The best changing bags don’t mean kissing goodbye to personal style
Whether you’re looking for a cheap, pragmatic baby changing bag or a luxurious leather holdall, our simple guide to choosing the best baby changing bags will help narrow down the search for a piece of kit that works for you, your family and your budget.
Above all, you’ll be looking for a hardwearing, durable, lightweight bag that’s easy to clean and large enough to stuff all the essential items into. It’s likely that you’ll head out with it (either strapped to a pram or slung over your shoulder) several times a week so it’s an important buy that you’ll want to ensure suits your style and needs.
Read on for our tips on choosing a changing bag, followed by our list of the best you can currently buy.
Best changing bag: At a glance
How to choose the best changing bag for you
Baby changing bags differ in price, quality and style, but what the best have in common is that they are all durable, easy to clean, space-saving marvels. Here are a few things to consider before making a purchase.
What styles of changing bags are there?
When it comes to size, a changing bag will need to be big enough to carry at least the essentials of baby maintenance. Some are bigger than others, though, and there is a range of bag types to choose from, from backpacks to satchels with shoulder straps.
If you’re looking for something to just carry your changing mat, wipes and nappies, a clutch may be the way to go – and some larger changing bags come with a clutch already inside. You might also be looking for a weekend changing bag you can take on trips. Look for one that’s cabin-sized with accessible pockets so you don’t have to root around in it with one hand holding a crying baby while you try to fish out the essentials.
What features should I look for in a changing bag?
Most baby changing bags are designed to be roomy and have clever storage solutions inside, such as zipped pockets, wet wipe compartments that make it easy to grab a wipe at a moment’s notice, detachable inner bags, bottle warmers, changing mats or thermo-insulated compartments. But useful extras include bag clips (to attach to a buggy) and clear PVC bags to store creams and lotions – or to lock away dirty nappies when you’re nowhere near a bin.
Pockets and compartments will make life a lot easier in terms of organising things, and there’s also hygiene to consider when you’re dealing with a bag that might contain used nappies, clean clothes, milk bottles and food at the same time. Having see-through pockets, separated by a mesh, can be very useful when it comes to locating where these things are.
How we test changing bags
The changing bags that feature in our roundup have been put through real-life testing, with every bag we recommend rated in various categories so you can make the best choice possible for your needs. As parents ourselves, we know what makes a good baby bag and the features that single out the average from the exceptional.
We assess each changing bag on its overall design and quality, the space it offers inside (including any pockets for ease of organisation), and how easily it will fit in the compartment under the pram or on the handlebar. Our list comprises stylish options that can double up as an evening bag, or those that can be popped into a regular tote or rucksack. At the end of each review, you’ll find the key specs for each changing bag including its size, the number of pockets/compartments inside, and cleaning instructions.
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The best changing bags you can buy in 2023
1. Pipi Bear: Best changing bag on a budget
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Amazon
The Pipi Bear changing bag is exclusive to Amazon and offers many of the features seen in the likes of the Babymel and BabaBing models at a much cheaper price.
It’s a stylish, waterproof backpack that comes in five different designs – pink and navy blue, pink and grey, ivory and navy blue, ivory and grey and dark grey and yellow – yet despite its compact size, it features 14 compartments in addition to the main bag. These include two insulated bottles, two cutlery pockets, somewhere to put wet wipes and nappies and more. There’s even a dry and wet split pocket for liquids in case your little one has an accident and you need to, say, separate the dirty clothes from muslins.
It has a capacity of 23.8 litres but weighs just 750g. This design means it can also double up as a gym bag, school bag or a bag to take on weekend away. Elsewhere, it comes with two stroller hooks, which means you can attach it to a pushchair if you don’t want to carry it.
Key details – Features: 14 compartments, two insulated bottle pockets, comes with stroller hooks; Weight: 750g; Bag dimensions: 43 x 32 x 21cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean
2. BabaBing Mani Backpack Changing Bag: Best changing bag for all occasions
Price when reviewed: £54 | Check price at AmazonThis multi-award-winning changing bag is a neatly designed compact option. It has plenty of space for all of the essentials including a large removable changing mat, a thermally insulated internal bottle holder and “parent pockets” for your valuables and bits and bobs. It also comes with matching pushchair clips so you can go hands-free when you’re out and about with the pram. The short top handle means it can be carried as a tote as a traditional backpack, adding versatility.
