Travel crib vs Pack ‘n Play

Baby in a travel crib sucking a pacifier

The ability to go anywhere with your child makes parenting more enjoyable. You get back some of the freedom you had before you became a dad or a mum. Having a travel crib comes in handy. With this travel crib vs pack n play review, I try to help you in your research so you can create a relaxing sleeping area for your child on the go.

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What are travel cribs and Pack ‘n Play, and why you should consider them

Travel cribs refer to portable cribs you can carry for your little one when you go on vacation, to grandma’s house, or for that family gathering with aunt Lucy. They are easy to pack and carry, comfortable for your little one, and often have a zipper on the size so you can play with your child. Although they are not meant to be used as playards, travel cribs can double as such. Travel cribs are suitable both for babies and toddlers.

Play ‘n Pack, on the other hand, are a little different from travel cribs. Besides having all the features that come with a travel crib, they often have a bassinet that you can use from infant to toddler years. The Pack ‘n Play bassinet is excellent because it keeps your little one higher when they are younger, and you can transfer them to the crib as they grow. Also, it doubles as a playard, which is an added advantage for you and your child. It comes with a mattress to keep your child comfortable throughout the night, and to ensure when you travel, your little champ won’t notice much difference from their crib at home. If your bedroom is smaller, you can also use this as your tot’s crib since it fits perfectly in smaller spaces.

Main features – similarities and differences between

Here I’ll show you some of three popular models’ features and how you can differentiate between them. These models are Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome, BABYBJORN Travel Crib, and Lotus Travel Crib.


If you’re considering buying a travel crib, your child would need to be of a certain age. These structures do not support older toddlers. Therefore, check the maximum age, height, and weight restrictions in case you have a toddler. But if you’ve got an infant, the three options in this review would serve you well. That means up to an age of three years or a maximum weight of 30 pounds for all options.

Ease of assembly

For them to get considered as travel options, these cribs need to be easy to set up or pack up, as the need arises. You also need easy to understand manuals or videos for first-time use. All three models can all be put together or taken apart in under a minute. This video shows how easy it is to assemble and disassemble a Graco travel crib.


If you’re ready to splurge, options like the BABYBJORN Travel Crib are worth considering. If you’re looking to make a budget purchase with multiple functionalities, then the Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX Playard would serve you well.


Travel cribs need to be light for easy portability. Therefore, look for options that are under 20 pounds as those will be easier to carry, even with your baby in tow. Both the Lotus Travel Crib and the BABYBJORN weigh less than 15 pounds. With the Graco Pack ‘n Play, carrying all included accessories makes it bulky at 39 pounds. However, you can opt to only take what you need, rather than the whole set.


Apart from being lightweight, a highlight that comes with travel cribs is their portability. All three models in this review can be packed up into small carry bags when you’re on the move. They even come with the carry bags included in the purchase.

Added features

Which features do you desire with your travel crib? Both the BABYBJORN and Lotus Travel Crib function as play areas and cribs. However, with the Graco Pack ‘n Play, you get a wheeled option with a portable newborn bassinet, a raised infant bassinet, and a travel crib suitable for toddlers and infants. If you prefer a bassinet to a travel crib, however, check my review that compares bassinets vs Pack ‘n Play.

Which one to choose?

Before making your purchase, consider the main purpose you would like the travel crib to serve. Is it a play area for a toddler, or do you need a portable bed for your newborn? It’s also worth noting that travel cribs aren’t strictly for parents going on trips. They can also function as your child’s crib, in case your living spaces are small. Once you know what you need it for, then you can proceed to check other features such as the prices, among other characteristics. If you are looking for a very good sleeping and playing area for your little one when you travel, the Graco Pack ‘n Play might be your best option. No wonder it got hundreds of reviews on Amazon.

