A well stocked and organized diaper bag is an essential tool have in a parents arsenal, but with so many choices, buying the best dad diaper bag may be overwhelming. That’s what we’re here for, to eliminate guesswork, and in this guide we will present you with the information needed to buy the best diaper bag for dads.
After testing 15 dad style diaper bags with a total of 15 parents, we determined the best diaper bag to be the Messenger II diaper bag by Diaper Dude.
It is a successor to the well received Messenger 1 diaper bag, and has literally all the perks a dad would need on long and short baby outings.
Our Pick – Diaper Dude Messenger II Diaper Bag
An upgrade from the Messenger 1 diaper bag, the Messenger II diaper bag can be ordered in 6 vivid color variants namely black, camo, grey, black pinstripe, grey pinstripe and olive.
Brought to you by Diaper Dad, a brand that was conceived with the sole idea that fatherhood doesn’t have to be un-cool or complicated, the Messenger II diaper bag collection oozes with sophistication and will definitely get you noticed.
What’s worth noting about the Messenger II diaper bag is that it not only allows dads to pack all the essentials such as bottles, diapers, wipes, clothes and toys, but even easily access them without ever taking off the bag.
Runner Up – Timbuk2 Stork Messenger Bag
Available in three different color palettes namely black, dynamo and black/gold combination, the Timbuk 2 stork diaper messenger style bag offers great support even when full, and is appointed with built-in and removable features including hot and cold water bottle pockets, and a clear external zipper pocket to make it easy to access emergency items.
All bags are made in the company’s San Francisco factory, and are generally shipped out within 10 business days.
Where most American companies fail to manufacture products in the homeland due to rising labor and employment costs, Timbuk 2 has been doing it ever since their inception 20 years ago.
Upgrade Pick – OiOi Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag
If you really want to look good and haul around a real eye catcher albeit with a steep price tag, the OiOi Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag is a real stunner both in functionality and design.
Founded by Lisa Bennetts, OiOi products have received a surge of appeal even since their inception, and some of their prominent fan following includes Kylie Minogue, Rachel Griffiths and Lisa McCune.
All their products are well crafted and boasts modern design that will simply make you be the king dad on the street.
Budget Pick – Fisher-Price Fastfinder Deluxe Messenger Bag
This company needs no introduction because almost everything they introduce in the kid’s arena is a hit, and their Fastfinder Deluxe Messenger bag is no different.
Not only is this Fisher Price diaper bag really affordable, it offers the best of functionality, style, design and quality.
For starters, it has expansive space in the interior and allows dads on the go to stay well organized with dedicated compartments for all baby essentials.
One thing that’s unique to this Fisher Price dad diaper bag is its labels, which make it easy for users to locate and replace baby essentials so that they’re there when you and your baby need them.
Also Great – Boken Every Day Bag
One thing is clear from the Boken collection, it is designed to make your life a whole lot easier whether it’s running your daily errands or simply a trip to the park.
In addition, most if not all of their diaper bags allow you to go hands-free, which is the case with the Every Day Bag, which will make dad proud to wear and might make a few moms jealous!
It all started with the dilemma co-founder Sawako Yamauchi had with finding the right diaper bag to fit her needs and one that kept up with her active and hectic schedule.
As a result of her research, the ultimate solution was diaper bags that were lightweight and crafted of water resistant material without being harmful to your baby.
Table of Contents
- Why you should trust us
- How we picked
- How we tested
- Our pick
- Flaws but not Deal breaker
- The Competition
Why you should trust us:
There are several reasons! First, we’ve been reviewing everything kids for years, and as parents ourselves know exactly what to look for before recommending the best products.
In addition to drawing on personal experience and our volunteer dad’s reviews on the bags, we scoured online reviews to seek more unbiased recommendations, and even recruited a few male individuals without kids to see if they would indeed sport these bags without being bound by the fact that they were in essence diaper bags and not regular bags.
How we picked:
The most important aspect we considered when perusing a wide range of diaper bags was which ones were not only well designed, but also allowed you to carry all your baby essentials in a more practical and well organized manner.
