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Designer Diaper Bags

Updated on November 6, 2007

With designer handbags and designer handbag knockoffs rising in popularity over the past several years, and a slew of high profile celebrities adopting from foreign countries or having children of their own, it's no surprise that many brand names like Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci and Kate Spade are now tapping into the "baby couture" craze with a new take on an old favorite. Designer diaper bags, the latest in a line of innovative, high quality products designed specifically for children and the classy folks who rear them, can be found on numerous websites and in finer department stores worldwide. Here is a comprehensive guide on where to look and what to look for.

The difference between designer and Designer

If you were to Google "designer diaper bags", your search would return links to sites like Tutti Bella, Posh Tots and Baby Direct. These companies all feature trendy, stylish bags made by high end designers such as Fleurville and Eddie Bauer. Their prices range anywhere from $34.99 to $369.99. Then you have the Designer diaper bags. Made by Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry, these bags are only available at finer department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. They are billed as the Rolls Royce of diaper bags, but are basically just designer handbags that come with side pockets and a removable changing pad, and can range in price anywhere from $545 to $1,200. For this hub, I'm going to focus on the former: the diaper bags that are slightly expensive but don't require you to sell your soul to the devil in order to afford one.

Types of Designer Diaper Bags

The diaper bags of the 80's and 90's were frumpy, oversized monstrosities emblazoned with Winnie the Pooh patterns that shrieked maternity. Although they were cute and cuddly, the weren't the most desirable accessory.

Blue Taffy Lexington tote bag by Reese Li
Blue Taffy Lexington tote bag by Reese Li

Tote diaper bags

The diaper bags of the 80's and 90's were frumpy, oversized monstrosities emblazoned with Winnie the Pooh patterns that shrieked maternity. Although they were cute and cuddly, the weren't the most desirable accessory. Now, moms on the go can keep themselves looking fashionable with designer tote diaper bags. Stylish enough to match any outfit, tote diaper bags still have all the modern day conveniences. The main compartment is usually waterproof and designed to contain diapers, wipes and changing pad, with pockets in the front or on the side for holding bottles, pacifiers, cell phone and keys. Tote bags generally resemble oversized purses. They are approximately 14-18" wide and 8-12" high with weatherproof exteriors and adjustable shoulder straps.

Pink Airship messenger bag
Pink Airship messenger bag

Messenger diaper bags

The original messenger bag was designed with a flip-top flap which enabled the user to access the bag without having to put it down. In addition to their quick and easy accessibility, messenger bags are renowned for their many pockets and compartments. The messenger diaper bag is no different. The spacious main compartment often features two additional side pockets great for storing diapers, toys and snacks. The tall outside pockets can hold bottles, sippy cups, lotions, creams and wipes. Most feature an across-the-chest strap that makes carrying the messenger diaper bag quite comfortable, and many of the straps include a pocket that can fit a bottle or a cell phone.

Huckleberry Swirl Cake backpack diaper bag by Petunia Pickle Bottom
Huckleberry Swirl Cake backpack diaper bag by Petunia Pickle Bottom

Backpack diaper bags

Outdoorsy types will love the new backpack diaper bag design. Modeled after a standard hiking pack, one type of backpack diaper bag includes an inner diaper "hammock" to keep them from getting lost at the bottom of the bag. Mesh pockets on the outside allow for easy organization of the essentials. The large, main compartment has a clamshell opening for full access, and an exterior large enough to hold up to 4 bottles. For those who like the two shoulder backpack design but don't want to look like hikers, there are dainty alternatives with adjustable straps that allow you to carry the bag either over the shoulder, messenger style, or as a backpack. The Huckleberry Swirl Cake Society Satchel made by Petunia Pickle Bottom is a gorgeous, plush diaper bag with removable changing pad that lets you carry it one of four ways: hobo/clutch, shoulder strap, backpack and valet stroller.

Floral Sky sling tote bag by Fleurville
Floral Sky sling tote bag by Fleurville

Sling diaper bags

Sling diaper bags, a subset of totes that are sometimes also called hobo bags, are the best bet for active parents. Their versatility and slightly smaller design makes them a practical choice for everyday outings that only require a diaper or two. Sling diaper bags look a lot like a regular pocketbook and can function as one, too. Inside zipper pockets hold wallet and other valuables, yet there's plenty of room for the diapering essentials. Slings try to stick to a sleek, compact design, but some come with insulated bottle holders on the side to let you grab milk for the baby without breaking stride.

Black Dragon bag by Diaper Dude
Black Dragon bag by Diaper Dude

Daddy diaper bags

Many messenger, backpack and waist-to-shoulder sling diaper bags are now being designed with men in mind. A diaper bag for the daddy's who don't want the world to know they're carrying a diaper bag, these "just for him" models are a far cry from the pink fluffy bags of yesteryear. Daddy diaper bags come in a variety of trendy patterns and styles including camouflage, neutral colors and sports. Diaper Dude, a new brand seen on "The View" and "The Wayne Brady Show" are hip, funky bags that come with a cell phone holder, key ring and hidden changing pad for dads on the move. As opposed to other Daddy diaper bags which are generally neutral in color, Diaper Dude bags come in camouflage and plaid with a variety of neat designs such as skulls, dragons and guitars. (Angelina Jolie apparently bought the dragon one for hubby Brad Pitt.) One of their best items is the Diaper Bag Survival Package. Available in black, navy, grey and camo, this bag can hold anything you could possibly think of: bottles, bibs, books, sunglasses, wipes, food, pacifiers, keys, changing pad, stuffed animals and more. It also comes with the Mini-Dude diaper bag to use for quick outings and a utility bottle holder that attaches to the diaper bag or stroller and keeps bottles warm.

