Whether you’re planning a vacation or staying with family during the holidays, there’s one baby item you need for a stress-free trip.
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A pack ‘n play (also known as a playard, playpen, or travel crib).
It’s a lightweight, convenient, and affordable way to keep your baby safe while you’re away from home.
Just fold it up and you have a portable sleeping or play space for your little one anywhere you go.
What is the best pack ‘n play for travel?
Our favorite is the 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard. Created by the same makers of the popular Mamaroo baby swing, we love this pack n’ play because it’s super easy to set up and use. It’s also very lightweight to carry.
Considerations when shopping for the perfect playard
If you ask different parents what is the best pack n play for travel, you’re likely going to get a few different answers because that answer is based on a few different things.
How old is your baby? If you have a newborn, you may want to consider an option that comes with a removable bassinet.
On the other hand, if you have a baby who’s a master crawler, you might choose to go with an option that will give them a bit more space to play.
How you plan to use it
Another consideration is how do you plan to use the pack ‘n play? Will it be for sleeping while you’re on vacation or simply to give your child a safe space to play so they can’t escape while you’re enjoying the outdoors?
If you plan to use it outdoors, what about sun protection?
How portable is it really?
If you’re going to be hauling this pack ‘n play with you on a road trip or taking it with you on an airplane, you need a product that’s easy to take along with you.
It’s a good check the total weight of the product, especially if you’ll be carrying it with you to the airport. You don’t want to have to keep up with a bag that’s too heavy or bulky to manage.
How easy it is to set up?
Another consideration that you should take very seriously is how easy the product is it set up and take down. Some playards have a simple one push open and one pull close. Others are not quite as simple.
If it’s a trickier one to figure out, then you’ll need to spend some extra time figuring this out before your trip.
How simple will it keep to keep the product clean?
Cleanliness matters too! Especially when you’re traveling. After all, hotels and such don’t have the best reputation for having the cleanest floors.
So, you’ll definitely want to consider how difficult it will be to keep the playard clean.
Best pack ‘n play for travel: Full list
Keep reading below to see our full list of recommended products!
We love, love, love the 4moms Breeze Plus pack ‘n play. It’s hands down the easiest to fold and unfold system we have come across.
4moms created this pack ‘n play to be a one push open, one push close system because the number one complaint on most travel systems is how hard they can be to set up and take down.
The Breeze Plus also has a removable bassinet and changer, and it comes with a convenient travel bag.
You’ll be able to see baby from all angles and there’s also full ventilation and airflow into the crib, thanks for the mesh siding
As far as the mattress goes, it’s a firm mattress and you can also purchase a fitted crib sheet, which is nice.
A few things things to consider:
This playard does not have any wheels on it, so it can be a little more difficult to move around the room once it’s set up.
However, it is fairly lightweight, so it’s not a huge problem.
The price on this pack ‘n play is a little higher than others on our list, but that is because the brand 4moms creates high quality baby products.
|One push open, one pull close||Pricier than some other playards|
|Removable bassinet and changer||No extra storage attached for diapers/creams etc.|
|Convenient travel bag included||No wheels|
|Mesh siding for full visibility and airflow||Can only be used up to 12 months|
|Can purchase sheets for mattress|
The Lotus Travel Crib provides a comfortable place for your baby to sleep when traveling.
The carry case is a backpack style, so you can just throw it over your shoulders when you’re traveling – how easy is that? It’s perfect for families who need a simple solution to carry with them on an airplane.
The pack ‘n play itself has 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.
The backpack (pack ‘n play and all) weighs only 15 pounds in weight when all packed up, which really does make it simple to just throw onto your back and head out.
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.
The only downfall is the lack of changing table.
|No weight limit as the mattress is supported by the floor||No bassinet or changeable options|
|Carry it on your back like a backpack|
|Zipper mesh side door|
|Full height breathable mesh|
|GreenGuard Gold approved|
|Can use up to age 3 (or until child can climb out)|
The Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe has all the bells and whistles you could need at an affordable price.
It comes with several extras including a napper with canopy, plush toys, changing table, and a full bassinet.
The mesh sides allow for proper airflow and good visibility too.
Overall, this is a an excellent option if you’re on a budget and looking for a pack ‘n play that comes with a lot of attachments.
