Honest Company City Backpack Everything Tote Diaper Bag Review

Hi, it’s me. Back from incubating and delivering our boy/girl twins via repeat C. Sorry, it’s taken so long, but really I’m not sorry. I’ve been tried to bond, recover and organize a house that is going through serious growing pains. Our 3-bedroom house suddenly went from spacious to very tight with three kids three and under. That’s a story for another day.

I wanted to share with you my recent discoveries, the most exciting one being new diaper bag that I’ve found from an unexpected place—the Honest Company, you know, that company that sells subscription diapers and wipes. I haven’t tried their products yet but when I found their line of diaper bags then I decided I would.

Toddler and I were at the mall on a morning that Grandma was watching the Twins. I know it sounds bad, but it’s feels great to be able to escape them sometimes, it’s just so intense watching twins sometimes.

I went to Nordstrom, which is a store I never shop at because it’s so expensive even though I must admit I heard their return policy is kind of amazing. I guess everyone has his or her weak spot for material goods and Nordstrom bags might be my next weakness.

I returned the bag I bought in store to order online through Honest Company directly because I got a discount buying two bags (a little excessive? My rationale below) as well as trying out their Essentials bundle. I’m still working on testing the products. I went crazy and bought two bags, but if you just need one, you might try Nordstom online, to check out the other colors not available in store like Elephant Gray which is not gray, more khaki.


One of the main issues I have with my old Petunia Picklebottom boxy backpack is that the backpack straps are so incredibly painful to wear as a backpack. I always wear it as a messenger bag and I have the most sloped shoulders ever. Asian girl shoulders. So it can be extremely annoying having the strap fall off during diaper changes in those gross public bathrooms, during flights, and basically anywhere. The City backpack is extremely comfortable In comparison, which is its most winning feature.

I searched high and low for a diaper backpack to be hands free with my twins. I bought and returned the Vera Bradley one, available on the Vera Bradley website. It’s awesome because it is black exterior, but it’s fabric, a quilted nylon. The biggest pro is that the inside is wipeable vinyl and would be so easy to clean. The mesh pockets I thought were kind of too tight, and not deep enough to hold baby items like bottles or formula dispensers. I also did not like the designated diaper area. Not big enough for diapers for two kids.

The Honest Co. City backpack is an vegan leather exterior, I hate that term, but it is lightweight and wipe clean. The pockets are well thought out. The front one is great for cell phone and keys, though I read on other reviews the iPhone doesn’t fit. This could be a deal breaker for some of you. The second deeper pocket is insulated, which is an awesome feature. You can store food, milk bottles or sippy cups. Just be aware that it’s not going to fit every type of bottle. I have to squeeze my Avent bottles in for a snug fit.

The main compartment has a mommy pocket with a zipper and two open pockets. There are two small elastic side pockets as well. The main compartment is divided into two sections. The back side is best for diapers and wipes because there is a zipper on the back of the backpack, so you can easily access the diapers while still keeping the main zipper of diaper bag closed. Cool cool features.


As with any backpack, the biggest issue of using it as a diaper bag, is depth, aka digging for things you need. But if you use little bags and the compartments well, then it lessens the digging around. Waste of time! Simple Guy wanted me to use a regular Jansport, but they just don’t work if they don’t have pockets and dividers. This one I feel is really well designed, having just the right amount of pockets.

Thus bag would be plenty big for one baby. It is tight for three kids, but we’re going minimalist, keeping extra diapers and wipes and other random items in the car, etc.

Everything Tote

The second is the Honest Co Everything Tote, which I have been using as a backup bag. Crazy, yes I am. It is a great bag strapped on the stroller. Hands free is a great concept, but a diaper backpack means you have to carry the weight, either that or make your husband carry it all. I have been using the backpack more for quick outings and the tote for more major outings, it’s more spacious than the City backpack.

Yes, I wish the City backpack had a better way to attach to a stroller like an added strap you could clip off, but no. It’s really trying to be a backpack in style, not look Iike a messenger bag backpack.


The best feature of the tote is the outer zipper pocket that is wipeable similar to the Vera backpack. This works great as a wet bag and I wish the backpack had this feature. The pockets are deep. The bag is kind of heavy by itself, but so is the PB boxy backpack. It is a beast to haul around so I use it on stroller outings. I would rather not carry this around my shoulders.

Why two bags?
Short answer: Because I’m crazy.

