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Are you looking for the best mini Pack-n-Play for travel?
If you have little ones in tow, it's important to have a comfortable and safe place for them to sleep and play during your travels.
Mini Pack-N-Plays are designed with travelers in mind, providing a convenient and lightweight option that is much more comfortable than bringing along a traditional Pack-N-Play.
In this post, we'll review three of the top mini Pack-N-Plays on the market today, as well as considerations to make before buying.
Keep reading to learn why these products should be on your must-have list when you're on the go!
What is a Mini Pack-N-Play
A mini Pack-N-Play is a smaller and more compact version of the traditional Pack-N-Play.
It has many of the same features as a regular-sized playpen, such as mesh sides for ventilation and a padded bottom, but is designed to fold up much smaller and to fit tight spaces.
Mini Pack N Plays are the perfect solution for families who need an easily portable travel bed for their little ones.
They provide a comfortable and safe sleep space no matter where your travels take you!
Mini Pack-N-Plays are a great choice for traveling families, as they provide a portable sleep space without the bulk of larger Pack-N-Play models.
Here are our favorite things about having a mini pack-n-play on hand for travel:
While you may not use it regularly, a mini pack-n-play provides a home away from home feeling for your little one while on the road.
Once they are used to it, a pack-n-play allows your baby or toddler to nap in safe, familiar surroundings even when far from home.
Smaller Size and Weight
Mini Pack-N-Plays are designed to provide the same level of safety and comfort as larger models, but with a more compact and portable design.
The overall footprint of a mini pack-n-play is smaller making it easier to fit in tight spaces like hotel rooms.
Some fold up smaller and are lighter weight than their full-size counterparts.
Many Features of Full-Size Playpens
You can find many of the same features as full-size pack n plays in a mini version.
Look for removable bassinets, wheels, and travel bags.
Getting everything in a mini pack-n-play aside from a larger sleep space is well worth it if you need something more compact for travel or space constraints.
Considerations to Make Before Buying a Mini Pack-n-Play
Before purchasing a mini Pack-N-Play for travel, there are several questions to ask yourself to decide which model works best for your family.
Age of Your child
You'll want to consider the size and age of your child.
Buying a mini pack-n-play for a 3-month-old is very different than making a purchase for a 2-year-old.
Although some models overlap, a younger baby may do better with a travel bassinet for the first 6 months of their life – see our top picks for travel bassinets.
Think about the height and weight of your child and how quickly they may outgrow a compact pack-n-play.
How Travel-Friendly Do You Need?
Some models are incredibly lightweight and some are a sized-down version of a regular pack-n-play – so the weight is still mostly there.
Decide if you need something light that can fit in an airplane's overhead compartment or are okay carting a bulkier model around in the trunk.
What Additional Features are Important?
It is important to factor in the specific needs of your family when choosing between different models.
If you are traveling with a baby, you may choose a mini pack-n-play with a bassinet attachment.
Does the pack-n-play include a sheet or will you need to find one to fit – which may be a hard task with the smaller size!
Is overall footprint the most important factor for you or is the ability for a quick and easy setup at the top of your list?
Think about the most important features ahead of time so you can get feedback when reading reviews and comparing sizes.
Our Picks for the Best Mini Pack N Plays for Travel
Overall Best Travel Size Pack N Play: Century Travel On 2-in-1 Compact Playard
- same length as a regular pack-n-play
- well padded mattress
- waterproof sheet included
- bassinet attachment included
Century is our top pick for a travel size pack n play and what we use for our 17-month-old when we travel. We also use it for naps daily at home!
Many research hours went into this choice and here are a few of the reasons we decided to go with this one.
This is a slim pack-n-play, meaning it's the same length as a regular pack-n-play, but not as wide.
This is perfect for older toddlers or taller babies since they can stretch out but the footprint of the pack-n-play is still significantly smaller than a full-size version.
The century has a bassinet feature for babies so it can grow with your child. This makes it one of the longer-lasting options on this list.
The mattress is very well padded – the most padding I've seen in a pack-n-play. While this is great for older babies, it might not be the best for your infant who needs a firm mattress.
