Review: The Caboose Travel Potty

Caboose travel potty

The Caboose by Bonaco is a travel potty with an interesting selling point.

A lot of potties collect and hold waste for you to save and deal with at home. (Yuck!) Some potties avoid the mess by using gallon freezer bags or proprietary plastic bags.

The Caboose uses the disposable diapers—any size—that you are already buying. Our family had reusable cloth diapers, but even we used disposables for travel.

The potty consists of two hard plastic clam shells that fit together to form a sort of bedpan. You open a diaper, place it through a specially designed hole in the top of the Caboose and wrap the diaper’s edges in a way that allows the diaper to lie open.

My wife was a pro from the get-go, but I required a few tries to get the hang of hanging the diaper. When positioned properly, the diaper is suspended midway down the bedpan lying snug in the hole.

Your toddler sits on the Caboose and does his business. You clean him with a sanitary wipe and deposit the wipe onto the open diaper. Then you loosen the diaper, fold each side of the diaper closed, remove the Caboose lid and wrap up the diaper into a ball for disposal.

This potty is tiny in its compact form—an 8×10 inch oval footprint and 2.5 inches tall. For storage, the lid flips to be nested in the base for placement into a clear plastic carrying bag that handles more like a briefcase. It’s unfortunate that the case is clear, meaning anyone can see what you’re carrying, but frankly, only another Caboose owner will recognize it as a travel potty.

The Caboose was designed and is produced in America. If you’ve been following the flood of food and toy recalls traced back to China, and know that very few international products even get tested for US standards compliance, well, "Made in the USA" could position itself as the new Japan. To paraphrase Marty McFly, "What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in America."

I’ll pay a few bucks more for the quality assurance of a domestically manufactured product. But wait, the Caboose costs $19. That’s $6 cheaper than the travel potty my family currently uses which I assume is Asian-made because its country of manufacture isn’t specified.

Now, the potty’s usefulness may wane for parents of an only child who is potty trained (e.g., if you no longer buy diapers). But if you have multiple kids, the Caboose is a neat solution because you’re already packing diapers—no need to remember plastic bags or some other secondary storage requirement.

I parked my 3-year-old daughter on the Caboose last night before bedtime and it successfully captured both pee and poo. I do wonder whether the prodigious bowels of a fully loaded 3- or 4-year-old would be contained without brushing up against the plastic walls of the Caboose, but those are kids on the tail end of not needing a travel potty. My daughter already prefers store restrooms and isn’t subject to emergencies.

This potty was provided to Thingamababy for review, so the defining question is: will I continue to use it? Yes, even though we already have a different travel potty. One thing I’ve hated about the other potty is its clear storage bag (image). Although the bag is easier to place on the potty than a diaper, just look at that bag link. Would you rather carry a Ziploc bag filled with urine and floaters to a public trash can, or a balled up diaper? Let me save you the suspense. You really can’t hide a clear bag with yellow fluid.

We own two cars and forgetting to move our toddler gear to the correct car is a problem. I’m confident the Caboose will suffice through the end of my 3-year-old’s travel potty needs (hey, finally a use for our leftover diapers), and should be spot-on for our next baby.

Photo of the two clam shell pieces of the Caboose potty side-by-side.

Photo of the Caboose travel potty held in its carrying case.


6 Responses to “Review: The Caboose Travel Potty”

  1. Kara says:

    Wow, this looks great! I didn’t want a travel potty because of having to use bags, but this makes total sense! I’d like to get one…where are they available? My only concern would be confusion for the kid–”hey Mom’s got diapers…why can’t I just wear them instead?”

    July 19th, 2007 at 9:03 am

  2. AJ says:

    There is a list of retailers on the Caboose web site (click “Retailers”) or you can buy it online (click “Buy It Now”).

    July 19th, 2007 at 9:23 am

  3. Lisa says:

    Ok……….I see the convenience factor being met but at the same time, i can’t justify adding even more disposable diapers to the landfills just for this.

    January 12th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

  4. Ticia says:

    Okay, now that we’re potty training I need to pick this up. I agree on the whole other travel potties are gross.

    March 21st, 2008 at 12:15 pm

  5. Emily says:

    This looks like a brilliant product. We are doing early potty training. Most of the potty training products on the market are made for bigger kids and are too big or tall for our 1 year old daughter. We have found that Baby Bjorn’s potty seat is a great at-home seat for her and the Caboose looks like it would be a perfect on-the-go seat for a small child. Thanks for bringing this product to my attention!

    May 2nd, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  6. Jennifer Johnson says:

    I would never use this. My daughter would definetly just ask to have the diaper on. We just use a doggie poop bag and a nursing pad (which we call the pee-pee pad) to line the inside of her Safety 1st Potty. It works perfectly. The diaper would be WAY too confusing for her.

    July 22nd, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Post a comment

(will not be published)