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Nomad Travel Tent Travel Cot: Nomad Travel Tent 21st Jan Nomad Travel Cot Not your average bit of planetFear review kit this, but something we think a lot of people will be interested in hearing about. If you've got, or are soon to have, a baby then you will either have or be thinking of getting a travel cot of some description.

By and large these are a pretty neat folding contraptions that you can sling in the back of the car and put up in a spare room or even a large tent. The problem is that they weigh up to 18kg! Try taking that on a Ryan Air flight to El Chorro in addition to our normal luggage and you'll appreciate the Nomad. It has various components. First and foremost are the cot itself and its poles.

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  • Yes, I said poles. In essence it is a miniature tent, with two robust poles which cross the middle and affix to the four corners of the cot base. Obviously these two bits are essential! There are then two optional extras: Talk about sleeping in style! The poles are robust aluminium, of a grade it would appear difficult to bend. This is important as it is often necessary to lean on a cot so the whole thing needs to have structure.

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  • The poles pack away into their own bag, however there are 4 aluminium feet which stay fixed to the cot corners. These are what the main poles slot into.

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    They are about 8 inches long and each have a bend in them which helps give the cot stability when erected. Furthermore, perhaps the most frustrating thing about the cot is fitting the poles through the sleeves and getting the material sorted so that you can actually bend the poles and fix them to their feet.

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    Strangely it is almost as difficult to undo this process. Basically there seems to be a fair bit of friction between the aluminium poles and the cot material. It now takes about 2 minutes to put up and a similar time to take down and pack up. On to the cot.

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  • Basically it is a very cool little tent. It is remarkably stable. Note that it includes 4 pegs to pin it down if you are using it outside! One of the sides and the top feature fully zipped oval entrances that are plenty big enough for you to lift your baby in and out of.

    The zips are on the outside so that older kids can not let themselves out. Each door has a stow-away area if you choose to leave them open a toggle for the side and a pocket for the top , and there is also a discreet pocket on one of the end walls to stow the stuff sacks that the whole thing is packaged into when not in use. The sleeping bag is rectangular, with toggles at each corner and mid way down each long side which affix to matching toggles in the cot.

    I would have thought poppers would be easier to use than toggles, especially in the fiddly corners. The base of the cot is actually double layered Pertex, with an opening at one end which takes a custom sized Thermarest style self-inflating mat.

    You could obviously place anything you like under the cot, but bear in mind that it has been designed with this mat in mind. Once in its sleeve there are Velcro tabs to fasten it in place. On our model these tabs are a little on the tight side which meant that one night they un-did themselves very loudly to wake the sleeping occupant.

    We now leave them open. You can also buy a foam mattress that doesn't self inflate for a little less money.

    The packed size and weight of a camping cot are the most important factors that determine portability. Size The average unfolded cot dimensions are roughly 25 inches wide and 75 inches long. Cons The rainfly is a bit lower in height.

    So how does it work in practice? Very, very well on the whole. Unlike other cots the side door means that you can get down to the same level as your baby to help soothe it, and to lift it in and out. The four corner feet are actually removable via a fiddly procedure, but this at least means you can wash the cot. One thing to have clear in your head is that the corner feet mean that you need a fairly large area to put the cot down. On the same note it can be difficult to feed the poles in in a confined room without waving the ends around and risking damaging things it is possible if you feed them in in sections, though obviously more of a fiddle.

    My main issue with the design is with the zips. Our baby is a light sleeper. It is very difficult to put him in the cot, get him to sleep and then zip up the door without waking him. I would suggest a series of toggles in addition to the zip for client closure. This is only really an issue for the side door.

    I mentioned previously that it comes with pegs for outdoor use. The material is not waterproof so it should never be used outside other than during the day under a watchful eye. Each component comes in its own flame retardant bag complete with carry strap.

    L x W65 x H78 cm.

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