Best Portable Baby Bed for Travel: 11 Best Travel Cribs for 2023 (Tried, Tested & Researched) + 1 to Avoid

Make travel with a baby or young kids easier with the best portable baby beds and baby travel cribs of 2023. This is a tried, tested, and researched list of the 12 best travel cribs to keep your little one safe and comfortable while away from home.

11 Best Portable Baby Bed & Baby Travel Bed in 2023 (Newborn to 3 Years Old)

Top 5 Picks

Best Overall Travel Crib & Best for Most Families
  • Pros:
    • Lightweight and compact, with its own easy to carry bag.
    • Easy to setup and takedown quickly.
    • Sturdy construction that sits well, without tipping or wobbling.
    • Comfy mattress that is comparable to the Guava Lotus and better than many other pack and play mattresses.
    • Breathable, with mesh fabric around the sides to allow airflow.
    • From a known brand with a strong history of safety and quality.
    • Machine washable, including the mattress cover.
    • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified textiles.
  • Pros:
    • Durable carry bag with heavy duty zippers and straps
    • Carrying case converts to a backpack, giving you another way to carry it when you're at the airport or transferring locations in country
    • Side zipper door is great for babies who fall asleep in their parents arms or strollers, and need easy access to be transferred to their travel crib without (hopefully) waking up
    • Comfy mattress for baby (a waterproof mattress, at that!) with low VOCs
    • Very lightweight, weighing in at only 15 pounds (including travel bag), and manageable for many adults to carry it
    • Extremely fast set-up, on par with the BabyBjorn travel crib
    • 360 degree mesh sides ensure excellent airflow, a huge plus in hot destinations
    • Free from harmful chemicals and materials, including no PVC, fire retardant chemicals, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, arsenic, mercury, or cadmium.
    • Greenguard Gold certified
    • Bassinet compatible, although it comes at an extra charge
    • Great resale value when you're done with it
    • No upper weight limit, given that it's a floor resting mattress
  • Pros:
    • Super lightweight, just 7.5 pounds when in "cot mode" stored in the the travel bag or 11.5 pounds for all modes
    • Polyurethane foam free, using a unique baby-safe air mattress
    • Easy to fit in a suitcase for travel, reducing stress of possible damage when checking your travel crib
    • Includes play pen and crib mode, as well as stand alone bassinet and bedside sleeper adaptation
    • Oekto-Tex certified fabric
    • Optional mosquito net
  • Pros:
    • Easy to open and close/collapse with only one hand needed to push open and take the down frame
    • Comes with a carry bag
    • Newborn attachment (bassinet) included in the Breeze Plus
    • Can use both the Breeze Go and Breeze Plus from birth with newborns and as baby grows
    • Included flip changer for quick diapering and clothing changes (Plus only)
    • Bassinet and changer are easy to attach and detach
    • Excellent quality materials and construction from a known and trusted brand
    • Fire retardant free
    • Mesh sides for adequate airflow and visibility
    • Modern and sleek looking, with neutral colors that will look good in any space
    • Lighter than most pack and plays (although not as light as a travel crib)
    • Super easy way to provide a safe space for your baby when you need to put them down for a bit
  • Pros:
    • Comes with a bassinet insert, unlike most travel cribs where you have to buy the bassinet as an extra purchase
    • Quality travel carrying case will stand up to abuse from airlines, and convenient when you want to store it away
    • Mattress sits on a fabric panel base, not on the floor like many travel cribs
    • Suitable from newborn to age two
    • Convenient pop-up system sets up in seconds
    • Incredibly sleek and compact, with a modern design that’s unobtrustive
    • New to the market, and meets latest safety standards
    • Bugaboo is a trusted and beloved brand
    • Strong sustainability goals and policies from Bugaboo
    • Mesh sides for increased airflow
Best Overall Travel Crib & Best for Most Families
Pros:
  • Lightweight and compact, with its own easy to carry bag.
  • Easy to setup and takedown quickly.
  • Sturdy construction that sits well, without tipping or wobbling.
  • Comfy mattress that is comparable to the Guava Lotus and better than many other pack and play mattresses.
  • Breathable, with mesh fabric around the sides to allow airflow.
  • From a known brand with a strong history of safety and quality.
  • Machine washable, including the mattress cover.
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified textiles.
Best Overall Travel Crib [Tie] and Best for Off the Beaten Track Travel
Pros:
  • Durable carry bag with heavy duty zippers and straps
  • Carrying case converts to a backpack, giving you another way to carry it when you're at the airport or transferring locations in country
  • Side zipper door is great for babies who fall asleep in their parents arms or strollers, and need easy access to be transferred to their travel crib without (hopefully) waking up
  • Comfy mattress for baby (a waterproof mattress, at that!) with low VOCs
  • Very lightweight, weighing in at only 15 pounds (including travel bag), and manageable for many adults to carry it
  • Extremely fast set-up, on par with the BabyBjorn travel crib
  • 360 degree mesh sides ensure excellent airflow, a huge plus in hot destinations
  • Free from harmful chemicals and materials, including no PVC, fire retardant chemicals, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, arsenic, mercury, or cadmium.
  • Greenguard Gold certified
  • Bassinet compatible, although it comes at an extra charge
  • Great resale value when you're done with it
  • No upper weight limit, given that it's a floor resting mattress
Lightest Travel Crib
Pros:
  • Super lightweight, just 7.5 pounds when in "cot mode" stored in the the travel bag or 11.5 pounds for all modes
  • Polyurethane foam free, using a unique baby-safe air mattress
  • Easy to fit in a suitcase for travel, reducing stress of possible damage when checking your travel crib
  • Includes play pen and crib mode, as well as stand alone bassinet and bedside sleeper adaptation
  • Oekto-Tex certified fabric
  • Optional mosquito net
Best for Trips Across Town and Road Trips
Pros:
  • Easy to open and close/collapse with only one hand needed to push open and take the down frame
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • Newborn attachment (bassinet) included in the Breeze Plus
  • Can use both the Breeze Go and Breeze Plus from birth with newborns and as baby grows
  • Included flip changer for quick diapering and clothing changes (Plus only)
  • Bassinet and changer are easy to attach and detach
  • Excellent quality materials and construction from a known and trusted brand
  • Fire retardant free
  • Mesh sides for adequate airflow and visibility
  • Modern and sleek looking, with neutral colors that will look good in any space
  • Lighter than most pack and plays (although not as light as a travel crib)
  • Super easy way to provide a safe space for your baby when you need to put them down for a bit
Best for Small Spaces
Pros:
  • Comes with a bassinet insert, unlike most travel cribs where you have to buy the bassinet as an extra purchase
  • Quality travel carrying case will stand up to abuse from airlines, and convenient when you want to store it away
  • Mattress sits on a fabric panel base, not on the floor like many travel cribs
  • Suitable from newborn to age two
  • Convenient pop-up system sets up in seconds
  • Incredibly sleek and compact, with a modern design that’s unobtrustive
  • New to the market, and meets latest safety standards
  • Bugaboo is a trusted and beloved brand
  • Strong sustainability goals and policies from Bugaboo
  • Mesh sides for increased airflow

