Diaper Backpack Vs Regular Backpack Vs Diaper Bag Compared

As a new parent, it can be stressful to carry all of the necessities around with your little one. From diapers and wipes to lotions and an extra set of clothes, you need a bag that is dedicated to your child. There are so many different options on the market, including the traditional diaper bag as well as a diaper backpack and a regular backpack.

This guide will help you better understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option so you can decide what would work best for your family. 

Diaper Backpacks (Overview + Pros & Cons)

A diaper backpack is a backpack that was designed for use as a diaper bag. Unlike a traditional backpack, it was made specifically to carry the essentials for your child, such as diapers, wipes, changing pad, hand sanitizer, bibs, blankets, and an extra set of clothes. The benefit of the diaper backpack is that you are able to be hands-free as you walk around the park, your home, or wherever else you go with your little one.

Dads also tend to like the diaper backpack because it often comes in more gender-neutral colors and designs (fewer frills and bold flower pattern prints). Many people talked about how handy it was to bring a diaper backpack on a long-term trip or vacation. However, others were frustrated by the straps falling off and felt that it was too much weight to carry on their back. There are many different diaper backpack selections available.

What We Like

  • Easy to carry
  • Hands-free
  • Sleek, gender-neutral colors
  • Perfect for long trips
  • More comfortable for people who prefer walking around with backpacks over purses

What We Don’t Like

  • Straps can slip off
  • Difficult to attach to the stroller
  • Heavy weight on the back and can cause back pain
mom changing baby

Regular Backpacks For Carrying Baby Stuff (Overview + Pros & Cons)

A regular backpack is a traditional backpack that you can pick up from any clothing or sporting store. These backpacks are the bags kids wear to school, adults wear to work, people wear camping or hiking, and are similar in the way that they work. Simply place the straps over both shoulders, and off you go!

Regular backpacks vary based on the brand and come with different compartments. They are not made specifically for carrying baby stuff, so you won't find compartments that are sized right. Instead, you will need to create your own compartment rules for your kid's things.

A regular backpack keeps your hands free, typically has a large carrying capacity, may have a side pocket for a bottle (look for a backpack that has two side pockets to carry your baby’s bottle and a drink for your toddler). The benefit to this choice is that it also may work for running to work because you can add a laptop.

The most frustrating issue we’ve found is that you have to take it off to get anything out of it and everything jumbles together while moving, so it can be difficult to find what you need!

What We Like

  • Hands-free
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to carry
  • Depending on the backpack, may be able to add professional items such as a laptop (laptop compartment built-in)
  • More comfortable for people who prefer walking around with backpacks over purses

What We Don’t Like

  • Everything jumbles together when moving and it can be difficult to find things
  • Having to take it off to get anything out of it
  • Lack of specific compartments for baby things

Diaper Bags (Overview + Pros & Cons)

A diaper bag is typically what we think of when we think about someone carrying their baby’s stuff in a bag. These diaper bags tend to come in tote shapes and have a variety of compartments and zippers to hold everything that you need.

All of the pockets make it easy to organize your baby's things, and they usually come with a ton of space especially those that are made for twins, which is vital for all-day outings where you never know what you'll need.

These bags tend to be made with durable materials, so you won't have to worry about replacing them. They also hang well on strollers and fit easily beneath strollers. However, some people dislike the short straps and feel uncomfortable carrying them because of how unbalanced the weight is. They are also tricky for active days where you plan to bike or hike.

What We Like

  • Organization! So many pockets and easy storage systems for carrying necessities
  • Hangs well on strollers
  • Fits well underneath the stroller
  • Many style options from sleek, professional to fun, bold, and causal
  • Huge carrying capacity
  • Durable materials

What We Don’t Like

  • Short straps
  • Weight is unbalanced when carrying
  • May overpack because of the large size
  • Difficult for active days (biking, hiking, etc.)

Diaper Backpack Vs. Regular Backpack Vs. Diaper Bag (Differences & Which Is Best?)