Long: With so many little people, I thought I would need to use both at one time, but I have only had to do that on full day outings which don’t happen for me that often anymore with so many littles. The backpack would carry diapers, the other a ton of snacks and water bottles. I will review my use of the bags in a year or so, but they have been great, totally functional for me.

What’s also nice about these bags is that they can be used beyond the diaper years as mom bags. They don’t scream diaper bag. So hopefully they will be used for a while.

After a few months of use:
I am not one of those vegan moms who buy all organic, so I’m not loyal to the brand, but so far the bags have been awesome. I wish they were cheaper, they range from $149-169 MSRP. but I think they are so worth it, given the smart design. Yes, real leather would have been cool, but probably make the bags heavier. And no I didn’t need two bags. But I’ll use the everything bag as a weekends bag.


Baby Essentials List

The Essentials:

1. Crib or Pack ‘n’ Play.

  • Extra credit: get both, especially if you have friends/family with littles who will visit. We used our Graco pack ‘n’ play downstairs for dinnertime/playtime for a while, as a safe place to put baby. Once he could stand up on his own, he kind of hated it. It’s nice to have the pack n play, but for the long haul, get a good full-size crib for sleeping.

2. Diapers and wipes. Stockup now.

3. Carseat and later, a compatible stroller.

  • Infant seats are nice to have as you can strap the seat to a stroller easily without waking up your baby. If you do decide to get an infant car seat, buy a seat with the max weight limit of 30 lbs. Try to use it as long as you can. Accept the fact that you will only use it as a baby carrier for a few months anyway. The 22 lb limit seats are going to be lighter seats, yes, but how many of us can lug our babies around in them all day long anyway? Babies grow more alert and after a while, they won’t want to be in stuck in a seat all day.
  • The same rule applies to the convertible car seat. Some of the cheap ones I looked at for travel only work up to 40 lbs. Because the seat is lighter, its weight limit will also be less then bulkier/heavier seats. I still haven’t found a great seat that is both lightweight and goes up to 60-70 lbs.
  • Here’s my review of the Britax travel system.

4. Baby bathtub; first an infant tub (we got ours as a gift from the hospital), a transitional tub like the inflatable Kel-Gar Snug Tub (recommended for babies who can sit up), then use the regular bathtub (you may want a grippy mat). Extra credit: Buy some bath toys later or find some cheap plastic measuring cups or cups with a spout or small bucket. They can be super cheap, just make sure they are sturdy.

5. Feeding and equipment. Here’s my list of equipment for breastfeeding.

  • For formula-feeding or weaning off nursing, get bottles like like Medela or Avent Natural. We have also used the Avent bottle brush with our twins.
  • I personally like a Boppy; many moms say a supportive pillow would work as well, but I do not own a regular pillow as supportive as the Boppy. They are used for a limited time, 4-6 months depending on your baby’s size.

6. A simple, basic layette. Start with the layette of a newborn.

      • Here’s my list of what you should get for the first two years. Extra credit: A cute going home outfit
      • I recommend Carter’s onesies because our baby wears them the longest. They wash well; they only shrink slightly. Buy the cotton ribbed knit not cotton jersey for a stretchy fit that can be worn a bit longer. I promise I don’t work for Carter’s, I just really love what we’ve used from them. I’ve used other brands (Gerber, Gymboree, etc) and washed them and while they remain in good condition, they shrink terribly (I love Gymboree designs for dress-up days but I always line dry them, which can get annoying when you have to sort through all your baby’s wet laundry). Always shop the Carter’s 50% off sales and use a coupon which means you will be buying in large quantities of $40+ (so buy the next size up) to meet the dollar amount for the coupon and free shipping.
      • For other articles of clothing (dress shirts, pants, jackets, etc) a good option is a second-hand children’s store, that only sells items of certain nicer brands. Ours is Once Upon a Child. (We live within walking distance!) You will still need to sort through the stuff they sell and wash thoroughly, but we’ve scored some great Janie & Jack, Carter’s and Gymboree dress shirts, hoodies, and some great toys. Another option is Just Between Friends consignment sales.