Babies have many physical needs especially at the infant stage, meaning that as a parent you will have to carry along a laundry list of items.
This list includes but not limited to wipes, diapers, rash cream, a changing pad, dirty diaper sacks, burp cloth, change of clothes, bottles, binkies and toys, snacks, sunscreen and a few of your precious items such as keys and wallet.
We looked at bags that could provide you with not only the space needed for your baby and you, but one that made these items easily accessible.
Speaking of space, the bigger the bag doesn’t mean it is the best in the performance department, but we rather handpicked dad diaper bags that showcased strategic organizational structures.
Next, we looked at diaper dad bags that suited a wide range of carrying choices such as carrying it across your back just like a backpack or across your shoulder as you would with a messenger style diaper bag.
Another and an equally important aspect we paid close attention to were the closures of each diaper bag because they are what keeps the bag secure and prevent things from falling out.
Zipper enclosures are regarded as the most secure, while Velcro is the most efficient.
Many of the diaper bags we looked at had Velcro enclosures in some shape or form, often for the sake of convenience. Speaking of Velcro material itself, it is the worst thing to see on baby products for a couple reasons.
It wears out quickly with heavy use, catches on fabrics and not to mention is loud.
Our upgrade pick, the OiOi Waxed Canvas Satchel does not possess any Velcro elements, but rather uses magnetic enclosures to secure the main pocket, making them highly ineffective if you stuff the bag.
Magnetic enclosed pockets are great when located in the interior of the diaper bag, and zippered compartments serve well on the exterior.
Considering that it is highly unlikely that dad will leave home without his personal items, we ensured that all the bags had dedicated slots for personal items such as wallet, cell phone and keys.
The fabric or material the diaper bag is made with is important, because it helps determine the overall quality of the bag and its price.
Let’s get one thing straight! Diaper bags are dirt magnets so you will definitely find yourself cleaning them often.
But the big question here is how easy is it to get dirt and other stains off. We found that keeping diaper bags clean all boils down to the fabric they are made with, where some manufacturers recommend machine wash.
We were eager to know if manufacture recommended machine wash affected the overall quality of the bags so we spilled some juice on the Boken Every Day bag and ran it through a delicate cycle, and were pleased with results, where the bag survived unscathed.
But before machine washing a diaper bag, it is important that you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid causing damage to the bag.
With regards to materials, we stayed away from bags that contained any form of PVC, because even though it is easy to clean, it is heated and chemicals are added to the mix to make this plastic pliable.
They are however considered safe for adults, but not for children due to the infused harmful chemicals.
And lastly, diaper bags can be ordered for as low as $20 to over $500, but given that you aren’t going to be changing diaper bags often, it is important not to skimp out on quality.
A few of the low cost diaper bags that we looked at were not made of quality materials hence the low price.
Quality bags such as the Fisher Price Fastfinder start at roughly $40 and share a number of similar attributes with higher priced models such as quality fabric, plenty of storage and tight and sturdy stitching.
And of course the top of the line dad diaper bags, the ones that costs over $500 will ring in with a few more perks.
This is where buying the right diaper bag for dads can get tricky so the best thing to do before anything else is to determine if the specific bag meets your needs, and the add-ons you need and those you can’t live without.
For example, the OiOi Waxed Canvas Satchel comes with a low quality wipes case, but there are several different cases available if you were to go buy one separately.
This however does not affect the quality of the bag itself, but just means that some accessories are better bough separately and according to your needs.
How we tested:
To begin our testing, we took our top rated picks, some of which were geared specifically towards dads and others that just had that masculine look dads would be happy to haul around.
One thing we did notice that many of the big name brands that started off with just making mom diaper bags have now gotten their feet with dad style diaper bags as well so we explored their products line as well to see how they fared.
We spent a tremendous amount of time with our picks and through all types of weather – rain, snow and sunshine and in several environments – school, daycare, work and play.
Storage was the first aspect we tested in all these bags, and we literally did this by counting every pocket and zipper.
Next, we looked at the mechanisms that secured the compartments, where we concurred that zippers are best, magnets have their downsides and Velcro is the worst in some scenarios.
