Mom Goes Camping

Best Baby Camping Beds (Recommended by Actual Outdoor Parents)

best baby camping beds

A portable baby bed isn’t something you absolutely need to go camping. However, a baby bed does make some aspects of camping with a baby easier.  Here are some of the best baby beds for camping, as picked by outdoor parents.

Quick Recommendations:

Not sure what else to bring? See my camping with a baby checklist here. 

 

Best Baby Camping Beds

Here are the top picks for portable baby camping cribs, bassinets, and playpens which can double as camping cribs.

 

1. SwaddleMe By Your Side Co-Sleeper

the SwaddleMe co-sleeping box

This is a really basic, cheap co-sleeper box.  It is great for camping with babies because it doesn’t take up much space in the tent.  The metal frames are sturdier than the wobbly plastic ones one some co-sleeper boxes.

The mattress is about 1-inch thick.  If you are camping in cold weather, make sure to put a sleeping pad underneath the sleeper box.

  • Size: 29.5×13.5 inches (interior dimensions)
  • Weight: 6lbs
  • Age: Until your baby starts crawling

 Get It Here


 

2. Brica Folding Travel Bassinet

Brica portable baby bassinet for camping

This travel bassinet is very popular because it opens/closes easily, is lightweight, and is compact. It also has a built-in mosquito net so your baby can nap outdoors while camping.

Just note that this travel bassinet is meant for infants.  It’s only 29.5 inches long when unfolded, so your baby will probably outgrow it by 5 or 6 months old. The mattress is about 1 inch thick. So, like with the co-sleeper above, you’ll need to put a sleeping pad underneath the bassinet if it is really cold weather.

  • Size: 29x21x12.5 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 6lbs
  • Age: Until 3 months or 15lbs

Get It Here


 

3. Besrey Travel Bassinet

There’s a lot to love about this travel bassinet for camping. For starters, it is much sturdier than other portable bassinets.  The legs sit on four individual feet so it works well even on bumpy ground.  The feet have thick plastic on them so won’t rip your tent floor.

I also like that the bassinet isn’t too high off the ground. It will actually fit in most tents and you won’t bang your head on the tent while taking your baby out of it.  There are storage pockets, a mosquito net, and it weighs just 21lbs.  The mattress is 38 inches long, so will grow with your baby.

  • Size: 38x24x41 inches (LxWXH)
  • Weight: 21lbs
  • Age: Babies up to 44lbs

Get It Here


 

 4. Joovy Coo Portable Bassinet-to-Playpen

joovy coo portable camping bed for babies

This portable baby bed has a very cool design which makes it versatile enough for camping and other travel.  You can put the mattress up top to use it as a bassinet.  In this position, your baby will be elevated off the ground and you’ll also have storage underneath.

Unzip the mattress and lower it down to turn it into a playpen. The legs unlock so you can rock it too – just be careful that the legs don’t rip your tent floor.  There is a side zipper so you can get your baby in/out from below, though it is a very tiny opening.

Open, the bed is 41 inches long, so it will fit infants and older babies.  The bed also only weighs 17lbs and folds down very compact, so it’s practical to take traveling.

  • Size: 41x 25×28 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 17lbs
  • Age: 0 to 35 inches tall

Get It Here


 

5. Graco Pack n’ Play

graco pack n play for camping

Even though the Graco Pack n’ Play is very popular and many parents recommend it, I personally don’t like it for camping.  It’s way too large to fit in most tents. The walls are very high, so it’s hard to get your baby in/out without your head hitting the tent ceiling.

However, one big plus is that the entire bed area is elevated off the ground. You can set it up outside even if it’s muddy without getting the bottom really dirty (setting if up without getting it muddy is another issue though!).

You’ll also need to have a very large tent to fit the Pack n’ Play inside. Be careful when moving it around the tent so you don’t damage the tent floor. I still included it on this list of baby camping beds though because it’s so popular and affordable.

  • Size: 40x28x29 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 23lbs
  • Age: 0-2 years

Get It Here


 

6. Baby Delight Go with Me Nod Deluxe Portable Crib

baby delight nod deluxe portable crib for camping

Baby Delight makes a lot of cool baby gear for outdoor use (like their baby camping chair).  I particularly love this travel crib for camping because it actually works well in a tent and outdoors.  The materials are water-resistant and the removable mattress is waterproof.

