Best Diaper Bags 2023 - Forbes Vetted

The best diaper bags make it easier to carry all your baby gear in one tidy package given that parents always have their hands full—literally and mentally. After testing 18 top-rated diaper bags (and considering even more contenders) of varying shapes and sizes for a number of attributes including comfort and functionality, I found the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta Backpack to be the best diaper bag overall thanks to its robust features and high quality. The Skip Hop Forma Diaper Backpack is the best value option with its lightweight feel and perfect amount of pockets, including a pair of unique packing cubes. It’s also the only backpack diaper bag here that can be had for under $100.

The best diaper bags fit the essentials for a day—or even an hour—out with your baby. universal car seat protector

Best Diaper Bags 2023 - Forbes Vetted

I found three more worthy diaper bags that might please parents looking for something else, either higher-end or bigger or smaller. Take a look at the full list of best diaper bags below. (After reading this story, you may want to take a look at our best tested diapers and the best diaper pails to round out your diapering supplies.)

Whatever the age of your baby, toting around essentials like diapers, snacks, a change of clothes and toy distractions quickly becomes necessary, whether you’re running out the door for five minutes or five hours. That’s why these bags come with indispensable features for parents like insulated bottle pockets, built-in changing mats and supportive shoulder straps. Read on for the details on these winning bags; I hope they make your life easier too.

Dimensions: 13.4 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Style: Backpack | Stroller hooks: Purchased separately | Changing pad: Yes | Luggage sleeve: Yes | Warranty: A 100% guarantee on hardware and fabric defects but not normal wear and tear | Wash instructions: Wipe down

The beauty of the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta Backpack is its simplicity. It offers everything you need—free of complications. After stuffing it full of my testing kit (see the full list in my testing notes below) and initially wearing it on my back for a full day, the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta continued to feel compact and lightweight. It was the sixth-lightest bag (2.4 pounds) of those I tested, but the most comfortable to carry.

It’s the only contender on this list with a main-compartment zipper that extends all the way to the bottom of the bag, making it exceptionally easy to pack and retrieve items. It includes nine pockets, plus an easy magnetic closure. It did take some thoughtful packing to fit all items, so I wouldn’t mind a touch more space. Still, I found the size ideal for everyday use. Some other bags, including the Dagne Dover Indi and Béis, felt better suited to parents who need to carry more.

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta backpack was comfortable without feeling too bulky.

I should note that this diaper bag came in third in terms of keeping a bottle warm in the insulated pocket, after the Skip Hop Forma and the Béis, but far ahead of most other contenders, including the Freshly Picked and Herschel diaper bags. The temperature of the water dropped to 87.2 degrees Fahrenheit from 109 degrees after 2 hours.

The Meta’s exterior didn’t get dirty whatsoever with all-day wear. The water I spilled on it simply ran off, not leaving a trace of moisture, and I was able to remove the blueberry puree I had left on it overnight with a single swipe of a towel, whereas some other bags I tested, took soap and water to remove the stain. The light interior of the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta made items inside easy to see, and its water-resistant interior makes for easy cleanup, even if your child’s food pouch explodes. In terms of maintenance, this bag requires almost nothing, which is a major win for parents who are already bogged down with innumerable cleaning tasks.

(Read my full in-depth review of the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta Diaper Bag here.)

Dimensions: 16 x 8 x 14 inches | Weight: 1.4 pounds | Style: Backpack | Stroller hooks: Built-in | Changing pad: Yes | Luggage sleeve: No | Warranty: Limited warranty | Wash instructions: Wipe down

The Skip Hop Forma Diaper Backpack is incredibly lightweight at just 1.4 pounds, plus it’s comfortable to wear and possesses just the right amount of pockets (eight). The straps felt snug and comfortably padded, and it rested at a great spot on my back that helped me feel supported. It’s a bit larger than the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta, but just by a couple of inches. Like the Meta, the Skip Hop Forma feels like it has exactly what you need and nothing more—and it’s almost half the price, making it the best value diaper bag.

The Skip Hop Forma was the lightest diaper bag I tested.

The Skip Hop Forma’s main compartment features a wide double-zipper opening and a bright teal, easy-to-wipe-down interior. The interior is deep and more spacious than expected. I also enjoyed the spacious exterior side insulated pockets and the larger front pocket’s packing cubes. The packing cubes helped me to pack smarter and to keep items organized and the built-in stroller snaps meant I wouldn’t forget them at home.

