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KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed Review

The KidCo PeaPod Plus is a popular toddler travel bed. Its easy fold and compact size make it easy to bring along on any trip with a toddler.

This versatile KidCo PeaPod Plus toddler travel tent can be used in various scenarios:

  • When flying with toddlers, you can’t use it on the plane but if you bring a KidCo PeaPod Plus travel bed for toddlers as a carry-on, you can easily set it up in a quiet spot in the airport for a nap before boarding. This would be ideal for extra-long lay overs.

  • The KidCo PeaPod tent makes an excellent toddler bed for camping with a toddler.

  • Does your baby need a nap at the beach? The KidCo PeaPod travel bed is lightweight enough to carry to the beach and set up as a beach tent for your baby.

  • If you don’t love the idea of using a pack n’ play from the hotel, a KidCo PeaPod Plus travel bed will fit in a medium size suitcase.

  • If vacation apartment rental doesn’t have a small toddler bed or portable crib to use, packing the PeaPod Plus portable tent is easy.
kidco peapod plus travel bed for toddlers

We have often depended on hotels to provide a baby crib or rented from a baby equipment rental company when we travel with a toddler, but we ran into issues planning our trip to Japan with toddlers.

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Sure, our vacation rental apartments had mats that rolled out on the floor, but our toddler was used to sleeping in a crib at home. Not only that, but we couldn’t find any baby equipment rental companies. This is when a friend introduced us to the KidCo PeaPod Plus toddler tent.

We instantly fell in love with it and it became one of favorite toddler travel essentials. The KidCo PeaPod tent easily fit in our suitcase or we attached it to the back of our backpack, depending on how we were traveling. For flying, if we were traveling with backpacks we just brought the KidCo PeaPod Plus travel bed as a carry-on and put it in the overhead bin on the airplane.

Mother carrying folded kidco peapod plus portable travel bed

We loved that traveling with the KidCo PeaPod Plus travel bed was lightweight enough to pack on all our trips, but even better it gave our toddler a familiar sleep environment. Having a familiar sleep environment is key to getting babies and toddlers sleeping well on vacation.

Toddler sleeping in KidCo PeaPod Plus travel tent

On top of all that, the KidCo PeaPod Plus travel tent folding and unfolding is so quick and easy. Even if we arrived at a hotel late, we could set up the bed for our toddler in minutes and have him down for sleep.

You just take it out of the bag, remove the safety strap and it pops open. Folding the KidCo Peapod Plus portable bed isn’t much harder and takes under a minute.

Folding KidCo PeaPod Plus has it fitting in a suitcase
KidCo PeaPod Plus folded fits in a suitcase.

KidCo PeaPod Plus Specs

The KidCo PeaPod Plus travel bed is a pop-up tent that folds small enough to fit in a suitcase. It has flaps on all four sides that roll up to allow for air flow while still acting as an insect screen.

Toddler sleeping in KidCo PeaPod Plus portable travel bed

For outdoor use, the lightweight mesh works as an insect screen. The sleeping pad snaps on the outside of the travel tent and is removable for cleaning.

Just be aware, if using the KidCo PeaPod Plus on the beach that it does not offer full sun protection.

The KidCo PeaPod Plus weighs only 3.65 lbs and folds into its own bag to a circle with folded dimensions of 19” x 19” x 3.5”.

Precautions: The sleeping pad should remain attached by the snaps under the floor of the tent only and should never be put inside. KidCo further states that you should never add pillow, comforter or another mattress for padding.

KidCo PeaPod vs PeaPod Plus

The KidCo PeaPod and PeaPod Plus are both similar shaped collapsible tents that fold up into a circle.

While they are similar in shape, the KidCo PeaPod Plus has flaps that can be rolled up to allow more airflow, where the KidCo PeaPod does not. They both have lightweight mesh that acts as an insect screen, making the PeaPod tents good for outdoor use.

toddler sitting up in KidCo PeaPod Plus portable bed for toddlers

Other differences between the KidCo PeaPod vs PeaPod Plus come in their size and weight.

