When you become a father for the first time you start to understand just how steep the learning curve is. What I started to understand is how much I didn’t know. Along the way, through the pain of mistakes or tips from friends, you find parenting efficiencies and minimize pain. My learnings and the advice of my networked have formed the series of dad advice I’ve published in this newsletter. That fatherly advice from the archive is here: Dad Things, Dad Things II and Dad Travel Hacks.
Remember: we’re all just doing our best and what’s good for one person isn’t always good for you or your kid. Hope this stuff helps.
This particular story is relatable to parents with kids a certain age, in this case kids under 3, give or take. This question came up on the ACL chat the other day. What would a recommendation be for a “dad bag” for a city trip with the family that isn’t a backpack.
Diaper bags are the bane of our existence but there’s no avoiding them. Though when you need them, you really need them. That time you spent going through everything to make sure you have an extra garbage bag or change of clothes just in case will convert any parent into an ardent believer in military style preparation. As a parent I learned this quickly — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Though I never wanted to carry an ugly purpose-built diaper bag for obvious reasons. I would also rather buy a bag that can work for other things.
The Ground Rules
It can’t be too big. You will need to put this thing in the bottom of a stroller, next to you at a restaurant or under a seat on a plane. The purpose-built backpack bags are too big and bulky. You need something small but with easy access.
Machine wash only. This thing is going to get dirty and you will want to be able to throw it in a washing machine.
Patagonia Black Hole Tote Bag
This is the kid bag I most recommend for people. It meets all of the prerequisites. The tote straps and backpack straps add versatility. There are a lot of pockets, water bottle holders and it’s super light. This bag will last for a long time and for $99 there’s good value for money.