Are you planning on taking your bub on their first camping trip in the great outdoors? Or maybe you’re starting somewhere with a little less commitment – like your backyard. Either way, you know that camping with a baby requires quite a few extra supplies to make everyone’s trip more tolerable.
Whilst we’re more used to sleeping on soft sand nowadays, we’ve endured our fair share of hard, rocky ground, and we know how essential a quality baby camping bed is (for everyone’s rest!). Thankfully, there are many different styles of baby beds for camping to ensure you’ll find the perfect version for your baby.
A safe, comfortable baby camping bed is essential for any family camping trip, and we’ll be discussing several different designs and features in more detail below. The right sort of camping bed for your baby will depend on their age, the size of your tent, and what kind of surface you’ll be camping on.
This post is part of our essential outdoor gear series for adventurous families
Let’s take a look at several key features to consider, along with a few different baby camping bed styles before we jump into our favorite camping bed brands.
Portability — This is certainly the most essential feature for any baby camping bed. You’ll undoubtedly be carrying multiple packs to your campsite and keeping an eye on wayward children! The best portable camping cot for baby will be compact enough to fit in your existing luggage and weigh in under 15 lbs.
Ease of Assembling — No one wants to pack additional assembling instructions for an overly complex baby camp bed. Find one that is quick and simple to fold out and pack back up.
Material — Despite your best efforts, you’ll probably need to clean your baby’s camping cot after a few trips out into nature. Machine washable material is preferred, but at the very least, you should be able to spot clean any soiled areas without damaging anything.
Age/Weight Range — Are you planning on taking your bub camping regularly, or are you searching for something for a specific trip that you won’t use again in the near future? Infant camping beds generally last through six months. Larger models will undoubtedly be heavier, but you can also use them through toddlerhood.
Size — Before you purchase any baby camping bed, we recommend taking note of your tent or RV’s dimensions. How much room will you have to put something up? If you’re tent camping, you might be better off with a pod-style or camping cot as opposed to a traveller crib.
Cost — How often you plan on using the baby camping bed will often help determine how much you’re willing to spend on one. There are infant camping cots for every style and price range, and we’ve included a wide selection with your budget in mind.
Different Baby Camping Bed Styles
Pod Style — Baby camping pods are a bit like an instant pop-up tent for your bub. They’re ultra-lightweight and usually have a removable mesh cover to keep biting bugs out while keeping your child as cool as possible. These sleeping pods usually have a lightly padded mattress that’s well-suited for softer ground. However, you can easily add a second mattress or thick blanket underneath to make sleeping more comfortable.
Portable Loungers — If space is a concern, you might want to invest in a portable baby lounger that you can place next to you in bed or close by while you’re sleeping. Most camping cots like these have a cushion around all sides with an indented area in the middle for your bub to snuggle into. These are ideal for infants, but many loungers can accommodate older babies and even toddlers.
Bassinet/Crib — If you have room in your tent or RV, you can always bring a lightweight travel crib. This type of baby camp bed can also act as a portable playpen during the day or when you’re preparing meals and need to place your bub in a secure area. Most cribs for camping have minimal parts to make setup and breakdown as pain-free as possible.
Our Top Picks — Best Portable Camping Beds for Babies
Pricing Guide $ – up to $50USD; $$ – $50 – $100USD, $$$ – over $100USD
Best Baby Camping Pods
The Munchkin Brica Fold N’ Go is our top choice for infant camping beds. The updated model has breathable mesh panels and machine washable material. You can set it up and fold it down in just a few seconds, and the comfortable, water-resistant mattress pad comes with a fitted sheet.
Pros: Only weighs 3 lbs and fits easily into luggage, setup is a cinch
Cons: Can only use until your baby is three months or 15 pounds, whichever comes sooner
We’re big fans of Joovy’s stroller line, and they now have a camping pod for babies that’s available in several colors and sizes! The outer removable cover is dew-resistant, bugproof, and has UPF 50+ protection. And ages six months to five years can snuggle up for a nap on the comfy, self-inflating pad.
Pros: No assembly required – just unzip and pop up, 100% machine washable
Cons: Some customers mentioned it would be helpful to be able to purchase additional sheets since babies are notorious for spitting up/soiling their bedding.