  • The KidCo PeaPod portable travel bed folds into a circle with a diameter of approximately 16.5 inches, compared to the PeaPod Plus that has a folded size with a diameter of 19 inches.

  • Both PeaPod tents can be used starting at the age of 1 years old, but the PeaPod Plus can be used up to 5 years old where the PeaPod tent can only be used up to 3 years old.

  • As for weight, the KidCo PeaPod weighs 2.45lbs where the KidCo PeaPod Plus weighs 3.65lbs.

For the difference in price comparing the KidCo PeaPod vs the PeaPod Plus, it’s worth it to get the larger tent that can be used for longer. Not only that, but we like the ability to have the flaps that can be lifted for more airflow or lowered to reduce the light, as desired.

Pros of the KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed

Toddler sleeping in KidCo PeaPod Plus travel bed
  • We own a S-M-L suitcase set.  The KidCo PeaPod Plus fits in both our medium and large suitcases.  Alternatively, it can be brought on the airplane as a carry-on.

  • The KidCo PeaPod Plus travel tent is easy to fold and pack.

  • The PeaPod Plus is super lightweight at 3.65 lbs. By comparison, travel cribs can weigh around 7-13 lbs.

  • With an age range from 1 to 5 years old, toddlers can use it for quite some time.

  • The cost of the PeaPod Plus is considerably less than the $200+ US for some travel cribs.

  • The roll-up side flaps are a nice feature. We would open them and use a fan pointed at the KidCo PeaPod Plus tent if it was too hot.

  • The flaps rolled down on the KidCo PeaPod Plus also work to help eliminate distractions when sharing a room.

  • Zippers keep toddlers safely in their portable travel tent. Our little guy was not able to open the zipper, so we knew he couldn’t escape and didn’t have to worry about him trying to climb out of the travel tent.

  • We like the safety feature of having the mattress attached underneath.

  • Being great for both indoors and outdoors, the KidCo PeaPod can go everywhere with parents!
kidco peapod plus travel bed for toddlers folded in suitcase

Cons of the KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed

While we really loved the KidCo PeaPod Plus portable travel bed, it wasn’t perfect. Here are some of the things we didn’t love about the KidCo PeaPod Plus.

Toddler in peapod sleeping tent
Using a blanket under the PeaPod for extra comfort.
  • It can get warm in the tent, especially with all the flaps down. We resolved this by using a fan or turning up the air conditioner. We also opened the flaps after he was sleeping, if we were keeping them down to keep him from being distracted.

  • After some time, your toddler may figure out how to open the zipper. This can be mitigated by closing the zippers such that all the zipper pulls were on the outside of the tent.

  • The attached sleeping pad is great, but if the floor underneath is tile, the pad may not be enough. Most hotels and Airbnbs have extra blankets, so while we know it’s not recommended, we typically place a folded blanket underneath to add a little extra padding on really hard surfaces.

  • Our biggest complaint was that the sleeping surface was made of polyester, which would get our toddler very sweaty. He didn’t seem to mind, but we would have loved a sheet that could be zipped on and off for cleaning.

  • The KidCo PeaPod Plus isn’t supposed to be used with any blankets or pillows. This worked fine for us when our toddler was sleeping in a sleepsack without a pillow.

    Once he moved to a toddler bed at home, he got used to having a pillow and blanket for sleeping. As he got older (3+ years old) we started using a small pillow and blanket in the PeaPod Plus to keep him comfortable.
Toddler sitting beside kidco peapod tent

KidCo PeaPod Folding Instructions

Let’s be honest, getting things folded and back in the shape they came in is usually an exercise in frustration. Thankfully, that’s not the case with folding the KidCo PeaPod Plus.

The KidCo PeaPod folding instructions are simple and easy to follow. In addition, the storage bag included with the PeaPod tents is large enough that the folded KidCo PeaPod Plus easily fits in, without a struggle!

mother carrying KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed
KidCo PeaPod Plus is lightweight and easy to carry.

