If you're looking to skip town soon, you're not alone: Between cheap flights, off-peak hotel prices and thinner crowds, February is one of experts' favorite times to travel. Of course, when it comes to packing for your upcoming trip — especially if you're flying — choosing the right bag as your personal item is key. It has a Goldilocks mission: not too big (compact enough to fit under the seat) but 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 the Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack nabbed the honor. Even better: This expert-approved travel tote is $36 off right now.
Why is it a good deal?
Dagne Dover's coveted bags and accessories rarely go on sale, but right now, the sustainable brand is hosting its Vault Sale. The Indi Diaper Backpack is discounted in both small and medium. Keep in mind that only select colors are included. For example, the small bag in Dune (pictured above) is on sale for $129.
Why do I need this?
Tired of wasting your money on trendy bags? This one has flight attendants' stamp of approval.
"At least 30% of the flight attendants I know use the Dagne Dover Indi Diaper Backpack," said 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 what makes this a good diaper bag that makes it great for travel: There are pockets galore: one for a water bottle, a laptop (or changing mat) sleeve and organizational compartments inside, plus a front exterior zip pocket and two hidden pockets in the back 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 said. "Get creative with how you use it!"
The backpack is sold in three sizes, and all fit airline requirements for a personal item. It also comes with a zippered shoe dust bag, a key leash, a mini changing pad, a zippered pouch and carabiner clips. The neoprene fabric is water-resistant and easy to hand wash. And don't worry if you overstuff it: It's "unbelievably comfy no matter how heavy it is," Barynova said.
What reviewers say:
Hundreds of five-star reviews from parents and non-parents alike are a further testament to 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."
A third buyer even found a creative use for a baby-related extra: "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 perfect travel bag is over.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.