What is a Lightweight Travel Crib or Travel Bassinet?

A lightweight travel crib or travel bassinet provides a safe, comfortable place for a child (newborn to age 2 or 3) to sleep while away from home.

The most basic of them are essentially a super lightweight and portable pack and play or bassinet. However, some also come with additional features, such as a bassinet insert for newborn babies, or a side panel that can be zipped open for easy access to little ones.

Some portable baby beds can also be used at home, in lieu of or as a bedside bassinet or bedside sleeper for the first year of life. Generally speaking, they’re well suited to families living in small spaces vs using a full crib, or for families who want a portable baby bed they can move around their home or take with them when they travel.

Different Types of Travel Cribs

Which travel crib you ultimately buy should be somewhat determined by the type of portable baby bed you need. Are you traveling across town or are you flying across the world? Do you plan to mostly transport it in your own car? Or will you be relying on planes, trains, automobiles or ships/boats?

For an all round lightweight travel crib, my top picks are the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and the Guava Lotus Crib – they’re ultra easy to set up and collapse again, and they pack up small enough and are light enough to actually travel with them.

Babybjorn travel crib light in a hotel room with a beautiful view of a European city out the window
Our Babybjorn Travel Crib light in a hotel room in Bergamo, Italy

If you’re planning to mostly stick local, and you simply want a portable baby bed that works for moving around your home, and then getting packed up in the car to go to the grandparents house or on a bit of a road trip, the BabyBjorn and the Lotus travel crib will work. However, I also really like the Bugaboo Stardust, Uppababy Remi, and the 4moms Breeze Go or Plus for this purpose, and they both have the added bonus of not having floor-sitting mattresses. Both are extremely easy to set up and pack away in the carry bag, and are very portable for this style of travel (in your own car), although less appropriate in my opinion if you’re flying somewhere, and even less so if you’re country-hopping or city-hopping.

