Whenever I am out and about with the RYLA backpack, I always get a compliment or two from fellow mamas, who are subsequently surprised to learn that it actually is a diaper bag (not just a backpack I use as one). Carry it for a day—or just a couple hours—and you’ll soon see that this bag was smartly designed for the task of hauling diapers (and bottles, and wipes, etc.) hands free and sans fuss.
My husband has a backpack diaper bag, and as far as I can tell it’s really just a backpack. The RYLA on the other hand is made for moms, or “mom hustlers” as the brand likes to say. That last part is a key distinction. This is not your haul it all bag. This streamlined selection is an efficient workhorse. A really pretty workhorse, albeit. (I have the beach beige color, but it also comes in black and gray.)
Standing at 14 inches high, 11 inches wide and 6 inches deep, it’s slightly trimmer than the average diaper bag, which I love. There is room enough for the essentials with minimal excess. I am not a fan of toting around unnecessary baggage, so this slim pick is ideal. Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t scream diaper bag to every passerby.
Now a smaller size means less bulk and lighter weight, which your shoulders will thank you for. But don’t worry about missing out on features because the creators of this clever bag clearly know what’s important and didn’t skimp on those things. It’s a diaper bag—but simplified. So, instead of having a record-breaking number of pockets, you have just enough. I also love how the packaging outlines the purpose of each pocket, too. Again, that attention to detail makes my heart happy.
The front pocket is just for mom. It’s perfect for stashing keys and a tube of lip balm. There is also a zippered pocket on the back, which is where I keep my wallet, so it’s safely snug against my back when I’m on the move.
On each side of the exterior you’ll find another pocket. These don’t zip shut, but they do have an elastic band at the top that keeps them flat—so whatever’s in there doesn’t fall out and, when they’re empty, the bag doesn’t lose it’s sleek look. I’ve found these are great for a water bottle (breastfeeding mama necessity!) and my phone, so I have easy access to both even when the bag is on my back.
Inside you’ll find two smaller front pockets, perfectly sized for a pacifier, teether or hat—and right up front where they can be found in a jiffy. We also keep our travel hand sanitizer here.
At the back are two insulated bottle pockets that have no problem fitting my son’s smaller or larger bottles. Right now, we only use bottles when my kiddo is at day care; if he’s with me, we just nurse. So, I tend to use these to organize two spare outfits. (My babe is prone to blowouts.) I like that I can keep each ensemble together (bodysuit, pants, socks, etc.), so I don’t have to remember which pants went with which top.
Just above the bottle holders is a small zippered pocket. At the moment, mine is empty, but I imagine I’ll use it for a bib and spoon or other feeding accessories once we’re on to more solid fare.
The RYLA includes a handy changing pad that comes inside a clear pouch. I like to keep a diaper inside the pouch, too. This way I can grab that and my wipes case without fumbling for anything extra when there’s a dirty diaper in need of ditching. (The germophobe in me also likes that the changing pad is enclosed and won’t accidentally touch my babe’s burp cloth or blanket.)
In the main body of the bag, there is ample space for the changing pouch, wipes case, and whatever else you might need. For us, that’s a few diapers, a burp cloth, a blanket and a wet bag. Even with all of that, the bag isn’t bursting at the seams. There’s still breathing room if you like to carry anything additional.
The bag itself is durable, water-resistant and wipeable. If the worst happens, it’s also machine washable. I like that it holds its shape even when it’s empty. My less structured diaper bag will cave in or topple over if it isn’t full. Speaking of toppling over, the RYLA also has four feet on the base to help hold it up and keep it from getting grimy.
This is my go-to diaper bag for days on the run. Anything that simplifies the hustle and bustle of being a mom is a win in my book, and the RYLA does it in style.
To buy: amazon.com