Travel Crib vs Pack ‘n Play

child standing in a travel crib

Have you decided to take the plunge and go travelling with your baby? Many parents opt for a travel crib for their children, as they are usually portable, lightweight and quick to assemble. Alternatively, there is a product called a pack ‘n play which offers similar benefits, as well as some other options.

So which is the best choice for you and your family if you’re thinking of travelling with your family or if you want a portable option at home. This article will look at the differences between a travel crib and a pack ‘n play as well as a couple of products for you to consider.

What is a travel crib?

Most people are familiar with a regular crib that is set up at all times in the nursery for the baby to sleep in. These are large and incredibly sturdy pieces of furniture that are designed to stay in position, to keep the baby safe, and to prevent them from injury. While they are great for permanent use in a nursery, they are not the ideal solution for parents to use when traveling with their child.

A travel crib, on the other hand, is perfectly designed to meet this need. Travel cribs tend to have thicker mattresses (more so than pack ‘n plays), which makes them perfect for getting a child to take a nap or fall asleep. They also often zip down on the sides, allowing parents to play on the floor with their child. These are highly portable options that tend to be a great choice for a lot of parents who are either regularly on the go or simply want a smaller permanent bed option for their child.

What is a pack ‘n play?

A pack ‘n play is a type of play yard that is portable, durable, and great for children to either use for sleeping or for when they need to be contained in a safe location for play. They tend to be heavier than travel cribs, which is great for when they are going to be set up in a more permanent capacity, but this can make it a little more difficult to travel with the pack ‘n play due to the excess weight.

They often come with bassinets that can fit on the top of the pack ‘n play, which is great for parents who want to keep their child near them in the night and be able to easily reach them when they cry. This also means that they can easily grow with the child as his or her needs change. Additionally, they are great to be used not only indoors, but also outside in the shade if the baby needs to take a nap near the family or simply play safely on their own.

While they do have a mattress, it does tend to be very thin, which prevents it from being the most comfortable option. However, they are easy to wash due to the materials used in their construction, which is great for any child who gets sick. While pack ‘n plays used to be the gold standard for use when traveling with a child, their heavy weight has always been an issue for some people.

They still remain a great option for use in permanent locations around the home, either in a nursery or closer to the family in the family room. Because they are so sturdy and durable, it is perfectly safe to leave a child in the pack ‘n play for naps or solo play.

What should you consider when buying either product?

One of the first things to consider when shopping for a travel crib or pack ‘n play is your budget. It can be really easy to overspend on baby gear, especially for a first child. Additionally, think about how the equipment will be used and how easily it can be moved.

  • Pack ‘n plays are commonly used in more permanent locations around the home because of their heavy weight making them harder to take with you.
  • Travel cribs, on the other hand, tend to be much lighter, making them great for the family who is always on the go.

Lotus Travel Crib


  • Thicker mattress is designed to ensure a great night’s sleep
  • Very easy to set up and to take down due to the lighter weight of the crib
  • Easy to wash when it gets dirty
  • Folds up easily for carrying and for storage
  • Mesh walls allow for unobstructed views and breathability


  • Tend to be much more expensive
  • Can be difficult to set up at first, thanks to the use of a lot of Velcro tabs

Bottom Line

The Lotus Travel Crib is a great option if you want something safe, lightweight, affordable and easy to transport.


  • Often have additional features such as a bassinet
  • Folds up easily for carrying and storage
  • More affordable than most travel cribs
  • You can use it for many years as the baby grows up
  • Mesh walls allow for unobstructed views and breathability


  • Thinner mattress can be a little uncomfortable
  • Very heavy and difficult to carry

Bottom Line

The Baby Trend Nursery Center is definitely worth considering if you think a pack ‘n play style product is a better option than a travel crib. It’s sturdy, easy to assemble and inexpensive.

Pack n play alternatives

If you are not keen on the Baby Trend Nursery Center, here are a couple of pack n play alternatives to consider. They both have positive customer feedback and come with a range of features to make things easier for you.

Graco Pack ‘n Play Day2Dream Travel Bassinet Playard

Pamo Babe Deluxe Nursery Center