Diaper bag for the non-paisley leaning set

If you know me (and I think it’s only people who know me who read this blog), then you know that I am style minimalist.  While I admire other people’s use of bright colors and patterns, I feel the most comfortable, attractive and confident in neutrals and muted colors.  Unfortunately, most “mom” oriented stuff is geared to those who are comfortable with patterns, prints, frills, and other conventionally feminine gear.  Good for those who like it, but what about the utilitarian/neutral lovers among the mom-to-be crowd?  Also, I want something unisex enough that Blokey could use carry it without feeling like his balls fell off.

Ideally, this would be a bag that has cross body style, that is roomy but not too big, water-resistant, has some kind of warranty in terms of quality/longevity, unisex enough , and can fit the awesome Hop Skip Pronto (12″ x 7.5″ x 2″) that my sis-in-law got me.  I learned how important the cross body style is when I was pushing the secondhand stroller 1.5 miles in the 85 degree heat yesterday.  My shoulder bag was not appreciated!

Here are the contenders:


Water resistant cross body bag, via Etsy.com ($49) (dimensions: 15″ x 6″ x 13″).  It is pretty plain, but looks like it will do the job.  It kinda looks flimsy, too.  Perhaps the photos don’t do it justice?  I’d hate to have a bag fall apart on me, during some

Another handmade bag.  This is one seems huger, but I can’t tell if the model is just itsy-bitsy


The Mackenzie in Olive, via Etsy.com (dimensions: 18″x13″x5″)
This is cute, but it doesn’t say in the description if it’s water resistant, but it is washable.  It’s the biggest bag by far, and I’m not quite sure about those front pockets.  They don’t look super secure, and I’d want to put a phone/keys/camera up in there.  The main body has a zipper and quite a few compartments.

Finally, there’s Brooklyn Industries, which claims social responsibility, but is real sketchy about the details.  They seem committed to some eco-stuff, but nada about their labor policies (I would like to think the indie designers on Etsy control their own labor standards).  The benefits of BI is that they have a warranty on their bags.

Medium City Bag ($58, 13.5″ x 11″x 5″)

This is the bag/color I want (from Brooklyn Industries).  I tried it on, preened in front of a mirror, and showed it to friend (who was visiting from out of town.  She approved).  Evidently, hipster-esque mama types all over the city like this as their diaper bag, as it has to exterior pockets ideal for bottles (I don’t know if you can see them).  But as much as my eye is drawn to the straw color, I probably should go for something more stain-friendly, like the blue one, which I liked less.

city messenger

The benefit of the Brooklyn Industries bag is that I’ve worn it and tried it on.  However, it is the smallest bag (which could be good or bad).

Finally (this is the most pricey and most lust worth option): a Fjallraven bag (the baby is half-Scando and has traveled to Sweden already):

fij bag

(I had to do quick metric conversions: 4.3″ by 11″ by 14.9″) It’s the most expensive ($100), but I can go physically touch it at the Soho store, and it is probably the most rugged and will last the longest.  Bigger than the BI City Bag. Plus, who can resist that fox!  Fox!

What say you, internet-land?  Should I go with one of the Etsy creations (sight unseen, but cute in photos) that are a big bigger?  Since we are cloth diapering, we’ll probably want some more space.  But the Etsy bags are a gamble, and  I hate bags that are too big.  Plus, I have no idea if the workmanship of the handmade bags will stand up to the high demands (aka lack of attention) I require from my physical objects.  I’d need to check out the Fjallraven bag in Soho, but we have a big city day planned for next week anyway.  Is something like that worth $100?  (Most diaper bags are about that or more, but I would likely use this for work and casual wear, too).

Other suggestions are deeply appreciated!


About susanify

Brooklyn-based, cheap, nerdy, and mom-to-be. Blogger formerly known as Rad.
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2 Responses to Diaper bag for the non-paisley leaning set

  1. Raquelita says:

    I vote for the Fjallraven bag! I’m sending you a message, but I also wanted to announce that I’m in town and would love to see you next week if we can arrange it!

    • susanify says:

      Eek! Blokey found the Fjallraven bag on sale at Altrec.com, and there’s a sale going on that site, too. Since there is a great returns policy, I snagged it up in a darker olive! Great minds…

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