Best Diaper Bag for Air Travel (for Style AND Function!)

There are few things more stressful for new parents than traveling with a new baby.

Not only do you have to remember the baby (okay, we can manage to do that) and figure out what kind of travel crib to put them into,  but you have the whole “everything but the kitchen sink” issue.

When our daughter was a newborn, just to go anywhere, I would have her car seat over one arm, a diaper bag, my purse and often another bag for my breast pump on top of all that. In the end, I looked more like a frantic pack mule than the serene new mother you see in magazines or on TV.

Traveling to the grocery store can be stressful with a baby, let alone air travel! Having the right bag can make all the difference when you need something quickly to to take care of your baby.

We did a bit of research to figure out the best diaper bag for air travel and this is what we found…

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The Best Diaper Bag for Air Travel: CoolBell Baby Diaper Backpack

This mid-priced diaper bag is perfect for carrying all your diapers and baby gear in an organized manner, while remaining functionally fashionable, which is why we’ve picked this one as the best diaper bag for air travel.

There is a never-ending amount of pockets and zippers on this diaper bag, perfect for keeping you organized and sane while traveling. The front of the pack has two smaller zipped compartments that are perfect for pacifiers, burp cloths, and other small pieces you may need to access quickly for baby.

The next compartment is insulated with three areas for holding bottles, sippy cups, and other perishables. It also houses a spoon slot and mesh pocket for holding a towel, extra diapers, or burp cloths for easy access.

The main compartment is nice and deep for all the other extras you may need. Blankets, nursing covers, extra clothes, diapers…etc will all fit nicely inside the main compartment.

There is also a weatherproof zipper compartment along the bottom of the diaper bag that is made for housing your umbrella even it is wet. The construction of the compartment keeps the water from soaking into the bag and affecting any of your baby’s items inside.

This bag is a nice gender-neutral pattern and color so it can be used by both mom and dad without anyone feeling awkward.

But what really makes this the best diaper bag for air travel, is the easy access wipe dispenser compartment along the side. We always need wipes quickly and it is so nice to have it easily accessible in a pinch.

Also, since it is a backpack style diaper bag, it’s easy for moms and dads to carry while still managing purses, infant car seats and anything else…like the actual baby…safely, and without juggling.

Click here to read more about the CoolBell Baby Diaper Backpack.

The Runner Up: Skip Hop Duo Signature Carry All Travel Diaper Bag Tote

While this diaper bag is a bit more expensive and more traditionally styled than our first choice, it does have a cute design that the CoolBell doesn’t offer. It is still the perfect size for carry on during air travel but we do have some concerns about its practicality for long travels.

The Skip Hop Duo Signature diaper bag offers more than 10 pockets to keep all your baby stuff organized. There are small pockets along the inside for organizing wipes, diapers and other necessary items. The main pocket is deep and runs the entire length of the bag for holding the included changing pad, extra clothes and blankets.

The carry style is over the shoulder like a traditional diaper bag, but it does have small handles for quick carrying. It also boasts these really cool clips that allow you to clip it to the back of the stroller quickly and easily.

The biggest drawback with this bag, in our opinion, is that while it does have many pockets, none of them are insulated. The bottle pockets along the side are of a mesh material so they won’t keep things cold for long and there isn’t any place to keep formula or breast milk with an ice pack.

For the extra expense, we really expected insulated pockets with this one. We would be concerned about keeping things cool during an extended layover or long flight.

Click here to read more about the Skip Hop Duo Travel Diaper Bag.

A Great Budget Option: Premium All-In-One Diaper Bag by Liname

This Liname diaper bag is the most budget-friendly choice we reviewed, but it maintains a large stance and many pockets for organization and travel use. It’s still the perfect size for carry on status and fits under the seat for easy access. However, this bag also doesn’t have the insulated bottle pockets (similar to the Skip Hop bag).

This is a very cute bag with a highly fashionable chevron pattern and includes teal colored changing pad accessory. There are 13 pockets for keeping everything organized and easy to access.

There are two smaller pockets along the front that do not close, and a main compartment with the other pockets with a zipper closure. The pockets inside are wide enough to hold your wipe container, a few diapers and other small necessities without overcrowding the main part of the bag.

The main part of the bag is great for those extra outfits and larger, bulky items.  There are mesh bottle pockets along the side of the bag, however they are not insulated.

While we really like this bag for the pockets and the fashion-forward design, we are concerned that having all the pockets in the central location may prevent you from zipping it closed if packing for extended travel. The other concern is the lack of insulated compartments for formula or breast milk while traveling.

All in all though, this is still a great diaper bag if you’re on a budget.

Click here to read more about the Liname All-in-One Diaper Bag.

That’s all – safe travels!

That’s it for our review for the best diaper bag for air travel! After a thorough review of all three bags, the CoolBell backpack is our favorite hands down.

From the insulated pockets, to the unique carry style, this bag really checks all the boxes for ease of travel, while still being fashionable for men and women.

(And as a side note, if you’re taking your little one on an airplane, you may want to see our post about best airplane toys to keep them busy and quiet on the flight.)

What’s your favorite diaper bag for travel? Leave a comment below!

About Eric and Tiffany Matthews

We're Eric and Tiffany, the parents behind Cynical Parent. We're just normal parents who are navigating parenthood with both eyes wide open (probably because there's a kid yelling nearby). And of course, we're pretty cynical. Don't believe everything you read or hear, whether it's on the internet, or from a close family or friend (or even from us!). Every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Sometimes you just need to try and see for yourself. :)

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