As a mom who loves traveling with my little one, a portable crib that’s easy to set up and take down is an absolute must-have. After testing out several popular travel cribs on the market, I’ve discovered the key features to look for and compiled my top picks to make your buying decision easier.
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Reviews of the Top 10 Travel Cribs: Testing the Products
Before diving into our recommendations, it’s essential to understand that I’ve personally put these travel cribs to the test.
I know how crucial it is to have a reliable and convenient travel crib. So, I’ve tested these products rigorously to ensure they meet the highest standards of comfort, safety, and functionality for both you and your baby.
Now, let’s delve into the world of travel cribs and find the one that perfectly suits your needs:
A portable playard that’s easy to set up, durable and feature packed is a must-have for moms who travel frequently with toddlers. The 4moms Breeze Plus has been a total game-changer for our family. Its “one push open, one pull close” functionality makes it so simple to set up, even with my wiggly toddler in one arm. I love that it folds up into a compact carrying case, fitting easily in our car trunk alongside the rest of our travel gear.
We used the bassinet a ton during the newborn stage, especially for overnight trips to grandma’s house. Now that my daughter is a toddler, we appreciate the roomy playard space, which gives her plenty of room to play and move around. The flip changer has also come in handy for quick diaper changes on the go.
Compared to other playards like the Graco, this one is definitely pricier but worth it for the easy one-handed setup alone. I also like how sturdy it feels compared to the Chicco LullaGo bassinet, which seems quite flimsy. The Bugaboo Stardust is similarly easy to pop open, but it doesn’t have the flip changer or removable bassinet like the 4moms.
The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light has been an essential for overseas trips and visits to grandma’s cottage. At only 13 pounds, it’s one of the lightest and most portable options out there. I love how quick and easy it is to set up – just unfold the legs and you’re good to go in seconds. This comes in handy when I’m juggling a cranky toddler.
The mesh fabric sides provide great ventilation and give me peace of mind that I can easily check on my daughter while she’s sleeping. I do wish it came with a fitted sheet, as adding that extra piece can be annoying when I’m trying to set up quickly. The sleeping space is adequate but can feel a bit snug if my daughter moves around a lot. And it’s not ideal for nursing a newborn to sleep as there’s no side panel that opens.
Compared to the Guava Lotus, this one packs up smaller and weighs less, making it better for airplane travel. But the Lotus offers more space for a toddler to play while awake. I prefer the BabyBjorn’s airy mesh sides over the solid panels of the Maxi-Cosi Swift when it comes to breathability.
Bugaboo’s innovative Stardust Playard has been a lifesaver for impromptu toddler sleepovers at grandma’s apartment or sleepaway weekends at our family cabin. True to its promise, it pops open with just a one-second unfold. The adjustable height mattress is great for my aging back since I don’t have to bend down as far to lay my daughter down.
I like that it folds up with the mattress inside to become ultra compact. This is perfect for tossing in the trunk for weekend road trips where space is limited. The mattress and fitted sheet it comes with feel nicer quality than my friend’s Graco Pack’ N Play mattress. The fabric is soft but still durable enough to withstand my rambunctious toddler.
My only gripe is that setup is a bit trickier with just one hand since you have to unclip the sides before popping it open. The Chicco LullaGo sets up quicker when I’m holding my wiggly toddler. And it doesn’t have the naptime and nighttime versatility of the 4moms with its removable bassinet and flip changer. But for a basic and portable playard, it checks all our boxes.
Ultra quick one-second setup
Folds with mattress inside for compact storage
Higher quality mattress and sheet
Adjustable mattress height
Slightly tricky one-handed setup
Lacks extra features like changer and removable bassinet
My friend is using the Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go playard, which has been a wallet-friendly lifesaver for their family. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of pricier models like the 4moms, it gets the job done for quick weekend getaways and overnight trips to grandma’s house.
She loves that the bassinet folds with the playard, making setup even easier when her toddler is eager to be let out of her carseat. The included toy bar has also been a great way to keep the little one entertained while she is packing up her things. Her husband appreciates how light and compact it folds up with the carrying bag.
That said, the Graco’s mattress is thin and flimsy compared to the premium mattress on the Newton Travel Crib. And the fabric feels cheaper than my BabyBjorn Travel Crib. I do wish the Graco had mesh sides for better visibility and fold up smaller like the Guava Lotus. But for parents looking for an affordable, no-frills playard for travel, the Graco does the trick!
During my baby’s newborn days, the Chicco LullaGo Anywhere bassinet was a must for overnight trips to grandma’s and weekend getaways. At only 12 pounds, it’s one of the lightest bassinets out there, making it easy for my husband or I to carry while juggling all our other newborn gear. The included carrying bag was great for tossing in the trunk alongside our luggage.
Set up takes mere seconds with the snap-on legs. I like that the mattress has a firm, flat surface as recommended for safe newborn sleep. The mattress quality feels much better than the super thin, flimsy bassinet insert that came with my friend’s Graco Pack ‘n Play.