The fabric feels premium quality while being weather- and batter-proof – necessary when you’re tackling everything from rain to sticky fingers and public transport. The compact size of this bag means that when it’s attached to the pram it doesn’t bang on your legs like some styles do, and it doesn’t feel too heavy if you also carry it with a baby in the sling. You will have to be a little discerning on what you pack in it, as there isn’t tons of room inside but it works well for day-to-day jobs and activities..
Key details – Features: Large changing mat, internal and external “parent” pockets, thermally insulated large internal bottle holder and matching pushchair clips, easy-access nappy and wipe pockets; Weight: 1kg; Dimensions: 38 x 6 x 17cm
3. Finnsøn Inge: Best changing bag for making a statement
Price when reviewed: £150 | Check price at John Lewis
While being a parent is the best job in the world, it’s nice to remind ourselves of who we were before our little people. For us, this leopard-print backpack from Finnsøn does just that with its statement print and cool design – it looks nothing like a traditional baby changing bag.
It’s big on style but it’s not short on practicality, featuring loads of great details such as waterproof zips, internal pockets, bottle-sized slip pockets and a quilted changing mat. The durable fabric is also made from recycled plastic bottles so is ethically and environmentally sound.
It is on the more expensive side but if you value sustainability and want to support a smaller independent brand, it’s a great choice.
Key details – Features: Removable changing mat and two thermo-insulated bottle holders; Weight: 0.7kg; Bag dimensions: 41 x 32 x 14cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean
4. Tiba + Marl Etta Changing Clutch: Best changing bag for pint-sized glamour
Price when reviewed: £45 | Check price at Tiba + Marl
Love fashion? Hate the idea of sacrificing your style? Then rejoice because, while this neat little changing bag clutch may look like an ordinary handbag, it has hidden depths. Beyond the quilted exterior lies a fold-out changing mat with removable fleece lining, inner mesh pocket and inner slip pocket. A wrist strap ensures you can carry your baby without needing an extra hand, while an exterior zipped pocket gives room for lipstick, money, keys and phone. So whether you’re heading to a summer barbecue, running an errand in the car or just want to outdo that smug yummy mummy at nursery drop-off, the Etta ticks all the boxes. Sleek and stylish, it comes in dark block colours and blingy patterns, including leopard print and gold snake.
Key details – Features: Removable fleece changing mat; Weight: 0.4kg; Bag dimensions: 19.5 x 33 x 2cm; Washing instructions: Bag wipes clean, changing mat machine washable
5. Storksak Stevie: Best changing bag for celebrity style
Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at Storksak
If money’s no object, take your lead from A-lister parents such as Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Dannii Minogue and get yourself a plush Storksak changing bag. Positioned at the higher end of the market, its bags are realised in luxurious leather materials and finished with handcrafted detailing. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon have both been seen with a Jamie (£175) while Dannii Minogue’s been snapped with a Sophia (£255). If you’re looking at this end of the market, it makes sense to buy something subtle and stylish enough to be used beyond maternity leave – in which case, we would recommend the Catherine.
Crafted in smooth leather, it comes with a coordinating pouch, padded luxury changing mat, oodles of pockets and an insulated drawstring bottle holder. Unless you opened it up and examined the contents, you’d never know it was a changing bag at all.
Key details – Features: Removable changing mat; Weight: 0.6kg; Bag dimensions: 35 x 38 x 15cm, Washing instructions: Bag and mat wipe clean
6. Mamas & Papas Bowling Style Bag: Best bag for keeping organised
Price when reviewed: £99 | Check price at Mamas & Papas
There’s much to recommend when it comes to this chic bowling-style bag, but we have to say the pocket game is strong. Compartments are a parents’ best friend – keeping things clean, tidy and manageable. When everything is in its place, life’s easier, right?
This bag has more than enough pockets and pouches to keep even the most die-hard Marie Kondo fans happy and there is space for the many (let’s face it) accoutrements that any parent needs to leave the house with an infant.
Aside from this, the bag itself has everything you could want including an insulated bottle holder and a changing mat. It’s also worth mentioning the versatility this bag affords the wearer – it can be worn as either a backpack or over the shoulder – it’s just a case of getting to grips with the straps and that’s not difficult.
