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Backpack Diaper Bag vs. Tote: Which is Best and which one is for you?

A diaper bag is perhaps the #1 piece of gear you will use as a new mother and father. You will soon come to find that your diaper bag is your saving grace and you will need a bag that is functional enough to do every job in the book, durable enough to withstand your soon-to-be toddler dragging it across the playground, and stylish enough for you to want to carry it every day.

On the one side you have the tried and trusted shoulder style diaper bag that has been around since before your granny’s time, and on the other, the new-kid-on-the-block diaper backpack that is quickly rising in popularity due to its spaciousness and hands-free carrying.

Who will win this epic battle of the baby diaper bags? Let’s examine both contenders:

Why Choose a Backpack Diaper Bag?

  • Super comfortable, durable and adjustable

With adjustable straps, an easily wipeable lining, and that’s made with quality materials that can keep up with daily wear and tear.

  • Better for Your Back

Baby needs a lot of stuff to get out of the house and your bag can tend to get heavy. A backpack will help distribute that weight more evenly, so you’ll feel more balanced. This means that you will be able to carry one comfortably and there won’t be as much strain on your shoulders or back. Carrying a backpack with your baby items also frees up both your hands.

  • Best for Parents of Newborns

When your little one relies on you for pretty much everything, you’re going to need all the arms you can get. It’s much easier to hold a newborn when the diaper bag is on your back.

  • Best Diaper Bag for Dads

For new dads who aren’t used to carrying around a shoulder bag, a backpack will feel much more natural. That makes it easier for mom and dad to switch carrying the bag throughout the day. Most diaper backpacks look like ordinary backpacks and so they will more easily blend in with your personal style.

  • Best for Travel

When traveling with a baby or toddler, you’ll always be short of hands. So, it’s really helpful to have your diaper bag secure on your back, rather than having to deal with it slipping off your shoulder every time you bend over.

  • Best for Active Families

If your family likes to go on hikes or ride bikes, a sporty backpack diaper bag is a no-brainer for you.

Why Choose a Tote Diaper Bag?

  • It’s a Classic Diaper Bag

Shoulder bags tend to be the more traditionally stylish diaper bags, that’s why you’ll probably find more designer diaper bags in this silhouette. They are usually designed to be as spacious as possible, with several different compartments for you to store your baby’s stuff.

  • Better for Parents of Toddlers

We definitely recommend a backpack diaper bag for parents of newborns, but once your child can move around and even walk on their own, your hands will be a little more free. This will make a tote diaper bag easier to manage.

  • Best for More Dressy Scenarios

Backpacks can be overly casual, so a shoulder bag diaper bag is better for occasions where you’ll need to be a bit more dressed up like work or weddings.

  • Best for Variety

You can find shoulder-style diaper bags in many shapes and sizes like messenger diaper bags and satchel diaper bags.

At the end of the day, the best diaper bag is the one that works best for you as parents. But you’ll definitely want it to have both easy-to-reach pockets on the outside and plenty of pockets on the inside for organization. The key is insulated pockets, which help keep baby bottles colder for longer.

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