Best Travel Cribs For Sleeping On The Go (2020 Guide)
As a hardworking mom, chances are, you probably need a nice vacation.
But, when you have a baby with you, things can get a bit difficult.
As you know, babies come with a lot of baggage—literally.
But one item I have to have with me on all overnight trips is a travel crib.
My baby’s sleep and comfort is very important to me, so not just any travel crib will do.
Here are a few of the best cribs I’ve come across that made traveling with a baby a breeze.
Why You Might Want A Portable Travel Crib
So, you might be thinking, “Why a travel crib? Why not just share a bed with your baby?”
Co-sleeping can be unsafe and isn’t always comfortable for everyone involved.
A travel crib ensures that your little one has his own “spot” to snuggle up in.
Most hotels offer a crib for a baby to use, but I had a problem with not knowing how clean or safe it was.
So for me, a travel crib was a must.
Travel cribs are also so easy and light weight to move around (and set up), we often brought it with us to outdoor festivities as well, just to ensure my son’s safety and to limit his mobility in crowded places.
Another benefit of a traveling crib is that is can be set up at a grandparent’s house. My mother baby sat my son 3 days a week and it was a much more affordable alternative to buying a wooden crib.
You may also want to consider a travel crib in case you want multiple options when it comes to controlling where your baby naps. A lot of times, I had a travel crib set up in my living room.
So, if my son started to get too tired or cranky (or simply was about to crash), I could quickly put him in his crib to get some R & R.
Finally, another benefit of a travel crib includes having a safe space to put an awake child when you have to be unavailable for a few moments.
Because I had one set up in my living room, I could take a quick shower as my son watched his favorite show while I couldn’t be with him. I knew he was safe, contained, and content.
All in all, travel cribs have lots of benefits and are great to have on hand for a number of reasons!
Important Features to Consider
Consider these features to help you decide what separates an average travel crib from an awesome one!
Ease of setting up. The whole point of a travel crib is to have something that is a snap to set up. You don’t want to waste lots of time fiddling with bars and straps, or anything else in order to get it standing and functional. Look for something that “pops” open or that has minimal pieces to assemble.
Lightweight. If you're going to travel around with it, you want a very lightweight crib that is able to become ultra-compact and is very simple to lift and carry from place to place.
Safe. Safety is always my biggest concern. You want a travel crib that received high safety reviews and is not a hazard to your child in any way when in it.
Carrying case. I like travel cribs that fold up with ease and can be popped in a carrying case. This allows you to sling it on your shoulder and go where you need to, hands free.
Support. A travel crib isn’t going to be exactly like a regular crib, but that certainly doesn’t mean you should settle for anything that doesn’t offer ample support. Be sure to get something that has a thick enough insert in the bottom that will ensure your child is going to sleep soundly, yet safely.
Comfort. Again, padding and softness is key. Your child will be less likely to settle and sleep in a crib that is too stiff or doesn’t give them a comfy and cozy feeling.
Cost. You don’t spend a fortune on a travel crib. There are many on the market that are safe and comfortable, yet that do not cost the actual price of a wooden, nursery crib (that defeats the whole point!).
Best Travel Cribs
My favorite travel crib has got to be this one from BabyBjorn (click here to check the price on Amazon).
This crib is great because of how light it is (only 11 pounds)—it’s by no means flimsy though!
When I used it, I had no problem carrying it around or setting it up for that matter.
I especially liked how it came with a plush mattress that fit perfectly on its base (which was very sturdy), so it left no gapes in the sides.
The crib did not wobble, no matter how hard my toddler son shook it!
We used this crib in a hotel for a night or two, and my son slept soundly. He was little when he was in it, so it was important to me that it was breathable and didn’t get too hot down in the basin.
The crib’s sides are made out of a net fabric panel, so I knew he was cool but also safe because I could see him with ease.
The mattress itself is also insulated, so he stayed warm in winter months when we used it (being right above the floor and all).
The BabyBjorn travel crib is priced right in line with the rest of the ones on my list, and we ended up keeping it at our in-law’s house for them to use, but we stole it away when we needed it.
Because it has a one fold design, moving it around or packing it up was never an issue!
Another great portable crib is this one from Lotus, which is priced right around the same (click here to check the price on Amazon) as the BabyBjorn.
This Lotus model sets up in less than 15 seconds, so it is very easy to move from room to room, or from indoors to outdoors.
I know a few people who have used this model and brought it with them to their child’s soccer games, out to picnics, or over to friends’ houses on playdates to be used as a play yard.
The crib comes with a soft mattress and also has a breathable, see through side design.
A zippered side door makes this crib stand out, so it’s easy to access your child, it allows older siblings to move in and out of the play yard with them, or it also allows you to lie with your child when it’s time to sleep (but more away from them without disrupting them).
For eco-conscious parents, the play yard/crib has been Greenguard Gold certified because it is safe and has been thoroughly tested for zero chemical emissions.
It actually is the only travel crib that has earned this certification.
So, you’ll be putting your baby in something that is safe and comfortable all around!
Priced a bit more affordably than the other options on my list (click here to check the price on Amazon), the Graco Travel Crib is designed to grow as your baby does.
A bit more sturdy than the other cribs (but also a bit heavier), it can hold an infant, all the way up to a toddler by removing the compartments within the crib.
It is also smaller than most other pack and plays from Graco’s line, so it doesn’t take up a lot of room and is more ideal to be used for travel.
The crib has a mobile attached to stimulate infants, and there is netting all around the sides to promote air flow and for visibility.
I also like how you can gradually turn it into a play yard when your baby is bigger and ready for more movement and space.
It does come with a mattress that is firm and comfortable, so you can ensure that your baby will sleep soundly whenever you travel.
This Graco Travel Crib is also easy to assemble and is one of the sturdier options on the market.
#4 phil&teds Travel Crib
UPDATE: It looks like Amazon is no longer offering this crib. In its place, we really like the UNiPlay Portable Playard.
Phil and Ted’s Portable Crib rounds out my list of the best portable travel cribs on the market.
It too has full mesh sides for breathability and visibility purposes.
It's light weight and ultra-thin (so thin that it can be folded up so it can fit in an overhead compartment of an airplane), and comes with a Therm-rest mattress, which is suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
I also like that it comes with a carry bag and sheet (most travel cribs do not come with linens).
It has a UV mesh top that also provides extra protection from the sun if using it outdoors.
In addition to all of its bells and whistles, it has earned a globally safe certified design award.
It pops up in moments, which is also nice in case you arrive at your destination late at night (and the last thing you want to do is bother with putting together a crib).
The side also unzips, so you can rub your baby’s back to get them to sleep, or allow them some freedom to access the play yard on their own once they hit the toddler stage.
A baby should enhance your life, not limit it.
Continue to travel and don’t fret about staying overnight anywhere.
These four awesome travel cribs will guarantee you are putting your baby’s safety and comfort first, no matter where you are!