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Hands-on Gear Review
PacaPod Picos Pack ReviewPrice: $170.00 List | $170.00 at Amazon
Pros: Great storage, nice accessories, comfort, quality, and style
Bottom line: Highly recommend, well organized, comfortable, quality pack
The PacaPod Picos Pack earned Editors' Choice award in our dad diaper bag review encompassing the key components of an ideal diaper bag: easy to use with excellent storage, comfortable, quality, and simplistic, classy style that stands out as a favorite among dads. Well-structured with useful feeding and changing pods makes accessing baby's gear easy. Read on for more details about this well-loved, trusty pack.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The owner and founder or PacaPod, Jacqueline Waggett, really understands what it's like searching within the black hole of a diaper bag. This UK mother of two set out to make outings with baby easier and more efficient. Every inch of space in the Picos Pack is purposeful and its inconspicuous style sets it apart from traditional diaper backpacks. A long time favorite in the UK, PacaPod came to the US relatively recently.
Storage and Ease of Use
The Picos Pack earned the highest score in storage and ease of use with an 8 of 10. With a zippered front exterior pocket with deep internal storage, there plenty of room for dad's stuff: sunglasses, cell phone, wallet, small laptop, and reading. Keys are easily kept here via a key clip attached to a sturdy elastic band. There are two external water bottle pockets with elastic gathering. However, they are rather shallow and not very secure, so exercise caution when bending over so as to avoid heavy water bottles from spilling out. In the future, we'd like to see these pockets insulated for quick access to a bottle or sippy cup.
The zippered pocket is easy to open and access, so if there is concern for the possibility of theft, we'd recommend keeping personal items you can not afford to have stolen in the main compartment.
The main compartment is cavernous and includes two removable storage pods which can be removed and carried separately should you require space for larger and bulkier items in the pack. Inside the main storage area is a long thin pocket running the entire front length; we found this to be a nice space for storing a small blanket and change of clothes for baby.
With orange-tagged labels, it is clear as to the use of each pods. Both have a substantial, solitary Velcro strap that affixes it to the inside of the pack. Alternatively, it can be removed from the pack and attached to another spot like a stroller handle. The pod's zippers are easy to use and never stuck. They have attached plastic pulls which means no zipper pull will go missing, as happened with the Diaper Dude Original.
Inside the grey Changer Pod is a mini oasis of organization: there are pockets for diapers, diaper cream, and hand sanitizer and elastic bands to secure wipes. There is additional room for an included pouch to hold several base layers like clean onesies and other small accessories. It won't serve well as a wet bag for dirty clothes or cloth diapers, however, because it isn't water resistant and won't seal in wetness and odors. The back of the changing pod has an open pocket designed to hold its oval changing pad. This pad is the second largest in this review being beat out by the Boken Every Day Bag by 76 square inches. The interior fabric of the changer pod appears to be polyester, which can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
The insulated black Feeder Pod is large and basic for storing bottles, sippy cups, snacks, and food. It can contain up to three 8 ounce Comotomo bottles, with room for additional items like a cold pack or squeeze pouches. An insulated bottle wrap is included. The interior fabric is so tightly woven it feels like a soft, supple plastic, which is easy to clean. We found spilled liquids could easily be rinsed out with warm water and the bag left to hang dry. Alternatively you could wipe it out with a soft, wet washcloth.
Though it resembles the polyester on the Dadgear Backpack, the Picos' Cordura fabric has a finer weave which makes it easier to clean. Water resistant, it holds up well to spot treatment both on the exterior and interior.
The Pacapod became a notable favorite of every parent we encountered in our testing and earned an 8 of 10 in style. The Cordura fabric gives it a sleek, modern feel which eschews stereotypical diaper pack appearance such as the DadGear Backpack and Obersee Rio packs we also tested.
The Pacapod is an import so you'll pay a premium for the product. Currently you can pick one up in the UK for around $123 but to get one here, expect to pay around $170. This is an expensive bag but we think that its nice features are worth the added price.
We've tested a lot of diapers bags and the Pacapod Picos Pack quickly became one of our favorites. Well organized with minimalist, modern style and functional fit, we highly recommend it.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Pacapod line includes:
Pacapod's Picos Pack video below shows attaching the pack to the back of a stroller's handlebar which we do not recommend due to concern with increased risk of backwards tipover.
— Natalie Hale & Juliet Spurrier, MD
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