Sure, any old canvas bag can function as a diaper bag – but since we live in an age where stylish bags are tailor-made for carting diapers and bottles, why settle for any old bag? These five dapper totes, a perfect combination of functional, sleek and rugged, were a hit with our panel of male testers. Of course, mothers shouldn’t be put off by our “daddy” designation – these bags are perfect for any parent who likes to travel in (non-pink, non-frilly) style. – Kate Bayless
Petunia Pickle Bottom Scout Collection – Rubicon Rucksack ($235), Journey Pack ($146), and Journey Pack Compact ($136)
This PPB trio earned top honors from our dad panel for the collection’s style, function, versatility and dad-appeal. Nothing about this collection screams “I’m carrying a diaper bag!” Instead the Rubicon Rucksack and Journey Pack ooze sophistication, swagger and style – all while concealing sippy cups and snack bags. The buffalo leather exterior and antique brass hardware of the Rubicon Rucksack are equal parts rugged masculinity and sexy sophistication. The ingenious snap-out interiors – a diaper bag insert with pockets for bottles, diapers and wipes, and laptop insert with a padded computer holder and two deep pockets – make this bag perfect for your days in and out of the office. The felt Journey Pack (and younger brother, the Journey Pack Compact) don’t have the interchangeable inserts, but offer a beautiful structured bag that includes nine pockets for bottles, binkies and Blackberries, as well as the included wipes case and stroller clips that come standard with all Scout bags. Two exterior side pockets hold bottles for baby, but snap off for a seamless transition between the playground and the boardroom. Though pricier than the competition, the quality, style and long-range usability of these bags are unmatched.
If you’re looking for a classic canvas diaper bag that will allow dads and moms to easily switch off, look no further than SkipHop. We particularly love their Via Messenger, which is simple and streamlined while providing ample space for all your outing needs. Available in five unisex solid colors, the Via Messenger’s eighteen pockets include four bottle pockets, a key clip, a cushioned changing pad and one pocket lined in special antimicrobial lining to keep your ickies separate and contained. The light-colored interior makes it simple to find what you’re looking for and the bag transitions easily from shoulder to stroller with the attached Shuttle Clips.
We fell hard for two bags by DadGear – each geared for a very different type of dad. The new DadGear Satchel is a simple throw-and-go bag. A changing pad is stored in a pocket along the back, a refillable wipes case is built into the bag for quick access, and the roomy interior storage consists of two pockets (one open for diapers, one zippered) and one large section for everything else. While this may lead to some digging when trying to find that binkie or bag of snacks, many dads on our panel said they’d most likely pack by stuffing a bunch of stuff in the bag – something the Satchel is perfectly suited for. Two Neoprene bottle holders on either side and integrated stroller straps make this a great bag for dads who want to throw it in the bag and go. On the other side of the spectrum is the DadGear Backpack which is a perfect match for the über-organized dad. With layer after layer of pockets and storage space, the DadGear Backpack makes sure that everything has a place. The Quick Access wipes case is easily reached through a flap on the front, a shallow top pocket keeps you from digging for diapers and three layers of pockets, and compartments provide ample storage space (including the one large interior section, like a traditional backpack). Bottles or dad drinks can be held in the two exterior mesh pockets or the two zippered side pockets which also houses the attached stroller straps. Another benefit of DadGear – both bags come in a myriad of colors and prints, including their collegiate series and billboard series (made from actual recycled billboards).
Loved by retros and metros, the Cevan Metro Diaper Bag comes in four vintage-inspired designs and includes the perfect balance of structured storage and open space. The exterior of the bag has clean lines accented by contrasting piping, with the external pocket holding a removable changing pad. Two interior sections include a number of pockets and zippered pouches, with the larger of the two sections including a pair of adjustable Velcro dividers to organize the roomy interior. Both compartments are fully insulated, and the reinforced bottom allows the bag to stand upright. Though the shiny exterior was a bit of a put-off to some, a number of our dads liked the retro styling and simple design this bag offered.
A favorite among utilitarian dads who don’t want to deal with a bag at all, the JJ Cole Logic offers the storage function of a diaper bag without the bulk. This “urban tote” has space for just the basics. The front strap has a pen holder and three compartments for cell phone, money and ID and a pacifier (or keys). The back includes three compartments: one large expandable pocket for diapers, wipes and the included changing pad; a second zippered pocket that can hold two 9oz. bottles; and a lower pouch that might make a good home for snacks, extra clothes or small toys. There is also a removable insulated bottle holder to ensure a cold beverage when you reach your destination. Available in four colors, the JJ Cole Logic provides the perfect solution for the minimalist dad at an unbeatable price.