Unlike other portable playpens (which tend to be square), this playpen is rectangular. It is long enough to comfortably fit older toddlers but narrow so it doesn’t take up too much space in the tent.

Another awesome feature is that zippable side wall.  I find this very useful for getting a sleeping baby into the bed without waking her.  Just note that the mattress is really thin so you’ll need to put your baby on a sleeping pad too.  And don’t forget to protect the tent floor from the legs.

  • Size: 44x23x26”  (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 17lbs
  • Age: 0-3 years (50lbs)

Get It Here


 

7. Lotus Travel Crib

Lotus travel crib for camping

Here’s another great portable crib that works well for camping.  Like the Baby Delight crib above, it also has a zippered side entry so you can spare your back.  The zippered door is a bit bigger on this one so you could even breastfeed your child in lying position if you positioned the crib next to you in the tent.

I really like how lightweight (only 13lbs) and easy to set up the Lotus travel crib is.  Despite being so lightweight, it’s very sturdy: it can withstand a toddler shaking and kicking at it.

It’s also more compact and has a backpack-style carrying case. The reason it didn’t get listed higher up is because it is slightly pricy.  However, if you use a travel crib regularly, then it’s worth the price.

  • Size: 42x32x25 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 13lbs
  • Age: 0-3 years

 Get it here


 

8. Flisko 2-in-1 Travel Crib and Bassinet

The Flisko is another playpen-style travel crib.  It’s slightly smaller than most portable playpens/cribs, so it might fit in your tent better.   I love the side-zip entrance and the material which are easy to clean.

What makes this travel crib stand out from the others above is that it has a bassinet.  The bassinet clips to the top of the crib as a separate piece.  If you don’t bring the bassinet part, the crib is even more lightweight (the total weight is 13lbs).

Because it is so lightweight, the Flisko isn’t as sturdy as the Pack n’ Play, Baby Delight, or Lotus travel cribs.  If lightweight is what you want though, then it’s worth sacrificing some sturdiness – so long as you don’t have a baby who likes to jump on the railings!

  • Size: 21x35x23 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 13lbs
  • Age: 0-3 years

Get It Here


 

Choosing a Portable Baby Bed for Camping

Why Bring a Baby Camping Bed?

Before you buy a portable baby bed for camping, think about why you want it.

You may want the baby bed so you:

  • Don’t worry about squishing your baby while co-sleeping in the tent.
  • Keep your baby from wriggling all over the tent (and kicking you in the face!).
  • Have somewhere safe to put your baby while you do camp chores.
  • Keep mosquitoes off your baby.
  • Keep your baby safe from spiders, snakes, scorpions, choking hazards, etc.

Once you know why you want the baby bed, you will better be able to choose the right one.

For example, if my main concern was keeping my baby on the sleeping pad at night, I’d get a co-sleeper box. But, if I want my crawling baby to nap outside, I would choose a playpen with a built-in mosquito net.

babies sleeping in a tent

Baby camping beds are a good way to keep your kids “organized” in the tent 😀 

 

Types of Baby Camping Beds

You’ve got three main options for a camping bed for your baby: co-sleepers, portable bassinets, and portable cribs/playpens.  If you don’t mind bringing a lot of stuff while camping, you might even want to bring two of these options (like a bassinet for inside the tent and a playpen for the campsite).

 

Option 1: Portable Bassinets

Co-sleeper boxes are designed to prevent you from rolling over on your baby while co-sleeping. They also have the benefit of keeping your baby in place – which is great for babies that like to wriggle off their sleeping pads while camping.

Unlike bassinets, co-sleep boxes do not have legs – so you don’t have to worry about them falling over in the tent.  The walls are also usually lower than with travel bassinets, or they might only have 3 walls, which makes nighttime feedings easier.

Pros:

  • Good for infants
  • Some elevate child off the ground
  • Mosquito and sun protection

Cons:

  • Not suitable for older babies or toddlers
  • Ones with legs don’t fit well in tents
  • Have to lift baby in/out of it for nighttime feedings

Get this if: You are camping with an infant and you want to keep mosquitoes/creepy crawlies off.


