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.

Two photos of the Travel Potty, the top photo is of the potty in collapsed form being held like a briefcase. Below it is a photo of the potty open and configured as a potty chair.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:

  1. Unmentionables fall into a 1-gallon freezer bag of your choice. There are no custom bags to buy. Freezing the contents is optional.
  2. It’s a real seat with legs that allow the potty to be used inside a car.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The back of the potty is ugly. See below.

Photo of the Travel Potty being held like a briefcase, except the backside of the potty is shown, revealing a plastic bag attached. The photo caption reads: My Travel Potty briefcase has a chic pee bag.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?


7 Responses to “Review: Travel Potty by Cool Gear”

  1. Carrie says:

    A friend of ours has a similar portable potty, which they pulled out and used at her birthday party in the park. Somehow I thought they would’ve moved a bit farther away from the table before doing so. BTW, they were going bagless.

    January 1st, 2007 at 7:55 am

  2. who needs diaper bags? says:

    I sell diaper bags for a living, but your article is so informative (and hilarious) you may have convinced even me to replace my own daughter’s diaper bag with this gadget. Thanks for the great, and transparent, article.

    January 4th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

  3. Dale says:

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    January 11th, 2007 at 9:51 am

  4. Marci says:

    I just bought one of these for my 20 month old daughter, AND she loves it. We keep the bag in for in those “I GOT TO GO NOW” situations. But this truly is a great product and so lightweight. I can put it in the basket in the stroller and we are off not worrying that she will have to go when we are out and about.

    October 11th, 2007 at 7:21 pm

  5. MacMama05 says:

    I bought this travel potty while my daughter was potty training. We have a 45 minute drive home which is a long time for a bladder in training to try to “hold it.” My daughter loves it so much that we even take it with us in the stroller for outings at the zoo, grocery shopping, etc. We always know she is sitting on a clean seat. It gets this Mom’s seal of approval.

    January 7th, 2009 at 6:40 am

  6. Michelle says:

    I used this portable potty chair for my two older boys. It was great for those “gotta go poop NOW!” moments. We found that putting a maxi pad in the freezer bag kept us from carrying a sloshy bag of pee when she was finished.

    May 9th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

  7. Ashley says:

    I LOVE my travel potty. I have used it thousands of times, I’ll bet. My son uses it on long car rides to see his grandparents, he uses it when there isn’t a potty around. He used it a lot when we were first training and he had to go often – when we were running errands, etc. Just the other day we were standing in line at the post office – “PEE PEE!” he says – no public restroom? No problem! I have the bag and the potty ready at all times, we run out to the car, I deploy the potty (he is saying “hurry mommy, don’t want to pee pee in my pants!”) and he sits down and goes. Then we calmly walk back in and get in the back of the post office line. No embarrasing peeing in the grass or anything. I have even used it once or twice (squating of course) in dire circumstances.

    June 16th, 2010 at 12:15 pm