Finally, there is the travel bassinet style of portable baby bed. The Bugaboo Stardust, Uppababy Remi, AeroMoov, Phil & Teds Traveller, and 4Moms Breeze Plus all come with a removable bassinet insert for newborns and young babies. The Guava Lotus has the option to purchase a travel bassinet attachment or insert.

Alternatively, you can purchase a purpose-built travel bassinet, such as the Chicco LullaGo, which works at home and when you’re away.

Why Buy a Portable Baby Bed or Baby Travel Crib?

I’ve travelled both with and without our own baby travel bed, and after both experiences, purchasing our own portable travel crib was well worth it when travelling with a baby or toddler under the age of two to three years old.

So why is it worth it to invest in your own travel crib or portable baby bed?

  • It offers a familiar sleeping environment for your little one, even when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. While I wish all kids were great travellers, in truth it comes down to a case-by-case (or kid-by-kid) basis. Anything parents or caregivers can do to make the unfamiliar more familiar when on the road or sleeping at a friend’s or family member’s house is likely to help everyone get a good night’s sleep. That includes familiar fitted sheets, their own crib (which they’ve slept in before), and the same sleep sack you use at home, plus any extras like the same white noise, if you use it.
  • It reduces first come, first serve stress at hotels and resorts. Most hotels have a first come, first serve policy when it comes to borrowing baby gear on vacation. While it may work out just fine, there’s always a chance you’ll show up at the hotel, only to find they don’t have a crib or pack n play for you to borrow. Additionally, having your own baby bed means you control how well it is maintained, cleaned, etc.
  • It lets you put baby to sleep immediately upon arrival. On trips when we have relied on borrowing a hotel crib, there have been times when we’ve arrived with an exhausted, screaming child only to have to wait 30 minutes to an hour before the hotel staff are able to get their baby bed to our hotel room. When we travelled with out own travel crib? Instant bedtime when we arrived.
  • It’s cheaper to have your own travel crib in some countries. This isn’t applicable to all hotels, resorts, or destinations (Switzerland…cough, cough…Liechtenstein), but we’ve visited some countries where it was standard to charge €30 per night to rent a baby bed from the hotel! For a 10 day trip, that would have added up to €300. Since we were traveling with our own baby travel bed, we skipped that cost and were able to re-sell our BabyBjorn travel crib after the trip for excellent re-sale value.
  • If offers more flexibility in terms of hotel vs holiday apartment rental. Since having a kid, we’ve found a holiday apartment rental often offers us more suitable amenities (a microwave, in particular) for longer stays than a hotel. The problem? Most holiday apartments don’t offer a suitable baby bed, and if they do, it’s impossible to know if it adheres to safety standards and proper maintenance. Bringing your own travel crib fixes that

Personal Experience & How We Chose The Best Travel Crib: Parent Tested Travel Cribs and Baby Travel Beds

Of the 12 best travel cribs I’ve chosen for this article, I’ve personally owned and tested 5 of them: the 4moms Breeze Go/Plus, Bugaboo Stardust, BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light, Guava Lotus Travel Crib, and the Phil & Teds Traveller travel cribs.

I have yet to personally try the KidCo PeaPod, AeroMoov Instant, Chicco Alfa Lite cot, Chicco LullaGo Bassinet, UppaBaby Remi, or Graco’s Pack ‘n Play® On The Go™ Playard. I included these recommendations solely based on my research.

12 Best Portable Baby Beds & Baby Travel Crib (Newborn to Age 3) + 1 to Avoid

BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light (Best Overall [Tie] & Best for Most Families)

Best Overall Travel Crib [Tie]
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light + Fitted Sheet Bundle Pack
$299.99
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03/24/2023 08:38 pm GMT

Ratings Based on Our Testing: Portability: 9 Ease of Use: 10 Mattress Pad: 9 Quality & Durability: 10 EcoFriendly & Non Toxic: 7 Washability & Cleaning: 10

My pick for the best overall travel crib, and the best travel crib for most families and most short trips, I’ve personally tested the BabyBjorn travel crib light on a 6 country European trip, as well as in my living room.

Babybjorn travel crib light in a hotel room
In a hotel room in Vienna, Austria.

Weighing only 11 pounds, the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is incredibly easy to set up and put away. It conveniently folds down into a high quality carry bag that’s easy to carry and fit in small spaces (such as on trains or in taxis), and is durable enough to withstand being transported as checked luggage.

The mesh sides allow ample airflow and 360-degree visibility of your child, and there’s no maximum weight limit given it’s a floor-sitting mattress. It also uses Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabrics, so you know your baby isn’t sleeping on a surface with harmful chemicals. It is also fire retardant free.

The BabyBjorn fabric is also very easy to wash, and dries faster than some other travel cribs I tested, including the Guava Lotus and the Bugaboo Stardust.

Deciding between the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light vs Guava Lotus Travel crib for the best portable crib for travel was an impossible choice, and in testing they largely held their own against each other across the different testing criteria.

In truth, they’re both excellent choices, and best suited to different types of trips. Based on my experience and testing, the BabyBjorn is best suited to most vacations, whereas the Lotus Travel Crib is better suited to really off the beaten path travel. Whereas the Lotus Travel crib will also do well on most vacations (a trip to a resort, a trip to Europe, etc), the Babybjorn wouldn’t do as well on off the beaten track trips, such as 3 months backpacking around SE Asia (the Lotus is a better choice for that style of travel due to the backpack system for the travel bag).

Both would be well suited for use at home and on short trips to visit family or friends as well.

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Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Playard (Best Overall [Tie] and Best for Off the Beaten Track Travel )

Best Overall Travel Crib [Tie] and Best for Off the Beaten Track Travel
Guava Lotus Travel Crib – Backpack Portable, Lightweight, Easy to Pack Play-Yard with Comfortable Mattress – Certified Baby Safe
$239.00
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03/24/2023 08:22 pm GMT

Ratings Based on Our Testing: Portability: 10 Ease of Use: 9 Mattress Pad: 9 Quality & Durability: 10 EcoFriendly & Non Toxic: 8 Washability & Cleaning: 9

Guava Family’s Lotus Travel Crib (aka the Everywhere Crib) is my other choice for best crib for traveling parents, whatever “travel” means to your family.

As with the BabyBjorn, it’s incredibly lightweight (15 pounds for the Lotus vs 13 pounds for the BabyBjorn) and fits well in its travel bag, although I will say I had to do a bit more wrestling to get it into it’s carrying case compared with the BabyBjorn.

A standout feature of the Guava Lotus is the convertible straps on the travel case. You can either carry it with a handle or convert it to a backpack with shoulder straps, which I found comfortable enough to wear even as a very short person (I’m 5 foot tall). This makes this travel crib well suited to off the beaten track travel or budget backpacking-style trips, where you may be opting for cheaper modes of transportation and need to carry it longer distances on your own.

Katie from GreenActiveFamily wearing the Lotus travel crib in backpack mode

Other features of the Guava Lotus that the BabyBjorn doesn’t have include an optional bassinet (sold separately), which is handy if you have a newborn, and a zip down side panel. The side panel offers easy access to a newborn for nursing or sliding into the crib when asleep (when not in bassinet mode), and offers older babies the freedom to come and go from the playard during the daytime if they’re at the crawling and exploring stage.

While the Guava Lotus doesn’t use Oeko-Tex certified fabrics, it is Greenguard Gold certified (a certification that means it’s low VOC, specifically) and is also free from fire retardant chemicals.

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Phil & Teds Traveller (Lightest Travel Crib)

Lightest Travel Crib
Phil & Teds Traveller Travel Crib 2021+
$279.99
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03/27/2023 05:44 pm GMT

Ratings Based on Our Testing: Portability: 10 Ease of Use: 7 Mattress Pad: 7 Quality & Durability: 8 EcoFriendly & Non Toxic: 9 Washability & Cleaning: 7

The Phil & Teds Traveller crib is the most compact and lightest weight travel crib I’ve used, and I’m generally a fan of it, with some caveats.

Phil & Teds travel crib on the patio of an airbnb in Greece with a beautiful view of the ocean in the background
Our Phil & Ted’s Traveller being tested on our trip to Greece

Being extremely lightweight is the outstanding feature on the Traveller crib. It weighs just 7.5 pounds when it’s in “cot mode” in its travel bag – significantly less than other lightweight travel cribs such as the Guava Lotus or the BabyBjorn travel cribs. Want to bring everything in the travel bag (cot and playpen mode, bassinet mode, and bedside sleeper mode)? It’s still only 11.5 pounds, including the bag.

When we traveled with our Phil & Teds Traveller crib (we tested it over a period of 6 months while traveling through 5 countries on 8 flights, 1 road trip, and in 3 Airbnbs and 2 hotels, as well as at home), we put it in our suitcase rather than carrying it separately.

