(Udated December 3rd 2012)


After we’d been on the road for six weeks and finding that only three places we’d stayed in had cots, we decided to take action and find a suitable travel cot that would squeeze into our rucksacks. If you have a baby that doesn’t move during the night then you’ll probably be happy co-sleeping. But after a few terrible first weeks of attempting this (see earlier blog entitled ‘three in the bed’) and many consecutive weeks of designing makeshift beds out of cushions, chairs and spare mattresses surrounded by our rucksacks, we decided to take action.

Knowing we were meeting friends from Australia in Ubud, Bali on October 5th also meant that it was feasible to order a cot online, get it delivered to our friends in Perth and then have it hand delivered to us in Bali.

backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

The Peapod travel cot: tent and inflatable mattress

After much researching online I stumbled across the ‘Kidco Peapod’ travel cots. They’re the pop up variety with a self-inflating mattress and are small enough to pop inside your rucksack AND only weighs 2Kg. After trying to source it from an Australian supplier and failing, I had to order it from the States.

backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

The Peapod is compact and lightweight

The cot, having already travelled a considerable distance (U.S.A. to Australia and then to Bali), was about to encounter the true meaning of travel. Let the real road test begin.

My initial reaction was positive. The cot takes less than a few minutes to erect. Three seconds to erect the tent (release the band and it pops up) and a couple of minutes to inflate the mattress (undo the valve and the mattress self inflates). Easy.

Surprisingly enough it’s also very easy to pack away. Having spent many a holiday camping, I’ve watched numerous people struggling to pack their ‘pop up tent’ away and I was expecting a similar dilemma, but no, it was not to be. Even my other half managed to make it look easy!

Now came the real challenge – will ‘the boy’ sleep in it?

To start with, no he wouldn’t. He’d got used to his make shift beds and obviously wasn’t feeling the love for the Peapod cot as much as I was. At first he was reluctant and I thought the poor cot had made an unnecessary long distance journey to be with us, but finally, after a couple of days ‘the boy’ crawled into the cot and slept. Breakthrough.

backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

The Peapod is compact and lightweight

We’ve been using the Peapod for over 3 weeks now and it’s superb. We no longer have to get creative with cushions, or haggle for a spare mattress on arriving at a destination, and with the built in mosquito net ‘the boy’ is safe from the hungry beasts.

We’ve also been taking the tent to the beach as its high UV protection makes it handy to use for afternoon naps.

The Kidco Peapod really does what it says on the tin.

Please note that this is a genuine review based on my experience with this product.

Top tip of the day:
If you can’t find what you need domestically, it’s definitely worth looking at what’s available in other markets. Although postage costs are high, if you do find the right cot, then you will certainly reap the benefits when you’re on your trip.