Helping parents choose the best pack n play for travel or for the family room to help make life with a newborn a little more simple.
As with all baby gadgets and gear, choosing a pack n play (also know as a playpen, playard, or travel crib) can be a difficult decision. They all seem to have different features and functions, it can be difficult to find one that suits your needs the best.
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Best Pack N Play For Travel
Our favourite pack n play for travel is the 4 Mom Breeze because it is super easy to set up, use and light to carry. It is also fairly priced and has a removable bassinet and changer. It’s an all in one unit that won’t leave parents frustrated.
We also included some playards that are better suited as play spaces rather than sleeping spaces, but we don’t know your needs so you’ll have to make your own decisions on which kind of pack n play you need for your family requirements.
We picked out the best pack n play for travel options so you can make up your own mind on the piece of baby gear that suits your family the best. We didn’t want to overwhelm you, so here is the most condensed list of only the best playards on the market.
Best Pack N Play For Travel
Easy to open and close
We love, love , love the 4 Moms Breeze Plus pack n play. It is hands down the most easy to fold and unfold system we have come across.
4Moms make amazing, high tech baby gear focusing on making the life of parents simpler and dramatically better.
4Moms created this pack n play with one push open, one push close systems because the number one complaint on most travel systems is the difficulty with set up and take down.
The Breeze Plus is fully equipped with a removable bassinet and changer and a convenient travel bag.
This pack n play offers full visibility from all angles due the mesh siding that also offers full ventilation and airflow into the crib.
This pack n play does have a firm mattress that you cover with a crib sheet like this if you wish to have your baby sleep in the unit.
The removable bassinet and changing units are deep, which is great for keeping babies safe from rolling over out of the unit.
This playard is also not a complete eyesore for most homes, with it’s sleek and modern design.
|One push open, one pull close||Higher priced than most playards|
|Removable bassinet and changer||no extra storage attached for diapers/creams etc.|
|Convenient travel bag included|
|Can be used up to 30 lbs|
|Mesh siding for full visibility and airflow|
|Can purchase sheets for mattress|
|Sleek and modern design|
Things to keep in mind:
This playard does not have any wheels on it, so it can be “more difficult” to move around the room. It is fairly lightweight though, so it’s not a huge problem, but something to keep in mind.
The price on this pack n play is a little higher than others on our list, but that is because the brand 4Moms created high quality products.
Dimensions: 43″L x 30″W x 29″H (Without Leg extenders: 34″L x 24″W x 34,5″H)
Weight: 23 lbs
Breeze Plus FAQ
Can this be used for twins? No, this playard is not suitable for twins as safety standards require a divider between the babies while they sleep.
Can You Use This For Overnight Sleeping? Yes, this is a suitable piece of baby equipment for overnight sleeping. Always keep an eye on your baby as they play or sleep, no matter where they are sleeping.
Can I Add A Comfortable Mattress To The Playard? There is no additional mattress that will work with the Breeze Plus other than the provided 4Moms mattress.
4 Moms Breeze Plus Pack N Play Review Video
Best For Using From Newborn To Toddler
Another great option for a travel pack and play is the Graco Pack n Play Newborn 2 Toddler Playard, especially if you have a newborn and a toddler to accommodate.
Not only can you use this system with multiple children at the same time, it is also a complete nursery center with a bassinet, change table and even a storage section for all your baby things.
You can use this cot 7 different ways, which is a huge deal as most baby gadgets only have one use and can be used only one way.
The best part about this system is you can use it for your toddler and newborn at the same time, saving you space when you’re travelling or even at home.
|Can be used from newborn to toddler||Attachments work until baby is 15 lbs|
|Can be used with a newborn and toddler at the same time||Instructions can be difficult to figure out|
|Has storage space for diapers, creams etc.||Has the same system as most other playpens for set up and take down which can be tricky|
|Comes with removable seat with 2 vibration settings||Portable seat fabric is white and can get dirty quickly|
|Features generous canopy|
|Has newborn support pillow|
|Comes with safety harness|
|Has diaper changer and bassinet attachments|
|Bassinet can be removed and used on it’s own|
|Has storage bag|
|Wheels allow for easy moving|
Things to keep in mind:
Most of the attachments such as the bassinet and change station can only be used until the baby is 15 pounds which is about 3 months of age. The rest of the playard can be used up to 50 pounds.
