Lululemon’s New Parent Backpack Review: The Diaper Bag, Rebranded

Gym bag looks, with the functionality (read: pockets) you’ll definitely need

January 10, 2024 10:30 am
A man wearing the Lululemon New Parent Backpack, a stylish diaper bag that we tested and reviewed
No rainbows or Disney characters here. This is a diaper bag that looks like your gym bag.

I’m glad I became a father in 2023, when we’re well past the Piers Morgan conception of what fatherhood should look like and have fully embraced the Daniel Craig version. It’s perfectly fine — admirable, even — for men to carry their infant children around in front packs festooned with stars or rainbows or Disney characters. But if you do want your baby gear to match your personal style, that’s a completely understandable option too (after all, your six-month-old isn’t going to care whether you have Pooh Bear graphics or a nondescript black backpack), and that’s why Lululemon made their own diaper bag.

Lululemon doesn’t call their diaper bag a “diaper bag,” though. They call it the New Parent Backpack, an obvious attempt to rebrand a notoriously uncool but absolutely necessary piece of parental gear, while offering minimalist styling and legitimate functionality in the process. 

The backpack will set you back $198 at full price, and it appears the black version is the most popular, as the green and silver editions are both on final sale for $149. I tested and prefer the green version because I already own a black backpack — and I’m guessing a lot of you do too — and when parent mode takes over and I’m trying to run out the door with my baby, her hat and booties, a blanket, the carseat and the sun cover for the carseat, it’s nice when I don’t have to spend any brain power at all — none! — when reaching for her green diaper bag. I always know it’s the right one, because I have no other “dark forest green” bags. It’s the little things that help when you’re running on three hours of sleep. 

But I also understand that most parents who want a Lululemon diaper bag might also want a black one. It goes with everything and doesn’t immediately communicate to everyone else that it’s a diaper bag — it’s aesthetically indistinguishable from the dozen or so other backpacks the athleisure brand sells.

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Look closer, though, and you’ll see the bag offers lots of little features that’ll make a big difference when you’re traveling with your baby, whether it’s to a friend’s house or on their first airplane trip. 

Lululemon New Parent Backpack, at a Glance


  • Water-repellent fabric inside and out
  • Includes changing mat and crossbody bag
  • Big enough to carry your things too
  • Multiple ways to carry
  • Lots of pockets
  • Sleek design 


  • No waterproof fabric (which is tougher than simply water-repellent)
  • No insulated, temperature-regulated pockets
  • Could use even more functionality 

How We Tested

I’ve had the New Parent Backpack for about two months, during which time my kid was five to seven months old. In that period, the bowel movement situation has gotten, shall we say, more intense, so I paid extra attention to how the bag can handle dirty clothes and the like. 

Additionally, this isn’t the first diaper bag I owned. My wife and I were gifted one from a baby-specific brand that’s been around for a couple decades (there are no Disney characters on it, but there are rose-gold accents), so I used that as a point of comparison for Lululemon’s design.

The Lululemon New Parent Backpack (a diaper bag) shown closed and open
Besides the pockets and pouches shown, the New Parent Backpack includes a zip pocket in the top flap accessible near the handle.

What We Liked and Didn’t Like

Immediately upon inspecting the New Parent Backpack, you’ll be impressed by the amount of pockets and pockets within pockets, which you’ll need, as it’s important not just to hold all your baby gear (diapers, creams, toys, bottles, deodorized trash bags, your tool of choice for sucking out mucus), but keep it separated and organized so you can get what you need as fast as possible. 

Here’s a complete breakdown of the storage situation in this 17-liter backpack: The main compartment zips open to reveal one pocket against the back and five separate mesh pockets around the outside; the front of the bag has another zip pocket that is split into two sections by another mesh pocket; the top flap of the bag contains another pocket, opened with a zipper by the handle; there are two water bottle pockets on the sides; and finally, the backpack includes a separate pouch that can be worn as a crossbody bag, and inside that you’ll find a removable changing mat and a few pockets. All of the recycled polyester lining is water-repellent, so it’s easy to spot clean (as you can’t throw this in the washing machine).

I like that Lululemon offers the crossbody bag as an option, but I didn’t find myself using it. Instead, I removed the changing mat and simply put that in the backpack’s main compartment for easy access. There was never a time when I only needed what I could fit in the crossbody bag; if I’m carrying my kid’s stuff around, I like to default to a larger diaper bag because it has everything I could possibly need. But every parent is different, and you may not be into the perpetually overprepared lifestyle.

The Lululemon New Parent Backpack, shown with its pass-through strap for hooking to carry-on suitcases and its water bottle pouches on the sides
Besides the slide-through strap on the back, you’ll see the shoulders straps have secondary clips that allow you to hook it to your stroller.

In terms of storage, the good thing about this bag is that you can likely fit everything you’ll need, even if you’re dealing with multiple kids instead of just one like me. There are enough pockets to help even the most organizationally challenged parent get their gear under control, but I did find myself wanting more than just the standard pockets — where are the hooks, loops and diversification of sizes? There are some loops on the backpacks straps, like a traditional adult bag, but as a parent, I’d rather have everything contained inside the zip compartments than have my spool of deodorized bags hanging off where my kid could potentially pull them out and start chewing on them. 

There are a few nifty features that show Lululemon was thinking about solving problems for parents, including secondary straps that allow you to clip the bag onto a stroller, and a slide-through strap for attaching it to a rolling suitcase (for those brave parents who fly with their young children). There is one obvious oversight, though: there’s no insulated and/or waterproof pouch. The zip pocket in the top flap is good for storing dirty clothes, but it would have been great to have a more durable waterproof fabric there (or anywhere else) instead of just water-repellent; and if you do need to carry breast milk, there is no insulated, temperature-regulated pouch to do so, a feature I have in my other diaper bag. 

Verdict: Should You Buy the Lululemon New Parent Backpack?

The best diaper bag for you is the one you’re going to use. Lululemon’s New Parent Backpack is designed for a seamless transition between your pre-parenthood life and the hectic and beautiful reality of actual parenthood. It looks like the gym bags and travel backpacks you used before your baby got here, and it’s got all the functionality you need now that you’re more concerned with butt wipes and noise machines instead of sleep masks and AirPods. But it’ll also fit your Yeti water bottle so you can make sure you’re taking care of yourself along with your little one.

If you want style, versatility and space, this diaper bag is a great option, thanks to the 11 pockets, not including those in the included crossbody bag. If you are planning on carrying breast milk with you regularly and need an insulated, temperature-controlled pocket, you’ll want to look elsewhere (for the record, that’s not part of our normal routine, so I didn’t miss it, but it’ll depend on your situation). And while I would have preferred at least one waterproof pocket instead of the water-repellent fabric that’s present throughout this entire bag, it’s not a dealbreaker — just toss your dirty clothes into a deodorized bag, slide that in one of the separate pockets, and you’re golden.

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