Minimalist Bags for Moms

Minimalist Bags & How to Pick the Perfect One

Just the pure number of online searches for “Minimalist bags for moms” these days speaks volumes of the trend to downsize. Even before our diaper bag days, many of us were lugging around sagging backpacks, massive crossbody messenger bags or purses that dug into our shoulders.

As moms, many of us started with a traditional diaper bag before we began our quest for the perfect minimalist bag–a tote, a fanny pack, or a purse that could fit only what we needed without dragging us down. 

With so many moms looking for a more streamlined and simplified way of carrying their essentials, we couldn’t be happier that more and more brands are coming out with minimalist bags for moms. Not only do they offer practicality, but there are many chic options out there for every style. 

But before we get into the bags themselves, let’s talk terminology. After all, a minimalist bag is different from a person who defines herself as minimalist. And a minimalist herself is likely to have a minimal collection of bags. So, let’s define a few key terms.

Woman wearing minimalist bag in gray

What is a Minimalist?

The Minimalist Vegan defines a minimalist person as “someone who has a simple, uncluttered lifestyle. They don't believe in owning things for the sake of owning things — they only keep what is truly important to them. Minimalists are often very organised and efficient and find satisfaction in pursuing meaningful relationships and activities [over objects].”

And how many handbags should a minimalist have?

If you are a minimalist or live in a small space, you could easily get away with having 3 purses. One small [dressier] bag, one mid-size bag, and one tote bag. Petite in Paris highly recommends that if you are going the route of having only 3 bags that you purchase these bags in a neutral color: Black, beige, taupe, Grey or white. (Though we tend to think blush, brown and even shades of blue or green can be quite neutral!)

What about other bags?

Beyond handbags, it’s worth considering that the above mid-size handbag or tote bag could easily be replaced by a crossbody bag or fanny pack, and a tote bag could be replaced by a traditional backpack or a convertible one that can be worn on one shoulder or two.

When you do the math, this means even a minimalist is likely to have somewhere between 3-5 bags. 

So, What is a Minimalist Bag?

According to Klès, “Minimalist handbags, with their simple style, don't usually follow trends. They are wardrobe staples to keep for several years (or for a lifetime) with a versatile style that goes with every outfit. Minimalist handbags are not just any bags. They're lifetime companions you can go back to, time and time again.”


Let’s Talk Minimalist Bags for Moms!

If you’re looking for a minimalist bag–whether it’s a purse, belt bag or tote–make sure it checks these boxes:

  • Versatile style
  • Neutral/versatile color
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight material
  • Comfortable fit
  • Essential functionality 

kibou diaper bag fanny pack

Features of Minimalist Bags

When it comes to minimalist bags for moms, there are a few key features that make them stand out.

First and foremost, they are designed to be lightweight and compact. This means that they are easy to carry around, even if you have to juggle a baby or toddler at the same time.

They also have a minimalistic design, with clean lines and a simple aesthetic that doesn't add unnecessary bulk and allows the style to go with whatever you might wear that day. Your bag shouldn’t require you to overthink what you throw on–whether you pick it up  off the floor, or carefully plan it the night before (we can dream right?)

Another important feature of minimalist bags for moms is their functionality.

Minimalist bags are typically designed with multiple pockets and compartments, which make it easy to keep your essentials organized and accessible. A bag like Kibou has functionality specifically useful for parents including a waterproof pocket for wipes or soiled items and a compact, detachable changing pad. This is especially important for moms who need to be able to quickly grab items like diapers, wipes, and snacks while on the go.

Mom wearing minimalist bag holding baby

Types of Minimalist Bags 

One popular type of minimalist bag for moms is the backpack. Backpacks are a great option because they distribute weight evenly across your back, which can help reduce back pain and fatigue. They also leave your hands free, which is essential when you're juggling kids or running errands.

Another popular option is the crossbody bag. Crossbody bags are great for moms who need to keep their hands free but prefer a more stylish look than a backpack. They typically have an adjustable strap that can be worn across the body, which helps distribute weight and keep the bag close to your body for added security.

An option with even more versatility is a belt bag, or fanny pack, which can be worn on your waist or crossbody. With all the same benefits of a crossbody bag–the adjustable strap, weight distributions, and free hands–this minimal option makes it easy to be in style and easily on the go.

Tote bags are another solid option when it comes to minimalist bags for moms. Tote bags vary in size, typically have one large main compartment, which makes it easy to throw in all your essentials without having to worry about organization. They also often have a few smaller pockets, which can be great for keeping smaller items like your phone, keys, and wallet within easy reach. Tote bags can be worn over the shoulder or carried by hand, depending on your preference, and they come in a range of materials, from canvas to leather to eco-friendly options made from recycled materials. 

Checklist of Considerations

When it comes to choosing a minimalist bag for moms, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Size: Is it big enough to fit what you need without bulk or the temptation to overpack?
  • Organization: Does it have enough pockets to make it easy to find items but not so many pockets that you never know where something is?
  • Exterior material: Be practical here. How easily does it wipe clean? Can you take care of this bag with minimal effort? Will it stand the test of time?
  • Weight: How heavy is the bag itself? You don’t want a bag that weighs so much that it weighs you down before you’ve even packed it
  • Style: Do you feel good wearing it? Is it something you’ll be excited to put on? Does it go with the majority of your wardrobe?

Minimalist Bag Essentials: What to Pack

Then there are the minimalist bag essentials you want to pack.

And again, this is about embracing carrying less.

Here’s a minimalist bag checklist specific to parents on-the-go:

  • Diapers (two) or swap out for a pull-up for toddlers
  • Wipes 
  • Changing pad (The Kibou includes a detachable one!)
  • Bou-Boo bag 
  • Bottle or snack
  • Burp cloth
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Pacifier
  • Extra onesie + small bag for soiled onesie (or your waterproof Kibou pocket)
  • Keys (Kibou has a key ring, so say goodbye to digging through your bag to find them!)
  • Phone
  • Cash and/or credit cards

It’s about only carrying what you need while staying organized and feeling confident in the moment.

Our Favorite Brands + Bags

  1. Fanny pack/crossbody bag: Kibou Vegan Leather Everyday Bag
  2. Backpack: Moleskin Metro Backpack
  3. Tote bag: Cuyana 
  4. Purse: Behno Tilda Saddle Bag
  5. Travel carry on: Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe

Choosing the right minimalist bag for you is about being practical but also a matter of personal taste. While functionality is important, you also want a bag that looks and feels good to you. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern design or something more classic and timeless, it’s always worth looking on Instagram or Pinterest to see how others wear and style (and even pack!) the minimalist bag you’re eyeing.


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