If you’re thinking of buying the best travel crib, then you probably have some questions about how to find the best one. First off, you’ll need to know what a travel crib is, why you need one, and last but not the least you’ll probably want to know what you should be looking look for in the best travel crib. Toddler travel beds are also an option you may have already seen pop up, which adds even more questions.
Well, you’re in the right place. These are the questions we’ll be answering in this handy buying guide for moms and dads looking to buy the best travel crib.
The 6 Best Travel Crib Reviewed
1. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light Review
The first travel crib fro babies on our list has been very well designed to create a comfortable, lightweight sleeping environment. Not only does it function great as a travel crib, but there’s a large play space for your child too. One of the most comfortable cribs on the market, it’s is perfect for families who need both a durable and a portable bed to take with them everywhere they go. The crib is easy to assemble and take apart, and hassle-free to maintain, making it more likely to last. As far as we’re concerned, this is one of the best travel cribs available today.
2. Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard Review
One of our favorite crib and playard combinations is the Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard. It’s extremely portable and easy to carry and set up. This crib has many appealing features. It’s very lightweight, can also be used as a playpen, and comes with mesh screens so you can watch over your child while they play.
If you’re a family looking for a travel crib suitable for newborns, toddlers, and everything in between, this is the one for you. The crib is compact, easy to assemble and comes with fitted sheets, a mattress, and a backpack. Overall it’s great as both a travel crib and playard.
3. Summer Infant Travel Bed Review
For children from 0-12 months, this is an ideal product for short naps and diaper changes while you’re on the go. Its low cost but still highly functional. The bed has a padded mattress and a removable sheet, which is machine-washable. The high sides prevent rolling, and the panel on the front unzips for easy access during a diaper change.
A very lightweight and foldable choice, which reflects the lower price. The bed’s mesh panels promote airflow, and there is also a toy bar with two soft toys dangling down. Overall, a quality product that comes at a great budget price.
4. Graco Pack N’ Play Playard Jetsetter
Another favorite of ours. The Graco Pack N’ Play Playard Jetsetter provides the perfect support for traveling babies who like to play. The top of the range playard may be lightweight and compact, but it’s still a spacious playard. It also folds neatly into a backpack, making transportation a breeze.
This model includes a host of features like the built-in canopy, mesh sides for visibility and ventilation, a changing pad, and even a vibrating bassinet. It has plenty of space for your child to grow, meets all safety standards, and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for something to keep your child happy while you’re on the road.
5. Graco Travel Lite Crib Review
A major plus point of a travel crib is that it can double up as a playing area for your child while you’re traveling, and this big-brand model does exactly that. Its significant advantage is adjustability. The Graco grows with your child and saves you buying new equipment after every spurt in growth.
The crib converts easily into a spacious playard, is lightweight, and even has wheels so it can be moved around with ease. Weighing in at just under 20lb, there is no problem with transportation if you’re traveling by car, and because his or her child’s comfort is every parent’s number 1 priority. This comes with a thick, quilted mattress; a canopy which doubles as a sunshade, plus it also has a facility to hang soft toys from too.
6. Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard
This particular travel crib is very multi-functional. It offers ample cozy space for sleeping but is possibly best used as a play yard that is safe enough to contain even the most determined escape artists. It comes with an inclined sleeper section with a machine washable padded mattress and comfy head support.
The outside of the product has a built-in changing bag to store spare and soiled diapers and wipes. A vinyl changing mat is also included. The play yard can be fitted with standard size crib sheets and is light to assemble and fold away again. Ideal for short naps, a full night’s sleep, and for playing, the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard has all your on-the-go needs covered. Plus, it’s just a great crib if you need a model you can easily move around inside your home.
What Is a Travel Crib and Why Do I Need One?
As inventions go, travel cribs can come in very handy. They allow you and your little one to travel quickly, efficiently and comfortably. There are many different types and models of travel cribs out there. This has both pros and cons because with so many options to choose from it can make the whole thing quite confusing. But if you stick with us for a while, we’ll make finding the best travel crib for you and your bundle of joy a whole lot easier.
A travel crib is nothing but a portable crib. It is usually lightweight and can be folded into one compact unit. Some models can be folded so small they can be taken as hand luggage onto an airplane. Travel cribs have various extra features that are all designed to make traveling with a baby or a small toddler as convenient and as comfortable as possible.
For families that move around a lot, a travel crib can be a very useful alternative to a regular crib, potentially even replacing one entirely. They still provide a safe sleeping environment for your child with the extra benefit of being lighter and more compact. This means that they can be a great option even if you aren’t planning on going anywhere. Sometimes the mattress of a travel crib may be not as comfortable though, in which case purchasing an additional mattress for a full-time use travel crib would be a good idea.
Travel Crib or Toddler Travel Bed. What’s the Difference?
If your child has already reached or is about to transition into the toddler stage, you might want to consider a travel bed rather than a travel crib. So what’s the difference?
Put simply; toddler travel beds are foldable beds designed for your toddler. Unlike travel cribs, they are not meant to keep the occupant inside and therefore do not have high sidewalls. They come in several different types, and some of them need to be assembled or inflated, while others, like the Leachco BumpZZZ, can be rolled out flat.
