If you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve already committed to using cloth diapers at least part time. Whether you switch up cloth versus disposables by night and day, or whether you’re simply steering clear of disposables because your little one has polyester sensitivities, what you don’t need right here and now is another cloth versus disposable debate.
And we don’t intend to engage in one, either. There are advantages and disadvantages to using any kind of diaper in any pattern, so let’s talk about the only indisputable certainty—that opting for cloth diapers comes with the obligation to take the mess home with you. On some days, that seems even less appealing than on others.
So, thank goodness for wet bags!
Anything which can reduce the 'ick' factor in your life while you’re already so busy keeping up with other people’s needs is a blessing.
Clearly there are a lot of tired parents in the world of baby-care manufacturing because there are a lot of wet bags out there to choose from. Clearly the need to contain mess and odour in the less stressful manner as possible has inspired more than a handful of creative souls to find solutions.
We’ve had a look at the best and slimmed the options down to our top five, giving you the ups and downs of each choice. Following this, we’ve pulled together a brief buyer’s guide for you to check out if you want to take your search a little wider.
Finally, we’ve tried to answer some of the frequently asked questions in the confusing world of achieving the best diaper regime for you and your baby.
OUR TOP PICK
You get the most value for your money with these cute three-in-a-set wet bags. The color combinations come preselected for you—you can’t just pick any three—but buying the Babygoal set does open up the world of possibilities for storage on the go.
Use two bags for diapers, and the third for swim gear. Or one for diapers, one for your hot yoga clothing and towel, and the third for the gym. If you’re at the beach, you can reserve one bag for the sandy stuff. Let your needs for convenience rule your choices.
The interior wet pocket is made from a polyurethane and polyester mix for durability and water resistance. It features a dry outer pocket for your nappy inserts, spare socks (how do babies ditch their socks so expertly?) and a corner-sewn snap handle.
We like those because they can be fixed to dangle from continuous bar stroller handles as well as being large enough in the loop to hang from your wrist or a door handle.
These are among the smaller options in terms of size per bag. They’re 11.8” (30cm) along the top zip and 14” (35.5cm) deep. You’ll probably get 5-7 diapers in each one. If you’re heading out for a long day away from home, you might want to take a couple of the three bags. Just in case you have a change-of-clothing crisis following a blowout.
These bags are great to give as gifts, too. You can go with the discreet monochrome set (black, white and gray) or with the chirpy strawberries and cream option. Most of the preselected combinations are quite feminine in design, but there’s also the cactus and pineapple set, which we love, or the night stars bag.
- Great to have three bags in a pack
- Good quality for money
- Cute design
- Spacious enough for a day out
- Convenient hanging method
- The snap handle strains when it’s getting full
Again, it’s convenient to get more than one bag in a kit. These two-piece sets come in nice, complementary designs, with quite a few unisex styles thrown in there.
You have your outer dry compartment, the excellent water and odour control, and the snap handle. They are fractionally larger than the Babygoal bags by a half-inch (1.27cm) in height.
The wet compartment is sealed in 100% waterproof polyester, which has a good lifespan in terms of sealing in your damp or less fetching items. The snap handles on these bags seem to pass the test of time pretty well.
Alvababy is confident about the durability of their design and offers a 1-year guarantee on quality.
- Comes with guarantee
- Nice design combinations
- Nice to have a pair of bags on first purchase
- Good odour control and waterproofing capabilities
- Great quality wet bag laminate for the cost
- The paint comes off the zipper in places after a few months
You get one bag for your money, but it’s waterproofed with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) laminate and fully taped. The zipper is robust. The inside mess will remain inside.
This bag is 16” (40.6cm) by 14” (35.5cm) wide and can hold up to 8 diapers and inserts. This is a great item to have with you if you’re on a long day out somewhere. It might even keep you going if you have twins to take care of.
What we like about the Thirsties wet bag is the aesthetic variety. You can order this cute tote in one of ten different designs, featuring big creatures of the woods, sea creatures, stars and galaxies, or owls set into a mandala pattern.
You can also buy it in a shade of discreet gray which draws no attention to itself at all. When empty, you can use the hanging strap to fold it up into a little wad, snap the popper, and slip it into the bottom basket of your stroller.
The bag can be turned inside out and washed with the diapers themselves.
- These are bags with a cute personality
- Easy to clean
- They seal the odour effectively
- They fold up neatly
- There are less expensive single item wet bags out there
Right, we mentioned less expensive single items just a moment ago, and this is one of them. It’s Amazon’s choice, and it’s not hard to see why. The capacity is impressive: the 27-inch (68cm) tall bag is also 16 inches (40cm) wide and can double up as a diaper pail.
It can handle up to 20-25 diapers. This might be an overkill capacity for a single healthy baby, sure, but if you have twins, triplets, or two babies under two years old, then this bag is going to save you a lot of stress and storage space.
There is a front zip-sealed storage space for dry items—awesome for umbrellas or packs of baby wipes.
You can tumble dry these bags, which may be helpful if you need to get going early in the morning having put a wash on the night before. According to Wegreeco, these bags can survive hundreds of washes. The overstitched seams have been thickly serged, keeping it watertight.
- Good value for money
- Very spacious
- Has a separate dry compartment with deep pockets
- The appearance is a little bleak/industrial/military
This wet-dry bag is like the prettier cousin of the Wegreeco bag. You’d feel more like buying this one for a baby shower present, for example.
You can get this bag in 8 pattern and color shade variations of black and soft gray. They don’t shout, “this is a big, tough, functional bag with horrible items stashed within” in quite the same way as the all-black Wegreeco does.
