Who says you should put your love for travelling on hold once you have a baby? With the right gear, travelling with a baby is not as daunting as it sounds.
One such gear is a travel crib. It gives the necessary confinement as that of a standard crib (keeping baby from rolling off if s/he is to sleep on your bed), it is lightweight and it is super portable.
There are many different brands and options in the market - some are newly released while some are already pioneers in the industry. Amongst all, there are 8 best travel cribs that we think you need to know about this year.
Best Travel Cribs Comparison Chart
We have categorized these top baby travel cribs according to what we think they are best at.
By no means we mean they can only be used as such - it's perfectly fine if you think otherwise but in general, they are as follow:
BEST TRAVEL CRIB FOR FLYING
Dimensions: 46 x 31 x 25.5 inches
Weight: 12 pounds
Dimensions: 44 x 32 x 25 inches
Weight: 13 pounds
BEST PORTABLE BED
Dimensions: 44 x 31.5 x 26 inches
Weight: 19.75 pounds
BEST TRAVEL CRIB WITH BASSINET
Dimensions: 41 x 34 x 22 inches
Weight: 14 pounds
Dimensions: 37.4 x 28 x 23.8 inches
Weight: 15.63 pounds
Dimensions: 40 x 31.5 x 28 inches
Weight: 23.3 pounds
BEST BUDGET TRAVEL CRIB
Dimensions: 40 x 30 x 28 inches
Weight: 20.8 pounds
BEST MINI TRAVEL CRIB
Dimensions: 31.4 x 22 x 5.4 inches
Weight: 13.5 pounds
Best Travel Cribs Reviews
Let's now look into each travel crib in detail.
A. Best Travel Crib for Flying
We've got two recommendations for you here.
These two are probably the two most top rated travel cribs in the market - they have been around for a long time, yet were never replaced by newer emergence/competition so you know they are quite the pioneer of the pack.
Both are often compared against each other, so much so that we were asked to do this comparison review to help parents who face the dilemma choose between the two.
Considered by many to be the best travel crib, the Lotus Travel Crib is hands down one of the best travel crib for flying.
A staple Amazon's Choice despite the many competition, it is lightweight, easy to pack and comes with a backpack carry bag.
You might say these are the minimum/ basic requirements of a good travel crib - yes, which is why these are not the standout features that set the Lotus apart from its competitors, but rather ...
The BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light is another contender in terms of the best travel crib for flying.
Also a constant Amazon's Choice, this travel crib is the bestselling product of the Swedish family-owned business that has expanded to 50 countries worldwide.
The BabyBjörn is very similar to the Lotus Travel Crib in many ways, from their design and appearance to their individual specs, which is why the two are often compared against each other. Nevertheless, parents love the BabyBjörn for its ...
B. Best Portable Bed
For the best portable bed, we have chosen this 3-in-1 Sleep & Go Portable Travel Crib from Micralite which may not be as popular as the above two, but nevertheless, is a top rated travel crib that has won numerous awards.
Converts from a newborn crib to infant bed and eventually a playard, this 3-in-1 travel crib is multifunctional no matter what 'stage' your baby is. Find out more ...
C. Best Travel Crib with Bassinet
For this category, we have found 3 excellent contenders.
Each has their own strengths and weaknesses so we cannot really choose one best out of them all but rest assured, there's bound to be one that suits those of you looking for a travel crib with bassinet.
There are travel cribs with bassinet like the Micralite Sleep & Go, then there is the Infans 2-in-1 Bassinet One Second Fold Travel Crib.
You can probably tell from its appearance that this is no average crib with bassinet. This one here - it can rock.
Yup, put your baby into it and you can gently rock the cot side by side to soothe your baby to sleep. Let's just say not many travel cribs can do that. Find out more ...
Another travel crib that rocks (excuse the pun) is the MiClassic 2-in-1 Bassinet One Second Fold Travel Crib, another bestseller in this category.
What's different, is that this one here is not height adjustable.
But wait, it is slightly bigger in size, meaning it has a longer usage span than the standard bassinet and it also comes with a carry bag for easy portability. Read more here ...
No travel crib review will be complete without one of these travel cribs with bassinet.
Yep, they are those multifunctional ones that come with a whole load of accessories that makes it more than a travel crib.
D. Best Budget Travel Crib
If all you want is just a very basic and cheap travel crib without any features or attachments, the Cosco Funsport Portable Baby Play Yard will be right up your alley.
Just under $50, this travel crib serves its purpose well.
Keeping things simple while preserving a high quality is what this travel playard is all about. Read more here...
E. Best Mini Travel Crib
With so many baby gears at home, they can take up a lot of space.
