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Hip diaper bag a must for the discerning dad

Joel Sherwood · 13 Oct 2009, 12:01

Published: 13 Oct 2009 12:01 GMT+02:00

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My manhood hinges apparently on the type of diaper bag I carry around.

This revelation became clear when I was recently looking to buy this all-important bag, which is meant to hold everything a parent needs for their infant when away from home including, but not at all limited to, extra diapers.

Let me preface this by saying that as a new father I have more than willingly undertaken a number of activities that one could see in some measure as emasculating or adolescent. I have, for example, given good thought to whether our daughter should wear hose with certain outfits. I now see no problem going into baby talk or making silly faces anywhere and anytime. I also, ahem, seem to be fine with regularly writing about babies. All this, I feel, is hard evidence I'm taking this fatherhood thing in stride.

But I apparently have issues with diaper bags. While surveying the market for this product, I followed a hot tip and found a website selling baby gear designed especially for dads. The diaper bags they sold turned out to be everything I could dream of in such gear.

The bags were hefty and rugged, with wide flaps, bold zippers and loads of compartments. There were a bunch of different styles to choose from and each had a cool name, like “DudePack". The bags came in tough colours like camouflage, with kick-ass skull-and-bone or dragon emblems if wanted.

In an online product demo clip, which I watched several times, the company showed that one of their latest bags – called “Green Dude” – had a checklist imprinted permanently on the material reminding users what items to make sure to pack.

I found this not the least bit condescending. Instead, this company had ticked all the diaper bag criteria boxes I didn't even know I had. I told myself I'd be damned if I'm going to carry around diapers in any bag of a colour that didn’t blend undetectably into a jungle background and which didn't tell me what to put in it.

Just to be 100% sure that I was making the right choice, my wife and I decided just as mere formality to look at some of the more conventional diaper bags you see around aimed not just at male parents.

We discovered these had essentially all the same features, excluding certain style elements, as the guy-targeted bags and were about half the price. Some of them even looked kind of rugged and came in camo too. Critically, one of the companies selling these more run-of-the-mill looking bags delivered overnight.

In the end, it was logistics that forced our hand. We prioritized fast delivery and so we ended up buying the more conventional bag. It's grey, with magnets to close up compartments instead of zippers. No dragon insignia.

Story continues below…

I've come to terms with the decision. We got what we needed and saved a little money.

But seeing the bag in actuality rather than virtually revealed that it may have a more feminine look than first thought. I noticed there's no messenger bag-like flap cover at the bag opening that in my mind clearly separates unisex bags from, say, purses. It's also not immediately evident if the bag strap is long enough to go over my head and across my body, courier-style. When it’s not hanging from the stroller, I might have to carry the bag over just one shoulder, purse-style.

I'm not sure how all this is going to go. On one hand, I guess a diaper bag doesn’t completely define a person. Other factors in the end may weigh in too. On the other hand, though, I fear I might always wonder what kind of man I could have become if we hadn’t prioritized speedy delivery.

Joel Sherwood (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

23:23 October 13, 2009 by craicen
Swedish men need to learn what a man is! What a bunch of cowardly puffs.
07:30 October 14, 2009 by skz3
In so many ways, the Swedish man is the more enlightened man. Nice story Joel Sherwood!
20:30 October 14, 2009 by coswede
swedish men are very f_ggy the wear jeans 3 sizes to tight, thats so queer
22:58 October 14, 2009 by Bones
You Swedish-men-bashing dcikhaeds should get off your high horse before you miss out on some of the greatest rewards of being a parent. There's a hell of a lot us Brits, Yanks, and Aussies can learn from the Swedes' even-split parenting. There are enough of us expats comfortable enough in our manhood to do similar to the story above. I personally might draw the line on an actual nappy bag and rather use my own backpack or messenger bag, but that's probably more for practical and financial reasons. Perhaps craicen could explain what a man really is for us? Sounds like a bit of small-dcik syndrome to me...And learn to spell "poofs".
09:54 October 15, 2009 by craicen

I guess most the men in of the world have little peckers according to your logic, because in most cultures outside the world of the "culture revolution", there are rather strick sex roles. In the normal world women take primary care of infants, their the ones with the breast ya know? That makes is natural! Men may help out but not much more.

But keep on going for Utopia, your almost there. Just a few more victims and you'll make it. This time it is the babies who can pay for your delusions.
21:27 October 15, 2009 by Ribrunner
I bought a soft-sided fishing tackle box to use as a diaper bag. It has many separate zippered compartments, and when the kids grow up, it is mine!
09:34 October 17, 2009 by jose_s
Try camera messenger bag, They have several adjustable compartments which can be removed all at once to make it into a regular messenger bag. For all you lads doing your share with the family role.... much respect... as the saying goes... "any man with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise a child."
11:20 October 21, 2009 by Monty Clift
I heard that there is a law in Sweden requiring a man to sit when he urinates. It appears that standing is considered too male and dominant.
14:40 October 21, 2009 by maijavilkina
I checked out the bags mentioned in the article, and theyre really cool. However what baffled me was the price. The Diva bag I had my eyes upon was 62 dollars in USA and 92 euros in EU!!! WHY?
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