PacaPod Picos Pack Review
Our Analysis and 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More