Let’s face it, as a society we’re still new to this whole ‘stay at home dad’ thing. Most children’s companies still direct their PR campaigns to women, but things are changing. Fortunately we have some options as more companies run by dads – for dads are making products, starting with dad’s diaper bag.
When looking for a reasonable diaper bag I found that style typically trumped function. For example, we picked up the Fisher Price Fast Finder – it has a high capacity, and we figured the insulated pocket would be great for keeping bottles warm for hours. The ‘doctor bag’ opening and colour scheme make the bag look neutral enough to be dad’s diaper bag, even with wipes hanging out the side. Unfortunately:
- the insulated pocket isn’t water proof and leaked like a sieve when I didn’t put the nipple on a bottle properly
- the strap isn’t attached logically which makes it particularly uncomfortable
- the bag itself is bulky, regardless of how little is inside
It now holds my Black and Decker Matrix drill and accessories, and it doesn’t do that particularly well either.
We discovered the Skip Hop Duo when looking for a more stream-lined option. Its thin profile and stroller straps make it easy to clip the bag close to the rear wheels of your stroller, which prevents disturbing the balance point. To test, I strapped the bag to the stroller and put some weight on the handle (without T in it, obviously). It took only a little less force than it typically would to tip. The downside – it doesn’t hold much, and K has a great little purse that matches it perfectly. This is not exactly dad’s day to day diaper bag.
So what options do we have, dads? Do we suck it up and go with a very functional but maybe less appealing diaper bag? Do we suffer with bulky and uncomfortable luggage that happens to hold diapers?
Fortunately Anthony Escobar was motivated to solve the issue for us. I strongly suggest you read his full story here, but in short – childcare isn’t just a woman’s job. He calls it #breakingthemold, I’d add it has an element of distruptor mentality too. Anthony was kind enough to send me one of his Iconoclast Dad Bags to review, and it may well have brought my search to an end.
I received my Iconoclast Dad Bag ($119 USD – ships to Canada) in the mail last night and couldn’t wait to start filling it. The inside of the bag is roomy, with an open mesh pocket for diapers and wipes, a hook and loop close pocket which I stuffed with emergency supplies, and a long zip closed pocket for a changing pad. The rest is up to your imagination. The bag holds a surprising amount of gear and I found myself wondering if I had really packed everything.
My initial concern when filling the Iconoclast Dad Bag was the lack of pockets for keeping everything stowed and organized, however when you get the bag in action you’ll see it doesn’t matter. Swivel the bag around your shoulder and everything is readily available, right in front of you and off the ground. The bag is designed to hold everything horizontally, so when you need it, you can get at it. The open mesh diaper holder is particularly innovative; it keeps the diapers in place so you always know where they will be, but still makes it easy to get at them.
The layout is brilliant, however I’d say the clever bit of this bag isn’t the inside. Contrary to the saying, sometimes it IS what’s on the outside that matters. The exterior MOLLE system is designed to keep what’s important right at hand. Need a med-kit? it’s on your hip. Spare pacifiers? Small pocket attached at the bottom left. You can customize your bag with the optional accessories attached on the outside, ranging from $15 to $24 USD. This dad’s diaper bag is whatever you need it to be.
The shoulder sling bag is incredibly comfortable. The padding not only keeps the weight distributed along your shoulder and back nicely, but it also creates a path for air circulation.
The only drawback I’ve experienced with this bag is the shoulder strap release clip positioning. It is right in the middle of my chest, so I can’t wear the bag and the Wee Baby T at the same time. I suppose this will be used more for when we’re out with the stroller.
Looking for a dad’s diaper bag that has (a) a ton of space but isn’t cumbersome, (b) great functionality as a diaper bag but would be just as well received when you meet with friends for a quick game, and (c) some pretty creative features? Step right up, your Iconoclast Dad Bag is waiting. #Breakthemold and look good while you’re at it!
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Good luck out there.
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