Compared to the other more affordable (under $100) diaper bags that I tested, the Ruvalino, Eddie Bauer Cascade and BabbleRoo options, the Skip Hop Forma is far more streamlined and offered more utility. While some families might like the excess pockets in some of the other bags—16, 12 and 18, respectively—I found this bag’s pockets a better use of space. The side insulated pockets fit my massive Hydro Flask water bottle and my son’s smaller bottle, regardless of how stuffed the bag was.

The included changing pad was the narrowest of all that I tested and not the most plush, but it did its job. The hot water bottles left in the Skip Hop Forma had the smallest water temperature change out of all the bags I tested: a mere 16.2-degree drop (from 109 degrees Fahrenheit to 92.8 degrees) after 2 hours in the insulated side pockets and insulated packing cube.

It’s made of polyester, which textile expert Deborah Young says is “the most common” choice for diaper bags—and a practical one, because it proved easy to clean. The water I spilled on it immediately ran off, and the pouch wiped off with a single swipe. It didn’t leave a mark or any residue on the body of the bag. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this affordable backpack diaper bag. (Read my in-depth review the Skip Hop Forma diaper bag.)

Dimensions: 12.25 x 6 x 13.75 inches | Weight: 3.5 pounds | Style: Backpack | Stroller hooks: Included | Changing pad: Yes | Luggage sleeve: Yes | Warranty: Limited guarantee for 1 year | Wash instructions: Hand wash

The Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack is hard not to like. When I was running my errands, I felt like I was carrying a stylish backpack, not a diaper bag. It’s a splurge at $215, but a worthy one given the potential for longevity, as well as the quality and functionality.

As I noted, one of the main factors that set this bag apart was its look. It’s sleek and cool and fun to carry. While the fabric certainly isn’t as easy to clean as some others, it wasn’t terrible and it’s one of those designer items that I’m willing to put a little work into because I love the overall aesthetic.

The Dagne Dover Indi felt like something I could carry to work or on travel, long after our diaper ... [+] days are done.

I also love that the Dagne Dover Indi has just the right amount of pockets—10, so similar to the number in the Skip Hop Forma and the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta. The bag’s spacious interior features a deep magnetic-closure pocket on the front and a padded Velcro-closure option on the back to hold a tablet, laptop or anything else you’d like. It comes with two additional zippered bags that I found useful: One is neoprene and similar in size to a cosmetic bag, and one is made of waterproof material and nearly the same size as the entire diaper bag. The Indi bag is the only bag I tested that possessed multiple hooks and fobs to attach necessities, but the Béis, does have one too.

The interior did feel somewhat crowded because of the bottle holder, so I had to put in more effort to organize my things than I did with the Béis. Expand it by releasing the exterior side straps. This takes the bag from a sort of squat square shape to an upside-down trapezoid. Although the Dagne Dover Indi bag can expand, the Béis still offers a bit more main compartment space. The Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta and Skip Hop Forma diaper bags feel a bit smaller.

One thing to note is that if the main body of the bag is extremely packed, the exterior pockets of this diaper bag aren’t easy to use. I wasn’t able to fit anything in the side pockets when I was carrying all of my testing items. The plus side was that the backpack still felt comfortable on my back while full, and the thick, padded straps meant I had no problem wearing it throughout the day.

During the bottle test, the temperature dropped from 109 degrees Fahrenheit to 86.5 degrees after 2 hours, a 22.5-degree deviation, which is nearly the same temperature as the bottle in the Petunia Pickle Bottom and not as good as the Skip Hop Forma or the Béis.

I wished the changing pad were a bit more cushioned, but one side is made of a coated, easy-to-wipe-off canvas, and it rolls up to a nice closed position, secured with a Velcro strap.

It cleans up well too. Despite my visit to a coffee shop and the tennis courts, in addition to my parenting duties, it didn’t get dirty during a full day out. I spilled water on it, and it dried without leaving a mark or dampening anything inside. The blueberry puree I spilled on it required soap and water to remove the light mark it left, but it did come out.

Between the features, aesthetic, durable construction and multiple use cases this Dagne Dover diaper bag provides, I felt it was a worthwhile splurge on a diaper bag that I might end up using as my daily bag while running errands.

