When people go camping or need another bed, they may choose a travel cot. A travel cot is essentially what its name implies: a small, portable bed suitable for traveling. These cots are most often used for children in the United Kingdom, but in the United States, a travel cot may be for children or adults.
A child's travel cot can take many forms. Many parents prefer to use this option in hotels, rather than using the hotel-provided crib, since they know their own travel cot is safe and clean. A travel cot for a baby looks something like a bassinet, but is made of a lightweight material such as ripstop nylon. It has a mattress in the bottom and folds up. Some travel cots come with a bag for storage.
Travel cots for older babies and toddlers vary in size and construction. Some look like a collapsible playpen and may serve much the same function. A mattress is placed in the bottom for bedtime. This travel cot will usually have high mesh sides. These travel cots are priced anywhere from US$40-$100, depending on the size and features.
A deluxe travel cot for children is made for camping. This cot looks much like the playpen type, but has a top on it to keep out insects and other creatures of the night while the child is sleeping. One manufacturer even claims that the walls of their travel cot provide a sun protection factor of 80. These cots run about US$150.
Adults can use a travel cot, as well. They may choose to bring one if they are a houseguest and know that space is at a premium, or they may use one in hotels or for camping. The basic adult travel cot has a rectangular tubular metal frame with heavy ripstop nylon stretched across it. Collapsible legs raise the frame several inches off the floor. These may fold in half or in thirds, depending on the manufacturer. This type of cot may run anywhere from US$30-$75.
One of the more popular models of adult travel cots is the inflatable mattress. These come in a variety of sizes and are considered to be universally comfortable. Some campers use them, since they can be folded into their own small storage bags. They can be inflated with a foot pump or an electrical one, and some electric pumps will run from a generator or car battery - again making them good for camping trips.
RV owners may also use inflatable mattresses for greater comfort in their vehicles. These mattresses vary widely in price, according to quality and whether they use a foot pump or come with an electric pump. They may be priced from US$70 and up.
Frequent travelers, especially those with babies, may find that a travel cot is an indispensable item for their comfort, and for their children's comfort.