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How to Choose the Best Nappy Bag for You

Isabella Roberts

Posted on May 20 2021

Looking for the perfect nappy bag but not sure where to start? After 24 years of selling our award-winning designs all around the world, we know a thing or two about what makes the best nappy bags.

In our ultimate nappy bag buying guide, you’ll find:

What is a nappy bag?

What is a nappy bag

Also referred to as baby bags, changing bags or diaper bags; nappy bags are used to carry all of your children’s gear when you are on the go.

What makes nappy bags different from normal bags is that they’re specially designed for organising all of your baby essentials and often feature more durable materials, special insulated compartments for bottles and other benefits that make getting out & about much easier with kids.

Do you need a nappy bag?

We get it, shopping for your baby is super daunting! There are definitely lots of products first-time parents buy (or receive) that they never end up using, but a well-designed nappy bag is not one of them.

Gone are the days where you would leave your house with just your keys and phone. With a new baby comes lots of new things to carry, so having a dedicated bag for all of your gear makes life much easier because you can simply grab & go.

Although you can use a regular tote or backpack, these designs are unlikely to have the features needed to withstand the rigours of life with a baby or toddler. In particular, as a parent you will quickly discover the necessity of being able to find things in your bag quickly - there is nothing worse than rummaging around for a nappy, change pad, wipes & new romper mid poo explosion with a crying baby!

You will be carting around your baby essentials most days, so it is worth investing in a quality & stylish nappy bag that will keep everything organised so you can quickly find what you need when you need it.

How to choose a nappy bag

Finding the perfect nappy bag is subjective, but understanding what features you need and the differences in styles will help you narrow the field when it comes to making your choice.

nappy bag buying guide 2021

What to look for in a nappy bag?

You can not put into words what a big difference it makes when you invest in a nappy bag that ticks all of the boxes. Some parents go through several bags before they finally purchase “the one” but with the below tips, you’ll find your perfect match in no time.

Here are some important things to consider when buying a nappy bag:

  • Size: Although buying the biggest nappy bag you can find may seem like a great idea, in this case, bigger isn’t always better. Watch packing videos to help give you an idea of if a nappy bag will fit all of your daily essentials without being cumbersome. You can always keep a spare nappy clutch in the car or pram basket for those emergency extras.
  • Pockets: Again, watch videos to see if you like how the space is utilised & try to visualise how you would organise your own baby gear. If you like to have everything in its place, look for a nappy bag with lots of pockets. The type of pocket is important too - elasticised pockets are versatile whereas zippered pockets keep things secure - you want a combination of both to make packing a breeze.
  • Weight: As a general guide, we recommend nappy bags that weigh around 1kg - that way you know it is made from quality materials but will not make your bag extra heavy to carry once packed.
  • Materials: Look for a design with a water resistant finish inside & out so you can easily wipe up any inevitable spills! High quality YKK zips are also important so your nappy bag never splits open.
  • Wearability: Hands-free is the way to go! A nappy backpack may seem like the obvious option here, but you can also be hands-free with a tote style nappy bag if you attach a messenger strap.
  • Comfort: Look for adjustable wide or padded straps (especially when it comes to backpacks!)
  • Style: This comes down to your personal taste - don’t forget to consider who else will be wearing it too.

The following features make the best nappy bags:

  • Easy access: Look for designs that maximise visibility and allow you to access essentials with just one hand. Avoid bags with messenger-style flaps which can keep falling down when you are trying to grab things.
  • Insulated pocket: Keeps bottles warm or cold for long periods of time - ideally in the form of an elasticised pocket on the outside of your bag for easier access. You can also buy a portable bottle holder.
  • Changing mat: A must have for when you need to change your baby's nappy when out & about. If your nappy bag doesn’t come with one, you’ll have to factor in the cost of purchasing a portable change mat separately.
  • Stroller clips: These attach your nappy bag to the handlebar of your pram, especially if you don’t have enough basket space. Stroller straps can be repurposed to hold your keys or toys too.
  • Protective feet: To help protect the base of your bag.
  • Versatility: Choose a design that you can use post-baby, whether as a weekender or stylish work bag.

What type of nappy bag should I buy?

