About the Deluxe Travel Centre
The deluxe travel centre is a small pop-up tent with two main functions. Firstly to act as a UV sun shade when used outdoors and secondly to be used as a travel cot. The Deluxe is suitable from 0-4 years and fits into a small bag which contains the tent, mattress and sleeping mat.
My review of the Deluxe Travel Centre
When I was asked to test the Deluxe I was very excited. I’ve been looking for a travel cot to take camping for a while but none of the cots on the market were ticking all the boxes. Usually travel cots pack down into a large, cumbersome and heavy bag and need a extra mattress if you want your baby to be comfortable enough to actually sleep! The Deluxe throws that model out of the window and is instead based on the small pop-up tents that were all the rage a few years ago.
Unlike the old pop-up tents which were claustrophobic, uncomfortable and leaked the moment you touched the sides (which was absolutely impossible to not to do making them about as much use as a chocolate tea pot), the Deluxe is practically palatial. When I opened the little red hold all I was expecting something quite small, after all, it only needs to fit a toddler up to 4 years old in it. So when it sprung open extremely energetically, nearly taking Grumpy Dad out in the process, I was surprised to see how roomy it was, not just in length and width but in height too.
The ground sheet of the Deluxe is actually a zip up pocket where you can insert the self inflating mattress which is included. All you have to do is pop it in, open the valve and close it again after a few minutes. I use the same type of mattress on my camp bed when camping so I have first hand experience of how comfortable these seemingly thin mattresses are so I had no doubt that Baby would be very comfy on it.
To make the inside of the Deluxe a little more inviting there is a sleep mat which is a quilted pad that connects to the floor of the Deluxe with two Velcro strips. The only thing that I would change about the Deluxe is the way the mat attaches. As Baby is under one I’m very conscious of anything loose fitting in her cot, she isn’t even allowed a comforter in her cot after she’s fallen asleep. As such I would really like to see the mat fixed more securely, possibly with a ring of Velcro all the way along the edge of the mat. I would say however that it wasn’t hard to add a couple of Velcro strips to stop my over protective mum instincts peace of mind.
Once the Deluxe has been set up it really does look both smart and comfortable. Both sides have large doors with both a bug screen and a fabric door, and each end has a large bug screened air vents which can also be covered with a fabric flap. I love this design as one of the major problems with this type of mini-tent is that they can get very hot and sweaty which is no good if you want to use it as a cot or a sun shade. But the large doors and vents on each end give the Deluxe 360 degree ventilation so you will get a cooling air flow. If however it’s a bit chilly you can close it all up and your baby will be nice and toasty.
Another thing that I love about the Deluxe is that the bug screen doors only open from the outside so it can be used as a play pen without any concerns of your child escaping and it can be locked up tight at night so you don’t have to worry about a midnight break for freedom.
As I mentioned before the Deluxe Travel Centre has two main uses. a travel cot and a UV protected sun screen but I think there is a third and far more fun use as a den. Baby absolutely loves playing in her Deluxe with her toys. The little room glows warmly and fits her perfectly, and although at first I was worried that she might take a while to warm to it, she settled in immediately. She even had a visitor from her big sister who is 9 and still managed to fit in without it being too much of a squeeze. I can imagine the Deluxe getting a huge amount of use as a Wendy house once Baby hits the toddle phase.
All good things must come to an end and with the Deluxe this meant packing it up ready to go on holiday. Anyone who has ever been camping knows that tents do not fit in the bags that they arrive in. And since the Deluxe shares so much in common with a regular tent, I was expecting the usual battle of wills with the bags zip. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised. The mattress was easy to deflate by rolling and then re-folding and although I haven’t the foggiest idea how I got the tent to flatten itself down into a little hoop, it did so fairly easily. Everything that came out of the bag fit neatly back in, although the bag is a little plumper that when it arrived.
There is so much to be impressed with when it comes to the Deluxe Travel Centre from how tiny and light weight it is when stored to how cleverly designed and spacious it is when up. I can’t wait to see it in action as a cot and as a sun shade on the beach. It’s literally a whisker away from perfection.
Check out my guide to finding the perfect campsite.