The KidCo Peapod is another popular camping bed for older babies and toddlers, and it folds up nicely to fit in a carry-on size bag. We love that you can secure it to the ground with anchor straps, and the outer mesh cover keeps baby safe from bugs while letting in cooling breezes.
Pros: Weighs less than 3 lbs, can fit in backpacks for convenient travel
Cons: Can be on the warm side when fully zipped, needs extra padding if sleeping on rocky ground
NB – it looks like this one could be discontinued as of early 2023, they no longer sell via Amazon, but you can try the supplier direct.
Perfect for smaller tents, the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest can accommodate both infants and older babies with a firm yet comfortable machine-washable mattress and safe, vented walls. Simply fold and zip the Snuggle Nest up to transport when you’re ready to go.
Pros: Lightweight, easy to clean, can use as a lounger anywhere
Cons: Doesn’t have a cover to protect from UV rays or bugs, the bed must be on level ground or walls tend to tilt
The ZOUNICH 5-in-1 travel bassinet is an infant camping bed, diaper bag, changing station, and so much more. Keep all of your bub’s items close at hand while also having a portable bassinet anywhere you require one!
Pros: Many features all in one, comfortable mattress/changing pad, well-ventilated sides
Cons: Can only accommodate infants up to 15 lbs, no UV cover
We love how the Lulyboo Cuddle & Play Lounge’s folds instantly into a backpack for quick and easy transport. The super-lightweight design doesn’t take away from its comfort level, and it has a waterproof base and machine washable cover.
Pros: Available in many colours, can set up anywhere, waterproof bottom, no additional parts
Cons: Only for infants up to 6 months, needs added cushioning depending on camping area
The Primo Cocoon Travel Bassinet is a lightweight alternative to a pod or lounger, and it works nicely in a larger tent or RV. The snap-on legs only take seconds to attach and disassemble, and the detachable mesh canopy keeps your bub safe from mosquitos and other biting bugs whilst still allowing for plenty of ventilation.
Pros: Compact and lightweight, comes with carrying bag, washable padded mattress
Cons: Some customers complained that the mesh canopy’s zippers weren’t very sturdy, and the canopy itself was on the flimsy side.
Although the Baby Delight Go With Me is on the heavier side, we chose it because it accommodates babies as they grow, and you can use it as a playard once your baby gets older. This camping baby bed can fit in small RV campers and most tents (depending on layout).
Pros: Will last you for several years and is versatile for day use as well
Cons: Heavier and bulkier than other baby sleep products for camping, allow 8 square feet.
The phil&teds Traveller Crib is an ultra-compact baby camping bed that doubles as a playard. The fully breathable mesh sides keep your bub as cool as possible during hot weather, and you can roll it up like a yoga mat for effortless transportation and storage.
Pros: Self-inflating mattress, only weighs 6 lbs, quick and easy setup
Cons: Needs additional cushioning for comfortable sleep. The feet have a large footprint in the tent that can be a tripping hazard
We’re also fans of the Lotus Travel Crib, and it’s an incredibly comfortable camping bed for your baby with an updated soft foam mattress pad and breathable mesh sides. Aside from camping, this travel crib was designed to fly and only weighs in at 13 lbs.
Pros: Set up in 15 seconds, quiet side zipper door, GreenGuard Gold approved
Cons: More costly than other options
More Baby & Toddler Outdoor Adventures
So now we’ve got you sorted with sleeping arrangements next time you take an outdoor adventure with your bubs, what more do you need to get prepared? Read on as we help you with:
- The Best Baby Camping Gear – a complete guide to everything you need to think about packing with a baby to make your camping trip run as smoothly as possible.
- Essentials for Tent Camping with a Toddler – our tips on the top safety steps to take and essentials you won’t want to leave home without when camping with a toddler.
- Keeping Your Cool Summer Camping – tips and hacks to get you through the hottest days of summer camping so everyone is well hydrated and well-rested on your summer camping trip
- Hiking with a Baby – planning to combine your camping trip with hitting the trails? Here’s what you need to know when hiking with a baby.
- Best Sleeping Bags for Toddlers – as your baby starts to outgrow sleeping pods and cots, the next step up will be their very own camping bed with a toddler-sized sleeping bag.
- Bringing baby to the beach? Our top tips for sun protection and safety items you won’t want to miss from your family beach bag to ensure a smooth sailing day for you all.
- The Best Waterproof Camping Tents – keeping your family safe and dry on a family camping trip whatever the weather
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