Going on a trip with the kids is always going to be an adventure, but there are some things you can do to make it more enjoyable.
Parents worry about taking their babies along for the ride is ensuring they have a safe place for them to sleep and play in while they are traveling. Not just for the baby but so parents can also feel at ease and relax! However, finding the best travel crib for flying can be tricky because not all of them are created equal, and many don’t meet airline regulations.
In this blog post, we’ll let you know what features your perfect travel crib should have, as well as recommend ten popular options so that you can find one just right for your family’s next vacation!
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Features to look for in a great portable baby crib for flying
When away from home, getting your baby a comfortable and safe place to sleep can be a significant concern. If you intend to stay in a hotel room or Airbnb, they may or may not have a crib available, therefore traveling with your own travel crib will prevent any form of stress for both you and your baby.
Babies need a comfortable place for a good night’s sleep, and if it isn’t comfortable, they will have trouble sleeping. A portable crib will provide your baby a good sleeping environment away from home.
Travel cribs are generally designed to be lightweight, with a small mattress and foldable design that makes them easy to transport. Most travel cribs will have a metallic frame, mesh sides, and a small mattress; some will come with extras like sheets, washable mesh netting, a zippered side door, and a carry bag.
Portable cribs usually weigh less than 18 lbs and have a collapsing mechanism that allows them to be transformed into a compact fold for better portability.
Here’s a quick list of what you need in the best portable cribs for traveling with babies:
- Meets all safety regulations and guidelines set by CSPC to provide your baby a safe sleep space
- A well-padded and thick mattress that perfectly fits the crib with no spaces between the mattress and the walls of the crib
- A sturdy aluminum frame and breathable mesh sides for visibility and ventilation
- High-quality materials and a solid frame that doesn’t easily tip over
- Super compact size, easy to fold and unfold, a comfortable carry bag for transporting the crib with ease
We rounded up the best travel cribs for traveling with your infant, and before we further discuss what features to look for in the best baby travel crib, let’s explore our top 10 with quick product reviews.
Reviews On Our Best Baby Travel Cribs
- BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
- Lotus Travel Crib for flying
- Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Lite Crib
- BABY JOY Baby Foldable Travel Crib for flying
- HuiXin Lightweight Foldable Travel Crib
- SUNBA YOUTH Travel Crib with Mosquito Net
- HEAO Portable Travel Crib
- UNiPLAY Foldable Travel Crib for flying
- MiClassic Travel Crib Portable Newborn Baby
- Phil & Teds Traveler Crib for flying
1. BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light
The BabyBjörn travel crib light is an excellent option for very mobile parents to take their infants on their travels. This travel crib light features a foldable mattress that directly sits in the floor and mesh walls held together by a sturdy aluminum frame.
The entire crib collapses into a small fold that snugly fits into a carry bag for portability. The Baby Bjorn travel crib light is designed for newborns and toddlers up to 3 years of age. Although the mattress sits on the floors, it provided sufficient padding for your little one. And with a maximum weight of 13lbs, the crib and its carry bag can easily be checked with luggage or stored in the overhead compartment in airplanes.
- Easy to assemble and folds small
- Great quality and sturdy build
- Lightweight and very portable
- Comfortable and baby-safe mattress
- Has a steep price tag
- The sides are too tall, and it has no side opening.
2. Lotus Travel Crib for flying
Another excellent travel crib for flying is the Lotus travel crib. It has a maximum weight of 13lbs and comes with a baby mattress designed to directly sit on the floor, providing a restricted area for your infant to play, relax and sleep.
The sides of the Lotus travel crib are made of non-toxic zippered mesh material and a sturdy aluminum frame. The zippered side door makes getting your little one in and out of the crib so much easier, and you can reach into the crib to comfort your little one without having to carry them out.
The Lotus travel crib also comes with a carry bag for an easy hands-free backpack-carry style, with comfortable shoulder straps. In addition, this crib requires no assembly; it unfolds and packs up very quickly.
