I get asked so often, what's your favorite bag? I'll be honest and say there isn't just one favorite across the board. They're different shapes, sizes, and materials, and uses. I will narrow this down as much as possible, but always remember this is my personal preference and what I truly use the most, and my favorite may not be your favorite.
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As far as diaper bags go, I currently have 3 kids under 5, all of which are in diapers. One is in cloth diapers. I bring a LOT of stuff with me, so I have to use multiple bags, including one just for my pump gear. I have never been able to just use ONE bag for diapering supplies and pump supplies. Rarely do I go out by myself, but when I do I just bring a small personal sized bag because I still bring quite a bit for myself. When they're older I know I will need to carry less, but for this stage of motherhood that's how I roll.
My typical combination of bags includes one diaper bag (that I will carry if we're out walking), one pump bag (usually left in the car if we're out somewhere like a nature preserve for example), and an "extras" tote containing the baby carrier, tushbaby hip seat, seasonal clothing like sweaters or hats, extra snacks in a lunchbox, etc. I live in Minnesota so I often bring spare warm clothing, especially because one of my kids has been known to get carsick I don't want her throwing up on her only piece of warm clothing and then being cold on the way home.
I'll add a favorite for each of my "categories" - regular basic diaper bag, diaper bag with features for cloth diapering, midsize pump bag, full sized pump bag, and favorite small mom bag/mini diaper bags, and then I'll add their prices and any discount codes.
Keep in mind any bag can be used for anything, a pump bag for a diaper bag, a diaper bag for a pump bag, etc. Just because it's called one thing doesn't mean it can't be the other. It's also not entirely necessary to have a fancy/expensive bag, it's all personal preference and whatever you're interested in or financially able to have.
Prices are current as of 1/16/24 but may change due to inflation and other factors. I try to update when I can!
My favorite mid sized breast pump bag (not full backpack but still fits all my gear)
The Ren Organizer is something I have never seen the likes of anywhere else. It's styled sort of like a soft sided briefcase, that zips open flat and is able to be packed on both sides. I love that every inch of this interior is useable, including the bottom few inches of the dividing material on either side of the bag being turned into pockets that are perfect for pump tubing. This bag is chic and beautiful and nobody would know it's a breast pump bag. I'll show a picture of how I pack mine, and then to store pumped milk I keep a Ceres Chill bottle on the side pocket of my diaper bag because again, I do always bring two bags.
In here I'm able to fit two pumps (Medela Freestyle and Baby Buddha), two large Medela bottles with adapters/duckbills/backflow protectors/flanges, the assembly for my medela manual pump, breast pump wipes, a spare pumping cami (Amelia by Davin and Adley), and a feeding bottle. It's not even overpacked and fits everything, separated and snug in its own little area. I packed this bag for my labor and delivery with my third baby and it was perfect. I did pack a different pump and flanges for that (Pumpables Genie Advanced and Lacteck flanges) but everything else fit just the same!
This bag retails for $130, but with the discount code below comes out to $117.
Shop the Ren Organizer here, save with the code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD
My Favorite Diaper Bag with features specifically for Cloth Diapering
I know that sounds so dumb, what makes a diaper bag different for cloth diapers? Well, honestly not much. I've used most of my regular bags with no issue, I've just tossed a wet bag in there for dirty diapers. My favorite diaper bag that has specific cloth diaper features is the Ellie Backpack by Cleverly Bags. The features that make this bag stand out in the cloth diaper aspect, are the removable wet/dry bag built in to the front flap of the bag and the sidewall pockets being built around where a stack of clean diapers would sit in the middle. I'll add a picture here of what that means.
As you can see here, the front zip down flap of this bag has a zipper on it- inside of there is lined and waterproof to store soiled diapers. There is also a large stack of cloth diapers in the center of the bag, while there are pockets along the sides to store items and have full access to everything inside of the bag. I love this bag's easy access to everything inside when zipped open. I'm also a big fan of the elastic bands to hold a blanket on the top, or a rolled up changing mat if you have one of those. I fit spare outfits on the sides and even a wipes container. The front of this backpack has a large pocket for more things as well.
This bag retails for $179-$189 but with discount below is down to about $162-$171.
Shop the Ellie Backpack here at Cleverly Bags, save with code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD
My favorite "regular" sized breast pump bag - neoprene
So as far as specific breast pump bags go, I have a favorite in neoprene and a favorite in vegan leather. My favorite in neoprene (fully machine washable) is the Fiona by Sarah Wells Bags. I love this bag because it's soft, spacious, and as previously mentioned, fully machine washable. It has a bunch of pockets including one hidden pocket-behind-a-pocket on the front, and pocket-in-pockets inside of the padded pump pocket. That's a lot of pocket talk! You can collapse the pump pocket to utilize the entire inside of the bag, or keep it open and store your pump inside. That pocket is also insulated and can keep milk cool (with an ice pack of course) for a few hours. The two colors I personally have are black and heather gray, but they recently released a gorgeous color called "Earth" that I'll add here next because I actually haven't taken any great photos of my own. My versions do not have the pocket-in-pocket system, that was an update a few months after I got mine.
Another reason I like this bag is it's lightweight and has padded straps which are very comfortable to carry. There's nothing worse than super thin straps on a bag that can quickly get heavy.
This bag retails for $165 but with discount below is down to about $140.
