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Hands-on Gear Review

PacaPod Picos Pack Review

Two external bottle pockets are not insulated.
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $170.00 List
Pros:  Great storage, nice accessories, comfort, quality, and style
Cons:  Expensive
Bottom line:  Highly recommend, well organized, comfortable, quality pack
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Pacapod

The Skinny

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.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Diaper Bag for Dads


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Friday
July 1, 2016

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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.

Performance Comparison


The Pacapod Picos Pack keeps your hands free so you can focus on the task at hand.
The Pacapod Picos Pack keeps your hands free so you can focus on the task at hand.

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.
Handy key clip on the Pacapod helps ensure these valuables don't get lost in the shuffle.
Two external bottle pockets are not insulated.
 

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.
Labels of on the Pacapod Picos Pack Changer Pod and Feeder Pod.
The zippers and pulls on the Pacapod Picos Pack pods are made with high-quality materials and gave us no trouble during testing.
The egg shaped changing pad of the Pacapod Picos measures just over 23" long.
 

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.
An interior look at the Pacapod's Changer Pod and all the items we carried with us. We loved that we could just grab this portion of the pack separately as we headed for a quick diaper change.
Pacapod Picos Pack Changer Pod back pocket.
 

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.
With raspberry jam smeared into the exterior of the Pacapod Picos  it took additional effort to clean it all off with a sponge but the end result was perfect.
Once jam cleaned off the exterior  there will be some discoloration of the fabric until it completely dries.
The interior of the pack is easy to clean; only a damp paper towel is needed to remove raspberry jelly's sticky residue.
The interior of the Pacapod Picos Pack suffered no stains post raspberry jam test. The interior fabric is easy to wipe clean and requires no special treatment.
 


Comfort


As one of the heavier bags  we certainly appreciated the breathable mesh fabric on the back of the Pacapod that helped keep us cooler.
As one of the heavier bags, we certainly appreciated the breathable mesh fabric on the back of the Pacapod that helped keep us cooler.
The Picos Pack scored a 7 of 10 in comfort being outdone by the lightweight Boken Every Day Bag at 1.1 pounds lighter. Accessories included, the Pacapod weighs 2.2 pounds. With adjustable shoulder straps and chest harness well-placed, it carries nicely. Both the back panel and shoulder straps are well-padded with waffled air flow material for breathability. This was the only pack in our review with a chest harness which is an important ergonomic positioning piece for any backpack, in our opinion. While the Pacapod's buckles are plastic, they are sturdy. This pack has been on the market in the UK for years and we could not find any verified customer complaints regarding issues with breakage.

Quality


We liked the high quality hardware and pulls on the Pacapod Picos Pack.
We liked the high quality hardware and pulls on the Pacapod Picos Pack.
Fabricated from Cordura, a nylon blend found in military fabrics for its durability and resistance to rips and tears, the Pacapod Picos scored on par with the DadGear Backpack, an 8 of 10. Its well-made zippers and pulls are secure and fabrics are easy to maintain and keep clean. Use of Velcro is appropriate and infrequent. Stitching and seams are tight and often undetectable. The parent company offers a 30 day return/exchange policy and warranty against material defects and workmanship. This bag is likely to outlast the diaper-carrying days and will do so with no one ever knowing what its previous use was.

Style


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.

Best Applications


The Pacapod Picos Pack outperformed them all and received our coveted Editors' Choice Award. We loved the quality and clever organizational options this bag had to offer not to mention understated  simplistic elegance.
The Pacapod Picos Pack outperformed them all and received our coveted Editors' Choice Award. We loved the quality and clever organizational options this bag had to offer not to mention understated, simplistic elegance.
The Picos is a great pack for dads with space and clear organizational structure. Keeping everything properly stocked is easier with allocated pods and pockets. With a chest harness, it is a shoe-in diaper pack for those dads needing extra back and shoulder support.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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:
  • Luxury Changing Bags ranging from $565 to $220: PacaPod Portland Another option for dad with slick fabric and a messenger-style strap that can be worn cross-body or over one shoulder.
  • Classic Nappy Bags from $230 to $155: PacaPod Mirano is popular for being a tote with a removable shoulder strap.
  • Yummy Mummy Bags from $175 to $150: PacaPod Napier is a clutch style tote with a removable shoulder strap.
  • Lite Baby Bags $150 to $120: PacaPod Idaho harkens to the slouchy, casual hobo bag.

Video


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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Most recent review: July 1, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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