If you can afford to give your baby extra comfort, you can get the best baby camping bed that is very portable and safe to allow you to make camping with baby easy as going shopping. After the lockdown brought about by COVID Pandemic, you should appreciate camping and highly encourage parents not to shy away from camping, despite the wrong perceived notions that camping with kids is difficult. If you have the right camping gear for you and your baby, camping with your baby is quite fun!
We have another guide on the best baby monitors that use batteries that you can use for camping and can keep an eye on your baby the whole time.
We’ve spent several hours comparing different brands and consulting avid hikers including our very own Jane Lanbert who has used two of the brands reviewed below.
Reviews of the Best Baby Camping Beds
Dimensions: 6.1 x 17.2 x 15.7 inches(L x W x H)
Weight: 6 pounds
Recommended age: until your baby starts crawling
SwaddleMe is one of the best co-sleeping boxes that can be used at home, traveling, and camping. It is made of a sturdy metal frame and sidewalls that bend down so you can pick your baby up easily.
This co-sleeping bassinet also comes with a 1-inch mattress, but if you are camping in cold weather, make sure to place a sleeping pad underneath to prevent heat loss.
Dimensions: 31 x 24.8 x 46 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 6 pounds
Recommended age: 0 to 2 years
Phil & Ted’s portable crib is perfect for camping because you can use it as a play yard during the day and like a co-sleeper. It has lowering sides with zippers, letting you easily access your baby for night time feed-no need to get out of your sleeping bag.
The other reason why this crib is great for camping is that it is slightly smaller and more compact than most playpens in the market. This makes it more likely to fit in smaller tents. Additionally, it is foldable, includes a carrying bag, and has a mesh cover to keep bugs out (sold separately).
Keep in mind that the Phil & Ted portable crib is not very sturdy like many play yards, so there is a chance it could tip over with an overactive toddler. Also, the mattress is really thin. So even without the issue of cold, you need to add an extra layer of padding for your baby’s comfort.
Size: 29x21x12.5 inches (L x W x H)
Recommended age: Until 3 months/ 15lbs
The Brica travel bassinet is great for travel and camping because it’s lightweight, compact, and easily opens and closes to allow easy access when co-sleeping. Additionally, it has a built-in mosquito net to keep your baby comfortable and safe outdoors. You can also check out these best travel cribs, not necessarily for camping.
The bassinet comes with a one-inch mattress, so again you need to place a sleeping pad underneath if camping during cold weather. Also note that the bassinet is meant for infants, and your baby will probably outgrow it by 5 or 6 months of age.
Size: 36.6 x 26 x 39.3 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 12.6 lbs
Recommended age: Babies up to 45lbs
This is one of the best bassinets for camping. It is light, foldable, and compact and has a thick comfortable mattress and storage basket. Additionally, it sits on four individual legs, making it much more stable even on bumpy ground. The feet have a thick plastic coating to avoid damaging your floor. It also includes a removable mosquito net to keep bugs out when outdoors.
Though you still have to get up from your sleeping bag, we like that the bassinet is not too tall so that you won’t be bumping onto the tent’s roof. The fact that it can also convert into a cradle and let you rock the baby to sleep is impressive too. We have other rocking bassinets here.
Dimensions: 41.34 x 25 x 28.35 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 18 Pounds
Recommended age: babies up to 3 years
Joovy Coo has a very versatile design that makes it ideal for camping and other travel. You can place the mattress on the top level to use as a bassinet. Your baby will be raised off the floor in this position, and you will also have storage underneath. Or, unzip the mattress and lower it down to turn the bassinet into a playpen.
This portable bed is light and folds down very compact for easy packing and travel. There is also a side zipper that lets you place your baby in and out, although the opening is really small. Also, the legs can unlock to let you rock your baby. Just be careful that the legs don’t rip your tent floor in the process.
Dimensions: 44 x 23 x 26 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 15.25 Pounds
Recommended age: babies up to 3 years
You will surely love this portable crib by Baby Delight for camping. Unlike other playpens that are normally square-shaped, this one is rectangular to fit older toddlers but narrow enough, so it doesn’t take too much space in your tent. Also, it has a removable waterproof mattress, and other materials are water-resistant.
