I'm a big reader of reviews, I find you can never trust the star rating especially since people sometimes rate things they don't own "5 stars - this looks really cute!", or give things 1 star because they can't read the description. I already owned one of these and was contemplating buying one for my daughter. Our existing one has the strap in the center, and a manufacture date of OCT-2010. After reading the reviews, I was confused because some state "the older one was better" and visa versa, so I wasn't sure which was the newer model, but decided to risk it and buy a second one.
I picked up a second one at my local Walmart in blue, and was happy to see that the strap has been REMOVED in the newer models, this particular one had a manufacture date of SEP-2012. We then ordered another one in pink for my daughter. Happily when it arrived at the store, it also had a 2012 date, and was of the newer design. If you purchase one and it has the strap across the center, return it and see if you can exchange it for a newer one. (Walmart was happy to return my older blue one for me.) The manufacture date is on a sticker on the outside of the box right beneath the UPC. So to clarify, the company has updated this product and improved upon it. No more annoying middle strap.
After having purchased three of these in total, I have to say my kids (2 & 3) LOVE them. We purchased a Foam Mattress Topper in a Full, cut it in half, and put it under the fitted sheet for extra comfort. Well worth the $11 it cost at Walmart. The kids nap on them, relax and watch TV on them, even stopped hopping into bed with us at night, and instead will sleep on these in our bedroom. They refuse to let me put them away. We're headed on a 20 hour car trip next month and have differing accommodations, so these cots will work perfectly for the cabin, house, and hotel room.
This is an excellent purchase, and it's a great value for the money. I am so glad I risked buying a second (and third) one to find that the design has been modified.
They also fit the "Sleeping Bag Buds" we bought at Walmart last year PERFECTLY, and with a little compression, you can roll the foam mattress topper up and keep it in the travel bag with the cot, preserving how easy it is to store when not in use.
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