The best travel cribs offer parents the best of two worlds. On one hand, these are smaller and lighter than regular portable cribs and, thus, are more suitable for traveling; many of these cribs can even be taken as hand luggage on planes (e.g., Lotus Travel Crib). On the other hand, these offer the same benefits as regular portable cribs, particularly in providing a safe sleeping and playing place for your baby or toddler.
But these aren’t just suitable for traveling! Travel cribs can also be used in homes with space constraints, in grandparents’ homes when their grandchildren come for short visits, and in environments where parents or caregivers have less control over possible hazards. For example, these can be used during camping trips and picnics at the neighborhood park.
Indeed, you should seriously consider buying one of these travel cribs even when you have a regular crib at home or when you don’t travel with your baby often! As a parent, it’s always good to be prepared where your baby’s safety is concerned.
7 Best Travel Cribs Reviews
In this section, we reviewed 7of the best travel cribs for you. What are these? Let’s see the list:
- Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages, Manor
- Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
- Munchkin Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet
- Babybjorn Travel Crib Light – Silver
- 4moms 2017 Model Breeze Playard – Grey
- KidCo P4012 PeaPodPlus Infant Travel Bed, Midnight
- Phil & Teds Traveller Crib, Black
Here are seven of the best travel-suitable cribs that I have found.
1. Graco Travel Lite Crib with Stages, Manor
The Graco Travel Lite Crib is arguably the best of the best travel cribs because these combine, portability, versatility, and durability, all of which parents looking for smart investments in baby things look for. With a weight of 19 pounds, it’s easy to carry with or without its carry bag; if traveling for long distances, keeping it in its carry bag makes sense. You can use it to keep your baby safe in a wide range of environments, such as road trips, park outings, and playdates.
Made of durable materials, it should last for several years, from your baby’s infanthood to his toddler years. Proper maintenance is a must, and its fabric parts are machine washable while its plastic parts can be wiped clean with a dry cloth. Be sure to avoid bleach and to remove sand from its surfaces before packing in its carry bag.
Most of all, it’s a versatile crib that comes with its own bassinet. You can adjust the bassinet to a safe and convenient height, a good feature during your baby’s infanthood. You can remove the bassinet when you’re baby’s older so it serves two purposes – as a travel crib and a portable Playard – which means that you’re getting better value for your money.
It’s easy to set up, too, so you can easily transfer it from one room to the next. You can place it in the living room, for example, so as to keep an eye on your baby while you’re doing kitchen chores. You may also place it beside your bed at night, a convenient arrangement since you don’t have far to walk to attend to your baby.
With its compact dimensions, space shouldn’t be an issue, too. With the wheels, it’s easy to lug around during travels as well.Pros to impress:
- Two-in-one practical use
- Easy to set up and transfer
- Attractive design suitable for all sexes
- Space-saving design
- With shade canopy
- Quite expensive
- Thin mattress pad
- No sheets included
2. Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
Compact dimensions, lightweight design, and sturdy materials – these are the qualities that make the Guava Family Lotus among the best travel cribs for babies. When folded up, it measures 23” x 12” x 8” and can be carried in its own backpack, a convenient design when you’re traveling with your baby and your hands are already full. When it’s open, it measures 42″ x 32″ x 25″ so it can fit into a corner if that’s the only space available, yet it’s still roomy enough to be your baby’s sleeping and playing area.
At just 11 pounds, it’s so easy to carry and transfer from one place to the next.
It’s also relatively easy to set up, especially as there’s no assembly involved. You have to snap it open and manipulate each leg until it’s stable, a process that requires more thinking than, say, the BabyBjorn travel crib with its swing-and-lock mechanism.
The crib has a side zipper door that either a child or an adult can crawl through easily. You can nurse or soothe your baby while you’re both inside the crib, crawl out when he’s asleep, and zip the door to keep him safe inside.