This is an excellent choice for parents who are looking for an all in one solution that grows with baby from newborn to toddler. It is also ideal for parents who do not wish to purchase a separate bassinet but still want to keep baby at eye level during the night and through naps.
It’s also very ideal for growing families who need to accommodate a toddler and a newborn at the same time.
Overall this is an excellent choice for parents which is why it make the best pack n play for travel list!
Graco Newborn To Toddler Playpen FAQ
Can You Purchase Fitted Sheets For The Mattress? Absolutely! We love these ones because they are soft and cute too.
Is The Bassinet And changer Easy To Attach? Yes, the whole system is user friendly and easy to set up for your current needs.
How Do I Care For This Playard? The carry bag and seat pad are machine washable, and the rest of the unit should be wiped down. Please do not use bleach to wipe down the Graco Newborn to Toddler Pack N Play.
Best For Carrying Around Like a Backpack
Going on an airplane for your baby? The Lotus Travel Crib is a must have baby gadget that provides a comfortable sleep for your baby and folds up so compact that you can easily travel with it on the airplane.
The carry case is a backpack style, so you can just throw it over your shoulders when you’re travelling – how easy is that?
There is also a very neat easy access side door that is mesh and see through which opens up to let toddlers crawl in and out of the crib when it’s playtime.
Parents love how easy to travel crib is to fold and transport around. We would say the only downfall of this crib is the lack of change table and no newborn mattress support which helps parents lower the baby into the crib without having to bend down extra low.
The backpack carry case is only 13 pounds in weight when the travel crib is all packed up, which really does make it simple to just throw onto your back and go on your way.
This travel crib is for ages newborn to three (or until your child can climb out). The Lotus Travel Crib does not have a weight limit, as the mattress is supported by the floor.
|3D folding aluminum frame||No bassinet or changeable options|
|Thick comfy mattress|
|Hands free backpack carry bag|
|Zipper mesh side door|
|High quality fabric|
|Full height breathable mesh|
|Green guard Certified|
Things to keep in mind:
This is a smaller crib and folds up compact to fit into a backpack style carrying case. The mattress sits on the ground which means the crib can support a child of any weight. This crib is Greenguard Certified which means it has No PVC, no lead, no phthalates, no formaldehyde, no arsenic, no mercury, no cadmium and no flame retardants.
Weight: 13 lbs/6 kg (including carry bag).
Mattress: 23 x 41x 1.4 in
Assembled: 46 x 31 x 25.5 in
Backpack: 24 x 8 x 12 in
Frequently Asked Questions About The Lotus Travel Crib
What type of testing has been done to guarantee the Lotus is safe?
This travel crib does meet all safety standards:
ASTM F-406: US federal standard for Non Full-Size Cribs & Play Yards
Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA 2008)
Playpens Regulation (Canada)
The Lotus Bassinet meets all required safety standards including:
ASTM F2194: US federal standard for Bassinets
Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA 2008)
Folding Up The Lotus Travel Crib
Graco Pack ‘n Play Change ‘N Carry Playard
Best all In One System
We love the Graco Pack ‘n Play Change ‘N Carry Playard and it’s a top 5 favourite because it’s versatile and just a super convenient all in one system.
This travel crib packs a lot of punch with the removable bassinet, change table and changing pad. You can transition from bassinet to change table in a matter of moments and it’s easy too.
We love the storage baskets that hang off the sides where you can store your diapers and wipes and the mobile that attaches to the side of the playpen rails keeps baby engaged and entertained.
