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  1. #1
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Parental Unit love and photos

    I have been using my Parental Unit every day for a couple of months now and I LOVE IT.

    Who will like this bag: people who like the front pockets on the Synapse. People who like many compartments. People who do not carry large or bulky items, but instead many small items that would benefit from some organization. People who don't want to take off their bag to get at the contents.

    Here are some photos. The outside crescent shaped pockets stay pretty much the same every day.


    This is the "outside" of the bag for me with quick access stuff.
    -Left holds a UV 3DOC containing all diaper stuff
    -Center holds my Side Effect with my own essentials with the strap left on so I can wear it and leave the PU on the stroller as needed
    -Right holds wipes/micro towels/tissues/sunscreen, loose for easy access
    -Outer zip pocket is usually empty so I can use it for my phone and keys if needed. I sometimes use a small double clear OP with my phone in the front and my bank card and bus ticket in back



    This is the side of the bag that sits next to my body.
    -Left compartment holds sunglasses
    -Center holds a Viridian Cubelet with snack bars and 4 Unitensil folding sporks, and some super thin coloring books and notepads with some pens (for long waits between ordering food and food arriving)
    -Right holds a folding picnic blanket.

    In the small pocket on this side is health and safety stuff:

    -Small Iberian OP with first aid
    -Snack size ziploc with Trader Joe's ginger chunks for motion sickness
    -Temporary tattoos with my phone number on them in case my little ones get lost in a crowded park

    Here are some pics of the inside on different days. In all of these, the UV Size 1 TSS holds a change of clothes for my daughter and the Wasabi Size 1 TSS holds one for my son. (The Solar ones are for me!)



    Must have been cold that day as the Size 3 Solar TSS contains my jacket and one central pocket holds my fleece headband.



    Must have been hot and sunny as I can see two sunscreen sprays and my water bottle (12oz kids Nalgene). In one central pocket is a folded plastic shopping bag, basically in case one of my kids got soaked unexpectedly in the park and I had mucky stuff to carry home.



    A frequent load for an hour at the playground after school: rolled up sun hat and a 12oz Contigo AutoSeal.



    A bit full, ready for a kids party:
    Solar Size 1 TSS with cold meds for me, Contigo containing herbal tea, and my camera on the right on top of the clothes stuff sacks. One central pocket contains a kids sun hat and large bandages for scrapes.



    Taken during an all-day playground trip. On the left, a rolled up Envirosax shopping bag (usually hidden under everything), my packable rain jacket, same blue sun hat, same TSS contents with meds/clothes. Small bottle of juice in a central pocket.


    If you've read this far you won't mind me telling you I use the triangle clip to hold hairbands, always at least three or four.



    I use a hacked Absolute Quick-Adjust Messenger strap on it. Nope, not a typo. I bought an Absolute Strap and a Q-AM strap and I merged them together because neither one quite fit the bill for me. Basically, I wanted to wear the bag high and tight, but the shape of the PU is elongated at the top making it really hard to achieve that using the normal straps. I love the way the Absolute Strap hugs my shoulder but in order to get the bag high enough on my back I threaded the Absolute Strap through the clip (like the stroller clips) and sewed the end down. In order to be able to adjust it a bit easier, I took off the ladder lock half of the Q-AM strap and attached it to the other end of the Absolute Strap (on my front). I have cut the excess Absolute webbing off (the Q-AM part is intact and can be reattached to the Q-AM if needed).



    The 1.5" gatekeeper is to keep the end from slipping through the clip, while allowing me to remove it if I want to. I could have pushed my sewing machine to do three or four layers of webbing but I didn't to risk my machine and I like that it's easily removeable this way.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention the stroller straps. LOVE that they're adjustable.

    If you're still reading NOW, then you'll know how much I love this bag (enough to break warranty on an Absolute Strap). I love that I don't have to take the bag off to get at my stuff, and I love that I can basically keep it packed with a basic set of stuff and then add in bits for whatever the weather is. This is exactly what I wanted in a parent bag.

    I don't have any complaints. I do have a caveat, which is that the top opens wide in order to allow easy access to the contents. The top does not open wide so you can fit more stuff in. It is not a Tardis. You have to pack each pocket a bit slim, as the pockets encroach on each other and you'll strain the top zipper if it's overpacked. Notice that in each pic above, every item is about 3" diameter in the main pocket and about 2" deep in the outer pockets.

    The Parental Unit is incredibly useful and a joy to have with me every day. The Absolute Strap makes it so much more comfortable than I ever thought it would be, and I am able to wear it for longer than I thought. When I travel, I keep my PU as-is, and pack my luggage separately. I will not be without my PU if my kids are with me and we are going farther than school drop-off. It is a core, essential item. It helps me be ready for anything the day might bring.

    Thanks so very much to everyone at Tom Bihn for making my life easier every single day.
    Last edited by Cristina; 06-17-2018 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Missing apostrophe

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