The 17th corner of Hell, or “Choosing a Diaper Bag”

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I’m trying to find a baby bag that both a mom and a dad can live with using, but it’s hard. Honestly, the “diaper bag” prints just aren’t me, for almost any of the brands. If I happen love the print, I know my fiance would never want to carry it, i.e. this very pretty JJ Cole diaper bag

JJ Cole Diaper Bag

Which, unfortunately is useless if you’d like the option of wearing it on your back.  The pretty yellow coordinates well with my stroller, though.

I love the skip hop studio tote

Skip Hop Studio Tote

for all it’s bells&whistles and stylish look, but it doesn’t even have a long crossbody strap to wear it messenger style –which is an absolute  minimum requirement for babywearing, for me. I can’t keep fixing slipping-off straps on my shoulder when babywearing about, the bag either needs to be backpack style on my back (if baby is on front) or worn messenger style and resting on my hip even if baby is on my back.

Strict backpacks aren’t as useful if you are wearing your larger baby on your back a lot, and don’t hang as handily on a stroller handle bar, so I don’t think I want a backpack-only bag. Strict messengers that can never be put on your back/distribute weight over both shoulders seem uncomfy for longer wearing periods (i.e. day out without a car or stroller). And, finally, strict totes/shoulder bags seem truly impractical because you can’t always be stiffening up your right shoulder to keep your bag from slipping off while carrying a baby. Ugh. So, basically, the convertible bag is what I need.

This Babymel Ruby rucksack looks nice and has padded straps and is actually kinda cute and stylish, for a solid black backpack (i.e. I might not mind using it as a cute looking gym bag, daytime-with-laptop bag, or travel/airport bag, after kids are out of diapers):

BabyMel Ruby convertible diaper bag, worn in messenger mode with adjustable long strap option

Babymel Ruby diaper backpack actually looks cute & urban in backpack mode, not like you should be wearing hiking boots or heading off to go camping!

Of course, now we are back at Ju Ju Be BFF price range territory…and the clear advantage of the jujube is the fact that the compartments zip down open so far so you can see everything you need to find, with your two little eyes, and don’t ever need to dig blindly. That is handy. I wonder if this print would traumatize daddy  (IF I could even find one used, since the print isn’t made anymore and I really don’t like any of the prints available currently)

BFF diaper bag in discontinued Pretty Tweet print

or if I could live with how blah the black looks:

Black/silver Ju ju be BFF convertible diaper bag in plain old black with silver accents and lining.

But, at half the price, there’s the Ameribag Healthy Back bag (that I think can be twisted a bit and worn messenger style on the hip if baby is on your back) that I love in lilac, daddy-be-damned:

Ameribag healthy back baby bags

He would never ever want to carry it in lilac and I would be so bummed out at the blah-factor of the black…..

But will he indeed ever be out and about -on foot- (i.e. no car, no stroller) with the baby and need to carry it on his person? He is really a drive-there kinda guy, not into taking the bus …and if he wears her to the park, that’s only 5 minutes from home so he could come back, in case of poop. I can’t think of anywhere besides an airport/overseas trip where we would be without car or stroller for hours and actually need to wear a baby-gear bag on his person. And we have black backpacks aplenty for those rare events.

At least with the Jujube, even if I don’t have any desire to touch it after diapering days are behind us, I can resell it for a pretty darned good resale value on eBay! I have a feeling my Dior, LV, and Gucci bags (or even some non-designer but really pretty handmade etsy leather bags I’ve had custom ordered over the years) will be calling my name at that point and all these features about padded straps, and compartments/ insulated drink holders, etc will seem a bit superfluous. It’s not like we don’t have any weekender bags, duffel bags, or backpacks for occasional trips.

But, I do far prefer the style of the Melbaby Ruby backpack, just not loving the price and not as convinced of resale value, and I wonder if I’d really wish for the wide gaping mouth factor of the BFF when scounging around in the bottom of it…. I really like it though and I’m sure I’d use it a LOT in the coming 5-6 years until I’m truly retired from diapers and babywearing for good, so who cares if I won’t use it or sell it for much after that.

I love the price and color of the lilac Ameribag -and it’s my #2 choice in terms of looks, for my taste. I wish it was a convertible style, though, I’m not sure it would suit for when I want to wear baby in a SSC on my back, or be very useful hanging on the stroller handlebar.

So, to sum up, I’d buy a BFF in black/silver but I can’t stand the thought of paying over 150 dollars for a bag that I think is almost ugly….at that price I want to love the look of it.

I’d buy the Melbaby Ruby convertible bag but it’s so expensive for a bag without as much resale value, I haven’t heard as many raves about it, it doesn’t open up as wide, and ….did I mention it’s expensive? I do think the Babymel Ruby wins on style without sacrificing on features, though, especially in the all jet-black nylon unisex version….if I were willing to pay that much for a nylon black bag.

I’d buy the Ameribag healthy back diaper bag backpack but I am not sure about a bag that may or may not be ideal for wearing a baby on my back, plus how sloppy would it look slung over my stroller handlebar?