Adding to this, we wanted to determine how much would actually fit in a specific bag and how well it could be organized.
Considering that it’s great to have better organizational options than too many, we paid attention to whether the contents once placed in the bags were easy to identify and access.
Moving to maintenance of the diaper bags, we quickly realized that it is a perpetual challenge to keep the bag clean, because inevitably there will be incidents of crushed crackers, regurgitating, spilled milk and that crooked GoGo squeeze with a loose cap.
Our goal was to pick diaper bags for dads that were easy to clean in the aforementioned situations without taking any drastic measures.
And the best way to test was by spreading raspberry jam on either side of the exterior of each bag and then seeing just how far we needed to go to clean it up.
Insulation is of utmost importance when transporting certain foods and temperature sensitive items such as breast milk.
We placed the best selling Medela breast milk bottle in the diaper bags to see if it was a good fit. Our scores for comfort took into account the weight of each bag when empty, and full when carried on our backs or across shoulders.
A good diaper bag should last you for years to come so it is important to ensure that it is crafted of high quality materials.
Adding to this, the fabric of each bag is made up of stitching, seams, hardware, and closures, which were all considered in our scoring process.
And needless to say, style was also a significant part of our tests, but in all honestly is subjective. We did however look at bags that showcased more masculine colors and styles, and drifted away from the traditional diaper bag look and feel.
Our Pick – Diaper Dude Messenger II Diaper Bag
The Diaper Dad Messenger II diaper bag is a great improvement over its predecessor – the Messenger Diaper Bag, and rings in with several great features.
For starters, the bag boasts a simplistic black appearance, making it easy to carry around without anyone knowing it is actually designed to carry your baby’s essentials.
The original Diaper Dude Messenger bag is still a hit, but for a few dollars more you get more organized space with the Messenger II bag.
The exterior of the bag features an insulated pocket for a baby bottle among several other pockets.
Moving to the interior, there are several mesh pockets that are designated to hold wipes, diapers, burp cloths, etc. The pockets are wider at the mouth than they are at the bottom, meaning you can store more up top and less at the bottom.
When it comes to comfort, the Diaper Messenger II diaper bag is a joy to carry with a plush padded shoulder strap mated with a softer nylon strap, making the whole ensemble easy on your back and shoulders.
Adding to this, the straps can be adjusted to varying lengths, and can even be un-clipped for easy removal. The padded back pocket is something we love about this bag as it kept our backs isolated from the contents of the bag.
Made of polyester, the fabric and stitching of the bag are great, and will hold up well against regular wear and tear.
The bag comes with a changing pad, which is crafted of polyester and polyurethane foam filling, meaning it is easy to clean with a simple wipe.
Furthermore, it is big enough for a toddler and is of bright orange color, making it easy to get to when searching for it in the bag.
In the style department, the Diaper Dude Messenger II diaper bag is a clear winner so much so that it will suit dads walking the isles of the grocery store or beach promenade.
This mid priced diaper bag is best suited for both dads with infants and toddlers and offers great value among other messenger dad bag options.
It can be ordered in several other versions including olive, navy, grey pinstripe, camo, grey and black pinstripe.
Flaws but not Deal breaker
Apart from being a mere 1.9 lbs heavier than the original Diaper Dude diaper bag, there are a couple things we didn’t quite like about the Messenger II diaper bag.
First, the insulated pocket on the outside is not very large, making it a tight squeeze for larger or wider bottles. Even though the bag is generously appointed with plenty of pockets, the Velcro secured pockets is what we weren’t happy about.
Although Velcro does have its perks, it is unreliable especially when you’re looking to secure precious items in the exterior of the bag.
Runner Up – Timbuk2 Stork Messenger Bag
A messenger style diaper bag is inarguably a quintessential bag for walkers and cyclists and the best company to combine that style with a diaper bag can be no other than Timbuk 2.
The Timbuk2 Stork is a great bag for infants as well as toddlers up to the age of 3 and a half, meaning it has great longevity.
The company’s tagline for the bag reads “The diaper bag for people who don’t want to carry a diaper bag”, which quite honestly best describes the Stork Messenger bag.
