For most parents purchasing a baby crib is one of their first items. In addition to the other essentials such as clothing and bibs, your baby’s sleep is of the utmost importance. But what most a lot of newborns parents don’t consider is where their baby will sleep when staying at family or friends homes. In my travel crib review article I cover two of the most popular units currently for sale. I highly recommend the Baby Bjorn – but to be honest you can’t go wrong with either crib.
This is where a baby travel crib will come in very handy. They’re portable enough to fit into even a small hatchback car trunk, and assemble in a few minutes. Travel cribs provide a firm, safe sleeping environment that avoids the risk of suffocation and strangulation hazards. Additionally you can have peace of mind regarding the cleanliness of your crib mattress when staying in a hotel or vacation retreat. Let’s be honest, newborns can be quite messy!
Portable cribs can also provide the added benefit of a safe play area for your child when you are camping, out at the beach, or any environment which presents a potential hazard.
We’ll review five great picks, one of which is bound to be perfect for your needs. We’ll provide you with lots of important details about each model, with a mind to helping you comparison-shop. By doing the research for you, we’ll streamline the selection process. All of these styles are available at larger online retailers and all get rave reviews from real-life parents and guardians.
While a portable crib isn’t a necessity, if your budget allows we think they’re worth the extra expense.
5 out of 5 stars
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Our Top Rated Travel Crib in 2017
#1 – Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 2
My pick as the best travel crib on the market is the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 2. It’s extremely portable, constructed from a breathable ClearView mesh and the lightweight design means it can easily be moved by one person while assembled.
Setup takes less than 1 minute (plus another 1-2 minutes to close all the Velcro tabs) and requires no tools. Putting it all back into the case takes about 2-3 minutes.
The narrow diameter also means you can move the travel crib through doorways while assembled.
Parents can also have peace of mind knowing their child won’t be affected by harmful toxins contained in the mattress. The Lotus Everywhere Crib has been thoroughly tested for chemical emissions and is certified as GREEN-GUARD GOLD standard, making it the only travel crib in the world to have received this certification.
But don’t just take our word for it, with over 300 buyer reviews on Amazon the product speaks for itself.
#2 – Lotus Travel Crib
If you’re anything like me it’s difficult to choose between the Lotus Travel Crib and Baby Bjorn Travel Light. I could compare them side by side!
If you don’t feel the Baby Bjorn is the right choice for your baby another high quality travel crib worth considering the Lotus Portable Crib.
Just like the Baby Bjorn, Lotus have designed a stylish and subtle carry case.
While the Bjorn crib is set up to carry via two handles on top, (like a briefcase) the Lotus crib, has two options: like a briefcase or as a backpack. Having the backpack carry option is handy, although the material quality of the Baby Bjorn carry case is better. The fabric is noticeably thicker and I suspect may be more durable in the long run if you’re rough with your baby gear.
The setup design of both cribs is instinctive. Lotus have made it very simple to assemble, without using the owner’s manual. Assembly typically takes 15 seconds and packing away slightly longer.
I would rate the Baby Bjorn mattress pad slightly higher, it’s double the thickness of the Lotus mattress which I feel is important for your baby’s support while sleeping. There is a plush quilted sheet to make the Lotus mattress softer, but of course this adds to the purchase price. I personally prefer the plush mattress; however, I could also see why others would prefer the thinness of the Lotus mattress.
What I really like about the Baby Bjorn crib is how user-friendly setup and disassembly is along with the high quality materials used. I feel the higher price tag of the Baby Bjorn crib is fair given its higher quality.
#3 – Summer Infant Travel Bed
You’ll find it easier to keep your baby on a schedule when you add this affordable infant travel bed to your collection of baby gear! Designed to help your baby rest, the Summer Infant Travel Bed is perfect for naps and it’s also a great place to change a baby while you’re on the go. Now, let’s talk about the key pros of this design!
Since this comfy travel bed is a style which folds up into a handbag shape, complete with strap, and is very light in weight, it makes parent’s lives easier! When it’s not folded, it provides a secure space for an infant to doze, relax or get changed. It is an enclosed style which features a front panel when may be unzipped when it’s time to change the baby.