- Very portable with a backpack-style carrying case
- Very easy to fold and unfold
- Machine washable, non-toxic mesh material
- Side zippered mesh door opens completely
- Lotus crib doesn’t come with a fitted sheet
- The mattress tends to have a fold mark where the crib folds, making it slightly uncomfortable.
3. Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Lite Crib
The Graco Pack n’ Play is a lightweight crib with a small footprint. It’s not just great for travel but also the perfect baby crib for a small apartment. It’s a small and cute crib, designed to be up to 20% smaller than traditional cribs.
The Graco travel lite crib weighs about 18 lbs and has a cozy removable bassinet that can support babies of 15 lbs and below. The infant bassinet can be removed to transform the crib into a portable playard with soft toys for a baby-friendly environment and a canopy for shielding the baby from light. The play yard is quick to set up out of the box and easy to pack up and take with you on any trip.
- Travel-friendly, set up takes less than 5 minutes
- Great quality, water-resistant fabric
- Secure and baby-friendly mattress at the bottom
- Graco pack folds up very compact for travel and unfolds quickly
- Very lightweight and easy to move, especially with the wheels
- The canopy is very wrinkled, but this doesn’t affect its usage.
4. BABY JOY Baby Foldable Travel Crib for flying
If you want an ultralight yet sturdy travel crib for your travels, then you have got a great option here. The foldable Baby Joy travel crib only weighs 11 pounds and has a very sturdy construction for your baby’s maximum safety and comfort.
It has four pieces of aluminum tubes to provide a solid base, sturdy iron tubes for safety handrails, transparent mesh cloths for visibility, and maximum ventilation. And finally, a thick and soft mattress for peaceful baby sleep time. It also has a side zipper door for easy access to your baby and an easy folding design for quickly stowing into the carry bag. The Baby Joy travel crib is designed for babies from 0 to 3 years.
- Very lightweight and portable travel crib
- Reliable and sturdy construction
- Easy to fold and unfold
- Comes with a carry case for easy transportation
The mattress tends to develop a crease where it folds, making it an uneven surface for the baby.
5. HuiXin Lightweight Foldable Travel Crib
With a net weight of 12 lbs, a compact fold, and a convenient carry bag, the HuiXin lightweight foldable travel crib makes an excellent companion for parents who fly very often with their infants.
The crib has a soft mattress that sits on the floor and is protected by well-ventilated mesh material, plus a zippered side door for quick access to your baby. You can nurse and cuddle your little one to sleep on the soft mattress, which comes fitted with a sheet that is easy to remove and wash. This travel infant bed/playpen is designed for durability with high-quality materials, and it folds and unfolds very easily.
- Lightweight and portable travel bed
- Comes with a backpack carrying case
- Sturdy and easy to set up
- Great value for the price
- It can be a bit bulky
6. SUNBA YOUTH Travel Crib with Mosquito Net
The Sunba Youth travel bassinet is a cute and beautiful crib for going camping or enjoying a day at the beach with your infant. It’s made of durable, high-quality, and non-toxic materials to keep both your baby and the environment safe.
The crib provides your baby a cozy place to nap that is fully fitted with UPF 50+ for protecting your infant from harsh UV rays from the sun and nets to keep mosquitos and bugs away.
This bassinet is designed for both traveling and enjoying the great outdoors with the entire family and baby.
It’s water-resistant and well-ventilated, plus it has two durable tent pegs for securing it to the ground, so you don’t have to worry about your baby getting blown away by a gusty wind.
- It takes only seconds to assemble
- Build with good material and great for camping
- Very lightweight and folds up easily into a compact bag
- Great for infants on the beach, provides good UV protection
- Insufficient padding at the bottom
- It can be challenging to close.
7. HEAO Portable Travel Crib
Whether at home or away from home, the portable travel cot from HEAO will provide your baby a cozy place to sleep and play.
At 11 lbs, this crib is ultralight and fold very compact with a simple and easy folding mechanism that takes only a few minutes. It has a comfortable mattress and well-ventilated mesh walls, plus a sturdy and anti-rust aluminum frame that holds it all together.
The mattress has a removable and washable cover, and the entire crib material can also be removed and washed to ensure your baby stays in a clean environment at all times. This HEAO crib is a cozy and safe crib/playpen for your toddler.
