlier, more stylish and expensive bags can be somewhat frugal if you’re going to upcycle the diaper bags down the road into purses or briefcases. And of course, with a backpack stuffed with diapers strapped to your back, you’re sacrificing fashion for functionality. But isn’t that part of what becoming a parent is all about?

Which diaper bag do you recommend and why?

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  1. Emily L. says

    I switched to a backpack at least 6 months ago and it’s been great! With two, it leaves my hands so much more free and I don’t have the dang diaper bag slipping down/falling open/etc. It’s not even an expensive backpack! It’s bright yellow, with several openings, so I can compartment for my keys & wallaet, baby things, snacks, etc. And a mesh side pocket is perfect for the sippy cup!

  2. says

    I agree with you, Tiffany. The shoulder bag is just impossible to carry with all the stuff you need to put in it. It’s like carrying stones around. I also used a backpack and there a variety of styles today. So, I’m sure everyone can find one they like.

  3. Miriam says

    I went practical over style and bought a relatively cheap Skip-Hop bag from Target… I love it. Tons of pockets and its lined with a light color fabric so I can see what’s inside. Backpack is a great idea, too!


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