Here are the KidCo PeaPod Folding Instructions:

  1. Unzip the safety strap pocket and take the safety strap out.

  2. Take the top two short sides of the frame and bring them to the center.

  3. While holding the two sides together, do the same with the bottom frame. Grabbing the bottom frame on the two short sides, bring them to the center.

  4. While holding the sides together in the center, grab the long side and fold it down and in. Keep tucking and folding it in to create three circles on top of each other.

  5. Put the elastic safety strap over the entire thing to hold it together.

  6. Slip it into the bag. That’s it!

Other tips for folding the KidCo PeaPod Plus:

  • Close all flaps and zippers.
  • Remove the safety strap before beginning to fold.
  • Remove everything from inside the KidCo PeaPod tent.
  • Leave the sleeping pad on. It easily folds up along with travel tent.

Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Love the KidCo PeaPod Plus As Much as You Do

Not all toddlers love the KidCo PeaPod Plus travel tent. Some toddlers are never going to love it, but here are some tips for introducing the travel tent that might help.

toddler peaking out of KidCo PeaPod Plus
  1. Introduce your toddler to the KidCo PeaPod in a play setting.

    Set it up in the living room and let your toddler explore it.

  2. Never use the KidCo PeaPod Plus tent on a trip for the first time.

    Do a few practice runs with your PeaPod tent prior to traveling with a toddler.
  3. Start with naps.

    Don’t immediately start with an overnight sleep using the KidCo PeaPod. Use it for a nap the first time. In fact, use it for naps over the course of week before using it at night.

  4. Make it fun.

    We always made it sound exciting before putting him to sleep in it – “Are you excited about sleeping in your tent??” or “Here we go, you get to sleep in your tent again!”.

    Our toddler would ask to sleep in his tent even when we arrived home!

  5. Place the PeaPod Plus tent inside the crib.

    If your crib is large enough place it inside the crib for the first time trying it. This will keep the sleeping environment similar. You could even leave the front flap unzipped and rolled up.

  6. Take a break.

    If your toddler doesn’t love it, put it away for a few weeks, then try again.
kidco peapod plus travel bed fits in a crib

When our KidCo PeaPod Plus arrived, we set it up in the living room and let our two kids play inside it (supervised). They were pretty excited about it.

We waited until the following day, then planned a nap in the tent. We put it in his crib, since this was where he did all his naps. We talked to him about it and kept it fun.

After doing naps successfully a few days in a row, we tried a night sleep.

Before leaving for Rome with our toddler, we had our son sleeping in it for all his naps and night sleeps for two entire weeks. Though this was probably overkill, this gave us confidence that he would be comfortable in it throughout our trip. 

KidCo PeaPod Plus being used for siblings sharing a room
Using the KidCo PeaPod Plus for sharing a room in Cinque Terre with toddlers.

We didn’t go to this extreme before any other subsequent trips, but we never had any issues each time we pulled it out for a trip.

KidCo PeaPod vs Joovy Gloo

While we love Amazon for baby travel products, it’s not unusual to find that a product is unavailable temporarily. In that instance, there is an alternative to the KidCo PeaPod and that’s the Joovy Gloo.

Toddler sitting in KidCo PeaPod Plus - Review of toddler travel bed

The Joovy Gloo travel tent is very similar to the Kidco PeaPod. The Joovy Gloo also comes in two sizes: regular and large. Similar to the KidCo PeaPod Plus, only the Joovy Gloo Large size has the 4 flaps that can be rolled up for extra airflow.

The Joovy Gloo also has lightweight mesh panels that acts as an insect screen and folds back up in the same way.

Comparing the KidCo PeaPod vs the Joovy Gloo, here are some of the main differences:

  1. Weight

    The Joovy Gloo is heavier compared to the KidCo PeaPod.
    The weight is 3.9 lbs for the Regular Joovy Gloo vs KidCo PeaPod at 2.45 lbs.
    The weight is 5.5 lbs for the Large Joovy Gloo vs KidCo PeaPod Plus at 3.65 lbs.

  2. Recommended Age

    Probably the most significant difference between these travel tents is that the Joovy Gloo has a recommended age starting at 6 months compared to the KidCo PeaPod of 1 years old. The Joovy Gloo similarly goes up to 3 and 5 years based on the size of the tent.

