Thursday, January 28, 2016

Backpack-Style Diaper Bags

(On Blogjob, this appeared as a four-part series. The client who'd requested it and then not paid for it wanted a thousand words; on Blogjob it came out as twelve hundred. Tags: baby shower suggestionsbaby suppliesbackpack diaper bagsDad Gear diaper baghack writing,presents for new parentsunisex diaper bagbaby shower gift ideasbackpack-type diaper bags,girly diaper bagGraco Gotham backpack diaper bagOrgrimmar backpack diaper bagBebamour backpack diaper bagdiaper bag a child can take to primary schooldiaper bag that will hold a laptop computerdiaper bag with backpacker-type chest clipgifts for new parentsRun Like Baby backpack diaper bagdiaper bags for multiple babiesextra-large diaper bagshack writingOkkatots diaper bagpresents for new parents.)

Although diapers and babies are not part of my life, this post is about the daily life of a writer. Hack writers get paid to write things from research. Often those things are guest posts for other people's web sites (or blogs). Often they're about products those people are selling. Ten years ago, companies trying to launch a new product had to wait for writers to buy it, or send us free samples of it, so that we could write about it. Today, it's possible for professional writers to write summaries of what people are saying about products at Amazon or Walmart.
So, just before the Big Continuous Snow started falling for parts of six days, off and on, and closing down the computer center, I wrote a summary of the buzz about six well reviewed diaper bags. The customer didn't like it. Possibly the customer wanted some reasonable change to be made--more or fewer words about one specific product, e.g. As things were, by the time I came back online, all the information available was that the customer wasn't paying for it.
Sometimes the reason why customers don't pay for a decent piece of writing is that they've figured out some way to use it without paying for it. To prevent this happening, I have to publish the rejected article somewhere else, right away. This allows the customer to use someone else's article if the customer likes someone else's article better, but not to make unauthorized use of mine.
So...Blogjob runs on ads. This computer is set up to generate Amazon ads. This article is about Amazon ads. Therefore this article belongs on Blogjob. So, although I don't know whether anyone reading this has any use for a backpack-type diaper bag, this week we're going to learn more about diaper bags. As always, the pictures that look as if they belong in this article should take you to Amazon pages where you can buy the product discussed.
1. General Observations
Fair disclosure: I, personally, have never used a backpack-type diaper bag, and probably never will. This series--the article is running here as a series--is about backpack-type diaper bags that receive top ratings on Amazon.
Which one is "best"? All of these bags received a few bad reviews, including at least one apiece from somebody who claimed to have received a defective product when ordering a bag online. This happens, Gentle Readers. Any time you buy anything online, there's always a possibility of receiving a product that a real-world storekeeper would quietly have pulled off the shelf and returned to the manufacturer, so in a real-world store you wouldn't even have seen it. If customers report that they received a prompt, cheerful, satisfactory refund or replacement, that counts as a point in the company's favor.
The predominant tendency of reviews for each of these bags is, however, that it's a good product for the right person. The differences we're exploring here reflect which kind of customers tend to rave most over each bag.
All of these bags feature:
  • Multiple pockets for organizing different types of baby supplies
  • At least one insulated pocket for baby's bottles
  • A dispenser for standard-size packets of "baby wipes"
  • Small enough size to fit easily under plane, train, or bus seats
  • Shoulder straps and a hand strap (and most of them also have stroller straps)
2. Featured Product #1: Dad Gear Backpack Diaper Bag
DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag - Solid Black
Light, unisex, organized, durable, and ergonomically right for taller adults: for a $100+ diaper bag, this one's a winner.
  • Measurements: 12x18x10"
  • Weight: 2.2-2.9 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colors: Solid black, or 33 other colors and patterns
  • Ships from: USA 
    What people love
  • About a dozen disposable diapers ride in a hammock on top.
  • Polyester is water-repellent; users say that when they were caught in rain showers, the gear inside stayed dry.
  • The bag comes with a warranty for the lifetime of the purchaser.
  • There's room for lots of gear in the bag...a tablet computer, if not a laptop.
  • It's unisex, not noticeably different from a student's or camper's backpack. 
    What they don't love
  • Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposable diapers; some cloth diaper aficionados say the hammock should be bigger.
  • A diaper bag is designed to carry diapers. Some users complained because this is not the one of the bags discussed here that's designed to carry a laptop.
3. Featured Product #2: Orgrimmar Diaper Tote Bags Larger Capacity Baby Nappy Bag Fashion Mummy Backpack
Orgrimmar Diaper Tote Bags Larger Capacity Baby Nappy Bag Fashion Mummy Backpack (Pink)
For $25, this feather-light, washable nylon bag gets high ratings from young mothers.
* Measurements: 11.8x8.7x16.5"
* Weight: 12.3 ounces
* Material: Nylon
* Colors: Pink, red, or leopard print
* Ships from: China
What people love
* It's super-light, yet has enough padding to stand up on its own.
* It's a good ergonomic fit for short people.
* Some people like the "tapered, not boxy" shape.
* People who bought this bag love the "girly" fashion prints.
* Nylon wipes clean.
* For the first year after a baby is born, the mother is advised to lift nothing heavier than the baby. If she sticks to that rule when loading this bag, it should last through several babies' diaper days.
What they don't love
* No extras are changing pad, nothing. (For this price, you know it has to be minimalist.)
* "Girly fashion" colors not only embarrass Daddy, but may embarrass Mommy on her baby boy's behalf.
* If you want a camper's or student's backpack, this one's not for you. It seems designed to remind new mothers not to lift more than ten pounds.
4. Featured Product #3: Graco Gotham Smart Organizer Backpack Diaper Bag
Graco Gotham Smart Organizer System Back Pack Diaper Bag, Black/Grey
Highly organized, with neat, specific little pockets all over, this $40 bag gets rave reviews from women; some men like it too.