I’d buy the Skip Hop Studio tote if it weren’t, well, a tote and offered other strap options.
Then there are pretty etsy options in colors/prints that daddy would largely hate, but oh well:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/127878040/custom-diaper-bag-handmade-boxy?ref=shop_home_active

Boxy convertible diaper bag with waterproof lining and many organizational pockets, by Etsy seller WhistleBritchesBoutiq

(this has vinyl lining for easy spill cleanup and she could custom make it with backpack straps)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/151383347/large-shoulder-bag-diaper-bag-in-navy?ref=col_view

Extra large messenger (16″x13″ and pretty deep) by Etsy seller ChicBazar

(this seller said she could add an outside back large pocket with a zipper and lined in wetbag material for all wetbag-able items to be kept separate there!, plus she could add side pockets for sippies and water bottles in a waterproof lining, all for just 25 dollars more than that 98 dollar price)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/129215573/convertible-quilted-diaper-bag?ref=shop_home_active

Convertible backpack diaper bag similar to PPB Boxy Backpack, right down to the built in changing station, By Etsy Seller GJR Designs

(This is a lot like a PPB boxy backpack)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/99892096/wylder-weekender-in-filigree-empire?ref=col_view

Weekender Diaper Bag Duffel by WylderJane on etsy, located in South Africa

(awesome and glazed/water repellant outer… but a bit too big, and no backpack option; however she does sell backpacks too, just none that appeal to me)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/93769842/canvasleather-backpack-messenger-extra?ref=shop_home_active

Mandy in Canada under store name Versabella on Etsy, sells some pretty phenomenal looking bags, I am sorely tempted

(THIS is insanely beautiful, that’s my kind of print—but….. it’s very pricey and very huge and not sure how organized the stuff inside would be, if you are trying to quickly change a crying infant who is impatient to nurse, it seems like kind of a humongous black hole)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/62278570/sun-daisy-classic-quilted-bushka-bag?ref=v1_other_2

Very unique concept diaper bag by Bushkabag on Etsy, based in Misouri

(she gets points for design originality! The whole bag opens up flat and the inside base is a changing pad)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/155638348/last-one-okinawa-bag-in-sun-yellow?ref=col_view

Okinawa bag by Vallhallabrooklyn on Etsy

(This is expensive, not sure if it would be big enough, not any diaper bag features, but I have the same bag in dark brown and the quality is TDF and this color matches the main color of my stroller and hey, the small size would help me to not overpack)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/96640081/leather-handbagpurseleather-purselarge?ref=col_view

Bag by Ghighiarelli on Etsy, based out of Nevada

(I LOVE the style, the color matches my stroller, and it seems like great dimensions for a diaper bag, even though it’s not one. However, it’s very expensive and no backpack option unless I want to just wear the hand straps as backpack straps which I have done before with duffels)

In case the yellow theme doesn’t make sense yet, here’s my stroller in dark navy and bright yellow, and the stroller will live on the handlebar most of the time, so it looks nice if the bag and carriage don’t clash and even somehow coordinate (obviously black would be fine, too).

2013-07-15 13.29.20

Hmmmm….. I think I’m going insane, and I’ve been researching diaper bags for days now with no clear winner!!!

Edited to add:  just hours after I posted this, I discovered a bag with ALL the features of the Ju Ju Be BFF, at exactly a third of the price!

The Okiedog Sumo diaper bag backpack/messenger convertible!

It’s a messenger, it’s a backpack, it has all the bells and whistles, and it doesn’t break the bank! Yahtzee!!!!!!

The Okiedog Sumo can be worn as a normal messenger style diaper bag

But also, can be worn backpack style!

I ordered the navy, which goes with my stroller and is gender neutral enough for daddy to throw on his back, without being camping-gear rough and masculine.  I actually think it’s cute.  And it matches my Storchenwiege in Leo Marine, quite perfectly (which is the same color).

I saw it for 69.99 on Amazon and on the okiedog.us website, then I googled ‘Okiedog sumo promo code’ to see if anyone had blogged a review about the bag and was offering their readers a promo code.  Turns out there was!  I have absolutely no affiliation with the bag or this Nurse Mommy Blog, but I am glad I stumbled upon this post through my google search. http://www.thenursemommy.com/2013/06/win-fabulous-sumo-diaper-bag-from.html

Because she offers the promo code NM20 to get 20% off!  I tried it out on the http://www.okiedog.us website and it worked!  So the bag becomes 56 dollars, exactly one third of the Jujube BFF, and with every single feature, plus a couple of extras (insulated bottle holder included in the price, stroller clips included in the price, and an accessory bag for diapers or clothes, also included in that price!  All of these things are sold separately with the BFF, and you’ll be spending 200 dollars at LEAST by the end of the purchase to get the same set of stuff…no, thank you, I’ll stick with 56 dollars!!).

I can’t believe I found the answer to every one of my diaper bag wishlist dreams, AND it was the cheapest option, AND through a simple google search I found 20% off!

I actually think the three days of bag obsessing paid off.

4 comments

    1. I’m planning on using a woven wrap like a Didymos/Storchenwiege until the baby gets to be more than twenty pounds, and then switch to a Tula soft structured carrier. I don’t think Tula makes bags, but they do make hyper popular carriers in pretty Didymos prints but they are hard to get.

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