Dimensions: 12 x 7.75 x 15 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Style: Backpack | Stroller hooks: Included | Changing pad: Yes | Luggage sleeve: Yes | Warranty: 45-day return policy | Wash instructions: Wipe down

The Béis Backpack Diaper Bag offers no shortage of parent-friendly features. It’s large enough to fit everything you might possibly need, but not so large that it feels too awkward or bulky to carry. It remained comfortable on my back despite how heavy it can become when overpacked. And thanks to all the thoughtfully placed pockets, of which there are 14, plus some brilliant add-ons, it’s a sound parenting investment for those seeking a larger diaper bag. It may not be the least expensive diaper bag, but given its quality, it provides great value for the under-$150 price tag.

The main interior of the backpack features a clamshell-like opening with a wide mouth. I was dubious of this at first because, like the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta, it requires two hands to open. However, I soon realized the utility of this bag. The interior is deep enough that I didn’t need to organize my items to make everything fit, and you can easily see everything without having to root around. Although technically the Skip Hop Forma is a smidge larger when looking at the dimensions, the Béis’ clamshell opening and pocket placement create more usable interior space.

The Béis backpack’s interior comprises easy-to-clean material; it features two small pockets at the top for personal items, a large padded changing mat or laptop pocket, a medium zippered pocket (which I found was great for toys) and four elastic-top pockets ideal for diapers and wipes. The changing pad felt luxe and folded compactly, while still offering substantial padding. You’ll also find a tether inside that attaches to a waterproof bag that proved handy for dirty diapers, wet clothes and other messes.

Lastly, the bag’s insulated bottle warmer can be cinched tighter depending on the circumference of the bottle, which no doubt helped this diaper bag achieve the second-smallest temperature change in the hot water test, dropping to 90.5 degrees Fahrenheit from 109 degrees.

The Beis diaper bag has an extra larger main compartment, along with several additional pockets.

The exterior is just as high-end as the interior. It’s made of durable nylon twill and has a vegan-leather accent. I’d say the zippers featured on this bag are the smoothest of all the options tested. The stitching, fabric and materials used appeared to be of exceptional quality and made the bag feel and look higher-end than the price point would suggest. The side pockets were a personal favorite, as they fit our large water bottles easily even when the bag was full.

The bag didn’t get dirty whatsoever with wear, and the water I spilled on it pooled off, the blueberry puree came off easily with a towel and, thanks to the wide opening, crumbs came out of the bag with little effort. Overall, if you’re in need of something with sufficient space and all the best features, this is a great backpack diaper bag.

Dimensions: 11 x 6 x 4 inches | Weight: 15 ounces | Style: Fanny pack | Stroller hooks: No | Changing pad: Yes | Luggage sleeve: N/A | Warranty: 1 year | Wash instructions: Wipe down

While capacity is a major factor when looking for a traditional diaper bag backpack, the beauty of a diaper belt bag or fanny pack is that it’s compact but has enough space for essentials, especially if you’re parenting an older baby with less gear or you’re headed out for a short period of time. That’s certainly the case with the Kibou Fanny Pack Diaper Bag. It comes complete with a compact changing pad, waterproof-lined pocket with enough space to keep 20 wipes damp for a week or more, a pacifier hook, key ring, card holders and four pockets to help you stay organized.

I found the Kibou the ideal size compared to other belt diaper bags I tested. And while my large wallet and toddler water bottle didn’t fit into the Kibou, I was able to easily access my cards and cash thanks to the card holders and just threaded the belt through my son’s water bottle handle to remain hands-free.

Two other belt bags stood out as possible best overall contenders, but the Kibou ultimately won because it’s so easy to use. It’s not bulky, it has all the features you need and it’s simple to pack. I also appreciate the colorful interior, which helps you find whatever you need immediately. Once your child is out of diapers, you can remove the included changing pad to gain even more space in this bag.

I also found the Kibou an extremely stylish bag that I’d feel comfortable wearing sans child. While I’m still in the thick of toddlerhood, I can foresee this bag still coming in handy (and looking good) once I have big kids. The fact that it’s ergonomic and can be worn as a crossbody on the front or back of your body or as a traditional fanny pack makes it versatile. The buckle adjusts simply and smoothly and fits bodies XS to XL, with the option to purchase a belt extender. Lastly, the faux leather exterior and premium nylon waterproof interior make for a long-lasting choice that’s also stain-resistant and easy to clean.

I tested 10 diaper bags to determine the best.

I tested six additional backpack diaper bags that didn’t make the cut.