- Lightweight and compact travel baby bed
- Easy to fold and unfold
- Safe and comfortable for baby to sleep all night
- Comes with a carrying case for portability
- No zippered side door
8. UNiPLAY Foldable Travel Crib for flying
The Uniplay foldable travel crib is compact, easy to use, and weighs less than 9 lbs. It has a well-padded mattress and breathable mesh lining for maximum airflow. This crib is great for indoor and outdoor use and has a simple folding design, and takes only seconds to set up or takedown.
The mattress sits directly on the floor, providing your baby with a soft and comfortable base, while the mesh lining keeps your infant secure within a safe space. And whether they’re sleeping or playing with toys, this infant travel bed/play yard provides plenty of room for an infant to explore with hands and knees.
The Uniplay travel cot is sturdily built with polyester, plastic, steel tubes, and transparent mesh lining.
- Super lightweight and easy to put up and takedown
- Folds compact and comes with a travel bag
- Sturdy build and safe waterproof materials
- Can hold up to 120 lbs
- The mattress is not very thick
9. MiClassic Travel Crib Portable Newborn Baby
If your baby enjoys being rocked to sleep and you want a portable travel crib with a rocking motion, the MiClassic is an excellent option. This portable travel bassinet weighs about 15 lbs and folds small to fit into the carrying bag provided. It can be set to rocking mode to help your baby fall asleep and to a stationary mode when your baby is fast asleep, which are great features.
It’s made with sturdy steel tubes and mesh netting for visible and maximum ventilation. The bassinet and mattress both have removable covers which are machine washable for easy cleaning, and the legs of the crib can be detached to aid mobility or save storage space. In addition, the crib has a smooth folding mechanism that makes it hassle-free and easy to use for new parents. MiClassic travel bed is designed for newborns and older babies weighing up to 33 pounds.
- Very sturdy build with a small footprint
- Foldable and very easy to assemble
- Transparent mesh sides
- Rocking ability
- Great value for money
- The legs of the crib don’t come off easily
- The carrying bag is of cheap quality
10. Phil & Teds Traveler Crib for flying
At only 6 lbs, this Phil & Teds Traveller crib can pass as the lightest travel crib on the market. It’s an excellent mobile crib for air travel and folds up very small, rolls up like a yoga mat. It has a lightweight, but sturdy steel frame with breathable and see-through mesh sides, a side zippered door and a good mattress.
The mattress is a self-inflating mattress and provides a cozy place for your baby to sleep or a safe play area. The crib has no weight limit since the mattress sits directly on the floor, and you can use it for young babies. However, because it’s incredibly lightweight, it’s best for tiny babies.
- Compact and lighter than other portable cribs
- Fits in an airplane overhead compartment
- Side zippered door opens completely
- Made with non-toxic materials
- This crib is not easy to assemble
- It’s not very sturdy and tends to tip over when a toddler leans on it.
Best Travel Cribs Buyer Guide & FAQs
Choosing the best portable crib: Key points for consideration before buying?
With the tons of options available, choosing the right travel crib can be an overwhelming task. But knowing exactly what to look for in a product tremendously simplifies the selection process, and here we’ve discussed the most important features to consider when choosing the best travel crib for your infant.
The first thing to consider when choosing a travel crib for your baby is the crib’s safety. It’s imperative to check that the crib meets all the safety standards and regulations stipulated by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Ensure that the mattress is thick and firm to support your baby’s fragile vertebral column, and the mesh sides are breathable to allow for optimal airflow in and out of the crib.
Also, make sure that the crib’s frame is solid enough to support the weight of a toddler without the entire crib tipping over. A crib that isn’t safe will pose a severe risk to your infant, and avoid putting stuffed animals in an infant bed with smaller babies.
Crib weight and size
The whole point of a travel crib is that it’s compact, super portable, and lightweight so that mobility isn’t an issue. Therefore, an ideal travel crib should undoubtedly meet these criteria. It should at least weigh less than 15 lbs and no more than 20 lbs and be able to fold very compact and fit into a carry-on bag. A lightweight and compact crib will be checked for free during your flights, but if you have a bulky and heavy crib, then you may be required to pay for the extra weight. Not to mention the inconvenience of trying to get around with a heavy and bulky crib.
