The Best Travel Cribs, Tested by Babies on the Go

Sleep easy even away from home with these portable travel cribs, including this year's Best of The Bump winner.
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Updated October 16, 2023
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Heading out on a trip or vacation with your baby or toddler? Chances are, there isn’t going to be a safe, sturdy crib waiting and available at your destination. And if that’s the case, you’re going to need a portable travel crib. Thankfully, there are a ton of options for you to choose from.

Of course, practically every travel crib bills itself as compact, lightweight and easy to set up and break down. To find out which ones actually lived up to the promise, we scrutinized the options, picked out the best of the bunch and had real parents put them to the test. Keep reading for advice on what to look for in a travel crib, as well as our picks of the best travel cribs on the market, including this year’s Best of The Bump winner.

What to Look for When Shopping for Travel Cribs

“It’s important to have a specific safe place for your child to sleep when traveling so that you can keep them safe and sound,” says Bridget Bowling, a certified pediatric sleep consultant in Cleveland, Ohio. “Without a travel crib, it’s easy for families to fall into unsafe sleep habits,” like letting baby sleep in bed with you.

Just like with a standard crib, safety comes first. Your child’s travel crib should have mesh side panels to promote healthy airflow and reduce the risk of suffocation while sleeping, Bowling says. In keeping with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the mattress should be firm enough that it doesn’t conform to the shape of your child’s head (again, to reduce suffocation risk), and there shouldn’t be any visible gaps between the mattress and the side of the crib, Bowling adds.

Any travel crib being sold in the US today must meet federal safety standards, which were updated in 2022. If you’re planning to use an older model, be sure that it meets Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety standards. The CPSC website can also tell you if a travel crib has been recalled, which is especially important if you’re snagging a hand-me-down from another family.

After safety, you’ll want to think about the features that’ll make your life easier. While traveling with baby is never really convenient, having a travel crib that works for your needs will mean a little less stress. “You’ll want to decide what’s important to you and what sorts of trips you’ll be taking and toting your travel crib on,” Bowling says. For instance, frequent fliers will probably want to prioritize compactness and minimal weight, while a little extra bulk won’t be much of an issue for those who take the occasional road trip to visit friends and family.

Finally, consider whether the travel crib will grow with your child. Compact models designed for air travel tend to be smaller, which is great for convenience when you have an infant. But you might need something a little more spacious if you’re hoping to use the same product until your older toddler transitions to sleeping in a bed. “Typically children sleep in travel cribs as long as they sleep in cribs, which I recommend to be until at least age 3,” Bowling says.

How We Tested the Travel Cribs

Image: Karina B., Danae C., Christine C.

To find the best travel cribs on the market, we enlisted parents of babies and toddlers to thoroughly test the leading options on the market. They used the portable cribs with their own kids for multiple naps and nights, and carefully assessed each travel crib for ease of use, portability, effectiveness, features and design and value for money. Our testers shared their results with editors at The Bump, and along with their research insights and area expertise, we rounded up the best travel cribs for every particular need.

Travel Cribs Comparison Chart

Overall best travel cribBest travel crib for newbornsBest travel crib for easy setupBest travel crib for flyingBest small travel cribBest lightweight travel cribBest pack and play travel cribBest all-in-one travel crib
Overall Best
Bugaboo Stardust Travel Crib
UPPAbaby Remi Playard
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
Munchkin Brica Fold 'n Go Baby Travel Pod
Aeromoov Instant Travel Crib
Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Playard
Delta Children babyGap Deluxe Play Yard
Folded dimensions25.6" (L) x 5.5" (W) x 33.5" (H)11" (L) x 10" (W) x 28.5" (H)23.5" (L) x 5.5" (W) x 19" (H)24" (L) x 12" (W) x 8" (H)16.9" (L) x 5" (W) x 20.7" (H)28.3" (L) x 4.7" (W) x 4.7" (H)39.5" (L) x 28.3" (W) x 131" (H)12" (L) x 9.5" (W) x 30.1" (H)
Open dimensions38.8" (L) x 25" (W) x 33.5" (H)40.5" (L) x 26" (W) x 28.5" (H)44" (L) x 32" (W) x 24" (H)45" (L) x 31.5" (W) x 25.5" (H)30" (L) x 21.3" (W) x 11.8" (H)36.2" (L) x 24.8" (W) x 51" (H)39.5" (L) x 28.3" (W) x 131" (H)37.4" (L) x 27.8" (W) x 40.2" (H)
Weight17.2 lbs.20 lbs.13 lbs.15 lbs.3 lbs.11 lbs.21.4 lbs.28.6 lbs.
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The Best Travel Cribs

For more than 10 years, The Bump has acknowledged the best baby and pregnancy products on the market through our award series. Scroll down to see which travel crib was named this year’s Best of The Bump award winner, along with a range of carefully vetted, standout travel cribs to suit specific needs—whether you’re prioritizing an airplane-friendly compact fold, something lightweight that you can carry on your back or a robust play space with all the extra features.

Overall best travel crib

Stardust Playard
Image: Nordstrom

Praising its “superior quality and innovative design,” as well as its “chic, minimalistic style,” our product tester couldn’t say enough good things about the Bugaboo Stardust Travel Crib. She rated it 5 out of 5 across a wide variety of categories, including ease of use, portability, effectiveness, features and design and value for the money, making it this year’s Best of The Bump winner for best travel crib. (Head here to see all of this year’s Best of The Bump winners.)

One of the Stardust’s major selling points is a one-second unfold, which may sound like quite a bold claim! But “it lived up to its promise,” according to our product tester, who added, “the Bugaboo Stardust was impressively user-friendly. Its sleek, folded design made storage easy, especially in tight spaces like car trunks.”

The lightning-fast setup comes courtesy of an all-in-one design, including a built-in mattress, which means you have zero extra parts to fiddle with. Folding it back up takes a mere three seconds, so packing at the end of your trip is just as easy. And at 17 pounds, “it felt lighter than many of the other models I've tried,” our product tester reported.

Despite the slim profile and minimal poundage, the Bugaboo Stardust is a sturdy space for sleep and play. “Its robust sides and base seemed well-equipped to handle the spirited energy of a 9-month-old," our tester said. You'll get maximum longevity too, thanks to a bassinet feature for newborns and an adjustable height setting that keeps your cutie contained as they grow. Compared to other travel cribs she’d tried, our tester said “this one stood out in terms of comfort and design.”

Dimensions (open): 38.8" (L) x 25" (W) x 33.5" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 25.6" (L) x 5.5" (W) x 33.5" (H) | Weight: 17.2 lbs. | Weight capacity (crib): 33 lbs. | Weight capacity (bassinet): 19.8 lbs

“It made travel with a 9-month-old remarkably hassle-free.”

What We Love
  • Adjustable height
  • Uses standard crib sheets
  • Comes with Velcro travel bag
Things To Consider
  • Higher price
  • Weight capacity may not suit older toddlers

Best travel crib for newborns

The UPPAbaby Remi Playard was designed with newborns in mind. Not only does it boast an easy-to-insert mesh bassinet to keep the tiniest sleepers safe and secure, but its materials are also GREENGUARD Gold certified for low chemical emissions to provide better air quality for baby. The organic, temperature-regulated mattress is machine washable too, making easy work out of cleaning spit-up, blow-outs or leaks.

There are plenty of newborn-friendly features to love here, but the greatest gift for new parents is a good night’s sleep—and this travel crib delivers. “There’s no difference in [baby’s] sleep using the travel crib vs. his usual crib or bassinet,” our product tester reported. She gave the Remi a 5 out of 5 score for effectiveness, adding, “we tried it as a bassinet and as a crib and [my baby] sleeps great using both.”

The Remi earned additional kudos from our tester (as well as additional 5 out of 5 scores for ease of use and portability) when it came to set up. “The Remi is brilliant,” she said. “Not only is it super easy to use, but the instructions are very easy to follow. When traveling, the last thing you need is the headache of having to set up a complicated crib to put a tired and fussy baby down. The Remi is so easy to set up, you can do it in less than a minute and be able to focus on other things.”

That’s not to say that the Remi is just for infants—it's also sturdy enough to withstand naps, sleep and playtime with older babies and toddlers. In fact, our product tester believes she’ll keep using it for some time to come. “I can see it being very useful as he gets older and I can set him in with his toys to keep him contained because there is plenty of space for toys and books.”

Dimensions (open): 40.5" (L) x 26" (W) x 28.5" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 11" (L) x 10" (W) x 28.5" (H) | Weight: 20 lbs. | Weight capacity (bassinet): 20 lbs.