This mini pack-n-play also comes with a waterproof sheet. We know that cleaning a pack-n-play thoroughly isn't quite possible, so this fitted sheet makes a nice addition.
The Century Travel On folds up just like a regular pack-n-play with the mattress wrapping around it.
I tend to fold up the sheet and shove it in the folded pack-n-play top so it is ready to go on the mattress when we arrive at our destination.
If you're looking for the perfect size mini pack-n-play, be sure to try the Century Travel On for your next trip.
Best Mini Pack N Play for Comfort: Bugaboo Stardust Playyard
- 1-second unfold – wow!
- Actual mattress
- Includes fitted sheet
- Bassinet attachment
With Bugaboo, you know you're going to get a quality, high-end product. The Bugaboo Stardust Playyard is no exception.
The best feature is it's 1-second unfold and 3-second closure. This pack-n-play folds in half instead of collapsing at each side, making it a unique option.
It also comes with an actual mattress, not just a padded insert like some of the other models have. And if that wasn't enough, it also folds with the mattress inside.
The Bugaboo Stardust also comes with a cotton fitted sheet – and full protective carry case.
The size is similar to the Century Travel On with a full-length bed that is a bit thinner than a typical pack-n-play.
Overall, we love that this product has a unique fold and a comfy mattress.
Smallest Pack-n-Play: Graco My View 4-in-1
- smallest footprint
- includes removable bassinet
The Graco my view is the original mini pack-n-play.
It is truly a miniature pack n play and some models come with a bassinet attachment – perfect for babies to grow into.
While it is a very similar idea to the Century, it's overall size is smaller – in width and length – compared to a regular pack-n-play.
So, while it's great for babies and young toddlers, it will get tight when older toddlers want to stretch out. Reviews say many children outgrew the space by 1 year old.
If you think you'll be traveling with an infant often, this may be your best option for a travel bassinet that can grow with your child.
Renting a Mini Pack-N-Play
If you don't need to invest in a pack-n-play for travel, you can consider renting one at your destination.
BabyQuip is a service that connects you with local providers who can provide pack-n-plays, strollers, and other baby gear for your trip.
This could be a great way to get the perfect size for your child without having to lug it around on the plane or in the car. And you don't need to worry about storing it when you're not traveling.
These providers will also deliver and set up the pack-n-play for you, which could be a great help.
BabyQuip is definitely an option if you think you may not use the pack-n-play that often.
Bottom line, having a mini Pack-N-Play can make traveling with babies and toddlers that much easier.
Do your homework and read some reviews to find the perfect model for your family's needs.
Check out the setup instructions so you know exactly what you're getting into.
That way when you need to set up the Pack-N-Play – hello witching hour – you'll be ready and it'll be as easy and stress-free as possible.
Investing in a portable, safe sleeping space will make traveling with kids so much easier for your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the smallest pack and play?
The Graco My View 4-in-1 Pack-n-Play has the smallest overall footprint. It's great for infants who need a safe sleeping space but may not be ideal if your child is over 1 year old.
Why do I need a mini pack n play?
Mini pack-n-plays are great options for travel, whether you're just going away for the weekend or taking a longer vacation. Having a portable sleeping space can make all the difference when you're out and about with your little one – plus it saves you from lugging around a bulky traditional Pack-N-Play.
What is the best mini pack n play for toddlers?
The Century Travel On Mini Pack-N-Play is a great option for those who travel frequently with smaller children. It has all the features of a traditional Pack-N-Play but in a compact size. It also includes a removable bassinet and a comfortable mattress so you can use it for newborns or toddlers.
Should I rent a mini pack n play for travel?
Renting a pack-n-play can be a great option if you don't use it that often or don't want to invest in buying one. Services like BabyQuip connect you with local providers who can deliver and set up the perfect Pack-N-Play for your needs.
What is BabyQuip?
BabyQuip is a service that connects you with local providers who can provide pack-n-plays, strollers, and other baby gear for your trip. This could be a great way to get the perfect size for your child without having to lug it around on the plane or in the car.