As for the foam mattress, it could be thicker and cushier where many adults are concerned. But emphasis should also be made that many childcare experts recommend thinner and firmer mattresses for babies for safety reasons; mattresses can be safety hazards, too, such as when a baby sinks too much into an extra-thick, soft and cushy foam mattress.
As for its build quality, the Lotus crib seems to be made of sturdy materials and designed with durability and stability in mind. It’s also made of non-toxic materials – no flame retardants, lead, formaldehyde, PVC, and heavy metals present.Pros to impress:
- Can be used nearly everywhere
- Easy to set up
- Made of safe materials
- Durable, stable and versatile
- Reasonable price
- Relatively thin mattress
- Folding can be a slight challenge
3. Munchkin Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet
The Munchkin Brica bassinet is included in this list of the best travel cribs because it provides the benefits of a travel crib yet it’s more compact and convenient in many ways. Weighing just 2.45 pounds, it’s so light an older child can carry it – without the baby in it obviously – and it’s small enough to be considered as carry-on luggage.
It’s easy to clean, too, with its polyester and cotton materials. Just remove the fabric from the frame and wash the former in the washing machine; the frame and sidewalls can be wiped clean with a dry cloth. Its mattress pad can also be cleaned quickly, a good feature when your baby’s prone to pee and poop accidents.
You can quickly set it up – no assembly involved –anywhere so it can be used nearly everywhere, too, such as the park, beach, and campgrounds, as well as when visiting family and friends. With its safe T-lock system, you won’t have to guess whether the bassinet’s sturdy frame is safely locked in place; there are four different points that will give an audible click when these are locked. After using, just press the release button, fold the bassinet, and carry it through its handle.
It can be folded flat for carrying and storage, too. But there’s a minor issue with the mattress staying completely flat even after several weeks of regular use, as well as its relatively thin thickness. You may add another layer of comforter or blanket for a cushier sleeping surface for your baby.
Also, the bassinet shouldn’t be used on an elevated surface; the floor is the safest place for it.Pros to impress:
- Easy to carry, set up and fold
- With safety lock system
- Machine-washable fabric
- Sturdy frame
- Non-toxic materials
- Mattress pad doesn’t lie completely flat
- Suitable only for infants up to three months
4. Babybjorn Travel Crib Light – Silver
The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light in silver is among the best travel cribs for toddlers because it’s just the right size. When folded, it’s similar to a large briefcase or a small suitcase, a sufficient size when you’re traveling with other bags; it only folds in half. When open, it has enough space for a toddler to play with a few of his toys; it seems more crowded, nonetheless, because its legs are slightly angled so the top opening appears smaller.
On the upside, it’s so easy to set up, thanks to its convenient mechanism. Just place the folded crib on the floor, swing open its frame, and lock it into place, a process that doesn’t require tools and takes only 15-20 seconds. Placing the mattress and fitted sheet into the open crib can be a little challenging but it’s doable.
Unlike many of the cribs here, the mattress on the BabyBjorncrib is thicker, softer and cushier – and your baby will likely sleep better on it. Plus, it lies completely flat on the floor instead of curving upwards at the edges or bulging at the center.
The BabyBjorn crib is also constructed of high-quality materials, as well as feels more durable and stable, thanks to its built-in rigid base. Even when your baby likes to move around while in it, the crib doesn’t look like it will fall apart or move slowly. Even the fabrics used feel sturdy aside from being easy to clean.
The materials used have been certified safe for babies, too, with its Oeko-tex certification. There are no flame retardants, lead, PVC, phthalates, formaldehyde, and heavy metals used in its manufacture, a plus point for parents.Pros to impress:
- Fast and easy setup and fold system
- Suitable for infants and toddlers
- Made of safe and strong materials
- Spacious size
- Quite expensive
- Maybe bulkier than expected for some parents
5. 4moms 2017 Model Breeze Playard – Grey
With its one-push open, one-pull close system, the 4moms Breeze Playard is the easiest travel crib to use in the market! To open it, push down on the central hub and the latches fall into place automatically. To fold it, pull on a small nylon strap on the bottom hub and the crib disassembles in a single smooth motion.