This portable pack n play weighs in at 23 pounds, so it’s a little bulky for easy transport but it’s perfect as a system to set up in grandmas house or a hotel.
The removable bassinet can accommodate a baby up to 15 pounds, just make sure the baby isn’t rolling over yet. The entire playard can be used until the child starts to climb out or reaches 35 pounds.
The price of this bassinet is also quite a stunning feature because for all the features this unit has, it’s very affordable.
What we don’t love about this playard is the unit can be tricky to take apart and put away into the carry bag.
|All in one system with change pad, change table and bassinet options||Awkward to disassemble and stuff into carry bag|
|Portable for travel|
|Has engaging mobile|
|Has wheels for easy mobility|
|Includes storage bags for diapers, wipes etc.|
|Mesh sides allow for good airflow and visibility|
Things to keep in mind:
This is a wonderful all in one unit that is versatile and gives you a lot of bang for your buck. The whole system can be a little bit tricky to take apart and put back into the travel bag but it does fold up and can be used for travel, camping or setting up at your in laws home.
Dimensions: 101.6 x 72.4 x 73.7 centimeters
What To Expect Product Review Video
Most Affordable All In One System
The Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe is another unit that has all the bells and whistles you could need at an affordable price.
The reason we put this product below the very similar unit created by Graco is because while the product has all the same features, it is a bit of a larger unit and some parents don’t love to unpack it and disassemble it often for travel, though it can be done.
There is a toy bar, changing station, removable bassinet, a removable canopy, a diaper stacked and an infant napper all included with this unit.
The price point definitely does not disappoint and the system does it’s job of keeping an infant safe and sound very well.
Enjoy the mesh sides which allow for proper airflow and good visibility too.
Overall, this is an awesome unit which has a lot to offer families who may be travelling or staying at grandmas house.
|Detachable toy bar||The system is fairly large so some parents don’t love to transport it around- but it is designed to be portable|
|Removable diaper stacker|
Things to keep in mind:
This unit is quite large and can be difficult to set up and take apart but it has a lot of awesome features such as a mattress pad, removable bassinet, removable changing pad and a mobile too.
Safety and Security Features: Locking Wheels
Interior Width: 38 inches
Interior Depth: 26 inches
Interior Height: 23 inches
Care and Cleaning: Spot or wipe clean
JPMA Certified, Meets ASTM Standards, Meets CPSC Standards
How To Assemble Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe Playard
Best Pop-Up Playard
The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light is a great contender in the fight for the best pack n play for travel as it is so easy to set up and take down, it literally pops up!
It does come at a higher price point which is one of the biggest downfalls of this product.
The playpen does offer a lot of space for the baby to play or sleep in and the mesh sides make it easy for parents to look in on their little one.
The sleek and durable design is a huge selling point as the fabric is high quality and the rails are padded to keep baby safe and sound.
The rails are made from thin metal rods that are stable and are used only to hold the playpen up, they do not come into contact with the baby when the baby is using the unit.
The mattress is soft and cozy, but also safe for baby so you don’t have to worry about SIDS as your baby sleeps and plays.
The mattress could use a sheet to increase the comfort of it though.
Overall this unit is easy to use and easy to wash as well.
|Simple set up and take down||No change station or bassinet options|
|Light and easy to carry||No storage options for diapers, wipes etc.|
|Simple to pack up and put into carry bag||Mattress should use a sheet when in use|
Things to keep in mind:
This is a great unit for travelling parents and is easy to care for and wash up when it gets dirty. The high quality fabric and sleek design make this unit a higher priced item. Most parents wouldn’t choose this as a unit for a newborn as it can be difficult to place the baby into the crib without waking them up as you have to really bend down into the crib to place baby down. The recommended age range for this unit is 3 months to 3 years, however a 3 year old may be too active for a system like this and might enjoy a toddler bed better, in our humble opinion.
If you travel a lot, this item is worth the price tag as it is highly portable, durable and convenient.
