During traveling, parents carry many things to make sure their baby sleeps comfortably, but the truth is, the baby feels irritated in new places. So in the end, you have to take their bedding area with you.

That’s the main reason why most parents prefer Pack n Play over a regular Crib because it’s easy to assemble, pack and carry.

But what if I told you there is also a Travel Crib available in that market that is easier to fold, pack and carry than pack n plays.

Then what will you do? On what basis do you evaluate and compare pack n play with travel crib, and which one should you buy, Portable Crib or Pack n play?

Pack n Play Vs travel Crib

Pack n play and travel crib are designed for your baby’s safe playing and sleeping during travel. But to choose one of them is still difficult for parents.

So, to help you to make that decision, we write this; Pack n Play Vs Travel Crib in-depth guide to check all the possible pros and cons. Whatever queries are in your mind, we will answer all those questions.

So, let’s get into the battle between Pack n Play vs Travel crib.

Pack n Play Vs Travel Crib for Newborn

The main difference between pack n play and travel crib is weight, how easy to fold and pack in a carry bag. Where pack n play is heavier than a crib and folding point of view, travel is Crib is much easy to fold, and it takes less space and time and is much easier to fold.

Note, for reference, in this guide, we will consider; Graco Pack N Play Playard with Bassinet and Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib for comparison. But we also highlight other features to make a valuable decision at the end of the article.

So, Let’s break these things into a more meaningful way to better get them.

1.) Design That Makes Big Difference:

Pack n Play is specially designed to use throughout your baby’s newborn to toddler journey for sleep and Play. Whereas a Portable Crib is mainly used for the safe playtime of your little one on the go and can use for sleep too.

Because both products are certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) [1] and CDC [2] for safe sleep.

Pack n play vs travel crib for newborn baby

There are no fixed dimensions of both; there are varieties of travel crib and pack n play in the market, but for glimpses, look at the universal size.

Product TypeSize  (Measure in Inches)
Pack and PlayUsually, come in 40 x 28 approx*
Travel CribUsually, come in 45 x 31 approx*

But by spending some more money, you can buy a separate bassinet kit that lets you convert your portable Crib into a full-size bassinet, just like a pack n play.

Pack n play comes with two areas to sleep; a full-size bassinet and a playard. On the other hand, a travel crib only offers one place to sleep.

Watch this quick overview video to understand some fundamental differences.

You can also buy Pack n Play with a bassinet that you can use from birth to up to 4-6 months. After that, once your baby starts rolling in it or crossing the weight limit set by the manufacture, you can move them to a full-size bassinet and later on in Playard.

Note:- How long a baby can sleep in a bassinet is depends upon the weight and age limit set by the manufacturer and how long they are comfortable in the bassinet.

Read our guide: When to stop using bassinet to be on safe side?

mom sleeping with baby in crib

Moreover, the bassinet of the pack n play is removable, so you can use it alone. Place it at eye level, either on the bed or floor. It also assists you in doing safe co-sleeping or on the bedside to do bedside sleeping easily.

On the contrary, travel cribs are used only on the floor. But, this feature provides security by preventing your child from falling.

The downside of the Pack n Play design is that it has a playard for playing, but it is difficult to put your baby in it.

On the other hand, Travel cribs have a zip side window that lets you quickly put your baby in the portable Crib.

You can also play with them or give them the feel of your presence by sleeping near them in a travel crib. But in pack n play, it’s not possible.

Another downside of the pack n play is its specific weight limit. The standard weight of the pack n play and travel crib;

Product TypeWeight  ( in Pound)
Pack and PlayUsually, come in 25  lbs approx*
Travel CribUsually, come in 10 lbs approx*

Once your baby crosses that weight limit, you must have to transition to the crib for safe sleep. But in the Travel crib, you don’t need to worry about it because its surface touches the ground.

One of the best things I like in both is its Mesh Side Wall. All the side of the pack n play or travel crib is crafted with breathable mesh to better airflow and lower the risk of suffocation.

So in this battle of Portable Crib vs Pack n Play, a portable crib wins the match.

2.) Maintenance, Ease of Use, and Portability:

Most Pack n Play has a fantastic feature of wheels that helps change its position according to your needs. But this feature you will not find in the travel crib.

can you use pack n play as bassinet

You can say this is the drawback of the travel crib, but they really don’t need it. Because it is not bulky, you can easily lift it and place it where you want.

The mattress of the pack n play is Crib is similar in staff and material, in case if you go with standard Crib, you will find 3-4inches think the mattress.

In a traditional crib, you will get only a 3-4inches thick mattress, but in Travel Crib and Pack n Play, it’s 1 or 1 and a half inches thick, which is considered safe to sleep for a baby.

Next is Maintenance. Compared to pack n play, travel cribs are easier to maintain and clean, and both are machine washable.

All parts are removable, like mesh, mattress, sheets, etc.; you can easily wash them in the washing machine.