However, the sleeping space is quite small and wasn’t practical once my baby became more active. And it doesn’t offer the versatile playard space of the 4moms Breeze.
Overall, the Chicco LullaGo is an excellent choice for travel with a newborn. But for longer-term versatility, I’d go with the 4moms Breeze Plus with both bassinet and playard options.
My cousin, who is a super mom of twins, absolutely loves the Baby Trend Lil’ Snooze Deluxe for all their fun family outings. The separate rocker bassinets have been perfect for keeping her twins happy in the car and on planes. She likes that each has its own toys, music, and vibration—it really helps distract them when their patience wears thin.
The large playard space has plenty of room for growing twins to play and nap comfortably. And they love listening to the nature sounds before bedtime. The deluxe organizer is great for storing diapers, wipes, and extra clothes on the go.
Compared to the Joovy Room2, I wish the sleeping space was bigger, as I could see her twins starting to feel cramped. It’s also very heavy and bulkier to fold than the Guava Lotus. Still, for parents of twins, the dual features make travel and sleepovers much smoother. I don’t know what they would do without it!
Dual rocker bassinets with music, toys, and vibration
Maximum Weight Recommendation: No limit (mattress supported by floor)
If you are a traveler like me, you should know that the Guava Lotus Travel Crib has been my trusty companion on cross-country plane trips, busy family vacations, and weekends at the in-laws’ house. The genius 3D folding design makes it compact enough to fit in an overhead bin as a carry-on item. Setup and takedown is so simple, I can do it easily with one hand while holding my squirmy toddler in the other arm.
I absolutely love the side door panel—it’s been a game changer for calming my daughter to sleep while traveling and maintaining bonding through the night. The thick mattress is also comfier than any other travel crib mattress we’ve tried. The quality feels closer to a real crib mattress than the thinner, flimsier ones often included in cheaper playards.
The Newton does offer a bit more interior space for playtime. And the Bugaboo Stardust sets up quicker in one easy motion. But for families focused on air travel and portability, the well-designed Lotus is truly in a league of its own. I wouldn’t consider traveling without it.
I love the stylish, compact design of the Maxi-Cosi Swift for overnight trips and visits to grandma’s house. The two-stage mattress is a really unique feature—I used it on the higher bassinet setting for my newborn, and now my toddler has plenty of room with it unzipped to the larger playard size.
The one-step fold is awesome when I’m packing up a wiggly toddler in a hurry. It folds up so smooth and compact. I also appreciate that it comes with a carrying case, unlike some competitors like the BabyBjorn Travel Crib. The fabric and mesh sides seem very breathable and airy.
My main gripe is that the mattress is quite thin and flimsy—almost like a yoga mat! I wish it had the super plush mattress that comes with the Newton. And setup takes a tad longer than the ultra-quick Bugaboo Stardust. While the Maxi-Cosi Swift is slightly heavier than some competing options, it has proven to be an extremely sturdy, convenient, and stylish playard for car travel with our family.
Maximum Weight Recommendation: No limit (mattress supported by floor)
This Newton Baby Travel Crib has been an absolute dream for our cross-country road trips and busy family vacations thanks to its massive interior space. With nearly 10 square feet of play area, my tall toddler has plenty of room to play and move around even after being confined in her car seat.
I’m also obsessed with the innovative Wovenaire mesh mattress—not only is it perfectly breathable, but you can wash the whole thing! This gives me peace of mind, knowing it’s truly clean for my little one. I also love that I can easily spot clean the mattress pad after accidents or spit up. The thick cushioning provides ample comfort and support.
My husband did struggle a bit with setup compared to the foolproof Bugaboo Stardust. And it lacks the versatile bassinet and changing station features of the 4moms Breeze. But for families focused on maximizing play space for an active toddler, the Newton is hands-down the winner. My daughter would live in it full time if she could!
Most moms have struggled to find a playpen that provides enough space for their toddler to stretch out comfortably—until discovering the Joovy Room2. With nearly 10 square feet of space, it’s roomier than any other playpen we’ve tried. This crib is designed in a way that prevents tall toddlers from climbing out of it.
I love that the mesh windows provide a 360-degree view so I can easily keep an eye on my busy bee while getting things done around the house. The padded mattress and fitted sheet seem very durable yet comfy enough for naps and overnight sleep. And the travel bag makes it easy to stash in my trunk for weekends at grandma’s.
Compared to the Guava Lotus, I do wish it had a side door for easy access when my toddler is sleeping. It’s also quite heavy and bulky when folded. But its expansive interior can’t be beaten for tall toddlers who need extra room to play and rest comfortably. If space is your top priority, the Joovy Room2 is the way to go.
Nearly 10 sq ft of space
Durable yet padded mattress
Carrying bag included
No side door access
Heavy and bulky when folded
Why Use a Travel Crib?
The number one reason to use a travel crib is portability. Standard cribs are cumbersome to move from room to room, let alone take on a plane or in a car.
Travel cribs are designed to fold up into a compact shape with a carrying bag for easy transport. This allows the baby to sleep in a familiar environment no matter where your travels take you.
