Twenty two years ago, struggling to find somewhere to keep my first baby bath, why on earth didn't I think to myself "Wouldn't it be great if I had a baby bath that folds up flat so I can tuck it away easily when not in use?" I could be a millionaire now! My thoughts must have been far too preoccupied with being a first time mum to launch myself into entrepreneurial greatness.
In theory, a fold up bath seems like a fantastic solution to an annoying storage problem but the question is, have the innovative designers at Real Cool World got it right? Is the FlexiBath a product that has real value or is it just a gimmick?
I was sent a FlexiBath to try out with my two little ones aged 9 months and nearly three years. I usually just put both of them in the big bath together now (having gratefully banished my storage nightmare baby bath to the loft) so I wasn't quite sure how they'd adapt to the confines of a baby bath.
I was impressed with how easily the FlexiBath unfolded and how solid it felt. The gorgeous shade of purple was a bonus. It was surprisingly capacious (39 litres apparently but I didn't check!) and much deeper than my old baby bath. The nearly three year old was very intrigued by it all and couldn't wait to get in.
For the purpose of this review, we waited for a nice sunny day when my conservatory heated to a good temperature, cleared a space and filled the FlexiBath with warm water. I made no attempt to actually wash either child as they both wore swimming costumes. You will see from the video that there was plenty of room for the pair of them to fit comfortably and splash like crazy!
The bath has a plug for easy water drainage but I found I could carry it and tip the water out with no problem when it was about a third full (which it was after all the splashing). Once dry, it flattened easily into its folded form with a neat clip to keep it together.
The folding design is ingeniously simple and in terms of functionality, the bath is great. I love the shape of it, the feel of the plastic and how comfortably it accommodated my rather lively bathers.
As well as providing an everyday solution to the problem of how to store a baby bath, I can also see the potential for camping and travelling and hope to put that to the test before too long. In addition, it would make a great alternative to a paddling pool for outdoor water fun.
In case it isn't obvious, I am really impressed with the FlexiBath. I'm dreaming now of a long hot summer so we can put ours to good use!
Available in six colours for £29.99 from www.johnlewis.co.uk