One of the baby essentials that parents like me will think about and search for will be a pack ‘n play or playard to serve as a safe place for baby to play whether indoors or during visits to say, grandma and grandpa’s house. And if you are someone who travels for house visits a lot with your little one, chances are you will be considering best pack and play for travel.
Well, I’ve been through that researching phase for my child and I figure why not make a list to help others who are possibly in the same boat? Which is why I’ve come up with a list for you – let’s take an in-depth look at the best baby pack n’ play and playards for travel, shall we?
The 10 Best Pack and Play for Travel
Getting your baby to sleep somewhere unfamiliar can be very difficult. They have gotten use to their routine, their environment, their smells and textures. However, we all know that there will be times where you will sleep away from home and your baby will be with you.
You can’t take your baby’s crib with you wherever you go. It’s too big, making it not physically possible. Having a portable sleeper, one that folds up, is lightweight, and can be transported easily is a better option.
The best travel pack and play is a great investment for those nights away from home. It gives your baby a familiar place to sleep, which can help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
When looking for a playard for travel, you need to look at overall size. This not only means how big it is when your best pack and play for travel is unfolded but also how bulky it is when folded since you will have to carry it this way.
You also need to consider the weight of the playard. The best travel playard will be light enough to carry without straining yourself.
Being able to set up a pack ‘n play or playard with just a few steps is something you will appreciate as a parent. You would want to look for a travel playard that is not only easy to put together but also doesn’t break a lot of sweat when taking it down, especially if you move your baby’s pack ‘n play on a regular basis.
Take into consideration what you will be using your playard for. Will your baby be taking naps in it? Or will it just be used as a safe play space like a playpen for your little one?
Choosing the best pack and play for travel that is somewhat versatile is a nice feature so that you get more use for the money you will be spending on it. However, if you are only looking for a play space, a play gym or a play mat will be the better option. Or if you prefer a travel crib for sleeping, this category isn’t a necessity.
Safety should be one of the first things on your mind when choosing a product for your baby, such as the best pack and play for travel. You don’t want your playard to tip over, contain any suffocation hazards, or made with toxic or dangerous materials.
The best travel pack ‘n play will have materials that are sturdy but well-padded and non-toxic to ensure that your baby can play and sleep safely.
Babies are notoriously messy. There will be episodes of spit up, diaper blowouts, and loads of drool that are sure to leave your playard a mess.
A waterproof coating on the mattress (if applicable) and machine washable materials will be your best bet for easy clean up.
This play pen is ideal for parents who plan to move it around quite a bit. It is very easy to fold down into a compact that fits into the convenient travel bag.
The Baby Bjorn travel crib is the easiest pack and play to set up. The frame comes pre-assembled, so all you need to do is unfold it and put the mattress down. The mattress is better than most playard mattresses; it is thick and firm, similar to a regular crib mattress.
The frame is very sturdy. There are no wheels and it sits right onto the floor, giving a better base that prevents tipping over, rolling away, or any other movement that may result in injury.
- Folds compact and easily
- Thick mattress
- Sits directly on the floor for better stability
- Mesh on all four sides
- Washable fabrics
- Bed height is not adjustable
- Better for sleeping only, not playing
- Drafty in colder environments
- Simple to set up and fold up
- Easy to take with you
- Soft and comfy mattress
This Funsport playard from Cosco is great for traveling. It weighs just over 20 pounds, making it super easy to carry from one location to the next.
Setup is also super easy with this lightweight pack and play. You just remove it from the carry bag, open the base, and make sure the sides are locked out. When you’re ready to put it away or take it to the next location, it collapses just as easily.
Its design is very simple with no extra parts or pieces to worry about. It is also affordable, a perfect fit for just about every parent’s budget.
- 4 easy-view mesh sides for visibility and breathability
- Sets up in less than a minute
- Wheels make it easy to move between rooms
- Folds compactly into included travel bag
- No bassinet for infants
- Not much padding on the bottom or arms
- Mattress is very thin
- Takes up quite a bit of floor space
- FUNCTIONAL PORTABLE PLAY YARD FOR BUSY PARENTS – The COSCO Funsport Play Yard is lightweight and easy to move, so you can spend less time setting it up and more time enjoying playtime with your little one.
- SPEND LESS TIME SETTING UP – Setup is a breeze and takes less than one minute with this play yard. Just remove it from the carry bag, open the base, and prop up the sides. When you’re done, fold it back down using the quick squeeze latch.
- MOVE AROUND THE HOUSE WITH EASE – Each COSCO Funsport Play Yard is fitted with wheels for mobility so that you can easily maneuver it around the house when you or your child wants a change of scenery.
