My wife and I are expecting our first child shortly. After extensive searching, she finally settled on a diaper bag that appears to be fairly popular on Amazon (pictured on right). I examined it after purchase (after all, I do love bags) and wasn’t that impressed. It appears a big small and the zippers are low quality. The interior is almost neutral in color (a cream with a slight rose hue to it); the exterior as well (medium grey). However, I wanted to know what other manly options exist, so I took a look around. I was not impressed.
Most websites lists bags similar to what my wife picked up. The only thing that makes it a bag for dads is the lack of girly colors and fabrics. The size, shape, and overall look of these bags still scream “diaper bag.” To my surprise, some bags began to pop up that are actually stylish. Sadly, however, these bags fail too. The websites were suggesting fashionable bags that have no practicality for diaper bag use; they were just “cool” looking bags (not even that great looking, in my opinion).
I was able to find two offerings–one from Timbuk2 (stork messenger bag) and the other from Tom Bihn (parental unit). Neither of these bags were mentioned on other review websites I visited. The price is steep for both bags, but I expected as much since I am familiar with both companies. What I was surprised to find was the lack of functionality for the price.
The Timbuk2 bag seems like a great option. It comes with a changing pad, bottle cozie, decent organization (from what I can see in pictures and assume would be adequate), and a stylish look for the modern dad. The major complaint that reviewers gave was the small size. People want room for change of clothes, diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, bottles, and everyday carry items for the dad (the last thing you want is to loose your identity to become caretaker of a needy demon child). The Timbuk2 bag appears close to greatness; it just needs to be bigger.
The Tom Bihn bag looked to fix the Timbuk2 issue of space. Owning a few different Tom Bihn bags, I can say that they pack in more than what one would typically think. The price point is better than the Timbuk2 as well. However, there are key features missing. The Tom Bihn bag does not come with a cozie or any insulted pockets for bottles. This might not be a deal breaker for some women, but since I do not produce milk out of my nipples, it is for me. Sure, insulated cozies can be purchased. So can a changing pad. But that is just the issue; I don’t want to have to buy all these accessories from third party sellers and hope they integrate well into the bag.
So what is the solution? I have no idea. For now, I will just have to plan on taking the wife’s diaper bag with me and my school/edc bag anytime I have the kid by myself. I will continue the hunt and update the post if I find anything useful. Drop a comment below if you have found anything to be of good use.