But the few things you have to know is, pack n play consists of many parts, so sometimes it’s a little difficult to clean it. Need help to clean? Check this handy guide: How to Clean a Pack n Play and its Mattress?

Another feature that helps you decide what is best for you is its storage organizer.

Pack n play comes with a fixed or removable storage pocket, where you keep your little one’s essentials within your reach. Whereas Travel crib is not blessed with this feature.

Moreover, a Diaper Changer is another facility in it. It is removable and helps you change and clean your baby conveniently. But in a travel crib, you will not get this feature.

How To Clean a Pack and Play Mattress and sheet in bath tub

Some Portable cribs come with a canopy; it is a plus point. The canopy protects your little one’s eyes from direct sunlight. Moreover, some pack n play features UPF +50 sun shelters, which can block 98% of the sun’s rays.

So, in my opinion, in battle in term of features, a Pack n Play win the match.

3.) What is Best for Travel:-

If you are stressed about what is best to take while traveling, this section helps you the most.

As the name suggests, travel cribs are designed especially for travel. Firstly, they are lightweight and perfect for short to long trips like beachside to airport travel.

mom sitting near the crib of newborn baby

On the other hand, Pack n Play is too heavy to take with you on a flight due to the weight limit restriction. But, it is good to take to grandmother home, Beaches, etc.

Also, pack n play is large in nature, occupying more space while staying in a hotel and traveling.

Another feature that defines how much it is travel-friendly is its foldability.

Both are foldable and easy to set to store where you want. But during the testing, I found that Pack n Play is a little complicated and time-consuming to break and pack into a bag.

It consumes 2-4 minutes to completely fold and pack.

However, on the other hand, a travel crib is super easy to fold, takes less than a minute to fold, and is easy to handle during traveling. And the feature that I like the most is its Backpack, which keeps your hand free to take care of your baby.

So, in the Travel Crib vs Pack n Play war in terms of travel-friendly, a Travel crib is our winner.

4.) Which One is Cost-effective:-

When it comes to price, you can see wide ranges. Pack n play cost ranges from low to high prices, i.e., $80 to $300. It’s mainly because of great features like a bassinet, canopy, soft toys, music, and diaper changer.

On the other hand, travel crib prices range from $100 to $300, which is costly than pack n play. Though it is not full of features, it is perfect for your traveling time and to use more than 3-4 years.

If you are a travel lover, then pack n play will not help you as a travel crib can. Their Bassinet, Napper changer, and large size will become challenging during the journey.

Every parent is different from others and their need too. So, ask yourself, which one do you think is more cost-effective and comfortable for you, Pack n Play or Travel Crib?

Key Differences: Pack N Play Vs Portable Crib

Now, it’s time to make your decision easy. Let’s check what these fantastic products have or not.

Features
Age
Weight
Mattress
Assembly
Use
Durability
Portability
Maintenance
Wheel
Extra Features
Travel Bag
Price
Pack N Play
3-4 years
Lighter than a pack n play
Small, Soft & comfortable
Easy to assemble & Fold
One side zipper for easy access
Very sturdy
Lightweight & Easier to carry
Easy to clean & wash
Don't support
Not Available, But Can buy separately
Travel Backpack
$$$
Pack N Play
2-3 years
Heavier and bulkier than a travel crib
Small, Soft & Comfortable
Harder to assemble & fold than a travel crib
Some models have a side zipper
More durable than a travel crib
Heavier than a travel crib
Easy to clean & wash
Front-wheel for moving
Bassinet, changing table, storage, toy mobile, etc.
Handle carry bag
$$$

Manufacturers design Pack n Play to give an all-in-one facility to new parents. In comparison, travel cribs are for travel-obsessed parents.

Who can assist you to make up your mind easily to decide the best? But, we don’t encourage or recommend either pack n play or travel crib. You are a mom, and you know the exact needs of your baby.

We just helped you by providing valuable information, pros and cons, and long and short-term benefits. But in the end, the choice is yours!!

Here is the list of Top rated Travel cribs in 2022 and Top-rated pack n play in 2022. Now, what next? Here are a few informative guides that help parents take care of their babies.

  1. Difference between Pack n Play Vs Crib
  2. Can a Pack and Play be Used As a Crib?
  3. When Can You Put a Blanket In the Crib?
  4. Are Pack n Plays & Its Bassinet Safe for Infants?

I hope you like our guide, Pack and play vs Travel Crib. And found informative and helpful that help you to make a valuable decision.

Now, it’s your turn. Let me know what you will buy & why; let’s help other moms make a quick decision and put your comments in the comment box.

And don’t forget to share the article because sharing is caring.

Sakshi Patel

Sakshi Patel

Senior Content Writer

Sakshi Patel is a busy Mom who enjoys spending most of her time with her cute daughter and a pet dog. She joins us as a senior content writer, and because of her creative writing style, has become our top-rated content writer