The Best Travel Cribs of 2017

The joys of owning a portable travel product are as many as the options you have to choose from.
Which travel crib is the best option for your baby? After considering over a dozen popular choices, we purchased 8 portable cribs for testing in ease of use, portability, comfort, quality, and more. After several months of hands-on, side-by-side testing, we have the information you'll need to make an informed decision about the style and features that are most important for this kind of gear. Not sure where to start or what to look for? No need to worry, we are here to help! Read on for all the details you'll need to consider before choosing the right crib for your family.

Read the full review below >

Test Results and Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 8 ≪ Previous | View All | Next ≫
Rank #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Product
BabyBjorn
Lotus Everywhere
4moms Breeze
Phil and Teds Traveller
Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award      Best Value Award 
Price $300.00 List
$203.96 at Amazon - 32% off
$250.00 List
$198.00 at Amazon - 21% off
$300.00 List
$299.96 at Amazon
$200.00 List
$149.99 at Amazon - 25% off
$80.00 List
$71.69 at Amazon - 10% off
Overall Score 
100
0
83
100
0
71
100
0
56
100
0
53
100
0
52
Star Rating
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Pros Ease to use, eco-healthy, portable, comfyEco-healthy, portable, comfyEasy to use, nice qualitySuper lightweight, eco-healthyPrice, average comfort and quality
Cons PriceAverage for ease of useHeavy, large, harder to transportHard to use, uncomfortable, lower qualityLarge, heavier, not eco-healthy
Ratings by Category BabyBjorn Lotus Everywhere Breeze Traveller Pack 'n Play On the Go
Ease of Use - 35%
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
2
10
0
6
Portability - 30%
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
2
10
0
10
10
0
4
Comfort - 15%
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
3
10
0
6
Quality - 15%
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
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5
10
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6
EcoHealth - 5%
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
1
10
0
8
10
0
1
Specs BabyBjorn Lotus Everywhere Breeze Traveller Pack 'n Play On the Go
Weight 12.8 lbs 13.9 lbs 23.9 lbs 7.4 lbs 20.3 lbs (includes bassinet)
Crib Dimensions - assembled 25.5"H x 43.8"L x 32.5"W 25.5"H x 47.9"L x 32.1"W 29"H x 45.8"L x 32.6"W 26.9"H x 53.2"L x 31.3"W 28.8"H x 41.1"L x 28.6"W
Crib Dimensions - closed 19.5"H x 23.6"L x 6.6"W 12.6"H x 24.8"L x 9.3"W 12.1"H x 30.7"L x 12.2"W 6.5"H x 27.2"L x 8.8"W 10.6"H x 27.7"L x 10.3"W

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 3, 2017

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Best Overall Travel Crib


BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light


Editors' Choice Award

$203.96
(32% off)
at Amazon
See It

Weight in Bag: 12.8 lbs | Packed Size: 19.5"H x 23.6"L x 6.6"W

Easy to Use
Very portable
Eco-healthy
Higher price
Harder to put baby in
The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light is easy to use, lightweight, and small which makes it a super portable option that is great for travel. It uses flame retardant free materials and has the most comfortable mattress in the group with a soft and firm mattress with a soft cover. We like that this crib is easy to set up and fold with a nice travel bag that fits the crib well. We think this crib is a quality option that feels sturdy and has a higher-quality design. While the price might make this option a no-go for some families, we think it's a great option if your budget allows.

Read review: BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light

Cool Side Open Crib


Lotus Everywhere


Editors' Choice Award

$198.00
(21% off)
at Amazon
See It

Weight in Bag: 13.9 lbs | Packed Size: 12.6"H x 24.8"L x 9.3"W

Eco-healthy
Backpack portability
Zippered side access
Harder to fit in travel bag
Involved mattress attachment
The Lotus Everywhere by Guava is a cool portable crib with a somewhat unique zippered side opening for snuggling with your napping baby. This eco-health option uses flame retardant free materials and a soft mattress. It folds down into a lightweight and small easy to carry package with unique backpack style straps that leave your hands free for other things while traveling. The Lotus is easy to setup but harder to close and fit in the bag than some of the competition. While this option isn't as nice as the BabyBjorn, it comes close and is just as comfortable for your baby with a lower price that will save you about $50. If a lower price and easy to carry are important to you, then the Lotus is one to consider.

