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The 10 Best Portable Travel (Pack n Play Playard) Cribs

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Lea Kuscer Avatar
Lea Kuscer
10 September, 2020 • Updated 13 days ago
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Do you do a lot of traveling? Do you have a baby? You do? In that case, you need a Pack’n’Play travel crib. Seriously.

Pack’n’Play cribs are a relatively new development in the crib department, and I can’t recommend them enough. Portable baby cribs and mini cribs are great, but they’re still fairly heavy and can be a pain in the butt to travel with. The portable travel cribs provide your baby with a safe place to hang out and play, and they’re so compact it’s amazing. Some of the travel cribs even have built-in mobiles!

Of course, the size and quality of these cribs can vary greatly. That’s why we researched a dozen independent media outlets and hundreds of reviews and created this guide: to help navigate you through the process and make the best choice for your baby. Because being a parent is stressful enough without having to read a million reviews on Amazon.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

If you want a quick guide to the best play yards crib on the market, you’ve come to the right place.

Things to Consider

Pack’n’Play travel cribs are an excellent choice for families on the go who don’t have nearby relatives or who don’t want to leave their kids in the care of a babysitter. Here are some things to consider while you shop for the best travel cribs.

1. Size

Travel cribs vary in size more than regular cribs. That means that some smaller travel cribs may not be a comfortable fit for bigger babies.

2. Material

Regular cribs are almost always made out of wood. That’s not necessarily the case with travel cribs. Most of them will be made out of breathable mesh, but some might use other materials. One of the things to watch out for here is potential baby allergies.

3. Accesories

One of the points of the Pack’n’Play cribs is that they’re not just cribs but playpens. After all, a baby doesn’t have access to their whole home when they’re traveling. Some cribs will have mobiles or other included toys. Others will include a portable changing station and other fun features.

4. Weight

One of the big appeals of having a travel crib is that its light enough to carry around easily when the baby isn’t in it. Weight doesn’t matter too much for most standard cribs, but it’s pretty important to keep in mind for a Pack’n’Play.

5. Price

It pretty much goes without saying that you’ll get a nicer travel crib if you pay a little bit more for it. Of course, a bigger price tag doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better product. Price should never be the primary concern for any purchase.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Portable Travel (Pack n Play Playcard) Cribs


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.6
660+
660+
  • Breathable mesh
  • Lightweight design
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Breathable mesh
  • Lightweight design
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.8
3,335+
3335+
  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.5
145+
145+
  • Breathable mesh
  • Packs up for easy transport
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Breathable mesh
  • Packs up for easy transport
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.4
190+
190+
  • Breathable mesh
  • Thick and soft foam mattress
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • Breathable mesh
  • Thick and soft foam mattress
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.6
650+
650+
  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
BABYBJORN Travel Crib
Cozy travel crib.

BabyBjorn is known primarily for their baby slings and baby carriers, but they also make a competent travel crib.

4.6
660+
660+
  • Breathable mesh
  • Lightweight design
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

Best Portable Travel Baby Cribs Under $100

Graco Pack ‘n Play Portable Playard

Graco Pack 'n Play Portable Playard

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • Folds at the push of a button

If you are looking for quality, affordable Pack N Play Playard, Graco is the name to beat. Graco is the original designer of the new portable baby travel crib, and as such, they have a wide selection of great play yards.

The original Pack in Play, this particular model has a lot going for it, even if it is cheap. Breathing mesh sides are supported by a durable frame. The crib has two locking wheels that make it easy to transport, as well as two legs that provide added support when it is set up. The whole thing folds at the push of a button, and a handy carrying case is also included.

Honestly, even though this is among the cheapest and simplest models available, it’s easy to see why the Pack’n Play became so popular. The design is simple and intuitive, and the product is quite simply essential for the traveling parent(s) of young children. For many of you, this simple playard will be all you need.

