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Hands-on Gear Review
KidCo TravelPod ReviewPrice: $170.00 List | $109.95 at Amazon - 35% off
Cons: Lower quality, not very comfy, harder to use
Bottom line: Very portable option that is hard to use and not that nice
The KidCo TravelPod is a lightweight play yard that folds/disassembles fairly small for easy transportation. This product is harder to open and close than most of the options we tested, and it requires assembly of the poles and spring buttons to complete similar to common tent design. While the KidCo product is very portable, it is harder to use and not as comfortable as it can be. The materials are subpar, and the construction was lacking in quality control. Despite the reasonable price tag, we don't think this is a good choice no matter what you are looking for in a travel crib/play yard.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Travel Cribs of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Kidco was the first company to start selling metal safety gates in the United States in 1994. Their first gate was a pressure mounted, walk-thru design that was new to the market. Since its beginning, Kidco has developed a wide array of items designed in the USA. Kidco baby gear includes homes safety products like bed rails and cabinet locks and adhesive mount products that install with no tools.
The comparison chart below includes the overall scores for the travel cribs tested in this review, including the Kidco (in blue).
The sections below provide further details on the performance of the Kidco and why it earned a lower score than the majority of the competition.
Ease of Use
The Kidco earned a 4 of 10 for ease of use. This score is the second lowest in the group and indicates it is harder to use than most of the competition.The Kidco has one of the most involved setup processes in the group. You need to assemble the parts each time using spring buttons (above left) to secure the poles together. You also have to thread the poles through the fabric in a way similar to setting up a tent, and part of the fabric zips on over the lock button (above right). It isn't particularly difficult, but it is involved and none of the other options we tested require this much time and effort for setup. Only the Phil and Teds Traveller has an open and close that requires full disassembly.
It took us over 9:30 minutes to set this up the first time. After repeated testing, we had an average setup time of 4:12 minutes. During testing, we experienced sore fingers from the spring buttons, and it was the only one we felt we had to "get comfortable" to disassemble because we were going to be there awhile.
The Kidco earned an 8 of 10 for portability. This product is the second lightest option in the group at 10 lbs 8 oz. This weight is less than half the size of tow other products we tested. It is also one of the smallest measuring 18"H x 27"L x 6.5"W when folded. This product comes with a travel bag with handles that are neither great nor terrible and fitting it into a trunk is about average. However, the smaller size and lower weight make it a viable airplane option.
The Kidco earned a 2 of 10 for comfort. This product has a thin but soft foam mattress. The pad has permanent indentations on it that never smoothed out over several months, and we suspect it may be a by-product of the fold. The foam is thin and depresses easily. Getting baby in and out is also disappointing and more uncomfortable for caregivers than some of the competition.
The Kidco earned a 4 of 10 for quality. This score is the second lowest for the group and is a result of inconsistent stitching and materials that feel flimsy compared to the competition. This play yard has steel poles and cotton twill fabric with mesh.
Our product had several loose threads (above left), and the mesh was easy to stretch with a small amount of pressure. The zipper along the bottom had trouble staying connected (above right). Our Mesh was pulled oddly on one corner. The frame poles are somewhat wiggly, and the paint is chipping scraping off where the poles insert into the frame, which is likely to get worse over time.
This product earned a 1 of 10 for eco-health. Kidco, like many other manufacturers, is not making great strides related to eco-healthy products and materials. Kidco does not list what this product is made of or if it uses flame retardant materials in the manufacturing process. The Center for Environmental Health has a list of several manufacturers and their response to inquiries concerning flame retardants. Kidco is not shown on the list and makes no claims about avoiding potential health hazards.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
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