Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camping Tip: The PeaPod

This post may contain affiliate links.
Kidco PeaPod Plus Indoor/Outdoor Travel Bed - Red

It is camping season around here. A couple of months ago, someone was asking something in the Chronicles Yahoo! Group and the topic of the PeaPod came up. "What is a pea pod," I wondered.

Well, if you guessed it is some sort of tent-looking thing, you looked at the picture above--and you are right! It is a little travel bed.It can be used indoor or outdoor. It folds up to a nice small package that a child can carry. It is supposedly big enough for children up to age 6. I don't know if I would really have Brayden (who is five) sleep in there, but he probably would like it.

Now, our family loves to camp. We do the easy camping where you camp in a trailer. I once swore I wouldn't be a "weak sauce camper" who camps in a trailer, but then I got older and had children and realized weak sauce camping was more comfortable and more child friendly. So I am not weak sauce.

Side Bar: did you know that when Brayden was two months old we took him camping in Wyoming in a TENT! What were we thinking?!!?!?!?!?!? I would never do that again. Now, the night went just fine--he woke up once, but it gets down to the 20s or 30s. That is cold in a tent!

Okay, back on track, so I thought this bed looked quite interesting for camping. McKenna needs to be in something enclosed so she doesn't roll off the bed. When Kaitlyn was this age, we used a pack and play, but that took up all of the floor space in the "kitchen." With this, McKenna could be on the bed!

They are spendy. They are about $85. But we thought it would be worth it.

And it was.

We used it for the first time last weekend (it has been a cold year for us). A couple of days before we left camping, We set it up for her to play in and get used to. It is super easy to set up. It is literally one of those things you throw in the air and it sets itself up. All three kids had fun checking it out.

The night we were camping, she was excited to get in. I zipped her in and off she went to sleep. It has mesh you can have open to get fresh air in their.

The next morning, Brayden and Kaitlyn were gabbing at 6:30 AM. We decided to get them up and get going. McKenna was sharing the bed with Kaitlyn. Much to our surprise, McKenna was still sleeping away. So we took Brayden and Kaitlyn to our bed and tried to keep them quiet until 8:30 when we finally woke McKenna up. Do you know that until that moment, I have never had a child sleep past 7 AM while camping? Sure, it is understandable. The sun is up super early and shining on you. I couldn't believe how well she slept.

We are sold! We love that thing. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and would heartily recommend it to anyone who needs a travel bed. It is easy to transport, easy to set up, easy to take down, and most importantly, the child sleeps well in it.

Note that there are some less expensive PeaPods, but one person told me the less expensive ones don't have the mesh opening options on the end. I thought I would want that so air could refresh in there. It also has a different mattress.

I wanted to recommend this to you while camping season was going on, so there it is! I couldn't say enough good things about it.



Jon & Amy Jensen Family said...

I just wanted to say that we used ours camping in a tent with our 10.5mo son and it worked great. He slept the whole night through each night. He woke a little earlier each morning, but with the early morning noises and sunshine it is understandable. Well worth the purchase and we will probably use it as our travel bed instead of a pack n play now.

Val said... you read my mind? I purchased two of these last night for an upcoming family trip. Seriously, some of your posts creep me out because it's always exactly what's going on right now. Maybe it's just a "val" connection.

JenD said...

I love the Pea Pod tent as well. We got the one with the self inflating mattress, which I really like as well. This has replaced the pack and play for travel and is much lighter to carry. Love it.

Whitney said...

I also have the self inflating mattress and I love how easy it is to set up and take down. We moved to Thailand with our 9 month old son for the summer and we use it when we are traveling between cities. I also keep it open in his room at all times as a play area. Side note: I am 5'4" and I can fit inside the tent quite comfortably in the fetal position. Just in case you wanted to take a nap in there yourself. ;)

Three negatives for me:

1. It isn't great for babies who don't nod off to sleep easily. My DS still cries for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep and scoots around the crib. In the pea pod, his scooting turns into pushing against the sides of the tent, nearly knocking it over. Not a huge deal, just requires a little more monitoring by me when he's falling asleep.

2. It gets hot in there. Even with all four flaps open to expose the mesh, it gets warm inside. This is easily remedied with a fan or putting my DS in lighter clothing.

3. The blanket that comes with the tent doesn't stay in place when baby scoots around (obviously). My solution was to use 6 large strips of velcro to secure the blanket to the mattress. Cheap and easy. If the blanket is being washed, I just wrap the mattress in an adult fitted sheet.

Redheads said...

Awesome! Even if it isn't camping season in Florida (hot, humid, mosquitos!!!!). I will look into one for November when our camping season begins. :-)

k a r i s a said...

i just purchased this a few weeks ago to use as a travel bed instead of a pack n play. i really love it. i was afraid it would be difficult to fold back up, but it's very easy if you look at the directions. it did take my 7mo DD a little time to get used to it though.

Sapo Verde said...

This looks so cool! We go camping a ton in the Fall and I'm gonna show dh this so we don't have to use the packnplay for dd3 this time!

Plowmanators said...

Jensen Family,

Thanks for adding your experience. I agree--I think we will be using ours as a travel bed in stead of the pack N play too.

Plowmanators said...

lol Val!

Plowmanators said...

JenD, a self-inflating mattress would be nice.

Plowmanators said...

Whitney, thanks for sharing all of that. That will be good info for parents.

Plowmanators said...

lol...camping season in November. What a differnt world.

Plowmanators said...

k a r i s a--thanks for adding your input!

Plowmanators said...

I think you will love it Sapo Verde!

Jspin said...

Would this be useful on the beach or by the pool? We are going to the Bahamas with my DS who will be about 19 months. He is a crib baby who sleeps in total darkness w/ white noise and music. Am I crazy to think he would be able to sleep outside during the day? If this wouldn't work, do you have any other suggestions?


Jspin said...

Would this be useful on the beach or by the pool? We are going to the Bahamas with my DS who will be about 19 months. He is a crib baby who sleeps in total darkness w/ white noise and music. Am I crazy to think he would be able to sleep outside during the day? If this wouldn't work, do you have any other suggestions?


Plowmanators said...

I definitely think this would work!

He might not sleep as well, but he should still get at least short naps. I have had my kids sleep on the beach before. I am not sure what the noise level is like at the Bahamas, but at lakes with a gentle wave, it provides a lot of white noise naturally. Have fun!


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