Things to keep in mind:
This unit is quite large and can be more difficult to set up and take apart that the other options we’ve mentioned so far, but it has a lot to offer for a fair price.
|Changing table (flips away)||The system is fairly large so some parents don’t love to transport it around, but it is designed to be portable|
|Bassinet||Only suitable up to 30 lbs or 35″|
|Napper and canopy|
|Large wheels for moving around the room|
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.
But, the playpen is spacious for babies to play or sleep in and the mesh sides make it easy for parents to keep on eye on them, so that’s a win.
The sleek and durable design is also 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.
Best of all, it’s easy to keep clean because you can remove and machine wash the fabric.
Things to keep in mind:
While it is a great product for traveling parents and it’s easy wash up when it gets dirty, it may not be the best option if you have a newborn as it can be difficult to place the baby into the crib without waking them up. You have to really bend down into the crib to place baby down.
The ideal age is 3 months to 3 years, as long as your child isn’t trying to climb out.
|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|
|No weight limit as the mattress is supported by the floor|
5. Best for more play space: Joovy New RoomÂ² Portable Playard
Another great contender is the Joovy New RoomÂ² Portable Playard.
Much like the others we’ve mentioned, this product is easy to set up and take down. It’s a top pick for parents with babies who are a little older and already mobile.
The Joovy provides baby with 10 square feet of space to play and sleep. The extra large mesh sides make it easy to see baby and provides good airflow too.
It also has a waterproof mattress, and you can buy additional sheets if you like.
A few other things to consider:
The only downside is that, since this is a larger playard, it can be a little harder to transport. However, it’s not impossible and it does come with a travel bag if you wish to take this one with you.
|Lots of room for baby to move around in||Not ideal for newborns|
|Heavy duty waterproof mattress||Heavier than other options|
|Folds up easily||Can be tricky to lock sidebars into position|
|Includes travel bag|
6. Best for twins: Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center
If you’re looking for the best pack n play for travel and you’ve got twins, take a look at the Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center.
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.
This model is equipped with 2 removable bassinets which can also be used as stand alone rockers. The bassinets also come with retractable canopies, a carrying handle, and toys for extra stimulation.
The mesh siding allows for proper airflow and visibility. There’s also a change table that folds down when not in use and an extra large diaper caddy for stashing your middle-of-the-night diaper supplies.
Pack this playard easily into the bag for easy transport and travel.
Things to consider:
When the twins are older, they will need more room to play than this playard provides which is the main downfall of this pack ‘n play.
|Removable stand alone bassinets||Bassinets will not fit into the bag for travel once assembled|
|Change table||Playard is only large enough for one baby when the babies are old enough to sit up and play|
7. Best for outside: Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Portable Playard
For a travel pack n play for an older baby, the Summer Infant Pop Nâ€™ Play Portable Playard is a good choice.
You can take this unit to the beach, camping, or use it the backyard and keep your little one safe and contained to one area so you know they are safe.
There is a full coverage removable canopy to keep the sun off your baby while they play (provides UPF 50+ protection), making this a good option for sunny days. You can even throw in a stroller fan to keep the play space nice and cool.
This playard offers 14 square feet of play space, so it’s quite spacious. And, the mesh siding provides plenty of airflow, while also giving full visibility of your baby as they play.
It only takes seconds to set up. When you’re done playing for the day, store and carry it in the included travel bag.
Things to keep in mind:
This is not a newborn pack ‘n play where they can spend the night sleeping. It’s simply a space 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.
If you’re looking for an option your child can also sleep in, this is not the best choice.
|Pop up easy set up||Not for newborns|
|14 square feet of play space||Fabric can be difficult to take off for washing|
|Mesh siding for airflow and visibility||Not made for sleeping|
|Lightweight and portable||Ideal for 6-24 months|
These are some of the best options available for a pack n play that you can take with you when you’re traveling.
If you’re still trying to select the perfect one, just remember it really depends on your family needs which model is good for you!
For a single baby family, we love the 4moms Breeze Plus because it is SO easy to use! It’s super easy to pack up and carry with you wherever your adventures take you.
For twins we really like the Baby Trend Twin Nursery Center, which comes with all the things you need to make life comfortable when you have two newborns.
For outside play, our favorite is the Summer Infant Pop Nâ€™ 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.