The 8 Best Travel Cribs of 2022

For comfort, safety, and setup ease, we love the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

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Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it can also be very stressful when schedules are thrown off. One key thing that can help avoid meltdowns and ensure the whole family has a good trip: sleep. While it's relatively easy for adults to adjust to new environments to catch some Z's, it's much harder for little ones. You want to make sure their sleeping location is as comfortable—and easy to set up quickly—as possible. And that centers on the crib. Since you can't bring the one from home with you, you'll need to find an alternative that packs up nicely while still being cozy for your tot. 

Luckily, there are plenty of brands that make various travel sleep options for babies and toddlers. Here are the best travel cribs.

Best Overall: Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib

5
Lotus Travel Crib
What We Like
  • Backpack carry

  • Side zipper door

  • Easy setup

What We Don't Like
  • Price point

This is the travel crib I swear by. While it's on the pricier side compared to other travel cribs on the market, the Lotus by Guava has it all. It's super compact, folding up into a backpack carrying case, and takes under 30 seconds to set up. You simply unclip, pop it open, lay the comfortable thick foam mattress down, and you're good to go. Plus, packing up is just as easy. And since the mattress sits on the ground, you can use the crib into the toddler years without fear of escape (my son is almost 4 and still uses it!). The side zipper is a bonus if you use the crib as a playpen. 

Dimensions: 45.5 x 31.5 x 25.5 inches | Material: Phthalate-free, BPA-free, and lead-free polyester | Weight: 13 pounds

Best Budget: Dream On Me Travel Light Playard

Dream On Me Travel Light Playard
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Lightweight

  • Color options

What We Don't Like
  • Complaints about setup time

If you only hit the road on occasion, it makes sense you wouldn't want to plunk down a few hundred bucks on yet another baby item. With the Dream On Me Travel Light Playard, you get many of the benefits of a more expensive crib without the high price tag. It's lightweight and folds up flat for easy storage. It features a breathable mesh and comes with a soft mattress, and it's easy to clean. The downside is it's not as big as other travel cribs, meaning you might not be able to use it past a year, depending on your child's size. Plus, buyers complained it took up to 10 minutes to assemble. If you're rushing to get a little one down for a nap, that's not something you want to deal with.

Dimensions: 40.5 x 27 x 26 inches | Material: Nylon | Weight: 12.42 pounds

Best Bassinet: MiClassic Mesh 2-in-1 Stationary & Rock Bassinet

2in1 rocking Bassinet
What We Like
  • It has a rocking mode

  • Folds flat

  • Removable legs

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier

When you're only worried about a baby (not a toddler) getting sleep on vacation, a travel bassinet is all you need. This one from MiClassic has a super simple setup and fold-up that can be done with one hand in a matter of seconds. While it comes with legs to keep the bassinet off the ground, you can also remove them for even more compact storage. Best of all, the crib has a rocking mode to help lull the little one to sleep, just like at home. Some purchasers love it so much they use it as an everyday bassinet. 

Dimensions: 37.4 x 23.8 x 28 inches | Material: Mesh | Weight: 19.04 pounds

Best for Toddlers: Skip Hop Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard

Skip Hop Hop Play to Night Expanding Playard
What We Like
  • Extra-long and wide

  • Expansion possibilities

  • It comes with a wipe-clean mat

What We Don't Like
  • Bulkier

If your toddler is anything like mine, he moves around a lot in his sleep. So having a travel crib that can accommodate a wiggly sleeper is key. When in crib mode, this one is already long (38 inches of length in sleeping space). But it can expand by 60 percent, creating 38 x 38 inches' worth of space for catching some Z's or playing. In fact, the brand states that children up to 3 years old can enjoy it. If you're looking to save on space on a road trip or in a hotel, this might not be the best option. Most of the buyer complaints were that it was simply too large to fit in small spots.

Dimensions: 41 x 23.5 x 29 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight: 20 pounds

Best for Flying: phil&teds Traveller Crib

phil&teds Traveller Crib
What We Like
  • Ultra-portable

  • Only 6 pounds

  • Side fully unzips

What We Don't Like
  • Complaints about thin pad

When traveling with a kid, the last thing you need on a plane is another bag. And sometimes travel cribs can be bulky. This one is not. At just 6 pounds, it's super easy to carry and rolls up to the size of a yoga mat, so it fits in overhead compartments. Once at your destination, you can set up the mesh crib and completely unzip one side to make it a play yard as well as a sleeping solution. But you might want to consider investing in another pad, as many buyers complained it was too thin and hard. Or, make sure you're on a carpeted surface to ensure the comfiest night's sleep possible. 

Dimensions: 31 x 24.8 x 46 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight: 6 pounds

Best Lightweight: KidCo P4012 Peapod Plus Infant Travel Bed

KidCo P4012 Peapod Plus Infant Travel Bed
What We Like
  • Under 5 pounds

  • It can fit in a suitcase

  • Suitable up to age 5

What We Don't Like
  • Questionable durability

At just 3.65 pounds, it doesn't get any lighter when it comes to travel cribs. And, incredibly, it's useable for children 1 to 5 years old. The tent-like product folds up into a circular shape that you can then throw over your shoulder or pack into a suitcase. Then, simply pop it open once you need it. The sleeping pad is even snapped to the underside of the floor, so no additional assembly is required. Meanwhile, the sides are made from mesh to maximize breathability and airflow. Bonus: It can be used outdoors thanks to the UV-protective fabric.

