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Amanda Goetz

Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib Review

A backpack carrying case, compact size and zippered mesh side door are just a few of the features that impressed our tester.

Pros
• Super easy to pop up and break down
• Compact backpack-style travel case
• Side zipper door for easy access
• Mesh siding is safe for baby

Cons
• Mattress is a little thin

Bottom Line
As its name implies you can take the Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib pretty much everywhere! Thanks to its small footprint, lightweight carrying case and very quick setup, we can’t imagine life without it.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Features

When I started searching for a travel crib, I had three main criteria in mind: easy assembly, lightweight and safe. The Lotus Crib by Guava Family exceeded my expectations in all three of these areas.

One of my favorite things about the Lotus is the zippered mesh side door—a feature that some other popular travel cribs and playards like Baby Bjorn and Summer Infant don’t offer. When my daughter Hadley was younger and struggled to fall asleep away from home, it was really nice to be able to zip open the door of the crib so I could lie down with her and rub her back (it often made it easier to get her in the crib too, since we didn’t have to lean all the way over and down while trying to support her—instead we could just slide her in through the side opening). Once she fell asleep, I could quietly slide out and zip up the side, leaving her to slumber (well, at least until she realized I had left!). As she got older, it was also really helpful to just open the side door and let her crawl out on her own, especially when I was pregnant with baby no. 2 and it was a lot harder to bend down and pick her up.

Another feature worth noting is the breathable mesh siding. I’ve never worried about baby being able to breathe as she snuggles next to the walls of the Lotus crib. It also seems pretty durable, since in the two years we’ve been using the crib the mesh has never snagged or ripped.

Finally, since we travel a ton, the thought of toting around a bulky, heavy crib that needs to be checked on the plane is not appealing. But the Lotus folds down into a 24 inch by 7 inch by 11 inch case with convertible backpack straps that weighs just 13 pounds with the crib inside. Such a great feature, and I love that we have the option to carry this crib right onto the plane. Easy, right?

Performance

Having used other friends’ playards while traveling, I was pleasantly surprised by the portability and user-friendliness of this travel crib. I’ve seen my friends sweat over the assembly of the heavy metal bars and cumbersome parts of other cribs. Not so with the Lotus. Setting up the crib is easy and takes about two minutes. You can start before you even take it out of the carrying case: Simply unzip the bag, open the folded mattress, extend the lightweight metal legs of the crib and pull it out of the case. Voilà! You’re halfway there. Next just pull the sides open to arms’ width and it will fully expand—the top rail clicks into a rigid, sturdy position so you know it’s ready to go. Finally, place the mattress in the base. A set of four Velcro tabs must be fed through narrow slits on the mattress sheet to the base of the crib to secure the mattress. This does add a little time to the setup process but it’s easy enough, and it’s important because it reinforces the safety of the crib.

Since the mattress and bottom of the crib rest on the floor there’s no weight limit. That means you can use the crib even after your child surpasses the 30-pound limit of most other cribs. At 19 months, Hadley is already 30 pounds and we continue to use the Lotus. She still has plenty of room to grow in this space and has never been even close to being able to climb out. Now that she’s older, I put the crib in our living room, open the side door and drape a blanket over it to create a little “fort” in which she loves to play and feel independent.

Design

We chose the Lotus Travel crib because of its clean, simple design. I love the black and gray crib with a clean white crib mattress and sheet. The black carrying case is sleek and fits in nicely with our regular luggage while traveling. Lotus also makes a few accessories for the crib that are great to bring on vacation, like the full coverage mosquito net ($27) and Fun Shade ($37), which comes in five colors to cover the back and top of the crib to block the sun and create a darker area for naptime.

The crib itself is longer and narrower than other playards (42 inches long by 24 inches wide internally; 45 inches long by 32 inches wide externally), which is great on one hand, because it’s been able to grow with my extra-tall toddler. On the other hand, that does mean you have to purchase specially sized crib sheets from Guava Family ($20).

One last thing to note: Guava Family also makes the Lotus Bassinet for newborns. If you already own this you can purchase the conversion kit ($100) and turn the bassinet into the Travel Crib when you’re ready. Or vice versa, if you already have the Travel Crib you can purchase the conversion kit ($110) and turn the crib into the bassinet.

Summary

As any parent who’s done it knows, traveling with a child is exhausting. The amount of stuff you find yourself taking for an overnight trip is laughable. Lotus has gone the extra mile to make this a lightweight, portable and safe travel crib that’s perfect for all our family’s adventures. While I’m attending to our daughter my husband wears the rectangular case as a backpack, which frees his hands to carry other luggage. And we don’t just use it when we’re on the go—I keep it in the living room to corral our toddler while I clean the house. Living in New York City, where we have a tiny apartment, I truly appreciate its small footprint and even more compact storage size.

Amanda Goetz lives in New York City with her two daughters and husband. She is Director of Marketing for The Knot. When she's not getting couples excited about finding their dream team of wedding vendors on The Knot, she's running around Central Park with her jogging stroller or taking her girls to the amazing museums in NYC (dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum are the current go-to excursion).