The diaper bag. For me it brought visions of a large, cavernous women’s purse. You know, the type that looks big enough to be carry-on luggage, with a very large center compartment and a not-so-manly look. My wife has a nice, backpack style diaper bag that is functional, yet it has a bright floral pattern that I wasn’t too anxious to carry around. However, her bag got me thinking that there has to be something out there that is a functional diaper bag that a man would want to carry around.
After looking around the internet for a while, I found a company that called Dad Gear. Dad Gear caters to men and specializes in messenger style diaper bags that are not only functional, but look “manly”. The company actually makes several different styles including backpacks, messenger style (in small, medium and large) and totes. After several weeks of deliberation, I decided that the DadGear Messenger Diaper Bag
bag would work best for me (the “Original Messenger” is noted as size medium on the web site).
Ordering and Delivery
Ordering was quick and easy from the company’s web site and the ordering process flowed well through each step. I ordered my bag on Friday July 4th (a holiday), it was shipped on Monday July 7th and the bag arrived on Tuesday (this is probably not a good measure of delivery times in other circumstances since it appears the company is out of the Denver area and I live in Colorado Springs).
When I opened up the box and took the bag out, I was impressed with its look and feel; its quality is readily apparent and feels as if it will stand up to years of use. It definitely does not look like a diaper bag; and if you take a look at the company’s web site, this is one of their main goals. It is equipped with an adjustable shoulder strap (to carry in the traditional messenger bag style) and a handle. The bag looks neat, clean and manly.
The main flap is secured closed by Velcro and holds very well; there are also buckles that can be used to secure the bag further. Once opening the flap, the first item that is accessible is a pocket for wipes. I purchased a wipe holder (sold separately as an accessory) that fits securely in the pocket for easy access. I think if I had to do it again, I would not buy the plastic wipe holder; it does not seem to seal well enough to keep the top-most wipes moist. The web site says that the wipe pocket will accommodate most brand of wipes and their respective holders; I haven’t tried this yet, but it may be a better option.
Inside is a large main compartment that can be used for various items (I am using it for an extra swaddling blanket, a burp cloth and some extra clothes). In addition there are two smaller pockets; I am using them to hold diapers and a couple extra onesies. On each side is a carrier for water bottles (my 32 oz. Nalgene water bottle fits nicely in these) with an external zipper so the bottle can be accessed from the outside of the bag.
The back has a bag-length zipper pocket that carries a changing pad. Note that a changing pad comes with the bag, but it is marginally useful. The pad is pretty skimpy and there is not much real estate for changing a squirming baby; I have a bigger changing pad that folds up and fits nicely in this pocket.
An extra nifty feature are straps that can clip on to your stroller, allowing the bag to hang with contents accessible as you meander about with your little-one. The front flap is attached via Velcro so you can replace it with one of the other flaps that Dad Gear sells, presumably for a different look.
So What Say You?
I have been out with this bag a couple times now, and I must say that I like it very much. The messenger style is easy to carry around and keeps my hands free to tote the baby carrier or push a stroller. The easy access wipe pocket is very nice; I can fold back the front flap, easily grab a wipe and have quick access to a diaper from one of the inside pockets. These bags are a bit pricey, but the quality matches up well with the price, which in my opinion makes them a good value. If you are looking for a functional diaper bag that looks good and manly, you may want to check out the Dad Gear products.
I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!