Summer Infant Pop N’ Play Portable Playard may be the best portable play yard you are looking for portability – this playard features easy setup and can be kept into a travel bag if you need to use it on the go.
It provides your baby a large space to play within a safe, sturdy structure even as your child tugs and pulls on the sides. This playard is also one of the best playards to get if you have twins.
The playard has mesh sides that are breathable, which allows some breeze to pass through and for you to easily see your little one. The floor of the playard is made from canvas type material that is water resistant to keep your baby dry when you bring them outdoors to play and also makes cleaning the pack ‘n play an easier task.
- Compactly fits into a storage bag for travel
- Lightweight structure
- Large play space that is great for twins
- Water resistant canvas floor and breathable mesh sides
- Playard easy to set up
- Not for sleeping
- Canopy is sold separately
- Exposed metal bars
- Travel bag wears out quickly
- Screws are known to fall out from intensive use
- INDOOR/OUTDOOR USE – Whether playtime is indoors or out, keeping your little one in one place is essential. The Summer Pop ‘n Play Portable Play Yard provides 14 square feet of contained playing area, and the folding metal frame weighs only 12 pounds
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE – The ultra-lightweight and compact play yard for baby and toddler is perfect for use at home inside or out, a day at the park or even a vacation at the beach.
- COMPACT FOLD – With a lightweight, innovative pop and fold design that sets up and comes down in seconds, plus an easy and compact fold, you can have a travel toddler and space saver baby playpen to bring with you on all your adventures.
The Lotus travel crib is very similar in design to the BABYBJORN. It sits directly on the floor and has a frame that folds out easily for set up.
One of the main differences is that this one is a little bit easier to get your baby out. The front mesh netting unzips so you don’t always have to reach over the sides.
You may also prefer the travel bag for this one over the BABYBJORN. This best pack and play for travel packs down into a backpack rather than a duffel bag, which can make it a bit easier to carry.
Other than these things, the design is basically the same. The travel crib sits directly on the floor, making it safer since it won’t roll or tip. It also the lightest pack n’ play on our list at only 13 pounds.
- WORRY-FREE AIRPORT TRAVEL - Designed to be easy to fly with the compact, light backpack carrying case. Set up is simple in 15 seconds and only weighs 13 lbs packed.
- CERTIFIED SAFE & NON-TOXIC - The only playard with GreenGuard Gold non-toxic certification (low voc & no lead, phthalates, pvc, heavy metals, etc). Full-height mesh guarantees best, breathable airflow.
- QUIET SIDE ZIPPER DOOR - Nurse or cuddle your little one to sleep, then just zip the lockable access door. Easier on your back, and when it’s time to play & crawl, more fun!
If you are looking for a playard that is comfortable for sleeping as well as big enough for playing, look no further than the Joovy Room 2 Portable Playard.
This best pack and play for travel is nearly 50% larger than most traditional playards, giving your baby even more room to stretch out and play. It also comes with a firm mattress (unlike the flimsy things that come with most other pack and play models) and a 100% cotton fitted sheet.
- Almost 50% larger than other pack and plays
- Doesn’t tip easily due to low center of gravity
- Includes firm mattress and fitted sheet
- Compact folded size for travel ease
- Other accessories sold separately
- May need to air out when unboxing due to strong odor
- Extra sheets are pricey
- The new room2 (Room squared) is nearly 50% larger than most traditional playards, so you will be able to use it longer and play more
- Nearly 50% larger than most traditional playard with over 10 square feet of space, baby has plenty of room to play and stay entertained. Reliable, durable and built for endurance. Perfect for twins
- An essential piece of gear for families with twins, offering abundant room for 2 babies. Low center of gravity. The heavy duty padded mattress supports a baby from 0M+ up to 35”. 2 wheels help in moving the playard.
The Regalo My Play Portable Play Yard is a great space for them to play in an easily collapsible, airy frame. Its design is very similar to the Summer Infant Pop N’ Play we looked at earlier.
It’s not ideal for sleeping since there is only a thin, water resistant fabric on the bottom with no mattress. However, it makes a great play space for your little one.
- Easy to setup and collapse
- Very lightweight
- Affordable for any budget
- Water resistant materials for outdoor use
- Mesh sides for breathability and visibility
- Strap on travel bag breaks easily
- No padding on the bottom
- Not enough cushion on the bars
- Stitching between mesh and bottom panel rips easily
- PERFECT FIT: The nylon bottom provides protection from rough surfaces. The My Play 6-panel measures 48 inches wide and 26 inches tall. Patented easy fit, one-time adjustment system.
- PORTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: Designed with a simple fold and go deign. Easy to set up and take down within seconds. Includes a carry case with arm strap for travel, on the go or storage
- INDOOR AND OUTDOOR: Water resistant for indoor and outdoor use.
You can’t go wrong with a classic Graco Pack n’ Play. Their design has been trusted for years, making them one of the best options when looking for the best pack and play for travel.
Graco’s Pack n’ Play playards are some of the easiest to fold. You can pack it away in just a minute thanks to their signature push button.
One of the best features of this pack and play is how easy it is to clean. You can just wipe it own with warm soapy water, and the travel bag is machine washable.
- Folding feet and wheels allow a more compact fold
- Organizer pouch on the side
- Airy mesh on all sides
- Carry bag can be machine washed
- Not much cushion on the pad
- Middle sinks in some
- No bassinet for infants
You may also be interested in: Best Graco Pack N Play to Get for your Baby
The Dream on Me Travel Light playard has the same design as the BABYBJORN, but it is over half the price, making it the perfect choice for the budget conscious family.
It is a little more difficult to set up initially, but once it is together, it is fairly easy to fold and unfold for traveling.
This is a great option for an inexpensive travel crib. There isn’t much room to play as your baby grows, but it works well for playtime in infancy and sleeping through toddlerhood.
- Airy mesh sides for visibility and breathability
- Very inexpensive
- Sits directly on the floor
- Comes with a comfortable mat
- Materials are free from allergenics
- Somewhat difficult to set up
- Easy for taller babies to climb out
- Smaller than most other pack and plays
- TRAVEL READY: The Travel Light sets up and folds down in minutes making it the ideal travel companion for infants & toddlers. It is perfect for vacationing or when you are visiting grandparents. It folds up flat and can be stored in its durable carry bag
- COMFORTABLE FOR BABY: The Travel Light Playard comes with a soft mattress, so your child can play easily in it. Explore the Dream on Me Range of Playard mattresses for the perfect fit. The Travel Light is available in 4 stylish finishes
- BREATHABLE MESH: The Playard sides are made of soft, airy mesh fabric that allow your baby to breathe easily. The see-through fabric helps you keep an eye on your baby and allows your LO to look out
If you are on a tight budget, this pack and play from Delta Children is a great option for you as one best pack and play for travel.
It is very quick and easy to set up and fold down, so you can take it with you on your next trip with no problem. The changing table is also very easy to clean; with a waterproof surface, you just need to wipe it down after diaper changes or blowouts.
- Wheels on one side
- Includes mobile arm with plush toys and removable storage pocket
- Waterproof surface on changing table
- Quick and compact fold
- Very inexpensive
- Changing table only supports up to 25 pounds
- Does not have mesh on all sides
- Some parts feel cheaply made
- Storage pocket isn’t very big/deep
- RECOMMENDED USE: Deluxe Play Yard features a removable full size bassinet and changing table; Bassinet holds up to 15 pounds; Changing Table holds up to 25 pounds; Play Yard holds children up to 35 Inches tall
- FUN FOR BABY, EASY FOR YOU: Removable mobile arm with hanging plush toys engages early visual development; Removable changing table station features waterproof surface; Snap on hanging storage compartment for diapers, wipes and other toiletries
- TRAVEL FRIENDLY: Quick and compact fold; Includes carrying bag for fuss free travel or storage; Easy to pack; Great mini crib alternative; Two wheels allow for easy movement from room to room; Easy to assemble; no tools required
This 4moms Breeze Portable Playard is similar to the Joovy Room 2. It works as a great travel crib as well as a safe play space for your little one.
You don’t need to worry for your baby’s safety with this pack and play. There are no wheels that you need to remember to lock; rather there are thick feet that keep it firmly planted on the ground.It also has breathable mesh sides all the way around, giving you better visibility and making it more breathable.
- Sturdy frame prevents tipping over
- Folds and unfolds in a single step
- Mesh sides all around for breathability and visibility
- Bassinet and changer are included and removable
- Not much padding on rods
- No machine washable fabrics
- All accessories are sold separately and pricey
- Difficult to move between rooms since there are no wheels
- Opens or closes in one step
- Quick set up
- Includes removable bassinet & changer
Our overall choice for the best pack and play for travel would be the JOOVY Room 2 playard.
It hits all of our main points to look for. It’s not overly expensive, has plenty of space for your baby to sleep and play, is sturdy and made with safe materials, and is easy to set up and transport.
It even comes with a firm – but comfortable – mattress, and it is one of the few options available that includes a sheet with your purchase.
When choosing the JOOVY Room 2, you can rest assured that you are receiving a high-quality product that will meet your travel needs.
Last update on 2021-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API