SlumberPod vs SnoozeShade: which privacy pod is best? Let’s talk about this sleep essential for your traveling babe!
Traveling might seem impossible when you have a young baby who is set in their routine. That’s especially true if getting your baby to sleep reliably has been a battle in the past!
You might be feeling like any little change in routine or environment will launch your little one into a sleep regression or setback.
I get it! Home has everything you need to keep everyone comfortable and well-rested, so why travel and risk it?
I’ve known plenty of families who don’t think that vacationing with a baby is doable, but I promise you can travel and still get your baby good sleep!
Family vacations don’t need to wait until your baby reaches toddlerhood or beyond. There are a lot of products (like a portable white noise machine) that can help everyone get a good night’s sleep, even in a hotel room. I have a complete list of baby travel essentials in fact!
One item that is a total game-changer for traveling with a baby is a blackout privacy pod. If you find yourself needing to share a room with your baby while vacationing or staying at grandma’s house, a privacy pod is a great item often overlooked on baby registries!
What is the SlumberPod?
The SlumberPod is a blackout privacy pod that you put around a standard play yard or a travel crib. It comes with tent poles and assembles very much the same as a mini tent!
Parents love the SlumberPod because it’s 100% blackout, so your baby can get plenty of sleep without interference from a bright light in your hotel room.
Not only does it keep out light, the Slumber Pod privacy canopy prevents your baby from being able to see you from their travel crib. It helps keep things distraction-free at bedtime, which is perfect if you have a busy baby!
The large opening at the top can remain open or closed and gives you easy access to check in on your baby in the middle of the night.
The SlumberPod is safety tested and compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Looking at photos online, the fabric looks like it would be tent-like, but it’s really a breathable fabric that’s high-quality, stretchy, and a very different feel from an actual tent.
In general, the SlumberPod makes sharing a hotel room, guest room, or vacation rental much easier for families!
Can You Fly with the SlumberPod?
Even though it’s one of the biggest pods on the market when it’s fully assembled, the SlumberPod breaks down small enough to pack in luggage. That means you can fly with it!
The SlumberPod comes with poles that fold down to a size that you can easily pack in a suitcase or tote bag.
The original cardboard box packaging has a handle, so you have the option of repacking the SlumberPod in this “suitcase” box. For a more compact option, just fold it and pack it like you pack your clothing.
Where to Buy a SlumberPod
If you’d rather see the SlumberPod in person before you buy it, you can use SlumberPod’s Find-A-Retailer tool to see a list of brick-and-mortar locations where they carry it.
There are also options to rent the SlumberPod for short trips, or to try it out before you invest!
To rent a SlumberPod, you can rent the month at Loop Baby ($24/month), or by the day via Rents4Baby.com ($12/day). Both companies ship the SlumberPod anywhere in the US, so you can have it shipped at waiting for you when you arrive at your destination!
Although there are a lot of things that make the SlumberPod great for travel, some people say it’s too big or too expensive.
Luckily, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives on the market that address these issues. I’ve written a post with some of the best SlumberPod alternatives here.
And let’s be honest: I love finding cheaper but comparable baby items!
What is a SnoozeShade?
The SnoozeShade is a travel crib privacy cover that rivals the SlumberPod, and has some key differences that set it apart.
It’s been designed to fit the standard rectangular playards (up to 41” by 30”), as well as mini cribs, which means the SnoozeShade is shorter and has a smaller footprint than the SlumberPod.
This is a great pick for anyone who finds the SlumberPod too large, too warm, or too expensive. At nearly half the price of the SlumberPod, the SnoozeShade is a great deal.
It can also be used outside and is a great option for nap time and nights if you plan on camping. It boasts a UV protection of UPF 50 and blocks 99% of UV rays.
It also has the ability to block 94% of the light outside. The SnoozeShade’s blackout ability makes it a favorite of parents who have babies who sleep best in a dark room. Although the light level that it allows in is more than the SlumberPod.
The top panel can be easily unzipped and left open so you can peek on your baby.
The Snooze Shade is a great, compact option for when you’re going to be traveling with your baby and you’re concerned about them getting the best sleep possible in their Pack N Play.
Is the SnoozeShade Safe?
The SnoozeShade was invented by a self-professed “safety-obsessed” mom. In fact, one of the SnoozeShade’s slogans is “Safety comes first at SnoozeShade.”
The SnoozeShade is designed to be safe enough for newborns, and they don’t use any fasteners or hardware that could be dangerous.
They’re also proud to use air-permeable mesh, a unique fabric, which means air can pass through the fabric easily. Even though this means it only blocks out 94% of light (compared to 100% with the SlumberPod), the mesh fabric wicks moisture more easily and air can circulate more freely.
SlumberPod vs SnoozeShade: The Bottom Line
My husband and I have adapted a new motto when we’re considering purchases like this: buy nice or buy twice.
Although the SlumberPod is pricier, if that’s your biggest hang up, I think it’s worth it in the long run to spend the extra money.
Many people love using the SnoozeShade in a pinch. If you plan on traveling a lot during your baby’s first year, it’s a great option.
However, if you want something that you can use for travel well into the toddler years, I think the SlumberPod is the best option and worth the extra money.
Many parents report that their babies can no longer use the SnoozeShade once they are able to stand up in the Pack N Play. That can happen as young as 9 months old.
The SlumberPod has a bottomless design so it can easily fit over a toddler cot or even air mattress. See a brief demonstration of that here. The SnoozeShade has to attach to something, so it would have to be used with a mini crib or Pack N Play.
SlumberPod also recently released their HomeBase product, which you can use on a full-size crib. This way you can use the classic SlumberPod for travel and the HomeBase if you need to room share with your baby while family is visiting or if you need to have your toddler and baby sharing a room.
Slumber Pod Home Base gives your baby their own space, which is especially helpful if they’re used to having their own room and are temporarily uprooted to room sharing.
When you’re trying to decide between the Slumberpod vs SnoozeShade, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons, consider what your budget can accommodate, and how frequently you plan to use the item.
I’ve summarized a couple of the key selling points for each of these privacy pods. Take a look and see what is most important to you!
Why the SlumberPod is Better:
- 100% blackout
- Taller and roomier, with the option to add a fan for air flow
- Can use longer into the toddler years because of the high dome shape
- Fits over many travel crib options, not just the Pack N Play
- Can be used with an adapter (the SlumberPod Homebase) to provide 100% blackout for your crib at home, which is especially helpful for the start of Daylight Saving time when the sun is up later
Why the SnoozeShade is Better:
- Cheaper ($90 vs $175 for the SlumberPod)
- Easier to setup, since it wraps directly around the Pack N Play—no poles to assemble or keep track of!
- Has side panels that you can raise to take a quick peek in or let some air in
- Can be used for outdoor or indoor use
Ultimately, they’re both good products with tons of happy customers!
Whether you go with the SlumberPod vs the SnoozeShade, I’m confident you’ll be happy to have a blackout privacy option while you’re traveling with your little one. Check out my SlumberPod tips to make sure you get the best sleep possible when using it.
Leave a comment below with your vote for the SlumberPod vs the SnoozeShade to help other parents decide!
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