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Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 2.52.09 PMI can be a bit of a germaphobe, and there’s almost no place I get more skeeved out than in public restrooms…especially with kids. There aren’t always seat covers available, and little hands inevitably reach down to grab the toilet for balance while their legs kick against the outside of a bowl covered in who-knows-what. It makes me want to shower my children in Purell, or, better yet, just never leave the house.

But staying inside for eternity is impractical and boring, so public restrooms are a necessary evil. That’s why I was thrilled to find a product to make kids’ bathroom trips a little easier and a lot less disgusting: the Tottigo Pack ‘n Potty.

The Pack ‘n Potty is a self-contained portable potty seat that comes in a specially designed waterproof and anti-microbial bag that allows you to put it on and take it off without ever having to make contact with anything that has also touched the toilet! There are also built-in handles for kids to hold onto, and the storage bag turns into a barrier to keep those little legs from knocking against the commode.

As if that weren’t enough, the Pack ‘n Potty also has a pocket (accessible while the potty seat is in use and from the outside of the bag when it’s not) for storing tissues, wipes, lip balm, extra clothes, reading materials, or whatever else you like to take into the bathroom.

IMG_1795The drawstring bag allows you to carry the seat like a backpack, which is really nice when you need your hands free for helping your kid (or going to the bathroom yourself). It could easily fit into most stroller baskets, and while it’s too big to fit in an average purse, I was able to store it in my Ju-Ju-Be BFF diaper bag, although it didn’t leave much room to spare in the main compartment.

When you want to clean it, the seat quickly snaps apart from the bag, which is washer- and dryer-safe.

I first saw a prototype of the Pack ‘n Potty at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas two years ago. I was so intrigued by it that I sought out the company’s booth at the show last year to see if the Pack ‘n Potty was in production yet, and sure enough, it was! I couldn’t wait to give it a try, and the Tottigo folks were nice enough to send us a sample.

My 5-year-old has been using the potty expertly for quite a while, but she’s small and often needs some help balancing on big-person toilets, so I figured the Pack ‘n Potty would be great for her. My 3-year-old is also showing an interest in using the potty, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

We recently took the Pack ‘n Potty with us on a three-week roadtrip across the country. Thankfully most of the restrooms we encountered looked pretty clean, but there were a few sketchy ones, too. At first I worried the Pack ‘n Potty would have a steep learning curve or that I’d fumble it somehow, but it was actually quite easy to use right from the start, and only took a couple seconds to set up. Here’s a video showing how simple it is to use:

Besides public restrooms, it was also nice having a compact potty seat we could use at the houses and hotels where we were staying during our trip. My daughter loved the handles and the cushiness of the seat. I loved that the seat felt secure, and that my daughter could use the bathroom without either of us touching anything gross.

We have another portable seat that we’ve used in the past, but it always felt like a hassle. It folds up, which is nice in terms of compactness, but my daughter was always afraid it would pinch her, and it never felt secure on the toilet. I’d also have to reach into a potentially germ-laden bag to pull it out. Ick.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 2.52.34 PMThe Pack ‘n Potty solved all those problems and more. I never thought I’d be truly excited about a bathroom-related item, but I am. I still don’t love public restrooms, but I dread them a lot less now. If only they made a grown-up version…

The Pack ‘n Potty is available through the company’s website and on Amazon for $39.99.

Thank you to Tottigo for providing a sample for this review.  No compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.