RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller – First Impressions

I’ll admit it. When I was a younger man, I was a bit of a want-to-be racer. My pride-and-joy was a 1988 Nissan Skyline. It was a beast with its straight-six and rear-wheel drive.

Like most young men with dreams of Bathurst glory, I wanted to do all the things to my car. I wanted to make it as close to a racer as possible. The top of my list was RECARO racing seats. In my mind, they were the ultimate addition – sleek, body hugging and pure-bred for the race track.

Of course, also like most young men I had zero dollars to my name. I never realised my dream of racing seats (or of winning the Bathurst 1000, for that matter). I grew older, my priorities changed, the Skyline made its way to the scrapheap and I, somehow, became a reasonably respectable father who drives a terribly sensible car.

 

Old Feelings Reignited – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

Imagine how it felt then, when through the haze of mother-centric stroller names appeared a familiar word. A word that reignited long-forgotten associations with freedom, speed, comfort and untouchable quality – RECARO.

 

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

 

The teenage me, that long supressed champion of thrills and enjoyment, jumped for joy somewhere deep inside. He shook me, he begged me to remember that once-upon-a-time I didn’t drive a Camry. He pleaded with me to get my hands on the contraption!

The adult me considered it. The adult me looked closely at the features. He read the specifications and diligently Googled reviews. Much to his surprise, the adult me was impressed. Perhaps this stroller could do the job. Perhaps this stroller could be the one to take to Japan – the one that met the long list of requirements that he had compiled in the most adult of ways:

Lay-flat position for daytime naps, tick!

Single-handed folding function, tick!

Large storage basket, tick!

Large canopy for whole-days in the sun, tick!

The list went on and the boxes continued to be ticked. There was nothing for it, I had to contact RECARO and find out if they really did have the stroller for me…

The Delivery – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

To say that I was excited on the day of delivery is a massive understatement. I was like a little kid at Christmas. Every few seconds I glanced at the door. I was terrified that if I didn’t answer it within a split-second, the delivery driver would turn around and take my package away. And with it, he would take my opportunity to live vicariously through my child. I may never have realised my dreams, but she sure could (realise my dreams. Not hers).

Finally it arrived. The box was smaller than I had anticipated, but the weight of it told me that it was full of stroller.

For the past 18 months we had used second-hand strollers and buggies, so I had never had the simple pleasure of unboxing a stroller for the first time. The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller comes mostly pre-built. The only parts that are not already attached are the rear wheels, the TWO cup holders (yes, two!) and the tray. Each of these pieces were easy to attach, the wheels and the tray made a satisfying click sound and they were put in place.

 

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller parts
The parts of the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

 

Step Back and Admire – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller is a good-looking ride. I walked around it as if examining a new car in a show room. I resisted the urge to kick the tires. Instead, I set about taking in the details. I admired the sturdy frame, I appreciated the feel of the padded handlebar. Some details stood out fairly quickly, the embroidered RECARO branding on the shoulder straps, for example.

 

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller shoulder straps
Padded shoulder straps for extra comfort

 

The seat looked large and comfortable. If anything, It has plenty of room for Hannah to grow into. In fact I’m pretty sure she will outgrow the need for a stroller well before she outgrows this stroller.

I gave the stroller a push. It glided forward smoothly and silently. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so used to second-hand strollers, or because the RECARO is so well built, but if felt really easy to push and manoeuvre.

 

Size and Weight – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

The size of the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller is just about the maximum with which I would feel comfortable travelling. At just over 10kg, it’s certainly not a light-weight umbrella stroller. However, at that size, it also comes with benefits.

The stroller offers a full recline for out-and-about napping. It has a large canopy for protection against the elements and a huge basket for storage under the seat. The frame is robust and feels as if it will last for many years to come. Nothing about the RECARO stroller is flimsy. The large puncture-proof wheels and suspension system also add to the overall size, as does the very handy removable child’s tray. Did I mention it has two cup holders?

 

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller full recline
RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller in lay flat position – perfect for days out and about

 

The footprint is a little larger than our current umbrella stroller, but it still doesn’t feel huge. The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller also feels extremely agile and manoeuvrable, so I’m pretty sure it’s size isn’t going to cause us too many issues in Japan. If size/weight is your number one priority, the RECARO Easylife Ultra-Lightweight Stroller looks like a pretty great alternative.

Where the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller really stands out in terms of size is in when it is folded. Unlike our second-hand Bugaboo Chameleon and many other premium buggies, the RECARO folds as a single piece. No more messing about with dismantling pushchairs in the carpark! The fold is really easy, after a little practise, and it can be done one-handed. Once folded, the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller sits neatly in an upright position, which helps it to take up minimal space. That will be very handy in our not-so-large (tiny) Japan accommodation.

 

First Drive – RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

 

Like any good boy-racer, I was eager to get the new set of wheels on the road. I must have been grinning wildly as I pulled into the parents with prams spot at the local shopping centre. The stroller was out of the boot and ready to go in mere seconds – a very welcome change from the cumbersome two-piece buggies, to which I had become accustomed.

I strapped Hannah in and off we went.

Also like any good boy-racer, within seconds I had misjudged the proximity of the rear wheel to the curb. The result, a tiny scuff mark. I shook my head in disbelief at my own incompetence, but the irony of the situation was not lost on me and I quickly saw the funny side. I guess it’s a good thing that I never did get the set of alloy wheels for my Skyline that I so desperately craved.

 

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller whoops
Whoops! It’s just a bit of paint, it will clean off just fine.

 

After that first little hiccup, we were once again on our way. This time it was smooth sailing (or should I say rolling). The RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller glided smoothly over the bitumen of the carpark. Once on the smooth, tiled floor of the shopping centre, the stroller moved with barely any effort.

Steering was excellent, the stroller turned easily and precisely. It felt well-balanced and easy to manage even in tight spaces.

I’m a fairly tall man, and a pet hate of mine with strollers is not having enough room between my feet and the back of the stroller. This was never a problem with the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller. There seemed to be plenty of room for me to take full strides as I pushed the stroller through the shopping centre. The adjustable handle also helped with providing a comfortable pushing position. I’m confident that I will have no trouble pushing this stroller around the streets of Japan for days on end.

 

RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller

 

Stay Tuned…

That’s it for now. I’ll be putting the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller through its paces shortly on the streets of Japan, then I’ll let you know all about it in a full review.

 

Disclosure – The Amazing Baby Company provided Blog Of Dad with this stroller free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury Stroller. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

 

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Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones – First Impressions

The more I talk to people about travelling with a toddler, the more one thing becomes apparent. The flight from Sydney to Tokyo has the potential to make or break the whole adventure.

That is pretty high stakes! It’s no small sum of money that we have invested in airfare and accommodation, not to mention the annual leave that we have both taken. When I think that the first ten hours have the potential to set the tone for the next 23 days, I start to look at it pretty seriously.

So how do we go about ensuring a smooth flight? I posed that question on Twitter and the results were conclusive – snacks and entertainment (for the toddler, not me). And a key part of that entertainment? Headphones.

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones… The Box

Why is it that so much of the quality of a technology-based product is reflected in the cardboard packaging in which it arrives? The box for these Puro Labs BT2200 headphones headphones oozed class – it felt sturdier and longer lasting than some of the actual headphones that I’ve owned in the past! The glossy, white cardboard opened invitingly after a small amount of pressure released the magnetic clasps.

 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones
The box

 

I felt like a kid at Christmas as I opened it up to reveal a solid black carry-case. The carry case feels as if it is built to last. It is the perfect accessory to include with a set of headphones like these, as it offers great protection for the valuable equipment inside and an easy way of keeping the three important components together.

 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones protective case
The protective case

 

The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Headphones – First Look

I unzipped the carry case and opened it to find a brilliant white pair of headphones. A brief wave of jealousy washed over me as I realised that my 18-month old child was now the proud owner of a far better pair of headphones than I had ever had the luxury of owning. However, that jealousy soon turned to joy. If these are a key piece in the puzzle of a successful ten hour flight, then let her have it… (okay, I may have gone straight back to the Puro Sound Labs website and eyed off an adult version for myself).

 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones in case

 

My immediate impression when I pulled the headphones out of their carry case was that they are built to last. For a journey like this, I wasn’t prepared to gamble on a cheap plastic pair that ran the risk of falling apart half way through. I can just imagine how enraged the little one could become, should she be denied The Grand Old Duke of York for the 31st time at 30,000 feet. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are light-weight, but still feel very sturdy – perfect for long periods of time on a toddler’s head.

The padding around the ear is soft and comfortable, and the headband is also padded. Again, these elements should make for longer periods of comfortable wear.

The left earpiece houses all of the controls – on/off, Bluetooth and volume control. It also has a micro USB port for charging, and an auxiliary input for wired connections.

 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones connections

 

Charging

The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones charge via a standard USB to Micro USB cable. It is the same type of cable that is used by my phone, so that is quite useful. It took about 1 1/2 hours to fully charge the first time, when plugged into a USB port on my PC. An indicator light turns from red to blue, to let the user know that the headphones are charged and ready to go.

 

Connecting to a Device

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones are wireless. They use Bluetooth to pair with compatible devices and my experience was that it worked well. I paired the headphones with a Nokia 1020 Windows phone, a Moto G3 Android phone, an iPhone 7, a Windows 10 PC and a Windows 10 tablet. Each time the headphones were discovered by the device and paired on the first attempt. The connection was never lost during the time that I tested the headphones, even when I walked to the next room.

 

 

While Bluetooth connectivity is handy to have, it may not always be practical. Many home stereo systems, for example, don’t use a Bluetooth connection. Also, when flying there can be certain limitations to the types and times when a broadcasting device can be used. Some parents may also worry about using a transmitting device close to their child’s head for extended periods.

 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones bluetooth
Buttons for Bluetooth connection and on/off

 

Puro Sound Labs have thought of all this and they have included the ability to use the headphones with a wired connection. Simply plug in the auxiliary cable, turn the switch to “off” and you have a premium pair of corded headphones! It’s simple things like that, that make the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones such an attractive option for parents of toddlers.

A final advantage of the auxiliary cable is that even if I forget to charge the headphones, they are always usable. We will never be without music (unless I forget to charge the devices…).

 

Sound Quality

Forget all the other features, there’s not much point in spending money on a set of headphones if they don’t sound any good. I tried these out before I put them anywhere near my daughter’s ears (yes, they do just fit my head) and I liked what I heard.

Even on the standard Spotify stream, the songs came across clearly. I’m no audiophile, so don’t expect me to wax lyrical about the finer points of music listening, but I was suitably impressed. Keep in mind that these are volume-limited headphones, so don’t expect to be blown away by big sound. This, of course, is an excellent feature for tiny, sensitive ears.

 

Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones

 

I listened through a few of my favourite songs with these headphones. Alicia Keys‘ voice in Fallin‘ was as stunning as ever, and each instrument was clear. Bob Dylan’s Duquesne Whistle was a pleasure to listen to. Every intricate quirk of Bob’s (love it or hate it) voice came through in a way that reminded me of the last time I saw him in concert. My amateur ears were pretty impressed with what they heard, and it left my finger hovering ever closer to the ‘buy’ button on an adult pair of Puro Sound Labs headphones!

 

Safety

Protecting children’s hearing is obviously something the people over at Puro Sound Labs take very seriously. As I mentioned above, these headphones are volume limited. This is an extremely important feature for tiny, sensitive ears and frankly, I wouldn’t buy a set of headphones for my little one that didn’t offer such protection. Hearing is a precious gift and it can be too easy to lose.

The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones manual states that “85 dBA of sound can be listened to for up to 20 hours at a time without the risk of hearing loss”. This certainly helps to provide me with some peace-of-mind if Hannah decides that she wants to listen to a lot of music on our flight.

When I first started looking for a pair of headphones for this trip, I read some parents complaining about 85dBA limited headphones as being too soft to hear. At the time I found it strange that parents would opt for potential hearing damage over a safety feature, but I guess the point is valid. What is the purpose of headphones if the user can’t hear the sound? Once again, the technicians at Puro Sound Labs have thought of this, and they designed the headphones to block out 82% of background noise (according to their website). What is even more impressive is that they have achieved that passively, without the need for battery-draining, active noise cancelling.

That means that 85dBA is just fine for listening to music, even in a potentially noisy environment like a plane or transit lounge.

 

Stay Tuned…

That’s it for now. The Puro Sound Labs BT2200’s will be given a proper work-out on our travels to Japan. I’ll let you know how they perform out in the real world…

 

Disclosure – Puro Sound Labs provided Blog Of Dad with these headphones free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the Puro Sound Labs BT2200 headphones. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase

Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase – First Impressions

Being a stay at home dad is sometimes a funny experience. One moment, you are playing Doctors with your little girl, the next minute you are answering the door to an actual grown-up, whose job it is to deliver an Antler Prism Embossed suitcase to Blog Of Dad for review.

If you are terribly unlucky, it will have been your turn to wear the ‘glasses’, just before you open the door. And in your haste to transition from infant’s play-mate to functional adult, you may just have forgotten to take off the lens-less, blue plastic eyewear.

Let’s just say that today, I was a little unlucky.

However, my embarrassment quickly gave way to excitement. There, on my doorstep, was a key piece in the puzzle of international travel puzzle – the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase.

 

Travel Light – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase

Even in its protective cardboard box, the package felt light. A quick scan of the labels revealed that the cardboard had added an extra 2kg to the total weight, so I was already pretty excited about what I would inside. When I took the suitcase out of the box, I was impressed. In its empty state, the suitcase is large and light.

Naturally, It will be heavy once it’s filled with toddler travel paraphernalia, but crucially that weight will mostly belong to the contents of the large suitcase. The maths is pretty simple – less of the allocated weight spent on suitcase = more weight for items. And that’s a good thing, because this 3.8kg suitcase is cavernous inside.

 

Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase

 

Did I mention that it’s big? – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase

Big, massive, gigantic, huge… pick your adjective to describe it. It’s about as large as a suitcase can get, and still be within the requirements of All Nippon Airways – our carrier for our journey to Japan. But it doesn’t feel overwhelmingly huge, and I think that’s probably down to the light weight and hard shell.

Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase
Big enough to fit a portable cot, and still have room for plenty of other baby gear.

Quality – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase

With a product like a suitcase, the quality reveals itself over time. I’m afraid you will have to wait for the full review – once I’ve let the airport baggage handlers do their worst, to find out what I really think about the quality. That being said, my initial impressions are that this suitcase is built to a very high standard.

All shiny new things look good, but the key is in the detail. A company that takes pride in producing quality product carefully considers even the small details. There are plenty of those on the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase.

 

Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase Zipper
This kind of detail makes me happy!

 

Everything feels sturdy. The wheels are smooth and glide over hard surfaces, the handle slides up and down easily and it locks in place with a satisfying click. The zip feels strong enough to keep working for many years to come.

Antler are pretty confident in the quality of their product. They include a 10 year international warranty. If that’s not a sign that they back themselves, I don’t know what is!

 

Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase wheels
These wheels provide a smooth ride

 

Security – Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase

The Antler Prism Embossed suitcase has a built-in lock. It feels robust and an adequate deterrent from tampering. It is a TSA Certified locking mechanism, which I understand is important for any travel in the USA.

