Backpack diaper bag

I didn’t think I needed a new nappy bag – I already have two styles of nappy bags on Etsy and madeit, and they are both very popular. But this week, while climbing this tower in a local playground, hauling my kids all the way to the top and then back down, I suddenly realized that I needed a new nappy bag.

Playground tower at Newington Armory in Sydney

So when we came back home, I spent the rest of the day and much of the night thinking about the design. Then the following day, I made this.
New backpack nappy diaper bag - front view
Hmm, isn’t it just another big elephant bag, looking slightly more sporty than my other bags? Well, maybe, but not really. If you look closer, it’s actually more like my French pastry bag (or the “birthday tote bag“) than like my “daycare bag” or “beach tote bag.”
New backpack nappy diaper bag - bottom view
It has a wide rectangle bottom.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - inside view

I also used heavy-duty cotton for the lining, to give the bag a firm structure. You can see it’s firm enough to stand well on its own, with nothing in the bag.

There is one large patch pocket inside. I used the same yellow elephant fabric here, but in retrospect it was a bit too much of the elephants. Next time I’ll make a plain white pocket.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front pocket view

The main bag body has two decorative white vertical stripes, to give it a sporty look. There is a “hidden” pocket in the middle of the stripes, on each side of the bag. These pockets are not huge, but are handy for things like sunglasses, wallets, and keys. 

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front pocket detail view

The bag comes with two adjustable, removable straps. That means you can carry the bag as a traditional tote bag with two handles, or use just one strap to carry it like a messenger bag.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front strap view

It looks a little like my “daycare bag” like this. It’s great for hanging over stroller handles.

But the best feature of all, is that you can attach the two straps like this….


New backpack nappy diaper bag - backpack straps view

and you can wear it as a backpack in case of emergency – like having to push two kids up an enormous tower, or when crossing a busy road holding their hands.

The “backpack conversion process” takes just about 5 seconds. Well, it might take a few seconds longer if you need to adjust the strap lengths. Anyway, I tried to make it as painless as possible.

The bag is not quite ready for sale yet, because I need to source better hardware. I mean, the ones I used function fine, but I know there are more elegant-looking clips out there. It should be shop ready in 3-4 weeks.

Overall I’m very pleased with this bag. The hardest part was to make the bag look good both as a nappy bag and as a backpack. It gave me quite a headache thinking about it, but in the end, I figured that most people would use it mainly as a regular nappy bag, and use the backpack feature only occasionally. So I prioritized the nappy bag part of the design.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - being worn by me

So you see, it may not look very backpack-like when worn like a backpack… but I think it looks okay, and it’s surprisingly comfortable. And when you really need your hands free to look after your kids, it’ll be priceless to have that option.

By the way, don’t you just love this yellow elephant fabric? I’ve been using the elephant fabric for years, but had never thought to order the yellow variety before – because I thought it was too similar to orange. But the yellow is so much more beautiful in person – it’s such a gentle, sophisticated color. It’s similar to the grey elephant one in that sense – both are perfectly suitable for grownups to wear.



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