Friday, December 29th, 2006
Review: Travel Potty by Cool Gear
Sometimes my daughter refuses to go potty before we leave our house because she prefers to poop in our car.
We bought a Travel Potty by Cool Gear three months ago and have used it several times a week since. It should be called a Briefcase Potty because in closed form it resembles one, and has a handle. I can’t explain my daughter’s fascination with it.
The potty has three key advantages:
- Unmentionables fall into a 1-gallon freezer bag of your choice. There are no custom bags to buy. Freezing the contents is optional.
- It’s a real seat with legs that allow the potty to be used inside a car.
- There are built-in storage compartments for accessories.
To set up the potty, you pull two grips on the plastic topside, sliding out two panels, and snap those panels 90 degrees into place as they form the potty’s legs. The seat ring is pulled open with a squeeze, a plastic bag is inserted into a groove around the ring and the lid is snapped closed. Afterward, zip the bag, close up the potty and dispose of that pesky bag.
The seat holds a child up to 70 lbs. Hollow compartments inside the legs provide storage for freezer bags and wipes. This potty effectively replaced our diaper bag, though we still have an emergency bag with a change of clothes, Band Aid bandages, and such.
During warm months we easily had our 2.5-year-old daughter conducting her business on the ground next to our car. This could be unsettling for new parents who may be embarrassed that their child is pooping in a parking lot into a clear bag. The nature of the bag may be visible at a distance due to the viewing angle of a passerby. More often, we had our daughter situated in the back of our hatchback or in the open trunk of our sedan. The car trunk approach provides solace on windy days.
Now that cold weather is here, we set the potty onto the passenger seat, perpendicular to the seat’s back. My daughter is small for her size, so your mileage may vary. The potty’s dimensions when open are 12.5″ L x 10″ W x 6.5″ H and when folded is half the height. If you have a minivan, you should be figuratively and literally good to go.
There are three downsides:
- There is no pee shield for boys. Part of potty training a boy is getting him to learn how to handle himself, so consider using this potty after he has attained a basic level of mastery.
- The potty’s legs do not slide out as smoothly as I’d prefer. The handle often gets in the way and has to be flipped first in the opposite direction. This is a minor detail.
- The back of the potty is ugly. See below.
Here is the one product photo you will not see anywhere else. This is the stylish briefcase potty. It’s cool. It has a handle. You’ll be proud to carry this potty in public, right? Well, take a gander at its backside.
It’s unseemly. The aqua-fuchsia briefcase you are toting is obviously a potty. Sure, you probably wouldn’t carry the case with a bag attached, but you get my point. I wish the potty had an enclosed design that would cover the backside and make the product look like a truly innocuous travel case.
However, if you need a car potty for suburban life, or a camping potty, who really cares?