If you’re choosing to skip town, you’re not alone: Between the cheap flights, off-peak hotel prices and less crowds, it’s no wonder this month is one of the experts’ favorite times to travel. Of course, when it comes to packing for your upcoming trip — especially if you’re flying there — choosing the right bag as your personal item is key. It’s a Goldilocks mission: not too big (it has to be compact enough to fit under the seat), yet not too small (it must hold all the essentials). Plus, the security scramble means you need easy access to your ID, wallet and phone.
We asked a flight attendant to share her favorite bag, and you might be surprised by what she said: “At least 30% of the flight attendants I know use the Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack,” says Lena Barynova, a Charlotte-based flight attendant, who has traveled to 25 countries (and counting). “It’s very sleek with a great amount of space. You really can’t tell it’s supposed to be a diaper bag.”
However, it’s the diaper bag aspects that make this bag right for travel: there are pockets galore — one for a water bottle, a laptop (or changing mat) sleeve and organizational pockets inside, plus a front exterior zip pocket, and two hidden pockets in the back that are ideal for your phone or small valuables. “One of the pockets was designed for baby wipes, but I stick a pack of cleaning wipes in there instead,” Barynova says. “Get creative with how you use it!”
The backpack is sold in three sizes and all fit airline requirements for a personal item. Choose from black, gray, moss green, dusty pink, or limited edition seasonal colors, like yellow. The backpack also comes with a zippered shoe dust bag, a key leash, mini changing pad, zippered pouch and carabiner clips to hang from a stroller (or your suitcase). The neoprene fabric is water-resistant and easy to hand wash. And don’t worry if you overstuff the bag: it’s “unbelievably comfy no matter how heavy it is,” Barynova says.
Hundreds of five-star reviews from parents and non-parents alike are a testament to the features of this bag. “I saw a flight attendant with this backpack on TikTok and decided to get it for everyday use/travel. It turned out to be my favorite backpack. Love how easily accessible everything is and how many pockets there are in the backpack,” said one reviewer.
Another reviewer was impressed by all the details: “The secret zippers on the back (the part that rests on your back) are very handy! They are perfect for holding jewelry or anything small of value. OMG THE STRAPS on all the Dagne bags I’ve ever purchased are AMAZING. They are seriously the softest, comfiest, cushiest straps I’ve ever experienced on a bag.” And one even found a use for the baby-related extras: “I don’t have kids so I bought the bag to use as my daily backpack. I set the changing mat aside and I plan on leaving it in my car for my work lunch breaks so I can eat over it without dropping crumbs in my car.”
And with that, Goldilocks, our search for the elusive, perfect travel bag is over.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.