Best Diaper Bags For Dads

best diaper bags for dads

Who knew finding a diaper bag that wouldn’t clash with me and my wife’s personal styles while carrying around would be so hard? Honestly, I have no idea why so many companies and brands thought they should design diaper bags as if the child itself was the one carrying it around. I searched high and low for the best diaper bags for dads and of course, moms too. Luckily, a few sensible people out there created some better looking diaper bags (The Honest Co., Tosan, Storq) that even most dads wouldn’t mind carrying around.

It’s also become more common and practical to use other types of bags that weren’t originally designed for the use of a diaper bag. Personally, we went this route when we decided on a diaper bag. Mostly because many of the amazingly designed and produced diaper bags we loved were simply too expensive (like the incredibly designed Leader Bag Co. bag shown in this post which goes for $465) for us at the time or weren’t available yet. Plus, we also liked the idea of being able to use whatever we bought again later for something else. We ended up going with the Fajllraven Kanken Daypack for those exact reasons. Not very expensive and can certainly be used for other things. It’s a pretty good quality bag, but it’s not so expensive that we’ll lose our minds if we spill something on it or it gets damaged. If it lasts, which it seems it will, until after Forrest is no longer wearing diapers, we’ll be able to use it again for other purposes or he can even use it for school. The design of it isn’t crazy which helps ensure that it won’t look all that dated in a couple of years, so I am hoping it will still be a rather cool and hip back pack in a few years.

best diaper bags for dadsOur Fjallraven Kanken Daypack 

Before really ever looking into what diaper bag we wanted, I knew I probably didn’t want something that was created specifically as a diaper bag because my experience up until my wife’s pregnancy was that all diaper bags pretty much suck and we both probably wouldn’t be all too excited about carrying some floral or animal print bag that had to be worn over one shoulder or carried by hand.

My criteria for a diaper bag both Jess and I would be happy to lug around looked like this:

  • Large enough to store everything we might need for a full day outing plus some of our own items.
  • Backpack style. Anyone with a kid knows you need your hands free, so carrying a bag was out of the question and cross body/shoulder backs can really do a number on your back and shoulders.
  • Durable and reliable yet lightweight. We wanted something that could take a bit of a beating without feeling like we were carrying our child in it.
  • Has both style and function and was unisex. No reason to sacrifice one for the other, right?
  • Reusable when finished using it to carry diapers and baby stuff.

These were ones we looked into along with some newer ones we’ve discovered since then. You just can’t go wrong with any of these though. Sorry, but not sorry if you start drooling over the Leader Bag Co. or Filson bags. You just might have to work an extra few ours and check under the sofa cushions to get those.

Kanken Daypack by Fjallraven ($75) | Journeyman Backpack by Filson ($320) | Winlaw by Herschel Supply Co. ($90) | Julien Backpack by Leader Bag Co. ($465) | Louie Day Pack by Norse Projects ($155) | Ransel by KAOS ($205) | Lightdays Diaper Bag/Backpack by Olidays ($118) | Carryall by Storq ($115) | Little America Backpack by Herschel Supply Co. ($100) | City Backpack by The Honest Co. ($150) | Survey Backpack by Herschel Supply Co. ($55) | Convertible Adventure Pack by Tosan ($250)

Are there any other great bags you have found out there that folks should look into? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

9 Favorite Strollers

Best Strollers of 2016

For my wife and I, finding the perfect stroller was a serious task. So many options, so many brands, so many prices and so many hours spent comparing all of them. For us, we knew we wanted something that could do a lot, wouldn’t break the bank, looked good and was small enough for our living space, vehicle and narrow grocery store aisles. That’s a lot to ask for, apparently. But, we came to the conclusion that we needed a travel system. We searched high and low for the best stroller that we could afford and appealed to us.

Eventually, we landed on the Scoot from Stokke. It’s light, small enough for our small home, fit easily in the trunk of our somewhat small car, was within our price range (~$700) and was compatible with the car seat we wanted, the Nuna Pipa ($300) with the Stokke car seat adapter. Even better though, Stokke collaborated with Nuna to release a Stokke x Nuna Pipa ($350) which worked with Stokke strollers without the adapters and came in the black melange fabric we wanted anyway. So, that pretty much settled our decision. Additionally, we came across a great deal from Diapers.com they had running on Stokke products. We had already become fans of Diapers.com anyway, (365 day return policy, easy returns, price matching, quick/free shipping, awesome customer service, etc.) so that was the icing on the cake.