We often get asked “what should I get - a tote or backpack style nappy bag” and one isn’t objectively better than the other. To help you, we explain the pros and cons for the different types of nappy bags.

Backpack Nappy Bags

backpacks

Following the same design as a traditional backpack, a nappy backpack differs as they typically have more storage compartments for all of your baby changing accessories.

Why people love them:
  • Easy to carry - simply throw it on your back & go!
  • Evenly distributes weight across your shoulders
  • Keeps both arms & hands free
  • Generally more unisex
  • Well suited to active parents
Possible downsides
  • Generally, nappy backpacks do not have as many pockets as tote-style nappy bags so if you want a “dedicated place for everything” this may not be the style for you.
  • Some nappy backpacks can be too big, therefore cumbersome to wear. When researching, be sure to check the measurements & lifestyle photos to make sure the size will feel good to wear.
  • Some nappy backpacks have thin straps which make them uncomfortable to wear. Look for designs with padded & adjustable straps as well as padding along the back of the bag so things don’t poke into your back.

Tote Style Nappy Bags

tote style nappy bag

A large-style handbag, tote nappy bags offer more room & pockets to organise your baby gear.

Why people love them
  • Most nappy tote bags offer more room than other types of nappy bags
  • They are very easy to access in a hurry
  • Looks like a regular handbag
  • Versatile - can be used as a work bag or overnighter later on
Possible downsides
  • Usually, other brands don’t offer a cross-body strap with their tote design which means you don’t have the option to wear it messenger style (which is more comfortable when your bag is heavy or you need to be hands-free)
  • Depending on the design, tote nappy bags can be uncomfortable to wear on one shoulder when heavy
  • Some find wearing totes on one shoulder gets in the way when trying to hold or carry their baby

The Carry All

carry all nappy bag

This patented style of nappy bag is unique to OiOi. The carry all been designed to help organise everything you need for outings with easy-access compartments.

Why people love them
  • Lots of pockets and zippered compartments make this style of bag easy to organise
  • The contents of the bag can be easily grabbed using one hand
  • Offers a good compromise in terms of size between the backpack & tote style nappy bags
  • Can be hands-free with the detachable messenger strap
  • Popular with cloth nappy parents
Possible downsides
  • The compartmental organisation may not be relevant for your needs if you don't carry much

Nappy Clutches & Wallets

baby change clutch

Similar to a small purse, a nappy clutch is a lightweight, small capacity wallet that allows you to carry all of the baby changing essentials (mat, nappies, creams, wipes etc.) wherever you go.

Why people love them
  • Minimalist & compact
  • Handy to use for quick trips where you don’t need everything in your nappy bag
  • Possible downsides
  • Due to the small size, you are limited to how much you can fit in the clutch

What is the most popular nappy bag?

Overall, our most popular nappy bag is the Faux Leather Nappy Backpack. It has won a number of people's choice awards including the Tell Me Baby Highest Rated Nappy Bag in 2020 & 2021.

If you prefer an over-the-shoulder nappy bag, our Carry All is the most popular design. This has been a favourite in the range for many years, also winning its fair share of awards.

Final thoughts

A well-designed, quality nappy bag will be your constant companion. It is the place for everything you need when you leave your home, so it is worth investing in a design that you will love.

When you find the perfect nappy bag, it will be one of those baby accessories that you won’t know how you lived without it before having one.

For extra help, find a nappy bag stockist near you to compare designs in person or talk to one of our experts for tailored advice.

OiOi have been designing nappy bags since 1997. Our founder Lisa Bennetts began the brand the same year she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl Isabella who has now joined the business. OiOi has built an outstanding reputation for stylish, quality & practical nappy bag designs that have won numerous awards & accolades globally. Discover the full range today.

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2 comments

  • Isabella OiOi: July 13, 2021

    Hi Gail!

    Yes, we offer a 30 day returns policy for change of mind – with tags still on, customers can either request a refund or exchange for another item.

    Please see our full policy here: https://oioi.com.au/policies/refund-policy

    Isabella
    sales@oioi.com.au

  • Gail Spicer: July 13, 2021

    I’m looking at buying for my daughter but wanted to know that if I purchase and she’s not happy with it could I get a refund or if not a credit .

    Thank you

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