We spent 65 hours researching and testing more than 15 different types of travel cribs and found that sturdiness, ease of set up and take down and portability were the most important factors for consumers who were shopping for travel cribs. Lotus Travel Crib scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. This convenient, portable travel crib provides parents with everything they need to for their baby to sleep and play safely when they are traveling. Set up is super easy and can be done in 15 seconds which is great for when the baby is tired and ready for a nap. The mesh sides allow plenty of visibility and airflow to keep your baby comfortable.
Travel Crib Comparison
|42.00 x 32.00 x 25.00||32.00 x 44.00 x 24.00||34.00 x 22.00 x 24.50||40.00 x 28.50 x 29.00||15.70 x 6.10 x 17.20||23.20 x 33.50 x 32.20||30.00 x 18.5 x 10.00||44.50 x 31.00 x 26.00||9.50 x 10.00 x 37.00||37.40 x 23.80 x 28.00|
|Material||Soft Mesh||100% Polyester||Textile||Mesh||100% Polyester||100% Polyester||Polyester||600D Nylon||600D Nylon||Mesh|
Travel Crib Buying Guide
There are many different factors that you need to consider when it comes to finding the right travel crib for your specific needs. Start off by determining what those needs are. Knowing what your needs are will help prevent you from purchasing the wrong item and then having to go through the hassle of returning it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start shopping around:
How often do you travel? – If you travel a lot or you’re away from home on a regular basis you need a lightweight, easy to set up and take down travel crib that does not require a lot of effort to bring with you. There are many different types of travel cribs on the market so finding several choices that are lightweight and easy to assemble will not be too difficult at all.
Are you just looking for a bed? – Do you want a travel crib that is just a place for your baby to sleep or do you want to find one that has a little extra space that allows the baby to play in there safely as well? Some travel cribs are small enough to lay the baby down in but that is about it. Others have more space and can accommodate the baby sitting and even standing up along with a toy or two.
Budget – Budget is always a good thing to consider because travel cribs are available in many different price ranges. Set your budget and then look at your options that are available in that price range.
Age and Weight – How old is your baby? How much do they weigh? These are two important pieces of information to have before you start looking around. Travel cribs have different weight ranges so it is important to find the right one that will accommodate your baby now and in the future as well.
Portability – How often will you be moving the travel crib? Are you looking for something that can be moved every day to grandma’s or the sitter’s house? Do you travel a lot and need something easy to bring with you in the car or at the airport? Are you limited on space and need something that can be folded up and put into a carry bag? How often you need your travel crib will determine which type is the best for your needs.
How to Choose the Right Travel Crib
There are three different methods that you can use to choose your travel crib. We’ve outlined these methods below.
1. Pick a travel crib based on your budget – Money is often a consideration when it comes to purchasing an item and a travel crib is no different. If you do not have a budget in mind then all of the choices are open to you, but if money is tight or you only have a certain amount to spend, you will need to look at the prices of the travel cribs first and go from there. There is some quality; less expensive models on the market to choose from so don’t think that just because you have a budget you have to settle for a low quality travel crib. You may have to compromise on a few things you’d love to have, but overall you can take your price range and put that into your search and eliminate all the cribs that fall outside of that range.
2. Pick a travel crib based on your child’s age – If you do not have a newborn and you are not going to have any more children it is not really necessary to choose a travel crib that will accommodate a large age range. If you have a toddler and do not worry that you’re little one will get up and roam around at night you could get a toddler travel bed instead. If you have a newborn and will be having more children in the future you would make better use of your money if you chose a high quality travel crib that works for a variety of age ranges and weights.
3. Pick a travel crib based on your needs – This is probably the best method for most to do considering the importance of choosing a travel crib that will provide what you need. If you are a frequent traveler, portability is a must. If you are looking for a travel crib that will be permanently at grandma’s house for when you visit, portability isn’t as important as comfort and ease of use since it may be used as a playpen as well. Think about exactly what you need and what makes traveling easier with your baby in terms of a crib and make your decision based on those factors.