With the different “modes,” the Traveller is also the most versatile of portable baby beds. It includes a standalone bassinet, an adapted bassinet that lets you use it as a bedside bassinet sleeper, a cot, and a playpen with side zipper door for older toddlers.

While the weight and the versatility are highlights of this product, it comes with a trade-off in terms of ease of use and mattress comfort. It sets up with a tent pole type system, so isn’t as fast to put together or take down as the others on this list. It also uses a self-inflatable mattress, which worked well for us when travelling with an under-1, but some parents feel it’s too firm for older babies/toddlers (our daughter always seemed to have a comfortable sleep on it for what it’s worth).

The Phil & Teds uses Oekto-Tex certified fabric, and doesn’t have a polyurethane foam mattress, which is quite unique among travel cribs and pack and plays. Unlike many of the other travel beds on this list, Phil & Teds makes an optional mosquito net available to purchase – great if you’re heading somewhere where malaria, zika, or dengue fever is a concern.

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4moms Breeze Go (Best for Trips Across Town and Road Trips)

Best for Trips Across Town and Road Trips
4moms Breeze GO Portable Travel Playard, for Baby, Infant, and Toddler, Easy One-Handed Setup
$239.99
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03/27/2023 10:25 pm GMT

Ratings Based on Our Testing: Portability: 6 Ease of Use: 10 Mattress Pad: 9 Quality & Durability: 10 EcoFriendly & Non Toxic: 7 Washability & Cleaning: 6

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light, Guava Lotus Travel Crib, and Phil & Teds Traveller are all well-suited to going on a proper vacation by airplane.

The 4moms Breeze Go isn’t particularly well-suited to a vacation requiring air travel, but it’s a great portable baby bed to use closer to home, moving around your own home or throwing it in your car for an interstate road trip or trip across town to visit friends or family.

The 4moms Breeze has two models: the Go and the Plus. The Go and Plus are built on the same sturdy frame, but the Go is simply a playard without accessories and add-ons, and the Plus comes with a bassinet and changing table attachment.

The big highlight of the 4moms Breeze is how easy the frame is to set up and take down. I can do both in seconds. It has mesh sides for airflow and visibility, is fairly lightweight (23 pounds) as far as proper pack and plays go (vs lightweight travel cribs) and fits well in the storage bag.

In my opinion, the extra weight for the Breeze (23 pounds) vs the Phil & Teds (7.5 pounds) or BabyBjorn (13 pounds) makes the Breeze less suitable for a vacation where you’re flying, or need to hop from city to city or country to country. The travel bag itself isn’t particularly durable or suited to being checked as luggage (my old Breeze was checked on a short flight to LA, and got quite ripped in transit).

However, as far as true pack and plays are concerned, it’s quite light and it is so so easy to use. I think this is a great portable crib for moving around your house or throwing in your car to visit a friend or family member on holiday, and it’s something you’ll use at home and on the road, making it great value.

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Bugaboo Stardust Travel Crib (Best for Small Spaces)

Best for Small Spaces
Bugaboo Stardust Playard - Portable Indoor and Outdoor - Foldable On The Go Play Yard
$339.00
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03/27/2023 10:19 pm GMT

Ratings Based on Our Testing: Portability: 7 Ease of Use: 10 Mattress Pad: 9 Quality & Durability: 10 EcoFriendly & Non Toxic: 8 Washability & Cleaning: 9

Another incredibly easy to open and fold pack and play, the Bugaboo Stardust has a narrower footprint than many travel cribs and pack and plays, making it a great option if you need to use it in a smaller space, such as small apartment, hotel room, or tiny house.

At 25″ wide, it’s the narrowest among my top choices for the best baby beds for travel by at least 5″. It’s also shorter at just 38.8″ long.

In addition to being incredibly easy to use and taking up a small footprint, the Bugaboo Stardust is sleek and looks great.

As with the 4moms Breeze, I don’t think the Bugaboo Stardust is particularly well suited as a baby travel bed for airplane travel, based on my testing and experience with it.

The travel bag is quite large, and the sum of the dimensions suggest it wouldn’t qualify as standard size luggage for most US carriers (note: airlines are often gracious with new parents with stuff like baby travel beds and other gear, but you’ll never know if that will be the case until you arrive at the airport and speak to a gate agent).

