How To Assemble A Dad Bag

The dad bag, it goes by many names in this modern world: Manbag (meh!), satchel, messanger bag, bag. Increasingly you see men with them, and as luck would have it it’s an indispensable piece of dad equipment. 

I have a bag that I almost always take with me, it contains a collection of things that can be loosely broken down into three groups: Must haves, desirables, luxuries. 

Choosing The Bag

The most important part of this whole exercise is having a suitable bag that’ll hold your stuff/equipment. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Consider size; what are you putting in it, how will you separate the items?
  2. Comfort; when fully loaded will it feel comfortable?
  3. Durability; Will it fall apart when fully loaded? Will it survive more than a week? What does the stitching look like? Are the clasps good quality? Are the straps strong and well made? What about the zippers?
  4. Waterproof; maybe you don’t need this but it’s well advised. 

Below you’ll find each category of equipment broken down, consider this a guide, or starting point, a dad bag is a personal piece of equipment and should contain what you find most useful. 

Must Haves

  • Notebook with pen; this is incredibly valuable as you can jot down ideas, create lists, and in a pinch offer your kid a place to draw.
  • Mobile phone; We all need this at hand, the reasons are pretty self evident. 
  • Multitool; I can’t count how many times I’ve had to: cut something, loosen something, open something, or pry something. 
  • Bandaids, there is not a single moment a kid won’t jump at the opportunity to put one on, and sometimes it’s actually needed.


  • Small sewing kit, these can be purchased from most two dollar shops but are quite useful, from sewing a button back on, to repairing a much loved toy.
  • Duct tape; it has a thousand uses, from; holding something down, to repairing something. I’ve seriously used this heaps. Side note: buy a good quality one and avoid leaving it in hot places, the edges can get very sticky.
  • Nappies and bum wipes, if your kid(s) still need them, try never leave home without them.
  • Small torch, you’d be surprised how many times you need to search under car seats for lost: food, toys, dummies, odds and ends. 
  • Loyalty cards; no one has room for these in their wallets, and sometimes the digital copy won’t cut it. Side note: I’ve stored all my loyalty cards in an app called Stocard, and it’s been quite useful.


  • Kindle or other E-Book device: Sometimes dad life is just a whole lot of waiting, you may as well be entertained. 
  • Headphones, same as above, it might be prudent to have some music or podcasts downloaded onto your phone also.
  • Power bank or battery pack, you can never haveto much power for your devices, or your kids.

    Well that’s about it, naturally you could have loads of stuff, it’s all about personal preference. 


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