Read review: Lotus Everywhere

Best Portable Crib on a Budget


Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go


Best Value Award

$71.69
(10% off)
at Amazon
See It

Weight in Bag: 20.3 lbs | Packed Size: 10.6"H x 27.7"L x 10.3"W

Inexpensive
Good quality for the price
Better comfort
Possible use of flame retardants
Harder to transport
The Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go is an economical portable crib/play yard that includes a bassinet for younger infants. This crib is average for ease of setup and folding with a travel bag that fits the crib nicely. This option potentially uses flame retardants, and it is heavier and larger than much of the competition. However, it is still a good option for those on a smaller budget as it combines a generally above average performance with an unbelievably reasonable price tag for this kind of gear. If you must have a travel crib or play yard and money is a factor, then this Graco can't be beaten.

Read review: Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
83
$300
Editors' Choice Award
Eco-healthy crib that is easy to use, cozy and portable
71
$250
Editors' Choice Award
Impressive eco-health features and cozy mattress make up for harder folding
56
$300
High quality and easy to use but heavy and hard transport
53
$200
Hard to use choice that is easy to transport but uncomfortable
52
$80
Best Value Award
Average option for the budget savvy but is somewhat heavy and large
48
$170
Difficult to use, lower quality crib that is lighter than most
48
$120
Disappointing comfort and quality, but it is easier to use
47
$150
Nice quality and fairly comfy but too heavy for easy portability

Analysis and Test Results


In this review, we tested 8 top portable cribs using a rigorous testing approach that includes in-house lab testing and real-world scenarios to determine which features are most important and which cribs provide the best performance. Testing is designed to reveal the information you need to find the best travel option for your family. Performance test results determine the metric scores and the overall score is calculated with an emphasis on ease of use and portability.

 

Award-winning cribs are those that are easy to setup and fold into travel bags. They are lightweight, relatively small and easy to carry or fit in smaller spaces. The table above provides the overall score and rank of each product tested in this review.

For information related to safe sleeping and decreasing the risks of SIDS and other sleep-related death for your baby, please read our article on How to Protect your Infant from SIDS and other Causes of Sleep-related Deaths.

How easy it is to set up a crib can be the difference between fun with baby and a headache.
How easy it is to set up a crib can be the difference between fun with baby and a headache.

Ease of Use


Ease of use for this style of crib consists primarily of how easy they are to set up, fold down, and fit in the travel bag. Given the general lack of features for this kind of gear, there isn't much to consider for a side-by-side comparison. We did not test ease of use for included accessories as these varied from crib to crib.


The setup time for these cribs varied greatly from 3:10 minutes to over 27 minutes for initial setup. While this time went down considerably for each product after repeated attempts, the harder options stayed harder and the easier options got easier. So while you will get better at whichever product you purchase you won't be able to turn a convoluted process into a simple one.

Setting up the BabyBjorn includes locking the legs in place and it takes just over a minute to complete.
The mattress of the BabyBjorn connects to the legs via color-coded clip and loop.
 

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light earned the high score for ease of use with a 9 of 10 and an average setup time of 1:37 minutes after repeated tests. This crib requires that you unfold it, lock the legs (above left), and secure the mattress (above right). This short setup time means you'll have a sleepy baby resting soundly after a long day of travel in almost no time flat. The Phil and Teds Traveller, on the other hand, earned the lowest score with a 2, taking an average of 8:34 minutes to set up even after a significant amount of practice. This product requires complete assembly and dismantling every time you use it. By the time you get it setup baby could be wide awake and crabby. This time seems excessive to us; it is made worse by the fact that the second longest setup time is half of that at 4:12 minutes for the KidCo TravelPod. Most of the competition is closer to 2 minutes with the Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go taking an average of 1:47 minutes and the Lotus Everywhere requiring 2:13 minutes.

The Phil and Teds Traveller requires complete assembly each time you set up (parts on the left) while the BabyBjorn has only two parts and sets up quickly.
The Phil and Teds Traveller requires complete assembly each time you set up (parts on the left) while the BabyBjorn has only two parts and sets up quickly.

We also considered ease of folding the products closed and fitting them into their travel bags. This varied and sometimes corresponded to the ease of opening and setup but other times did not. The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is easy to open and close and is the easiest to fit in its travel bag thanks to its smaller size and well-designed bag. Alternatively, the Lotus Everywhere is easy to setup but fairly difficult to fold and fit into the bag. Sometimes we even failed to fit it in the bag and had to open and refold it for it to work. The Phil and Teds Traveller is the hardest to open, close and fit into the bag. The crib parts need to be deliberately arranged in the bag to ensure everything fits because it doesn't fold the way the competition does.

The Lotus Everywhere is the only product we tested that offered a hands-free carrying option like the backpack straps.
The Lotus Everywhere is the only product we tested that offered a hands-free carrying option like the backpack straps.

Portability


One of the main uses of this kind of gear is being able to easily provide a safe sleeping space for baby when you are traveling. If a crib is too heavy to lift and carry or too large to stow in small spaces, then it isn't going to be a stress reliever but a stress creator. For this reason, we think portability is one of the most important features for this type of product. The smaller and lighter a crib is, the better.


Depending on your physical fitness or the kind of travel you plan to do you may have more wiggle room in this metric than other families. If you are a bodybuilder with an SUV and you are driving to your destination, then a larger or heavier option might be okay. If you are petite and traveling alone with your baby on a plane then the weight and stow-ability of a crib will likely override other considerations.

The Phil and Teds Traveller is very small and super easy to carry over long distances.
The Phil and Teds Traveller is very small and super easy to carry over long distances.

The Phil and Teds Traveller is the lightest product in this review with an in bag weight of 7.4 lbs. It also happens to be the smallest when folded measuring 6.5"H x 27.2"L x 8.8"W. However, it didn't score that well in other metrics and the excessive setup time of over 8 minutes may negate whatever bonus the small size and lighter weight may provide.


On the other hand, the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light weighs 12.8 lbs, measures 19.5"H x 23.6"L x 6.6"W when folded and scored well in every metric earning the top overall score. This addition of 5 extra pounds may seem like a lot, but when you consider that the Joovy Room2 weighs 26.8 lbs it will seem feather light in comparison.

This side-by-side comparison of the largest folded crib (4moms) and the smallest folded option (Phil and Teds) shows the dramatic size difference between the portable crib options we tested.
This side-by-side comparison of the largest folded crib (4moms) and the smallest folded option (Phil and Teds) shows the dramatic size difference between the portable crib options we tested.

The Phil and Teds Traveller earned a 10 of 10 for portability with the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and the Lotus Everywhere both earning 8s. The Joovy Room2 and the 4moms Breeze came in at the bottom of the pack with scores of 2. The 4moms Breeze is the largest folded option measuring 12.1"H x 30.7"L x 12.2"W in the bag.

Finding a comfortable crib is important to help ensure that your baby will sleep soundly while away from home. The Babybjorn Travel Crib Light has the most comfortable mattress in the group.
Finding a comfortable crib is important to help ensure that your baby will sleep soundly while away from home. The Babybjorn Travel Crib Light has the most comfortable mattress in the group.

Comfort


You'd think that the different products would be similar in their level of relative comfort given the strict safety regulations governing this kind of baby gear. However, the materials used and the design of each mattress is very different.


The majority of the competition has a soft mattress that varies from dense and difficult to depress to ultra-squishy and so soft that your baby is hitting the hard bottom quickly with little support.

The Phil and Teds Traveller has a unique self-inflating mattress similar to a camping mattress.
The Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night has a thin mattress that is hard and not comfortable compared to the competition.
 

The Phil and Teds Traveller (above left) has a unique self-inflating mattress that struggled to inflate fully and was somewhat bowed even with the weight of the baby in place. Without full inflation, the mattress is very uncomfortable and leaves little ones with no support (think poorly inflated air mattress that leaves you sleeping more or less on the ground). The Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night (above right) has the thinnest and hardest mattress in the group and it feels flimsy and cheap compared to the competition. The Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night only earned a 2 of 10 for comfort tying the KidCo TravelPod which had a mattress so soft it had permanent indentations in it from being folded and we worry that after repeated use it will continue to lose its shape and ability to support baby properly.

The BabyBjorn mattress is noticeably thicker and denser than the competition with a soft cozy cover.
The Lotus mattress is thick  soft and supportive.
 

On the other end of the spectrum, the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light (above left) and the Lotus Everywhere (above right) both earned 7s thanks to soft, thick cushions that support but didn't condense to a thin mattress under baby's weight. In a side-by-side comparison, it was easy to see the difference in the quality of materials and the design choices that helped one mattress earn higher scores than another.

The 4moms Breeze impresses with quality materials and construction.
The 4moms Breeze impresses with quality materials and construction.

Quality


The quality of the portable cribs varies as widely as the type of materials and the attention to detail we observed in their construction. Some of the products were very sturdy with tightly woven mesh and durable fabric that was stitched evenly with no random threads. Other options were somewhat wobbly when we pressed on the top rails and the mesh stretched easily when pressed on.


The Joovy Room2 and the 4moms Breeze both earned top scores of 9 of 10. Both have sturdy frames and tight mesh with attention to detail in the manufacturing process.