7. Muslin swaddles – don’t buy too many baby blankets, We have WAY TOO MANY.

  • Get a swaddle or thin blanket of good size: Aden + Anais is a great swaddle and Baby now uses it as his precious blankie. He gets excited when he sees one of us holding his blankie and has to sleep with one or two while holding the corners. Luckily for us, we have four of them, in case one gets peed on, gets dirty or gets lost. It is lightweight, breathable and washes well. They have been used for 24 months now; one that is especially loved is getting stained and has snags, but the others look great. $40 seemed crazy for 4 blankets but it’s been completely worth it to me. The lowest sale price I’ve seen is on Amazon for $31 so keep your eyes open for this gem. Remember to buy the larger size not the Aden + Anais for Target which is a swaddle of smaller dimension.

8. A cute diaper bag, make sure it’s cute for your own enjoyment (dull the pain of hauling baby gear)

9. Baby highchair or booster (you can wait on this one, but only for 6 months)

    • Here’s my review of the booster highchair we have from Fisher Price.

10. Some other baby care essentials (if you are having a baby shower, register for these or WAIT before buying these yourself, they may come as gifts); you do not need to buy the pre-assembled kits; just like first aid kits, you can create your own of better quality items and essentials:

  • Baby nail clipper scissors, a light comb, gentle baby 2-in-1 wash and shampoo (I like Aveeno), one tube of diaper rash cream/ointment, and one tube of Aquaphor healing ointment (we like to use this on chapped skin from sick noses or cold weather)

Buy but don’t spend a lot of money on:

  • Baby toys, teethers, or activity gyms – I’ve found a lot of life in gently used toys (toy cars, blocks, and musical toys) after a good cleaning. I’d recommend buying toys new if they are plush or fabric (for sanitary reasons) and also, buy new teethers; we liked the Banana teether but the bristles will be bit off if your baby has several teeth.
    • We have this Skip Hop activity gym given to us by my cousin, and I love it because it’s soft and plushy (not hard plastic), but it is expensive at $75 MSRP! I suggest registering for this or saving up your gifted baby shower gift cards/funds for this or one similar. I bought a second for our twins to each have one, used off Craigslist for $10! That’s a great find. Skip Hop is a great brand.
    • Buy toys that have multiple levels of use and interest. I know this is really difficult to do, as babies tend to get bored of toys fast but try to find toys that have a lot of different play modes and are relatively inexpensive. An O-ball is a great example:oball
    • This flexible ball (comes highly rated and is 100% dishwasher safe, PVC, latex and phthalates-free) was the first toy Baby could grab and shake. Later he could kick it when we attached it to his playmat with a ring. Later he would throw it or hit it against another toy. Recently he has learned to “kick” it while walking. He’s now 15 months old and just starting to get bored of it, but we will put it away for a while and bring it back out to learn to play with later. It has a “toy life” of 10-12 months, pretty darn good for a baby toy that costs $5 at Walmart or Target.
    • If you have a bigger budget, look for developmental toys from Lamaze or Skip Hop. These are items you will want to register for: a fun activity toy with bells, crinkles and rattles, etc (a distraction in the car), some soft blocks and/or nesting toy. Just keep a handful of good variety. A lot of these toys have a wide age range and are very colorful but at the same time gender-neutral.


  • Try Fisher Price toys with the age range of 6-36 months. Baby has the Laugh & Learn Learning Home and it has been played with daily since he was about 11 months. It has a variety of play modes and teaches a lot of songs, words, opposites etc. It was a gift from my mom that I didn’t think we “needed” but we’ve really got a lot of use out of it. (UPDATE at 20 months, Baby still plays with this toy in so many unconventional ways: putting toys through the windows, rolling his cars through the doorway, etc. It’s super fun! UPDATE at 24 months, we’ve finally given this toy a well-deserved break! UPDATE 30 months at 2 1/2 Baby still plays with this from time to time. It’s “learning time” function is really catchy for a toddler learning words.)


  • Board Books – okay, this is completely a personal preference; if you love Usborne Books like I do, go ahead and splurge; if not, get some cheap board books or gently used books from Once Upon a Child or Amazon Marketplace.
  • Stuffed Animals: babies don’t even know what these are, and to be honest, they should not be in the crib with your young baby until they are at least 1 or even 2. That’s when my son realized what they are and started imaginary play; he only has one plush Nemo he got this year that he has actually sort of bonded with; he also has a Kohls Cares Mouse (from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) which he thinks is neat and will occasionally play with.

