To make traveling with your baby into a breeze, you need to look for the best Pack n Plays for travel. Instead of fighting with the diaper bag, fit everything you need into a safe pack and play. We’ll show you the 7 best below.
What’s the Best Travel Pack n Play?
Pack n plays, also known as travel cribs, are an easy solution to traveling with your baby. The best pack n play will be easy to set up and takedown, and will safely hold everything you need to successfully entertain, change and play with your child.
Our top picks take into account some of the top reasons parents choose a pack n play for their child. All are up to the federally regulated pack n play standards.
Whether you’re looking for a pack n play for your newborn or something even the grandparents can easily use, this list has them all.
While all seven of these travel cribs are great options for your baby, you may be wondering what use you can get out of a pack n play. Keep reading for our definitive guide to why all parents need a pack and play and how to use one.
Why You Need a Travel Pack n Play
Whether you’re a parent, a babysitter, or another form of caretaker, you might wonder why you need a pack n play for your child. Depending on the kind you buy, a pack n play can serve as a crib, changing table, play space, and sleeping area all in one.
A pack n play can include a detachable bassinet so that your little one can sleep comfortably while you work at home, or while you’re visiting family.
Others come with a light-dampening shade to wrap around the play area, ensuring your baby can sleep even on bright sunny days. If you’re looking for a way to easily change and dress your baby while you’re at grandma’s house, or even in the airport, a pack n play can make diaper changing simple.
Most have a detachable washable bag that can store wipes, rags, extra diapers, and other necessities. Most importantly, a pack n play is a place for your baby to do just that, play!
Removable changing areas or bassinets allow your baby to play independently without the use of a baby gate, right in their travel crib. The see-through mesh lets you keep an eye on them as they play.
Best Pack n Plays for Travel: Our Top 7 Picks
To find our top 7 picks for pack n plays, we looked into what products parents and caretakers trust the most. We’ve added our research, and have laid out the pros, cons, and specifications of each product for you below.
1. Lotus Travel Pack n Play
- Extremely lightweight
- Chemical-free design
- Backpack carrying case
- Thin mattress
- Sheets sold separately
I travel often, and my wife and I swear by this pack n play. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the best inventions ever, just behind the Doona. Often compared to the Baby Bjorn travel crib, the Lotus is extremely lightweight only weighing 11 pounds set up and 13 while packed away.
If you travel frequently, this should be the crib for you. It can hold children between infants and three years old, making it one of the most future-proof products on the list.
While it takes a bit of practice to quickly assemble and pack away, once you get the hang of it, we find it super easy setup and pack away; I can do it in about 2 minutes. Best of all, the crib is lead, phthalates, PVC, and heavy metal-free.
While it’s expensive, it’s also lightweight, durable, and super convenient to pack in an overhead bin. Plus, you’ll also get more use out of it than other products, so the relative cost per year of use is reduced.
Trust me when I say that you NEED this pack n play.
2. Baby Trend-E Travel Pack n Play
- Removable parent organizer for diaper essentials
- Includes mobile with toys
- Folds and fits easily into the travel bag
- Unclear assembly instructions
- Wobbly without mattress inside
The Baby Trend-E Nursery Center is a 20-pound pack n play that comes with a mesh organizer. The nursery center has wheels, a removable bassinet, and a one-handed locking mechanism that allows you to open and close the pack and play while holding your child in one arm.
The wheels on the Trend-E Nursery Center have brakes and locks to maximize safety, and above the bassinet is a lovely mobile to entertain the baby during change time or before sleep.
Users praise the nursery center for being easy to assemble, sturdy, and a nice size for a baby. The pack n play can hold up to 30 pounds and is perfect for newborns.
3. Graco Pack n Play for Travel
- Can hold children up to 44 pounds
- Comes in multiple colors and styles
- Folding feet and wheels for compaction
- Polyurethane mattress
- Slightly heavier than other models
The Graco Pack n Play is one of the top products that Graco makes. It includes a foldable and removable bassinet, wheels and feet for moving and setup, and a mobile to entertain your little one while they relax.
Users love this sturdy and reliable pack n play because of how easy it is to assemble. While it isn’t the fanciest product on our list, it is one of the highest-rated pack n plays available.
This pack n play is ideal for you if you need a safe place for your baby to play while you travel. The Graco Pack n Play is also one of the most affordable products on our list, best if you’re shopping on a budget.
4. Graco Snuggle Suite Pack n Play
- Portable infant seat
- Extended changing station
- Parent storage organizer
- 3 double A batteries required
- Slightly confusing assembly
The Graco Snuggle Suite is the ideal pack n play for a newborn baby or infants of any size. The pack n play can hold up to thirty pounds and comes with a removable bassinet and infant seat that doubles as a vibrating bouncer once you put batteries in.
Parents and caretakers love the Graco Snuggle Suite’s stable vibrating bouncer seat that helps keep your baby calm and rocks them to sleep.
Reviews rave about the spacious play yard and the lifting bottom that helps parents not strain their backs while grabbing their baby. The Graco Snuggle Suite is specifically for infants and is our top choice for a safe, simple to use infant pack n play.
5. Graco Portable Playard Pack n Play for Travel
Similar to the Graco Pack n Play, this portable Playard is the simplest version of a pack n play Graco makes. This is my favorite pack n play for grandparents because of how easy it is to use.