The fact that the entire bag is made from water-resistant fabric will be welcome to any UK-based parents.
Key details – Features: Removable changing mat; Bag dimensions: 40 x 14 x 30cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean only
7. Babymel Robyn Convertible Backpack: Best changing bag for versatility
Price when reviewed: £69 | Check price at John Lewis
Sometimes you want a backpack changing bag, especially when you’re pushing the buggy or carrying the baby in a baby carrier. Other times, wearing your changing bag on your shoulder or across your body is more appropriate. Thankfully, the Babymel Robyn Convertible offers all three options, as well as being a handheld changing bag. The fully adjustable straps can be used in four positions and the changing bag additionally comes with an integrated strap to attach it to the frame of your baby pram or stroller. Available in water-resistant tweed or tan, as well as red, navy and “bluebell”, the Babymel Robyn Convertible changing bag also offers a unisex design.
On the outside is an Easy-Wipes pockets with a velcro fastener which has a dispenser slot for pulling wipes through, saving you the need to root around the bag when you’re dealing with a poo explosion. This also stops the wipes from drying out. Elsewhere, it has five internal and external pockets and comes with a bottle warmer and padded, machine-washable changing mat.
The changing bag doesn’t open as wide as some of the others in this list, and although it can carry an awful lot of kit – in ours is a blanket, three changes of clothes, six nappies, wet wipes, a rattle, two bibs, two muslin cloths, our red book, two bottles of ready-to-feed Aptamil milk and two bottles of pre-sterilised Aptamil bottles – your items aren’t always that easy to find, even with the separate compartments. It is incredibly lightweight, though, at 590g and the different carry options are surprisingly beneficial.
Key details – Features: Removable changing mat and bottle warmer; Weight: 590g; Bag dimensions: 37.2 x 31 x 4.8cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean
8. Inglesina Aptica Adventure Bag XT: Best changing bag for days out and holidays
Price when reviewed: £98 | Check price at Inglesina Whether it’s on days out, long-haul holidays or normal day-to-day life, we’ve thoroughly road-tested the Aptica Adventure bag and can confirm it lives up to its name.
It’s a great size: deep enough to fit all the essentials such as a change of baby clothes, toys, extra nappies, bottles and wipes, and the numerous zipped compartments help to keep it all organised. It also has an insulated bottle holder and a foldable changing mat in the front compartment.
While this bag is one of the biggest out of the styles we tested, it’s actually very lightweight and doesn’t look too bulky.
Key details – Features: Removable changing mat and thermo-insulated bottle holder; Weight: 0.7kg; Bag dimensions: 38 x 43 x 15cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean
9. Itsy Essentialz Bag: Best compact changing bag
Price when reviewed: £6.99 | Check price at Amazon
Designed for those moments when you just need to pop out for a short period, Essentialz’s Itsy is our favourite compact option.
Despite its small size, it can hold everything you need for one or two nappy changes as well as your keys, a dummy and a small bottle of formula if needed. The zipped mesh back pocket is ideal for carrying a debit card and travel pass, and the bag comes with a short, buckled handle that you can attach to the pram or carry with the longer detachable strap.
We keep ours close to hand for trips to the supermarket and anywhere where the full baby bag isn’t needed.
Key details – Features: Buckle strap, detachable shoulder strap, back mesh pocket; Weight: 176g; Bag dimensions: 18 x 18 x 6cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean
10. DockATot Changing Clutch: Best changing bag for events
Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Harrods“Do you want to see the inside of my changing bag” isn’t something we thought we’d ever say until we were introduced to the DockATot changing clutch. This wonderfully chic bag comes in a range of stylish patterns (we leapt at the brand’s signature leopard print) and boasts one of the most gorgeous fold-away changing mats we’ve ever seen.
The design is brilliant, too. It folds into a neat satchel shape but holds space inside for nappies, wipes, nappy bags and even our lipstick and keys.
We used this bag every evening on a recent holiday – and it would be perfect for bigger events like weddings and parties, too.
Key details – Features: Attached changing mat, internal and external zipped pockets, stay-wet wipes pouch; Bag dimensions: 32 x 26 x 3cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean