THE BEST TRAVEL CRIBS OF 2020

baby looking over travel crib

Post Summary: A comprehensive guide and review of the best travel cribs, whether you’re visiting the grandparents, flying across the world, or taking a long road trip.

The Best Travel Cribs of 2020

Making the decision to travel with your baby or toddler isn’t as easy as booking a flight and hotel and going for it. Babies require a lot of planning beforehand and getting all the right travel gear is paramount to ensuring a smooth trip. As a full-time travel family that spent a year traveling the US, we’ve had a lot of missteps in trying to find the best travel crib for our toddler. We scoured through pack n play reviews and tried out multiple brands in an effort to find the best fit for our wildling.

We made some mistakes along the way (like the time we tried to get him to sleep in a pop-up tent) but after a lot of trial and error, we finally figured out the best crib for travel.

We’ve started with our top picks along with a short guide to selecting a portable travel crib and how to choose the one that’s right for you. You can use the table of contents below to go straight to the travel crib reviews.

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*This post may contain affiliate links, which means we might earn a small commission if you purchase from them. This is at no extra cost to you.

TOP PICKS FOR BEST TRAVEL CRIB
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
Baby Bjorn
Graco Pack N Play

Travel Crib Vs Pack N Play

Have you done a search for the best travel crib and found yourself confused by all the different names? I’m not sure why the lingo has to be so confusing for these little contraptions that hold your sleeping babies. So, what is a pack n play vs a travel crib? Is a pack n play different than a travel pack n play?

Okay, technically, a pack n play is a branded playard from the company Graco. Similar to how Kleenex is a brand of tissues but it is now commonly used to refer to tissues rather than the brand, a pack n play has become synonymous with a playard. Which brings me to my next question. What’s a playard? And is it the same thing as a playpen? And is a playard also a travel crib? Is a travel crib a pack n play? AHHHHH. I’m going to break it down in the easiest way possible.

Playard– An enclosed area where a baby or toddler can safely play. Another word for a playard is a playpen. Many playards also have the option to be a safe place for the baby to sleep or nap, and are built to be a relatively portable baby bed.

Pack N Play – A branded playard from Graco that also includes a place for the baby to sleep. They are built to be portable.

Travel crib – Any kind of sleeping enclosure for a baby or toddler that is built to be lightweight and portable for easy travel.

For this article, we’re specifically looking at the best travel cribs so your baby can sleep safely while you’re not at home. Being able to safely play in them is just a bonus!

Choosing The Best Travel Cribs

When deciding on the best portable cribs for travel, there are a few key things to consider.

1. Lightweight – You’ll want a travel playard that is lightweight and easy to carry around, whether you’re toting it to the grandparent’s house or flying across the country.

2. Easy To Clean – Babies and toddlers are so messy that it’s nice to get a travel crib with removable covers that can easily be tossed into the washing machine.

3. Easy To Assemble – You’ll want a travel crib that you can easily put together in a matter of minutes.

4. Comfort – To get the best sleep for your child, you’ll want a travel crib that offers a cozy sleeping environment they can feel comfortable in.

5. Durability – Presumably, you can use this travel crib for three years or more if you have multiple children, so you’ll want something that’s made of strong durable material that can take the wear and tear of wild toddlers and continued travel use.

6. Safety – You’ll want to be sure that the travel crib you purchase is up to date with current safety standards for babies and toddlers.

7. Sizing – While there are standard sizes for travel cribs, you’ll want to check that each one fits the size and weight requirements of your baby or toddler.

8. Cost – While some travel cribs might seem cost-prohibitive, remember that it is a product that can be used for up to three years and even longer if you have more children. It’s worth it to invest in a high-quality travel crib that can stand the wear and tear from active children.

The Best Travel Cribs of 2020

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to choosing the best crib for travel. You can go down the google rabbit hole and spend days scouring through all the different travel crib reviews and still not land on a choice. The following choices have stood the test of time and are gold standards for being the best travel cribs for toddlers and babies.

Overall Best Travel Crib

Guava Lotus Travel Crib

Overall the best portable baby crib that’s perfect for anyone wanting a cross-section of features that make travel with a baby easier.

The Guava Lotus Travel Crib has thought of everything a parent could want. At thirteen pounds it is lightweight and easy to tote around with its backpack-style carrier. The backpack-style carrier may seem like a small thing, but it’s all the difference in the world when you want your hands free to corral young ones at the airport. The Guava Lotus Travel Crib is the top choice when looking for the best travel crib for flying. It has been specifically designed with airline travel in mind, so it can fit in the overhead bins of most commercial airlines. If you decide to check the travel crib, when it’s folded in the carrying bag, the mattress is wrapped around the frame of the crib to help protect it from overzealous airport handlers.

