Family camping hack: For babies sleeping in tents, Peapod travel bed is more compact than a portacrib

Melissa’s brilliant travel bed tip:

I ran across a Kidco Peapod (think mini tent with air mattress) that folds up as a small as a small throw cushion. You can zip the baby into it so that she won’t crawl away in the night and it’s easier to fit in a tent than a port-a-crib.

What a cool product! This could solve the problem of putting babies to bed in hotel rooms (it reminds me of Jill’s suggestion to put kids to bed inside a play tent). Or at the beach. Or at a friend’s 4th of July BBQ.

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  1. Debra says

    We got a Peapod Plus recently, used it when traveling and love it. No more worrying about what shape the hotel rolling crib will be in or lugging along a big pack and play …

    Make sure to get the “Plus” model (the one shown above and the one the post links to). Kidco makes a regular Peapod, which is cheaper, but it’s much smaller so you won’t be able to use it as long (probably only for a year). We envision using our Peapod Plus for several years for travel, on the beach and as a play tent at home. It’s great!

  2. says

    The Peapod is one of our family’s most valued pieces of travel gear.

    If anyone wants to see a side by side comparison of the original and the Plus versions, we posted one last summer:

    We’ve been using a PeaPod since our son hit the 15 pound Pack N Play bassinet limit (because we couldn’t set him already sleeping on the P-N-P floor). At almost 3, our son loves the PeaPod and welcomes crawling into it at night. He’s tall for his age, but we know we can get at least another year’s use out of this Peapod before he’s too big.

  3. says

    Thats really neat ^-^ I wish I’d known about this when my boys were little. We bought one of those little kid tents for me to bf in at an outdoor art show so that afterwards my little guy could just go right to sleep, only the tent wasn’t quite cozy enough for him so he didn’t get as much rest. I’m sure he would have loved the Peapod as he’s a cave guy!

  4. says

    We had a similar one made by Little Life. It was great for camping trips and we also used it on a couple of boating holidays. So much easier to use than a traditional travel cot. Unfortunately it was only big enough for our daughter until she was about 12 months old.

    Not sure what age the Peapod goes up to but Nomad and Vaude make similar ones suitable for children up to about 2 1/2 years.

  5. Heidi says

    This has been one of my greatest discoveries, and one of the first things I tell parents-to-be about. I wish we hadn’t spent the money on a Pack and Play. The PeaPod is so much easier to carry around and our little one likes it so much better!

  6. allie says

    I did some research about this when i was looking for a sleep solution when traveling in a RV, the footprint of this pod is larger than that of a traditional pack n play. The storage is smaller, and it is lighter, but when it is out and being used it is bigger. The pod is 52.5L x 34W x 25H and a Graco pack n play is 39.5 x 28.5 x 29 inches. There is a smaller version of the pack n play that does not come with the bassinet or changing table, it is about 4″ smaller on each side. If you are willing to haul a few extra pounds, the pack n play is the way to go! Plus, I think my toddler would push that pod right over!

  7. Vivian says

    This is too funny. My family (husband, 10 month old & myself) are going to Germany next month and we are trying to figure out the logistics of packing the baby’s essentials and have room for cloths. We were just looking into buying one of these but wanted to see one before hand. Now I think we are just going to buy it. Thanks for the hack and Adrienne thanks for the great review.

  8. Sandra says

    We just flew over the pond with our 6-month old and for us it was just perfect: just think about the weight of a normal travel cot! We got the bigger version as well and it said Up to 4 years. We just love it! And no matter where we go, it is a confined space that he knows and where he sleeps without any problems.

  9. olya says

    we love this thing (the larger size) the baby uses it as a day nook for a rest and prefers to sleep in in rather then in a real bed.

  10. Christy says

    We have one of these too, and love it for traveling. Word of advice (perhaps this is a hack in and of itself?): let your child sleep in it a few times before your trip, otherwise you’ll have the worst nights ever.

  11. says

    We just got 2 as gifts for our 5 month old twins. We are going to France Aug 1 and can’t wait to use them. We plan to have the girls start to sleep in them a few days before we go so it’s not a shocker. My brother said it worked like a charm. His other tip was to put the blow up mattress inside (instead of underneath) so you can put a crib sheet on it. Since it is summer and hot it seems the most comfortable.


  12. says

    We got one of these a couple of weeks ago just before our first flight with our DD(8mo). She slept really well. We got the bigger one so that we can use it until she’s a toddler. The family we were visiting had a 3yo and he totally wanted to sleep in there as well with the baby. You can use it outdoors since it has an inflatable mattresses and means for tacking it down. It doesn’t even take up too much space in the suitcase.