Have bed will travel… GLTC Bed in a Bag Review

I’ve mentioned (a couple of times) that, this year, the boys and I are proud ambassadors for the Great Little Trading Company.

They’re a company that I love and we’re very lucky to be on their testing team for 2016, which basically means we get to try out and road test all sorts of amazing things.

So far we’ve tested the fabulous star book ledges ; now a firm favourite with the boys as it means they have somewhere to store their sippy cups and books at bedtime.

And even more of a favourite with their daddy and me, as it means the floor by the side of the cots is free from books which — I can tell you from bitter experience — are very slippy and treacherous to walk on (particularly in socks and at night, when checking on your children).

Bertie_Shelf

I was also lucky enough to be sent a fantastic peg-board. Although ‘peg-board’ doesn’t really do it justice.

This nifty bit of kit is a pen-holder, chalkboard, keeper of notes and life in general.

We were asked to style it — in any way we saw fit — so I turned mine into a little dressing table assistant.

The perfect place for all my jewellery and things that normally clutter up the top of my chest of drawers, this little beauty is so versatile you could use it for anything at all!

GLTC_pegboard_V7

But the thing I was most excited to road-test was not something to style or make the house look pretty.

It was something that we’d been searching for — for a while — and when I saw that GLTC sold a version, I was desperate to test it out.

The ‘thing’ in question is a Bed in a Bag.

Since the boys were born, we’ve never had a proper travel cot. I hate how big and clumsy traditional travel cots are and decided to look for an alternative. So after a lot of research, we bought a couple of Koodi pop up travel tent cots.

Literally one (or in our case two) of the BEST things we’ve bought for our babies. They have lasted really well and — as we stay away from home fairly regularly with the boys — they’ve had a lot of use.

They are recommended for children of up to approximately 18 months of age but the twins have slept in them until they were almost 3. By which time, there didn’t seem much point in buying a traditional travel cot (even though my Twinkles still don’t have the sides off their actual cots yet).

GLTC’s Bed In A Bag seemed like the perfect successor.

What is the Bed in a Bag?

It’s a cushioned mattress — super soft and comfy — that is essentially formed from five pillows. It doesn’t need to be inflated and rolls up into it’s own matching bag, for storage.

I didn’t want to write about the Bed in a Bag until we’d properly put it through it’s paces.

In true ‘testing team’ style, I wanted to really, really make sure I could give an honest and full reveiw of our experience using this product.

Initially I was nervous that the boys wouldn’t like sleeping in a bed with no sides (especially for the first time) but, actually, it’s been a fantastic introduction to this new experience for them.

The Bed in a Bags are pretty big. This could be seen as a negative, depending on the size of car you drive. On the journeys when we have a car full of luggage — and the double buggy — we put them in the foot-wells. Not ideal but it works.

We can cope with them at the size they are.

Plus they don’t need inflating and — once we get to our destination — we can literally roll them out and use them. No worrying that we’ve left the footpump at home or — if we’re staying somewhere that doesn’t have electricity — we can’t plug it into the mains to inflate the kids’ beds.

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries
You can get a better idea of scale, seeing the Bed in a Bag next to the car
Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries
The Bed in a Bag, next to my little assistant!

I love the fact that they stash away in their own bag.

That said, my boy and I both think that the bags could be smaller. We can roll the mattress up fairly thin but as soon as we put it into the bag, the whole thing expands to fit the space. The Bed in a Bag, as a whole, could definitely be rolled up — and contained — a little smaller than the current bag design allows — maybe velcro tabs to keep the rolled mattress in place.

The other thing that could be improved is the fastening on the bag.

The cord to fasten the bag can be pulled tight and knotted but there isn’t a toggle — or fastening — to secure it. It could really do with a little cord lock (I’ve actually spotted some of these online and plan to upgrade ours myself).

Trying to hold the cord tight — and tie a knot — is tricky.

Plus, through constantly knotting and unknotting the cord to open and close the bag, the cord has begun to fray on one of the bags. I think a little cord toggle will make life much easier.

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries
The Bed in a Bag
bed-in-a-bag-closed
The fastening
bed-in-a-bag-frayed
Looking a little bit worse for wear

Once unrolled the beds are fairly large. They’re also lovely and squashy — and pretty deep — which means they’re comfy to lie on (even for me).

We can roll them out them anywhere that there is space, which means they’re perfect for allowing us to stay in places that don’t have dedicated beds for the boys.

When the twins were babies, we took their pop-up-tents everywhere and sleeping arrangements were never a problem, when we were away from home.

If there wasn’t a spare room to put them in, we all stayed together in one room and — as long as there’s enough available floor space — the Bed in a Bags allow us to do the same thing now.

Both sets of grandparents don’t currently have twin beds for Bertie and Cosmo, so the new travel-beds means that we’re able to continue to  stay overnight, with no worries about where we’re all going to sleep.

bed-in-a-bag
Lovely and deep

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries
My sleeping beauty

Another thing that I love is that they’re still useful when we’re not travelling!