That probably sounded a lot easier than it actually was. We spent A LOT of time researching and looking at most the strollers listed below before making a decision. It was important to us that whatever we bought was going to last, hopefully through the use of a second child. Our only concern was, do we get a stroller that can become a double stroller later? We decided against it because 1) we don’t know when we’ll have said second child and 2) if we absolutely need to get a double stroller, we’ll hopefully be able to sell our current stroller for a decent amount before purchasing a double. The Stokke Cruzi was one that offered a sibling seat option, but at over twice the cost of the Scoot, it was justifiable at the time.

We loved pretty much everything about the others we looked at. The main reasons we went against them though, was either because of price, size or weight. The Britax B-Agile was tempting because of its costs and Britax seems to be a trusted name. Tons of our friends have them and love them, but we just really found that the Scoot just felt better ergonomically and had we gone with the Britax, we wouldn’t have been able to use the Nuna Pipa with it.

Two that we didn’t look at the time, but are listed below, are the Cybex Priam (it wasn’t out at the time) and the Voyager from Phil&Teds. If we were looking for a stroller right now, we would have definitely included these two into our top picks. The Cybex Priam stroller is really lightweight, yet it’s great for various terrain. It, like many of the others listed is a 3-in-1 in system and it’s just really a beautifully designed stroller as well as their carseats too. What I love about it, from what I can tell, is how well it folds down and easily it can be stored.  The Phil&Teds Voyager is a 4-in-1 system and can accommodate ONE OR TWO car seats from either their own line, Mountain Buggy, Graco, Chico, Maxi Cosi, Peg Perego and Cybex.  To use it with two seats, you simply need the adapter they offer.

You really can’t go wrong with any of these though. All are carefully designed to help make life with a baby a little bit easier and to have great style. The ones we focused in on for ourselves were all easy to use, seemed comfortable for our baby and were made of quality, durable  materials and deliberately left the obnoxious “cheese” factor off the product that a lot of brands use to sell their products.

So, if we were to be on the stroller hunt again, this would be our list of the best strollers of 2016 that we’d begin with and narrow down from there.

 

Best Strollers of 2016

Scoot by Stokke ($599) | Ivvi by Nuna ($800) | Xplory by Stokke ($1225) | Priam by Cybex ($895) | Vista by UPPAbaby ($879) | Bee by Bugaboo ($769) | Cameleon from Bugaboo ($1139) | B-Agile from Britax ($220) | Voyager from Phil&Teds ($649)

Any other great strollers you feel readers should look into? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

First Camping Trip Wishlist

First Camping Trip Wishlist

With spring right around the corner, and what feels like a bad case of cabin fever from this winter, I’m itching to get out into the woods and set up camp for a weekend. I’ve been planning and waiting for the day that I can take Forrest camping for the first time, but he’s still got awhile before he’ll be ready. At 3 months old, I don’t think my wife, Jessica, would approve. Plus, I want him to remember it to some extent. I just really cannot wait to pack up the Range Rover and head out toward the mountains and set up in camp in one of Jessica and I’s favorite spots, Black Balsam Knob in the Pisgah National Forest. It’s such a great spot, right along the Appalachian Trail and I know Forrest will love it when he is old enough. Until then, I guess I’ll keep making wish lists of all the great stuff out that there we’ll enjoy on our camping  trips once that day arrives. Until then, here is my wish list for our first camping trip with Forrest:

First Camping Trip Wish List

Alfheim 3-8 Person Tent by Nordisk ($1,215) | Curved Handle Hatchet by Husqvarna ($45) | Ratio 45 Sleeping Bag by Mountain Hardwear ($219) | Baby Boys’ Active Quilted Flannel Lined Jacket by Carhartt ( $45) | Waterproof General Purpose Military First Aid Kid by Galaxy Army Navy ($23) | Stainless Steel 16oz Food Jar/Mug by Thermos ($25) | Sub7 Hammock from ENO ($70) | 20 qt Tundra Series Cooler from YETI ($360) | 8oz Campsuds from Campsuds ($10)

First Camping Trip Wish List

Powerhouse Dual Fuel Stove from Coleman ($120) | Buckthorn Wood Slingshot from Kaufmann Mercantile ($28) | Mackinaw Cruiser Jacket by Filson ($340) | Kid Comfort III Child Carrier by Deuter ($299) | Ash Wood & Leather Camp Stool from Kaufmann Mercantile ($169) | Camp Socks by J. Crew ($16.50) | Hurricane Lantern by Feuerhand ($50) | Trekking Slate Folding Knife by Opinel ($19) | Woobie 30 Degree Kids Sleeping Bag from Kelty ($58)

I’d love to hear your thoughts/reviews in the comments on any great camping products you have or have been looking at.