Freshly Picked Classic Diaper Bag: This bag came highly recommended and was beautiful. However, the one I received for testing arrived with frayed stitching, which wasn’t the type of quality I expected from a $189 diaper bag. The bag closure wasn’t quite ideal either. The fold-over-flap uses a magnetic closure that requires the user to snap it closed to truly secure it, which isn’t possible to do one-handed.

BabbleRoo Diaper Bag Backpack: This backpack diaper bag appears to offer many of the same features you’d find on higher-end options, yet it costs only $42. The BabbleRoo is made of a performance-type fabric, making it easy to clean, and it also has tons of pockets. Unfortunately, the changing pad is of poor quality, and the bag can become bulky, making it awkward to carry.

Ruvalino Diaper Bag Backpack: The Ruvalino is identical in price and similar in features to the BabbleRoo, but it is larger and not as easy to clean. I found it to be bulky, too, but enjoyed the well-padded changing mat and the ideally sized pockets. The top handles also snap together to make it easily attachable to a stroller.

Herschel Baby Strand Sprout Shoulder Bag: This is a minimalist bag with ample space and a superb changing mat that can be used as a diaper clutch. It was one of the few shoulder bags I tested; most others were backpacks. You can wear it crossbody or as a shoulder bag. However, the actual bag is 17 inches wide and just felt too big and unwieldy. I found it harder to access the contents of the bag with the strap in the way as well.

JuJuBe B.F.F. Diaper Bag: The main selling point of the JuJuBe is that it offers multiple ways to wear it: as a backpack, shoulder bag or messenger bag. Unfortunately, it didn’t offer adequate space for my necessities. Furthermore, it wasn’t as comfortable as other options.

Eddie Bauer Cascade Back Pack Diaper Bag: I appreciated this bag’s size, magnetic closure, wipes-specific side pocket, built-in stroller straps and padded back pocket. But the main compartment didn’t zip down low enough, which made finding something at the bottom difficult. Also, the interior pockets were too narrow for larger diapers, and the changing mat proved lackluster.

And seven additional fanny pack or belt diaper bags.

Colugo On The Go Organizer: It’s both a belt bag and a stroller caddy, which make this Colugo organizer unique. It’s designed by the makers of one of our favorite travel strollers, too, meaning this might be a smart pick for your next family vacation. Thanks to the additional features (like interior cup holders), easy to clean material and size, it was very close to winning best overall, but it just didn’t wear as well on the body as the top winner did.

Béis The Diaper Pack: Another solid runner-up for best diaper belt bag, this Béis bag fits everything you need and more (including all testing materials plus a baby bottle). It’s easy to clean and has intuitive features. I simply found it too bulky to carry in this way, but someone else might not mind the heft given that its size allows them to bring everything they need for a newborn outing—in a fanny-pack style bag.

Dagne Dover Ace: While this is a great option for parents of older children or those stepping out solo, the Dagne Dover Ace is ultimately too small with too few features to please parents to make it the best diaper belt bag.

Petunia Picklebottom Mini Bag: This belt bag from our overall winner is able to be worn as a crossbody, wristlet or traditional purse, making it versatile. The downside, however, is that it’s only available in Disney-specific print, which limits its appeal for some families and where and when I felt comfortable wearing it.

Storq Fanny Pack Diaper Bag: The Storq fanny pack is on the larger side for belt diaper bags. It’s also lightweight, machine washable and comes with a changing pad. It does look more like a traditional fanny pack though and would benefit from having more organizational features for parents.

Ditty Co. Small Diaper Bag: A standout in the arena of less expensive belt bags ($38), the Ditty Co. includes a changing pad, comes in several beautiful colors and prints and is machine washable. I didn’t find it large enough to carry what I needed for even a toddler outing, so it did not make the cut.

Luli Baby Monaco Sling Bag: Arguably one of the most elegant option on the market, this quilted vegan leather sling bag touts features like interior pockets and a removable pacifier holder. A smart exterior pocket fits your phone. While wearing it, however, the bag tilted a bit forward in an awkward way, and I found it complicated to adjust the carry strap.

I packed each diaper bag full of the same essentials.

Parents need diaper bags that make their lives easier, not more difficult. Each bag I considered underwent a full and rather messy testing process.

I loaded the same set of parenting essentials into each bag: two diapers, a pack of wipes, a formula dispenser, a bottle, water bottles for myself and my son, an assortment of toys, a wallet, my keys, gum, a first-aid kit, lip balm, my phone, AirPods, sunglasses, sunscreen, hand lotion, tissues, a receiving blanket, diapering essentials, teething medicine and three different types of snacks.