Pros
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Lightweight
  • Durable frame
Cons
  • Not advisable to remove or add the mattress

Baby Joy Baby Playpen

Baby Joy Baby Playpen

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Thick and soft foam mattress
  • Folds at the push of a button

Throughout my childhood, my dad took me and the rest of the family on camping trips. Mainly we went to California and Nevada, although we went to Utah once and possibly Oregon. (Dad and I did camp in Oregon when I was an adult.) They didn’t have playards back then, but if they did, Dad probably would have had this one. 

If you are hiking, camping, or just having a picnic by the creek, the Baby Joy Baby Playpen is a great playard and crib. It packs up easily and folds into a little carry bag that’s easy to pick up and carry around, making it very convenient for a hike. It folds with the push of a button on the corners. 

Aesthetically, it resembles a little tent without the roof. Breathable mesh walls keep your baby safe, and there’s plenty of room for them to crawl around and play in. If you’re the sort of person who likes the outdoors, this is definitely a playard to consider.

Pros
  • Takes up little space
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Thin mattress

Best Portable Travel Baby Cribs Under $150

Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Sweet Wonder Play Yard

Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Sweet Wonder Play Yard

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • Includes changing station

My husband is not a big fan of Disney, and he doesn’t allow our daughter to have Disney merchandise. (I made an exception for Winnie the Pooh.) But as soon as he saw this, he loved it. There are two different versions of this very nice crib playard, although the differences are mainly aesthetic.

There is a Minnie Mouse theme and a Mickey Mouse theme. Both of them have a mini mobile, though they feature different characters. The color scheme is also different, and there are some different decorations. They’re otherwise the same. Like the last playard, this also has a bassinet for newborns, as well as a changing table that simply wipes clean.

It also has a little organizing pouch on the outside for parents to store their little one’s toys. It has two wheels, four legs, and the sides are made of breathable mesh. There isn’t a lot of difference between this playard and the last one. However, I like this one better just because the theme is so cute. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s not as easy to put away as the Graco models.

Pros
  • Takes up little space
  • Cute design
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Not possible to use fitted sheets on the mattress
  • Not sturdy enough

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Reversible Seat & Changer LX

Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Reversible Seat & Changer LX

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • Includes napper and changing station

This Pack ‘n Plat offers a very logical expansion to the original design and is only modestly more expensive. It has enough added features that for many parents it will be easily preferable.

There are three basic additions that set this playard crib apart from its predecessor. The first is a simple mobile to entertain your one one while they lay. The second is a reversible bassinet napper so tired baby can sleep easy. Finally, it has a built-in changing table, so you don’t have some gross, uncomfortable changing station in a nearby gas station.

There’s obviously a lot to like about this playard, but my favorite is the price. This is never going to replace your stationary crib at home, but its cheap enough that you’re not going to break the bank. Buy this. You won’t regret it.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Useful changer
  • Has wheels on one side
Cons
  • Difficult assembly
  • Cannot go through the doors once assembled

Skip Hop Portable Playard

Skip Hop Portable Playard

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • 2 mattresses; one for each mode
  • Folds up for travel

Like many of the others, the Skip Hop Portable Playard has airy mesh fabric sides and comes with a mattress. But instead of the changing station, this one has the 2 modes: a traveling crib and a playard.

While this is ideal for travel, it’s also convenient for when you’re working around the house. Using this, you can always keep your infant close at hand and in your line of sight, even while you’re running errands around the house. This is a great playard that you can convert into a traveling crib if your baby needs to rest.

It comes with 2 mattresses; a mattress pad and sheet for the crib and a wipe-clean mat for the playard. You can convert the crib into the playard by unzipping it and fold it when the play’s over into a traveling bag that comes with it.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • 2 modes
  • Big
Cons
  • Difficult assembly
  • The travel bag is quite big and not suitable for hikes
  • Cannot go through the doors once assembled

phil&teds Traveller Crib

phil&teds Traveller Crib

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Rolls up to the size of yoga mat

The convenient phil&teds Traveller Crib is one of the lightest cribs on this list. At only 6 pounds, it’s the perfect travel companion. You can fold into the size of a yoga mat and set up in minutes.

It comes with a self-inflating mattress over which you put the fitted sheet (also included.) The breathable mesh and the feet are made from Oeko-tex-certified polyester material.