* Measurements: 18.5x15x5.5"
* Weight: 2 pounds
* Material: Polyester
* Color: Black
* Ships from: China

What people loved:
* Lots of pockets, inside and out.
* A changing pad is included, although it's thin.
* Padded, adjustable shoulder straps make the bag easy to carry. One customer specified that this bag adjusts to fit both a 5'3" and a 6'4" user "perfectly."
* It looks like a student's backpack; it doesn't shriek "baby" or look "girly."
* It does, however, have a teardrop shape some fashion-conscious mothers like.
* It's roomy and well organized. Some customers typed lists of dozens of things they carry around in this backpack diaper bag.
* Polyester is durable; this bag should last through several babies' diaper days.
What they didn't love:
* A few people received bags that weren't well made, and nobody mentions anything in the way of a warranty with this bag.
* This bag doesn't come with stroller straps. The Amazon page suggests buying a stroller hook, sold separately.
5. Featured Product #4: Bebamour Travel Backpack Diaper Bag Tote Handbag Purse
Bebamour Travel Backpack Diaper Bag Tote Handbag Purse (Light Khaki)
For $45, this canvas-type bag gets mostly excellent reviews.

* Measurements: 13.8x15x5.5"
* Weight: 1.3 pounds
* Material: Similar to a classic trench coat...enough that people mention waterproofing it like one.
* Color: Khaki, orange, or dark yellow
* Ships from: China
What people loved:
* This bag comes with a lifetime guarantee.
* The top handle strap can be used to carry the bag over one shoulder.
* Thickly padded shoulder straps attach to thin nylon webbing straps below the arms, where less padding is needed.
* Straps are adjustable, though not necessarily roomy enough for everyone.
* The khaki color should match a classic trench coat.
What they didn't love:
* This bag is smaller than some other bags on the market, and has slightly smaller, not very flexible pockets. It serves most users well, but some complain that their gear doesn't fit where they expect it to fit.
* Customer service gets mixed reviews. People love the well-made bags, and some love the service they got when it was necessary to return a defective bag, but others think the quality of customer service needs improvement.
* Some people don't like the straps.
6. Featured Product #5: (Run Like Baby) Diaper Backpack with Changing Pad--Multipurpose Travel Diaper Bag
Diaper Backpack with Changing Pad, Multi-purpose Travel Diaper Bag (Camo II)
This $50 backpack is so sturdy and unisex that some users mention letting the baby keep it and carry it to school.

* Measurements: 17.7x13.3x2.6"
* Weight: 2 pounds
* Material: Polyester
* Colors: Black, Camo I, or Camo II
* Ships from: USA

What people loved:
* Although Run Like Baby is a fairly new company, this bag is made in the USA and comes with a 90-day warranty.
* It looks classic, not trendy, and durable.
* It's waterproof.
* It comes with a changing pad.
* The main compartment is roomy and durable enough to hold a laptop along with the diapers.
* It has air-mesh padding in back, and a chest clip, like a serious camper's backpack.
* Both handle and shoulder straps are padded, and it has side braces for easier carrying. One customer claimed her husband carries mechanic's tools around (along with the diapers) in this backpack, and not only does the chest clip hold the tools, but the grease wipes off.
What they didn't love:
Despite features that may tempt customers to overload this backpack, it's still a diaper bag. After ninety days, if you carry a lot of books, tools, or camping gear in it, the warranty has expired...and you've been warned.
7. Featured Product #6: Travel Baby Depot Bag / Travel Diaper Backpack from Okkatots
Travel Baby Depot Bag / Travel Diaper Backpack in Cranberry Red
This $100+ bag is big and roomy enough for the cloth diaper crowd.
* Measurements: 15x21.2x6"
* Weight: 3.4 pounds
* Colors: Red, blue, or black
* Material: Nylon
* Ships from: USA
What people loved:
* It has room for everything. Customers type out long inventories of gear they can haul around in this bag.
* A diaper dispenser holds up to 15 disposable diapers.
* There's room for supplies for three children. Some customers say this bag holds everything they pack for three children for a two-day trip.
What they didn't love:
* Some users say this bag is too big. If you have only one baby, do you really need a bag that will hold supplies for three tots?
* Customers who had to report problems with the bags they received said, "For this price I'd expect more" in the way of customer service.
8. And so, in conclusion... 
This is the kind of thing hack writers write all day if we want to get paid, these days. Better assignments come along. So do worse assignments. Nicer customers come along. So do nastier ones.
One thing that comes to mind, as I reflect on the writing experience, is that I think this client did want more than s/he was willing to pay for. Hack writing jobs are generally paid according to the length the article is meant to fit. Although it came out a little over 1000 words (I usually give a customer a few free words, just to forestall complaints that links aren't words), this article could easily have been longer. Customers worded their raves over these bags in memorable, unique ways that my dissatisfied writing client might have wanted to see quoted in the article; if I were selling these bags, would have wanted to quote their words in the article.
(And actually, with those Amazon links, I am selling those bags; if anyone out there clicks on a bag to open an Amazon page and then buys the bag from Amazon, I should in theory receive a commission.)
If you're seriously shopping for bags, by all means check out the customer comments on Amazon. They contain factual details that had to be cut out of this article so it would fit into the "box" the client had ordered, like the precise number of pockets in each bag, or how well the baby wipes dispenser did at keeping these pre-moistened napkins moist.
Plus, by the time you read this, there are likely to be more comments than I even saw. These products sell fast within their market niche.
However, greedy writing clients beware...if you're paying for a 1000-word article, don't even think about getting a 1200-word article. You can always rewrite it and add more of your own favorite details about the product(s) you're trying to sell!