While it’s a great travel crib for flying, it has a slew of other features that make it stand out. Most notably, the zipper cut out door that makes it easier to get down on their level to soothe, play, or place them in for sleep time. Any parent who pulls a baby in and out of a crib will know the strain that has on the body. With the zipper opening, an infant can crawl and a toddler can walk out on their own. It also means you don’t have to fear your sleeping baby waking up when you place them down. With the opening, you can stay at their level and quietly zip it up when they fall asleep. Also, no need to worry about your toddler figuring out the zipper – the Guava travel crib is designed so it only zips from the outside.

Like many travel cribs, it comes with a mattress, but the sheets are bought separately.

The one thing that people don’t like about the Lotus Travel Crib is that the mattress sits on the ground rather than on an elevated base. It can make putting in a baby from above more difficult since you have to reach further down.

That being said, the Guava Travel Crib is still the best portable crib for its array of features and ease of transport.

Product Specs
-13 pounds
-Comes with a carry bag with optional backpack straps
-Non-toxic materials (The only playard with GreenGuard Gold non-toxic certification)
-No PVC, Lead, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Heavy Metals (Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury).
-Mesh fabric is removable and machine washable
-46 x 31 x 25.5 inches

Pros: Lightweight, easy to transport, zipper front opening
Cons: Higher price point


Lightest Travel Crib

Babybjorn Travel Crib Light

Best for anyone who travels a lot and is looking for easy portability and the lightest travel crib available.

The Babybjorn Travel Crib is a highly rated travel crib that is effortless in its simplicity and design. A well-made travel crib by popular baby brand Babybjorn, this 13-pound portable crib stands out as a premier lightweight travel crib. The crib is put up with one simple move, making it perfect for anyone looking for a no-fuss travel crib. It comes with a travel bag that can not be stowed in the overhead bin for most commercial airlines but can be packed into a checked luggage bag. The crib comes with a soft mattress, but the baby bjorn travel crib sheet is sold separately.

The Babybjorn Travel Crib is also great for anyone looking for a simple looking travel crib that won’t be an eyesore in your house with bright colors and typical baby patterns. True to its Swedish roots, the travel crib comes in a few colors and is simple and clean in its design.

The fabric frame and mattress can be taken out and machine washed, making it an easy clean for everyone.

The Guava Lotus and Babybjorn are head to head for being great travel cribs with excellent features, but the general consensus is that the Babybjorn Travel Crib mattress is more comfortable than the Lotus Travel Crib.

Babybjorn is the clear winner for the family who travels a lot and wants to invest in a well made, lightweight travel crib.

Product Specs
-13 Pounds
-Comes with carrying pouch for ease of transportation
-All materials can be taken off and are machine washable
-Non-toxic materials (Oeko-Tex Standard)
-Soft, breathable mesh fabric
-82 x 112 x 64 cm

Pros: Lightweight, easy to put up, simple clean aesthetic, comfortable mattress
Cons: Higher price point


Best Pack N Play For Travel

Graco Pack and Play Portable Playard

pack n play travel crib

Best for road trip travel and for anyone looking for an affordable, no-frills travel pack n play.

The Graco Pack N Play Portable Playard is the tried and true playard for parents everywhere. Can you call yourself a parent if you haven’t spent some time struggling over a heavy and cumbersome pack n play? I’ll be honest the pack n play isn’t the most lightweight of the playards and while it’s not difficult to put together it’s not as simple as other travel cribs, and yet it remains a top-rated pack n play. Why? It’s super affordable. When you’re a parent and you’re faced with having to buy all the stuff (high chair, crib, stroller, car seat) sometimes you just can’t bear to buy ONE MORE expensive kid item. I get it. If that’s how you’re feeling, then spare yourself the expensive travel cribs and get yourself a pack n play.

It’s actually the one we use on our travels and have flown across the country with it many times over. Ours has been assembled and disassembled well over 200 times. It’s sturdy, durable, and gets the job done. While I would recommend it first for travel done in a car (road trips, camping, visiting the grandparents) it can be used for airline travel.

Our son never had trouble sleeping in his pack n play, but the sleeping pad that’s supplied is very thin and might not work for kids who are sensitive sleepers. If a toddler is sleeping in it, it’s recommended that you purchase a separate pack and play mattress to go with it.

Overall, it’s heavier than higher-end travel cribs but a solid choice for anyone not wanting to dish out a lot of money for a portable crib.

*This travel crib doesn’t come with a detachable bassinet and changing table for newborns and infants. If you want something you can use from birth on you’ll want to purchase the Pack N Play Travel Dome Playard that comes with an infant bassinet that can be taken off once they’re too big for it.

