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ZZZ Tent Review

This review of the ZZZ tent is a part of my pursuit to pinpoint the budget-friendly, value-packed alternatives to Slumberpod and SnooShade that will still get the job done.

Top Pick
ZZZ Play & Crib Sleeping Cover Instant Tent
8.8/10 My Score
  • Let your child sleep longer
  • Will expand correctly into shape
  • Designed with strong metal coils
  • Equipped with (2) breathable Air vents
  • Gives parents privacy

Notice that I said “value-packed alternatives” and not “cheap” because there’s a lot of the latter on the market.

Today, I’ll analyze the quality of the ZZZtent and reach a verdict on whether it’s a ‘value’ product or just cheap.

First things first – anatomy of this review

The first part of the ZZZ tent review will be an examination of whether you need it in the first place.

ZZZ Play & Crib Sleeping Cover Instant Tent

If your mind’s made up on that, you can skip to the detailed review – the section is titled “My review of the ZZZ tent.”

Let’s get to it.

What is the ZZZ tent for?

The ZZZ tent is a simple blackout cover for your playpen. It’s designed to limit the amount of light that gets to your baby during those daily naps while still keeping the airflow.

Is it effective?

There’s plenty of proof in studies (like this one) about the connections between light exposure and Melatonin (sleep hormone) production in babies.

Large-scale studies about limiting daily light in babies are lacking, and my opinion on the topic is based on common sense and personal experience.

With that said, I do think that limiting light exposure contributes to calmer, uninterrupted daily naps.

A point of confusion – light sensitivity in babies

In the first month, the eyes of your little one are not as sensitive – the difference to light sensitivity in adults is massive. The light needs to be 50 times stronger for a baby to notice it.

That’s why it’s probably OK to leave on a gentle night light. It won’t bother them, and you won’t stub your toes.

In months 2 & 3, their vision changes and, by the end of this period, the light detection threshold is only 10 times higher than that of an adult.

ZZZ Play & Crib Sleeping Cover Instant Tent - Covering Steps

By months 4 to 6, their visual acuity (ability to recognize shapes and details) dramatically improves, and light sensitivity follows.

What it all means for you

It means that with each passing month, blocking the light for their naps with products like the ZZZ tent becomes more important.

On the other hand, you probably don’t need a study to understand the benefits of a calm baby for your own day-to-day.

ZZZ tent vs. blinds and other ‘darkening’ products

ZZZ tent is what you’d call a travel blackout pop-up tent.

It’s an excellent (better, if you ask me) alternative to blackout blinds. It allows you to create a dark environment for the baby without making the whole room dark.

If you’re using it in your home, a tent like this is just convenient. If you’re using it on a trip, it’s a game-changer…simply because most people can’t afford a separate baby room on a trip.

My review of the ZZZ tent

The best-known baby blackout tent is the Slumberpod – a premium product with a price to match. I recently wrote a comprehensive guide on budget-friendly SlumberPod alternatives – you can see it here.

Imperfect as it is, the ZZZtent found its way onto that list. Below is an overview of the reasons.

What I liked about the ZZZ play and crib canopy blackout tent

Budget-friendly option

ZZZ tent costs much less than similar darkening sleep tents. If we’re comparing it to SlumberPod, I’m not talking 10 or 30% cheaper; I’m talking 250-300 percent.

Light and easy to use

The ZZZ tent weighs only 4.34 lbs; it pops open on its own, so you won’t be assembling anything. It also packs down to its included carry bag, more on that in a second.

30-day guarantee

When getting products on the cheaper side, I only pull the trigger and swipe that card if there’s a return guarantee. With the ZZZ tent, it’s 30-days and, based on everything I’ve seen, they’re honoring it.

Just the right size

ZZZ tent for pack n play  is 38×54 at the base and 57 inches high, which makes it a good fit for all standard playards.

What could be better & the verdict

I’m saying “could be better” hypothetically because if it was better in these areas, it would be more expensive.

ZZZ Play & Crib Sleeping Cover Instant Tent - Steps

Still, it’s important to understand what NOT to expect when getting it.

ZZZ tent is not full blackout

While high-end products like the SlumperPod do not allow any light in, that’s not what the ZZZ tent is. It does let some light in, even with the windows closed.

The material could be more breathable

The design of the air vents and the ventilation panels of the SlumberPod leave the impression of solid craftsmanship and greater attention to detail.

Besides that, the material feels more breathable, which is not a big deal with all the ventilation panels in mind; it just inspires more trust than the ZZZ tent.

Packing it down takes practice

This wouldn’t be a CON if the tent were durable enough. There will be tension when you pack a pop-up tent – I have zero problems with that; it’s the nature of the design.

The tension you have to fight when packing it down becomes a problem when things break as you try to do it.

The zipper as a deal-breaker

This one ruins it for me. I have no problems with skimping on details, but there should be no ripping or breaking, even at this price range.

That’s precisely what I’ve seen happening one time too many with the ZZZ tent – the zipper catching or tearing away from the fabric, even breaking altogether.

Verdict – is the ZZZ tent worth your money?

I’ll say NO. A simple upgrade to the zipper would turn that into a yes.

As is, you’re better off spending more on the SlumberPod or finding a middle ground with something like the SnoozeShade (you can read sumberPod vs. Snoozeshade comparison here).

ZZZ Play & Crib Sleeping Cover Instant Tent - Covering Crib

I did include it in the list of SlumberPod alternatives, which technically it is. Still, a more in-depth review of the ZZZ tent found too many durability issues, especially with the zipper. This will be reflected in the scheduled update to the SlumberPod alternative guide.

Top Pick
ZZZ Play & Crib Sleeping Cover Instant Tent
8.8/10 My Score
  • Let your child sleep longer
  • Will expand correctly into shape
  • Designed with strong metal coils
  • Equipped with (2) breathable Air vents
  • Gives parents privacy