Dimensions of the bugaboo stardust in the carry case: 32.75" long x 25.25" tall by 5" deep

This is also a difficult travel bed to use for shorter parents. I am 5 foot tall, and can’t reach the playard floor when I bend over my Stardust. Further, the travel bag is challenging to carry due to my height, as it drags on the floor unless I hoist it up and keep my elbow bent, which isn’t comfortable for too long.

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KidCo PeaPod Prestige (Best for Camping)

KidCo PeaPod Prestige Outdoor Child Portable Travel Bed, Seafoam - Walmart.com
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Weighing in at just 2.6 pounds, KidCo’s PeaPod Prestige offers an alternative to a travel crib. Functioning more like a pop up tent, the Prestige is a new addition to KidCo’s PeaPod lineup of products, designed to offer your little one at little more space and head room.

KidCo markets the PeaPod as an indoor/outdoor baby bed, and as such it has some smart features that you might want to use when camping or using outdoors. For one, it’s fully enclosed, with the mesh sides allowing for the usual air flow and visibility, as well as keeping bugs out. The fabric also offers some UV protection.

There’s also a sun shade system, which you can roll up out of the way and lock in place with straps that close using a snap-like system using magnets.

On the plus side, however, it’s incredibly lightweight and fits in a suitcase while stored in it’s own storage bag. I also like how the mattress pad actually sits under the pod, so there’s no loose fabric inside the pod itself.

On the downside, the PeaPod isn’t designed for use with a newborn: KidCo lists the age range from 6 months to 4 years old (on their website) or 1 year to 4 years (on one of their videos about the product).

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AeroMoov Instant Travel Cot (Alternative #1)

AeroMoov Instant Travel Playard
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Another pop up style travel cot, the Aeromoov Instant opens instantly (as the name would suggest), similar to how the PeaPod opens. More importantly? It closes easily, too.

Weighing in at just around 5kg (~ 11 pounds), it’s not the absolute lightest, but the ease of use is high. It also comes with a bassinet mode, which zips in at a higher level for easier access to the youngest babies up to 6kg (13 pounds).

One thing I love about the AeroMoov is they sell optional accessories including a sun shade and mosquito net. Most pack and play manufacturers advise parents not to use third party accessories with their products, as they may not be safe. However, they then don’t make the accessories parents want, such as mosquito nets and sun shades. That’s not the case with AeroMoov, since they actually make and sell a number of practical accessories.

The AeroMoov also folds away into a travel case with shoulder strap, making it easy to transport. I unfortunately have yet to try this one myself, so I can’t comment on how easy it is to carry or transport.

Overall, the AeroMoov looks like an awesome travel crib, and I expect I’ll rate it quite highly when I have a chance to try it in person. As I haven’t personally tested it yet, it’s in my “alternatives” section for now.

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Chicco Alfa Light Lightweight Travel Crib (Alternative #2)

This is another travel crib I’ve yet to try myself, but would really like to test out, as it has some great features lacking on alternative products.

Most interestingly, the mattress pad on this crib has a removable, washable cover that comes with when you purchase it. This is lacking in most of the other products on the market, which means the mattresses can stain quite easily over time, and get generally pretty gross if you’re not diligent about cleaning your playard.

It also has a zip-open side, similar to the Phil & Teds and Guava Lotus.

In terms of portability, the travel bag on this crib looks quite lightweight, similar to the 4moms Breeze carrying bag. I’d hesitate to send it as checked luggage on an airplane without an additional, heavier duty bag to protect it from rips and punctures.

Weighing in at 13 pounds, it’s comparable to similar lightweight baby travel beds. Finally, it has Greenguard certification (Gold), which I always appreciate.

Chicco LullaGo Travel Bassinet (Alternative #4)

Chicco LullaGo Anywhere Portable Bassinet - Sandstone | Grey
$99.99
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03/27/2023 06:10 pm GMT

The Chicco LullaGo portable bassinet is a great option for the youngest babies, and is something you can use at home, and then take to go if you travel to a grandparent’s house or hotel. The carry bag seems too lightweight to use for checked luggage, and I’d suggest this product is best for mostly using at home, with occasional travel. Greenguard Gold certified.

Uppababy Remi (Alternative #5)

REMI Playard - Jake (Charcoal)
$349.99
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03/27/2023 06:05 pm GMT

Uppababy is one of the leaders in making non toxic baby gear, and the Remi is a great option if you’re looking for a non toxic play yard for home and travel.

Like the Phil & Teds Traveller, the Remi avoid polyurethane foam mattress with a foam-free air mattress that is washable and comes with an organic cotton cover. It’s also Greenguard Gold certified.