The bag itself is quite roomy, with plenty of space inside to hold spare diapers, snacks, multiple milk/water bottles, toys, wipes holder, blanket, portable potty and your parenting manual (just kidding).
It measures 20 inches wide by 10 inches high and is pretty deep at almost 8 inches. The package includes a changing pad, which slots in nicely in one of the two compartments.
It is somewhat similar to a laptop bag only that it transforms into an expansive cushy changing surface with several cute pockets to stash stuff.
Including this quality changing pad by Timbuk2 was a nice touch to the Stork Messenger bag as most diaper bags either come with small changing pads or without them so you have to go out and buy one separately.
The Stork dad diaper bag is outfitted with two compartments for separating juice/water/milk bottles, where one is made of neoprene to keep drinks insolated and other with a ventilated mesh for storing a bottle.
Other pockets of the bag include a zippered pouch in the inside and an outer, and side-entry pocket that provides easy access to things within, without lifting the flap.
One of the noteworthy features of this diaper bag is there’s two short fabric pieces that cover the main Velcro to prevent waking the baby with that rippling sound.
The rest of the bag is suited with all the right features to make it to our list of best diaper bags for dads including an easy quick release lock to adjust the shoulder strap, adjustable closing straps, and even an extra strap concealed in the front to attach keys.
Crafted of ballistic nylon fabric and boasting a neat tricycle design, the Stork diaper bag features a waterproof TPU liner and just like all Timbuk2 products is backed by an astounding lifetime guarantee.
Upgrade Pick – OiOi Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag
The Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag by OiOi is simply an all rounder, and is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also comes with myriad useful features.
It is a great bag to tote around, and you could really fool someone into thinking it is in essence a diaper bag, something most dads will appreciate.
The accessories that accompany this diaper bag include a changing pad, wipes case, an insulated bottle holder, and a zip-top wet purse.
With regards to real estate, the OiOi bag makes it a whole lot easier than other diaper bags we’ve come across to organize all the items and pack.
But there is one thing we can bicker about, which is the magnetic fastened compartments that although are strong, aren’t the best when it comes to securing a stuffed diaper bag.
On a brighter note, cleaning the Waxed Canvas diaper bag was fairly easy by using a damp cloth and it’s as good as new. Considering that the interior is made of high quality cotton, you will have to be careful and use a spot treatment stain remover for stubborn stains.
Speaking of cotton, the changing pad is made of the same material, which was rare in most diaper bags we’ve tested.
OiOi does not include directions on how to clean it, but a spot stain remover treatment should work well here too unless of course you’ve got a diaper blowout.
In this case, washing the changing pad in a regular cycle should eliminate the mess without causing any damage to the pad.
There are several things to love about the OiOi Men’s Waxed Canvas Messenger bag, most notably the dedicated small zippered pockets for a wallet, key clip, and two easily accessible non-insulated pockets, one on each side of the bag.
Tipping the scales at 2.7 lbs when empty, the OiOi dad diaper bag is not exactly light, but yet is comfortable to wear even for longer periods.
The strap length is adjustable, making it easy to make the switch between mom and dad if there’s a significant height difference.
When it comes to quality, OiOi left nothing to chance with all the metal hardware, stitching and feet at the bottom contributing to the overall appearance, but also to the longevity of the bag.
In the style department, this bag disguises itself well and can’t be confused for a diaper bag, making it a useful bag in almost any situation.
The bag however is a bit pricey, but as mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for and in this case bang for your buck.
Budget Pick – Fisher-Price Fastfinder Deluxe Messenger Bag
If you’re tired of trolling around your wife’s flowery diaper bag, the Fastfinder Deluxe messenger diaper bag is worth a second look for its sheer quality and masculine appearance albeit at an inexpensive price.
This bag has received immense praise ever since it was first introduced, and has even been featured in the movie “What to Expect when you’re Expecting”.
This messenger aka cross body bag is easy to sling across, and can even be carried in the hand.
Adding to this, it is designed exclusively for dads not just in the way it looks, but in the way it can be organized. The outside compartments feature a few marked sections to make it fast and easy to gain access to what you need and put them away appropriately.