Its large size, however, can either be an asset or a liability depending on your needs. Yes, it takes up more room when opened than most of the pack-and-play cribs in this list and it’s more difficult to transport even when folded. But it’s a great choice for a fast-growing child, a crazy sleeper, or a playful child who needs more room for his in-crib activities.
The crib has four walls made of mesh, a great feature from both the parents’ and child’s point of view. You, the parent, can quickly see through the mesh walls from afar to check your baby’s safety and see what he’s up to. Your baby will like that the mesh walls promote air circulation and allow him to see through so he feels included in the family’s activities.
Plus, the player has an elevated design – it sits a few inches off the ground when opened. This is a great feature for temperature control in that it allows for good ventilation during hot weather and for good protection away from the cold floor. Besides, you don’t have to worry about using the players in an outdoor space where soil, rocks, and mud can mess it up and, more importantly, make your baby dirty.Pros to impress:
- Frustration-free setup and fold-down
- Complete package suitable for infants and older babies
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Mesh walls for optimum ventilation
- Larger size
- More challenging to transport due to heavier weight
- Takes up more room
6. KidCo P4012 PeaPodPlus Infant Travel Bed, Midnight
The KidCoPeaPod is among the best travel cribs for infants because it meets the brief for compact size, portable weight, and ease of use, as well as a reasonable price. Since it can be used by children from one to five years old, it’s also a good investment for parents who want to get the best value for their money. It isn’t just a travel crib, too, because it can also serve as a portable bed for a child, which makes it a truly versatile product.
This crib already comes fully assembled. Even its sleeping pad is already snapped to its underside so it’s basically an open-and-use travel crib.
It has anchor straps that keep the crib secured to the floor when used indoors and to the ground when used outdoors. You don’t want your baby’s crib slowly slipping away, especially if he’s a frisky child.
The crib also features a detachable sleeping pad, which can be easily removed and cleaned, as well as two extra-large front zipper panels for easy access to your child. An older child can use the zipper panels to get in and out of the crib, a convenient feature when you’re busy with other tasks.
It’s a great choice for short-distance and long-distance trips, too, since it can easily fit into your luggage. You can even declare it as carry-on luggage without a problem. Your baby will also be protected from the damp, cold and hard ground, thanks to the thick underside material and the sleeping pad.Pros to impress:
- Suitable for use until five years old
- Mesh design promotes proper airflow, sun protection, and insect shield
- Easy setup
- Available in several colors, too
- Sturdy design
- Only the manufacturer-provided sleeping bag can be used with it
- Difficult to use sheets
7. Phil & Teds Traveller Crib, Black
Parents consider the Phil & Teds Traveller Crib as one of the best infant travel cribs because of the versatility of its design. You can use it in two ways: first, as a travel crib and, second, as a crib for your home in case a smaller and lighter crib than your baby’s regular crib is needed. You can use it in indoor and outdoor environments, too, thanks to its clever design touches like mesh walls.
But it’s more complicated to set up than the other travel cribs on this list. While the setup process is fairly straightforward, you may have to spend 15 minutes or so on it. When the assembly’s complete, fortunately, the crib’s easier and faster to set up for subsequent uses.
In terms of its portability, this crib is so small and light that it can be carried virtually anywhere and stores in small spaces, such as in your car’s trunk. Thanks to its shoulder strap, it’s comfortable to carry around, too.
With its nylon material, it’s fairly strong and sturdy when maintained properly. It has a self-inflatable mattress and sheet that feels soft, cushy and comfortable to an adult’s touch so these must be so for a baby, too. Its mesh walls make it easy to see your baby when he’s in the crib, as well as promote good airflow necessary during hot and humid days.
