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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best travel crib for toddlers is, I’d recommend the Lotus Travel Crib.
When your child sleeps well, everyone’s happy. Traveling can throw everyone off of their schedule, though. The best travel crib for toddler will help ensure that your little one gets adequate rest even when you’re away. Don’t let worries about how to accommodate your child at night ruin your next vacation.
In this article, I am breaking down the best travel cribs for toddlers, and in the end, I’ll choose the winner.
Here are the toddler travel cribs I will be reviewing:
- Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light
- Lotus Travel Crib
- Phil & Ted’s Portable Traveler Crib
- Dream on Me Travel Light Play Yard
- 4Moms Breeze Go Portable Travel Play Yard
- Skip Hop Play-to-Night Expandable Travel Crib
- MiClassic 2-in-1 Rocking Bassinet
- Joovy Gloo Infant Travel Bed
- KidCo PeaPod Plus
- Primo Cocoon Folding Travel Bassinet
Why Might You Need A Travel Crib For Toddler?
Safe sleep guidelines for infants are fairly strict. As your baby gets older, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, decreases. After age 1, the risk of SIDS goes away.
But you still need to consider certain factors when putting your little one down for the night or a nap. A toddler that sleeps in a regular adult bed could fall off the side overnight. Children this age love to move around, and toddlers are known to climb out of their cribs. Therefore, the height of the bed should be a consideration.
You probably keep your child’s room safe. If your toddler sleeps in a bed at home, they probably have rails. But, you don’t always know what to expect from your accommodations when you’re traveling.
A travel crib is a convenient way to keep your child safe and comfortable while he or she is sleeping. These products are lightweight and portable.
They adhere to certain safety standards. Therefore, you can be confident that your child is safe, whereas you never know what kind of sleeping arrangements a hotel or vacation rental will have for your toddler.
Plus, if you invest in a travel crib for your toddler, you can perform a few test runs at home. This can help you get used to using it. It will also let your child adapt to the new sleeping quarters before you head out on the road.
What Should You Look For In A Travel Crib?
Once you have decided to get a travel crib, you will want to know how to choose the right one. Here are a few things to consider.
Can You Take It On An Airplane?
Toddler travel cribs take up less room than a traditional playard-style crib or other sleeping options. Therefore, they can be stowed easily in the trunk of your car if you’re taking a road trip.
One of the major benefits of a travel crib is that it can also be checked on your flight if you’re traveling by air. The best travel crib for toddler is small enough to pack in a hard suitcase so that it doesn’t get damaged if you check it with your baggage.
You should check the dimensions of the travel crib if you’re planning on flying with it. Many manufacturers identify whether the product is designed for flying.
Does It Have Safety Features?
Some aspects of travel crib design make it safer for your child. For example, mesh sides allow for adequate air flow.
You may be concerned about the chemicals that are used in the crib. Because your child might spend 12 or more hours in the crib every day, you might want to choose a product that is free of flame retardants, PVC and other volatile organic compounds.
Although the government regulates some chemicals that may be found in toddler gear, they tend to allow levels of heavy metals that some experts claim are unhealthy. Certain crib manufacturers are careful to make their products without these potentially dangerous compounds.
How Easy Is It To Use?
Stressing out about your child’s sleep while you’re on vacation is no fun. The best travel crib for toddler is easy to set up and take down. You shouldn’t have to worry about breaking it while you’re assembling it. If you’re moving around frequently, you should look for a product that sets up effortlessly. You don’t want to be fiddling with the crib as your exhausted toddler throws a tantrum on the floor.
Some products also have features that make them easy to carry around. A bag will protect the product from dirt and grime. If the carrying bag is padded or has hard sides, you may be able to check it on an airplane without inserting it into another suitcase. Some companies make carrying bags with backpack-style straps to make toting the crib even easier.
What Additional Features Are Useful?
When you’re shopping for baby items, you may find it hard to decide what to splurge on. Certain features raise the price even though they’re unnecessary. For example, an indoor-outdoor mattress can come in handy if you plan to cart the crib to the park or beach for naps. It might not be useful if you are just going to set it up in your hotel room.
Some cribs feature a zippered panel on the side. You can keep it zipped to contain a sleeping child. Open it to give your little one a secure place to play and the option to crawl out while he or she is supervised. The side opening also allows you to lie down with children that need extra soothing to go to sleep.
My Top Travel Crib Reviews For Toddlers
I’ve looked into some popular options for travel cribs, and I’ve reviewed them to give you a better idea of their features as well as pros and cons.
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light
The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib is one of the lightest on the market. It has no frills and does exactly what it’s supposed to.
