29 January 2009

favourite travel items: T2 portacot

When we took our first overseas trip with a very young child, we booked accommodation that supplied us with a cot for our infant. For our next trip we decided that we would have much more flexibility if we took our cot with us, as we would not need to find places that could supply one.

However, the portacot we owned weighed about 15kg. Not great for transporting anywhere, let alone halfway round the globe. So we looked into lighter portacots. In our online searching, we found the Phil and Ted's T2 portacot. On the websites, it said it weighed only 2.5kg. Not quite believing this, we were pleased to find that the baby-goods shop at our local shopping mall stocked them, and we checked it out. It really did weigh only 2.5kg, and it was fantastic.

We duly purchased one, and we have loved it ever since. Family members have also borrowed it to take it away on holidays with them.

Why do we love the Phil and Ted's T2 Portacot so much?
- it is lightweight and compact.
- it is like a small tent (even has tent peg holes so that you can peg it down on a beach etc.) and while it takes a little while to get up to speed on putting it together, it it easy enough.
- the sides are mesh which allows for breathability and the top zips up so that it is mozzie-proof.
- the mattress is a self-inflating thin one, but is quite thick enough for comfort and warmth. It is easy to slip a cot mattress-size fitted sheet over it.
- it has its own bag for neat packaway, and for travelling. There's no reason the whole bag couldn't be checked in on its own, as check-in luggage for air travel.

The only downside that we have found is that it can be a little difficult to put it all back in the bag. The main section of the tent is quite thick when folded up, and it can be difficult to get the mattress roll in with it. But with a little practice, this too can be mastered.

But for its weight and compactness, this portacot cannot be beaten!

There is a newer model that has been released, the Phil and Ted's Traveller. We haven't seen or tried it, but apparently its a bit heavier (3.6kg). The side has a zip this time which is an improvement, and the whole thing is supposedly more sturdy. One feature that others haven't liked about it is that the mattress has to be inserted into a sleeve in the base, meaning it can no longer be fitted with a sheet or blanket. It would be interesting to see the new model to evaluate it, but we're still very happy with our T2, and would recommend it to anyone.

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