Dimensions: 32 x 44 x 24 in
Material Crib Fabric: 100% polyester; mattress cover bottom: 100% Polyester, top: 50% polyester, 50% polyurethane
Mattress Dimensions 23.5 x 41 x 1.2 in.
Weight: 13 lbs.
Baby Bjorn Light Demo
Best Space Saving Playard
Another great contender is the Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard. It is also an easy to set up and take down unit and many parents love to use it when baby is a little bit older and little more mobile.
It has a sleek design and is functional indoors and outdoors too. The great thing about the Joovy is that it provides baby with 10 square feet of space to play and sleep. the extra large mesh sides make it easy to see the baby and provides good airflow too.
The Joovy has a waterproof mattress, and you can buy additional sheets if you like.
Because the unit is rather large, it can be heavier for transport than some parents desire but it does come with a travel bag if you so choose to travel with this unit.
This unit is not intended for children who can climb out of the playpen on their own.
The Joovy playpen can use the bassinet attachment (sold separately) to accommodate newborn twins.
|Lots of room for baby to move around in||Not ideal for newborns|
|Heavy duty waterproof padded mattress||Very heavy unit|
|Folds up easily||Can be tricky to lock sidebars into position|
|Has carry bag|
Things to keep in mind:
This is not an all in one unit which parents can use to change the baby with and put newborns down for naps easily in. It is really great for travelling and keeping a mobile baby contained in a space that’s large enough to play in. You can purchase additional bassinets for twins if you want to use this system for twins. If you love the Joovy brand name they do offer a nursery center that you can look into here.
Maximum Child Height: 35 in
Open Size: 39.75 x 39.75 x 31 in (W L H)
Mattress Area: 9.51 ft²
Folded Size: 10 x 9.5 x 37 in (W L H)
Playard Weight: 29.6 lbs
Joovy New Room2 Portable Playard set up and take down demo
Best For Twins
If you’re looking for the best pack n play for travel and you’ve got twins, then the Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center is what you really need.
This pack n play is an ideal travel piece of baby gear because it’s not any larger than the other pack n play options out there, but it can accommodate a pair of twins easily with all the built in features.
Parents also can save money on a bassinet by purchasing a nursery center like this.
When the twins are older, they will need more room to play than this playard provides which is the only downfall of this pack n play.
This model is equipped with 2 removable, soft and plush bassinets which can be used as stand alone rockers. The bassinets also come with retractable canopies, a carrying handle and toys for extra stimulation.
The bassinets offer extra safety with their mesh siding which allow for proper airflow and visibility.
There is also a change table which folds down when not in use, and you don’t need to remove a bassinet in order to actually use the change table. Baby Trend was really thinking about the parents when they created this easy to use model.
There is an extra large diaper caddy as well, so you can stash your middle of the night diaper changing essentials .
Pack this playard easily into the bag for easy transport and travel.
|Removable stand alone bassinets||Larger price tag|
|Change table||Bassinets will not fit into the bag for travel once assembled|
|Diaper caddy||Playard is only large enough for one baby when the babies are old enough to sit up and play|
|Bassinets can accommodate up to 15 pounds|
Things to keep in mind:
This is an excellent piece of baby gear for parents of twins and it can save some money too since it comes equipped with so many features, meaning you can skip out on some other twin baby essentials. This pack n play is usually used by parents for the first few months of life. Parents really do enjoy being able to use the bassinets that come with this unit as separate pieces and as pieces that fit right into the bassinet. It just makes sense!
Putting Together The Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center
Best For Outside
For a travel pack n play for an older baby, the Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard is a good choice.
You can take this unit to the beach, camping, or the backyard and keep your little one safe and contained to one area so you can enjoy your time instead of worrying about running after your baby trying to keep them safe the whole day.
There is a full coverage removable canopy so you can keep the sun off your baby while they play, making this a safe option for even the hottest days. You can even throw in a stroller fan to keep the playspace cool.
