Home Feature news The PopBabies portable blender is decent for on-the-go smoothies

The PopBabies portable blender is decent for on-the-go smoothies

Like many people, my New Year’s resolution was to be healthier. I’ve spent way more time than I’d like to admit at the bottom of a carton of ice cream, sitting on the couch watching Selling Sunset. I wanted to exercise more and eat healthier — more specifically, I wanted to get a blender to make smoothies. But, because I live in a small apartment with an equally small kitchen, I didn’t want a big blender that takes up too much of my sacred countertop space.

My mom (the amazing woman she is) bought me the portable PopBabies blender for Christmas. I’ve had it for a few months now and love it. I’ve been making myself smoothies every day. And it wasn’t that expensive, with prices ranging from $36.99 to $49.99 depending on the color. Plus, you can often find the blender on sale. 

The PopBabies personal blender is ideal for smoothies, protein shakes, baby food, and more. It comes with a base, bottle, screwable top, mini-usb cable for charging, a recipe book, mini ice cube tray, and a funnel. As for color options, you can pick from black, blue, white, pink, purple, and yellow. 

The mini ice cube tray is a great accessory because the blender can’t handle large ice cubes.
Credit: Georgia Dodd/Mashable

Is the PopBabies personal blender as powerful, easy to use, and convenient as the brand claims to be? To see if the blender could really conquer it all, I made smoothies, protein shakes, and smoothie bowls. I found that this blender is maybe the easiest blender I’ve ever used and it makes great smoothies for a single serving. But, it’s not very powerful at crushing ice and, while it’s easy to drink out of the blender, it’s not as great for traveling because of its consistent battery issues. Read on for all the details on the blending process, the included accessories, and more.

How does the PopBabies personal blender work?

The PopBabies blender is strong enough to crush mini ice cubes and small, frozen fruits. I highly recommend using the small, square-shaped ice cubes from the ice tray accessory included with the blender. The blades are definitely not strong enough to crush normal-sized ice cubes. When I first got this blender, I tried to make a smoothie with the regular ice cubes from my freezer and the results were tragic. The blender’s blades could not break the ice cubes no matter how many times I adjusted and restarted or shook the blender. I had to pour everything out and completely start over. The tiny, square ice cubes are the way to go with this blender. And, while it feels ridiculous to say so, the mini ice cubes are a really cute size and perfect for my iced water and juices.

For the fruits, veggies, and anything else you want in your smoothie, just make sure they’re cut in small enough pieces for the blender to actually slice them. It’s best to dice your ingredients. The instructions say not to fill the bottle more than two-thirds full, otherwise you might run into some blending issues. I have often gotten overzealous about what I could fit in the blender and have gone over that limit and had to awkwardly pour out some of my smoothie.

I find when I’m battling a particularly nasty chunk of frozen mango, it’s best to stop blending, move stuff around, and then restart because the blades are not the strongest and often get stuck. It also helps to turn it upside down and shake the blender to really get a smooth smoothie. Once you tackle all the tough fruit and ice cubes, it’s smoothie sailing (sorry) to blending a great and healthy drink. The PopBabies blender is not horribly loud when it’s on, but definitely don’t be like me and use it early in the morning with a sleeping roommate in the next room.

Once it’s done, I pop a straw in the 14-ounce cup, detach it from the base, and enjoy my creation. It’s nice to not have to transfer the smoothie to a different cup — I can just drink straight from the blending cup. The blender’s compact design at 10 inches tall is great for a small kitchen like mine. When I’m done, I put the bottle and top in the dishwasher to clean.

smoothie blending inside small personal blender
As long as you use small ice cubes and small chunks of fruit/veggies, PopBabies blends seamlessly.
Credit: Georgia Dodd/Mashable

The PopBabies blender makes great smoothies and power drinks because they are more smooth and liquidy, but, when I tried to make a smoothie bowl, I kept running into issues with the blades. Usually when I make a smoothie bowl on my parents’ Krups blender, I blend it on low to ensure a super thick smoothie and then, after adding milk, I ramp the speed up to medium and add a protein like peanut butter. But, the PopBabies personal blender only has one level for blending. To make a smoothie bowl — and not a good one — with this blender, I had to blend for a really long time. I recommend sticking to smoothies and protein shakes with this blender.

Compared to a Magic Bullet, the PopBabies portable can’t compete. The PopBabies’ blades are definitely not as strong and the battery life is abysmal after a couple of months.

Four hours to charge and it only lasts two blends

Though charging (and therefore portability) is a major selling point for this blender, in reality it doesn’t work quite as well as I’d hoped. The blender comes with a mini-USB charging cable but no outlet block (taking one from Apple’s book, I see). While PopBabies claims the battery will last for 20 drinks, it actually lasts between two and five drinks. So, it is portable, but needs to be recharged pretty regularly. The personal blender takes about four hours to fully charge, which can be annoying. But, you do have the option to run it while it charges. To avoid this issue, I constantly keep the PopBabies blender plugged in, which does mean that I don’t travel with it.

Verdict

The PopBabies personal blender is definitely a good mini, portable blender. But, is it worth it?

I liked that it was easy to use, that it’s a great size for a small kitchen, and that it’s dishwasher safe. But it has a bad battery life and you have to put in a little more work into making good smoothies than blenders from more recognizable brands like NutriBullet or Vitamix. Overall, this mini but mighty personal blender helps me make great smoothies quickly despite its annoying caveats. 

 P.s. If you are in need of some smoothie ideas, here’s my recommendation for a strawberry banana smoothie:

  • 5 pieces of chopped bananas

  • 4 chopped strawberries

  • Spoonful of Chobani vanilla yogurt

  • Splash of milk

  • Honey

  • 5 ice cubes

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