Included in the Remi is a zip-on bassinet, and the play yard also has a size zip door similar to the Phil & Teds and the Guava Family Lotus, making this a great option for all ages and stages (until they outgrow it and it’s time to stop using a pack and play).

In terms of portability and traveling with it, Uppababy sells a travel safebag for the Remi. If you buy and use the bag while traveling, Uppababy will cover any damage caused by the airlines while in transit via their TravelSafe program (you have to register your trip in advance).

At 20 pounds, it’s certainly not the lightest travel crib. And I wouldn’t take this with me on a round the world trip, or even country hopping through Europe. However, for a multi-use pack and play that you can use at home, and confidently check with an airline (via the Travel Safe program) on an occasional trip? I think it’s a great option!

Graco® Pack ‘n Play® On The Go™ Playard (Alternative #6)

Graco® Pack ‘n Play® On The Go™ Playard, Kaden
$79.97
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03/27/2023 05:55 pm GMT

Graco’s Pack ‘n Play® On The Go™ Playard is another solid option for using mostly at home, and taking on the occasional trip. Weighing just over 21 pounds, and with a carry bag that doesn’t appear to be heavy duty, I’d recommend this for road trips rather than airplane trips. However, the price is enticing, especially if you’re only taking 1 or 2 trips per year.

Which One Don’t I Recommend? The Dream on Me Travel Light Playard (Alternative #3)

At first glance, the Dream on Me Travel Light Playard looks like a more affordable version of the BabyBjorn travel crib. In fact, it looks pretty much the same to a casual observer, and it’d be quite easy to buy this product, thinking you’ve scored a deal.

Unfortunately, the Dream on Me Travel Light Playard isn’t intended for sleeping. It’s only meant to be used for play, making it an extra piece of luggage to take on your trip – and you still need to find somewhere safe for your baby to sleep.

In my view, parents are better off purchasing one product that can be used for play and sleep, which is why I don’t recommend the Dream on Me Travel Light as a travel crib (since…it isn’t actually a travel crib!).

Things to Consider When Shopping for Travel Cribs

Portability When Travelling

In theory, bringing your own portable baby bed or portable crib will make your life easier when you’re on vacation. In actuality, not all travel cribs are super convenient to transport.

Important criteria include the size and weight of the travel crib, whether if fits in carry-on luggage or standard-sized checked luggage, and how well designed the carry bag is for parents of different sizes and shapes.

My top pick for portability when traveling is the Guava Lotus travel crib, followed closely by the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light. The Phil & Teds Traveller scores better on portability than either the Guava Lotus or the BabyBjorn, so if you really need light and compact, consider the Phil & Teds. However, I prefer the Guava and BabyBjorn due to the fact that they score better overall on other criteria.

Ease of Use

Ease of use includes how easy it is to setup and fold down, how well it can be put away back into its carry bag.

My top picks for ease of use are the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and the 4Moms Breeze Go / Plus. The Bugaboo Stardust and Guava Lotus are both close followers – they are super easy to set up and tear down, but require a bit more wrestling to get back into the travel bag.

I think there are some others on my alternatives list that would likely score high on ease of use, based on my research. Namely, the PeaPod, AeroMoov, and Chicco Alfa all look quite easy to use. However, as I haven’t personally tried them I can’t confirm or offer a direct comparison to the 5 products I do have personal experience with.

I will, however, caution particularly short parents against getting the Stardust. I am 5-foot tall, and struggle to bend over my Stardust play yard and reach the play pen floor. I think it’s an excellent choice for average height and tall adults to use, but for us petite-in-height parents, it’s not the best choice based on my personal experience.

Mattress Comfort

Believe it or not, pack and play mattress pads are supposed to be firm, just as a baby’s crib mattress needs to be firm, especially during that first year. However, pack and play mattresses are firm and quite thin, leading some parents to wonder whether they can make their pack and play pad more comfortable.

Don’t do this! They are meant to be thin for safety, and you shouldn’t add any additional padding into the pack and play. You also shouldn’t replace the original mattress that comes from the manufacturer with a different one, and you should only use pack and play sheets meant for your model, sold by the same manufacturer (not normal crib sheets!).

Of my top 5 best travel cribs, all of them have fairly comparable mattresses in terms of comfort based on a side by side comparison, except for the Phil & Teds Traveller (which is firmer than the others, being an air mattress).