The other fantastic feature is that it has a zipper door, making it easy for you to put your baby to sleep without waking her. However, you may need to place a sleeping pad underneath because the mattress is really thin. Also, remember to protect your tent floor from the metal legs.
Dimensions : 45.5 x 31.5 x 25.5 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 11 Pounds
Recommended age: babies up to 3 years
This is another great portable crib for camping. It is lightweight but very sturdy and is easy to set up. It also folds compact and comes with a backpack-style carry case, making it highly portable.
It has a wide zippered door so that you can even nurse your baby without taking her out of the crib when lying on the side. The crib has a higher quality overall and is also expensive. However, the mattress is one inch thick, so you may need to add some sleeping pads to ensure your baby is warm during cold days.
Dimensions: 19.29 x 23.62 x 25.51 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 13 pounds
Recommended age: 0 to 3 years
Baby Bjorn is one of the best portable cribs in the market, and it also doubles as a play yard for your little one while camping. The portable crib is constructed with high-quality materials, a sturdy metal frame, softer fabrics, and a thicker mattress. In addition, the legs are angled and widely spaced, so you should not worry about stability at all.
The Bjorn is easy to clean with removable fabrics, and other parts can be wiped down. It is also foldable and comes with a carry case for convenient packing and transportation.
Again with this one, you may need to place a sleeping pad underneath if the weather is cold. Also, be sure to put some padding under the legs to prevent damaging your tent floor. If this portable crib had lowering walls it would have been much higher on this list.
Dimensions: 39.5 x 28.25 x 29 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 11.99 Pounds
Recommended age: 0 – 4 years
Graco Pack n’ Play is a favorite for many parents and is very affordable, but it is not the most suitable for camping. We find it too large to fit most tents, and the tall walls also make it hard for you to place the baby in and out without bumping your head into the tent’s ceiling.
However, it has an optional bassinet and a changer, which are pretty convenient functions to have. The other huge plus is that the entire Playard is raised off the ground, so you can even set it up outside even when it’s muddy without getting the bottom wet or dirty. The only way to use this for camping is if your tent is very large. But on the positive side, you will also use it for a long time.
Dimensions: 23.39 x 21.42 x 7.24 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 14.05 Pounds
Recommended age: babies up to 3 years
Flicker 2-in-1 stands out from the rest of the cribs because it has a bassinet. The bassinet attaches to the top of the crib, raising your baby off the ground.
The portable crib is also smaller than most portable playpens or cribs so it will easily fit in most tents. We also love the zippered door on the side, making it easy to reach your baby.
Dimensions: 46 x 28 x 118 inches (L x W x H)
Weight: 2.45 pounds
Recommended age: 1 to 3 years
Kidco Peapod tent provides safe sleeping space for your toddler during picnics, camping, and other travels. It’s extremely lightweight and folds up very compactly. It is also very easy to set up as it literally just pops up and your baby’s bed is all set. It has a removable sleeping pad for easy cleaning, and the outer material has UV protection.
We love the side door with a zipper so you can lay your child down to sleep without waking her. With the KidCo Peabod, your toddler will have fun sleeping in his own tent inside a tent! Just remember to place extra cushioning below for comfort and to prevent heat loss. Also, you may need to bring along a playpen because there is no room for your child to stand in this tent, just a place to sleep.
Buying Guide for Baby Camping Beds
Do I really need a portable camping bed when traveling?
Camping is an excellent way for families to spend time together to connect and enjoy being surrounded by nature as they gain new experiences and learn new things. But, most people are not comfortable with the idea of going camping with a baby, perhaps because they see camping conditions as very harsh for their sweet little one.
We are here to tell you that you can go camping with your baby and that it is especially great for them- even if it is bitterly cold!
One report by the BBC news showed that people who live in Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, and Denmark) follow an old age belief that babies thrive outdoors because fresher air promotes good health. In these countries, it is common practice for moms to put their babies outside for naps alone. Even in pre-schools, children nap outside, even during winter, with temperatures getting to -15C. According to some experts, fresh air decreases exposure to germs and promotes a night of deeper and longer sleep.