This playard offers 14 square feet of play space and mesh siding so you have full visibility of your baby ask they play.
The pop up design and total weight of 1 pound makes this an easy unit to throw into the back of your car for fun family day trips, wherever your adventures may take you.
|Pop up easy set up||Not for newborns|
|14 square feet of playspace||Fabric can be difficult to take off for washing|
|Mesh siding for airflow and visibility|
|Unit weighs 1 pound|
Things to keep in mind:
This is not a newborn pack n play where they can spend the night sleeping, it simply spaces for your child to sit in and play whether you are outside enjoying nature or inside your home to keep your little one in one place.
Setting up and using the Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard
Guide To Buying A Pack And Play
Features to Consider in Good Travel Cribs
Travel cribs can sometimes be referred to as travel bassinets, pack n plays, playpens and even playards. Whatever you may call your portable baby bed, there are some things to keep in mind before making your purchasing decision.
Ease Of Use: There is NOTHING more frustrating than trying to set up a travel crib that just doesn’t want to stay open and upright. Sometimes there are frustrating instructions that just don’t make a lot of sense when you have a tired, screaming baby waiting for their napping place to be set up. You’ll want to ensure the playpen that you choose is super easy to set up and take apart.
Carrying / Travelling Ease: Does the playpen you want to purchase have a carrying case that is easy to get the playpen into? Is it quite compact when it’s all taken apart? Is it easy to travel with, and can it fit nicely in your car with all your other travel gear? All questions you should be asking before making a purchasing decision on your new travel crib.
Weight: If you’re travelling, you will want to avoid purchasing a playard that is heavy and bulky. Something light weight and easy to carry is very important.
Safety: Safe sleep is a huge topic for new parents, and should not be ignored. Your playpen should have all the safety features such as mesh siding, a harder mattress to prevent SIDS and secure sides that lock into place to prevent collapsing. If you are purchasing a playpen second hand, be sure to wash it with care
What Is The Difference Between A Travel Crib And A Pack and Play?
A standard crib that you would find in a nursery is often fairly large and sturdy. They are not designed to easily collapse and take with you on your travels. When you travel with your newborn baby, you’ll want to choose a pack n play which are specially designed for travelling parents with children.
A travel crib is a smaller baby crib but can be collapsed, or folded into a small, easy to carry package.
they are lightweight, portable and are easy to set up and collapse. Some parents do prefer to have a travel crib in their house as they are often smaller than a traditional crib, or they prefer to have a crib in multiple rooms of the home so it’s nice to have a portable crib.
The biggest difference between a travel crib and a pack and play (although most people use the terms interchangeably) is the framework. A travel crib can often accommodate a child up to 15 pounds whereas a pack and play can be used for longer.
Do You Need A Pack N Play?
You do not need a pack n play, but if you are travelling they are super handy to have. Most pack and plays come with a bassinet and a change table which are very handy to have with you wherever you are.
Pros And Cons Of Travel Cribs
|Easy to take apart||Set up can be tricky, not as easy as a pack n play|
|Feature mesh walls||Often cost more than a pack n play|
|Very portable and can pack down small||Cannot be used as long as a pack n play|
Pros And Cons Pack ‘N Play
|Easy to set up and take apart||Heavier than travel cribs|
|Mesh sides for airflow||Mattress is thin and hard, separate soft mattress can be purchased|
|Most have features such as change tables, bassinets and mobiles|
|Often cost less than travel crib|
Why Do You Need A Pack N Play
Pack and plays are often baby item that parents issue as a must have baby necessity.
Portable: Having access to a portable bed allows you to have your child sleep in a safe space when you are away from your home. They are very helpful when staying with someone who does not have a baby crib on hand, or at a hotel where they may offer an unsafe cot for the baby to sleep in.
Security: Have your baby play in a safe space whether you are at home or travelling. Some relatives may have pets that can be dangerous for a little baby or other children who can accidentally trip over the baby if they are on the floor.
