Choosing a travel crib totally overwhelmed me——so I just picked one with all the bells and whistles. That was a mistake.
Emmett has the (29.7 lbs., $159) which features a sunshade with hanging stuffed bears (added entertainment!), a "soothing" vibrating infant level, an "electronics module" with a night light, music, and nature sounds—plus, a changing table with a storage caddy. Our Pack N Play works well enough in theory, but it's turned out to be a pretty massive pain in the butt. First of all, it folds up into an awkward shape—long and boxy. And none of the add-ons—NOTHING besides the crib itself—fit in the travel case. (We've never used the changing table, since it's so cumbersome!) Also making it travel un-friendly: It weighs almost 30 pounds! (Meaning, it's impossible to pack on a plane or train trip.) It's also about 29 inches wide, so it doesn't fit through some standard interior doors. A smarter buy would have been the (20 lbs., $53) which is still really heavy, but is more than $100 less.
Here's baby Emmett on the infant level of his Pack N Play. (Awww-sies! Looks like someone's mommy forgot the travel crib sheet!)
If I could turn back time though—cue the Cher—I would have registered for the (11 lbs., $219) which . It folds into a more reasonable shape (like a small suitcase—19"-by-24"-by-6"—) and it weighs only a third of what my Pack N Play weighs. It doesn't have the infant level, which was the most useful add-on our Pack N Play features, but the infant level is only useful for about six months. And most parents don't travel a ton in a baby's first six months!
When we were planning our first trip to visit Emmett's grandma and grandpa in Florida last spring, Rory said there was NO way he was lugging the Pack N Play on the plane. I didn't want to spring for the Bjorn since we already had a travel crib, so I ordered the (16 lbs., $76) which we keep at the Florida house. I don't feel like it's as sturdy as our regular Pack N Play—the mattress seems a little small—and the whole thing seems bigger, but it weighs half as much as the Pack N Play. Still, it also folds into that bulky travel-unfriendly shape, so I don't think we'd bother bringing this one on a plane, either. But if you don't do a lot of traveling by plane (or if there's already a crib at your destination) this would be an okay, much-lighter option to travel with in the car.
What's the best travel crib you've used? Since we plan to continue traveling while Emmett's still crib-size, is it worth it to upgrade to the Bjorn?