Finally, a travel cot that really does help you travel lighter
For years we have been guilty of lugging an overweight, out of date “travel cot” across the continents with us – you know the ones which are really a playpen? Not on every trip, but when we know we will be staying at multiple different locations, or we are unsure whether our accommodation can provide us with a safe sleeping solution, we will bring our own.
We were dreading the thought of taking our portacot with us to Australia this past summer. We were staying at 5 different locations over the space of a month, we needed to fit everything into a regular sedan vehicle to get from A to B, and I needed to take two flights solo with all the kids and luggage; we had to find a better sleep solution for our youngest who was still only 12 months old.
Cue a new generation of travel cot
We were delighted to road test the Phil & Teds TravellerTM Portable Travel Cot with our 1-year-old Master J over the summer (And on our recent adventure to South Africa. And when Master J had to bunk in with us when his air conditioner broke. And when we had to stay with family while moving house. I think he has slept in this more than his own bed the past six months!)
How does the Phil & Teds Traveller work?
Unlike what we’ll call a conventional “portacot” that opens in one piece (hands up who has stood there for hours fruitlessly trying to yank those sides into place?) The Phil & Teds TravellerTM comes packed more like a tent in an easy carry bag. There are 10 interconnecting aluminium pieces that need to be clicked together to make the frame, then threaded through the cot netting, with a self-inflating mattress.
If your construction skills are seriously lacking this may not be the cot for you – however how you’ve got to the point of having a baby and not having learned some construction skills from Ikea I don’t know…. If you follow the clearly labelled instructions, it is very easy to understand. By your second or third time, you’ll be a pro.
If you are finding the construction a little difficult and the parts aren’t easily sliding together, you could always spray a small amount of WD40 or lubricant on the joints but we never found this necessary, maybe because of repeated regular use.
Phil & Teds Traveller Features
- The self-inflating mattress takes just seconds to inflate once unrolled and comes with a fitted travel sheet. It appears very thin, and the baby effectively hangs suspended just off the ground, but it is sturdy, Master J certainly had no qualms sleeping blissfully in it (or playing in it).
- The aluminium frame pieces are incredibly light, making the overall weight of the product only 3.2kg.
- It does have a fold-down side though we never quite saw the purpose of this given our aim was to contain him inside the cot – perhaps if you are camping next to the cot and want to reach into your baby from the side?
- As an add-on you can also purchase a UV sun shade cover, great for if you want to have your baby sleeping outside, or protected from insects (we did not test this feature).
- Suitable up to three years of age. We will easily get another year or two use out of this product with our last child.
- A downside as noted by a few people who have been in a room with it is the feet step out deceptively far and can be a tripping hazard. The constructed dimensions (footprint) are 137cm x 85cm x 66cm, with a sleep space of 115cm x 57cm x 66cm.
- Only small criticism, the self-inflating mattress is brilliant for setting up quickly, but I found requires a fair bit of elbow grease to get all the air out; it really needs to be quite flat to neatly fit back in the nylon carry bag. I have mastered the technique of taking the mattress out first and kneeling on it while deconstructing the rest of the cot to save time!
- The carry bag is really very thin, you might want to get in the habit of checking you don’t have any legs sticking out at awkward angles that could rip or damage the bag in transit.
Comparison to Similar Travel Cots
Several readers have asked us how this product compares to the Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Playard. We haven’t had personal experience using this particular brand but can confirm from friend’s it’s also super light and portable. Additionally, it only takes about 15 seconds to build which is much faster than the Phil & Teds!
We found this detailed review on the Lotus Bassinet and Travel Cot if you’re still trying to make your mind up.
The huge selling feature of the Phil & Teds TravellerTM is its weight. We have easily been able to pack it away either inside a suitcase or check it as an extra baby item without problems. Now I am used to the construction element, I do find I can pack and unpack it quicker than my old cot that would constantly jam and cause frustration – I have it down to about 3 minutes either end which as any of you know trying to pack up a room with kids in it is no mean feat!
So if you’re looking for a lightweight, easy to pack sleep solution for your infant you really can’t go wrong with the Phil & Teds TravellerTM Portable Travel Cot.
Have you tried the Phil & Teds Traveller? Are there any other easy light-weight solutions you would recommend?
You can see all our fabulous baby and toddler product reviews here, or for more advice on travelling with a toddler head over here.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a Phil & Teds Traveller at a discounted price by Db Babies LLC for the purpose of providing an honest product review. All views are my own. This article also contains affiliate links.
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