What Do We Really Think About the JetKids Bed Box?

The Bed Box, originally by Swedish company, JetKids, is a rolling suitcase that converts into a footrest. With the space on the seat, plus what amounts to a seat extension, your child can stretch out and sleep on an airplane.

In theory. There are 3 types of travel gear: must-have's, nice-to-have's, and it-must-be-nice's. Clever marketing can make any and everything look like something you won't be able to travel without, or a magic apparatus that will make travel easy peasy. Spoiler alert: travel ain't easy. It's a lot of things: exhiliarating, inspiring, illuminating, exhausting, frustrating, and addicting, and ALL of those intensify when your travel buddies are also your children. But travel is not easy. There is no gear that will make that so. Having said that, once in a while it's fun to indulge in a piece of travel gear that falls into the must-be-nice category. Because you only live once. Is The Bed Bed Box that gear?



It’s fun!

The Bed Box is a toy in itself. They arrived by mail a couple of weeks ahead of our trip to South Africa. In that week, the Bed Boxes served as horses, unicorns, cars, bases for forts… On the road, our girls zipped through airports to our departure gates. They only requested we pull them about 40% of the time. And though that isn’t perfect, it’s better than carrying a tired child. In between flights we loved roaming the airport and finding ramps to ride.

It’s highly instagrammable.

The Bed Box is pretty. Man, those videos of my kids rolling passed those big airport windows at sunset, parked airplanes visible in the distance, are amazing. Even the photos of our kids playing with the Bed Boxes at home look fire. I mean, if you’re looking for toys for your children that also serve a practical purpose, this is it. And of course those Jet Kids tags bring all the family travel enthusiasts to the yard. But is that enough to drop over 200 euros?



It’s expensive.

Jet Kids Bed Box was invented by a Norwegian husband and wife team of travel industry professionals. They’d gained a pretty sizeable following (obviously) before they were acquired by the Stokke group. The Bed Box (with the seat extension built into the box top) retails for 199 USD these days. The Ride On (which comes with a mattress but without a seat extension) retails for 149 USD. Trunki’s, another, decidedly not minimalist-pretty, ride-on kid’s case, retails for under 60USD.

If your kids won’t ride it, you have to carry it.

The long, adjustable shoulder strap makes the carry not too torturous, but it can be cumbersome as it hangs low. And when you have other carry- ons to handle, it is not the most comfortable. And you will have to carry it up and down stairs, for example, and when…

Your kids don’t (always) want to ride it.

You cannot pop a drowsy child on a Bed Box and say, 'Hold on!'. You'll have to carry the child. And the box. If you’re lucky, you have a carrier or stroller. You can hook the BED box onto the stroller handle and drag it along, but with suitcases and such, that’s a lot. And if you’ve got more than one kid and more than one Bed Box, well let's just hope you're traveling with another adult.

It Doesn't Fit Much

With the bed stuff inside, there isn’t much room left. I was surprised by this one. You can only fit a couple small toys or books in. Not that you need to travel with so many things, but it’s still a bit disappointing. More room to fit a change of clothes would be perect. A packing cube? Forget it. All of the kids’ extras (beyond a couple of small toys) stay in my carry-on even if we bring the Bed Boxes with. The fact that it is a toy in itself, does make up for the lack of space inside. Kind of.

It Isn’t Evergreen.

The says you can use it up to age seven, but our kid sized out of it by age 3. In fact, in terms of using it as a bed, we never quite got off the ground.

On our first flight with the Bed Box, I got excited to try it as the flight attendants came by to remove our dinner remnants, and I went straight to the overhead compartment and got out our Bed Boxes.

The kids, then newly 5 and 2 1/2, loved being able to put their feet up using the seat extension. But as it got late and each child sought sleep, things got more complicated. Our five year old couldn’t lay down at all—There wasn’t enough room. She preferred to put her head in the seat as her legs sprawled out onto her father. To our surprise our youngest also couldn’t lay out straight. If your children move at all in their sleep, the bed moves as well. She couldn’t get comfortable, unable to stretch out either leg, and she ended up on top of me, as usual. And when the seatbelt sign came on because of turbulence, the flight attendants came by and urged us to move the Bed Boxes. Long story short, we’ve used the Bed Box as a foot rest on the plane, but not much more.

The Verdict

In the end, the Bed Box is fun and photogenic, but so are your kids. As far as essential travel gear goes, this gets a C+.