KidCo PeaPod Review

KidCo PeaPod Review

I’ll be honest, when the KidCo PeaPod travel bed arrived, I was a bit skeptical. Many people rave about it, it has great Amazon reviews, but I still wasn’t convinced it was something we would use and love.

I was usure how I was going to convince my very active 15 month old to actually want to stay in and sleep in there. I was also concerned that she might flip over the whole tent if she really wanted out. The PeaPod just didn’t appear to be a comfy, cozy sleep spot that I thought she would enjoy.

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KidCo PeaPod Review

PeaPod Initial Thoughts

I am happy to report though, a few weeks later, so far, so good! I had it out in my living room for a few weeks and Nora (15 months) was crawling in and out of it getting used to it. My 4 1/2 year old enjoys climbing in there with her little sister too. So far, it has held up to the abuse of play in it, getting climbed ON, and dogs crashing into it.

Although it took some time to put it to use for sleeping, we were finally able to get her to nap in the PeaPod without too much of a fight. She also hasn’t been able to flip it over when inside, yet (second child=wild child). I am looking forward to using it more places, especially when we don’t want to take the pack and play! Keep on reading for our full review.

For this review, we had the KidCo PeaPod (KidCo PeaPod on Amazon here) but KidCo also makes the PeaPod Plus (KidCo PeaPod Plus on Amazon here) which is a little bigger in size.

KidCo PeaPod travel bed

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KidCo PeaPod Specs

  • Weight: 2.45 pounds
  • Open Size: 46” Long x 18” Tall x 28” Deep
  • Folded/Bag Size: 16.5” x 16.5” Tall x 3 Deep
  • All parts are 100% Polyester that are UV coated and Fire Retardant.
  • Colors available: Cranberry, Sunshine, Midnight, Tangerine, Sky
  • Recommended for ages 1-3 (the PeaPod Plus is for ages 1-5)
Nora enjoyed playing in her PeaPod as she was getting used to it.

PeaPod Features

The PeaPod has some great convenience features:

  • Lightweight mesh for breathability and insect protection
  • Anchor straps on the bottom for staking down
  • Micro-Lite sleeping pad that attaches to the bottom
  • Storage/carry bag
  • UV coated material offers some sun protection (just note it is not complete sun protection due to the mesh screen)

The KidCo PeaPod Travel Plus is a little larger and has a suggested age range of 1-5 years old. The Plus also has a loop and toggle to roll up the door and keep it open.

Safety and Recalls

As with any baby sleep product, you want to make sure it is a safe space. Back in 2012 there was a recall on the PeaPods (you can read about it here) because of the gap from the air mattress and side of the tent.

KidCo has discontinued that style, made changes like moving the mattress to the exterior bottom, and changing the age range. The PeaPod used to be for ages birth-3, now it is ages 1-3. There is also mesh all the way to the floor now, limiting suffocation risk in the “corners.”

I am happy to report that I have not seen a recall on the PeaPods since the 2012 recall. According to the PeaPod website, the product passes all required ASTM and Federal standards.

What the KidCo PeaPod is best for

Little Kids Ages 1-3

The manufacturer states this product is for ages 1-3 and with any child sleep product, there are many guidelines to accompany this to ensure a safe sleep setup for your little.

The recommended age range is due to risk of suffocation/SIDS for those under 1 year old, but I probably wouldn’t leave my infant unattended anyway. (It says in the manual to NEVER leave your child zippered in, unattended.)

Now, even though the suggested age range is 1-3, if I had this product when Nora was born, I probably would have used this with a newborn/infant and would have enjoyed it. I may have been a little wary when she just started rolling over, but once she mastered the roll, I likely would have resumed using it.

Nora was a June baby we spent a lot of time outside with her, I ended up just using one of our rockers and putting a bug net over it, but this PeaPod would have been great! A little sun and bug protection in an enclosed space.

I loved using the PeaPod for lake days, when our daughter needed shade or a place to nap. It also came in handy on solo mom outings when I could leave the baby safely in the PeaPod and play near the water with my toddler.

Sarah, TMM Team Member
TMM Team Member Sarah’s 6 week old baby girl. Note: This is an older version PeaPod.

Traveling, Camping, and Beach Days

This is a great item for traveling, it gives your child a space to call their own and as they get a little older, they may really enjoy their little tent.

The packed down size can fit in your suitcase or even carried by your kiddo. It takes up way less space than a pack and play and much easier to set up.

When you get to your destination, just unzip the bag, remove the bed from the bag, and carefully remove the saftey strap and allow to it spring open. Voila, you are ready to put your kiddo down! You can even do it one-handed.

The PeaPod is perfect for those days at the beach or pool when you little one needs some quiet time. Also great for those day trips to friends and family when you will need a nap spot.

