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Travel crib vs pack n play: Which is better?

Travel Crib Vs Pack N Play

📄 Table of Contents

Traveling with a baby can be tiring, to say the least. There are hundreds of choices to ensure your baby stays comfortable and safe. But when it comes to safe sleep and play time when traveling, many people get travel cribs or pack n plays to ensure that their baby remains comfortable. So what are travel cribs and pack n plays, and how do they differ? In this blog post, let us answer all your queries. 

Travel Crib vs Pack N Play

A travel crib is a portable and lightweight bed designed for infants and toddlers, specifically designed to ensure a safe sleeping environment while on the go. It provides easy assembly and compact storage, so travel cribs are an essential accessory for families on the move.

A pack n play, also known as a playard and playpen, is a versatile and portable baby accessory that combines a playing and sleeping area. With its foldable design and included mattress, the Pack n’ Play can be a good option for both traveling and keeping in a specific place. 

Travel Crib vs Pack and Play: Which One Should You Get?

The choice between a travel crib and a Pack ‘n Play depends on your specific needs, lifestyle, and priorities. If you require a versatile playpen and crib combination with additional features, a Pack ‘n Play might be the right choice. However, a travel crib would be a more suitable option if you prioritize lightweight portability and simplicity for sleep purposes only. Consider factors like ease of use, space constraints, and budget to make an informed decision. Moreover, another main factor in deciding between the two should be how often you travel or plan or traveling with your baby!

Look below at the key differences and pros and cons of Pack n’ plays and Travel cribs to decide what suits you the best!

Key differences between pack n play vs travel crib?

We think that Pack n Play and travel cribs are both great choices for parents looking for portable sleeping solutions for their babies. While they serve similar purposes, there are key differences between the two:


Pack n Plays are multifunctional playards that can also be used as cribs. They often feature additional features like a changing station or storage pockets. On the other hand, travel cribs primarily focus on providing a compact and lightweight crib for sleeping purposes only. They usually have a simpler design without any additional features.

Maintenance, Ease of Use, Portability

Pack ‘n Plays tend to be bulkier due to their multi-functionality. They often require more effort to assemble and disassemble. On the other hand, travel cribs are built to be light in weight and extremely easy to set up and dismantle. They usually come with a carrying case for convenient transportation. Travel cribs are generally easier to maintain and clean as they have fewer complex parts.


Regarding cost, travel cribs tend to be more budget-friendly compared to Pack’ n Plays. This is primarily because travel cribs have a simpler design without additional features. Pack n Plays, with their multi-functionality, often come at a higher price point.

Here’s a quick comparison table to help you get an idea before you make a purchase decision whether you should get a travel crib or a pack and play:

Comparing travel crib vs pack and play side-by-side

Guava Lotus Travel Crib

Travel Crib

Purpose – Designed primarily as a portable bed for infants and toddlers during travel or at home.

Size – Generally smaller and more compact, designed for portability and ease of transport.

Portability – Highly portable, often with a carrying bag, making it easy to transport for trips or outings.

Setup – Typically quick and easy to set up, often with a simple pop-up or folding mechanism.

Sleeping Area – Primarily designed for sleeping, with a comfortable mattress and crib-like features.

Play Area – Limited play functionality, primarily intended for sleep.

Accessories – Fewer built-in accessories, mainly focused on the crib function.

Weight Limit – Typically up to 35lbs.

Versatility – Specialized for sleep, less versatile.

Price – Often affordable due to its specialized design.

Storage – Compact and easy to store when not in use.

Use Cases – Ideal for short trips, vacations, or as a secondary crib at home.

4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard

Pack n Play (Playard)

Purpose – Multi-functional and serves as both a playpen and a sleep space for infants and toddlers.

Size – Typically larger and bulkier, providing more space for play and sleep.

Portability – Less portable due to its size and weight, suitable for longer stays in one location.

Setup – May require more time and effort to assemble and disassemble due to its larger size and additional features.

Sleeping Area – Offers a sleep space as well but may have less comfortable padding or mattress options.

Play Area – Larger play area with mesh sides.

Accessories – May include additional features like bassinet attachments, changing tables, and storage.

Weight Limit – Weight limit of up to 50lbs.

Versatility – Serves as sleep space, playpen, & changing station.

Price – More expensive due to its additional features.

Storage – Requires more storage space due to its size.

Use Cases – Suited for longer stays, as a play area, and changin station.

❔What can a travel crib be used for?

As the name suggests, travel cribs are mainly for when you are on the go, for example camping outside, etc. But, we have found out that they are great for visiting a relative or friend who doesn’t have a baby bed; you can take your travel crib with you there so your baby can have a comfortable sleep no matter where you are! 

