backpack diaper bag

Fjallraven Kanken Mini in Uncle Blue as a diaper bag

For the last 10 months I’ve been switching between two different diaper bags (this one and this one). While they both fit quite a bit of stuff and are great for hanging on my stroller hook, they aren’t very suitable for babywearing. Carrying a baby on my chest and a heavy bag on one shoulder not only hurts like hell, it’s hard to keep the strap from falling off my shoulder. So I decided it was time to revisit my childhood and buy a backpack. Enter my new Kånken Mini Backpack by Fjällräven. It’s a Swedish bag that’s been around for decades and it’s known for being really durable. I discovered the brand on Instagram, which is how I find everything these days, so I decided to do a little more research. The bag comes in a variety of sizes, the most popular being the classic (which is comparable in size to a regular backpack) and the mini (which is technically a kid’s backpack). It also comes in a lot of really fun colors, though the official website is out of most of them (I really wanted frost green) so I had to shop around a bit to find the right color. I went with uncle blue (from Zappos) because I wanted Chris to feel comfortable carrying it, too, and I chose the mini because I  didn’t want to lug around a regular-sized backpack. The bigger the bag, the more stuff I convince myself I “need.” So far I love my mini! I mean really love it. Here are some reasons why:

It’s small, but carries a ton of stuff (more on that below) and never feels heavy.
The double handle is great for strapping to the stroller handle and is very convenient when I’m digging through it.
It’s water resistant.
The straps look flimsy … they’re not.
The side pockets are perfect for my cell phone, keys, sunglasses, etc.
The outer front pocket is a little awkward, but holds a fair amount of stuff.
It’s utilitarian and stylish, too.
It can double as Isla’s future backpack! (Ahem, look below. She already looks so stinking cute wearing it. Though maybe I’ll get her a bright, fun color when the time comes, as long as she’s not begging for some Dora the Explorer bag or something.)

And this is what Chris says :

It’s compact, but it holds everything we need.
It’s sleek and not too bulky.
The colors are subtle (little does he know I almost bought ox red).
“I don’t know, it’s a bag.” — He’s a guy. What’d you expect?

Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack in Uncle Blue as a diaper bag

Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack in Uncle Blue as a diaper bag

Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack in Uncle Blue as a diaper bag

Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack in Uncle Blue as a diaper bag

Kanken Mini Backpack in Uncle Blue hanging on Britax Stroller hook

Baby wearing the Kanken Mini Backpack in Uncle Blue

What's inside my Kanken MIni Backpack

What’s inside my Kånken Mini?

I can fit a crazy amount of stuff with room to spare! Plus, I keep a few personal things in the outer front pocket, too.

I use nylon zipper bags by Baggu to keep things organized. I bought a set of three before Isla was born and they were inexpensive and have proved incredibly convenient. And who can resist the cute prints? It looks like Baggu changed the design of these and no longer sells them in sets of three, but I’m sure the new ones work just as well. Here’s what’s inside:

Yellow Baggu: Diapers + baby wipes + Honest travel cleansing wipes + disposable diaper pad + Triple Paste rash cream

Grey Baggu: January Prints pocket bib + WeanGreen glass snack container + NUK Learner Cup + Plum Organics Little Yums wafers

And: Smoothie in a thinkbaby straw cup + Maracitos + cell phone + lip gloss + chapstick + lotion

Without all the snacks the bag also fits our DSLR camera or a blanket or extra clothes, etc. The possibilities are endless and this is just the mini!

What’s do you use as a diaper bag?

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  • Reply Megan November 11, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I’ve been contemplating the exact same bag! The shoulder bag/diaper bag just isn’t cutting it anymore. Too big and bulky and terrible for wearing with baby in the Ergo. Am thinking of the bigger size Kanken for plane travel with baby.

    What size Baggus do you use in the mini Kanken?

    • Reply reallyrisa November 11, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Hi Megan! The classic would definitely be a better size for a plane ride I think, though I’ve never seen it in person. Since I’ve had the bag I’ve had people tell me they have both the mini and classic — the mini for every day and the classic for travel or overnights. The Baggu bags were the medium size, which is perfect for our needs. Hope that helps! xx

  • Reply Sydney March 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    My daughter also uses the think baby straw cups, but without the grab handle thingies! Without that on would it fit in the outside side pocket of the bag? Just wondering as Im thinking about purchasing this bag, but also have another baby on the way so I’m not sure!

    • Reply reallyrisa March 23, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Hi Sydney, Unfortunately the straw cup won’t fit in the little side pockets of the Kanken Mini. I usually just put ours right inside the bag.

  • Reply emily April 17, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    do you think there are any water bottles, disposable or not, that would fit in the outside pocket?? i really want the mini, but all our toddler water bottles leak (from throwing, of course), so i was hoping to put something on the outside / upright :)

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