KidCo PeaPod Camp Review
We all know there is A LOT to pack when adventuring with your little one, even if it’s just a day trip not far from home. The PeaPod Camp by KidCo is one product that could save you space, time and effort when using this instead of your usual Pack N’ Play or other standard play yard.
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The PeaPod Camp is a lightweight tent, at under 4 pounds, (for children 1-6 years) that pops open and is immediately ready for use, ideal for little one’s nap time or playtime.KidCo
I have a different travel bed/tent that I was gifted similar to the original PeaPod that I had used with my baby a handful of times. I was interested to see how this product would compare. So far, we are enjoying the PeaPod Camp tent more. It is bigger, yet still packs relatively small and is just as easy to set up. It weighs only slightly more but has many similar features.
If you’d like to read a review of the original PeaPod, you can find that here.
PeaPod Camp Specs
- Weight: 3.8 lbs./1.7 kg
- Open Size: 43”L x 34”H x 43”W
- Folded/Bag Size: 26”L x 6”H x 6”W
- Recommended for children up to 6 years of age
- Quick set-up with a push lock
- Mesh sides for breathability and insect protection
- ¾ sun shades that roll up with magnet closures
- Tabs for anchors on each corner (stakes not included)
- 50% UV protection with sun shades
- Micro lite sleeping pad that snaps to the bottom of tent
- 3 internal storage pockets
- Storage/carry bag
- 1 year manufacturers warranty
What We Love about the Peapod Camp
Set-up is a Breeze!
Setting up the PeaPod Camp could not be simpler nor faster! All you need to do is remove it from the bag, hold on to the center joint, give a little shake so the legs pop out and then push down to lock everything in place. Then you simply snap the micro lite sleeping pad to the bottom of the tent and you’re good to go! This can be fully set up in less than a minute, which is amazing.
Spacious for Play or Sleep
I have tried another portable tent with my daughter before (Overcrest Portable Tent purchased from Amazon) and I prefer the extra room in the PeaPod Camp. The PeaPod Camp has a 34” headroom and a 43” base. I enjoy the extra height because I felt it was easier to put my 4-month-old daughter in and take her out. Paired with the easy set-up and take-down, this will now be my go to travel tent.
Micro Lite Sleeping Pad
The micro lite sleeping pad included with the PeaPod Camp is a huge plus for this product. It seems relatively padded, yet lightweight. I think it provides enough protection from sticks or rough ground. My daughter has fallen asleep in the PeaPod Camp each time we have used it, so I’d say she approves! The pad snaps to the underside of the tent so there is not a chance of your little one slipping in between the mattress pad and the bottom of the tent. The mattress pad also can’t become a hazard while being used for playtime or sleeping.
According to KidCo, the sleeping pad is machine washable on the gentle cycle and then should be air dried. This is another plus since the mattress pad sits directly on the ground, it will likely get dirty from time to time. KidCo also states that you can even fold up the tent with the mattress pad attached, however I actually found it was easier to unsnap and use it to roll the tent up to fit back into the bag.
Roll Up Shades & Door
Three of the four sides have sun shades that can be rolled up and secured with magnetic closures that are simple to use. The ¾ sun shades are great because even when fully down, the ¼ gap still allows for ventilation. The mesh door also has a tie-back with magnetic closures so it can stay out of your way when putting your child in or taking her out. I like to leave the door rolled up and secured when storing the tent that way it is ready for a child the moment I open it.
What We Aren’t So Crazy About the Peapod Camp
The top of the tent and the sunshades have 50% UV Protection (the mesh is far less). This was something that immediately struck me as odd because most of the time when looking at fabric sun protection products, they are most commonly rated with a UPF rating, with UPF 50+ being the top of the line. A UPF of 50+ blocks out 98% or more of UVA and UVB rays. The PeaPod Camp has 50% UV protection which is equal to a UPF of 2.
The PeaPod Camp only blocks 50% of UV rays. This may still be a good amount of protection, but I was not comfortable testing the penetrability of the UV rays on my fair-skinned 4-month-old in direct sun. I ended up using a blanket that had a 50+ UPF rating over the top of the tent when in direct sun for my own peace of mind.
Learn more about UPF ratings and our favorite sun protection gear here!