What are the pros and cons of Pack n Play?

Pros of getting a Pack n Play

Versatility – Pack n Plays offer multiple functions, serving as a crib, playpen, and sometimes even a changing station. 

Safety – Pack and Plays are designed with safety in mind, meeting industry standards for crib safety. They often have mesh sides for ventilation and visibility, so you can watch your child while they play or sleep. 

Longevity – Pack n Plays can be used from infancy to toddlerhood, accommodating the baby’s growth. Some models have adjustable mattress heights, allowing for easy access to the baby when they are younger and lowering it as they grow.

Cons of getting a Pack n Play

Size and Weight – Some Pack’ n Plays can be bulky and heavy, making them less ideal for frequent travel or transportation. 

Assembly and Disassembly – Setting up and taking down a Pack ‘n Play can sometimes be time-consuming and require effort, especially if it has additional features or a more complex design. This is a quality that deters us, especially when we are using pack n’ Play for traveling. 

Limited Lifespan – While Pack’ n Plays can be used for an extended period, they are eventually outgrown by toddlers. Once the child becomes too tall or active, they may need to transition to a different sleeping and playing arrangement.

Recommended Pack n Plays

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 Nursery Center
BrandBaby Trend
ModelBaby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe 2 Nursery Center
Dream On Me Nest Portable Play Yard
BrandDream On Me
ModelDream On Me Nest Portable Play Yard
Graco On-The-Go Pack n Play
ModelGraco On-The-Go Pack n Play
4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard
Model4moms Breeze Plus Playard

What are the pros and cons of a travel crib?

Pros of getting a travel crib

Portability – The primary advantage of travel cribs is their lightweight and compact design. They are specifically designed for easy transportation, making them ideal for families who frequently travel or are on the go. They can even fit in a suitcase or carrying bag.

Easy Setup – In tune with their name, travel cribs are typically designed for quick and hassle-free assembly. They often feature a simple folding mechanism or pop-up design that allows for easy setup in a matter of minutes. 

Cost-effective – Travel cribs tend to be more budget-friendly than larger, multifunctional options like Pack ‘n Plays. So, you can buy one on the extra with a main crib for your baby’s room.

Cons of getting a travel crib

Limited Features – Due to their focus on portability and simplicity, they lack some of the extra features found in Pack’ n Plays.

Size Limitations – Due to their portable nature, travel cribs may have size limitations, particularly when it comes to accommodating older or larger babies. 

Less Durability – Travel cribs are made with lightweight materials to ensure portability, which can result in reduced durability compared to more robust cribs or playards. While safe, they may not be as sturdy or long-lasting as other options.

Limited Use – Travel cribs are primarily designed for temporary or occasional use, such as during trips or visits to family and friends. They are not suitable for everyday or long-term use.

Recommended Travel Cribs

Guava Lotus Travel Crib
BrandGuava Family
ModelGuava Lotus Portable Travel Crib
Dream On Me Travel Light Playard
BrandDream On Me
ModelDream On Me Travel Light Playard
Pamo Babe Portable Travel Crib
BrandPamo Babe
ModelPamo Babe Portable Travel Crib
BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
ModelBabyBjörn Travel Crib

Summing up…

Choosing within a Pack ‘n Play and a travel crib, ultimately boils down to your specific needs and priorities. Travel cribs are portable and simple, making them ideal for families who frequently travel or have limited space.

On the other hand, Pack’ n Plays offer versatility with additional features like changing stations and playpen functionality. They are a more multifunctional option, albeit bulkier and heavier.

From personal experience, we have found out that both travel cribs and Pack n Plays are excellent options for providing a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your baby while on the go. But if you’re seeking a long-term and permanent sleeping solution, Pack n Plays should be your go-to!

Parents Also Ask

Pack N Play or Travel Crib: Which Is Best For Sleep?

Travel cribs generally provide more comfort with thicker mattresses and fewer structural elements near the sleeping area. The thin, firm mattresses of pack-n-plays may not be as comfortable for extended overnight sleep. However, pack n plays with a bassinet attachment can be useful for newborns, providing a convenient spot for daytime naps and keeping an eye on the baby. So, Pack n’ Play with a bassinet is our winner for long sleeping time for babies.

Pack N Play or Travel Crib: Which Is Best For Play?

Travel cribs are not made for playing, while Pack n’ Plays are designed for both Play and sleeping. With their sturdy and easily cleanable structures, Pack n’ Plays are definitely better for playtime!

Pack N Play or Travel Crib: Which Is Best For Travel?

Even Though Pack n’ Plays can be used for travel because of portability, Travel cribs are more portable and easily assembled, ensuring they can be traveled with very easily. So Travel Cribs are better!

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