For children aged around two or older, a toddler travel bed might be the better option. These portable beds are designed specifically to cater to the size, safety, and comfort of a toddler.
If you’re unsure whether a travel crib or a toddler travel bed would best fit your requirements, it’s a good idea to consider how you want it to function. If a major role of the product is to act as a safe containment device, then you’re probably better off with a travel crib. If containment is not a factor, then a portable bed will do a fine job.
What Are the Different Types of Travel Crib?
There are a few different types of travel cribs. There’s the type that folds out to look much like a portable bed, like the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib. Another type, such as the KidCo Peadpod, open out to resemble a kind of mini cocoon or a tiny tent.
Both types have upsides and downsides. The Baby Bjorn type crib is usually better for keeping infants and toddlers contained, but then they weigh more and aren’t as compact when folded. The Peapod type can be folded quite small, but they don’t have enough room for a child to stand up in and are a lot easier for the little takes to escape from.
Which Factors Should I take Into Account?
1. Ease of Use – How easy a travel crib is to set up and put away is something you should always consider before you rush out and purchase one. If you’re a parent who’s on the move a lot, then you won’t want to spend too much time preparing or folding the crib. It’s true that most travel cribs are straightforward, and with a little practice the setup and fold-down can be done with ease, but some models might be tricky to assemble when you first get them.
2. Portability – Another important factor in a travel crib is its size and its weight– both assembled and dissembled. You need to decide if you want your folded down crib to fit inside the trunk of your car, or small enough to fit into a suitcase. Just as important is that when assembled the crib is large to fit your child and provides enough comfort for the entire period they are in it.
3. Comfort – Carrying on from the point above, we’ve noticed that when it comes to comfort levels, not all travel cribs are created equal. Some have thin mattresses, and with others, the quality of airflow can leave a lot to be desired. Models like the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib, however, score top grades with a cozy, comfortable mattress and excellent airflow properties.
4. Age Range – The age, and corresponding size and weight of your child should also be taken into account. Multi-age cribs are common, but some are only suitable for newborns while others will have enough room for a toddler. Not sure whether need a travel crib for your child or a travel bed for toddlers? Take a look at the manufacturer’s specifications. The age range should be clearly stated, along with guidelines on weight and size, and the dimensions of the crib itself. Remember to allow for the growth of the child depending on how long you intend to use the crib.
5. Safety – Safety is a crucial concern for every parent. All the cribs in our reviews meet American and European norms and standards for travel cribs, so you can trust that they’ve been tried and tested to industry standards. However, some cribs do offer higher levels of safety than others. Details such as whether there is too much space between the mattress and the crib, how the top sheet is held in place, and whether the child can escape, or even fall out of the crib should all be carefully considered.
- Always ensure that all the usual safe sleeping guidelines are followed, when using travel, or any other kind of crib.
What Features Should a Travel Crib Have?
All of the travel cribs we’ve reviewed come with extra options and features. The Lotus Travel Crib, for example, doubles up as a playpen. The Phil & Teds Portable Traveller Crib comes with a sheet set and a sunshade, making it great for outdoor use. If you’d prefer a crib with a mosquito net, the Valco Baby Zephyr is the model for you.
How Do I Choose the Best Baby Travel Crib?
Once you’ve decided you need a travel crib, there are three criteria that can help you choose the crib that is best for you. The first of these criteria is the financial consideration.
1. Pick a travel crib based on price – For most people, money is a concern when it comes to the purchase of any product. But this doesn’t mean that buying a budget crib you won’t end up with a great product. You might have to compromise on some extra features, but most cribs come with adequate levels of comfort for your child. The KidCo Peapod Plus, for instance, is a great choice if you’re looking for a good, cost-effective travel crib.
2. Pick a travel crib based on age range – If your child has passed the newborn phase, and you’re not planning to have any more children, then there is no need for you to choose a travel crib that can cater to multiple ages. If you’re the parent of a child who is already a toddler and you’re not too concerned about them getting up in the middle of the night, then a toddler travel bed may well be your best option.
3. Pick a travel crib based on your needs – Are you and your baby about to become frequent flyers? If yes, then portability will play a major role in your choice of the crib. For anyone who travels around with a child in tow a lot of the time, the size and weight of the folded down crib will be an important factor. On the other hand, you might be looking for a travel crib you can use as a convenient option for setting up a bed in your home.
In this case portability, or the lack of it, will not be an issue, and comfort and safety will be the dominating points in your purchasing decision. Consider also the possibility of the crib being used as a playpen, too. It helps to understand exactly why you need a travel crib, and what its main function will be, before going out and making the purchase.
These days, there are lots of hotels and home rentals willing to provide a temporary crib. These will usually consist of a play section with a thin pad for sleeping. But if you’re staying with folks or friends you want a crib that both you and your baby can feel good about, this is the one for you.
Travel cribs generally cater to newborns and toddlers up to about three years of age. Of course, they are a place for your child to rest and sleep, but they should also be safe places to play too. Plus, they are great for baby naps on the beach or in the park.
Whether you’re flying off to warmer climes for a full vacation or just paying the in-laws a prolonged visit, a quality travel crib like the models in our review will always be somewhere fun and safe for your child to sleep and play in. Plus, the best travel cribs provide amazing portability and are specially designed to make your job as the baby-gear sherpa a whole lot easier.