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Best changing bag: The best baby changing bags from Babymel, Pacapod and Storksak

Victoria Woollaston Thomas McMullan
13 May 2021

Buying a changing bag doesn’t have to 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.

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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.

The best changing bag to buy

1. Pipi Bear: The best changing bag on a budget

Price: £33 | Buy now from 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 specs – 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 Erin: The best changing bag for all occasions

Price: £67 | Buy now from Amazon

The BabaBing Erin baby changing bag can really be seen as a three-in-one changing bag. Its adjustable straps mean it can be carried over the shoulder, as a rucksack or as a tote. There are even stroller straps and clips, making it easy to attach to a pushchair's handle.

The design of the Erin is unisex and its internal compartments have been carefully planned out to cover all eventualities. It has a separate pocket on the underside, with a cool bag and storage bag. We store nappies and wipes in this pocket, put Calpol, Sudocrem and other lotions and potions in the storage bag and any food in the cool bag. There's even a bottle warmer pocket in the side. The main compartment has multiple pockets for toys, snacks, clothes and more, while there are two thin pockets on the outside of the bag for easy access to muslins, for example, or your phone/wallet/keys.

The size of the bag means you can store a huge amount of baby gear in it, but you may just struggle to remember which pocket you put everything in.

Key specs  Large changing mat, two pouches (one insulated for food and one with a mesh pocket), thermally insulated large external bottle holder and thermally insulated removable internal bottle holder; Weight: 500g; Dimensions: 40 x 32 x 20cm

3. Caboodle Classic Baby Changing Bag: The best unisex changing bag

Price: £10 | Buy now from Caboodle Bags

If you’re looking for a plain, ungendered changing bag that can go with any outfit, look no further. This black messenger-style bag is an excellent choice for mums and dads who’d rather not scream "baby!" every time they leave the house. Side and front pockets provide ample options for organisation, with a padded changing mat that can go in the washing machine. A see-through pouch is a handy addition for small items that you need to find easily, and the whole thing is wipe-clean and machine washable.

Key specs – Removable changing mat; Weight: 700g; Bag dimensions: 38 x 20 x 29cm; Washing instructions: Mat and bag are wipe-clean and machine washable

Buy now from Caboodle Bags

4. Tiba + Marl Etta Changing Clutch: The best changing bag for pint-sized glamour

Price: £45 | Buy now from John Lewis

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 specs – Removable fleece changing mat; Weight: 0.4kg; Bag dimensions: 19.5 x 33 x 2cm; Washing instructions: Bag wipes clean, changing mat machine washable

Buy now from John Lewis

5. Storksak Stevie: The best changing bag for celebrity style

Price: £120 | Buy now from 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’d 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 specs – Removable changing mat; Weight: 0.6kg; Bag dimensions: 35 x 38 x 15cm, Washing instructions: Bag and mat wipe clean

Buy now from Storksak

6. Bowling Style Changing Bag: The best bag for keeping organised

Price: £99 | Buy now from 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 specs – Removable changing mat; Bag dimensions: 40 x 14 x 30cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean only

Buy now from Mamas & Papas

7. Pacapod Saunton: The best changing bag for twins and/or trips away

Price: £94 | Buy now from Bella Baby

All Pacapod’s changing bags are characterised by one ingenious concept: inside are two smaller "pod" bags, designed to keep your baby’s changing stuff (nappies, wipes, creams, changing mat, spare romper) separate from his food items (bottle, bibs, snacks, teething chews and so on). The benefit is that you can pack the pods and use them independently of the bag – simply clip them onto your buggy, wear on your shoulder, or grab their changing stuff as you dash out the door.

Remove the pods and you have a large tote that can fit your laptop along with all your other items and can be worn messenger-style. Both pods flat-pack, so once you’ve used up all your food and drink at the airport, flatten the feeding pod down and slip it into a pocket before going through security. Parents with twins who care less about looks than they do about being having two hands free could also consider any of the brand's backpacks for travel.

Key specs – Removable changing mat; Weight: 1.5kg; Bag dimensions: 31 x 39 x 16.5cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean

Buy now from Bella Baby

8. Babymel Robyn Convertible Backpack: The best changing bag for versatility

Price: £59 | Buy now from Amazon

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 specs – Removable changing mat and bottle warmer; Weight: 590g; Bag dimensions: 37.2 x 31 x 4.8cm; Washing instructions: Wipe clean

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