The diaper belt bags, however, were packed with two diapers, a pacifier, my wallet, keys, phone, a snack (cheddar bunnies and a pouch), wipes and a toddler water bottle.

I wore each bag for a full day, taking extensive notes on the functionality of the features, comfort, durability, maintenance, value, aesthetic, size and weight. I went on stroller walks and attended school drop-off, tennis lessons, swim class and doctor’s appointments with these bags and my diapered toddler.

I continue to wear and test the winners, taking note of any changes in comfort or any wear on the bags.

I also packed a baby bottle of hot water into each bag (except the belt bags), taking the temperature before and after two hours to determine the temperature variation after the time had elapsed. I spilled blueberry puree and water on each bag’s exterior and left them overnight. In the morning, I determined how difficult it was to clean and if the spills had left a mark. I also sprinkled crumbs from chips and Cheddar Bunnies into the bottom of the diaper bags to see how hard it was to remove them, because this is a scenario many a parent can relate to. Again, I continue to use the winning bags and weigh which ones have picked up stains or stray marks.

And lastly, I asked my husband to weigh in from an aesthetic standpoint to find out whether he would wear it, too. That might seem trivial until you start thinking about equitable division of household labor and child care tasks, as in: Will your partner also willingly carry this bag to attend all those baby appointments and into the public restroom when it’s time for a change, or will they leave it behind?

The best diaper bags fit all the necessary baby gear.

With so many diaper bags on the market, it can feel daunting to pick out just one to carry. Here are some key aspects to consider when determining which one is right for your family.

When choosing a diaper bag, it’s important to consider your daily activities, your baby’s needs and what you typically carry in a day. Will this be something you use occasionally on trips to pediatrician appointments and the grocery store, or are you the type of family that likes to take regular visits to parks, museums, zoos and other public spaces? In the former case, you’ll likely want something with just enough space for diapers, wipes, snacks and water bottles, so something more compact and simple. In the latter case, going with an option that has a great insulated bottle holder, changing pad, tons of pockets, handy pouches and more might prove to be a game changer.

Personally, I like to have a substantial amount of pockets and interior space in my diaper bag, several exterior pockets for my keys and wallet, as well as dedicated space for water bottles and a changing pad. When I interviewed Grayson, he reminded me that “the magic word” when it comes to diaper bags is “pockets—lots of them.”

Dr. Elliot Berlin, who specializes in postpartum care, suggests “avoiding anything too big,” especially if you just gave birth. “A bag that’s too heavy to wear comfortably isn’t going to be of much use, and it’s important to be gentle with your body, especially during the ‘fourth trimester,’ when your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor are still recovering from pregnancy and birth,” he said. It’s also important to remember that in addition to your diaper bag, you may need to carry your baby, push a stroller and juggle other things.

But overall, selecting the right size bag does depend on your personal needs. Some might want something more compact, like the Skip Hop Forma or Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta, while others might need more space and opt for the Béis or Dagne Dover Indi.

No matter how cute a diaper bag is, if it’s not comfortable, you won’t enjoy wearing it, and it may cause back or alignment issues. Dr. Berlin encourages selecting “backpack-style diapers bags” because “the two-strap design balances the weight, putting equal pressure on both sides.” I have certainly found this to be true as well. Not only is a backpack far more comfortable, but it also allows for more hands-free movement and the ability to hold your baby in your arms, push a stroller more easily or to sprint after a toddler if need be. Each bag tested, whether backpack or otherwise, had adjustable straps to suit different bodies and comfort levels.

No matter your needs, a diaper bag that requires little to no maintenance is definitely a boon to busy parents. Look for something that wipes down, doesn’t retain moisture and can easily be cleaned.

What is the best material for a diaper bag then? In terms of fabric, Young says, “Polyester is the most common choice. Nylon is a close second (and nylon is stronger, if you’re inclined to load it up with heavy things).” Skip Hop Forma’s lightweight bag is polyester, while the Béis bag is made of sturdy nylon, which helps explain its rugged disposition, wipeable surface and storage capacity. The Dagne Dover Indi’s interior lining is made from a recycled polyester material, making it easy to clean, too.

While Young notes that cotton is a great material for things close to baby’s skin, it’s not an optimal fabric for a diaper bag, because it retains moisture and odor too readily. However, she says a coated cotton, which is the fabric used for the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta (and the BabbleRoo), is durable and easy to clean, which I certainly found to be true.