Shop the Fiona here, save with the code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD15
My favorite "regular sized" breast pump bag - Vegan Leather
I'm a person that grabs a different bag depending on my mood or what I'm wearing or feeling like carrying that day. Some days, I really love a good vegan leather bag. I can tell I'm aging because a lot of my favorites have become a chic vegan leather style, but that's beside the point. If you asked me my favorite vegan leather pump bag, it's the Radley by Mimi and Pal. This bag has a whopping 16 pockets, which is a great feature because instead of trying to Tetris a bunch of small pouches inside you can actually fit a lot of your items in a dedicated space. My favorite feature is the removable inner divider, allowing you to either have one large interior space or two interior spaces. You can access the bottom compartment through a large zip open on the front, and keep your breast pump and cooler inside of here. On the top you can store your flanges, tubing, cords, etc and more items along the sides. This is another product Mimi did not waste a single inch of!
The vegan leather is extremely high quality on this bag, thicker and a little heavy. If you don't like a bag that has some weight to it, this may be a bit much. I personally don't mind the weight because it's a "good weight" like I know it's not gonna get ripped if I walk too close to a tree. Mimi has posted online there is a 2.0 version coming soon, and I eagerly await the release. I have the "toffee" color pictured below. In the first photo I have it packed as a diaper bag, stuffed with packing cubes from Itzy Ritzy.
This bag retails for $194 but with discount below is about $175.
Shop the Radley here, save with code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD
My favorite regular basic diaper bag - under $100! Vegan Leather
Thanks to a recommendation from Kristen over at Bemybreastfriend, I finally pulled the trigger on this MOMINSIDE backpack diaper bag from Amazon. This blew me away when I opened it up, truly I haven't seen a bag this nice in this price range. I have purchased other bags around this amount that have been far smaller or made of different material, I have not seen a 'vegan leather' full sized diaper bag under $100 before.
If you're new here- I have a TON of bags. I have higher end bags, mid priced bags, and some 'budget bags' under $50. I truly have not seen another that's this nice for anywhere near this price. It is a potential dupe of the Lily Jade 'Anna' bag- and I typically do not condone the purchase of knockoffs (especially small businesses), but the Lily Jade version has clear differences and is made of real leather. This is a very suitable alternative for someone looking for that style with far less to spend on it.
After some deep consideration, I will add this bag to my lists of favorites/recommendations because it is truly a great bag, whether or not it's a knockoff. It has 18 pockets, 6 of those are insulated, it has thick straps, large pocket openings, a full front zip down pocket, a back access to the inside of the bag, built in stroller clips, and a changing pad. I don't think it's the best changing pad out there and perhaps could stain- but it is included with the bag. It fits a good number of cloth diapers, Costco sized wipes, there's room for more things like extra outfits, toys, blankets, etc. The side pockets are large enough to fit water bottles or milk chillers. The Ceres Chill Demigoddess fit comfortably, the regular chiller took some muscle to get in.
Shop the MOMINSIDE backpack here, the price hovers around $60 or so depending on the day.
My favorite mini diaper bag/pump bag/mom bag - Vegan Leather
You guessed it- another amazing vegan leather bag by Mimi and Pal, the Harper. I had the original version of this way back in the day when I was an early exclusive pumper and I LOVED it. Not only is it a convenient fanny pack to hold your pump while walking and pumping, it's also a great mom bag or mini diaper bag. She has recently upgraded this bag to be a little larger, a slightly different shape, removable waist belt so you can add a crossbody strap, and changed the material of the wipes pocket (yes, it has a wipes pocket!) among a few other tweaks. There's a regular and large version, I have both and for a personal bag I would probably use the large because I like to bring more things, but for pumping around the house I almost always use the regular size.
Here's me with the 1.0 version in Dusty Rose and Rust, and then the 2.0 version in Stone and side by side of regular in Stone and large in Walnut. These are very well made bags that I have really come to appreciate while other smaller bags have not felt as nice. I especially loved the 1.0 in the summer time to keep my phone and chapstick handy while I waddled (very pregnant) behind my husband who had the diaper bag with everything else in it.
Currently there are I believe 8 different colors of the Harper 2.0 available.
These retail for $89 for regular and $119 for large, with discount come out to about $80 or $99.
Shop the Harper here, save with code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD
My favorite mini diaper bag/pump bag/mom bag - Neoprene
I have really come to enjoy neoprene bags, as they're fully machine washable and soft and squishy. Some days I love a good pop of color and some days I love a dark bag- I have multiple colors of this Allie Sling Bag by Sarah Wells and rotate them all. They fit a good amount of stuff, my black one was my go-to when I attended all of my prenatal appointments with my third baby, it held my long wallet, snacks, water bottle, hand sanitizer, and taser. I loved the way it rested right on the side of my bump with easy access to my phone and whatever else I needed to grab. These also work great as pump bags for minimal supplies like wearable pumps, small pumps with wearable cups or smaller flanges, they have a front pocket meant to hold a Ceres Chill as well. I will include pictures here of my Lavender sling holding the smaller sized chiller.
As of the date of this post the Allie is available in quite a few colors, if my memory serves me there are 5!
This is me with the black sling headed to an appointment, and then the lavender sling packed with the bare minimum pumping on the go supplies (Wearable pumps, pump wipes, and milk chiller)
These retail for $85 but after discount are about $73 or so.
Shop the Allie Sling here, and save with code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD15
Honestly I think that about sums it up for my top favorite bags! I do find new bags sometimes and try them out and love them, but of my entire collection the ones I have listed here are the ones I like to use the most.
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