First Impressions

Yesterday I received the package that I had been waiting for for days.  I had waited so impatiently and so excitedly for Chloe’s new Nickel Bed Tent to arrive.

I opened the front door to get Chloe off the bus, and there on my porch was the package.  Even when I first saw the box, I was already disappointed.  It was surprisingly small.  Now, while the website boasts that the bed tent is portable and sells its portability as a positive, I just couldn’t imagine that the tent that I was imagining would fit in the tiny box that was sitting on my porch.  Bummer.

First impressions are very important.

Maybe when I spend $139 on a tent, I want it to come in a really big box.  I’m not believer in “big surprises come in small packages.”

Even though I should’ve been thrilled that the package had actually arrived, I was in the middle of a terrible migraine and was less than thrilled with everything around me.

I figured since I was out of commission with my migraine that we would wait til the next day to set up the tent.  You see, not only did we need to set up the new tent, but we needed to move Zippy’s bed into Chloe’s room and move Chloe’s bunk bed into Zippy’s room.  All of that sounded like some pretty major work that I didn’t want to embark on.  But Paul came home from work and immediately (after serving us all dinner in the TV room) began the task at hand.

While Paul wrestled with the furniture and heavy work, I opened the little box that held the tent which I hoped would improve the quality of our lives.

Now, let me remind you that I had a terrible migraine.  The time spent opening this box and examining the tent was the first time all day that I was able to open my eyes without feeling terribly sick.  So I wasn’t in the greatest of moods.

But when I first saw the tent . . . and felt it . . .  I was already disappointed.  I was expecting a camping tent type quality, but the Nickel Bed Tent is more the quality of a kid’s play tent.  The first time I slid the aluminum poles through their sleeves, the edges of the sleeves frayed a little bit.  Even a little bit of the stitching of the sleeves seemed to loosen a little bit.  I was getting more and more discouraged as I set up this new tent.

But the idea is awesome!  Maybe, just maybe it will work.  Maybe it will surprise me. 

I surprised myself with my bad attitude.  It’s not like me to be that pessimistic.

The last step to setting up the tent was to put two poles along the top of the tent, securing it horizontally.  But the poles were too short to make it a good, tight fit.  Ugh.  Another disappointment.

I left the tent in the living room and went to Chloe’s room where Paul was setting up Zippy’s bed.  I reported my disappointment and apologized for my bad attitude.

I went right back to the living room just in time to see Chloe lose her balance and fall against the brand new Nickel Bed Tent. 

Just as I yelled, “No!” there was a distinct POP! that came from the tent.  I grabbed Chloe and pulled her away from the tent.

“Did she break it??” Zippy yelled.

“I don’t know,” I snapped back.

But upon inspection, I realized that one of the 4 long aluminum poles had snapped in two.  Less than three minutes after putting together the tent that would improve the quality of our lives, it broke.  Just. like. that.

When I started throwing a fit, Paul and Elliot came running to see what was going on.

Even through the disappointment, we kept on keeping on, hoping to still be surprised — pleasantly surprised.

The end of the story of Night One with the tent:  I layed in the floor of Chloe’s room for a while until she had relaxed.  She stayed in her bed, safely enclosed in her tent.  (She did undress, but I can’t blame that on the tent!  I’m blaming that on her needing to be in control of something since she couldn’t get out of her new tent!)  So, that was success.  Night One was a success.


Night Two (tonight):  Chloe got out of the tent, but one of our respite providers put her to bed so we’re hoping the tent just wasn’t closed up correctly.  Last time Paul checked on her, she was still in the tent, but she was undressed again.  At least she kept her diaper on . . . .

I have sent an email to the website where we bought the tent explaining the problems we experienced and requesting a new pole to replace the broken one.  I will let you know how they reply.  Stay tuned for more on The Bed Tent Saga!

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie on February 24, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Sorry for the disappointment. I was hopeful for you too!

    I was thinking the whole time I was reading. You could design the perfect bed tent and market it!! Like, in your spare time… haha 🙂

    Lots of love~


    • First, I’m still holding out hope that I’ll be surprised . . . hoping my next post about it will be my eating my words and going on and on about how wonderful and perfect it is and about how much sleep it is allowing everyone to get. I think if this company would make this same design in a better camping-quality tent, it might be great. I still am not sure about the ease of changing sheets either. But hoping, hoping, hoping that The Bed Tent Saga is filled with surprises! 😉


  2. Posted by Sara Watson on February 24, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Ugh! I hate that! I hope the tent does end up surprising you and I hope the company’s customer service blows you away!!!


  3. Posted by Paul Mastin on February 24, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Night 3 report: While I was with the boys at basketball, the neighbor put Chloe to bed. Little Houdini got out of bed and was pulling out a pole! The neighbor fussed at Chloe, and Chloe frantically started trying to put the pole back in. When I got home, Chloe was in the bed and the zipper was secured with twist ties. I managed to get the pole back in where it belongs, but there’s a hole in the sleeve, just where Kelly predicted, where the broken pole rubs. I don’t think it will compromise the overall tent integrity. I’m pretty confident she’ll no longer be able to get out of the tent. Now we’ll see if Chloe stays in her pjs.


    • Oh, no! What a bummer! What a stinker! You’d better keep checking on her til she’s good and asleep to make sure she keeps her diaper on!!! Ugh. Thanks for the update!


  4. […] wrote a pretty negative reveiw of the Nickel Bed Tent when we first received it.  While I still maintain the surprisingly shoddy […]


  5. […] ripped her bed tent.  I’m so, so […]


  6. […] repaired the Nickel Bed Tent over and over and over.  The flimsy mesh of the tent continued to just rip to shreds.  I had to […]


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