It’s a tiny bit shorter, by just under 3 inches (7.5cm), but 2 inches (5cm) wider in compensation. This tote also has a long handle and a dry compartment for the unused diapers and a change of clothes, for example.
We were scratching our heads a little over whether you could tumble-dry this bag or not. The product promotional blurb says go for it. The close-up image of the wash label says not to. We would err on the side of caution, here.
But it need not hold you back—the material and laminate do dry out fast in ambient temperatures once cleaned.
- Good wet capacity for nappies
- Looks nice on the outside
- Easy to clean
- Generous size of dry pocket
- Wide enough for a toilet seat insert
- Confusing wash and care instructions
Best Wet Bag for Cloth Diapers Buying Guide
Happily, choosing a wet bag is nowhere near as difficult as choosing what kind of diapers are best for you and baby.
Wet bags are not complex items. Most of your decision will come down to how it will look, and whether most consumers are happy with them.
We selected those which appeared to have the strongest waterproofing element, and those which were most popular among the customers leaving reviews (75% 5-star ratings and above).
We’re happy to report that it was extremely difficult to find ‘cons’ with most of these products, and those uncovered were mostly included for the sake of preserving our unbiased journalistic integrity.
All of the bags selected have a wet and dry compartment, and can handle at least five soiled diapers. So what we thought we’d do here is give you a little list of things to bear in mind when deciding which wet bag kit is your favorite so you can mentally form a pros/cons list before hitting the buy button.
Will you be using these bags for other purposes than as wet bags? For example, if you’re hoping to use them for damp gym gear, then you’ll want the larger variations. For adult clothing, opt for the bags which are 16” (40.6cm) or more along the base.
The Wegreeco is a particularly good option for the gym. It won’t look out of place in the corner of a CrossFit center.
This may be a big deal to you, or it could be secondary to the issue of how many diapers the bag can actually hold.
If you buy a kit, it might be helpful to buy a bag set where the two or three bags look very different to one another. You could allocate one each to twins, or use one permanently for clothing, and the other for diapers.
Will this bag spend a lot of time in the trunk of your car? If so, a bright color makes life easier when you haven’t had much sleep. Black bags and dark corners are the stuff of raised blood pressure.
If a cute design is important to you (and you have an older child) then you may want to go for a darker color or a busy, disguising pattern. These stay looking new for longer.
How easy is the bag to clean?
Some can be tumble dried. Others not. It’s a good idea to get the double or triple packs (or two of the same) if you cannot put the bag in the dryer with other clothing.
Odour and moisture control
These are two areas where we recommend that you check out the longer and more detailed reviews to see if you can find signs that the bag is still performing well a few months or a year after purchase.
Vine Voice reviewers and frequent Amazon flyers are pretty hot on updating their assessments of a product as a matter of personal pride. Those continued assessments tend to have a ring of truth about them.
Finally, a word about the laminate material…
We’ve seen three types of waterproofing and water-resistant wet bag interior mentioned so far.
You have the 100% polyester option, polyurethane laminate (PUL) and thermoplastic laminate (TPU). In the context of being faithful to the specifics of each product, it’s easy to make it seem as if they are entirely different fabrics, or that one is superior to the other.
The truth is that the type of laminate isn’t a factor that should make or break your purchase decision. PUL is an actual fabric. PUL is constructed of polyknit which has been bonded to a transparent polyurethane film. Essentially, TPU is part of PUL.
It would be easy to think that TPU is an advanced form of PUL (with extra heatproof qualities). The name would suggest this. However, the polyester bags, PUL bags and most TPU-coated fabrics can survive over 200 washes at high temperatures, while being reasonably resistant to abrasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there some kind of scale of odour or smell?
We’re not sure how this will help you, exactly, but there is such a thing called the Odour Awareness Scale (OAS). However, points on this scale do not indicate the strength of the smell itself but of the threshold at which people can detect smells under test conditions.
That said, obviously a strong smell can be picked up by even those who score low on the OAS.
Do diapers cause infertility?
This is a very, very long way off being proven. A study published in 2000 by Partsch, Aukamp and Sippell demonstrated a higher rise in scrotal temperature inside a disposable diaper than in a cloth diaper, but this has been followed up by counter studies which have found the same trend to a lesser extent.
Much of the information seems to concern methodology feuding rather than point to a consistently occurring statistically significant difference. What we can learn from these studies is that there may be some benefit in the future to allowing your little guy to enjoy a set period of pants-free cheeky nekkidness every day. And not just in the bath.
Are bamboo diapers better for the environment?
Bamboo disposables biodegrade way faster than standard diapers. We’re looking at decomposition in 75 days instead of 500 years. Yes, a radical improvement. However, nothing biodegrades entirely in an airtight landfill, so the mental image we have of the bamboo diapers disintegrating harmlessly into nothing doesn’t quite reflect reality.
The production of bamboo diapers does put less pressure on the water supply, however. We’re not feeding cotton with water for cloth, and we’re not running separate, extra washes with batches of dirty diapers at high temperatures.
Every form of diaper production and disposal has its advantages and disadvantages, but bamboo currently looks to be one of the more ecologically friendly options.
When should you move up a diaper size?
Red marks on the thighs or the tendons in the groin is the most obvious sign, and it’s one you’ll want to deal with quickly because it indicates growing discomfort (or at least the danger of it, if baby seems happy enough for now).
The second clue is frequent blow-outs: by which we mean that the scale of their bladder and bowel movements outstrips the diaper’s capacity to deal with your baby’s power for creating mess.
Thirdly, check to see how high up your baby’s belly the diaper reaches. It should be just below the belly button if it’s fitting nicely, and you should be able to connect the tabs easily. If either of these fit aspects don’t seem right, just go up a size on principle.