Once it’s set up properly, the crib looks and feels stable enough that it won’t topple over even when your baby becomes frisky. Be sure to check the crib’s stability, however, before placing your baby in it for safety reasons.Pros to impress:
- With a side flap that allows for easy access
- Great as a crib and Playard for infants and toddlers
- Folds up small can be carried easily
- Strong materials and stable design
- Difficult initial setup
- Carry bag isn’t as durable as the crib
In a study conducted by the Directorate for Epidemiology, there were 156 crib-related deaths reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of which 17 involved portable cribs; the study was conducted for the period between January 1, 1997, and July 15, 2002. Indeed, the importance of choosing the best travel cribs for your babies cannot be overemphasized since the choice can mean the difference between safety and injury, even between life and death.
With dozens of choices in the market, parents will understandably have a difficult time making the right choice for their babies. But it isn’t enough reason to make a haphazard choice either! Here are my suggestions when buying the best travel crib for your precious baby.
Know the Types of Travel Cribs
Knowledge is power and it certainly applies to travel cribs. Despite the dozens of brands and models, travel cribs can be classified into two categories, namely:
- Full feature travel cribs usually include accessories, such as a removable bassinet, for the parents’ convenience. These are also typically larger so these can be used as players by older infants or a toddler, but with a larger size comes a heavier weight that makes them more challenging to transport.
Tip: While a removable bassinet is a nice extra, it can only be used until your baby is about 15 pounds or he learns to roll over. Avoid making your buying decision based on this feature alone, even if it looks cute.
- Basic travel cribs are usually minimalist in design and features. These are also smaller in size and lighter in weight for easier setup, transport, and storage. These are great for parents who often travel with their babies, whether they will be staying in a hotel room or a large camping tent.
Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each type of travel crib, and to make your choice based on your unique circumstances in it. You may, for example, choose a full feature crib because it provides your baby with a larger sleeping and playing area.
Check the Age Range
You have to consider your child’s age as well as the length of time you’re planning on letting him use it. If you want a crib that can last from infanthood until toddlerhood, then the Graco Travel Lite is the best choice. If you looking for a crib for short-term use, then I recommend the Munchkin Brica bassinet.
Consider Its Safety
The biggest factor in choosing a travel crib is its safety in terms of:
- The durability of the materials used, from the metal frame to the fabrics
- The stability and strength of its construction, especially when the crib has legs
- The safety features like locking mech
- anisms, straps, and anchors, and zippered doors through which a child can get in and out of the crib
- The types of materials used, particularly where the presence of possibly harmful chemicals are concerned.
Most manufacturers of travel cribs use fabrics, plastic, and metal parts that are free of toxic substances like formaldehyde, lead, PVC, phthalates, and heavy metals, to name a few. But if you’re unsure or the manufacturer doesn’t provide a description, you can look for third-party certifications, such as Oeko-Tex. While the certifications may come with a premium (i.e., higher price), parents are well-advised to choose it, if possible, because safety should be the topmost priority.
Check for Comfort
Babies deserve comfortable cribs so parents should check that the travel cribs have comfortable features. These usually include fairly thick, soft and cushy mattresses, mesh walls for good ventilation, and even a sunshade.
But it isn’t just your baby’s comfort that I’m talking about. You should also consider whether you will be comfortable carrying and setting it up! You must then check whether it’s easy to set up and to fold, easy to carry with its lightweight and carry handle, and easy on the eyes.
And finally, consider the price with an eye toward getting good value for your money. If you foresee an infrequent use of the crib, then a budget-friendly product is the better option but if your baby’s a frequent traveler, then go for the more expensive type with more features.
This list of the best travel cribs was made with parents like me in mind, one who wants high quality for a reasonable price. I chose these cribs because these were made by reputable manufacturers with trusted brands and products, as well as made with children’s safety as the foremost priority. I am hopeful that you, my fellow parents, will find the list useful when you’re browsing through dozens of choices, perhaps when you’re having a hard time making your choice.
No matter your choice from among these seven cribs, I guarantee that you will be satisfied with it! After all, we parents should look out for each other so that we can make better choices for our children.