PopATot: the Portable Baby Activity Center

Have you noticed that Exersaucers and similar products bill themselves as portable and compact? How often do you haul those big hunks of plastic with you in a car, train or plane?

Photo of a child standing in a PopATot drinking from a sippy cup outside while surrounded by linked toys.

Enter the PopATot by Kiddy Creations. It’s a PVC-free activity center supported by a folding steel tubing frame, much like a camp or beach quad chair.

(Incidentally, did you know many quad chairs are coated with nasty PVC?)

The PopATot’s size is 27"x27"x24" and collapses into a shoulder bag 5 inches wide and 36 inches long.

The company claims it "opens and closes in seconds with one hand — while you hold your child with the other."

Once open, stick your 6- to 18-month-old (up to 33lbs) in the center seat and attach toys to five loops on the top using standard plastic baby rings. There are also two sippy cup holders.

There doesn’t appear to be a height adjuster, so either it’s not much of an issue, or you simply use it as long as your kid fits. 

As of this writing, a free pack of Sassy Lively Links (plastic toy rings) are included with the PopATot. You provide your own toys.

The floor of the PopATot is removable and machine washable with line drying, but the top is not washable except with a traditional sponge.

Unlike a swiveling Exersaucer, the center seat appears to be stationary, except to whatever degree a toddler can twist his body while standing. To that end, there are no toy loops on the side of the PopATot that faces your child’s back.

Photo of the PopATot with features identified with labels by Kiddy Creations. The features are toy loops, comfortable seat, cup holders, safety latch, canvas cover and a sturdy frame.

If you don’t own an activity center, understand that it essentially serves the same chief purpose as a play pen, providing a safe temporary environment for a toddler when you have tasks to accomplish around the home (while remaining within supervisory view). But in PopATot’s case, it can be also used outside in lieu of a baby being confined to a parked stroller.

I could seriously see my almost-6-month-old in this thing during my 4-year-old’s soccer games, and especially on a camping trip when you pretty much never want to put a baby on the ground.

I like the idea of supplying your own toys. We had to remove two of my son’s Exersaucer toys (one he can yank halfway out himself and the other induces blind rage because it won’t budge).

So, toys of my choosing tethered at a distance of my choosing would be great. There’s no mention of how well toys fit in the carrying bag.

PopATot goes on sale September 10th. It costs $60 with shipping a little steep at $19, although you might obtain a "free" one if you are accepted into the company’s home testing program where you submit a weekly journal and photos or video.

Correction: Shipping is as cheap as $12.50 and $19 at its most expensive. And, the testing program is now full a week later. What can I say? It pays to read Thingamababy early.

International orders are also accepted with shipping costs to be determined.

As of this writing, the product warranty states, "If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with PopATot, simply return it to us undamaged for a replacement product, credit towards a future purchase, or full refund. Shipping is paid by us if returned within 30 days…"

Whatcha think?


12 Responses to “PopATot: the Portable Baby Activity Center”

  1. STL Mom says:

    If it’s so light and portable, why does it cost $19 to ship?
    This does seem like a nice, if expensive, alternative to an exersaucer (it’s so easy to buy the exersaucers used, or get a hand-me-down). But is it wide and sturdy enough to keep a wiggly child from tipping it over?

    September 3rd, 2008 at 7:45 am

  2. anjii says:

    This looks AWESOME!!! I’m one of those people who likes to bring everything but the kitchen sink with me, everywhere we go, so true portability scores huge points with me. And man, this would’ve been nice to have at hubby’s baseball game last night! We go so many places where either there’s nowhere safe to put him down (and he doesn’t always want to be held or sit in the stroller) or where he’s simply bored (a lot of friends with kidless houses).

    September 3rd, 2008 at 8:17 am

  3. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    I must say this does look really good for camping and travel! I also thought about visiting kidless houses or those summer BBQs and park picnics. My son is probably verging on too big for this but I will be considering it for the next kid!

    We do have an exersaucer but it was pretty much only used if I had to take a shower while tending to my son alone. It is so bulky I don’t even like to drag it around the house so I can’t imagine taking it anywhere with me. We also had to remove a toy and there was another that we didn’t remove but caused endless frustration.

    September 3rd, 2008 at 8:55 am

  4. Jen says:

    This looks pretty awesome.

    We have an exersaucer, but I have two complaints about it:

    1. It’s huge. It’s not portable, and whoever said it was is insane. It’s huge enough that I can’t even really store it so it’s always out.

    2. The toys are tough to remove and rotate. You’re almost stuck with what’s there.

    I want one :) My four month old is a smidge too small for this yet, but perhaps for Christmas.

    I also like the fact that you technically could put this in a suitcase. We’re about to head to TX on vacation and there’s little in the way of baby stuff there. I don’t want to pack much, but this would be a nice middle ground piece of equipment to allow her to see the room and me to have my arms free for a bit.

    September 3rd, 2008 at 10:39 am

  5. Lindsey says:

    I signed up for their product tester program and was accepted! I have to submit a weekly journal and pictures of our 9 mo. old in it.

    This will be such a welcome relief from her stupid exersaucer!

    September 5th, 2008 at 8:28 am

  6. Jennifer says:

    I’m also signed up to test this item. I can’t wait! Soccer season is here for my 10 yr old, and I was dreading having to corral my 7 month old who is on the verge of crawling.

    September 5th, 2008 at 9:11 am

  7. anjii says:

    I just got accepted as a tester too! I was afraid they’d be like so many companies who want nothing to do with Canada, but they are glad to spread the word in Canada as well. Smart people, I must say… we Canadians spend a LOT of money on American stuff, but so many companies think we don’t matter to their bottom line, and treat us accordingly :(

    September 6th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

  8. Rebekah says:

    I am also a tester! This is going to be wonderful when we go to the park now that my 6 month old is crawling. I’m so glad that Thingamababy told us about the Tester positions. I didn’t have the money to spend on the popatot, but I do have the time to simply journal and take photos.

    September 7th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

  9. Stephanie says:

    Figures. They come out with something that would’ve been really useful after I needed it. Grrr… But it’s a great idea.

    September 8th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

  10. Denise says:

    I want to apply to be a tester but it asks for a username and password. What do I put in? Or, How do i get a username and password? This thing looks awesome. We go camping alot and this sure would come in handy.

    September 13th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

  11. AJ says:

    Denise, I inquired and the testing program is now full.

    September 13th, 2008 at 8:40 pm

  12. anjii says:

    Have any testers here gotten yours? MIne’s on the way to me in Canada, but I’m just curious how those who’ve gotten it already are liking it.

    October 5th, 2008 at 8:20 am

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