*Last updated on January 8th, 2018 at 05:46 pm
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My kids have had dozens of great flights. They’ve been well-behaved, they’ve slept, it’s been a dream. However, my children have also each had 1 really bad flight. For K, it was on the way to Bangkok and for HJ it was on the way back. Those were the longest flights we’ve ever taken and they were a nightmare. Since we have quite a few upcoming trips, including one to China, I decided to start looking for something, anything to help get the kids through those flights.
JetKids BedBox stood out to me as a fantastic idea. A suitcase the kids can ride on PLUS a comfy spot to prop their legs up on the airplane? Yes, please! Even though I loved the idea, I was a bit skeptical whether it would actually work.
*I was not compensated in any way for writing this review.*
Since the price was steep ($200) I decided to purchase one and test it out on our trip to Hawaii before deciding whether to splurge on a second one for London. Unfortunately, I spazzed out and ordered two (never double-click once you’ve entered your payment information!) so I changed my plan to only taking one to Hawaii and returning the second if it didn’t work out. I communicated the plan to the kids but not to Chris and they convinced him to open it while I was out. Oh well.
We’ve now used both of them on roundtrip flights to Hawaii and London.
The kids were really excited when the boxes arrived and they loved putting the stickers all over them. I think I’ll keep an eye out for location-specific stickers so the kids can continue decorating them as we travel.
Packing the JetKids BedBox
At first glance I was convinced that the BedBox was both too large (Surely it wasn’t going to fit under the seat in front of us?) and too small (What are we going to put in this? A toothbrush?). Happily, I was wrong on both accounts.
In each BedBox, I was able to pack a few books, a blanket, a small stuffed animal, a couple small toys, and some crayons or markers. It was the perfect size for in-flight entertainment to Hawaii, but it would be difficult to make work as their only luggage. We actually pulled it off going to London though! We packed 3 outfits tightly rolled in ziplock bags and it worked like a dream. I was able to fit everything except the carriers.
Update 1/8/17: United no longer allows JetKids. I’m not sure when they made this rule or how strictly they enforce it but I came across this on their website today.
Pulling and Carrying the JetKids BedBox
Neither of the children had any difficulties pulling the BedBox but they weren’t able to carry them due to the weight and the bulky shape. Chris and I could carry them using the shoulder/pulling strap, but it wouldn’t be my choice of luggage if we had to carry them long distances.
Riding the JetKids BedBox
This was absolutely my children’s favorite part of this product! They couldn’t wait to start riding as soon as we reached the airport. I was really impressed with how well the BedBox maneuvered through the airport. It had no problems turning on a dime, going over bumps, or riding on an uneven floor.
HJ (at the time only a couple days shy of 4-years-old) had no problem propelling herself through the airport. She wasn’t quite able to keep up with Chris and I if we walked at a normal pace, but she was close. K (at 2.5) was able to propel himself, but he was slow and preferred to be pulled. I was worried he might flip over backward if I pulled too fast, but he had a pretty good seat and had no trouble at all.
Here is K being pulled through the airport. The video isn’t the best because I was filming with the same hand I was pulling with.
HJ was determined to ride her BedBox the entire time we were in the airport, which included on the moving sidewalks. We let her so long as there weren’t too many people around.
Stretching out on the JetKids BedBox Mattress
This was by far the most important part of the BedBox for us! It was also the part I was least confident would work as advertised.
When we first boarded the plane to Hawaii we realized that due to the seat configuration, there were only 3 under-seat areas in front of the 4 person row. Since we occupied the entire row this wasn’t a problem, but it might come up if you are supposed to share this space. The BedBox fit comfortably but didn’t leave space for anything else in that compartment.
On our trip to London, we found we could fit a pair of shoes or a thick sweater on top of the BedBox while it was stowed away.
We stowed the BedBoxes for take-off and landing but brought them out as soon as we were able. I had been worried that making the transition would be difficult, but it turned out to be really easy. We did have to get the kids up for a moment to get the mattress under them, but otherwise, we could do everything from our seats.
Although the mattresses are quite thin, they really helped the kids get more comfortable. Before future trips, I might make a “connector piece” so they can have a smooth continuation between their two mattresses, instead of a small bumper. The bumpers didn’t add much to our experience because the kids mostly wanted to lounge across them onto one of us.
The JetKids BedBox also makes a great leg rest in the airport! It’s the perfect size and height.
Final Thoughts on the JetKids BedBox
The kids absolutely love these things and the mattress capability really did add to their comfort on the airplane. For $200 a piece, I would only get one if you are going to fly a lot. If you just need it for one trip, maybe try borrowing one from a parent’s group? For us, I’m confident we’re going to get our money’s worth!