This travel crib for toddlers weighs only 13 pounds. Most infants weigh more than that by the time that they’re six months old.
It has no loose parts, making it easy to fold and stash in the included carrying bag. It only takes about 15 seconds to set up and take down. All you have to do is swing out the frame, and it clicks into place. Therefore, this is an ideal product when you’re staying in multiple accommodations or need to pack quickly.
It’s sturdy enough to use as an extra crib at home, too. The mattress rests on the floor and attaches to the crib using hook-and-loop closures. The attached frame keeps the crib steady.
Because the legs slope at an angle, the opening of this crib isn’t as large as some of the others. The crib is less prone to tipping, but the inside space seems tight. Although it would work well for sleeping, it’s not as suitable for playing in.
Although it’s compact when it’s folded and stowed in its case, this travel crib doesn’t fit into an airplane’s overhead compartment. You can check it with the rest of your baggage, however.
- Easy to set up and take down
- Machine-washable fabric
- No flame retardants
- Thick mattress
- Cramped interior
- Side panel doesn’t open
- Difficult to lean in and pick up small child from the top
- Can’t be taken onto airplane as a carry-on
- Sheets sold separately
- 25 inches tall
Lotus Travel Crib
The Lotus Travel Crib, made by Guava, is often compared with the Baby Bjorn. It has a similar design and weighs the same amount. It does take up a slightly larger footprint.
However, this is one of the best travel cribs to take on an airplane. It can travel with you as a carry-on on most airlines.
Because it has backpack-style straps, it is extremely comfortable to tote around with you. When it’s folded into the carrying case, the crib measures only 24 inches long, 7 inches wide and 11 inches high.
The manufacturer claims that it takes only 15 seconds to set up this travel crib. But it’s not as easy to set up as the Baby Bjorn. You do have to snap each leg open individually.
The mesh panel on the side zips completely open. This allows the child to sit safely inside while playing with an adult or older child on the outside. The ability to independently crawl in and out can make a toddler enjoy using the crib instead of feeling constrained.
You can also use the panel to take your toddler in and out of the crib. The quiet zipper shouldn’t wake your sleeping child.
This one can also be used as a bassinet if you purchase a conversion kit. So, it works well for babies and toddlers alike.
- Can be carried onto an aircraft
- Backpack-style case
- GreenGuard Gold non-toxic certification
- Zippered side opening
- Machine washable
- Thin mattress
- Difficult to pack into carrying case
- Sheets sold separately
- 25 inches tall
Phil & Ted’s Portable Traveler Crib
At 7 pounds, Phil & Ted’s weighs the least of all of the cribs that we reviewed, making it our top choice for long treks in large airports or train travel. It’s a little longer than the Lotus Travel Crib when it’s packed, though.
Because the side of this crib is a full mesh panel, you can keep an eye on your child. The visibility makes this crib handy. This is one of the best travel cribs if you plan to use it as a playpen because it has such an unobstructed view. However, a rowdy toddler that pushes on the sides could damage the fabric.
One side has a zipper that allows it to open up completely. A parent could easily climb into the crib with a child. The noise from the zipper could wake a sleeping baby, however.
The mattress is similar to a self-inflating air mattress. It offers multiple layers for thermal insulation. The included fitted sheet is Oeko-Tex certified.
The downside is that this crib isn’t as easy to pop up as the first two that I reviewed. The manufacturers seem to have addressed the issue, and they claim that the support bar clicks together more smoothly than it used to.
- Comes with a sheet
- Globally safety certified
- Fits in aircraft overhead compartment
- May be difficult to assemble and disassemble
Dream On Me Travel Light Play Yard
This travel crib looks similar to the Baby Bjorn. It features side panels made of a combination of fabric and see-through mesh. It folds up into a suitcase shape.
It’s quite affordable. But, what you save in money you might make up for in the time spent putting the product together. Setting it up can be a hassle and takes longer than 15 seconds. You might have to muscle some of the pieces together.
Still, this crib has plenty of great features. The mattress snaps into the frame, whereas most of the others use a hook-and-loop connector that doesn’t work if you don’t use the proprietary sheets.
The way that the mattress locks in makes the entire crib feel sturdier when it’s assembled. However, the fitted sheets can be challenging to put on.
The wide opening at the top gives you plenty of room to access your child. An ambitious toddler might be able to climb over the 26-inch rails, however.
- Mattress snaps into the frame
- Thick mattress
- Priced affordably
- Fabric can’t be removed for washing
- Can be hard to set up
- No side zipper
- Flimsy carrying case
4Moms Breeze Go Portable Travel Play Yard
You can open and close this travel crib with one hand. Easy setup is crucial when you arrive at your hotel late at night or need to corral your mobile youngster before he ransacks the room.
