Can we please normalize diaper bags for dads that aren’t hyper-masculine or designed to look like a woman’s fashion statement? Dads need stuff for the stuff, too! Men often get left in the dust when choosing a diaper bag and may feel embarrassed by options on the market or their partner’s choice. As a result, it reinforces the status quo of moms carrying the mental and physical load.
Enter: daddy diaper bags.
Here’s why dads should use a manly diaper bag, how to pack it, and what to look for when shopping for one.
What are Dad Diaper Bags for Men?
Admittedly, the term “diaper bag” is misleading—any veteran parent knows All The Things go into it, even once your kids are potty-trained. Even so, a dad diaper bag is specifically geared toward men who need to carry kid gear beyond cargo-short pockets.Dad Diaper Bags vs. Any Other Bag
Sure, you could use your pocket (like this dad), or a regular backpack for *checks notes* milk, soiled clothes, graham cracker crumbs, and that pacifier you lost under the couch for six months. But honestly? That sounds gross, let alone dysfunctional.
Only 37% of dads who responded to my Twitter poll helped pick out their family’s diaper bag. Those who replied agreed that a diaper bag’s most important factor was aesthetics.
In a tweet response, James Gregson, Creative Director at LEGO said the most important quality about a daddy-friendly diaper bag is: “That it doesn’t look like something ONLY my wife would carry.”
We get it—you probably don’t want flowers and pink sparkles. That’s why there are manly man bags on the market with camo print and leather styles to make Ron Swanson swoon. But men: using a diaper bag that doesn’t have 50 buckles and is authentic rawhide does not make you any less masculine. We think it has the opposite effect. Who doesn’t love a guy who owns his nurturing, resourceful side?
As we continue to normalize using diaper bags for men, the market has plenty of gender-neutral options for a “dad bag” or shared family diaper bag. Yes, agree on the style, but also the functionality.
Picking the Right Manly Diaper Bag for Your Lifestyle
Types of daddy diaper bags range from satchels to backpacks and even vests. But there are a few aspects of the bag besides just aesthetics that will influence your decisions:
- Hands-free: You need your hands to do 'Dad things' like tie shoes, change diapers, shoulder rides - you get the idea.
- Durability: This thing will get beat up, especially if it's the shared bag for the family. Look for sturdy fabrics, quality stitching, and brands that provide a warranty.
- Cross-functional: Thank of the 3 Ps: can I take this to the park, pool, and a party? Maybe it fits your laptop or has a big enough department for your towel and gym clothes.
- Cleaning: Choose a diaper bag made from easily wipeable or machine-washable fabric for obvious reasons. Dirt and sand get into all the crevices, so bags with a zillion little compartments can be a nightmare to clean.
Must-have Dad Diaper Bag FeaturesLook for these non-negotiables when shopping for your diaper bag for men (trust us).
- Side pocket for your water bottle
- Easy zip and closures to use one-handed
- A large main compartment
- Easy-access pocket for phone/wallet
- Accessories like a changing pad and clear bags
- Wipeable fabric
- Stands up on its own (like a golf bag without the kickstand)
- Backpack style or optional straps
Let's Pack Your Dad Bag
Don’t leave home without:
- Diapers (don’t forget to refill every time you use one)
- An extra outfit or two
- Medications if needed
- Small toy or book
- Hand sanitizer
- Burp cloth
- Diaper rash cream
- Snacks and water
- Disposable placemat and bib
- Your own water bottle
- Sunscreen/bug spray
- Cold-weather gear (jackets, mittens, etc.)
- Sunglasses or hat
This article from HighSpeedDaddy adds that you should include an emergency card with contact information. A sticker label or ID tag works great, too.
First time packing for an outing with a newborn? Check out our guide on what to pack in your diaper bag here.
Looking for some real life inspiration of what to pack for your kids? Check out this post or this post from our series "What in Your Dad Bag?", where we ask business, tech, and parenting industry leaders to give us a peek into their kid must-haves.
What’s Your Dad Bag Swag?
Dads shouldn’t be embarrassed by the gear they need to parent their own children. Partners can and should agree on what they’re lugging around for their kids daily. That’s what inspired the design behind Huhu’s Everyday Diaper Backpack. Men and women love the sleek design and just-makes-sense functionality.