American-Made Goods For Papas From Tosan

American-Made Goods For Papas From Tosan

photos courtesy of tosan

This new label for pops and tots recently caught my eye on Instagram. At first it was their simple fleece crewneck sweatshirts that simply read “POP” or “TOT” in what resembles the classic collegiate font famously worn by John Balushi in Animal House. Somehow, Tosan pulls it off in a way that just works. I admit that I would probably be pretty hesitant to even consider purchasing a companion outfit for my son and self, even though tons of moms out there sport theirs. But this set is one I would (and will as soon as Forrest is big enough) wear with pride. Plus, I just love what this brand stands for, “Curated goods for the adventure of fatherhood”.

The Tot crewneck ($30) sizes start at 2T and go up to 6T and comes in navy. Both pop and tot versions are super soft, eco-friendly and made in the USA. The Pop crewneck ($65), which comes  in your standard sizes, comes in a heathered navy. Good call on their part for not making them both the same color! Tosan also offers a pop and tot set that is nicely priced at just $75. So, my advice is if you want them, grab them now, before they are all gone!

It will be great watching this brand grow and seeing what they do. They’ve already expanded into some other great and fun products like their Tosan X Salemtown child and adult sized skateboards ($300 for both. $160/$170 individually). And their convertible adventure pack ($250) looks just incredible. It’s looks are amazing and is full of function. Keep an eye out for other goods like carriers, bags, swaddles coming this spring.

American-Made Goods For Papas From Tosan

American-Made Goods For Papas From Tosan

Inspiring + Beautifully Designed Magazines

Inspiring Magazines

Everyone once in awhile, you might find yourself up early making yourself a quality cup of pour over coffee while your little one(s) still sleep. The house is clean, no work to be done just yet and you’d rather spend your time not vegging out in front of the TV. Sure, we all wish we could dive into a great novel, but every once in awhile we just need a quicker does of inspiration. In that case, what’s better than a beautifully designed magazine with interesting, well-writen stories and incredible images and/or downright genius illustrations? Not much, if anything. Disconnecting from your phone, iPad, computer and turning the pages of one of these printed gems might be just what you need from time to time. It doesn’t hurt that they aren’t the kind of publication you’re ashamed to hid, in fact, you might want to leave them out on the coffee table. And you certainly wouldn’t be upset if your kid(s) get ahold of them. Do yourself a favor and check these brilliant, inspiring and beautifully designed magazines!

Another Escape ($15+) – A beautifully designed meditation on creative, sustainable living. The creators launched the magazine as a source of inspiration for like-minded people, celebrating both physical and mental exploration.

Alpine Modern ($15+) – Alpine Modern is a quarterly magazine that explores elevated living, architecture and design in mountain regions around the world. The stories and photography express the emerging design ethos of a more natural minimalism and refined life entwined with the outdoors.

Define ($12+) – Created by fellow parents Amanda Jane and Cree Jones, each issue focusses on a single work and will be defined by a unique group of artists using various mediums. Each issue a simple word and explores it with intentionality.

Smith Journal ($12+) – Smith Journal is a fascinating quarterly publication for guys (and gals). It feels hands-on and provokes a heads-up sensibility. It serves as a guide to all things creative, intriguing, genuine and funny. Beautifully designed and chalk full of stories, people, adventures, interesting conversations and style for the modern day gentleman.

Intern ($14) – A new(ish), bi-annual independent magazine for and by emerging creatives showcasing the best of unpaid talent throughout various creative industries and beginning a debate on these internships and the effects they have.

Wilderness ($18) – This one is currently being read. Have you ever asked yourself why no-one made a mens version of the beloved Darling Magazine that your wife, girlfriend or lady friend is always reading? Many of men have asked, thus the result of Wilderness. Brought to us by the same folks at Darling. Its here to encourage us to be better versions of ourselves, all wrapped in the spirit of adventure.

Cereal ($19.95) – A UK-based quarterly rooted in food, products and people from around the globe. It boasts an incredible minimalist design that showcases breathtaking photography which accompanies niche topics modeled as chapters. It’s purpose is to satisfy the soul. We’ve found that this magazine is enjoyed greatly when cruising at 30,000 in the air.

Collective Quarterly ($20) – From artists to musicians to chefs and to designers. Collective Quarterly is a magazine that encourages readers to discover new corners of the world by exploring a new and offbeat location in each issue by connecting and interviewing the craftspeople of said location.

The Travel Almanac ($18) – A truly genuine and intriguing printed magazine. This Berlin and New York based publication focuses on traveling and temporary habitation, addressing an increasingly mobilized creative community. One of, if not the only, of its kind to speak to such a generation of sophisticated and nomadic of travelers looking for new and exciting adventures.