The Optional

    • changing table – I really like having one, but some moms think it’s an extra piece of furniture. If you choose to get one, get a nice pad like this one and a cover (Amazon) and you may need some grippy texture liner underneath for stability. I recommend getting a changing table that can be used as a dresser when your child grows up.
    • baby swing – we have one; it was used for such a short period of time, but nice to have in those early months
    • baby bouncy seat – we could have benefited from having one, but we didn’t buy one, and my child is still super active, so he wasn’t stunted in growth by not having one. For our twins coming, I bought two as I’m expecting to need to put the babies down where it’s safe where my toddler cannot step on their toes.
    • Buggy Bagg grocery cart cover – I really like having mine, it’s extra large and fits all carts, even those huge ones at Costco; the germaphobe in me feel a little better about having one, plus the pockets are a nice shopping tool to store coupons and snacks for on-the-go instead of having an entire diaper bag with you
    • seats like Bumbo etc – some moms love them, I didn’t even try one; I think it will quickly be outgrown, so I think it’s unnecessary
    • baby carrier like ErgoBaby –  I think you can skip the carrier, or at least try to borrow one or get one gently used; some babies don’t like them; others love them. I did buy one for my twins, a Lillebaby carrier,  out of necessity to transport three littles. It’s a great product but used mostly for walks and airport travel.

The Unnecessary (Most Moms Say to Skip)

  • Wipes warmer
  • Bottle warmer
  • Diaper Genie (just use a step trash can and empty your trash often)
  • baby powder
  • baby monitor (though I’ve often wondered what he’s doing up in his crib when I hear him kicking instead of napping!)
  • wipes dispenser (I bought the OXO PerfectPull, and while it’s nice quality, we easily could have gone without and used Amazon Elements or Pampers Sensitive disposable dispensers.)

From The Krazy Coupon Lady: 10 Brilliant (and Doable) Ways to Save $1000s on Baby Costs

I agree with everything Joanie and Heather mention in this video, except for the Baby Gear: I think a Boppy (or other nursing pillow) and changing table are indispensable. I like the changing tables that are a dresser (with drawers) with the pad on top so you can use it as a dresser after the changing table feature isn’t needed; changing tables do not have to be purchased new, just functional and in good used condition. I think it is so important to care for your body and be able to change your baby without bending over or straining. I do like using the Kel Gar bathtub as a transitional tub between the infant tub we received from the hospital to using the real tub, but I realize it’s not for everyone.

I’ll have to check out the NoseFrida more before recommending, but I do not recommend a baby carrier at full price; if you can get a heavily discounted one or even borrow one, I suggest doing so. I borrowed an Ergo from my sis-in-law but we ended up not using it because my baby hated carriers from the start and honestly, he would have been way to heavy for me to carry.

The rest of the tips are awesome and ideas that I have been sharing on this blog! I’ve used all three: Amazon, Costco and Target for diaper deals and saved some serious cash!

Updated Posts

Just a quick note to say that I’ve recently updated some of the old posts with new info:

Pampers Sensitive wipes have been replaced in our household with Amazon Elements, Kirkland Signature and Huggies Naturals. (Whatever is on sale.) Pampers brand is just too expensive to buy, in my experience. If I’m traveling, I might still buy Pampers wipes, but the other brands do just as well.

Huggies Little Movers Plus or Kirkland Signature are the best diaper for toddlers.

What booster style high chair seat might replace the Fisher Price SpaceSaver Deluxe that is being discontinued?

Old Navy joins my list of best baby clothing brands.

I added some toddler titles to the list of board books. This list is a work in progress.

Last but not least, the most-awesome-post-on-the-site, about baby clothes (0-24M) is updated so that all the info is on one post rather than three. (For clothing especially for newborns, check out this post.)

Hope this makes for smoother sailing on the blog.


If you’re just joining us, read the intro post and 1st year anniversary post to get some quick links.

Amazon Elements Sensitive Baby Wipes Review


I’ve tried many baby wipes over the past 2 years.

