Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation or product in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed are solely mine.
I bought this little pump for an upcoming business trip. I am doing a quick same-day turn around to Chicago, and wanted to find a rechargeable battery and a smaller pump to travel with, since I will be traveling light. I also knew that I was on a budget, and not looking to drop a couple hundred dollars on a pump that I will likely only use briefly and in certain circumstances. And The First Years Quiet Expressions Plus, fit the bill.
I found very few reviews for this pump online and they were often contradictory. Given the low price tag for a double electric pump with a rechargeable battery, I was very intrigued to try it. It also had "flexi-fit" flanges and an intriguing "arm" of sorts to hold the pump in place for "single-handed double pumping" that I was curious about (Even thought I was pretty sure I preferred "hands free" double pumping).
When I initially received this pump I plugged it in overnight to get those batteries charged--my main goal with this pump is to use the battery feature after all. Unfortunately, for some reason when I went to use the pump it wouldn't work without being plugged in, and I had a moment of panic! I've since managed to use it both plugged in to the wall and unplugged with a charged battery, so that was likely user error somehow on my part. I have not been able to feel a difference in suction from battery vs. outlet power.
Actually, this little guy has pretty powerful suction. I found a level 4 to be about what I need, but it goes all the way up to level 8. The monitor has a nice blue light up display of the power level.
I used the handle and flexi-fit flanges the first time I used this pump, and found the handle to be quite awkward. I ended up just holding each of the flanges to my breasts to pump. I am used to using a hands free bra so this was awkward and less than ideal for my personal preferences. Secondly, the flexi-fit flanges were slightly on the larger side. I usually use a 19 or 21 mm flange, so this was quite uncomfortable for me. I did alter this product so that I could use a more appropriate sized flange, and you can ready about that here. Good news is that if you don't want to use the double pumping arm, you can remove the breast shields and valves from it and it will work just fine. None of the valves are connected to this mechanism, thankfully.
Also, there is not an expression mode on this pump, it is either on or off. I have been able to trouble shoot this by doing some compressions and nipple stimulation to encourage my let down before I start pumping.
1. Price: This pump can be found for $60-80 online. For a double electric pump rechargeable pump, you really can't beat that.
2. Rechargeable battery: This unit can be plugged in and recharged. According to the manufacturer this batter will last for 2-3 hours of pumping time. No additional batteries to worry about, just an intermittent outlet will be needed.
3. Easy to operate and read display.
1. Flanges: There is not multiple sizes available for the flanges on this unit. I would guess that these flanges are closer to a 27mm Medela flange. This did not work for me. But, I did find a way to "hack" this to work with my smaller medela flanges. You can read about that here.
2. No expression mode.
3. Double pump handle is awkward.
Overall: Would I buy this pump again? Absolutely. For the price and for my needs this is a perfect solution. It would not be usable for me with the manufacturer's flanges though, so that is definitely something to consider if you aren't willing to trouble shoot that.
I will post an update after my trip, when I've challenged the battery power and used it for travelling. Wish me luck!
And on a silly side note, There is an error in the glossary of the instructions--do you see it? We are all human after all.