Diaper Bag vs Backpack vs Tote – what are the differences?

Trying to catch your breath amidst crazy baby activities? All first time dads know how overwhelming parenting can be. It’s even trickier when you’re faced with decisions like which to pick between a diaper bag vs backpack vs tote. My top product recommendation is a diaper backpack. Keep reading to find out why.

If you’re feeling like I did right at the beginning of parenthood, your hands are full. Free up those hands by opting for the right baby bag. I’m here to help you out by giving you all the information you need to pick the best baby bag for yourself and your baby.

Baby Bags 101 – A Buyer’s Guide

Deciding between the different baby bags available can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. Maybe you’re looking for a bag for daily use or maybe you need a bag for something specific, say a trip to Disney World? Before you decide between a diaper bag, backpack or a tote you need to understand how these items are similar and – more importantly – how they differ.

What’s In The Bag?

In a nutshell: each bag carries diapers and diaper-changing equipment. A diaper bag is a typical storage bag containing numerous pockets, enabling you to carry everything you need to take care of your precious cargo on short daily activities and outings. A backpack is worn on your back using shoulder straps and is typically used for carrying heavier items. It also functions as a hands-free diaper carrying option. And then we have totes, which are generally larger with side handles that can be slung across your shoulder and a side pouch for storage. This type of bag is ideal for long-distance travel or shopping activities.

Where to Buy Diaper Bags, Backpacks and Totes

Now that you know a little more about each one, you’re probably wondering where to purchase them. Diaper bags and totes can be easily purchased online or at your local Macy’s, Target, Walmart or baby store. Backpacks too can be found online but can typically only be found in sports stores or outdoor stores. Or you can find them in the grand online shop called Amazon.

How to Choose the Best Bag for Your Needs

There are many aspects to consider when picking the best amongst various products. To help make your decision easier, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you prefer carrying something on your shoulder, or having your hands free?
  • How much space do you have in your car trunk? Will this item fit comfortably inside?
  • How much would you like to carry? You don’t want to feel like you’re carrying around the male version of Mary Poppins’ bag of tricks.
  • Is the bag for everyday use, for when you leave the house or for specific occasions or travel purposes?
  • What’s your budget?

My Top Picks

Product Reviews

Backpack by RUVALINO

The Backpack by RUVALINO is available in a range of colors from gray and blue to black and army green and is very spacious. Two main compartments keep all your baby essentials neatly organized. The durable material needs a simple wipe down with a baby wipe. While spacious and full of 10 interior pockets, exterior pockets and a padded laptop pocket, it’s not bulky. Elasticated side pockets make for the practical storage solution for items like sippy cups and water bottles.

Who it’s for

The Backpack by RUVALINO is the perfect companion for traveling moms and dads who frequently change their baby’s diaper on the go.

Why You Should Buy it

It’s lightweight, multifunctional and can be converted to act as a handbag too. It has an anti-theft back pocket, a front key pocket with key ring and can be easily hung on your pushchair.

Product Info

  • Dimensions: 11.8″ x 7.9″ x 16.5″
  • Weight: 2.05lbs
  • Materials: Waterproof polyester and luxe vegan leather

Pros

  • Ergonomically designed
  • Plenty of interior and exterior pockets
  • Twin insulated bottle pockets
  • Easy to carry and clean

Cons

  • Debatable zipper quality
  • Quality of interior lining is questionable

 

Daypack by Tactical Baby Gear

Next is the Daypack by Tactical Baby Gear backpack combo set. The ultimate in diaper bag systems, this daypack includes a built-in removable changing mat, dump pouch, bottle pouch and wipe pouch. It’s available in combo black and is simple yet functional. This daypack makes carrying all of your baby essentials a breeze.

Who it’s for

It’s suitable for dads who are looking for a versatile hands-free backpack. The heavy-duty zippers and military-grade tactical design make it the perfect manly dad bag.

Why You Should Buy it

The Daypack by Tactical Baby Gear has been designed for comfort – it has contoured and padded shoulder straps and even a removable waist strap. It’s built to last.