On the downside, this is not the most compact travel crib that we reviewed. It folds into a carrying case, but the case doesn’t feature backpack straps or an easy way to hold it. Its oblong shape might be cumbersome on an aircraft.
This is one of the only travel cribs that doesn’t have a mattress that rests on the floor. Because of that, it can only accommodate children up to 30 pounds. Therefore, it might be better for an infant than a toddler.
At only 0.25 inches thick, the mattress is not very padded. In fact, this travel crib doesn’t offer much cushion. It’s also 29 inches tall, which can accommodate toddlers better than the Dream on Me or Phil & Ted’s.
- Easy setup
- Stylish geometric design
- Weight limit is 30 pounds
- No side zipper
- Thin mattress
- Sheets not included
Skip Hop Play-to-Night Expandable Travel Crib
This playard is cozy enough for sleeping and roomy enough for playing, so it’s a great travel companion because you don’t need to bring both a crib and a playpen. It’s a two in one solution that you can expand with the central zipper.
While it’s cozy enough for sleeping at night in its crib mode, you can expand it to be 60% larger during the day for playing.
The neutral colors mean it coordinates with any sheet set you choose, but it does come with its own polyester sheet as well as an optional upgrade to a cotton/poly blend cloud patterned sheet if you choose.
It also comes with a mattress pad for sleep mode and a mat that’s easily wiped clean after play mode. The sheets are machine washable for easy care.
It has mesh sides that easily wipe clean as well. The other benefit to mesh sides is that your baby has extra ventilation and visibility, and you have visibility to your baby.
It’s easy to set up in seconds and expanding it is as easy and unzipping it and pulling the sides apart. It’s also easy to fold down and take with you when you leave the house.
It also includes a travel bag that contains the entire set nicely so you can zip it all up and carry it over your shoulder, throw it in the trunk, or take it with you wherever you go.
When it’s in crib mode, the extra mesh material needed for play mode is folded underneath and attached with velcro. The one downside to this travel crib option is that the velcro isn’t very strong and the extra material can sometimes come loose. It may take some ingenuity on the part of the parents to secure it better so your baby doesn’t find it and loosen it.
- Easily expands into a playard for a 2-in-1 travel solution
- Airy sides give your baby ventilation and are easy to wipe down
- Easy to fold down and includes a travel bag
- Sheets are machine washable
- Legs at the base are wider than the top and can cause tripping
- Upgraded sheet set sold separately
- Extra material isn’t secured very well while sleeping
MiClassic 2-in-1 Rocking Bassinet
Here’s another 2-in-1 travel bassinet, but its two functions are a bit different. For those of you who rely on rocking your child to sleep at night, traveling can be a tough road. Most travel cribs don’t rock.
This rocking bassinet rocks, and once your baby is asleep, you can lock the legs so it is stationary for the rest of the night, offering your baby a safe place to sleep while you get some rest.
It’s lightweight, at just 15.8 pounds, and it comes with its own carrying bag, so you can easily fold it down and pack it away to take it wherever you need to go. In fact, the quick pull up function means you can just pull it up with one hand to fold it up.
Assembly is also easy without tools and you can completely remove the legs for easier storage or transport if needed.
The weight limit on the bassinet is 33 pounds, which is fairly high. However, once your baby is able to push up, it’s no longer safe to use this solution, and that will likely happen long before your baby reaches the weight limit.
The breathable mesh ensures that you can see and communicate with your baby and your baby can do the same. The pad is water resistant, which makes it easy to clean when your child’s diaper leaks.
One problem with this bassinet that you may find a bit quirky is that the middle of the mattress is raised just a tad. Some parents have found that this uneven surface causes their baby to roll.
- Rocking and stationary settings for getting your baby to sleep and staying asleep
- Easy to fold with one hand
- Comes with carrying bag
- Easy to set up with no tools
- Mesh sides for breathability and visibility
- Uneven surface could cause your baby to roll
- Only MiClassic sheets will fit without causing a crease
Joovy Gloo Infant Travel Bed
The Joovy Gloo has a self-inflating mattress that you can’t use until your child is at least six months old, but because it’s because of this mattress design that the Joovy Gloo is one of the most lightweight infant travel beds around.
It’s only 3.9 pounds in the regular size and can be used up to age 3, while the large size is 5.5 pounds and can be used until age 5. Both come in a wide variety of colors, so it’s a bed that your child will love to sleep in when you travel.
The design is one of the coolest I’ve seen, made of a fabric that’s bugproof, dew-resistant, and SPF 50 metallic. It’s perfect for the beach, camping, and everything else. Plus, all you have to do to set it up is pop it open.