Product Specs
-20 Pounds
-Mesh on all sides provides ventilati0n
-Comes with carrying pouch for ease of transportation
-40.00 x 28.50 x 29.00 inches
-Wheels for ease of transport from spot to spot
-Push-button allows for easy disassemble
-Folding feet and wheels
-Spot clean with soap and water

Pros: Great price point
Cons: Heavier than most travel cribs


Best Luxury Travel Crib

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib

travel crib for toddlers

Best for anyone wanting a high-end travel crib.

Nuna has long established itself as a provider of well-made baby gear at a premium price. The Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib is a well made high-end travel crib that’s easy to put up and can be assembled in a matter of minutes. Although, if you have carpet, the crib may be a little harder to disassemble due to the friction between the legs and the carpet.

It’s clean, monochromatic design makes it a great choice for anyone wanting to retain a simple aesthetic with their baby products. It does come with an integrated bassinet so the travel crib can be used with a newborn baby, which may help to justify the higher price.

It’s eight leg design allows for greater stability and durability so you know the crib will last for a while. At 22 pounds, it’s a heavier travel crib than most, so it’s a better option for road trips or as an alternative crib that lives at the grandparent’s house.

Unlike most travel cribs for infants, the Nuna Sena Travel Crib comes with an organic fitted sheet.

Product Specs
-22 pounds
-Non-toxic chemicals (Greenguard Gold certification)
-30.7″ x 41.3″ x 29.5″
-Water resistant
-Comes with carrying pouch for ease of transport
-Spot clean with soap and water

Pros: Comes with an organic sheet, removable bassinet, sturdy design, clean aesthetic
Cons: High price point


Travel Crib For Toddler

Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard

Best for anyone looking for a bigger than standard travel crib.

The Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard is 50% bigger than traditional playards making it a great travel crib for toddlers who are taller or if you need the space for twins or two babies. It’s also a better choice if you have a more rambunctious toddler who needs room to move around and settle before they fall asleep. At 29 pounds it’s not exactly “lightweight” but it can be a good option if you’re traveling by car. It does come with a carrying bag for ease of transportation.

Unlike most portable baby cribs, the Joovy Travel Crib comes with a 100% cotton fitted sheet.

Overall, this is a great travel toddler crib because of its roomy size and mid-range price point.

Product Specs
-29.6 pounds
-Comes with a carrying pouch for ease of transport
-Mesh on all sides provides ventilation
-39.8 x 31 x 39.8 inches
-Spot clean with soap and water

Pros: 50% bigger than standard travel cribs
Cons: Heavy


Best Travel Bed For Baby

Kidco Peapod Plus Infant Travel Bed

Best for anyone who wants to travel extremely light and has a no-fuss baby that sleeps anywhere.

Remember how I mentioned that tent I tried to get my toddler to sleep in…yeah it’s this one. Even though it was a grand failure for us, I still believe it’s a great product for the right family and the right baby. At 3.5 pounds, the Kidco Peapod Plus Travel Bed is the lightest travel crib you can get and the best portable baby crib for an even-tempered baby that is happy to sleep anywhere. Have I mentioned I’m jealous?

It’s a breeze to assemble and disassemble and comes with a carrying pouch that is small enough to fit in your carry on luggage or as a stand-alone carry on bag. It has UV protection along with anchor straps for use outdoors. The zipper is on both sides, so yes it can be opened from the inside.

The pop-up tent is safe to sleep in for children ages 1-5 and is ideal for camping, days out at the beach, or for naptime at someone else’s house. We used it as regular sleeping space when we first hit the road for our year of travel, and it worked for about two weeks before our two year old made it clear he needed something else to sleep in. Lesson being – it’s great for a few days, but not ideal for a long trip.

One downside is that we did find that our son got hot in the tent, so you’ll want to dress them in less clothing and keep the room cooler with A.C or a portable fan.

Overall, a great option if you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to tote around.

*If you like this product, but want something suitable for a young baby, you can try out the Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet. At 2.45 pounds, it offers the same ease of transport you would want in a traveling baby bed.

Product Specs
-3.65 Pounds
-52.5 x 34 x 22 inches
-Comes with carrying pouch for ease of transport
-Spot treat with soap and water
-Lightweight mesh allows for airflow

Pros: Lightweight and easy to transport
Cons: Toddler can’t stand up in it, a toddler can learn to zip it open and get out, can get hot in the tent


That’s our round-up of the best travel cribs around. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Always happy to help a fellow parent wade through the confusing world of baby products.

Happy traveling!

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baby peering over portable travel bed

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