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Diaper bag versus diaper backpack – Everything you need to know

Having a baby can be overwhelming with making sure they’re eating, and sleeping schedules are on time, they’re growth and development is on track, and their general needs are being cared for. When you need to venture outside of your house, you’ll want to make sure you have everything your little one will need so they are comfortable, and you can prepare for any situation you may find yourself in - from diaper changes to feeding time. A few good things to always have with you when you leave the house with your baby are:

  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Wipes
  • A toy
  • A blanket
  • A change of clothes
  • Anything your baby specifically needs

You’ll want to be sure that you have these things, even when you’re on the go. But deciding what you use to carry these things around depends on you and your needs. While some parents go for the standard diaper bag, some opt for the diaper backpack - and both are fine! When shopping for a diaper bag or diaper backpack, you should take into account:

  • How you wear them
  • Storage
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Convenience
  • Longevity

The differences between a diaper bag and a diaper backpack

How you wear them

The major difference between a diaper bag and a diaper backpack is how you carry each of them. Diaper backpacks are worn on your back, leaving your hands free, while diaper bags are carried over the shoulder or can be cross-body style. Each bag has different pockets or compartments that have been specifically designed to hold items like wipes and bottles.


While each of the bags is designed to have as much space as possible and include multiple different-sized compartments to store all of your baby’s things, they can be bulky once they’re packed to the seams.

Diaper backpacks have been found to have more storage space in general, and when you need the maximum amount of space, opt for the diaper backpack. When you pack the diaper backpack full, they don’t look to be as bulky as the diaper bag, and because you wear the diaper backpack on your back, even if it’s bulky, you won’t be bumping into things as easily as if it were over your shoulder.


The shoulder or crossbody diaper bag can be more difficult to carry than the diaper backpack because you’re not distributing the weight equally. Instead, you’re holding all the weight of the diaper bag on one shoulder. This can be uncomfortable, putting strain and pressure on your one shoulder, leading to back problems and muscle aches. Shoulder-style diaper bags are known for sliding off your shoulder, forcing you to repeatedly adjust or hike up the bag.

The diaper backpack is worn with the weight distributed equally on both shoulders because of its two straps so that you can carry your baby’s items with little strain on your back. Your hands will also be free, so you can hold your child or pick up the toy that they’ve thrown on the ground for the fifth time today without having to adjust the diaper bag or try to do things one-handed, as the other one will be busy holding the diaper bag.


An important aspect to consider when shopping for a diaper bag or diaper backpack is its style and how well it fits in with your personal style. Diaper backpacks tend to look like traditional backpacks - from cargo to sleek and high end, so they can easily blend in with your look. The diaper backpack has been designed in so many prints and designs that can complement even the wildest personalities. Men and dads tend to use a diaper backpack because it’s not obvious for carrying around baby things, therefore not contradicting a manly appearance. Men also like how easy and comfortable the diaper backpack is to carry.

The crossbody style diaper bags also come in various prints and colors but are still obviously a diaper bag. They become noticeably bulky when packed with your baby’s items, and that’s not a good look. Walking with a tilt because you are compensating for the diaper bag is also not very stylish.


Wearing a diaper bag on your shoulder provides more convenience when you need to grab something right away. If your baby is crying and needs a pacifier, you can slip your hand into your diaper bag and grab it immediately. With a diaper backpack, you’ll need to set down the bag and get the pacifier out, costing you time to soothe your baby.

If you plan on getting a breast pump backpack, you will need to buy a shoulder or crossbody diaper bag. If you’re planning on carrying your baby with a wrap-style device, you should invest in a diaper backpack. The backpack may even make for a great counterbalance to the baby.


When a parent is carrying around a diaper bag, it is generally because the baby has just been born or is likely in their first year of life. Once they become toddlers or can go without diapers, the need for a diaper bag diminishes, and the need for a more compact bag that can still carry a few things for your child becomes more apparent. The diaper backpack is great for the long haul because when all you need to bring is a sippy cup and a couple of wipes and diapers, you can toss them in the diaper backpack.

Regardless of what option you choose to carry around your baby’s items, you should decide what’s right based on your needs. You should always research the different bags for their specific pros and cons, ask your friends, or read reviews. You’re going to be using this bag for every outing you take as a family for the foreseeable future, so invest in one that is durable, comfortable, useful, and stylish. If you’re having trouble deciding which diaper bag or backpack is right for you, contact us today - we’d be happy to discuss your and your baby’s needs.