 

Antler Prism Embossed Suitcase security lock
Yes, the combination is 000. Yes, I will change it before I use it.

 

But wait… that’s not all…

 

An excellent suitcase lock doesn’t do you any good if some opportunistic person decides to take off with the entire thing. Or, equally as likely in Japan, a tired dad leaves the suitcase sitting by the side of the road in his haste to load a taxi.

The considerate crew over at The Cache Group of Companies took care of that for me, with an innovative little device that they call the Luggage Leash. This tiny Bluetooth device provides my Antler Prism Embossed suitcase with an added layer of protection, should the worst happen.

 

Stay Tuned…

That’s it for now. The real test will come when I hand this shiny, new suitcase over to the baggage handlers of Kingsford Smith Airport. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m quietly confident that the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase is more than up for the challenge.

 

Disclosure – The Cache Group of Companies provided Blog Of Dad with this suitcase free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the Antler Prism Embossed suitcase. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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Japan, Ginza Street at night

Travelling to Japan With a Toddler – Introduction

Okay, I’m going to need you to be honest with me here. I’m ready for it, I can take the truth. I just really need to know…

Am I insane?

 

The reason I ask is because I recently booked a family trip to Japan… with a 20 month old child… Not to see family or friends, just because Emma and I thought it would be fun…

Even reading back over what I just wrote somewhat reinforced the slightly unnerving feeling that I may have finally spilt my lollies. However, when I really think about what we are doing and how we are planning it, I’m not so sure. Maybe, just maybe, my sanity is intact. Maybe this idea isn’t nuts after-all.

 

The Top Five Reasons I’m Not Insane for Travelling to Japan With A Toddler

 

Japan is safe

According to the OECD Better Life Index website, Japan has one of the lowest rates of homicide in the world. Excellent news!

My experience of Japan in the past has been that it is not too different to Australia for safety. Be sensible and respectful, acknowledge your place as a bumbling tourist and you should have a pleasant and enjoyable trip.

Last time we travelled to Japan, we found excellent standards of hygiene, a logical and efficient public transport system, and local people who were genuinely pleasant and more than willing to help us out with things like purchasing public transport tickets and giving directions.

Even in the massive metropolis of Tokyo, amongst the neon lights and throngs of pedestrians, there is a sense of order and calmness. Most of the population there work hard and live simple lives. There appears to be a high value placed on maintaining the peace, most likely because it greatly benefits everyone.

Amazing food is just around every corner, and thanks to Japan’s obsession with cleanliness, we have never worried about the quality.

 

Flights can be cheap

I’ll go into this in greater detail in my Booking Flights post, but travelling to Japan from Australia can be cheap. It can also be very expensive.

We made up our minds that we wanted to travel to Japan months ago. We put together a rough outline of the dates on which we wanted to travel, then set about playing the waiting game. We monitored the three major airlines that fly direct from Sydney to Japan, and when we saw the best deal, we jumped on it. It means that we are staying in Japan for a few days longer than we had originally intended, but it also means that we saved over $1000 on the average price.

Air travel prices fluctuate massively. If I were to book the same trip with the same carrier right now, it would cost me over $2000 more. It pays to give yourself plenty of time and to do the homework.

 

YOLO

Remember when people said “YOLO” (you only live once)? Well, even back then I was too old and uncool to use it in anything other than an ironic tone. But now, as with all fads, the term YOLO is old and out of fashion – perfect!

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE PEOPLE! If we don’t go now, then we may never go. Circumstances can change rapidly and I would hate to live the rest of my life regretting the decision to not plunge in the deep end and have the experience of a lifetime. Right now, we have the chance. All of our ducks are in a row and I’ll be damned if I let that kind of opportunity pass.

(P.S. I’m so looking forward to the day when Hannah is completely embarrassed by the fact that I’ve used YOLO in a blog post… Hi sweetie, love you).