 

Option 2: Co-Sleeper Boxes

Co-sleeper boxes are designed to prevent you from rolling over on your baby while co-sleeping. They also have the benefit of keeping your baby in place – which is great for babies that like to wriggle off their sleeping pads while camping.

Many of these are pretty similar to portable bassinets.  The difference is that they never have 4 legs (some have two legs so they can be attached to your bed, but you can’t use these as a baby camping bed).

The walls around co-sleeper boxes are also usually lower than with travel bassinets, or might be missing one side, which makes nighttime feedings a bit easier.

Pros:

  • Good for infants
  • Keeps baby from wriggling off sleeping pad
  • Prevents you from squishing your baby
  • Easy to fit in a tent
  • Makes nighttime breastfeeding easy

Cons:

  • Doesn’t elevate baby off the ground
  • No mosquito protection
  • Crawling/walking children can easily get out

Get this if: You will be camping with an infant and your major concern is rolling over on your baby.


 

Option 3: Portable Cribs and Play Pens

Pack n Play for camping with a baby

A Pack ‘n Play in the tent – but you’ll need a big tent! Image courtesy of Travel Mad Mum 

Once you child starts walking (but is still too young to understand the concept of danger!), these are great for camping.  The larger ones double as play pens. You’ll be able to put your child down without worrying that she’ll run off or start eating a bunch of mud (though that would probably boost immunity 😉 ).

If you have a smaller tent, then many portable play pens won’t fit inside.  There are smaller options available.  You still might want to get the play pen to bring with you though for all the times you want to do camp tasks.

Pros:

  • Good for older children too
  • Crawling/walking babies can’t get out
  • Baby can play in it while you do camp tasks
  • Easy to put a mosquito net over
  • Often come with changing stations

Cons:

  • Take up a lot of space
  • Have to lift child in/out for nighttime feedings
  • Difficult to get sleeping baby in without waking her
  • Legs might damage the tent floor (see how it is propped on blocks in the image above)

Get this if: You have an older baby, want a safe play area for your baby outdoors, and/or have a very large tent.


 

Will the Bed Fit in the Tent?

Unless you have a very large tent, many portable baby beds aren’t going to fit inside.  Even if they do fit, remember that you will probably be sleeping on the ground.  If your baby wakes up at night, then you’ve got to get completely out of your sleeping bag, stand up, and bend over (bumping your head on the tent roof) to get your baby.

For this reason, I personally prefer bassinets and co-sleeper boxes for inside the tent.  However, portable playpens are really great to have if your baby naps outside or you need to keep her safe while you do tasks.

 

Consider the Bed’s Legs

Don’t overlook the legs on the portable baby bed.  If there are legs, there should be four of them (not two); this provides more stability.  Also look for wide feet as these will be more stable on uneven, bumpy ground.

Keep in mind that the feet can damage your tent floor.  You’ll want to put something underneath the feet, like a bit of foam pad.

 

How Easy Is It To Clean?

Assuming that you will be using the baby camping bed outside too, you’ll need to make sure it is easy to clean.  Look for materials which can be quickly wiped down.  The mattress should have a waterproof cover.  Or, just leave their mattress at home and put a sleeping pad inside the bed instead.

 

Important: Sleeping Pads and Camping Cribs

Many portable cribs and bassinets don’t have mattresses underneath them, or the mattresses are really crappy.   It is really important that you provide insulation for child from underneath.

Otherwise, the ground will literally suck the heat right out of your child.   I talk about this in my post about how to sleep in a tent with a baby.

best sleeping bags for babies

This baby is warm even on the snow in the Morrison baby sleeping bag on top of the Therm-a-Rest Zlite Sol pad

 

Do you go camping with your baby? What bed setup do you use? Let us know in the comments!


Resources:

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/114374279/balancing-kids-and-climbing
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/rtt-camping-with-a-infant.142649/page-2

Image credits: “
Striking Camping Trip #1” (CC BY 2.0) by Graham and Sheila
babies camping” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by alaska meads
Travel Mad Mum

Tagged with:     ,

About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

Related Articles

Post your comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *