RCS Dad Style: Dad Bags

I’m all-in on being a dad.  We’re a few weeks in, and while it’s been a whirlwind, it hasn’t been out of control.  Maybe it’s because I have a great partner, and we have a good attitude about everything.  Or it could be that #HJS is awesome.  Whatever it is, I’ll take it.  You all know this blog is a reflection of what’s going on in my world, so get ready for a few dad-themed posts.

There is one thing that is 100% yours- the dad bag.  Don’t get me wrong, mom will have her own mom bag, but I can almost guarantee that it’s something you won’t want to carry on your shoulder.  You will absolutely need some sort of vessel to carry everything required to manage and maintain a happy and healthy baby.  And it’s a lot to carry around.

Now, I would never just shop for a ‘diaper bag’.  No way.  Too limiting.  I’d rather get something and convert (like I did with my camera bag).  To get started, you need to get an insert.  This $16 option is what I went with, and it works like a champ:

This insert comes in a couple sizes so it will work with almost any bag.  And remember – the more pockets, the better.

Now – for the bag, I prefer something that has a zipper.  I like the bag to close in case it tips over.  I don’t want everything to spill everywhere.  I also want something that looks NOTHING like a diaper bag.  Lastly, I want it to be something that is functional, and can be well used after it’s retired as a diaper bag.  So here we go, here are my picks for RCS-approved dad bags:

From top left:

1. Filson Zip Tote: This is what I’m using right now.  I got this one for a STEAL at an East Dane sale, and added HJS’s initials in red.  We did navy blue for our boy, but there’s otter green or tan for the little girls.  I love it, and I know he’ll love it when I give it to him.
2. LL Bean Insulated Waxed Canvas Tote:  A really cool look, and a conducive shape for a diaper bag.  Don’t worry that it’s insulated, although it will give it a little more padding.  Very outdoorsy, and a great price point.
3. Shinola Nylon Travel Tote:  For the dapper dad; it has a high-end travel bag look instead of a dad bag.  Still, it will serve the purpose.  Plenty of room, and a really slick look.
4. Andover Trask Harper Canvas Tool Tote:  A GREAT option for the dad who owns the daycare drop-off and pick-up.  This bag is like a toolbox for kid stuff.  Lots of pockets and a low profile.  There’s a blue option for the boys, and a green (pine) option for the girls.  …and it’s made in Atlanta.
5. Orvis Convertible Tote / Backpack:  A cool bag for the dad who loves down vests.  A really cool backpack and tote hybrid that is waterproof and a great shape.  There is no way that this bag gets confused as a diaper bag, and you can use it on fly fishing trips after Junior is out of diapers.
6. Hudson Sutler Hatteras Daypack:  For the backpack guy…get over the Jansport you carried in high school and upgrade to the Daypack from Hudson Sutler.  The adult version of the basic backpack.  Hands-free, right?
7. Jack Spade Camo Commuter Tote Bag:  While I’m a huge fan of a zipper, some guys aren’t.  Jack Spade does GREAT work with their bags, and their Commuter Tote is top of the heap.  The camo design is just right – not too
8. Ball and Buck ‘The Blind Bag’: This bag gets the award for ‘Best Dad Bag’ from RCS.  Great style, great function, and it can be retired to a hunting tote once your offspring grown out of it.  It’s all about multi-function.

Hope this helps, folks.



  1. Wheels
    08/16/2017 / 12:23 PM

    I went with the Filson when my daughter was born last year as I had sworn that I would never carry around the Kate Spade diaper bag that my wife had received as a gift. I succumbed to the hassle of having a dad bag after three months and now carry the Spade bag. 🙁

  2. MP
    08/16/2017 / 3:28 PM

    Never went the dad bag route.  I try to carry the least amount of stuff possible.  

  3. SCD
    08/16/2017 / 3:55 PM

    Also got a Filson zip tote in green a couple years ago when my daughter was born to avoid using my wife’s Kate Spade bag.  Just had a son this year (also named H) and my wife has given up her bag to use the Filson full time!  Nice idea to get it monogrammed for your son to give to him in the future.

  4. Dean G
    08/16/2017 / 4:49 PM

    If I’d had a boy, I’d have gone this route and chosen the Filson. But I had two girls. Carrying a girly bag for them never bugged me. It’s obviously their bag, not mine. I’ve even worn my eldest girls Frozen backpack around the playground, it just come with the territory.

  5. chuck
    08/16/2017 / 11:03 PM

    Dean.. I respect your game 😉 Great work. I have packed, on more than (20) occasions, my 2.5 yr old’s light up hello kitty pack from who knows where and I get a (a comedic) amount of “dude.. thats sweet! comments. But thats fatherhood in your 40’s 😉 

    • chuck
      08/16/2017 / 11:06 PM

      Im gonna reply to my own comment and add.. once you are in the RCS baby game a bit… you may find something as sinple as, say, a patagonia atom sling.. fits the absolute “on a mission” accessories (couple dipes, change of clothes, couple bottles n wipes) and still enables you to double fist the baby bucket (gets heavy!) Enjoy!!! Love following this..

  6. nachdrock
    08/17/2017 / 9:43 AM

    This I just don’t get.  Diaper bag is black and its ready to go always (thanks wife).  Another bag?  Never even occurred to me.

  7. Tanner
    08/18/2017 / 10:06 AM

    Eddie Bauer makes a nice men’s diaper bag that my wife got me for our newborn.

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