One new option available to Amazon Prime members is Amazon Elements wipes. Amazon Elements is Amazon’s own brand. I’ve only tried the sensitive wipes, but here are a few observations:

  • They are thin, as in they are thinner than Pampers Sensitive and Kirkland Signature. (The packaging for Costco wipes have 100 and weigh like a ton compared to any other brand. Pampers Sensitive single packs have about 56 and Amazon has 80 but they weigh almost the same, to give you an idea of how light they are.) I’m placing these under Pampers Softcare and above Up & Up (the Target generic) in the wipe spectrum. When dealing with a dirty diaper, I feel like I need to double layer that first time cleaning because they are so incredibly thin (like I might accidentally touch the poop) but so far, they’ve been very durable and soft.
  • They are also not as “wet” as Pampers Sensitive and are probably comparable to Costco wipes in wetness, but the last clump of Elements wipes are really moist.
  • They come in a box that includes an awesome dispenser (see the reviews on Amazon raving about them) from which only one wipe (usually) comes out at a time. Every box will have a dispenser which is nice because everyone knows parents with young kids need baby wipes in like every room of the house. (Am I right or am I right?)
  • They are only available right now for Prime members so that could be a deal-breaker for some.
  • I haven’t tried resealing the packaging (like you can with the Pampers, Huggies and Costco brands, all of which have fliptops) but it’s obviously not a deal breaker. It just doesn’t feel like this is a travel option, for those vacations away from home and changing table. Amazon now carries flip-top Elements wipes, an good option for traveling, but make sure you select the flip top size option rather than the tub + refills before you place the order.

Elements is my new wipes brand. Pampers Sensitive and Costco are still my favorites–I just love a thick strong wipe, just both are kind of pricey sometimes. I’ve used Elements now for a few months and have been satisfied overall.

How I Pack My Diaper Bag for a Toddler

And we’re back! I don’t know what happened last month. It seemed to fly by. We had family over and lost track of time. It felt very much like summer here in the DFW area so we were still in the lazy-days-of-summer mode. I don’t know about you but I am excited for fall.

Baby is a toddler. But on this blog, I’m still going to call him Baby, probably for forever. Despite the meltdowns and fits over nothing (sheesh!) I love this phase because we are a lot more free and able to do more. We’re taking walks to the grocery store (conveniently across the street) and to the park and to the library (heaven). I’m still kind of waiting to take him to Dallas for the aquarium and other exciting adventures, but the time will soon come, I’m sure.

What I love most is that I don’t have to take a lot of stuff with me anymore. I pack lighter and smarter. Toddlers need snacks instead of nursing cover and burp cloths.  They need distractions since they are more awake and more opinionated. If you choose your snacks and toys carefully, they will also be easy to carry.

It also helped that I got a smartphone last year. Finally. We were like the last people on earth to get them. No more pad and pen like during Baby’s newborn days. I carry around a mini computer instead.

You will need:

  • a diaper bag (bag shown is still the Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack)
  • hand sanitizer and facial tissues
  • wipes and diapers
  • a change of clothes (think simple and basic) stuffed into a wet bag (Itzy Ritzy)
  • mom stuff: cell phone, keys, snack
  • snacks, snacks and more snacks! (i.e. food pouches, crackers)
  • spoon/fork (plastic ones from your take-out dinner will do), sippy cups, bib
  • small toys and distractions

UPDATE: The Boxy Backpack is still doing well. It has been in constant use for almost 24 months.

Ideas for Snacks


  • I still love these food pouches but I buy only a few for going out. Baby’s teeth came in so slowly, so textured foods have been a huge challenge for him so I always like to have an option in case he can’t eat what we are eating. If you can find them on sale, they are a great portable option. (I found Earth’s Best Apple Apricot Yogurt smoothie on clearance at our Sprouts for 50c. I also found Happy Baby 3rd stage at Kroger for $0.99. Check those displays!) Baby finally has mastered sipping through a straw, so these pouches with a straw-like opening are fun to sip and I don’t need to use a spoon anymore!


  • Unsweetened applesauce is a great option for an on-the-go snack. These individual cups from Walmart are good for the diaper bag. There are many varieties and brands (organic, light, cinnamon etc.) but I like to use the unsweetened kind. They do need a spoon and bib though as they can get messy.


  • Another applesauce option is GoGo Squeeze. We get ours from Costco, about $10.99 for 20 pouches. I like their smaller size, it’s just perfect for a light healthy snack and doesn’t ruin Baby’s appetite.
  • Other ideas are string cheese, Gerber snacks (puffs, crunchers), Teddy Grahams, Hello Panda, and Goldfish Crackers.