1. Style & Design

When it comes to style and design, this is a personal preference. The most fashion-forward option is the diaper backpack, with many brands creating sleek, professional looks that both mom and dad can rock. For more child-friendly prints, the diaper bag has more bold geometric designs and kid-friendly animal images. Regular backpacks come in a wide variety of styles and designs as well. The style and design depend most on the brand you choose. Whatever you choose, make sure you choose something that you can live with for several years.

2. Carrying Capacity

The carrying capacity of your diaper backpack, regular backpack, or diaper bag depends heavily on the size of your bag. We recommend focusing on the quality of materials when considering carrying capacity because a high-capacity backpack with inferior quality build materials will fall apart within a few months, and you’ll be left without a bag (or a strap will break on vacation! Yikes). Consider the quality of the materials and look at photos that showcase the interior. See how much you can fit and consider whether or not the bag is large enough for you.

3. For Travel

When traveling, most people preferred the hands-off nature of the diaper backpack. It is easier to move from location to location and makes it more convenient to visit many different places on the same day. However, people with young babies (six months or younger) preferred the diaper bag because they thought it was more accessible. Consider how you travel, how many locations you visit in a day, how active you will be, and which type of bag would make the most sense for you.

4. For Newborn

If you have a newborn, we recommend choosing a traditional diaper bag. The reason for this is that these bags have every compartment you need to bring along the necessities. Newborns need so many different items, and most parents feel nervous leaving anything at home when their child is so young. A traditional diaper bag will be able to hold everything you need, and you can always regift it to a new parent if you choose to upgrade to a diaper backpack or regular backpack later on.

5. For Toddlers

Toddlers are active, and you may have to start bringing toys along on your outings to keep them entertained and busy. This is a toss-up between the diaper backpack and the diaper bag. Toddlers, as well as newborns, have many needs from diapers, bottles, wipes, a blanket, extra clothes, and now toys. These will fit best and be easiest to grab in a diaper backpack or diaper bag. A regular backpack will jumble everything together too much and make it difficult to find what you need when you need it.

6. For Dads

Most dads have said that they prefer the diaper backpack or regular backpack to the diaper bag. They are more used to carrying backpacks around and prefer the hands-free feel of these two models. Both of these work well, but the diaper backpack is our recommendation because of the additional compartments that have been designed to specifically hold baby stuff.

7. Value For Money

The best value for the money would be a regular backpack. The reason for this is that you can find cheap backpacks made with durable materials that can hold most of the supplies you need to bring along. These backpacks won’t have convenient compartments, however, and you will have to designate your own compartments. If you need a solid backpack to carry your baby’s things around, a cheap backpack will do the job for you.

leather diaper bag

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I Use A Regular Backpack As A Diaper Bag?

Yes, you can easily turn a backpack into a diaper bag by simply deciding what compartments mean for your new purpose. For example, if there is a small compartment in the front, you could designate that area for your wallet and keys, or it could be the area for wipes.

What about a laptop space in the back of a backpack? Perhaps that is where the diapers go or a towel for messes? Simply choose what areas you want to put your baby's things, and viola! Your backpack is now a diaper bag.

How Long Do Diaper Bags Last?

The longevity of diaper bags varies considerably based on the quality of the bag. Most diaper bags last anywhere from a year to ten years. We recommend looking at the quality of materials used in your diaper bag. If longevity is important to you, choose a more durable bag.

How Do You Pack A Small Diaper Bag?

How you pack a small diaper bag is ultimately up to you. However, we recommend starting small and placing the smallest items in your bag first (pacifiers, baby wipes, bibs, small toys). This way, you can ensure that your organizational system makes sense. Then load in the larger items.


Do you need a diaper backpack or a diaper bag? No, a regular backpack is a great choice for carrying around your baby’s necessities. However, a regular backpack is not equipped to separate each item into convenient compartments the same way a diaper backpack or diaper bag can. If convenience and ultimate storage features are important to you, we recommend choosing a diaper backpack or regular diaper bag.

  • Updated November 5, 2021