Diaper Bag Mania

So I’ve been obsessed lately with diaper bags. I never ever thought I would reach this point. I mean, my favorite carry-on bag is one of those large reusable shopping bags with the cute prints that you can get at Marshalls or Bed Bath & Beyond (seriously though, they are awesome), I’m NOT into labels, and I’ve honestly never spent more than $30 on a purse or handbag.

But then I began to look at diaper bags.  I don’t know if it’s that I’ve never used a diaper bag before and am therefore more apt to listen when people tell me horror stories of their bags falling apart after 7 weeks (I’ve never heard stories like this about cheap purses), or if it’s just another part of that whole nesting/baby-gear obsessing thing, but suddenly I’m taking the diaper bag decision very seriously.  VERY seriously.  Maybe too seriously.  Or maybe not, to listen to other women talk about their diaper bags.

Anyway, I wasn’t prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on this bag, but I also wasn’t reaching for the nearest $20 bag and calling it good.  I do have a few definite requirements that helped prompt me to spend a little more.

For one thing, I don’t want to carry a separate purse.  The thought of having a baby to carry plus a diaper bag plus a car seat or stroller or baby carrier or whatever else intimidates me enough already as it is, and I can’t handle the thought of one more thing dangling from my shoulder.  So #1 the diaper bag has to be cute and look enough like a handbag and I will want to carry it around, baby or not.

#2, I want something that will last.  In keeping with our general philosophy of buying most of our baby stuff just once (hence the double stroller, 2 car seats, and high chair with a million options) so we’ll pretty much be set for the minimum of two children that we’re planning, I would like this diaper bag to last several years and several (or a couple) children.  I figure this gives me some rationalization for spending a bit more (I pretty much always have to rationalize spending money).

…I thought I had a #3, but I guess not.

My Top 6

So, after lots of reading and some Facebook-polling, I came up with these favorites- all under $100, which was kind of my price limit in the end:

Skip Hop Versa (in cream links)- $69.99 at Buy Buy Baby and other locations (I would buy it at BBB with a 20% off coupon)  🙂

This one appealed to me because of the price and the fact that it was expandable (but when you zip it up and hide that orange part it is really kinda boring looking).  It also has plenty of pockets and zips so stuff doesn’t fall out.

JJ Cole Satchel (in stone arbor)- $69.99 at Buy Buy Baby (and don’t forget that 20% off coupon 🙂 )

I really liked this one, for some reason.  Well, I do know a few reasons.  For one thing, it’s grey and then the lining is pink (I decided I could absolutely have a feminine bag even if the baby is a boy because this bag is for me!  🙂  Also, there are tons of outside pockets, which made me think that reaching for certain things would be so easy.  It also zips, has a shoulder strap, stroller hooks, and matching changing pad.  It’s pretty roomy and structured enough to suit me.  The low price was also a definite pull for this bag.

Timi & Leslie Hannah (in rouge)- $98.99 directly from Timi & Leslie

A friend who has gone through 4 diaper bags in one year and finally settled on a Timi & Leslie recommended these to me.  Unfortunately, a lot of them (like the Charlie tote) are really floppy and kinda heavy (my husband referred to all of them as floppy gaudy old lady bags.  Harsh.).  I wanted something light with more structure so it wouldn’t feel frustrating to carry it or attempt to get something out of it.  This one is a lot less floppy than the Charlie and I liked the price.  I’m not sure why this red one was cheaper, but it was.  I also loved that it comes with a matching clutch for my personal stuff.  I DIDN’T like that it was still kinda floppy and heavier than some other bags I looked at.  Also, I’m not sure this one has a zipper.

Timi & Leslie Dawn (in raspberry)- $119.99 on Amazon and at Babies R Us (ok, this is not under $100 so it doesn’t really belong on the list, but I had it on there anyway I guess)

I’m not really sure why I included this more expensive bag in my favorites, but I think that was before I actually got to look at some Timi & Leslie bags in the store.  Also, I was kinda mesmerized by the extras it comes with.  And the shocking purple/pink color.  I did see this bag at Buy Buy Baby and ruled it out based on the same reasons stated above for the Hannah bag.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel (in santiago sunset)- $89 on the Petunia Outlet website (semi-annual sale!)

I’ve heard basically nothing but good things about Petunia Pickle Bottom bags, but they’re normally above my price range ($120-$170), so when I realized that the fall outlet sale was still on for a few days I got pretty excited.  I had heard that backpacks make very handy diaper bags, and PPB just happens to have two bags that can be used as backpacks: the Sashay Satchel and the Boxy Backpack.  I prefer the look of the Sashay Satchel.  Pattern options on sale were limited, but I liked this one (anything with grey in it always catches my eye).  I love that it has regular handbag straps, but then converts to a backpack.  I like the size, the durability, and the key clip inside.  It’s also very structured (no floppiness here).  I guess my only downsides with this one would be that it doesn’t come with stroller straps (they can be bought separately, but I’m not sure where they attach).  It comes with a matching changing pad and wipes case.  I couldn’t find any Sashay Satchel to actually look at in the store, which I thought was strange and disappointing.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Wistful Weekend (in indelible iris)- $99.99 on Amazon (for some reason this particular pattern was selling for a whole lot less than some others)

I spent a long time looking at the Wistful Weekender in the store (never saw this pattern in person, just the style).  It’s a nice big bag and looked very well-made (when compared to the JJ Cole Satchel, which had a much cheaper-looking lining) and, like all Petunia Pickle Bottom bags, has a very cheerful and stylish pattern.  I really loved all the inside pockets, the key clip, and the fact that you can expand it by unsnapping the sides.  But is it TOO big?  I was afraid I would just end up carrying a LOT more than I really needed on a day-to-day basis.  There also is no shoulder strap and it doesn’t come with stroller clips, but it does have a changing pad and wipes case.

(Side note: I know a lot of people like the Ju Ju Be, but I really didn’t like the way they looked as much as some others, which is why they didn’t merit my serious consideration.  Plus, they’re usually above the $100 range.)


My two favorites were actually the JJ Cole Satchel and the Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel (I must like that satchel word….).  The were both a good size, light enough, attractive, and seemed to suit my organizational needs.

My final choice? 

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel!  When I compared JJ Cole and PPB side-by-side in the store, I just felt that the Pickle Bottom would last me a lot longer and, since I had the opportunity to get such a good deal, I went for it!  The bag I bought qualified for the outlet sale because it was a “certified second”, which means that it had a slight imperfection that made them unable to sell it at regular price.  I have no idea what the imperfection will be, but I’m really not worried.  I’m excited about the fun pattern and the backpack option, and I can’t wait for it to arrive!!

If you have used any of the bags that were on my top six list, I’d love to hear how well you liked them.  Or, if there is a bag I should have considered but didn’t, I’d love to hear about that too!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Eileen
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 23:33:40

    Hahaha, I totally went through the crazy obsessive thing with strollers. Gotta love nesting! Really, though, a diaper bag is really important! You use it every day, you’ve got to like it! I love mine and get compliments on it (just one I found at BRU, no fancy brand), but it’s a little too big, which was my worry about it. I LOVE the backpack option, fantastic for if you baby wear! Sorry for the weird characters at the end, phone being weird. Thanks for the nomination! rin, wa


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