Pacific Diaper stroller bag by Skooch
Pacific Diaper stroller bag by Skooch

Stroller diaper bags

The difference between standard and stroller diaper bags is that stroller diaper bags can be directly attached to the handles of a stroller. Innovative strapping systems allow these functional bags to fit either a single or double, side-by-side stroller as well as be easily slung over the shoulder. (When you're carrying it, it looks just like a tote bag.) Many messenger, backpack and sling bags are also available to convert for use with a stroller. Easy to clean, moisture-proof interiors are usually large enough to fit a laptop computer, and the many spacious pockets are great for storing bottles, sippy cups, toys, changing pad and snacks.

Whipstitch Leather diaper bag by Nest
Whipstitch Leather diaper bag by Nest

Leather diaper bags

Although they require weather protection on the outside, leather diaper bags usually come with waterproof lining on the interior and are a gorgeous, classy way of toting your little one's baby supplies. Luxurious leather designs are perfect for posh mommies who need a bag that matches their personal style. The downside is that unlike totes or backpacks, not many leather diaper bags come with a removable changing pad. You can buy slim changing pads separately, however, and put it in yourself.

Ch-ch-changes diaper bag by Jess Alpert-Goldman
Ch-ch-changes diaper bag by Jess Alpert-Goldman

Funky diaper bags

If complementing your outfit isn't your main concern and you're looking to have a little fun with your designer diaper bag, there are plenty of unique, funky options to choose from. Designer Jess Alpert-Goldman's World According to Jess line features the Ch-ch-changes Bag will take your child from infancy to the terrible twos without skipping a beat. It has all the conveniences of a standard diaper bag (bottle holders, inside and outside pockets, section for wipes) but it's the little extras that give this bag it's edge. The changing mat on the back is embroidered with an arrow that says "Place baby here", and it snaps off for easy removal, and the bag also comes with a complementary "Mom's best friend" matching bib. Jess's other popular products include the Hey Baby Diaper Bag, which features a sonogram on the outside and pockets labeled "baby stuff" on the inside, and the Peek Into a Diaper Bag, whose front flap has a picture of all the stuff you'd find within.

Fleece vest by DadGear
Fleece vest by DadGear

Diaper vests and jackets

Although not quite a bag, diaper vests and jackets are a fairly new invention designed to function as a standard diaper bag without looking anything like it. The DadGear fleece vests and jackets feature strategically placed pockets to allow for easy access to all childcare essentials. There's a tall, elastic pocket for bottles, two large interior compartments for diapers, chest pockets for cell phone, keys and travel wipes and side pockets for additional storage.

Pearl diaper bag by Nest being displayed from inside out

Diaper Bag Accessories

Although designer diaper bags come equipped with everything moms and dads need for a day out with baby, there are plenty of extras you can buy to customize the bag to meet your needs.

Insulated bottle holders, like the one seen here from Fanci-Free, coordinate with a range of available changing bags. The 3M Thinsulate insulation liner keeps bottles either warm or cold for up to 4 hours, or it can hold up to 6 jars of baby food. Clip one on to the outside of your diaper bag for additional storage.

The Packin' SMART by Innobaby is a clean, easy way to store food in the diaper bag without having to deal with plastic baggies and making a mess. The five-tier stack functions as a formula dispenser, snack case, serving bowl and pacifier holder. Each separate container can hold up to 8 oz. of powdered formula or 1/3 cup of dried food. Cereal, vitamins, hair clips, fruit and candies are kept all together in a single unit that's guaranteed not to fall open.

For diaper bags that aren't designed to adjust to fit around the handles of a stroller, stroller clips are an amazing invention. Add this accessory to your diaper bag by locking it into place around the stroller handles and clipping the connectors to the sides of the bag. A special grip system underneath keeps them from slipping down, and the latches snap securely into place with a "click" sound that lets you know it's working.

The Sippy Rocket by Ju Ju Be is a mini-cooler for sippy cups and bottles. At three inches wide, it can fit any 12 oz. cans or bottles, and any sippy cups as long as they don't have handles. Designed somewhat like a sunglasses case, the Sippy Rocket zips up all the way around to prevent spills from leaking all over the inside of your diaper bag. The inside wipes clean in the event of leakage.

Wet Bags are great for storing wet items away from the rest of the diaper bag. Used diapers, wet clothing or damp bathing suits can all be tucked into the Wet Bag for safe keeping until you get home. The inside has two layers lined with a Polyurethane Laminate called "Baby Dry" for added protection, and the zipper top ensures that unpleasant smells will stay where they belong. Wet Bags are environmentally friendly, reusable and machine washable in cold water.

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