The side panels of this design are crafted from mesh, so the fabric breathes and allows for optimal airflow. Each infant bed comes with a little toy bar and a couple of adorable and safe baby toys. In terms of cons, some people found that it wasn’t padded enough on the bottom and others complained about the side panels being too flimsy.
This is definitely a reasonably-priced design, so it’s ideal for budget-conscious parents and guardians. However, despite its lower price tag, it does have most of the features that parents want and need. Above all, it’s a truly comfortable place for a baby to rest and it’s really easy to carry around. Setup will take just a few minutes and fold the travel bed takes mere minutes.
It has the dimensions, 19.5 x 13.5 x 5 inches.
#4 – KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed
Another great option is the KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed. This design is a mid-range model, so it will cost more than the infant travel bed that we described above. However, it does provide a high level of quality and this is worth paying for.
In terms of advantages, this respected model is crafted from durable polyester mesh which enhances air flow and protects babies from bugs. The design weighs three and half pounds and it may be folded into a small size which makes it easy to carry from place to place. Since it’s covered, it offers ultraviolet protection.
It also comes with anchoring straps which make it a stable choice for usage out of doors. This travel bed for infants has a sleeping pad and it offers simple assembly. When using the travel bed, unzip the unit’s front panel in order to gain easy access to your infant.
In terms of cons, it’s a fabulous design which gets very few complaints. However, it may be too pricey for those who want a budget model. As well, although this design may be set up within a few minutes, a few customers found that the process of folding it down to a portable size took longer. That being said, almost everyone loves this design.
Its size is 17.9 x 3.9 x 17.8 inches.
#5 – Kilofly Instant Pop Up Baby Travel Bed
This affordable best infant travel bed is also popular with Moms, Dads and caregivers. The design weighs 2.6 pounds, so it’s lightweight enough to be quite portable. As well, it features a host of advantages, including a detachable sleeping pad which may be attached to the base of the bed.
This travel bed protects infants from UV rays and it’s made from lead-free and non-toxic materials. Most people are able to get this design ready for their infants within minutes and they may gain access to their babies while they are inside these models in seconds, just by popping open a screen on the front.
In terms of cons, this is a cheaper model than the PeaPod design, so it may not have the same bells and whistles. Some customers found it a bit too flimsy for some applications and others had trouble with the fabric coming apart. Most were very happy with this model. It does have pegs which anchor it to the ground when it’s being used outside, which is a bonus, and it is fold-able. The PeaPod is one of the easier travel bed’s to assemble, usually taking about 2 minutes.
When it’s opened, this design has the dimensions: 38 x 24 x 20 inch.
Different Types of Travel Cribs
Baby Travel cribs typically come in two different configurations. ‘Full Feature’ or ‘Basic’
Full Feature Crib
Full feature cribs have a larger diameter than basic, or minimal cribs and their frames are sturdier. The larger size makes full-featured travel cribs perfect to let your young child play inside comfortably. Most models also have an elevated mattress base which makes them slightly warmer for baby when sleeping on hard floors or cooler homes. They also feature a removable bassinet in the leading models which can be a handy feature when moving your child. It is important to consider that your child will grow out of the bassinet after a few months once they reach 15-20 lbs.
The only downside to a full feature portable cot is their lack of portability. Between their weight and size, it can be difficult to move and assemble quickly. I purchased a portable crib which stays at grandparent place and it weighs 20 to 30 lbs, while it’s a comfy crib it is NOT easy to travel with. If portability is a major factor I would recommend that you consider a basic travel crib.
Basic travel cribs are cheaper and very transportable compared to full featured models. Typical weight is 10-15lbs which can pack into a bag the size of a backpack. The lightweight design makes assembly very easy, usually under a minute. Due to the basic design of these portable cribs they don’t usually include a bassinette. I’ve also found they construction materials aren’t as durable as full featured cribs although you can expect the product to last for at least a few years.
Ultimately, I feel like you can’t go wrong with either crib. They both have their pros and cons. If I could, I’d engineer a travel crib that had the sleek, luxe look and quality of the Baby Bjorn crib with the side zipper, carrying case, and folded dimensions of the GF crib. In the long run, I decided to go for the Baby Bjorn crib because I felt like it suited my family’s needs more.