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light, Guava Family Lotus Crib, Bugaboo Stardust, and 4Moms Breeze Go / Plus all have fairly comparable mattresses from a comfort point of view.

Washability and Dry Time

Dry time is important with a travel crib or other portable baby bed, because it’s likely your only safe option for baby sleep when you’re in a different place. If your baby has a vomit explosion (as mine often did when traveling) or a diaper disaster, you might want to give the whole thing a wash, and give it time to dry, before the next nap.

I tested washing and dry time on some of the most popular travel cribs, and found the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light offers the shortest dry time when compared to the Guava Lotus and Bugaboo Stardust. All 3 washed well, but the BabyBjorn dried faster than the others I tested: important when it’s time to get baby back in the bed for nap time!

Non Toxic and Eco Friendly Travel Cribs

It’s always my preference to purchase baby gear that is free from harmful chemicals such as PFAS chemicals, fire retardants, VOCs from polyurethane foam, and others.

Some of the travel cribs I’ve included on this list fit the bill, and others don’t. When one of the baby beds listed has notable features in terms of being non-toxic or eco-friendlier, I’ve pointed it out in the description.

Of note, the BabyBjorn travel playard uses Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabrics, and the Lotus travel crib is Greenguard Gold certified. The Bugaboo Stardust follows the EU’s REACH standards, and Bugaboo has a well-thought out sustainability program and is doing important work in its push to become carbon neutral.

Both the Phil & Teds Traveller and the UppaBaby Remi avoid polyurethane foam mattresses by using baby-safe air mattresses.

Bed Size and Weight Limit / Age Range

Most play yards top out at a consistent weight limit, around 30 pounds. However, some of the floor-sitting mattresses (BabyBjorn, Guava, Phil & Teds) don’t have an upper weight limit.

In my personal experience, your child is likely to age out of using these portable baby beds before they hit the weight limit. They’re more likely to get too tall, or start trying to climb out of the crib, making it unsafe to use. Once your little one is consistently standing in their pack and play, you’ll need to pay close attention to ensure it’s still safe to use, and consult your user manual.

Travel Bed Safety Guidelines

  • Always check with your user manual and the manufacturer to ensure the pack and play is rated for sleep in the country you buy it in. I’ve done my best to ensure the information above is correct, but things can change, and you should check before letting your baby sleep in it.
  • When you purchase a new travel crib or portable bed for baby sleep, register the product with the manufacturer to ensure you’ll be notified if there are future recalls. While I don’t recommend purchasing used, if you do, check the recall list beforehand.
  • Follow all safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics while using a travel crib or portable bed for baby.
  • Consult your user manual or instruction manual for safety guidelines, including correct usage, when to discontinue use, and how to ensure safe use.
  • Set it up away from windows, loose cords (such as those used in hotels for blinds and curtains), electrical cords and tripping hazards, heat sources, etc.
  • Be sure you understand whether your model is safe for supervised sleep (i.e. during the daytime when an adult is awake) or overnight sleep (i.e. the adult is asleep).

FAQs

Is it necessary to have a travel crib?

No, it’s not necessary to have a separate travel crib, but it is necessary to ensure your baby has a safe, sleep-approved place to sleep for every sleep (naps and overnight). Travel cribs are a convenient way to ensure your baby has somewhere safe to sleep at night, without relying on hotels, many of which have first-come, first-serve policies when it comes to loaning out cribs, and which may have different safety standards than the United States.Phil and Teds Traveller Travel Crib in Greece

What features should I look for in a travel crib or travel bassinet?

Travel cribs should be lightweight and easily portable, as well as being easy to set up, take down, and put away in a carry bag for transport to your next destination. If you plan to check the travel crib in checked luggage, ensure the carry bag is durable enough to survive the trip. Katie from GreenActiveFamily wearing the Lotus travel crib in backpack mode

What is the best travel crib for newborns or a young baby?

The Guava Lotus is my pick for the best travel crib for newborns, given it comes with a bassinet option suitable for the youngest babies. The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is another excellent choice, although it doesn’t come with a bassinet option. Guava Lotus Travel Crib

What is the best travel crib for toddlers?

The Guava Lotus travel crib and the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light are the best travel cribs for toddlers. Babybjorn travel crib light in a hotel room with a beautiful view of a European city out the window

What should a baby sleep in while traveling?

A baby needs a safe sleep environment for every sleep, including a firm mattress, and its own place that is approved for overnight sleep. A travel crib or travel bassinet approved for overnight sleep is a suitable option for traveling families.

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