What Goes into Making a Good Diaper Bag Backpack?
Diaper Bags come in every style, shape and description. In the past few years there has been an explosion in styles, colors and functions. This is great for the consumer but also is confusing for parents as to what features are Moms and Dads wanting for their Diaper bag. Ergonomics is also a very important consideration when making your purchase for Diaper bags or diaper backpacks. The old days of Teddy Bears and poor functionality are thankfully a thing of the past. Other trends that are affecting the diaper bag selection for parents are:
- Demographics- Parents are having children later in life meaning that they are more established in their careers and have more money to invest in a diaper bag or diaper backpack. They are also better researched before making their purchase.
- Parent Tested, Mom Tested, National Parent Council awards, JPMA or other seals of approval for products is big with first time Moms. This proves to them that this product has undergone the rigors of testing by parents and other baby experts.
- IRL-Moms want to see Diaper Bags “In Real Life”. While they may do their research on-line they still want to tug, feel and squeeze the real thing.
- Dad is taking a bigger role in the caring of children. This means 2 things- one Dad may want his own bag or they have a family diaper bag that both parents use. They may want a more neutral bag and a backpack or messenger style if Dad is also carrying it a lot.
- There are more multiple births these days. If you are having twins or more you need a diaper bag that will carry the extra gear. The smae goes for parents with small children.
- Travel-Parents are more active and traveling with their young children. Flying on airlines these days means packing meals and sometimes long delays at airports. Having a diaper bag that has insulated bottle pockets and a built-in cooler are invaluable.
- Active Parents- healthy lifestyles are very much in style. Parents want to keep this lifestyle with their family. This means extra planning and extra gear to take along.
- Grand Parents-Are also more active with their grandchildren and often have nurseries set up in their homes for overnight stays. Grandma and Grandpa sometimes require a diaper bag backpack for the stay overs.
Are tyou taking baby to sitters, daycare or grandma’s a lot? Do you live in an urban or rural area? Are you commuting via public transit? Are you a heavy packer- packing for every contingency or a light packer? Are you breastfeeding? What is tyour budget? Are you looking to invest in a good quality diaper bag backpack that will last a few years. Or do you just want something to throw gear into for a few months or to make a fashion statement.
For a basic bag they will probably spend $25 - $35. These bags will have fewer features and will be lesser quality. For $40 - $100 they have a lot of choices. I personally feel that you get what you pay for and the extra few dollars that parents’ spend on a bag will be worth it down the road. When you are traveling with tired/crabby children the last thing you need to happen is your zipper blow out from being overextended from a diaper bag that is packed to the point of exploding. For over $100 parents will be paying for a fashion bag and brand.
There are many styles available- backpack, messenger and tote style. If parents want hands free and do a lot of outings they should consider a backpack. If they are using a child carrier they will also want to purchase a diaper bag that will work with the carrier. Many diaper bags now are designed so that they can be hung from a stroller. Parents may also want to consider this feature when purchasing. Baby Sherpa Diaper Backpacks are stroller friendly.
I read on the message boards Moms oohing and awing over brocades and silks and other fashion material. Consider the washability of the fabric. Can they wash or wipe the diaper bag off? Can it be spot cleaned? Vinyl is nice if they live in the right climate- if they live in a cold climate their vinyl bag will crack the first cold day they have it outside. Popular materials are: nylon, cordura, denier and microfibre. PVC FREE- Go for bags that do not contain this toxic substance.
Organization-having various pockets to stash your gear makes it easier to access things.
Comfort- make sure the straps are wide and will be comfortable to carry when full of gear. Will the bag also fit Dad? Bottle pockets are handy whether they are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Breast feeding moms use the pockets for their water and juice. If bottle feeding, ensure that the bottle pockets will fit their style of bottles. Does the bag include a diaper pad of a reasonable size and can it be cleaned? An insulated cooler section is great if they are doing a lot of outings or traveling with their baby. For Backpacks- are they ergonomic? Padded shoulder straps do not make a backpack ergonomic. Load one up and try it on. You’ll feel the difference. Does the backpack have a sternum strap? This feature makes it so much more comfortable to carry. Toy loops, key clips or retrievers and Bungee cords are great to carry gear and make it easy to access. Is the interior a light color so they can see inside without having to deal with the black hole? Is there a handy pocket for their wallet, cell phone, camera, mobiel devices and other personal items so that they don’t have to carry 2 or 3 bags? If they walk or bike a lot they may want reflective on the bag so they can be seen at night. How does the bag close? I personally prefer zippers with ergonomic pulls over magnet closures. I want the security that my stuff stays in the bag. A loop to hang the bag up and a lug handle are two features I love in a backpack style. Do you need to carry a laptop or dvd player- backpacks that have laptop sleeves to accommodate these items are great for travelling or flying.
I like to tug on the bag and check the seams to make sure that they are well sewn. Diaper bags are something that most parents use everyday for at least the first 2 years. If you are planning on having more than one child think of a diaper bag that will grow with the family and that can be used for a few years. This is a great reason to invest in a better quality bag or backpack.