Every travelling parent knows all too well about the trials and tribulations of flying long-haul with kids. In our article Ten Tips for surviving your First Flight with a Baby, we recommend booking an overnight flight to encourage your baby to sleep most of the hours in the air.
This is still true as your kids get older, but with bigger kids no longer able to fit into a bassinet, this inevitably means they end up stretching out all over mum and dad, who consequently get no sleep at all!
I was therefore very excited to recently discover and test-drive a new product on the market – the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow – an inflatable pillow that fills the legroom gap on the airplane, effectively turning your child’s economy seat into a flatbed. Read on for my 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow review.
When deflated, the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow is small enough to squeeze into your hand luggage bag, (or kids’ Trunki). To inflate it, you have two choices – on some aircraft, you can use the overhead air vent to force air into the pillow. We managed this easily, and the airhostesses didn’t bat an eyelid – you can only fill it part-way to allow you to squeeze it into the seat’s footwell, and then can complete inflation by mouth.
On aircraft without a suitable nozzle for doing this, you can just do the full inflation by mouth – I tried this at home and it takes surprisingly little puff. One point to note – when you use your 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow for the first time, the inflation valve may be difficult to pull out. Be sure to check this before you set off for the airport – a quick blast with a hairdryer or pouring on a little hot water will soften it up and allow you to pull it out easily (I used the hairdryer option and it was simple).
Here’s a photo of my son relaxing with his feet up once his pillow was in place:
The other benefit to the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow, is that it is the ideal solution to stop your kids from kicking the seat in front. My 5-year olds’ legs seem to be the exact right length for this, and she just can’t resist the urge to constantly pound the seat in front with her feet – leading to much frustration to the person in the seat, and embarrassment to me. By propping her feet up, this takes away this temptation, making life easier for everyone.
For the purposes of this 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow review, we tried out the pillow on a short-haul flight with AirAsia. This meant that legroom was smaller than most long-haul flights we would take, and I found the distance too small for my (tall-for-her-age) 5-year old daughter to use the pillow, but perfect for my 3-year old son. I feel confident that on an airline that offers more legroom – or in a Premium Economy seat – that the pillow would work equally well for my daughter. For a toddler, you would be able to get them completely lying flat on it.
*Update* I have since used the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow on a long-haul flight on Cathay Pacific in Premium Economy. It was perfect for my 5-year old – and as my 3-year old ended up sleeping sideways, I had a go with the pillow myself and found it really quite comfy to curl my legs up on!
So what’s the verdict? Although we only tested this on a 3-hour flight, I really think that for a long haul overnight flight, this could be a game-changer. I will definitely be packing my 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow for future long-haul flights.
Of course there are the privileged few, who get to fly business class with their kids and enjoy the benefits of a real flatbed for the flight. For the rest of us there is the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow!
Visit the 1st Class Kid website for more information. You can also order the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow online at Amazon here.
Mum on the Move is giving one lucky winner the chance to win a 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow!
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Note: Mum on the Move was provided with 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow for the purpose of writing this review. This did not influence my review in any way, and all opinions expressed are honest, and my own.