Safety is my top concern when it comes to my baby’s sleep space. Travel cribs offer secure, enclosed sides to prevent falls and keep the baby from climbing out.
Many also have mesh panels for maximum breathability. The best travel cribs meet current safety standards and feature sturdy but collapsible frames.
Between naps, diaper changes, and feedings, it’s so convenient to have a portable sleep space for a baby wherever I need it. Travel cribs set up in minutes in any room or outdoor area.
Some even have features like mobiles, sound machines, and bassinets to help baby sleep soundly. The ability to provide consistent sleep for my little one while we’re on the go makes travel cribs well worth it.
Types of Travel Cribs
Not all travel cribs are created equal. Understanding the different types available can help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
1. Portable Playard: Versatility Meets Comfort
Spacious for active babies.
Doubles as a playpen during the day.
Offers a secure sleeping environment.
Can be heavier and bulkier.
These traditional rectangular playard-style cribs are perfect for babies who love their space. It provides ample room for play and sleep, making it a versatile choice for various situations.
2. Bassinet Travel Crib: Perfect for Newborns
Cozy and secure for newborns.
Often includes features like a changing table.
Compact and lightweight.
Suitable for a limited age range, usually up to 3-4 months old.
Bassinet travel cribs cater to the needs of newborns and infants. They offer a snug sleeping environment and often come with convenient extras like changing tables.
3. Pop-Up Travel Crib: Lightweight and Convenient
Lightweight metal frames simply pop open.
Ideal for short trips.
Limited space for active babies.
Less durable than other options.
Pop-up travel cribs are designed for parents on the move. They are a breeze to set up and are ideal for quick getaways or when you need a crib in a pinch.
Key Features to Look for in a Travel Crib
Based on using a wide range of travel cribs with my daughter, here are the key features I recommend looking for:
Weight and Foldability
Since you’ll be moving the crib often, seek out lighter weight models (under 20 lbs) that fold into a compact shape. Look for a crib with a carrying case that makes transporting through airports and in cars manageable.
Sturdy yet Collapsible Frame
You want something that sets up and folds down easily but has a frame that doesn’t shake or collapse while in use. Metal tubing that clicks securely into place is ideal for stability.
Mesh Sides for Ventilation
Mesh sides allow maximum airflow so baby stays comfortable in warm climates or overly air-conditioned rooms. They also give parents better visibility.
Mattress Quality and Fit
A padded mattress with a snug fit is key for safety and your baby’s comfort. Waterproof and machine-washable mattress covers are a major plus for inevitable messes and blowouts on the go.
Easy Assembly and Disassembly
When traveling with a baby, easy assembly in under 5 minutes is a must. Some cribs even allow you to unfold in mere seconds! The crib should fold back up compactly with minimal effort. Look for simple push button or latch mechanisms.
Extra Tips for Using a Travel Crib
Always Secure the Mattress Properly To prevent dangerous gaps, make sure the mattress is properly secured in place every time you set up. Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely.
Use the Carry Bag for Transportation and Storage When not in use, keep the travel crib in its carrying case to prevent damage. This will make it much easier to transport as well.
Keep It Clean Wipe down the crib and wash all removable parts like the mattress cover regularly. Cleanliness is especially important when using it in hotels or on multiple trips.
Before You Buy – My Closing Guidance
I hope this buying guide covers all the key factors to consider when selecting the best travel crib for your family’s needs.
My top picks offer great portability, safety, convenience, and features to make travel with your little one stress-free.
Just remember a quality travel crib can open up so many more travel opportunities while providing consistent sleep for the baby.
Let me know if you have any other questions – happy travels!
Frequently Asked Questions
What age is best for starting to use a travel crib?
Most travel cribs are suitable starting at birth as long as your doctor approves. However, some parents prefer bigger cribs for newborns and start travel crib use around 3-6 months when baby is more mobile.
Are travel cribs safe for overnight sleep?
Yes, as long as you always follow the safety guidelines like securing the mattress properly. Travel cribs that meet current safety standards are designed for both daytime napping and overnight sleep.
Can I also use a travel crib at home?
Absolutely! Many parents use travel cribs as their main crib to move around the house. They work great as a lightweight option you can move from room to room based on your needs.
Are travel cribs okay for airline travel?
Most airlines allow travel cribs as long as they meet carry-on size requirements. Some may even let you gate check the crib for free. Be sure to contact your airline to understand their specific policies.
How long can a child use a travel crib?
Many travel cribs have weight limits of 30-50 pounds and are advertised to use up to 3-4 years old. However, kids develop at different rates, so transition your child once he/she is climbing out or reaches the manufacturer guidelines.
Do I need a special mattress for a travel crib?
Travel cribs come with a mattress specifically designed to fit that model. You should use the manufacturer’s mattress for a secure fit. Using a different mattress could create dangerous gaps in the crib.
Price last updated on 2023-12-04. Links & images are from Amazon Product Advertising API. Our editors independently research, test and recommend the best products and services. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you.