Product Info

  • Dimensions: 20″ x 11″ x 8″
  • Weight: 3.26lbs
  • Materials: Waterproof polyester

Pros

  • Built-in changing mat and helpful pouches
  • Easy-grab handle
  • High-quality YKK zipper system

Cons

  • The purpose of certain compartments is unclear
  • Insulated bottle pockets sold separately

 

Backpack by Sensyne

Now we have the Backpack by Sensyne. This diaper bag tote is pretty in pink and comes with wide padded shoulder straps and a stroller strap system for your convenience. It’s surprisingly large! It offers plenty: from anti-theft pocket design to a USB charging port. You’ll like it for its slim design and the fact that it opens up wide. Your daughter will love its color!

Who it’s for

Ideal for parents who are on the go – especially those with busy baby girls! But you might want to give it to your wife to carry it (unless you’re into pink).

Why You Should Buy it

Spaciousness, stellar design and sturdiness is what the Backpack by Sensyne is all about. It is constructed from thick materials so it will last a while and has an extra 10% of expandable storage.

Product Info

  • Dimensions: 15.7″ x 10.62″ x 7.1″
  • Weight: 1.5lbs
  • Materials: Composite, nylon and polyester

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Insulated pockets and bottle holders
  • Extra storage space
  • Sturdy handle with flexible buckle design

Cons

  • Overall seam quality is questionable as the stitching is prone to tearing

 

AmazonBasics Laptop Computer Backpack

The AmazonBasics Laptop Computer Backpack fits a 17″ laptop or notebook computer. It’s simple in black and has been designed to make sure your laptop is safe and sound while you’re out and about. This is especially handy if you’re a working parent. It’s well designed, multifunctional and is covered by a 1-year warranty.

Who it’s for

Ideal for the traveling businessman, or even a blogger like myself, it can easily convert into a dad diaper backpack to carry blankets, diapers, food, toys and anything else your bundle of joy may need.

Why You Should Buy it

The AmazonBasics Laptop Computer Backpack comes with useful organizational compartments for your laptop, cell phone, keys and pens. An additional tablet pouch is an excellent feature.

Product Info

  • Dimensions: 13.39″ x 7″ x 19.29″
  • Weight: 1.98lbs
  • Materials: Polyester

Pros

  • Shoulder straps are padded and adjustable
  • Multi-compartment design
  • Mesh side water bottle pockets
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Covered by a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Waterproofing isn’t the best
  • Bulky design

 

Large Diaper Bag by RUVALINO

Finally, here’s the Large Diaper Bag by RUVALINO. It’s trendy in a neutral gray and features a spacious design. Thanks to its collapsible metal frame design, the main compartment opens easily and searching for baby items (the ones that always seem to end up at the bottom of the bag!) is even easier. With its three carrying options, you can convert it from a diaper tote into a cross-body bag or even attach it to your suitcase.

Who it’s for

Because of its three carrying options, you can travel smartly with the Large Diaper Bag by RUVALINO. This is ideal for parents who frequently travel long distances, take long grocery shops and even those who enjoy hikes with their little one.

Why You Should Buy it

Not only is this product affordable but it comes with a 22″ x 15″ cushioned changing mat. It’s large and wide, yet lightweight and easy to carry.

Product Info

  • Dimensions: 15″ x 6.3″ x 11.8″
  • Weight: 1.98lbs
  • Materials: 100% nylon, luxe vegan leather and EVA lining

Pros

  • Pacifier pocket
  • Easy to carry and clean
  • Collapsible design
  • Insulated bottle holders
  • Extremely portable

Cons

  • Stroller straps sold separately
  • Single-handed unzipping is difficult

FAQ

Is a diaper backpack large enough to hold twin items?

Yes, a diaper backpack with sufficient interior space and exterior pockets will do the trick. Naturally, if you purchase a small diaper backpack then you won’t have enough space to hold all of your babies’ products.

Do I need a bag or can I just use my pockets?

Baby bags were invented for a reason. The whole point of a baby bag is to have all of your baby gear stored in one place. It’s easy to grab and go. Pockets on the other hand, even spacious ones such as those found in cargo pants, simply don’t have the capacity to hold your essential baby gear.

Wrap-up

So, which is the best option? The diaper backpack works the best for me. I wanted a diaper carrier and needed my hands free to fully attend to my baby. For this reason, I recommend you invest in a high-quality diaper backpack such as those I’ve introduced you to today. The Backpack by RUVALINO comes out tops in my books because it’s multifunctional, waterproof, easy to clean and comes with plenty of pockets. Plus, it has space for my laptop without sacrificing the much-needed space for my little one’s gear.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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