Ideas for Toys and Distractions


  • Toy Cars: I just love these Tonka Mini Wheel Pals from Playskool. They are no longer sold in stores. I bought mine off eBay after buying a huge collection of the larger Tonka Chuck and Friends Wheel Pals. (Note: Just make sure you look for ones of excellent used condition, as a lot of the wheels of the smaller cars get worn and don’t roll as smoothly or at all. It is hard to find ones that are like new, because they were probably played with a lot)
  • Baby REALLY loves his dad’s collection of Hot Wheels, a lightweight toy that’s better for older toddlers age 3+ but we monitor 2-year old Baby playing with them. We bring two cars on vacations so he gets his fix of car-playing even when we’re not at home.


  • Another idea is the Take and Toss straw cups from The First Years. Once you get your baby to use these, they are amazing. While not completely spillproof (like if the straw is pulled out), they are really durable and also lightweight. Baby loves to hold the lids, the straws, the cups. And I don’t feel bad if they get destroyed. These are available at WalMart and other retailers.

Baby Diaper Brands Part Two

UPDATE 2017: If you are new on the scene for diapering toddlers (perhaps after a long break between kids) re-think everything you thought you knew about diaper brands.

Pampers USED to be my favorite brand but now Huggies have victoriously defeated them in a swift move called “double grip strips.” These purple super-velcro make it so that diapers stay on and never slip. Pampers’ straps used to dig into my baby’s leg, hip or  crotch area when the diaper became full or really heavy.

Huggies has solved the problem forever with Huggies Little Movers Plus+, available at Costco. The club membership is worth it, especially for me, diapering twins. Yes, they are VASTLY different than regular Huggies. They are softer and more plush, so please do yourself a favor and skip regular Huggies Little Movers and go for +Plus

Kirkland Signature (Costco brand) also has the double grip strip, so they are equally good. Whatever diaper brand (Huggies or KS) has a coupon, I buy as many boxes as I can (fit in my car or store in my house) and I’m good to go; no coupon clipping involved.

Until other brands develop the grip strip, they will not be comparable in my book.

Yes, I will still use Pampers Cruisers or Baby Dry, but I much prefer Huggies now, and I am telling you this as a mom who used to be an avid fan of Pampers from 2013-16 (I have, like 8000 points accumulated from promo codes and diapering one kid from years 0-3.5). Even my hospital Baylor Frisco where I delivered my twins, switched from Pampers in 2013 to Huggies in 2016. Yes, it’s probably due to expiring and new contracts, but it really showed the signs of the times.

Huggies is the new king.

P.S. Do not use Luv diapers if your babies are prone to skin problems. It is a waste of money. We were gifted some because they didn’t work for my mom friend, she didn’t want them to go to waste. I tried for several days with Twin Baby B. They were a literal pain in the butt to use and went into the garbage.

If you are looking for suggestions for Newborn diapers (sizes N-2), check out Part One.

Amazon Mom Trial Review

I recently tried the three month trial of Amazon Mom. Here are my musings:

  • You should definitely use the three-month trial and after it’s over, get dad to sign up with his account. This allows you six months of free trial (one trial per account) to see if you really like the program.
  • I recommend starting the trial when you first have a baby and when your gifted diapers/wipes are about to run out. Another option: because it’s hard to gauge how many of size N-2 diapers you actually will need, you could also wait until Baby starts wearing size 3 diapers as you will need a lot of those. The bulk boxes are huge so make sure you get the right size and brand. Continue using the diaper brand you received at the hospital or first try out jumbo packs of different brands before placing your orders on Amazon.
  • Understand how the Subscribe and Save program works first. Orders are sent every month; you can change the dates of delivery but they will happen each calendar month. They are not immediately sent out like regular Amazon orders. You really need to plan; know how much of each product you need.

Using my trial, I ordered boxes and boxes of Pampers Sensitive Wipes, Method hand soap, Finish dish washing tabs, and a whole lot of other household items. Because I placed orders with 5 items, I got to save 20% on my orders. I ordered a bunch of other things off Amazon and saw the perks of 2-day shipping.

But my items were not necessarily cheaper than what I buy at Wal-Mart, Target and Costco, BUT they did save me time and energy going out the store.

Will I be signing up? Not right now.

But maybe for my next baby.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Review

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack is the only diaper bag I have used. There may be better out there but I haven’t cared to look because despite its few shortcomings, my bag is doing its job.


I bought my bag on sale at Pottery Barn Kids. For some reason, it was on that sale shelf in the very back with random odds and ends. So after much pacing around the store and deliberating, I bought it.