Types of Travel Cribs
There are many different kinds of travel cribs on the market from travel cots to portable cribs to travel cribs that double as playpens. Personal preference is largely responsible for the type of travel crib that you choose.
The two main types of travel cribs are:
Portable travel crib – This type often looks like a playpen in shape and provides more protection for your baby once they wake up and want to see what’s going on around them. They are larger than the other type of travel crib and they can weigh more as well but definitely provide a comfortable place to sleep as well as a place to put baby down for a while where they can play and be safe.
Cocoon travel bed – This type of travel crib is more like a travel bed only and is very compact and easy to carry. They are strictly for laying the baby down to sleep and do not offer a play place. Once the baby wakes up they will need to be removed from the cocoon style travel crib and put into a play yard or playpen.
Features to Consider when Purchasing a Travel Crib
Once you are ready to start looking around for a travel crib there are several things you’re going to want to look for when it comes to features. We have listed these features below so you are prepared once you start shopping.
Size of the travel crib – What size is the travel crib you are considering? Size is always an important factor when it comes to these baby items because you want to have enough room for them baby to sleep comfortably and play when they are awake but you don’t want to have to lug around a super heavy bulky portable crib either. Look for styles that fold well and have carry bags that make transport much easier.
What is the recommended age/weight range? – Look at the description of the travel crib to find out what the recommended age and weight range is. It is always better to have more room than it is to push the limits of a travel crib and get one that is just barely big enough to fit your child. It is much safer too. Some travel cribs are just designed for newborns while others will work well for babies as well as toddlers.
Ease of Use – No one wants to deal with a travel crib that is difficult to set up and take down. If you’re looking for a travel crib that is for frequent traveling you will want to find the right one that is super easy to move around so you are not battling it all the time. It is a good idea to practice setting up and taking down the travel crib at home before you travel with it so you don’t have to fight it when you are on the road.
Comfort – Travel cribs don’t have to be like many hotel beds; uncomfortable and impossible to sleep well on. Some travel cribs come with super comfortable mattresses that your baby can sleep peacefully on. Some have thinner mattresses that are fine for playing and for the occasional short nap but if you’ll be using the crib for bedtime sleeping, look for the models that offer the most comfortable mattresses to ensure your little one can get a good night’s sleep on it. Other comfort related things include ventilation and airflow. No baby wants to be inside a stuffy, closed off travel crib. Look for models that have mesh sides for plenty of ventilation. Another benefit to these mesh sides is that you can see your baby at all times and they can see you as well. This will provide peace of mind for both of you.
Safety – One of the biggest considerations that need to be thought about is safety. You do not want to choose a travel crib that is unsafe or on a recall list. Check these recall sites often for updates and new releases and take them seriously. If a travel crib or any baby item you have shown up on a recall list, do whatever they are telling you to do in the recall alert. Some travel cribs are going to be safer than others. If you’re using a travel crib for a toddler, keep in mind they will often climb out on their own. The entire travel crib falling over with them on the edge is not a scenario any parent wants to see. Look at how the travel crib looks once it is set up and scan it for any potentially dangerous issues that may need to be addressed.
A travel crib is a baby item that makes life a lot easier for the baby and the parent. Having a comfortable place for your baby to sleep and play can make a vacation or trip much smoother and more enjoyable as well. A tired baby not sleeping well is an unhappy baby which could put a damper on your whole vacation.
Choose the best travel crib you can afford and then give your baby time to get used to it; preferably BEFORE you go away. They will already be used to it and won’t fight it or be afraid of it when you are on your vacation.
The three top-rated travel cribs presented to you in this review and guide are all excellent products that will provide your baby with a safe place to sleep and play that is comfortable, easy to set up and take down, offers plenty of airflow and quality that you can’t beat.
The information that we have included for you in the buying guide will help you determine your needs and then find the right travel crib to fit them by looking for certain features and criteria. This knowledge will enable you to make a confident decision on the right travel crib for you travel needs that will ensure a smooth, safe, comfortable trip for your baby too.