When the delivery driver arrived at my door with the Baby Hub Sleep Space in his hands, the size of the box was quite daunting.
As a travel cot I think one of the things you look for is a compact size for transporting. Out of its box and in its travel bag, it is still longer than our 1980’s NCT second hand travel cot. However, we discovered when packing to go camping that you can add to the bag and ended up with a child’s sleeping bag, 3 travel pillows, Matilda’s sleeping bag, teddies, and 2 camping lamps all in with the travel cot! The bag is strong, has a very handy strap and for once, it’s not a struggle to pack the travel cot away.
So, we arrived at our campsite after a long journey, and though we were cheating and had a pre- erected bell tent, we still had the unpacking and setting up of the travel cot to go. Well, this is where it came into its own. It was easy, I didn’t use instructions and just winged it, with no effort at all it was up. In a blink of an eye both kids were in it! The zip open door makes it fun, Matilda loved being able to walk in and out. To her it was like her own little tent within a tent.
The first night was a success, she slept well and woke up full of beans. Test run one done! We moved on to our holiday cottage for a week with the big cousins. Just like Hugh, the big girls loved joining Matilda in her new den. The material outer which can be added to make a ‘tepee’, was a hit.
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The design of the BabyHub Sleep Space is not like a typical travel cot, it is wider on the bottom and has a smaller square top with 4 poles extending to a central point. When I first started to use it, I found the pole got in the way getting Matilda in and out, but as she was an older baby, she preferred crawling in through the door. However, when I finally read the instructions, I discovered that you are meant to release one of the pole when getting a baby out to give you more space to lean through. If only I had read them in the first place!
The design makes it feel more robust than the various other travel cots we have used over time. It stood up to our rather boisterous walking, standing and jumping 18-month-old as well as her cousins (8,7 and 3!). The only challenge we found was on our third use of the cot, our next camping trip. This time we were in a less luxurious tent, an average family 6 berth tent. This plan was to put the children in one room together. However, when setting up the BabyHub Sleep Space was too tall and to fit it in we had to position it in the middle of the bedroom and therefore our son had no space either side to sleep.
Overall the BabyHub Sleep Space is very well made with little touches such as the nicely padded mattress, cushioned and protected edges and additional covers including a mosquito net. It is lightweight, though not necessarily small, it has a very good carry bag and is as easy to set up as they describe. With a RRP of £149, it isn’t the cheapest option on the market, but the quality of it lives up to the price tag. Would I say it is the ideal solution for family camping trips, probably not? But would I recommend it as a travel cot for use in a house, or a very big tent, yes!