The Joovy Room2 is a high-quality option that looks sturdy and durable.
By comparison  the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day & Night crib looks wrinkled and frumpy with a poor attention to detail which hurt its quality score in this review.
 

The lowest score for the group is 3 earned by the Fisher-Price Ultra-Light Day & Night that has a generally frumpy look and feel with a stiff mattress and a frame that shakes when you press down on the top rails. The mesh is loose and the product we purchased had loose threads. The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and the Lotus Everywhere earned an 8 and 7 respectively with higher-end materials and solid construction in a simple design that is executed well.

Because your baby's face is so close to crib materials and deep breathing occurs during sleep it is important to consider the use of flame retardants prior to exposure.
Because your baby's face is so close to crib materials and deep breathing occurs during sleep it is important to consider the use of flame retardants prior to exposure.

Eco-health


In January 2014, 15 types of baby gear were found to not pose a fire safety risk and were listed as exempt from meeting flammability standards. This means that manufacturers of these kinds of baby products can now make products free of harmful flame retardants. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they all have made an effort to do so.


Flame retardant chemicals have been shown to be harmful to humans, and we feel that exposing little ones to these chemicals should be limited whenever possible. Only three products in this review list or make comments about what materials and chemicals they use or don't use in the production of their portable cribs. We think transparency is important and parents should demand more information from all companies before making buying decisions. The Center For Environmental Health (CEH) surveyed leading manufacturers of baby gear on their use of flame retardant chemicals. The CEH list the following survey questions on their website:

CEH's survey asked four simple questions:
1) Does your company currently sell baby products made with intentionally added flame retardants?
2) If some products still contain flame retardants, which ones?
3) What is your timeline to removing these flame retardant chemicals from your products?
4) How will you let consumers know that your baby products do not contain flame retardants — through labeling or (for web-based companies) information offered online at the point of purchase, or via product websites?

The manufacturer's responses to the survey were used to rank the companies based on their efforts to remove the harmful chemicals from their products. While not all manufacturers are listed, it is a good starting point for parents looking for additional information on what is in their baby's gear.

This color-coded chart shows information for some brands and their use of flame retardants. Companies shown in green are free of flame retardants while companies shown in red either didn't respond or potentially use chemicals in their materials.
This color-coded chart shows information for some brands and their use of flame retardants. Companies shown in green are free of flame retardants while companies shown in red either didn't respond or potentially use chemicals in their materials.

The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and Lotus Everywhere both earned 10 of 10 for eco-health. BabyBjorn states that their product is "free from harmful substances and approved according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class 1 for baby products" they go on to say "materials do not contain any harmful or allergenic substances". The Guava Family company makes the following statement about the Lotus Everywhere, "The Lotus Everywhere Crib has been thoroughly tested for chemical emissions and is certified to the GREENGUARD GOLD standard, making it the only travel crib in the world to have received this rigorous certification." They go on to say that the Lotus is "… free of PVC, Lead, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Heavy Metals (Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury, etc.) and many others."

For additional information on flame retardants and why they are a potential health risk, please see our buying guide How to Pick the Right Travel Crib For You.

The majority of travel products in this review scored a 1 of 10 and failed to provide information about chemicals and flame retardants on their websites, owner's manuals, or to the CEH. Luckily, the with the exception of the Graco Pack 'n Play on the Go, the award-winning products in this review are free from harmful chemicals and impressed during testing of other metrics earning the top two overall scores in the review.

With a side opening the Lotus Everywhere offers something not found on most of the competition. Knowing more about features and functionality can help you in deciding on what crib to buy.
With a side opening the Lotus Everywhere offers something not found on most of the competition. Knowing more about features and functionality can help you in deciding on what crib to buy.

Conclusion


While you can live without a portable crib or play yard for your baby, we don't think you'll want to as they can create a safe sleeping environment while traveling and a safe place to put baby when you need to a short break (ahem, going to the bathroom or taking a shower). Traveling with a baby can be stressful and any piece of equipment that makes it less so is money well spent in our opinion. And gear that can help keep baby's sleep routine on track? Well, that is simply Priceless.

We purchased and tested each product in the review for a comparison and performance testing process to give you all the details you need to make a buying decision.
We purchased and tested each product in the review for a comparison and performance testing process to give you all the details you need to make a buying decision.

We believe there is a perfect crib for everyone even if that means a different option for each one. Our award winners include top performing cribs, in a broad range of prices, with unique features for different goals. The breakdown of test results is sure to help you find the right option at the right price for your traveling needs even if the award winners don't offer what you are looking for.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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