  3. Size

    The folded dimensions are larger by about an inch for the KidCo PeaPod vs Joovy Gloo.

    KidCo PeaPod 16.5” x 16.5” x 3” vs Joovy Gloo Regular 14” x 14” x 5”

    KidCo PeaPod Plus 19” x 19” x 3.5” vs Joovy Gloo Large 18” x 17” x 4.5”

  4. Cover Sheet

    The Joovy Gloo as a cover sheet that can be unzipped (the zipper is covered by Velcro) and washed. This is a great feature we wish the KidCo PeaPod had.

  5. Mattress

    The Joovy Gloo has a self-inflating mattress, different from the KidCo PeaPod Plus sleeping pad. It also differs in that it gets packed away separately from the travel tent and it has a zip pouch on the bottom rather than being snapped on.

  6. Colors

    The Joovy Gloo has 6 fun colors to choose from: dark blue, light blue, dark gray, silver, purple and yellow.

    The PeaPod Plus comes in Kiwi, Midnight or Camo. The PeaPod comes in 5 colors: Cranberry, Sushine, Midnight, Tangerine and Sky.

KidCo PeaPod – Canada

The KidCo PeaPod and PeaPod Plus are available in Canada. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to purchase it from Amazon, but the KidCo PeaPod Plus is available from other retailers in Canada.

Your best bet for getting a Joovy Gloo in Canada is to purchase it direct.

Is the KidCo PeaPod for Babies?

Unfortunately the KidCo PeaPod and PeaPod Plus are only recommended for 1 year and older.

Toddler sleeping in KidCo PeaPod Plus tent

In a supervised environment, many parents still choose to use the KidCo PeaPod Plus as a beach tent or for camping with a baby. As a parent, you need to assess the risk and make your own choice.

The Joovy Gloo, on the other hand, is recommended for babies aged 6 months old and over.

The Little Mo 20 Down Baby Sleeping Bag for camping is a great way to keep toddlers warm through the night. For babies from 6 to 24 months, the Morrison Outdoors sleeping bag for toddlers and babies is good for a temperature range of 20 deg F to 60 deg F.

How Long Can You Really Use the KidCo PeaPod Plus?

We started using the KidCo PeaPod Plus when our toddler was 14 months old. After our first trip, we were so pleased with it, that we decided to use it for a month in Italy.

Ever since our Japan and Italy trips, the PeaPod Plus has become an indispensable part of our toddler travel gear. We have used it for 23 nights in Norway, 28 nights in Mexico and several visits to the grandparents.

Using KidCo PeaPod Plus for travel with a toddler
Using the KidCo PeaPod in Norway. Flaps down for sharing a room!

It became so easy to pack it with us and we enjoyed not having the hassle of renting a new travel crib every time we moved to a new location. The consistency of his sleeping environment ensured we had good sleeps no matter where we went.

We did find that around 4 years old our son no longer wanted to sleep in the tent. This was mainly due to the fact that his older sister got to sleep in a bed, as he still fit in the KidCo PeaPod Plus. We resolved this by purchasing him an inflatable toddler travel bed.

So while the KidCo PeaPod Plus is rated up to 5 years old, we imagine most kids will want to stop using it around 4 years old. Despite that, we still got plenty of use out of it.

Alternatives to a Toddler Travel Tent

What if your toddler really hates the KidCo PeaPod or PeaPod Plus?

Don’t worry, there are still plenty of other great toddler travel bed options. If your toddler isn’t ready to move to a regular size bed, then another great option is an inflatable toddler travel bed.

The two best options, that also have side bumpers to keep your toddler on the mattress, are the Shrunks Inflatable Toddler Bed and the hiccapop inflatable bed for toddlers.

inflatable toddler travel bed. one of the best toddler travel essentials

Even as your toddler starts to outgrow the KidCo PeaPod travel tent, having an inflatable toddler travel bed is so useful. They are easy to pack and work well for kids who easily fall out of bed.

We received a PeaPod Plus from KidCo for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are our own.

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