They can be stashed away in a cupboard and when we have friends to stay, we don’t have to worry about lack of beds for small (or even large) people; the Bed in a Bags can be unrolled to create makeshift sleeping accommodation.

They are the perfect solution if you have lots of guests staying but not enough beds.

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries
Sleepy baby

If you buy them at the full price of £110, I guess you could say that the GLTC Bed in a Bag is expensive but personally I think that they’re worth every penny.

I’ve seen cheaper alternatives but they’re not as deep or comfy to lie on.

And I’ve seen equivalent versions that are geared up to little children; they’re much, much shorter though (you wouldn’t be able to comfortably lie a tween — or teen — along the length).

And, to be honest, what self-respecting child wants a Peppa Pig or Thomas The Tank Engine themed bed, past the age of about 4?

These beds will continue to be useful long after the twins leave nursery and go to school.

And as the years go by — when my boys have sleepovers with their friends (both away and at home) — the Bed in a Bags will be used time and time again.

They’ll be taken to festivals, on camping trips and weekends away.

And if you consider how many times they’ll be used, over their lifetime, the cost — per use — is just pennies. What initially seems like an expensive purchase, suddenly feels like a very worthwhile investment.

Bed in a Bag Review by The Twinkle Diaries

So — to round up my review — do I think these are worth the money?

YES!

Would I recommend them?

Absolutely.

They have been a godsend already.

As the boys aren’t in proper beds yet, the mere thought of buying traditional travel-cots to replace their pop-up tents — at this late stage — felt like such a false economy. OK — so they could probably sleep in a standard bed, with a bed-guard, but what happens when the place you’re staying doesn’t have a spare bed (or two)?

The Bed in a Bags have meant that our family of four can stay away from home, in all sorts of places, without the need for separate beds for the children.

They are, quite simply, brilliant.

I am proud to be a GLTC testing team member this year but all thoughts, words and images, as ever, are entirely my own.

About Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

24 thoughts on “Have bed will travel… GLTC Bed in a Bag Review

  1. Oh these are amazing Caro! I am trying to work out beds in our new house and whether to get one which can pull out into a double for when cousins come to stay. This would be a really good option for those times, and for when we stay away from home. Lovely! x

    1. They really are amazing. We have lots of friends and family, that we regularly stay with, who don’t have spare beds for the boys. These travel beds mean we can pitch up anywhere and we all have somewhere comfy to sleep! :)

  2. This is a great review. Very detailed. As you say they are expensive but I’m seeing a lot of positives there too. I don’t think they will owe you anything by the time you have finished with them! We always had the blow up princess beds and they were so uncomfortable, even for the dinky kids. Every time we have friends, it’s a blow up bed and the whole bedding caboodle so I can see the merit in this kind of thing. Great that you have highlighted some of the downsides too. They are pretty big but I guess it’s the comfort side that makes them that way too. Good honest review! Thank you for hosting #homeetc

    1. Thanks Nicky — they’re such a great buy. I would have been a little nervous to spend such a lot of money on two of them so to be able to test them is fantastic — especially now I can say that they really are worth the money!!

    1. Thanks lovely — that means a lot. I’d much rather read an honest opinion — particularly when it’s a costly purchase. The negatives are negligible with this though — it’s a total winner for us :)

  3. These look great Caro! They look so comfy I’d sleep on one! Also, it’s actually a great way to introduce them to a normal bed too as they’re similar in shape but obviously on the ground, so there’s no worry about them falling out and hurting themselves!

    Gemma x
    The British Feather – A UK Home Decor & Lifestyle Blog

    1. Funnily enough, they HAVE fallen out a couple of times!! We go in to check on them at night and a couple of times the’ve been lying half on the floor!! Makes me so glad they’re not higher up!!:)

    1. HA!! Sleepovers are a thing of nightmares, I reckon!!! Can you IMAGINE???! A night of absolutely NO sleep, followed by very, very grumpy children (and parents) the next day!! Oh joy.That said, the beds ARE super comfy, B&C have slept incredibly well in them, each time we’ve been away. Definite thumbs up there.

  4. Ah I absoltely LOVE these Caro! I’m so glad I saw these on your blog as they look fantastic and I can really picture Freddie (and Luca, when he’s bigger) sleeping on these. They look so comfy, and like you say, they’re so multi use! LOVE!!! A great review- you’re a very thorough GLTC team tester! xx

  5. These look absolutely fantastic!! Much better than the blow up versions. I love the stars design too. A very informative review :) #HomeEtc xxx

      1. Yes that is very true, if they were slimmer they wouldn’t last as long (aged of child) and I do like the fact that a teen could still use these in years to come. Like you mentioned though if you could compress the size in the bag to keep them rolled up smaller it would help with traveling.

        1. Totally!! :) We’ve managed to squash them up really quite small but, literally, when you put them in the bag again they totally explode!!! I might try and redesign our bags when I have time — it would make the world of difference when trying to fit them in the car with all our other clobber!! ;) xx

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