I'm the kind of girl who is endlessly searching for the perfect purse, the perfect "work" bag and the perfect wallet. So it comes as no surprise that over the last year and a half I've collected more than my fair share of diaper bags.
While pregnant I had wanted and received the very lovely Vera Bradley diaper bag. It's lightweight and roomy. You can fit a bunch of diapers, wipes, a couple of bottles, some toys and a change of clothes in there. But I found that it was a little too big when trekking around the city and the straps always fell off my shoulders when trying to navigate the stroller through doorways, etc.(I should mention that the Vera Bradley messenger bag is a good alternative if you're a VB fan) For me, the diaper bag was best used when I was getting in the car and traveling to another destination, like a friend's house for the day.
My criteria is that a bag should be 1) lightweight; 2) versatile; 3) deep enough to carry bottles or file folders; 4) attractive. So I went in search of another diaper bag and wound up with several:
Skip Hop Dash--this is my usual "weekend" bag. My husband and I can both use it (note to readers: men seem to find carrying the Vera Bradley bag less desirable. I can't imagine why) and it can be worn either messenger-style or strapped directly to the stroller. It's sometimes a little too small for an all day outing, especially if you're packing changes of clothes. But for walking around the city, it's great. Lots of interior compartments, one with a zipper so you can throw your wallet or feminine unmentionables in there.
Petunia Pickle Bottom Touring Tote--I got this bag because I wanted something versatile; something that I could wear messenger-style but that was nice enough to bring to work. In other words, something that didn't look like a diaper bag, but could do double-duty. Hands down, I think PPB makes the nicest-looking diaper bags around. The material is beautiful and I got more compliments on this bag than any other purse I own. No one, except for those mom who were in-the-know, even realized it was a diaper bag. The touring tote is nice because it's small, but sadly, it's a tad too small for me. It's crescent shape is aesthetically pleasing but not deep enough in the middle to carry files to and from work. But it has room for two bottles, a compartment for wipes and changing pad. It also can strap directly to the stroller which is a nice feature. I wish it had "feet" on the bottom, because while the exterior fabric is gorgeous, it's also absorbent. Actually the interior fabric is absorbent too and I sort of wish that it was a coated material for when those bottles accidentally spill. Who wants to deal with a stained diaper bag (especially one that has to be dry-cleaned)? So it might not be the most practical bag, but it's great to have if you're going to a party where you're dressed up a bit. Despite them not being "perfect", I love these bags still, and I'm tinkering with the idea of getting the backpack version, which wouldn't solve every issue, but it is larger.
Fleurville Sling Tote--Actually, I don't own this bag. But I have seen it in person, fondled it, seriously thought about purchasing it. It comes in fun patterns, can be "worn" three ways (including attached to the stroller) and has like a gazillion pockets. But it's...plastic. Like pleather, sort of. I know I just complained that the PPB bags stain too easily, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy a bag that is...shiny. But it is PVC-free and if a plastic diaper bag doesn't bother you, then go for it.
Harveys Seatbelt Messenger Bag--Okay, this isn't a diaper bag (although they do have a diaper bag). But it's roomy, stylish, you can dress it up or down. It's great for work, plenty of room for baby-related stuff. It is heavier than I would like, but that's it's only real drawback. Throw a diaper caddy in there and you're all set. It's my current work bag and as close to perfection as I've found.
But the search continues...