“The Remi is very well thought out. I love the side zipper to let kids in and out, and the set up is foolproof.”

What We Love
  • GREENGUARD Gold certified
  • Can be used with older babies and toddlers
  • Lots of room for toys and books during playtime
Things To Consider
  • On the heavier side
  • Pricey

Best travel crib for easy setup

Traveling with baby in tow can be exhausting—so the last thing you need once you reach your destination is a travel crib that’s a painstaking puzzle to assemble. Not with the Baby Bjorn crib! Setup is a breeze. “It folds in and out so easily, I could almost do it with one hand,” our tester said, giving the Travel Crib Light 5 out of 5 scores for ease of use, effectiveness and portability. When you're ready head home, just collapse it and tuck it into the handy included travel bag. “I could fold it down and transport it easily for playdates and sleepovers at the grandparents,” our product tester reported. It won’t break your back, either: Clocking in at just 13 pounds, this sturdy yet featherweight travel crib might weigh less than baby!

The firm-but-cushioned mattress will keep your little one comfortable while they snooze, and the crib can easily double as a playard for babies. That said, the light weight and simple design comes with a few minor costs: The crib's small size isn't ideal for toddler playtime, and there's no bassinet feature for newborns.

Still, if you're looking for a travel crib that'll get you from point A to point B with minimal headache, it’s a top choice. “It's worth the price for a hassle-free experience and its convenient travel size,” our product tester said. “It's not fussy at all and very straightforward.”

Dimensions (open): 44" (L) x 32" (W) x 24" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 23.5" (L) x 5.5" (W) x 19" (H) | Weight: 13 lbs. | Weight capacity: N/A

“It's not fussy at all and very straightforward.”

What We Love
  • Easy to unfold and setup
  • Light weight
  • Comes with carrying bag
Things To Consider
  • No bassinet
  • May not be big enough for use as playard

Best travel crib for flying

Lotus Travel Crib
Image: Guava Family

We can't promise the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib will make flying with baby, well, easy. But it'll definitely make things easier, thanks to its light weight, compact fold-down size, included travel bag that can be worn as a backpack(!) and the fact that you can take it as a carry-on.

"I can’t lift very heavy things, and I find myself picking this up with no problem,” our tester reported, giving the Lotus 5 out of 5 for ease of use and portability. “The shape is great and very flat.” And she’s not kidding: This highly portable travel crib folds down to just half its full size.

Once you reach your destination, the easy-to-set-up crib doubles as a playard to keep your cutie (and their toys) contained. A convenient side-zipper feature makes it easy for older babies and toddlers to climb out on their own (once you unzip it), which means less lifting for you; it’s also a handy feature for shorter parents and caregivers who struggle to reach over the sides of a portable crib. The Lotus earned another 5 out of 5 score for features and design from our tester, who added, “It's spacious but not bulky.”

While this crib option is lightweight and streamlined, the sturdy aluminum frame keeps active toddlers secure, and because it sits on the floor, there's no upper weight limit. You can use it until your tot is big enough to climb out, wherever your travels take you.

Dimensions (open): 45" (L) x 31.5" (W) x 25.5" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 24" (L) x 12" (W) x 8" (H) | Weight: 15 lbs. | Weight capacity: N/A

“It's ridiculously easy to set up, super small and you can wear it as a backpack.”

What We Love
  • Can be worn as a backpack
  • Carry-on approved
  • Features a side zipper
Things To Consider
  • No bassinet feature
  • Mattress is on the thinner side

Best small travel crib

Brica Travel Pod
Image: Munchkin

If you're looking for a pint-sized sleeping space for camping trips or naps in the park, the Munchkin Brica Fold ‘n Go Baby Travel Pod may be the option for you. Like the name implies, it's more like a portable cocoon than a full-on crib, making it ideal for newborns and younger babies who aren't yet pushing up or trying to roll over.

The pod, which lays flat on the ground, can be quickly set up on a picnic blanket or beach towel with the touch of a button. “It took maybe one full minute to set it up and break it down,” our product tester reported, giving the Brica Fold ‘n Go a 5 out of 5 score for ease of use. It's also ultra lightweight (just 3 pounds!). “This was especially helpful since I haven't yet gained my full strength back postpartum,” she added. She also appreciated the mesh sides that offer breathability (and let you take a peek in at baby).