The PeaPod is an excellent back-up bed too! Say you are travelling to a hotel and the crib provided is just not up to your standard, pop out the PeaPod you tossed in your bag and you are good to go.

15 Month old Nora enjoys carrying her “tent” around.

What we love about the PeaPod

Compact Size and Super Lightweight

I love the compact size for travel. It collapses down to a small disc that can get packed into a carry-on bag. Set-up is quick and easy and it makes for a secure spot for your little to rest. You can even do it one-handed!

This is great for those day trips to family or friend’s house when you just need a quick nap spot. We once used a large cardboard box with a blanket in it for a “crib” when at my Aunt’s for Christmas. All because I maybe forgot or didn’t want to take down the pack and play at my moms, transport it, and set it up again. The PeaPod would have totally saved us in that situation, (although the carboard box ended up working just fine!)

We got the model where the cushion was on the underside, and that’s great for safety.. but I wished that there was some option for a cloth sheet or something because having their little face against the polyester bottom was icky.

Kristen, TMM Team Member

Cushion on the Underside

I do like that the cushion is on the underside. No need to worry about your little one getting stuck between the edge and a mattress. (Older models had an inflatable air mattress that went inside the tent.)

The current design helps reduce the risk of suffocation as there is no place to get trapped. The mesh also comes all the way down to the base of the tent as well.

Pea Pod’s Micro-Lite cushion attached to the bottom of the pod.

What we aren’t so crazy about the KidCo PeaPod

Polyester Lining

As as adult, the polyester lining does not seem very comfortable and there is no easy way to put a sheet in there with out it moving all around. Besides, adding linens it is not recommended by the manufacturer to reduce the risk of suffocation.

I really, really, really wish there some sort of safe way to attach a sheet on the inside so you don’t have to sleep on polyester.

In the summer, it can be sticky, sweaty and a drool face on the poly bottom can get yucky. However, kids are more resilient and tend to not notice things like that, so they are probably just fine and I’ll just figure out a way to clean up the drool mess.

No Door Tie Back

I wish it had some type of door holder so you can roll up the door and keep it open when you want it open. The Plus has this feature, but the original PedPod does not. I’ve found a clothespin or chip clip will do the trick.

Limited Padding

There is an included pad that attaches on the bottom of the tent that provides a little cushion. It’s probably fine if you have a carpeted spot, soft grass, or beach sand.

However, if you are using on hard ground or woodfloor, I would suggest using a sleeping pad, foam, or blanket under it as well to provide some insulation and padding against the ground, especially if its chilly out. Just make sure the floor inside the tent cant compress down too much, you don’t want to create an unsafe (too soft) sleep surface.

It may take some time

One downside to the PeaPod is it may take some time for your kiddo to get use to the tent. Get it with plenty of time before you plan to use it so you can practice at home since it is a bit different than a crib.

We used one and I liked it.. the girls didn’t. We did eventually get them sleeping in it but it took a lot of effort and I had to have my head in there with them at first and that sucked.

Kristen, TMM Team Member
TMM Team Member Kristin’s 11 month old baby girl sleeping in the PeaPod while on a camping trip.

Can’t Leave Children Unattended

One of my final issues with the product is the fact that it is labeled as a travel bed, but it also states you shouldn’t leave your children unattended. I’m thinking the majority of parents plan to put their children to bed and then leave the area for some downtime before they hit the bed.

Now, this is probably a “cover your rear” type of warning from the company, but still makes me wonder if this should indeed be labeled as a “travel bed.”

I’m not planning to leave my kid in it and leave the house I’m in, but I might like to leave the room for a little while.

KidCo PeaPod Bottom Line

I think the KidCo PeaPod is an awesome product for outdoor adventures! Great for the beach, camping, and general travel when you can be near your little one. Its super lightweight and easy to pack with a speedy set-up when you are racing against nap time.

However, I don’t think this will replace our Pack and Play for overnights. I would prefer my kiddo to have a normal bed with some sheets and the ability to stand-up when she wakes up. I also like that the Pack and Play is OK for unattended sleep.

I am excited to use it for day trips, or bedtimes at a friends/family house before we head home for the night. I love the thought of just tossing it in the car when we are headed out so we always have a safe space to nap!

A door tie back and a way to have a secure sheet or similar would make this even better. There is a bit of a learning curve with getting your kiddo to sleep in there, but with practice it is do-able. Folding up could be a little tricky at first, but it’s pretty easy.

Overall, I like the KidCo PeaPod and look forward to testing it out on more adventures.

Nora, 15 months, napping in the PeaPod in her room at home.

Where to Buy the KidCo PeaPod

You can find the KidCo PeaPod on Amazon.com.

KidCo PeaPod Review

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