The tinier the human, the larger the suitcase — traveling with an infant means bringing along car seats, playpens, strollers, and other big gear, not to mention clothes and diapers. One startup, Babierge, is working to make traveling easier for new parents through peer-to-peer baby gear rentals.
Babierge, based in New Mexico, launched only about a year and a half ago, but the startup is steadily adding services with rentals now covering more than 100 locations. According to TechCrunch, around 5,000 parents have used the service this year.
As a peer-to-peer rental platform, Babierge connects parents looking for gear at their destination from local parents who have extra gear to lend. The online platform allows travelers to search for what they need at their destination and for their travel dates. Rather than traveling with all that gear, the rental is delivered directly to the destination.
Along with the bulky items like cribs and car seats, the service also rents smaller items in sets, like packages of toys based on the child’s age. With the rental items, some users also deliver items that you buy outright, like diapers. Some packages are based on the destination city — like a pack of items to make walking through Disneyland easier. While infants typically need the most gear, the service caters to toddlers and preschoolers as well, including booster seats and bed railings.
Babierge’s online platform allows parents to see reviews on the rental gear with ratings that help parents get an idea of how clean the items were for previous renters. Searches start by choosing the destination, then the available renters and browsing the available equipment and prices.
For parents and others renting gear, the platform serves as a way to make some extra cash. Users have to pay a $100 registration cost to sell and are also responsible for monthly insurance costs, but only if they have a rental that month. Parents renting out gear keep 80 percent of the rental costs and all of the delivery costs.
Babierge is now in 39 states as well as three locations in Canada and the company says it is continually adding new markets. Interested parents can find if the service is available at their destination by visiting babierge.com.