The Brica Fold ‘n Go also earned a 5 out of 5 for effectiveness—our tester reported that baby “settled well after just a minute and slept regularly.” In short, it's a great, easy option for newborn snoozes. The Brica Fold ‘n Go is basically a travel bassinet, offering a great option for little nappers who will move on to a bigger travel crib once they’re able to start pushing up.

Dimensions (open): 30" (L) x 21.3" (W) x 11.8" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 16.9" (L) x 5" (W) x 20.7" (H) | Weight: 3 lbs. | Weight capacity: 15 lbs.

“It's a great item to keep in the car and to take to parks, beaches or camping.”

What We Love
  • Small and lightweight
  • Convenient for newborns
  • Budget-friendly
Things To Consider
  • Low weight capacity
  • Too small for older babies
  • Mattress is on the thin side

Best lightweight travel crib

Instant Travel Cot Playard
Image: Nordstrom

This lightweight travel crib—and seriously, we mean under 11 pounds lightweight—was a big hit with our product tester. “This was extremely light and very easy to carry both assembled and folded up,” she told us, giving the Aeromoov Instant Travel Crib 5 out of 5 scores across a broad range of categories, including portability, effectiveness and value for money. it's a breeze to tote along practically anywhere. And since it folds down to less than five inches wide in the included carrying bag, it's super easy to store.

Our product tester said she’d “especially recommend it to someone who travels or does a lot of outdoor trips," since the crib can be bundled with a UC50+ sunshade and a mosquito net to keep your cutie comfortable in the elements. In fact, the mosquito netting was something our tester particularly singled out for praise: “I’ve never actually seen a playard with a mosquito net, so I really did like that. I took my first son camping at 5 months and struggled with bugs and leaves falling into his playard.”

If you’re worried that a lightweight travel crib won’t hold up to an active baby, don’t. Our tester told us, “The structure of the playard was very sturdy and I didn’t feel like it would give in at all if my son was to fall over or try and pull up inside.” Setup is quick and convenient, and you'll appreciate the adjustable height too. This is one light crib that does the work of a heavyweight champ!

Dimensions (open): 36.2" (L) x 24.8" (W) x 51" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 28.3" (L) x 4.7" (W) x 4.7" (H) | Weight: 11 lbs. | Weight capacity (bassinet): 13 lbs. | Weight capacity (crib): N/A

“I'd especially recommend it to someone who travels or does a lot of outdoor trips.”

What We Love
  • Small, lightweight, and easy to carry
  • Add-on sunshade and mosquito net
  • Adjustable levels for newborns through toddlers
Things To Consider
  • Narrow, on the small side for toddlers
  • Some users wish the travel crib bag was sturdier

Best pack and play travel crib

Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go Playard
Image: Target

Spacious, sturdy and easy to transport from room to room (thanks, bottom wheels), Graco's Pack ‘n Play On The Go Playard shines not only as a place for naps, but also as a space to keep your little contained while they're awake. “There's enough room for [my daughter] and her toys,” our product tester told us. “I felt safe and secure with the durability of the playard and how happy she was to play and do tummy time.”

The On The Go Playard isn’t as compact as some of the other models we tried—it’s definitely geared towards giving your child a dedicated playspace in addition to a sleep environment. But our tester, who gave the playard 5 out of 5 for portability and ease of use, found it simple to fold down, transport and set back up. “One of my favorite things [about it] was how easy it is for a busy mom," she told us. “It took me maybe five minutes to set up. And it's light enough for me to carry along with my baby.”

It's a great value for the money too—whether you need a toddler travel crib or something that can grow with baby, you’ll love the age-adaptable features like a full-size bassinet and soft toy bar. “The height was perfect for picking her up and setting her down, and there's lots of room for her to grow,” our tester told us. There's even a side pocket for storing essentials like diapers and wipes, and the 35-inch height limit easily keeps even the most curious toddlers in one spot.

Dimensions (open): 39.5" (L) x 28.3" (W) x 131" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 10.5" (L) x 10.5" (W) x 29" (H) | Weight: 21.4 lbs. | Weight capacity (bassinet): 15 lbs. | Weight capacity (crib): N/A

“I loved this playard for the ease, durability and style!”