Best hands-free portability – Lotus Travel Crib by Guava Family

Product information

  • Dimensions: 46x31x25.5 inches
  • Mattress: 23x41x1.4 inches
  • Weight: 13 pounds
Guava Lotus Travel Crib with Lightweight Backpack Design | Certified Baby Safe Portable Crib | Folding Play Yard with Comfy Mattress for Babies & Toddlers | Compact Baby Travel Bed

Why you should consider it

With a backpack that only measures 24x8x12 inches, you can have the Lotus Travel Crib with you whenever you head out. Once you reach your destination, assembling the crib doesn’t take any time. It comes with a collapsible frame that makes disassembling it fast. The support frames are lightweight aluminum with sturdy hinges. Transparent mesh fabric covers all four sides. It makes it easy for you to monitor your child, even from afar. The bottom also consists of the same mesh material. To ensure your child’s comfort, you get a high-quality foam padded mattress with your purchase. It comes with a waterproof cover for easy cleaning. That way, you don’t have to worry about any mess, especially those of a liquid kind soaking in. Parents can also rest easy knowing that the materials used for this option are all free from formaldehyde, cadmium, lead, phthalates, mercury, PVC, and arsenic. Even with the age limit, you can continue to use this travel crib with children not tall enough to climb out.

Who it’s best suited for

  • You can use it with newborns up to three-year-old children


  • Has a 3D aluminum support frame
  • Side zipper door for easy access
  • Comes with an airport-friendly carry bag
  • Easy to clean
  • The low profile makes it safe for any baby
  • It’s GreenGuard certified


  • Side zipper can be a bit too loud to close or open when your baby sleeps
View on Amazon

Most compact design – BABYBJORN Travel Crib

Product information

  • Dimensions: 44.1×25.2×32.3 inches
  • Mattress: 41.3×23.6×1.6 inches
  • Weight: 13.2 pounds
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light - Black (040280US), One size

Why you should consider it

You can use the BABYBJORN Travel Crib whenever you go out with your young one. It creates an ideal environment for your child to relax in, whether you’re indoors or outside. It’s lightweight, weighing only 13 pounds. When folded, you can transport it with the included carry bag. To assemble, start by removing the frame and setting up the four frame poles. Once done, unfold the mattress and place it inside. That’s all it takes to have somewhere for your child to relax. It has a low profile, meaning the crib mattress gets put on the ground level. Some parents do not prefer this design. However, it also serves as a safety feature since your child can’t fall out at any point, as would be the case with higher travel cribs. The fabrics are all easily removable whenever you need to give them a clean. The walls are all mesh fabric providing a well-aired environment for your young one. With it on the ground, there are no maximum weight restrictions.

Who it’s best suited for

  • For newborns and up to three-year-olds.


  • The mattress has a polyester cover
  • Made of toxin-free materials
  • Easy to set up
  • Suitable for rooms with minimal space
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a mattress and carry bag


  • Carry bag doesn’t have a hands-free backpack option
View on Amazon

Most versatile – Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX Playard

Product information

  • Dimensions: 28.5x27x37 inches
  • Mattress: 26×38 inches
  • Weight: 39 pounds
Graco Pack 'n Play Travel Dome LX Playard | Includes Portable Bassinet, Full-Size Infant Bassinet, and Diaper Changer, Leyton

Why you should consider it

To have a more functional travel crib, the Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX Playard comes with everything you might need. Unlike travel cribs, this option allows you to create different environments to suit your child as they grow from infancy. You can set it up in different ways, depending on your child’s age and the purpose you’d like it to serve. Your purchase includes a newborn bassinet, infant bassinet, and toddler Playard. All these are easily foldable for when you need to move around with them. The toddler Playard serves as the frame for the unit. It’s raised slightly off the ground and even has wheels. The sides are 35 inches high to keep your toddler safely inside. For newborns, unfold the newborn bassinet and attach it to the top side of the frame. The height allows you to get easy access to your young one. Your purchase also includes a diaper changer, which comes with an easy to clean surface. It also gets attached to the top of the frame to give you a raised diaper changing area. The infant bassinet creates an elevated space for your infant to relax.

Who it’s best suited for

  • It can grow with your child from infancy to about three years or a maximum weight of 30 pounds.


  • Comes with two bags for portability
  • No tools necessary for assembling
  • Easy to clean
  • It has wheels for easy transportation
  • Comes with a storage organizer
  • The bassinet is detachable and has a canopy


  • Bulky with all accessories included
View on Amazon

Final Word

Having a travel crib or Pack ‘n Play option means you can have a secure space for your child. You can use these at home, or whenever you go out. They function in the same way as cribs, with the added advantage of easy assembly and disassembly for convenient storage or portability.

For instance, you can easily set them up at places like parks whenever you’re on an outing. It also helps restrict your child’s movement. That makes monitoring their play or sleep sessions much more manageable. Their ease of assembly also makes them ideal for smaller spaces. You can always remove them whenever they’re not in use.

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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