Of course everyone loves extra storage, but the placement of these storage pockets make them not so useful. The three internal pockets are at the back of the tent so they were inconvenient to use, in my opinion. I believe better placement would have been along the side walls of the tent so they could be easily reached when at the tent opening.
An additional concern is that of the durability of this tent. The PeaPod Camp is recommended for children up to 6 years of age. The company states that the product should not be used as a playard when the child is able to climb out or reaches 35 inches. Because this is a lightweight tent with mesh walls (which is great for ventilation), I do question how well it would stand up to an active toddler. Due to the fact that my daughter is only four months old, I wasn’t really able to get an accurate sense of the durability or how well it would work for containment for a more active child, but I would say the PeaPod Camp would definitely suffice for naps and night-time sleeping for your active little ones.
Though I think the ultra lite mattress pad is comfortable enough for kids to sleep and play (and my daughter agrees), I added a blanket in the tent so she wasn’t lying on the polyester lining. In the warm weather, I did not think that lying directly on the tent floor would be very comfortable. Obviously, this is not the intended practice and the manufacturer warns against putting anything extra like blankets into the tent for risk of suffocation. I was next to her each time I did this, though if I were to leave her unattended, when using it as a travel bed for example, I certainly would not do this. It would be nice if the floor of the tent was a more comfortable surface for infants who are not supposed to sleep with blankets yet.
Kidco Peapod Camp: Best Uses
If you aren’t concerned about your child unzipping and climbing out of the PeaPod Camp, then this would be an ideal travel bed, especially when they are at an age where it is safe to use blankets. It is so much more convenient than your standard, bulky playard. It weighs about 17 pounds less than a standard playard and the set-up and tear-down are much faster. The storage bag is also considerably smaller.
There are of course many warnings from the manufacturer, but when following all instructions in the user guide (like not including any blankets, pillows etc.), it is considered a safe sleeping space. However, I would be cautious to only place this on hard, flat ground when using outside, especially for little ones who are just learning to roll over. When using this on a softer surface, such as grass, I noticed it does squish down quite a bit more than a crib mattress would. With that being said, I would probably not leave my child sleeping unattended when she is first learning to roll over.
Outdoor Bug Protection
I would argue that summer is the best season though one of the major downsides is the pesky mosquitoes and other bugs that come along with it. The PeaPod Camp is useful in keeping my daughter protected from bugs when we are outdoors. All sides of the PeaPod Camp are full mesh so the tent allows maximum airflow while keeping bugs out. The mesh is also very easy to see through so you can always keep an eye on your child. In addition, this could keep out other unwanted animals (like your puppy who sometimes gives the most inopportune face licks right as your child is about to fall asleep).
As all moms know, there is always a lot to get done! The PeaPod Camp has helped me get some of my spring yard work done this year as my daughter played in the tent while I weeded our flower beds. It was nice to have a comfortable spot for her to lay while I could keep an eye on her, all while being protected from bugs and sun.
This would also be equally beneficial for camping because it is very portable and convenient to use. I think the PeaPod Camp would also work well at the beach and the sturdy structure of the tent would allow you to shake out most of the sand before you’re packing up for the day.
Though there are some drawbacks to the PeaPod Camp, I definitely see myself continuing to use this product. If I am using the tent in direct sun, I will probably always put a 50+UPF-rated blanket over top to ensure enough UV protection, but if I’m planning an outdoor adventure, chances are I would already be packing one anyways.
This is definitely a great product for pretty much any day trip! It is small enough to toss in the car without taking up too much space and also light enough to easily carry to your campsite or spot on the beach.
The PeaPod Camp is also an easy-to-use sleep space and when following the guidelines, I would consider it safe for most ages up to the recommended 6 years of age. When using on softer ground (like grass) I would monitor your little ones who are just learning to roll over.
I look forward to continuing to test out the possibilities with the PeaPod Camp as my little one gets older.
Thanks to TMM Team Member Jami’s sister, Sara, and baby Miloh for testing this out and putting this review together for us!
Where to Buy the KidCo PeaPod Camp
The PeaPod Camp is priced at $89.95 and is available at the following retailers:
KidCo PeaPod Camp Review
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