When he was younger, our little guy loved playing in tunnels at our local indoor play space and inside his friends’ tents when we visited for play dates! When I began looking into purchasing a play tent, I learned that a good number of the polyester tents (and tunnels) contain chemicals of concern and our choices were limited. Since this original post in 2013, there have been manufacturing updates which provide a greater selection of flame-retardant free options:
The Melissa & Doug Happy Giddy Tunnel contains PVC in the eye which can be cut out and removed. I did not choose to purchase this tunnel as I avoid all PVC and I had also read a review on amazon that indicated the product also contains flame retardants. I have reached out to their customer service team to confirm the presence of flame retardants and will update the post once I hear back.
Pacific Play Tentsis another popular children’s play tunnel and tent manufacturer. We are happy to confirm that their play tents do not contain flame retardant chemicals of concern (Tris) and that this change has been in effect since December 2014. In addition, Pacific Play Tents performs random sample tests on all of their products to test for lead and numerous other chemicals of concern (including BPA & Phthalates).
Pacific Play Tents also offer a great range of play tunnels and parachutes which we confirmed contain no flame retardants as of December 2014. We applaud Pacific Play Tents for their work in getting CPSC approval required to make this change and for their manufacturing transparency.
HABA play tents are another great option! HABA tents are made of PVC free polyester & cotton and their products are BPA, chemical flame retardant and Phthalate free
As of April 2015, HABA offers a non-toxic play tunnel as well so there is another safe option to choose from! Check out my post on their Croco Kuno Crawling Tunnel for more information!
Unfortunately, we had discrepancies in the information that IKEA provided to us regarding their play tents and tunnels. After an initial email indicating that their products do not contain chemical flame retardants, one of our readers received information that they in fact do. After additional phone calls and emails, they have now stated that “products meet Federal Domestic fire standards, usually the fire retardants are mixed at the time of production. All IKEA products are tested and approved according to current regulations and standards.” We can’t recommend IKEA tunnels and tents due to the presence of chemical flame retardants and I’m pretty disappointed in the fact that their customer service team provided incorrect information to us initially.