(P.P.S I really wish I had actual ducks in a row. That would be great.)

 

We Travel Light

Right now I need to offer a special note of thanks to the awesome companies that have come on board to make this experience as easy as possible for this dad and his family. Because of the products that they have provided us to test during our journey, we will be able to travel very lightly.

BabyBjorn were happy to share their excellent Travel Cot Light, which will make a world of difference to the bulk and weight that we have to lug around. This little beauty is compact enough to fit inside one of our suitcases. It is supremely light, yet still sturdy and obviously built to last. It is a breeze to set up and pack away, meaning that in the most manic, panicked of moments, of packing and unpacking, the portable cot won’t be causing and dramas.

 

BabyBjorn and Grobag for Japan trip

 

The Gro Company have also jumped on board with the perfect complement to the travel cot. The Grobags are light-weight, high quality and very comfortable. They are the same product that Hannah sleeps in at home, so the element of familiarity should be very comforting as she sleeps in a foreign environment.

 

RECARO provided a set of wheels. A good pram makes all the difference when travelling overseas. You need a workhorse, something that is heavy-duty, versatile and capable of carrying the endless bags of stuff that accompany a small child. Check out the RECARO Performance Denali Luxury stroller, it’s hard to go past.

 

RECARO

 

Finally, Antler were confident that they could help make our journey a smoother experience with their light and tough Prism suitcase. It is large enough to hold the portable cot, and there is plenty of room to spare for other essential toddler gear (nappies, clothes, toys, etc.). With Antler on board (and the convenience of in-room washers and dryers), we are pretty confident that we can limit our total checked luggage to two suitcases – not bad for two adults and a toddler for 23 days-worth of travel. This will make a huge difference as we walk the streets of Japan’s busiest cities in search of our accommodation.

 

Antler Luggage for Japan trip

 

We have been there before

Japan is no mystery to Emma and I. We both have a long-standing love of the country and we have visited before. Because of this we were able to choose accommodation locations in Tokyo and Kyoto that were familiar to us and suited our needs. We know where to find excellent food and we have in mind some particular attractions that we know will be worthwhile. Of course, we will be incorporating some new experiences and new locations, so it won’t all be the same-old stuff.

Osaka will be new for us, so figuring out the best place to stay was a little more difficult. In the end, we aimed for as close to Namba as possible. We are reasonably confident that we have found a good spot. Even though Osaka is new to us, it is not overly concerning.

 

There you have it readers, conclusive proof that I haven’t lost the plot. Feel free to disagree and provide reasons why I am most definitely insane in the comments. You know, things like a slightly unhinged near-nuclear dictator with ICBMs pointed in the general direction of Honshu… that kind of thing…

 

Disclosure – BabyBjorn, The Gro Company, The Amazing Baby Company and The Cache Group of Companies provided Blog Of Dad with free products for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with these products. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light

BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light – First Impressions

It’s official – this dad and his little family are heading to Japan later this year! As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the good people over at BabyBjorn very kindly sent us a BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light, to help make our journey as smooth and easy as possible.

Stay tuned for the full review. That will be coming once we have thoroughly put the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light through its paces during our Japan adventures. But as the cot was just delivered on Friday, I thought I would give you my first impressions while they are still fresh in my mind.

 

Wow, it’s light!

That was the first thing that I thought as the courier handed me the box. I know what a standard portable cot feels like, I’ve lugged one through the streets of Sydney and Brisbane. Trust me when I say that those things can feel very heavy, very quickly. At just 6kg, the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light is not going to weigh you down as you transport it from one place to another.

 

BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light in bag
The BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light in its carry case

Easy to set up and pack away

The BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light is immediately intuitive to use. It comes in three main parts – the outer carry case, the main cot and the mattress.

The outer carry case is sturdy. It feels as if it can cope with the inevitable beating that it will take from baggage handlers, taxi drivers and from me as I take in on public transport. The other two components fit neatly inside. They are easy to pull out and put back in, but there is also no excess room. It’s a clever design that minimises the overall size of the bag.