The one-button fold system makes leaning or pushing unnecessary when putting the pack n play away. Additionally, the wheels make moving the play yard simple and stress-free.
While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other Graco products, the Graco Portable Playard is simple, sturdy, and safe, perfect for seniors or older folks who are taking care of a baby.
6. Baby Trend Twins Center Travel Pack n Play
If you have twins, changing, feeding, and keeping them both happy can be a daunting task. The Baby Trend Twins Center makes it easy with two bassinets that easily lift in and out of the play yard, and a long extended changing table with a multi-pocket mesh diaper organizer.
Both bassinets include a sweet animal mobile for your baby, and soothing music with a soft night light can play while they sleep. Users love the Baby Trend Twins Center for its comfy and plush bassinet liners and mattress covers and the high quality and sturdy feel of the material.
7. Cotzon 3 in 1 Travel Pack n Play
The Cotzon 3 in 1 is the pack n play that will give you the most bang for your buck at the lowest price. It includes a removable bassinet, a changing table, and play yard, and even an attached trash can for diapers.
Not to mention, it all folds up into a square carrying bag with velcro straps. Reviews praise the Cotzon for its sturdy but comfortable design, and affordability compared to other pack n plays with the same features.
Without spending a fortune, you can get a safe pack n play that includes everything your baby needs on the go. If you’re on a budget and want a durable and high-quality pack n play, the Cotzon 3 in 1 is the product for you.
Finding the Best Pack n Plays for Travel
Before you buy a pack n play for your baby or toddler, think about what use you’d like to get out of it, and how long you’d like to be able to use it.
While this guide contains the 7 best pack n plays for travel, pack n play design varies widely based on what you want to use it for. If you think you’ll be traveling with a pack n play often, choose one that has an accompanying travel bag.
Make sure the crib fits into the bag, and practice quickly folding and unfolding it. If travel is your main concern, you may also want to get a pack n play with wheels for easy rolling. You’ll also want to check how long you can safely use the pack n play with your child.
As babies and children grow, the space they’re in needs to grow as well. Some pack n plays are for newborns, some for children up to three months old, and some for toddlers and young children.
As a caretaker of a young child or baby, safety is probably the most important consideration when purchasing anything your child will come into contact with.
To protect your baby, it’s crucial to look into the safety features of a pack n play before you assemble it and put your child inside. Before you buy a pack and play, I recommend reading the customer reviews for that product.
Customers with babies and young children are likely to leave a review warning other parents of safety issues if they encounter any. If you discover a safety issue with your pack n play, stop using it. Always test your pack n play before you put your child into it for the first time.
Use a stuffed animal, pillow, or book to simulate the weight of your baby in the pack n play and ensure it won’t collapse or fall, and always keep your baby within eyesight while they’re in the pack n play.
Ease of Use
Another important thing to consider when buying a pack n play is how easy it is to use. A travel crib should never be confusing, difficult, or hard to set up and anyone in your family should be able to use it.
This is especially important for grandparents or older people caring for babies. Find a pack n play that sits at a comfortable height for any of your babies’ caretakers.
You don’t want anyone to have to strain or injure their back when picking up your baby, and you want to be able to reach them fast in case of emergency. If the pack n play has wheels, make sure they lock.
Finally, some pack n plays come with detachable bags, bassinets, and changing areas. Make sure each of these elements is easy to find, wash and reattach to the pack n play. If something is hard to clean, you’re less likely to use it – this is especially true for parents of young kids.
If you’ve found a safe, easy to use pack n play that fits your needs, the next thing you want to do is test its weight. You need to make sure you can lift and move the pack n play smoothly with little effort, and so does anyone else who might be using it with your baby.
This is especially key if you have older parents or grandparents who may be watching the baby and using the pack n play.
If they need to carry it back to the car from the park, or upstairs so that the baby can sleep undisturbed, the pack n play needs to be light enough for them to handle. Most pack n plays weigh anywhere between 10-25 pounds.
Choose one that everyone in your family can easily lift and move, and that has an uncomplicated travel pouch or bag. Your pack n play should never be so heavy that you struggle to move it, with or without a baby inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I travel with a pack n play?
If you frequently travel with your baby, a pack n play may be right for you. They often come easy to assemble and take down, with a travel bag for flights or long drives.
Can Pack n Play be used as a travel crib?
Yes, the right pack n play can effortlessly function as a travel crib. Some pack n plays come with detachable bassinets for babies to sleep in, and almost all come with firm mattresses to allow babies to sleep without fear of suffocation.
Is Pack n Play easy to travel with?
Pack n plays can be simple to travel with. Purchase a lightweight pack n play with a carry bag to make travel straightforward. It should easily fit on the plane or in your car.
Can a baby sleep in a pack n play?
A baby can sleep in a pack n play if it’s designed for them to do so. Always keep an eye on your baby while they’re sleeping in a pack n play or attached bassinet. Some pack n plays come with sun-blocking shades to allow your baby to sleep during the day.
Can I check a pack n play for free?
How much you pay to check your pack n play will always depend on the airline you fly with. Most major airlines will check pack n plays and strollers as one of your complimentary checked bags. This may depend on the size of the pack n play, so check before you fly.
So, What’s the Best Pack n Play for Travel?
The best pack n plays for travel should be easy to use, safe, and lightweight enough to carry when you travel. It should also fit your child’s individual needs and make traveling with a baby or young child a breeze. If I’ve done my job right, you’ll find the best one on this list!