*I probably would not have bought it full-price.* But now I love these bags and if this one wears out, I may have to get another at full-price.

The pattern is a PBK exclusive and is no longer available. But there are tons of just-as-cute patterns coming out every year.

After 8 months, I’ve used it quite a bit and it’s held up pretty well.

Things I like about it:

  • It is pretty! I know that this seems unimportant, but for a mom who can barely look presentable to go out, this is kind of a bigger deal than I thought initially.  I love how it makes me appear dressed up even when I am in drab clothes.
  • It is big enough. I am a petite girl at 5’2 and 110 lbs so I think this bag is as big as I could handle. A lot of diaper bags are huge and bulky. This one is compact yet roomy enough to fit what I need.
  • I love the changing pad and diaper section in the front. This diaper bag is more designed for changing rather than feeding.
  • The older versions of this bag had velcro closure which was reported to be very loud in a lot of online reviews, but this 2012 version uses snaps and magnetic closure, a huge improvement over velcro.
  • This bag can barely fit under a plane seat. It’s a tight fit but it can fit. We’ve flown American, Delta and Southwest with it.

Things I don’t like about it:

  • The bag is not machine washable. But I haven’t had any issue with this. I usually do not carry open food in the bag. I also pack around small sacks for diapers, so the bag has stayed clean for 2 years.
  • It is not insulated for bottles but this hasn’t been an issue for me because I breastfeed.
  • I wish the bag had a padded strap because I do wear it primarily messenger-bag style.
  • The backpack straps are a good feature but for me, they feel uncomfortable unless I wear a winter coat as padding. I feel like in the backpack mode, the bag sits weird on your back, but that’s my opinion. The hardware also is a bit squeeky at first (Two years later, there is little to no squeak). At home and in and out of the car in surburbia, I use it as a messenger bag. I really only use it as a backpack when I’m traveling (at the airport for instance) or out for long periods of time and need to carry it on my person rather than on the stroller.
  • It can get heavy, if you pack a lot of stuff. It is a heavy bag to begin with.


Side note: As another option, I’d consider the Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Sashay Satchel, perhaps when Baby gets a little older and needs less things. I really like the sleek design (but it is thinner than the Boxy), that it looks like a regular purse, and like the Boxy Backpack, you can wear it as a backpack.

Moneysaver Tip: The Petunia Pickle Bottom outlet site has occasional sales on discontinued designs. Sign up to hear about sales. Select designs are on 30-60% off.

How I Pack My Diaper Bag

You will need:

  • a diaper bag (bag shown is Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack)
  • nursing cover (Bebe au Lait but Milk Snob is better)
  • swaddle blanket (aden + anais – love how thin it is!)
  • burp cloth (homemade)
  • wet bag (Itzy Ritzy)
  • a change of clothes
  • hand sanitizer and facial tissues
  • nursing pads (Lansinoh disposable)
  • wipes and diapers
  • mom stuff: snack, wallet, water bottle, pen, cell, notepad, etc.
  • diaper sacks (optional)
  • small toys (optional) DSC_0535

I use the Petunia Picklebottom Boxy Backpack (review here). I have never used any other bag so I cannot compare. But I do know a lot of reviews say that one of the issues they have with the bag is that it is too deep and hard to access anything at the bottom.

To deal with this issue, I’ve packed the bag with the items I used most on top.

First, at the bottom, the wet bag and a change of clothes. I like to select a piece of clothing that is one piece so I don’t have to deal with multiple articles of clothing floating around:


Next, I place a blanket, a nursing cover and burp cloth. Baby hates to use the nursing cover but I insist on it in in most public places (like on an airplane or at a restaurant)

DSC_0547DSC_0548Those are the three items from the big compartment that I used often when Baby was young and nursing frequently.

Next, the diapers and wipes go in the front with a mini bottle of hand sanitizer.  I also keep an extra set of nursing pads here. It’s also a good idea to bring a small sack or diaper sack (Sassy Baby brand or small plastic bag from the store) on long trips or visits to friends’ houses.

DSC_0542The side pockets have snacks. The Boxy Backpack also has a “mom” pocket where I stash my phone, notepad and chapstick.


There you have it! Sometimes on longer outings, I add a few small toys from our Skip Hop activity mat or O-Ball. But usually Baby takes one toy out with him in his car seat. Before eating solids, those things are really all a young breastfed baby needs.