Grayson also pointed out that the best diaper bag “is designed to hold all of your diapering and baby necessities and will eventually get very messy. Accidents happen. And so do crumbs.”

“One feature that a lot of people don’t think about is the color of the interior of the bag. If your bag has a black or dark lining, you’re basically searching in a bottomless pit for things when you need them,” Grayson adds. “So look for bags with lighter linings and wide openings for better access.”

I’ve written shopping and review content for six years, previously as an entertainment and lifestyle editor and more recently as a freelance writer, testing baby gear, maternity clothing and more. But what really qualifies me most to review diaper bags is my primary job as a mother to an active toddler (and newborn). In my personal life I’ve purchased seven diaper bags in an effort to make my outings and daily life easier, and for this story I wound up testing 18 bags in total over the last year.

When determining how to test these diaper bags, I drew from firsthand experience as a parent, as well as conversations with other parents and a number of baby gear experts. I read through dozens of reviews (both good and bad ones) of the bestselling diaper bags and those topping other outlets’ “best” lists in order to select which bags to test. I weighed factors like price and overall functionality. I interviewed chiropractor and “Informed Pregnancy” podcast host Dr. Elliot Berlin, who specializes in postpartum care; parenting gear expert Jamie Grayson; and textile expert Deborah Young. Each helped me to hone in on important factors like weight distribution for spinal health, bag features ideal for parent life and the best fabric choices to ensure a durable bag. I tapped into my network of fellow parents on social media, in parent-and-me groups, my friend group and our preschool community to further build on the suggestions of which diaper bags to include in my experiment.

We revise and update this story regularly to add in additional long-term testing notes, as well as to test new diaper bags that come on the market. Most recently, the author tested more than half a dozen of the popular fanny pack style diaper bags to add a new category to this story. Those results were reported here in November 2023.

Per Dr. Berlin, a backpack diaper bag is best for spinal health and ease of use. This allows for even weight distribution and applies equal pressure to each shoulder. Backpacks are also easier to carry while you are wearing your baby in a carrier, while pushing a stroller or while chasing a new walker or excessively fast toddler. After extensive testing, I found the Petunia Pickle Bottom Meta, Skip Hop Forma, Béis and Dagne Dover Indi diaper bags to be the best diaper bags on the market.

At the bare minimum, you’ll need to pack two diapers, a pack of wipes and possibly a bottle and snacks for your baby. A water bottle for yourself, adult snacks, a wallet, hand sanitizer, your keys and phone are also essential. I also almost always found a change of clothes necessary for newborns and younger babies more prone to blowouts, accidents and heavy spit-up.

Depending on your baby’s age, you’ll likely also want a receiving blanket, burp cloths, a change of clothes for you (or at least an extra shirt and a spare set of nursing pads, if using), a pacifier, a teething ring, diaper cream and sunscreen. I also like to have sunglasses, hand lotion, a small first-aid kit, medicines for teething, lip balm and tissues. This way, you have everything you might need and more—because there are few things worse than a blowout or sticky hands when you don’t have wipes available.

While you’ll need to confirm with your specific airline, most agree that diaper bags are neither a personal item nor count as your carry-on luggage. You are, however, allowed only one diaper bag per child. That means you’ll also be allowed to carry a personal item like a handbag and a carry-on in addition to a diaper bag.

This really depends on your lifestyle and child, but most families find them to be useful for two to three years, or until their baby is out of diapers. Once your toddler transitions out of diapers, you’ll likely be able to carry something much smaller. But depending on where you’re going, it might still be convenient to bring one or some sort of backpack to lug the now-older kid’s gear, which still likely includes water bottles, snacks, wipes, hand sanitizer, possibly a change of clothes and certainly diversions like small toys, stuffed animals or sticker books. It’s really all about personal preference.

Belt bags are ideal for parents with older babies, toddlers or children who are no longer in diapers. They might also work in a pinch for super short errands or if you’ll already have the full backpack diaper bag stashed nearby, such as in the stroller or trunk of the car.

Best Diaper Bags 2023 - Forbes Vetted

baby backseat mirror for car While they have adequate space to carry diapering essentials, the allure of the belt bag is that it’s more compact and lightweight than a standard diaper bag. Ideally it includes special features like a changing pad, organizational pockets and a specific area for wipes to help keep parents organized for shorter outings like park runs, playdates or pickup.