It makes sense that sometimes, you do need a baby crib that can fit easily anywhere in your home so that you can do your house chores and keep an eye on baby instead of just staying in the nursery all day long.
There are not many travel cribs that are of a smaller size and we admit it took us awhile to find one, but we've eventually came across the Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome and we can safely say that this is the best mini travel crib in the market. Find out why ...
Do you need a travel crib?
Now that you know what are some of the best travel cribs in the market, the question comes: do you really need one?
So people are saying you need a travel crib for when you travel overseas. But don't hotels provide them?
Yes, hotels generally do provide baby cribs upon request, but what if they don't have one?
Putting that aside, most parents would prefer to have their baby sleep in one that they can be absolutely certain of in terms of sturdiness and more importantly, hygiene quality.
And that, only comes from bringing your very own travel crib.
Even if you do not plan to travel often with your baby, a travel crib like this makes camping or picnic with your newborn possible.
Otherwise, you may have to put aside any outdoor activities until baby grows older.
Otherwise, and this is a common reason as to why people buy a travel crib, is the occasional sleepovers at grandparents' house. You don't want a take up a permanent spot there with a bulky baby crib, yet there has to be somewhere safe for baby to sleep, isn't it?
Also, the convertibility of travel cribs into playards is another attractive reason for parents to get one. It provides a safe place for babies to play at while you keep an eye on them as work on other house chores.
Sure, a baby swing/cradle or baby jumper are common alternatives parents use to achieve the same purpose but the former is limited to infants only while the latter does not cater to sleeping babies.
A travel crib is therefore the solution because it grows with your baby from infant to toddler, from sleeping to active. And they are mostly easy to set up and close down, not to mention light and compact to bring with you on your travels.
If any of the above applies to you, then yes, we do think you need a travel crib. It will make your life so much easier and convenient, we promise!
Types of Travel Cribs
If you have read through our travel crib reviews above, you probably would have noticed that they can be categorized into two types - Basic and Full Feature.
This type of travel crib is minimalist in that it has no add-ons/attachments whatsoever.
It is designed to be light and easy to pack for travelling purposes.
Lighter materials and simple structural design are employed to achieve this purpose so while it may not be as sturdy as the full featured ones, babies' safety is guaranteed as it has a lower height, so much so that the bottom almost sits on the floor.
This type of travel crib has additional features such as bassinets or changing pads, or both like this one here, attached to the main unit.
Its versatility means it is slightly bigger and heavier than the basic ones so some may think it is not as travel-friendly as the latter. The good thing is, you can use it at any stage of your baby since infant. It also has a slightly elevated bottom.
Pack n Play vs Playard
You will notice that words like 'pack n play', 'playard' or 'play yard' were used interchangeably in our travel crib reviews. What are their differences?
- Playard/ play yard is a safe and enclosed space that babies can play and sleep in. It is lightweight and portable to be moved around hence it is also known as a 'travel crib';
- Older generations may be more familiar with it being called a 'playpen', while younger parents often refer it as 'pack and plays'.
Regardless of the many different names, they are essentially all the same - a confined, portable space for babies to play and sleep in, so don't get confused!
What To Look For In A Travel Crib
It goes without saying that weight and ease of use are the two primary features a good travel crib should have. After all, it has to be lightweight and easy to use enough for portability reasons.
But apart from those two, the following components are worthy to note as well when it comes to choosing the best travel crib:
We recommend choosing a product that uses materials free of chemicals and flame-retardants.
From our research, the only travel cribs that do not contain flame retardants are the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and Guava Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard.
The former is Oeko-Tex certified which is the highest non-toxic certification you can get, but Guava's Lotus is also Green Guard Gold Certified (we are told that they are looking into Oeko-Tex certification soon).
Non toxic travel cribs are important to ensure that your baby is not exposed to harmful chemicals since they will be spending considerable time in the crib.
Also, non-toxic certification will ensure your travel crib does not emit an odor when it's freshly unpacked.
This is a no brainer - babies tend to get messy so make sure you find one that has detachable covers and removable mattress sheets.
At the end of the day, what's the best travel crib depends on what your primarily need it for.
For instance, if you need one for frequent travelling, a multipurpose one like the Baby Trend will not be suitable, even though by itself it is an excellent travel crib for people who buy it for their grandparents' house.
Likewise, one like the BabyBjorn, which many travellers swear by wouldn't be enough if it's going to be a permanent fixture at the grandparents' house.
So our advice is: think carefully how often and how you will using a travel crib first. It will make your decision-making a simpler and more straightforward process.
Whichever it is, rest assured that most travel cribs can be folded compactly to store away when it's not needed so it wouldn't take up valuable floor space.