When Do You Need A Pack N Play?
You should purchase a pack and play if you are going to travel, or if you need a safe space for your little one to sleep in the home that is not in their room. Many parents choose to have a pack and play set up in the living room which helps to create a changing station and a safe space to put the baby down that is away from pets and other kids.
This is an item that most parents put on their baby registry so that they have it all ready to go before the baby arrives.
Extra reading: Last-Minute Things To Do Before Baby Arrives
Things To Keep In Mind When Selecting A Playard
When you are selecting a pack n play there are some things you should keep in mind.
Weight Of Child: Because most travel cribs cannot accommodate more than 15 pounds, you may need to look into a playard that can be suitable for your child’s weight. Mostly all pack n plays have different weight, height and age requirements, so you’ll need to look out for this when selecting a playard.
Ease of use: When choosing a pack n play you’ll want to keep ease of use in mind. You won’t want to leave your travel crib behind because it was too difficult to disassemble and carry around with you. Some travel cribs are bulky and not so easy to travel with. The lighter, the better. Did we mention we love the 4 Moms Breeze for this reason?
Frequently Asked Questions About Playpens
5 Best Travel Products For Families With Babies
If you’re travelling with your baby, there are some essentials that you simply should not leave the house without. It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling internationally, or just going to the next town over, these are baby travel must haves for your journey.
- Compact and lightweight stroller: A stroller that is compact, lightweight and can fold with one hand is going to be a huge lifesaver on your trip abroad. If you have a newborn, you may want to take a look at the Evenflo Gold Travel System. The stroller is so light, it’s very easy to travel with and you really only need one hand to fold the whole system up. Enjoy the sensor safe technology that this Evenflo system comes with to keep your baby safe and sound. There are so many great features of this stroller, but it’s not your only choice. We reviewed umbrella strollers, jogging strollers, strollers with bassinets and double strollers too to help you make the best decision.
- A Great Diaper Bag: What makes a diaper bag great? Well, the number of pockets it has, how much stuff can it fit and how easy is it to clean and use. We have tested and written about the best gender neutral diapers bags here.
- A Simple To Use Car Seat: It’s best if you go with a travel system (stroller and car seat combo) however if you are travelling without a stroller, you’ll want to bring your all in one car seat with you. If you don’t have a car seat yet, here are the best ones on the market today.
- A travel crib: Whether you call it a travel crib, a pack and play, a playard or a playpen, you need one, and this entire article is about choosing the best one!
- A carrier: While you may be thinking, “but I already have a car seat! Why do I need a carrier?” we are here to reassure you that a carrier is a must-have travel item. Whether you need to have the baby on your lap while you’re taking off on the airplane, running through the airport with the baby while your stroller is underneath another plane already, or you want to enjoy a day out where strollers are not permitted, a baby carrier can save the day. We have reviewed the best ring slings, the best carriers for petite moms and we also created a guide for choosing the right carrier for you.
Of course you’ll not want to forget your baby necessities for feeding as well such as baby bottles, pacifiers, burp cloths, and all the nursing gear for your dear baby as well.
Extra reading: A Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist to Ease Your Mind
Wrapping Up: The Best Pack N Play For Travel
Now that you’ve seen the best options available for a pack n play to take on your travels, it really depends on your family needs which model is good for you!
For a single baby family, we love the 4 Moms Breeze Plus because it is SO easy to use! We cannot stress this enough, it’s worth the price tag because it makes life easier. We love the sleek design and how it’s pretty easy to pack up and carry with you wherever your adventures take you.
For Twins we love the Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center which comes with all the things you need to make life comfortable and easy with a pair of twins on your hands.
For outside play, our favourite is the Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard as it has a pop-up design and it’s lightweight and easy to throw into your trunk for enjoying summer days.
We hope we provided you with enough information on the best pack n play for travel so you can pick a unit that suits your family needs the best.