The main part of the cot is beautifully designed. As I said before, it’s intuitive to use. Just lift it out of the bag, unfold it, turn it over and the legs drop down. Snap them into place and that’s it!

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that design, after some of the wrestling matches I’ve had with other portable cots! Some of them have extremely complicated connections, that then seem to lock in place before they are supposed to, or that I’ve had trouble getting to lock at all. With the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light, the frame is set up in a matter of seconds. Every time.

The third part of the kit that makes setup and pack-away a breeze is the mattress. This is a really clever piece, which I’ll go into more detail about shortly.

All three of these parts combine to ensure that the process of setting up and packing away is as easy and stress-free as possible, as demonstrated in the promotional video below. I’ll be sure to let you know how much my sleep-deprived-self appreciates that fact when we arrive in Tokyo after an overnight flight.

 

The mattress/base is a really clever design

If you really don’t care about clever engineering disguised as a simple mattress, skip this part. I really don’t want to bore you, but I have to share this because it impressed me so much! It seems like such a simple thing, but I took a good few minutes out of my day to marvel at the ingenuity of this mattress. It does some really key things, and it does them exceptionally well.

Firstly, it stabilises the cot. The rigid board at the bottom fits perfectly into the space provided. The red anchors slide out through small slits in the base fabric and connect the mattress to the frame – this ensures it stays safely in place.

Secondly, and most importantly, It provides an exceptionally comfortable sleeping surface. I’ll admit it, I’m slightly jealous of Hannah right now. Who knows what the quality of the mattress will be that I’m sleeping on in Japan? At least with Hannah, I know that she’s going to be sleeping in absolute luxury. The mattress actually has three components – the outer case, a rigid base board and a soft foam layer. They work together perfectly to provide exceptional comfort.

Finally, the base folds into three parts to perfectly fit and support the bag. Like I said, It’s simple, but really clever engineering. It means that the bag doesn’t need to be reinforced because it is the firmness of the mattress base which provides the shape. The frame of the cot slides neatly inside the pocket that the mattress and the bag create. It all fits together so well. Once again, no wrestling is required to put it back in!

 

The three parts to the mattress.

This is a quality product

It is no surprise to me to find that BabyBjorn has made a product of such high quality. One of the first baby items we ever purchased was a BabyBjorn Baby Carrier We (this will also join us to Japan). I was impressed with the quality and thoughtful design of that too.

After I set up the BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light, Hannah toddled over for a close inspection. She immediately tried to climb inside, which was a good sign from a kid who is naturally suspicious of new things. The other thing that she did almost immediately was wrap her mouth around the padded fabric on the top of the frame. At that point I was thankful of two things – that BabyBjorn designed all of the fabric to be removable and machine washable, and that they use safe materials that are free of harmful chemicals.

BabyBjorn seem to me to be a company that seeks to make high-quality, user-friendly gear. The BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light appears to be absolutely consistent with this. It is a product that does an exceptional job at the single purpose for which it is designed – to provide a baby/toddler with a safe and comfortable place to sleep when away from home. I’m excited to throw everything that I can at it as we travel through Japan.

 

BabyBjorn Travel Cot Light Removable Padding
All of the fabric is removable and machine-washable

Stay Tuned…

That’s it for now. As I said at the top, these are my first thoughts about the product. They are based on my initial interactions with it. The real test will come as we travel through Japan. From what I’ve seen of the BabyBjorn Travel Cot so far, I’m very excited to be bringing it with us. I don’t think I could have asked for a more suitable cot for this adventure!

 

For more information about the BabyBjorn Travel Cot, or other BabyBjorn products, visit the BabyBjorn website.

 

Disclosure – BabyBjorn provided Blog Of Dad with this travel cot free of charge, for the purpose of review during our Japan adventure. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the BabyBjorn Travel Cot. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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