There’s a rather large size insulated pocket on the side to keep bottles warm or cool, and the package includes a hard case wipes container.
When it comes to space, the Fisher Price Fastfinder Deluxe messenger bag scored high marks with an expansive interior that’s further divided by a divider to keep things organized.
Overall, the bag is appointed with 6 external pockets including a large diaper pocket, exterior wipes pocket, an easy wipes pacifier pocket and insulated bottle pocket.
And in the interior, you get three pockets to arrange essentials such as cups, snacks, creams and change of clothes.
Further, each bag comes with a changing pad for great convenience and efficiency, and an adjustable shoulder strap for increased comfort.
The Fastfinder dad diaper bag is functional yet is showcases a modern style and look, and is designed with durability in mind. Fabrics used in the construction are polyester with a printed nylon lining.
The four plastic feet at the bottom of the bag help keep the bag clean, and results in easy maintenance. Fisher Price does offer a great collection of diaper bags, which includes the Fisher Price Mini Diaper Bag, Fisher-Price Fastfinder Diaper Backpack and Fisher Price Fastfinder Deluxe Fashion Diaper Tote.
Also Great – Boken Every Day Bag
If you can’t get your hands on any of the above mentioned dad diaper bags, the Every Day bag by Boken is a great choice. Not only does it offer three carrying options, it is made of nylon and extremely lightweight.
Its internal compartment is generously spaced, but there are less compartments so you will have to pack right. The bag can be easily tailored to several accessories including a changing bag, insulated bag, and a wet bag, and is appointed with 5 separate storage areas.
The front of the bag has two nice size zippered pockets that are perfect for accommodating items such as burp cloth, snacks, sunscreen and pacifier.
Two deep pockets lie on either side of the bag, and can be used to store sippy cups or water bottles, where one can be secured via an adjustable Velcro flap and other stretchy mesh siding.
One of the drawbacks of the Boken Every Day bag is that it lacks an insulated pocket perhaps due to the extra weight, but in our opinion would be a worthy addition.
There’s a large pocket on the rear exterior of the bag that can be secured with a Velcro enclosure, and is able to handle diapering supplies or even your iPad or laptop.
The main compartment is secured via a zipper, and there’s even a fixed elastic band above that serves as a pseudo-enclosure to keep your items contained yet accessible.
A small zippered pocket lies in the main compartment, which is a great spot for valuables such as sunglasses and wallet, and a plastic key clip on the outside pocket.
The Boken Every Day scores well in the comfort department, and weighs in at just 2.7 lbs. It’s biggest selling point has got to be its versatility, making it easy to transition from a backpack, shoulder tote to a messenger bag with little or no effort.
Crafted of 100% rip-stop nylon, the bag can resist a fair bit of rugged use, and is equipped with high quality closures and hardware.
While we aren’t keen for anything Velcro, it performed well in the case of the Every Day bag. And to add to the overall comfort of the bag, it is fitted with wide, nicely padded mesh nylon straps which do not put any strain on your shoulders.
DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag – made in the USA, this backpack style diaper bag is fitted with 13 easy to access compartments and comes with stroller straps, padded straps and a changing pad, and is backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Messenger Diaper Bag by Fiberry – this messenger style diaper bag features a top zipper, allowing you to easily reach for the things within.
It is crafted of high quality material, and is extremely spacious with 11 pockets including 1 insulated, 1 parent and 1 waterproof pocket. The bag comes with a bonus package, which includes an insulated wide bottle bag, changing pad and cell phone holder, and is backed by a 100 percent guarantee.
Lillian Rose Diaper Bag – crafted of faux leather, this diaper bag features a Velcro enclosure, a small zippered inside pocket, 7 outside pockets and measures 17.5″ x 6″ x 12.5″.
In all honestly, even your laptop bag can serve as a dad diaper bag, but it does lack pizzazz and of course dedicated pockets to hold your baby’s essentials. The dad diaper bags I’ve recommended are designed specifically to allow you to tote around all your baby needs for a single day, and even includes compartments to store your important things including keys, wallet and cell phone.