As every parent quickly learns, once the little ones arrive, the simple act of leaving the house becomes a major operation. You don’t get to just grab your keys and go anymore. You need a whole arsenal of gear to support you and your youngsters as you venture out into the world, and you also need a dependable diaper bag to carry it all.
But finding the best diaper bag isn’t an easy task. Few are really made with the space and organizational potential that one really needs, and even fewer are designed with dads in mind.
For our money, backpack-style diaper bags are the most effective when it comes to convenience, capacity and hands-free carry. And if you put us on the spot, we’d have to say that the best diaper bag backpack we’ve yet seen is the Daypack 3.0 from Tactical Baby Gear.
I have mentioned it here before, but I have 9 kids! Yes, all mine and not a blended family. I was quite young with my first born and I could only have wished to have cool baby gear like this. It would have made being a young dad a little easier.
Most of my kids are older now but I still have a toddler running around who thankfully is just out of diapers! I have given the Tactical Baby Gear Deuce as a gift several times over the last few years to my buddies who were about to be a new dad or a new dad again. There are a few other “tactical” diaper bags around but you can instantly tell a TBG diaper bag from their unique designs and the layout of the front pockets. These guys know how to build a diaper bag!
I am gifting this diaper bag backpack to my good friend who is about to have a new son any day now, but before I wrapped it up I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a unboxing and hands-on review. let’s look at the best backpack diaper bag out there!
Best Diaper Bag Backpack: TBG Daypack 3.0
The best diaper bag backpack needs to be both comfortable, stylish and practical. It has to be able to hold and organize all your baby essentials, while still looking and feeling like something you’d want to carry for hours at a time, potentially for many years.
The Tactical Baby Gear Daypack 3.0 gets high marks in those categories, but what really makes it stand out is that it’s one of the most rugged and durable diaper bag backpacks that we’ve had the opportunity to use. You really get the sense that the folks who make these packs take the “tactical” part of Tactical Baby Gear very seriously.
Quality Build & Materials
The TBG Daypack 3.0 is made of sturdy 600D tactical polyester. It’s PVC-lined and water-resistant, and just as importantly, super easy to clean. The hardware and other components are equally rough-and-tumble, including rugged YKK Zippers, shoulder straps and handle.
There’s a surprising amount of space inside the Daypack. 3.0. Although it doesn’t look or feel like a huge backpack, it has a generous 28.84 L (1,760 cubic inch) capacity. That’s more than enough room for all your baby-related essentials, and MOLLE webbing on the exterior also allows you to further beef up the storage capacity with extra pouches and accessories if you so choose.
The Daypack 3.0 is also carry-on approved. The measurements are 20″ x 11″ x 8″, which is small enough to fit in any airline’s overhead bins, making this a perfect diaper bag backpack for air travel.
Pockets, Pockets, Pockets
This is an area where the Daypack 3.0 really shines. All the space in the world doesn’t really matter if there’s no good way to organize the contents of your diaper bag, and this one has an impressive array of pockets and pouches that make it easy to separate and organize all your stuff.
The spacious main compartment features a full-open zipper front, which makes it very easy to access all of the pack’s contents. Inside, you’ll find three-tiered interior organizing pockets. There’s a special felt-lined pocket for sensitive items that require a little extra cushion, a dual-access front pocket, and two side bottle pockets.
The days of throwing all your supplies inside one big compartment and sorting through it as you go are over. With the TBG Daypack 3.0, you can effortlessly keep everything neat and sorted.
Comfort & Ease of Carry
In general, backpack-style diaper bags have a major advantage over sling and duffle-type bags in that they can be carried completely hands-free. That’s also true of the Daypack 3.0, though one of the standout features that really makes this the best diaper bag backpack is TBG’s Easy Grab handle, which makes it easy to quickly pick up the pack by the top or side so you can grab it and go.
The pack also has built-in stroller straps. Closed-cell foam padding provides structure and comfort, and the shoulder straps are body-contoured to make it easier on your shoulders, even after a long day out.
The Daypack 3.0 also has a removable waist strap, which stabilizes the pack and transfers some of the weight to your hips. That’s a nice feature to have, especially when you have the pack fully loaded and need to lug it around for a long period of time.
Built-In Changing Mat
A true standout feature of the Daypack 3.0 is that it has TBG’s ‘Drop Zone’ Tactical Changing Mat built right into it. That means no matter where you go, you’ll have a safe and secure changing station on hand. The changing mat is made out of 210D Nylon, and just like the rest of the backpack, it’s water-resistant and easy to clean and sanitize.
Design & Aesthetics
Looks aren’t everything, but they do matter. One of the things tactical baby gear is known for is designing diaper bags and other baby gear for dads, and the Daypack 3.0 fits right into that tradition. Of course, there’s no reason women won’t find it useful too (it comes with complimentary “Mommy” and “Daddy” removable patches).
The overall look of this backpack is tactical without being over-the-top. Some diaper bags that are aimed at the male market have an excessive “Call-of-Duty-cosplay” look to them, which this one thankfully avoids.
The Tactical Baby Gear Daypack 3.0 comes in four color options. The Black Camo and Ranger Green colors are good choices if you want to lean into the military aesthetic, while the Black and Coyote Brown colors are ideal if you want a stylish pack that looks rugged and tough without giving off overtly tactical vibes.
How We Picked the Best Diaper Bag Backpack
Look, we know that there are a lot of diaper bag backpacks on the market, including an increasing number of diaper bags for dads. We looked at a lot of them. Some are pretty good. Some are absolute junk. And a lot of them are direct descendants (that’s a nice way of saying “ripoffs”) of Tactical Baby Gear’s products.
Tactical Baby Gear essentially makes the OG diaper bags for dads, and as their products have evolved over the years, they’ve only gotten better.
And while bags like the Daypack 3.0 aren’t only for men, it’s with noting that they really are designed by dads for dads. The folks who make these things really put a lot of thought and attention to detail into their work, and the construction and materials are absolutely top-notch.
Parenting can sometimes feel like going into battle, and having a diaper bag backpack like the TBG Daypack 3.0 makes you feel like you’re truly ready to go into battle. That’s a good feeling, and it’s worth paying a little more for gear that’s up to the challenge.
Perhaps best of all, the Tactical Baby Gear Daypack 3.0 is built to last. Years from now, when the little ones are all grown and you no longer need a diaper bag, it will make a great range bag, day-hiking pack, or EDC/work bag.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.