What We Love
  • Full-size bassinet
  • Lots of space to play
  • Can be wheeled from room to room
Things To Consider
  • Larger than some other travel cribs

Best all-in-one travel crib

babyGap Deluxe Play Yard
Image: Gap

The Delta Children babyGap Deluxe Play Yard has everything you need to serve as your little one's home base away from home, including a bassinet, changing table, snap-on hanging storage and a removable toy arm to engage your newborn's visual development. At the same time, it has a quick, compact fold that makes it easy to pack and tote when you're on the go. “The playard has so many additional features,” our product tester told us, rating the babyGap deluxe 5 out of 5 for value. “And is much less expensive than [similar products]!”

“I was genuinely surprised at how lightweight this playard was in comparison to another Pack-n-Play that I have,” our product tester told us, also giving the babyGap Deluxe 5 out of 5 for portability and ease of use. “It easily broke down and slid back into the carrying case.” She also added that she loved the fact that set-up instructions were printed right on the side of the bassinet. “It made it so easy and convenient to put together,” she told us. “Especially as someone who loses paper directions!” (We hear you!)

Our tester loved the wheels built into one side of the travel crib—and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point that she rated the babyGap Deluxe 5 out of 5 for features and design. “This is so important, as when I'm working in my kitchen, I can easily push the playard closer and into my vantage point while I'm cooking.”

The mesh-paneled bassinet was also a winner. “It's excellent quality. It's firm and fits securely into the bassinet insert,” our tester said. The mobile on top is pretty mesmerizing too, so you can eke out a few more uninterrupted minutes as you get ready to hit the road. “My infant stared at it for 25 minutes,” she said. Needless to say, she loved this feature!

Dimensions (open): 37.4" (L) x 27.8" (W) x 40.2" (H) | Dimensions (folded): 12" (L) x 9.5" (W) x 30.1" (H) | Weight: 28.6 lbs. | Weight capacity (crib): 30 lbs. | Weight capacity (changing table): 25 lbs. | Weight capacity (bassinet): 15 lbs. | Weight capacity (crib): N/A

“It’s comfortable and so easily transportable for my two young babies.”

What We Love
  • Easy to assemble and break down
  • Packs up in compact carrying case
  • Comes with mobile to keep babies entertained
Things To Consider
  • Some users worried the carrying case handles weren't sturdy enough

How We Chose the Best Travel Cribs

To help you identify the best travel cribs out there, The Bump editors conducted extensive research into best-selling, well-reviewed travel cribs to identify the leading options on the market, combing through user reviews, leveraging our familiarity with leading baby brands and relying on our own experiences as parents. And then we got hands-on. We enlisted the help of real parents who used these travel cribs with their own babies, at home and on the road, and carefully evaluated each for ease of use, portability, effectiveness, features and design and value for money.

We paired this rigorous testing with our own expertise and insights to bestow the prestigious Best of The Bump award to the overall best travel crib. But we didn’t stop there. Using the testing evaluations, we identified other standout options that are particularly good for specific needs, whether you want a slim or lightweight option, one that’s ideal for newborns or a travel crib that works particularly well as a playard. All this, to help ensure you find exactly the right product for your family.

Want to learn more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Differences Between Travel Cribs and Pack and Plays

Travel cribs and pack and plays (also known as playards) can keep babies and toddlers safe, comfortable and contained while they sleep or play (as long as the playard is designated for overnight sleep). Both are designed to be portable and can generally be folded down and packed up in a compact bag or case, making them a good alternative to a crib when you’re on the go.

The main difference? Many products billed as travel cribs tend to be smaller, lighter and easier to transport than pack and plays. They’re a little more convenient for tucking into the car or bringing along to the airport, explains Bowling. But ultimately, both will get the crib stand-in job done.

About the writer:

Marygrace Taylor is a freelance health and parenting writer based in Philadelphia, who’s written dozens of product roundups, health features and personal essays for The Bump. She’s also a highly experienced car seat and travel crib user, thanks to her 5-year-old.

Interested in becoming a product tester for The Bump? Head here to apply.


Bridget Bowling is a certified Family Sleep Institute pediatric sleep consultant in Cleveland, Ohio, and the founder of Little Snoozers

Healthy Children (AAP), How To Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe: AAP Policy Explained, September 2023

US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs Business Guidance

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