No one wants to be the parent fumbling with gear while your squirming baby’s voice gets louder and louder, calling even more attention to your inept handling of what you thought would be an easy set up. Been there, took a picture then burned it.
We were so excited to review the Valco Baby Zephyr travel bed because we were in the market for a portable sleep and hangout solution that was safe and— let’s face it—kinda dummy-proof. If you travel with baby gear, it should work well, set up quickly and not need the help of a NASA team to figure out.
I opened the box to look for the instruction manual and kept thinking I was missing something at first. It is only one page! What? Yes. No extra diagrams, ads for other products or pages of warnings. The instructions were clear and simple. The images were straightforward. This is how you open the Zephyr, this is how you close it and this is how you store it. Nice. And it gets better—no tools or batteries necessary.
The Zephyr comes folded in a travel bag. I was surprised at how lightweight it was (less than 14 lbs) and how the compact fold made it easy to carry. There was no real assembly required other than placing the mattress inside the travel bed. Setting up the bed frame could not be simpler. We took it out of the travel bag, unfolded the legs, checked them for stability and put in the mattress. Seriously. No straps, buckles, hook and loops, buttons or rain dances. We unfolded the bed. It’s just as simple to close—remove the mattress, fold down the legs, fold the bed in half and place back in the bag.
We’ve used the Zephyr while visiting the homes of friends and family, outside during the day and in the evening and we’ve used it in our home on occasion. Our daughter is comfortable playing and sleeping in it. It does not have a large foot print so it may be ideal for those who travel and need to fit a bed into a tight space.
Notable features (other than the super quick set up) are the insect net and the side pockets. The insect net, which is included, has elasticized corners and fits securely over the top of the travel bed. It kept our daughter mosquito-bite-free during a park outing when we came home with more than a few bites ourselves. The mesh pockets on the sides of the travel bed are convenient and large. I also like how we can see our daughter through the mesh fabric, but when she’s lying down, the fabric along the lower part of the bed is opaque so she is not distracted as she drifts off to sleep.
The travel bed comes in three styles. We have the blue color (Mistral) and it cleans very easily. The fabric is removable as is the mattress cover fabric. Both zip off. However, they are hand wash only, which may be a drawback for some. The Zephyr is for infants up to 35 inches.
Bottom line: Just go get it. When you’re sitting back relaxing and your little one is napping in the mosquito-free travel bed, you’ll think of the old you—frustrated with unwieldy baby gear—and you won’t regret a thing. Happy travels!
To buy: Valco Baby