Best Diaper Bag: Skip Hop Duo Signature Review
Updated August 9, 2016
Best Diaper Bag: The Skip Hop Duo Signature is a stylish, full-size diaper bag with all the key features parents need: eight pockets, stroller clips, changing pad and more in 20 patterns/colors. It is our pick for the best diaper bag.
Diaper Bags 101
If you’re a first-time parent who has never purchased a diaper bag before, or a veteran parent needs a quick refresher on what to look for in a diaper bag, click here for our Diaper Bag 101.
How we picked a winner
We evaluate diaper bags with hands-on inspections, reviews by our readers and online feedback. We do not accept free samples from manufacturers—if we purchase a diaper bag to review, we buy it from the same sources we recommend on this site (Amazon, stores, etc).
We also meet manufacturers in person at trade events and evaluate product samples and prototypes.
We have been researching and writing about diaper bags since 1994. Back in the the 90’s, cheap vinyl diaper bags with super cutesy patterns and colors were the rage—and about all that was available. Today’s diaper bags are a world away in terms of fashion and function. Fabrics are tear and stain resistant, travel wipes containers are standard issue and insulated compartments are available in most bags. And like every corner of the baby biz, luxury goods makers have rolled out designer diaper bags . . . at designer prices.
Skip Hop, the brand
Founded in 2003. Skip Hop got its start as a diaper bag maker. They have expanded the product line over the years to include baby bedding, feeding supplies, toys and more. Skip Hop’s mojo is their graphical design that is both whimsical and sophisticated.
Why this model
Let’s say you need more than a basic bag—but you don’t want to spend the equivalent of a used car on a diaper bag? Our readers tell us the answer is Skip Hop (skiphop.com). The company offers nine different bag styles, but our favorite is the Duo ($55).
The Duo is Skip Hop’s largest bag with ten pockets (including a cell phone pocket), magnetic closures instead of zippers on some pockets and “Shuttle Clips,” which contrary to the name, allow you to clip it to a stroller but not a space shuttle (see caveat below).
Here’s a view into the bag when packed:
Unlike our “better: diaper bag pick (the Ju-Ju-Be Super Be), the Skip Duo boasts both a shoulder strap too and changing pad. It is available in over 20 colors/patterns. Bottom line: Skip Hop is a great option if you are looking for a full-size diaper bag with a bit more style.
You can see how the strap works here:
Parents like the convenience of the front pockets (which can fit even sippy cups) as well as the long, adjustable strap. Other pluses: cell phone pocket, no slip strap, strong magnetic closures on pockets and two zip pockets (for wallet, etc.). A note: prices vary depending on the fabric color.
Parents also highly praise the Duo for it’s stroller straps called Shuttle Clips. These are short straps with clips (separate from the longer shoulder strap) on either side of the bag that allow you to attach it to your stroller as seen here:
So what’s the problem with hanging your diaper bag from your stroller? Well, a loaded diaper bag is heavy . . . and hanging it from a stroller can change the stroller’s center of gravity causing it possibly tip over. This is especially an issue when putting baby in or out of the stroller. At this point, you might be saying “Duh!” . . . and we trust our readers can figure out when a bag can make a stroller tippy or not. But we call out this hazard for new parents who may not have mastered the physics equation of diaper bag and stroller weight dynamics. Bottom line: don’t hang a diaper bag off your stroller, even if the diaper bag has clips that let you do it.
Flaws but not deal breakers
Even the “perfect” bag has a few flaws. Here’s what parents say about the Duo:
- Magnetic closures on some pockets don’t close when stuffed: if you stuff the bag full, sometimes these closures don’t stay closed. Some parents complain that all those pockets limit the size of the main compartment, which is a fair criticism.
- Capacity: Some parents note the bag is not as big as it seems . . . although most other readers say are quite happy with the size.
- No zippered closure on the main compartment: The bag is always open, so items may fall out easily if it tips over.
- Bottle pockets aren’t insulated.
JJ Cole Satchel Diaper Bag$50.75* at Amazon
* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.
JJ Cole’s Satchel Diaper Bag is a good option for about $50 to $70. It has eleven pockets (seven exterior and four interior) and a padded shoulder strap. It looks more like a purse than a diaper bag, which is a plus. One caveat: some parents have noted quality issues with this bag’s stitching and zippers.
JJ Cole’s Satchel Diaper Bag is a good option for about $50 to $70. It boasts eleven pockets (seven exterior and four interior) and a padded shoulder strap. It looks more like a purse than a diaper bag which is a plus. One caveat: parents have noted some quality complaints with this bag’s stitching and zippers.
Looking for a backpack style diaper bag? We’ve found a couple we can recommend. The Skip Hop Forma Backpack is a great option for $68. With a cute, quilted exterior, insulated bottle cube, cell phone pocket, water resistant fabric, changing pad and additional mesh storage cube is a good option. Another option: the Graco Gotham Smart Organizer System backpack. At only $30, it includes an exterior wipes dispenser, insulated bottle pocket (for two bottles), zippered key and wallet pocket and removable changing pad. Parents like this roomy bag, especially for twins. Both backpacks (the Skip Hop and the Graco) have had quality issues such as broken buckes, broken zippers and poorly sewn seams. Even so, the majority of parents are very pleased with these backpack options.
Diaper bag competition
The competition falls into two categories: the under $40 diaper bags that have few features, cheap fabrics and aren’t durable and the over $40 bags with lots of accessories. An example of the under $40 bags: the Babies R Us’ Koala Baby 5 in 1 diaper bag ($20). Parents complain the handle ripped and zippers broke. The over $40 options are more feature rich, but still can have some of the same issues with quality. Trend Lab also makes a variety of styles (including the Ultimate Diaper Bag, $30) in the under $40 category but they are afflicted with similar issues.
To sum it up
Skip Hop is a great option if you are looking for a full-size diaper bag with a bit more style and lots of pockets and storage.
Skip Hop Duo Signature
Skip Hop’s Duo is a full-size diaper bag with great styling, interior pockets with magnet closures and plenty of useful pockets.$53.50* at Amazon
* Prices change daily. Shop carefully.