It comes with a washable cotton cover that fits over the mattress that makes it more comfortable and also ensures you can keep it clean.
The cool thing about this fabric is that it’s so easy to wipe down, so no matter where you use it, if your kids are messy, you’ll be able to hose it off or clean it up with ease.
Not only that, but the zippered enclosure makes it feel like their own private retreat in a hotel room, at Grandma’s house, or anywhere else you might go.
The mesh sides make it breathable and offer air flow so it doesn’t get too hot while still giving your child privacy and protection from bugs, dirt, or the sun.
- Comes in two sizes and plenty of colors
- Great for kids up to 5 years old
- Bugproof, dew-resistant, and SPF 50
- Zips completely closed
- Lightweight and easy to clean
- Not for use with ages younger than 6 months
- Can be difficult to fold up once opened
KidCo PeaPod Plus
This travel crib pops up and it’s a cocoon-style bed, just like the Joovy Gloo. It’s great for indoor and outdoor use because it zips up tight, but still has breathable mesh all around. It only weighs 3.5 pounds, so it’s insanely travel friendly.
To unfold it, simply slip it out of the bag and it pops itself up into shape. It comes with loops that allow you to anchor it to your bed, tent, or the ground if you need more stability. When it’s time to pack it up, simply fold it down and put it in it’s included storage bag.
This travel solution can be used for a child as young as a newborn, and while an older child can’t stand up, you can use it until your child outgrows it, which will likely be about 5 years old.
The zippered sides have two layers. The first is made of mesh, so you can secure your child inside while still allowing more ventilation to move through the crib. The second layer is solid, so if you’d prefer to give your child more shade, you can zip up both layers to secure them better.
There are large zippered layers on each side, but there are also zippered flaps on each end that open up to reveal even more mesh fabric. You can open the entire travel crib up while still keeping your child safe inside, allowing them to play or nap securely, while enjoying proper ventilation and visibility.
When you don’t want to use the zippered screens, simply roll them up and attach them using the velcro straps to keep them out of the way.
The entire thing is easy to spot clean in the event it gets dirty, but you can’t machine wash it, and it doesn’t come with a pad in the bottom, so you may need to provide your child with something a bit more comfortable to sleep on.
- Easy to set up and take down
- Zippered screens offer versatility and breathability
- Great for newborns up to 5 years
- Lightweight and easy to spot clean
- Not machine washable
- Doesn’t come with any padding on the bottom
Primo Cocoon Folding Travel Bassinet
This bassinet almost looks like an elegant throwback to the Victorian prams used by royals. It’s surrounded by breathable mesh, but will allow your baby to feel secure. The canopy is detachable for use indoors, but it acts as a bug screen if you choose to pull it out on the patio for some fresh air and sunshine.
Its sleek look weighs only 8.6 pounds, which isn’t bad for a full-size design, and it comes with a travel bag that you can easily drape over your shoulder or toss in the trunk. You can fold the legs away or remove them completely for easier storage if you like. Set up takes just a few minutes and take down is the same way.
The included mattress simply wipes down and air dries when it gets dirty. However, this set doesn’t come with any sheets. The other downside to this unit is that, much like the MiClassic, the middle of this mattress is raised a bit due to the hinge that allows it to fold.
The Cocoon only holds babies up to 20 pounds, so it won’t last you as long as some other travel solutions, but it is a good solution for those who need something they can take everywhere with them and still want to be stylish.
Another downside to this travel crib is that while it’s affordable, the quality isn’t the best. If you need something you can use temporarily, it’s a great solution, but it may not last you for a very long time. Luckily, it’s only intended for your child until they reach 20 pounds.
- Stylish and elegant
- Removable mesh canopy acts as a bug screen
- Compact and easy to set up
- Comes with travel carrying bag
- Lightweight with removable legs
- Mattress easily wipes down
- Only holds 20 pounds
- Mattress is slightly raised in the middle
You don’t want to risk buying the wrong travel crib and dealing with a cranky kid who isn’t getting a good night’s rest when you’re on vacation. My favorite all-around option is the Lotus Travel Crib. Between the side zipper, carry-on size and backpack straps, it’s the most convenient.
If I needed a crib with a great mattress, I might choose the Baby Bjorn as long as I didn’t need the zipper feature on the side panel. But if you want to save some money, you might want to opt for the Dream on Me, which is the most comparable crib to the Baby Bjorn.
The 4Moms Breeze Go gets a high rating for quality, but it’s the least portable. This might be a better option for leaving at grandma’s house than dragging on a plane.
When it comes down to it, all of these travel cribs for toddlers do the job that they’re supposed to do. Choose the one that fits your needs.