So it’s alright to take your baby camping but dress her appropriately and ensure you have a good comfortable camping bed for her to sleep in as well. If you are not sure which one you should get, we have many great recommendations, but first, we guide you on how to choose the best one for your family.
Types of baby camping beds
There are three main types of camping beds for babies:
These are bassinets with or without legs and a collapsible design to make them easy to pack and transport.
- Great for infants
- Some raise the baby off the ground
- Some provide protection against the sun and bugs
- Not suitable for bigger babies and toddlers
- Those with legs don’t fit well in tents
- Have to lift the baby in and out for nighttime feeds
Co-sleepers are boxes similar to portable bassinets, but their walls are usually shorter or with one lowering wall to make it easier to access the baby. The other difference is that they do not have legs-they sit on the floor or on your bed. Although some co-sleepers are designed with two legs allowing them to be attached to your bed, they are not suitable to use as a baby camping bed.
These boxes are designed to prevent you from rolling over on your baby while co-sleeping. They also help contain the baby in place, which is great for babies who keep wiggling themselves in their sleeping pads while camping.
- Ideal for infants
- Keeps a wiggly baby from slipping off the sleeping pad
- Keeps you from rolling onto your baby and squishing them
- Make nighttime feeding easy
- Easily fits in a tent
- Easy for crawling babies and bigger toddlers to get out
- Doesn’t raise the baby off the ground
- Doesn’t offer protection against bugs
Portable cribs, Play Yards and playpens
If you have a bigger toddler, these playpens are the best option when camping because they double as a bed and a playpen, ensuring your child’s safety at all times. Your only worry should be the size. Larger playpens may not fit inside smaller tents, but there are smaller options available.
- Great for bigger toddlers
- Prevents crawling and walking babies from getting out
- Provides a safe play space while you do camp tasks
- Most of them include a changing station
- Easy to attach a mosquito net over
- Require a lot of space
- Have to pick the baby in and out during nighttime feeds
- Tricky to place sleeping baby in without waking them
- Legs might damage the tent floor
Choosing a Portable Baby Bed for Camping
When looking for a portable camping baby bed for camping, here are some factors to consider
Type of baby bed
As we have seen earlier, there are many baby bed options to choose from, depending on your needs. For example, do you want a co-sleeper box to have your baby next to you, do you want one with a net to keep bugs away, do you want one that provides a safe play space to put your baby as you do camp chores? Knowing precisely what needs you want the baby bed to meet will help you choose the right one.
Size of your tent
If you have a small tent, your best choice would be a co-sleeper or bassinet. However, you may also want to carry a playpen if you plan on your baby taking naps or playing outside.
If your tent is huge, you can fit any type of baby bed, even a portable baby bed, but you will probably be bumping your head on the tent roof whenever you go to pick your baby. That’s why we mostly recommend bassinets and co-sleeper for inside the tent.
You may choose a portable baby bed with legs or without, but never one with two legs. If there are legs, they should be four to ensure stability. In addition, consider those with wide feet as these will be more stable even on uneven ground.
Also, keep in mind that the feet can damage your tent floor, so put something underneath, such as a foam pad.
Ease of cleaning
Camping is all about getting dirty and having fun. So, choose a bed with material that can be easily wiped down and a mattress with a waterproof cover. Or, just use a sleeping pad inside the bed and leave the mattress at home.
Insulation sleeping pad
Many portable cribs and bassinets have thin mattresses or none underneath. Therefore, it is very important to put an insulation pad underneath your child; otherwise, your child will be really cold.
Baby Camping & Tenting Beds FAQs
Jane Lanbert is a mother of two and works as an elementary school teacher. Jane joined Motherhood HQ to provide expertise on product testing after her stint at Consumer Reports. Jane loves reading and getting immersed in new research on various topics from parenting to pet psychology. When not reading or testing baby gear to review, Jane enjoys hiking in the midwest and hanging out with their two dog pets. Jane is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, and holds a degree in Elementary Teaching. She can be reached at email@example.com