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New Zealand company Phil & Teds’ launched in 1996 with the first in-line pushchair (ie, one seat in front of the other rather than side-by-side) and has expanded its range accordingly since then.
It now does an array of products from buggies, highchairs, carriers, and its own car seat. But this review focuses on one of its two travel cots – the Traveller.
The Phil & Teds’ Traveller has been around since 2009 and has just had a revamp. The older version won many awards and accolades, but there were some criticisms, mainly over its stability.
And at MadeForMums we always love testing upgraded products to see what (if anything) has changed.
What’s different on the new Phil & Teds’ Traveller cot?
The new cot has been made taller and deeper (its assembled footprint is now 137 x 85 x 66cm, with the sleeping capacity at 115 x 57 x 66cm) and the walls are now made completely of mesh, where previously they were a polyester-like material with a mesh window.
The mattress has been made longer and the cotton sheet is now a version that was certified non-toxic by Oeko-tex – an independent textile certification examiner.
In the 2009 version, the mattress slipped into a pocket at the bottom of the cot; now it sits inside, fastened at each corner, which means it is slightly suspended off the ground.
It also means that although the cotton sheet provided is the best fit (it has holes in each corner to poke the fasteners through), you can use your own sheets on it, too.
The new version has a mattress that fastens to each corner of the cot, so it is suspended just above the ground
The frame has also been made easier for parents to assemble and disassemble. Another big selling point is still its compactness – it fits easily into a very small bag. This has been improved from the old version, which was sometimes a bit of a squeeze – the bag from Marie’s 2009 model ripped along the seams – and it’s probably the mesh walls that have helped improve on this.
Has it improved its stability issues?
Yes, it has. It’s strong enough to support Arthur in his first attempts at standing when he holds on to the bar. While its triangular shape makes it sturdy enough for toddlers, too. A fact confirmed by me friend Marie, who has tested the old version (which is the same shape) on two of her children over the past five years.
Is it value for money?
Marie recommended her Phil & Ted’s cot months ago, saying that ‘if you ever feel inclined to invest in a really decent one, it’s life-changing.’
And at £160, that’s exactly the way to view it – as an investment item.
How does it compare to other travel cots?
Previously we used a pop-up bubble cot, which served Arthur well as a young baby before he could sit up – except that the thin mattress lies flat on the ground so you end up piling up the blankets underneath it to keep the cold coming up from the ground.
The Traveller, however, has a self-inflating mattress and a small amount of suspension from the ground built into the design, as the mattress ‘hangs’ from the four posts at each corner, keeping your little nipper protected.
The Phil & Teds’ travel cot can double as a playpen
Even though the cot is now more spacious and has ample room for babies and toddlers, it is still much smaller and lighter than the travel cots you typically get in hotels and B&Bs, which is a big bonus.
Can it double as a playpen?
Yes it can. The joy of having a travel cot that doubles up as a play pen means you can have it in the tent, outside, next to the camp fire or on the beach – and you can buy a sun shade to go over the top (‘toggle-on UV sun mesh’, £18) which also keeps the mosquitos and midges locked out.
Is it portable?
Very! The cot packs up into a slip of a bag (68 x 25 x 20cm), which fits into cabin luggage (and suitcases) and weighs just 3.2kg – lighter then Arthur’s weight at newborn.
Saying that, it is slightly heavier than the older version, which was 2.5kg, but it has increased in size and the new model still holds the record for being the lightest travel cot on the market.
This makes the cot the number-one choice when going abroad, as well as in any other situation where you stay elsewhere overnight, whether camping or just at a friend’s house.
Do you think it will last?
Yes, I do. It’s a very well-designed product, and seems robust enough to last: Marie’s is still in great nick from 2009, so assuming the new mesh walls are as strong, the new version should last any parent through several small children.
Is it comfortable?
Yes, Arthur slept well in it and, because he could see us through the mesh, was happy to play in there – obviously mesh walls allow for good air circulation – and the black colour helped him he feel cosy and secure when sleeping.
The new version of the Traveller cot now has all-mesh sides for complete viewability
The zip-up wall came into its own when we went camping and Arthur had a bad episode of teething – with the cot positioned just above our heads, I was able to unzip it on one side, stick my hand in to comfort him and go to sleep again.
How is putting it together?
It can be extremely simple to put together, but you’ve got to be careful when doing it. The instructions are clear and concise, and although the nib points have been made smoother for assembly and disassembly, you do have to be a little careful not to catch your hand as you slide the legs together.
I still struggled to push them in and had to use the tip of a screwdriver to push them back in when taking the frame apart.
However, this might be something that improves the more often you use it and wear the joints in – and really, it’s a tiny niggle in an otherwise great product.
Made for Mums verdict:
A great travel cot that’s up to any situation, whether camping or staying on someone’s floor. Worth the asking price.
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|Brand||Phil & Teds|
|Model||Traveller travel cot|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:85cm W:137cm D:66cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:25cm W:68cm D:20cm|
|Accessories included||Travel bag|