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My First Ready-Bed: Inflatable travel bed

Easy-to-use travel bed for 2+ is a lightweight wonder

Posted: 17 July 2008
by Maria Muennich

My First Ready Bed

Light to carry, easy to set up and take down, comfortable and comes in a range of designs
The sleeping bag is a bit thin for colder nights and the cover is polyester.
Features: Inflatable child's bed with integrated sleeping bag and protective side bolsters. Removable, washable cover. Child-proof safety zip. Carry bag and pump included.
Suitable for ages 2 and up
Weight: 1.6 kg
Size: 35cm long x 71cm wide
Price: £29.99 - £34.99. You can find it cheaper (£24.99) online but may have to pay postage
Contact: Worlds Apart website

My First Ready Bed
Thomas the Tank Engine Ready-Bed
The concept:
Worlds Apart's First Ready-Bed is an inflatable bed intended as the next step travel bed for when your toddler outgrows, or can climb out of, his travel cot. Officially the bed is labelled as suitable for 2+, but if your toddler's out of his travel cot a few months earlier than this there's no real reason why he shouldn't move on to the Ready-Bed. Extra bolstering down the side of the mattress is designed to safeguard against falling off the mattress. Designed to be super-lightweight and portable (the mattress cover has a built-in sleeping bag), the Ready-Bed's is intended as a quick, easy and comfortable sleep solution whether you're visiting the in-laws or on holiday abroad.

There are a range of bright designs made to appeal to youngsters, from Thomas the Tank Engine to In the Night Garden.

In action:

The ready-bed is very travel friendly, and a particular delight if you've been used to lugging around a weighty travel cot. The inflatable mattress rolls up neatly into a handy lightweight travel bag with shoulder strap and the whole thing squishes into the basket of our buggy. It weighs a mere 1.6 kg, so you barely even notice it's there if you carry it over your shoulder (except for the regular squeaking noises from the pump that is).

We've only had it for a few months, so it's a bit early to say how robust the bed is, but reports from friends and family are all positive on that score. The travel bag is incredibly light-weight and does seem to us that it could easily get torn in the hold of a plane, but it's so portable that we haven't yet felt the need to check it in anyway.

When it comes to washing you can remove the entire cover and pop it in the machine - use a strong paper clip or similar to crack the child-prrof zip - and it dries very quickly.

What's the pump-up and deflate time?
Surprisingly quick really. The little hand-held pump supplied doesn't look great shakes (and makes a funny wheezing/squeaking noise when you knock about on your travels), but it does do the business. It takes me less than five minutes to pump the bed up fully, and I feel a little virtuous for the exercise. What I wasn't looking forward to was deflation, as I imagined it would take an age to squeeze enough air out so that the bed would roll up nicely into its travel bag again. As it turns out it's really easy, taking three of four minutes, and the bed rolled back up travel no problem.

Is it comfortable?
We're a bit big to test it ourselves, but our two-year-old seems to find it comfy and sleeps very happily in it. It's a nice size for two-four year-olds, being big enough that it feels like quite a grown-up bed, but not so big that they get lost in it. Some parents and toddlers may not like the fact that the cover is polyester, and, while it's perfectly adequate for summer use or use in a well-heated house, the sleeping bag cover does seem rather thin, and we think it would probably need some boosting for winter use.

What's the toddler verdict?
By eighteen months our toddler could climb out of his travel cot and was noisily insisting that it was 'too small' - opening the zip door at the end failed to persuade him to sleep in it. By contrast he adores this travel bed. Of course he's a complete sucker for the toddler-friendly Thomas the Tank Engine design, merrily chirping his toot-toots as he climbs into bed and settles down: It's the most enthusiastic about bed-time that he gets. The novelty aspect of an inflatable bed (a small package rapidly turns into a big bed) definitely adds to the attraction so far and he seems to really like the fact that this is his very own bed that he can take with him anywhere.

The ThinkBaby verdict

A great little piece of travel kit: Highly portable, easy-to-use, comfortable and fun for little ones. Not super-cheap, but if you want your child to be able to sleep almost anywhere it's a relative bargain. We're not too keen on the cover being polyester but we'd still recommend this product highly.
Usefulness: 5/5
Quality: 4/5
Value: 4/5

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