Dimensions: 17.9 x 3.9 x 17.8 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight: 3.65 pounds

Best Backpack Crib: Gladly Family Merritt Portable Playard Suite

Gladly Family Merritt Portable Playard Suite
What We Like
  • Hands-free carry

  • Adjustable bassinet for newborns

  • One-handed fold

What We Don't Like
  • Very heavy


While being lightweight and compact is helpful when dealing with travel cribs, perhaps more important is whether or not it can be carried hands-free (e.g., in a backpack). "Often when traveling, you have to schlep so much stuff that making something smaller isn't much help if you don't have enough hands to carry it," says Scott Crumrine, Founder and CEO of Guava Family. The Gladly Family Merritt Portable Playard Suite folds into a backpack. Although it's an extremely sturdy (aka heavy) crib capable of holding up to 50 pounds with an adjustable bassinet for smaller children, the backpack makes it much easier to transport. Plus, it comes with a fold-away changing station, changing caddy, and a mattress that buyers described as the most comfortable on the market. 

Dimensions: 40 x 29 x 28 inches | Material: ‎Aluminum and mesh | Weight: 35 pounds

Best Crib With Changing Table: Pamo Babe Deluxe Playard with Foldable Nursery Center

Pamo Babe Deluxe Playard with Foldable Nursery Center
What We Like
  • Stable

  • A lot of functionality

What We Don't Like
  • Not easy to carry

  • Assembly can be difficult

Want to bring your entire nursery along on your next trip? This is the product for you. It's not only a crib but also a playpen, changing table, and storage solution. You can set it up however you want with the bassinet attachment, large capacity changing table, detachable shelf, and mobile option. What's more, the nursery center is super sturdy and durable, so you won't have to worry about your tot's safety on the go. But with so much functionality, you need to be prepared for a little extra setup time. 

Dimensions: ‎43.3 x 29.9 x 28.7 inches | Material: Aluminum and mesh | Weight: 38.6 pounds

Final Verdict

The Guava Lotus Travel Crib (view at Amazon) is compact, easy to assemble, hands-free for carrying, and can grow with your kid. Budget a concern? The Dream On Me Travel Light Playard (view at Amazon) will provide you with the most bang for your buck.

What to Look for in a Travel Crib

Safety

It is essential always to follow Consumer Product Safety Commission ( CPSC) safe sleeping guidelines with any travel crib. In addition, it's prudent to ensure that there have been no safety recalls on the specific travel crib. "It is best practice to ensure that the crib frame is sturdy and locked into place when in use," said Dr. Sharis M. Simonian, Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator at Sollis Health. "It is not recommended to add additional padding to the mattress provided. The same safe bedding practices for traditional cribs apply to travel cribs."

Also, it's vital to consider the safety of the mattress. "You still want a thicker and comfy mattress because most that are super thin," said Jen Campbell of Explore More Family Travel. "But not so thick that it is dangerous."

Age Range

You'll want to note if the crib has any stated age ranges, but "as a general rule, you may use travel cribs up to the age of 3," said Dr. Simonian. "However, when your child attempts to climb out of the travel crib, it is time to stop using it. That may vary in age, depending on the child."

Ease of Setup

Imagine how tired you are finally arriving at your destination, late at night, exhausted, and your brain moving a little slower than normal. "For ease of travel itself, the two obvious considerations are weight and size," says Crumrine. Naturally, the last thing you want is a travel crib that is complicated to set up. "The main considerations to make sure setting up a travel crib doesn't add to the stress," said Crumrine. "So, be sure it's intuitive (tends to fold into the open shape on its own when lifted out of the bag), has no individual pieces to assemble, and has hinges that lock automatically, and in no particular order." 

Comfort

One potential criticism of travel cribs is that mattresses tend to look relatively thin compared to traditional ones. This is intentional (and mandated by the federal standard, which requires the padding of the mattress to be less than 1 inch and the total thickness of the mattress to be less than 1.5 inches, including the backer board).  

"Thicker mattresses on mesh/soft-sided cribs can result in a gap opening up on the side of the mattress, that if too deep, could be an entrapment hazard," said Crumrine. "In general, babies/toddlers don't need nearly as soft a sleeping surface as adults tend to desire for themselves. But, amongst travel cribs, there still tends to be a spectrum of comfort, even in a 1-inch-thick mattress."

Why Trust Trip Savvy?

Author Jordi Lippe-McGraw has researched and written about travel and lifestyle products for nearly a decade. She's also a mom to a 3-year-old who has already traveled to nine countries. When making this list, she used her own experience and researched dozens of products, looking at key specs like dimensions, material, and weight, plus positive and negative reviews. 

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