Recently my family had the fun experience of renting a vacation home with relatives and enjoying a wonderful week in a beautiful setting. Details of the trip were planned for months, and we thought we had everything covered until we realized that we had nowhere for our kids to sleep on the trip to keep them contained!
In the past we’ve traveled with our bulky, heavy pack-n-play, or a lighter weight, but still bulky, foam bed. The pack-n-play has been handy, but it’s tough to set up and take down, and takes up most of the space in our car’s small trunk. We finally got tired of transporting these large beds back and forth from our relatives’ homes (and tired of finding a space in our home to store them!) and left them there. Hence our lack of travel beds for this family vacation and quest to find a lightweight alternative.
Over the last month, my family had the opportunity to test out three travel beds. We used the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light , Kidco Inc. PeaPod Plus P203, and the Phil and Ted Traveller . The testers in our family were our daughter, age 1, and our son, who will be 3 in August.
We’re a traveling family, so we’ve had the chance to use many travel beds during the past few years. Generally we have traveled with our pack-n-play which has been functional and practical, but bulky and heavy to transport. We’ve also used hotel cribs on trips when taking our own bed along wasn’t an option, and I’ve been less than enthusiastic about that as a choice for us, given my uncertainties about safety and cleanliness of a bed used by so many babies.
The key attributes to consider in a travel bed are portability, ease of use, comfort, safety and stability, versatility, and affordability
Top Pick: Kidco Peapod P203
Weight-wise all three beds are fairly similar. Size-wise, the Phil and Ted Traveller and the KidCo Inc. PeaPod pack up in the smallest space, but the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light is also not large.
*Although Trekaroo loves this product as a travel accessory, there's been recent news of a few infants dying from suffocating in the peapod. We feel very sorry for those families. Read more about the Canadian Health Advisory
Ease of use
Top Pick: Baby Bjorn Travel Crib
For ease of set-up, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light and the KidCo Inc. PeaPod both set up in less than a minute, while the Phil and Ted Traveller took a bit longer. When packing up, the Kidco took some learning, while the Baby Bjorn was as easy to take down as it as to set up.
All were good!
My kids are pretty good sleepers and they slept well in all of the beds. For our 1-year-old, the Phil and Ted Traveller and the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light were more like what she’s used to sleeping in. All of the beds seemed to be comfortable for the kids and we had no complaints in that area.
Safety and Stability
Top Pick: Phil and Ted Traveller
For safety and stability, the Phil and Ted Traveller gets our highest marks, thanks to the zipper close top which keeps your baby safely tucked inside.
Top Pick: Kidco Peapod P203
The Phil and Ted Traveller and the KidCo Inc. PeaPod are both designed for use indoors and outdoors, while the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light is not. In regard to age range for use, the KidCo Inc. PeaPod beat the other two by far, since it’s designed for use with kids up to age 6.
Top Pick: KidCo Peapod P203
The KidCo Inc. PeaPod is far more affordable than the other two beds averaging about $85-100
My husband and I really were pleased with all three of these travel beds and thought they were all a big improvement over what we have used in the past in terms of portability and the amount of space needed for transport and storage. I would recommend any of these three to a friend looking to purchase a new travel bed.
*These complimentary products were received from the manufacturer to be reviewed by Trekaroo. I received no other compensation, and was not required to express any particular point of view.
updated: October 16 2012 by LiLing Pang
in this story: