The Best Classic Bags for Moms at Every Budget

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Even in college, I was known for having the “mom bag.” Needed a tissue for spontaneous drunken tears? I had a travel pack of Kleenex. Needed a Band-Aid for blisters from new heels? I was your gal. Now that I’m an actual mom, my new girl crew, AKA my 3-year-old and 6-year-old daughters, still expect me to have everything we need at all times in my mom bag.

Luckily for me, “everything we need” doesn’t include diapers anymore, but I still like to have wipes, snacks, and, yes, still tissues and bandages on hand. So when it comes to updating my bag for the new season, space for my work laptop and pockets for my mom supplies are a must. Plus, it’s helpful if the bag easily slings over my shoulder or comes with a crossbody strap so my hands can be free.

In this roundup, we scoured some of our favorite stores for handbag styles that work for mom life and more at different budget levels. Whether you’re ready to invest in a large leather tote or need something just to get through this season, we have all the options: budget ($), invest ($$), and treat yourself ($$$).

 

Oversized Totes and Shoppers

These oversized shopper options can fit everything you need, whether you’re taking a trip to the farmer’s market or heading out on a work trip.

Nordstrom

Reversible Faux Leather Tote

$

A reader and editor favorite for its versatility and price, this reversible tote matches with any outfit.

4 colors available

MOM BAG
Mango

Leather Shopper

$$

This oversized shopper bag is made of soft suede and includes a large interior zipper pocket and tie-top detail.

2 colors available

classic mom bag
Madewell

The Knotted Tote Bag

$$$

A Madewell new release, this knotted tote already has plenty of positive reviews, including some from fellow moms. Exterior pockets and a magnetic closure mean easy access to what's inside without needing to unzip.

2 colors available

Cuyana

Classic Tote

$$$

Another reader and editor go-to, a high-quality Cuyana bag is an investment you'll use for years to come.

multiple colors available

leather tote bag
Banana Republic

Oversized Leather Tote Bag

$$$

Classic and functional, this oversized leather tote from BR is wider than it is tall. It can fit most laptops, so it's a perfect bag for working-mom life.

3 colors available

 

Mid-Size Totes

If you’d rather not lug an oversized shopper, consider a mid-size tote that can still hold most essentials.

classic mom bag
Target

Tote Handbag

$

This is the perfect medium-size tote with a zippered top and interior pockets, and it has a shoulder strap if you want to use it as a crossbody.

multiple colors available

classic mom bag
J.Crew

Montauk Medium Tote

$$

For a more casual tote option, we love this personalized tote from J.Crew.

other sizes and colors available

classic mom bags
Madewell

Zip-Top Leather Tote

$$

A reader and editor favorite, the Madewell Transport tote is a mom go-to.

4 colors available

tote
Mark & Graham

Personalized Tote

$$$

Personalize everything from the silhouette to the monogram to the strap on this
16.5”w x 12”h classic tote bag.

 

Everyday Crossbody Bags

Rather than dealing with a shoulder bag while you’re carrying a kid or holding hands to cross the street, crossbody bags and purses keep everything you need secured and easy to access on the go.

crossbody
Nordstrom

Faux Leather Crossbody

$

We love the two zippered pockets and classic styling of this budget-friendly crossbody.

2 colors available

MOM BAG
Zara

Split Leather Crossbody Bag

$$

For moms who are past needing to tote diapers around, this modern classic crossbody has a magnetic closure so you can still quickly grab what you need.

3 colors available

classic mom bag
Madewell

The Sydney Shoulder Bag

$$$

This bag is big enough to fit diapers and wipes but small enough if you don't have to tote around as much stuff for the kiddos.

2 colors available

 

Cute Backpacks

There’s a reason backpacks are a go-to for moms—they can fit tons of essentials and keep both hands free.

backpack
Target

Commuter Backpack

$

Tons of interior pockets and a sleeve to fit on a suitcase handle, this backpack is as practical as it is cute.

3 colors available

classic mom bag
Nordstrom

Kånken Water Resistant Backpack

$$

Functional Scandinavian design has kept the Kånken a favorite for decades. With interior and exterior pockets, this is a cute and functional option for moms.

available in 30+ colors

classic mom bag
Mark & Graham

Leather Backpack

$$$

Use this high-quality leather bag as backpack, shoulder bag, or convenient tote.

personalization available

 

Stylish Belt Bags

Belt bags were made for moms. Whether you wear them slung over a shoulder or around your waist, there is no beating their convenience.

belt bag
Lululemon

Everyday Belt Bag

$

So many of our editors own this super convenient belt bag from Lululemon. Beloved for its pockets and the surprising amount of stuff it can store, this is a belt bag favorite! Plus, it comes in so many fun colors, from neutrals to brights!

Kibou

Belt Diaper Bag

$$

Kibou thought of everything when it comes to this belt bag. It comes with a built-in (and detachable) changing pad and even has a waterproof pocket for wipes.

multiple colors available

belt bag
MZ Wallace

Leather Belt Bag

$$$

More of a splurge, this MZ Wallace belt bag can fit your essentials while keeping you looking stylish—whether you're with baby or not.

2 colors available

 

Diaper Bags

For diaper bags that combine chic style and functionality, look no further than some of these editor and reader favorites!

mom bag
Amazon

Backpack Diaper Bag

$

Practical, cute, and widely popular, you'll likely see Land brand diaper bags at any large gathering of moms and kids.

multiple colors available

mom bag
Skip Hop

Mainframe Wide Open Backpack

$$

Used as a tote or backpack, this diaper bag makes it easy to access everything that's packed inside. Plenty of pockets, including two insulated ones for bottles, make this a favorite.

Nordstrom

Insulated Backpack

$$$

This reader favorite chic diaper bag has all the essentials, including plenty of pockets and a washable changing pad. Use it beyond the diaper years for family outings too!

2 colors available

This article was originally published in September 2019. It has been updated for timeliness. 

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