Has most of what I need in a baby backpack
I got this Columbia Baby Backpack because a backpack would be easier to carry around Disneyland than my shoulder diaper bag. It is comfortable to wear when I have both arms through the straps, but I find it is uncomfortable with just one arm through a strap. It has a small plastic handle at the top for lifting and carrying the bag, which I find very useful. The backpack has a big, flat base and easily sits upright. As with all Columbia products I’ve owned, this backpack is made of durable material that has not yet stained or scuffed. The shoulder straps each have small strips of canvas with snaps to attach the backpack to a stroller. They are difficult to use and I have never been able to get the left one around my stroller bar and snap it into place. I’ve succeeded with the right one and it hung from the stroller just fine, but the effort it takes me to hold the backpack up and snap the strap in place is too much to be worth it. This is especially true because I have a light stroller and the backpack has to come off each time before I remove my child or the whole stroller will tip over. The shoulder straps and the back of the bag which rests against my back are covered with some sort of mesh material. This may be to allow my skin to breathe, but I find that my lower back sweats and my shirt is wet after carrying the bag for a couple of hours in 65 to 75 degree weather.The backpack has a large main pocket with zippers that come from each side of the base (like most backpacks) so that it can be opened just a bit at the top or all the way. This main compartment has three pockets along its sides. They have elastic at the top to help keep items in it. The pocket at the back is tall and I usually put five size 6 diapers, a wipes case and three jars of baby food in it. The two side pockets are only a few inches tall and not very useful to me. I find it difficult to reach down along the side around the things I have in the main pocket to get to the things I have in these small pockets. When I do use them, I put a bib, burp cloth and feeding spoons in one pocket and a Clif Bar in the other. My complaint with the main pocket is the same as with all diaper bags – it’s just too big to keep anything organized. I usually have a change of clothes, a hat, a camera and some snacks in there and if I want something at the bottom, I end up messing up everything I packed to get to it. When I was looking at backpacks, I saw a Catrini one which had its main compartment separated into three sections. I thought this was great, but overall that backpack was too big and heavy for day trips. If my Columbia backpack were separated into two sections, one for clothes and one for smaller loose items, that would be ideal. There is also a vertical zipper on one side of the main pocket to allow quick access to what is inside. I find this useful when I want to take one arm out of the strap, swing the bag to my side and slip an empty bottle or my sunglasses in there. One side of the backpack has an insulated pocket for milk. I can fit two 9-ounce Avent bottles in there with a small package of blue ice, but the milk does not stay cold for long. I am better off putting one bottle and two blue ices in that pocket and putting the other bottle with blue ice in the main pocket. There is another pocket of the same size on the opposite side of the bag. It has a couple of netted pockets and a small plastic pocket inside. This small pocket has a picture of a pacifier next to it so I think that’s what it was intended for, but it fits my cell phone perfectly. The larger netted pockets are perfect for sunscreen, antibacterial lotion, tissues and other small items. There is also a clip inside which I think is meant for keys, but I prefer to keep my wallet and keys in my pockets where they are more difficult for someone to steal. There is also a small sleeve-type pocket on the front of the backpack. It’s not useful for much. I put a Disneyland park map in it. I would prefer it to be bigger and have a zipper.Lastly, the bag comes with some diaper changing accessories which I don’t use because the Disneyland bathrooms have all I need. There is a mat with a couple of pockets on it, perhaps to put wipes, and it has an additional bag with a plastic zipper, which would probably be useful for dirty diapers. The mat has a snap closure and a loop to hook it to something. If I used this bag for my regular daily activities, I’m sure these changing accessories would be quite useful.
The insulating bag rips!
I was originally happy with my diaper bag purchase until after she was two months old. The insulating side compartment suddenly ripped so the foil was just peeling off. I didn’t think I was particularly rough on the bag. I tried emailing Columbia about it but they never wrote back. I now have the Essentials Bag. Another problem with this backpack is that the other pocket that is not insulated is very large and deep with netting. When you put things in those pockets, you feel like they are lost forever. It is a black hole! Good luck if you get the bag. Hope it works out for you.
My husband and I love this bag. It’s great for quick trips and everyday use. The side pockets are perfect for personal stuff and baby’s bottles AND mom’s water. It also has the best changing pad with pockets where you can stick wipes. We use one for baby wipes and one for anti bacterial hand wipes. My husband doesn’t mind carrying this bag…and he’s really picky.
Fits more than it seems to…not as bulky as other bags.
We originally bought a Land’s End diaper bag based on recommendations from the Baby Bargains book. I do not like that bag. Although it has lots of pockets, it was very bulky and didn’t fit as much. So, off I went looking for another bag and found this one at a babies store in town. I liked that it was lightweight and that I could carry my purse, the baby’s car seat, and have the diaper bag on my back without feeling overwhelmed. The bottle cooler keeps bottles very cold. The only criticism I have is that I wish that there were a couple more pockets in the bag. Otherwise, I love the bag!
Not bad, but for the price you can get something better
My husband picked out this bag before our first child was born. We do like the backpack style as opposed to the over the shoulder bags. My husband doesn’t mind carrying it since it doesn’t look like a typical diaper bag. It is comfortable to carry and provides a lot of cusion and support. However, once we got to using the bag on a daily basis, I got fustrated with it.I think that it’s a bit hard to get items out of the bag, and you really can’t fit too much in it to begin with. It’s okay for going to the babysitters for the day, but that’s about it. The shape of the bag also takes up a lot of room, either in the stroller or in the car. The straps for the stroller work well for my husband, but not for me. I walk too close to the stroller and keep kicking the bag, but my husband tends to walk further back and doesn’t mind the bag hanging there.The insulated compartment works okay, I always put a cold pack in with a 4 oz. bottle and that’s all I can fit in there. The changing mat is nice, as is having it’s own compartment. The side pocket is nice for smaller items like your keys, a binky and sunscreen.Overall, not bad but if you tend to overpack or pack for any and all situations (like I do) then you probably will find this bag too small.