You can even add shade mesh (that is sold separately) on this crib to protect your baby from the sun if you use it outdoors. Even though you can assemble it easily, it’s a bit difficult to disassemble it. Nonetheless, it’s a great playard crib for your little one.

Pros
  • Comes with mattress and sheet
  • Takes up little space
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Tips over easily

Best Portable Travel Baby Cribs Under $200

Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Bassinet for Twins

Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Bassinet for Twins

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Made for twins
  • Playard and bassinet

The Pack ‘n Play Playard with Bassinet for Twins just might be my favorite on the list. Why? Because I’m a twin and this one is specially designed for twins. The playard features a playard with breathable mesh and 2 removable quilted pad bassinets.

After they’re done napping in the bassinet, the crib is made from metal and plastic and is sturdy enough to handle your two six-month-olds playing in the playard area. The product includes a carrying bag so you can have it on the go.

I don’t want you to think that I’m product-pushing Graco because I’m not. I don’t work for Graco, and they haven’t paid for any endorsements. Simply put, their products are good enough that I can’t help but recommend them.

Pros
  • Comes with mattress
  • Takes up little space
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Standard pack n play sheets don’t fit the bassinets
  • The bassinets are in one piece

Best Portable Travel Baby Cribs Under $250

Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Lockable access door
  • Backpack carrying case

In some ways, the Lotus Travel Crib delivers a simple, portable playard experience. A true travel crib, this playard is layered with a soft foam mattress that offers toddlers a safe and comfortable place to lay down and sleep.

It is also large enough for babies to crawl around and play in while you are busy with other activities. It can zip up fully closed, so your little one can’t crawl away, but clear mesh keeps their air fresh and lets you keep one eye on them at all times.

Sometimes more is less, and the Lotus Travel Crib is a fine example of that. It lacks the accessories of some of the other playards, but it doesn’t lack in essentials, and that’s what makes it a good product.

Pros
  • Comes with mattress
  • Takes up little space
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Mattress has creases

Best Portable Travel Baby Cribs Under $300

BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Machine-washable material
  • Folds up in a carrying bag

BabyBjorn is known primarily for their baby slings and baby carriers, but they also make a competent travel crib. This travel crib is perfect for the living room, hotel room or anywhere else you have to travel.

It’s nearly four feet long, so it’s big enough for babies and toddlers alike. It has a completely open top and stands just two feet high. It is made of clear mesh and supported by metal poles, so you can always keep an eye on your child and make sure he’s safe.

This is a very nice travel crib, and it’s also lightweight, weighing only 13 pounds. If you can carry a screaming toddler up a flight of stairs, you can carry this to the car. It folds up into a simple travel suitcase, making it ideal for car rides to Grandma’s house.

Pros
  • Comes with the mattress
  • Takes up little space
  • Machine-washable
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • The base is touching the floor

4moms Breeze Plus Portable playard

4moms Breeze Plus Portable playard

Features

  • Breathable mesh
  • Packs up for easy transport
  • Very easy setup

4Moms is another company that specializes in selling high-end baby crib products for smart mothers (and fathers). The result is a large playard and bassinet that provides babies and toddlers with lots of room to grow and play.

Made from polyurethane with polyester mesh sides, this is a nice playard that lets you keep an eagle eye on your young ones while they frolic and play carefree. It is large enough to let your baby grow and durable enough to serve successive children.

Perhaps the best thing about this playard is how simple it is. You simply open the travel bag and unfold it, and it opens, ready to go. Apply pressure (when your kids aren’t in it), and it closes. It really is as simple as that.

This is not a cheap option. It is as expensive as many regular cribs, which is probably more than some families want or need. But if you can afford it, this is an excellent choice in a playard for your children.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Durable
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Conclusion

Well, that’s a wrap. I know there’s a lot of options here, and some of them look very similar to the others. Hopefully, this guide helped you make some sense out of all the confusion and find the right travel crib for your baby.

Whether you embraced the comfortable Lotus travel crib or opted to go high-tech with the Graco Oasis or Chicco Lullaby, you’ve made an excellent investment in your child.

Lea Kuscer Avatar
Written by
Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.