Ease of Use
One vital feature of travel cribs is that they are easy to fold and unfold. Besides being lightweight, the portability and ease of use are what make travel cribs attractive and convenient. You don’t want a crib that will require you to take lessons on YouTube before you can figure out how it works or something you will have to struggle with each time you want your baby to go to sleep. That’s not convenient and an absolute dealbreaker.
A sturdily-built crib is a safe crib, and things to watch for are the frame, the mesh sides, the mattress, the weight, and the age limit. Ideally, a travel crib should be able to support your baby throughout their toddler years or until they outgrow the recommended age and weight limit. This can only be possible if the travel cot has a durable construction with a solid aluminum frame for firm support, a thick and firm mattress, high-quality zippers for the zippered side door, and a well-ventilated mesh netting to house your infant comfortably.
A good baby mattress should be thick, well-padded, firm for comfortable sleep. It shouldn’t be soft because a soft mattress for a baby can pose the risk of suffocation or distort the shape of your baby’s head or face. The mattress for travel cots should also fit the crib perfectly without any gaps around it to ensure it doesn’t pose any risk for your toddler. Finally, an excellent inflatable mattress should be a smooth surface for your baby, without folds or creases thatmakes it an uneven surface, as this can be uncomfortable and interfere with an infant’s sleep.
Some travel beds come with a weight limit and age range, and oftentimes you will find one that is built for 0-3 years. It’s important that you select a travel crib that is appropriate for your child’s age and weight, don’t just look at the age limit, also check the weight limit to ensure that it can comfortably support your baby’s weight.
Other features to look for in travel bassinets include fitted sheets, washable mesh, a side zippered door for easy access, a comfortable and light backpack carrying case for easy mobility.
How do you fly with a travel bassinet/crib?
Most travel cots are foldable and come with a carry bag to be stowed in when not in use. But travel cribs also tend to be fragile and need to be handled with extra care, therefore when flying you should take some precaution by adding some padding like a blanket to act as an extra layer of protection. Also label the crib as ‘Fragile’ before you check it with any airline, so that they can handle it with extra care.
Can a baby sleep in a playpen instead of a crib?
Yes, a baby can sleep in a playpen. But it depends on the type of playpen. If the playpen has a mattress, then your baby can comfortably sleep in it. But if the playpen doesn’t come with a mattress, it means that it isn’t meant for sleeping.
Can you use a travel crib as a regular full-sized crib?
Yes, you can. Travel cribs are made to be smaller than regular cribs, but they are just as safe and secure, and if you are pressed for space at home and want a baby crib with a small footprint and foldable design, a travel crib will make a great option.
Is a pack n play a travel crib?
Pack n’ play is different from a travel crib; it’s usually smaller and lighter than regular travel cribs but will often have a sturdier metal frame. Pack n’ play is designed to provide infants a safe and comfortable place to play, relax and sleep, while you attend to chores or other things around your home.
Travel cot or pack n’ play: which is safer?
Both pack n’ play and travel cots are equally safe for babies and toddlers because they are made with stringent safety guidelines. Manufacturers adhere to these guidelines to product consumers with safe products. Unsafe products are usually recalled from the market, but to be on the safe side, make sure you buy from only manufacturers known for their quality products.
Best Travel Crib For Flying Final Thoughts
Whether at home or away from home, a good night of sleep is crucial for a growing child. To ensure your baby gets enough sleep when on business trips, family vacations, or a brief visit to grandma’s house, you need a dedicated travel crib that checks all the boxes; lightweight, very portable, easy to fold and unfold, made with child-safe and durable materials, easy to clean, serves as a crib and playpen.
We’ve reviewed ten excellent travel infant beds that meet these requirements. However, our top choice for the best travel cot is the Lotus Travel crib because it’s safe, secure, and checks all the boxes, plus it’s great for travel by either airplane, train, or car.