Gear Review: KidCo PeaPod Plus
This article was made possible thanks to the generosity of KidCo who sent us a PeaPod for the purpose of review. Baby Emma is our toughest product tester and you wouldn’t be reading this article if we didn’t love the PeaPod. She gives it two slobbery thumbs up. Additionally, this review contains affiliate links which (if you buy the product) send a tiny percentage our way for use in keeping this site afloat. Muchas gracias, amigos.
We have, at long last, finally found a sleep solution for overnight trips with babies and toddlers.
When traveling with children, space in suitcases is at a premium. You’re already hauling car seats, a baby backpack, clothes, and a stroller; there simply isn’t room for much else.
But what about the sleep situation in hotels for babies too young to sleep in proper beds?
Options are limited.
A pack ’n play is heavy and takes up too much room in a suitcase. Extra baggage charges on airlines are typically in excess of $25/item.
Few hotels provide cribs. And even then they might not be appropriate by today’s safety standards. In Peru, the hotel cribs were ancient and came adorned with ruffled comforters, heavy bumpers, and drop sides. Not ideal for sleeping babies.
So we were delighted to run across the PeaPod travel tent by KidCo.
It comes with a built-in mattress, mesh netting for humid and buggy nights, and an opaque tent canopy, which was ideal for providing a dim environment for baby to fall asleep. Take the PeaPod out of its case and it magically pops up into a pint-sized nursery.
We’ve been giving it a test run for the last few months at Terra Trekker and here are our thoughts.
It’s big: definitely large enough for the baby and even our extra-long four year old. Emma is an active sleeper and the PeaPod is downright palatial for a little tyke. It can also be easily folded away during the day to clear up precious play space on the floor.
It fits into a duffle: It’s not the smallest package (think a squishy 4” tall hubcap) but it definitely beats the cumbersome pack ’n play. And it’s light too: 3.6 pounds. The PeaPod’s packability was, hands down, the biggest selling point for us.
It can double as a beach shelter. We know how easily those little pale baby thighs get sunburned. The PeaPod has built-in UV protection on the fabric so the little ones can have a reprieve from sand castle building.
The mattress is washable. Because you know: baby fluids. Enough said.
The PeaPod is oval, which means it doesn’t fit quite as nicely into little corners of hotel rooms. It’s also about 12” longer than a standard pack ’n play, which is great if you have a long child, less fantastic if your tiny Airbnb in NYC has zero extra space. Given that we’re using ours for an infant, I almost would have preferred a smaller PeaPod. (Product idea: MiniPod!!)
Folding it back into its nice little carry case takes a bit of practice. Keep the instructions in the bag and you’ll soon have it down. Disassembly takes about 5 seconds. Which is good. Because everything else related to kids (getting them dressed, fed, and out the door) takes forever.
The biggest challenge, like all new sleeping setups, is getting the baby to actually fall asleep in her new digs. It’s definitely worth getting your kid accustomed to the PeaPod before leaving for vacation. Once she’s happy going down for a snooze, the fact that you’re skipping around to new hotel rooms every night won’t be a problem as her sleep setup remains the same.
TerraTrekkers is headed to Iceland, Sweden, and Norway this summer. We’ll be staying in small cabins and vacation rentals. You bet your bottom buttons that the PeaPod will be along for the ride.