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Hands-on Gear Review
Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night ReviewPrice: $120.00 List | $73.87 at Amazon - 38% off
Pros: Easier to use, lower price
Cons: Poor quality, not very cozy, no nods to eco-health
Bottom line: Lower priced, easy to use option that is short on comfort and quality
The Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night is marketed as a "day and night" play yard. This travel crib has a bassinet and changing pad included along with a handy travel bag that fits the entire unit easily. This product earned a respectable score for ease of use with a simple set up and break down process, but it still isn't as easy as half the competition. Its performance, in general, is significantly below average for the group with the lowest overall score in the group. No matter what performance metric is important to you, other products have more to offer. And if you are considering the Fisher-Price as a budget-friendly choice, there are cheaper options that scored higher in our tests.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Travel Cribs of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Fisher-Price started in New York in 1930 as a toy company. Herman Fisher and Irving Price, and Helen Schelle started the company and produced innovative toys designed to stimulate development in a fun way. Since its early beginnings, Fisher-Price has grown considerably and now includes a variety of other baby gear items in addition to their popular toy lineup.
The chart below includes the overall scores for the travel cribs we tested for this review. The Fisher-Price option (in blue) earned the lowest score.
The section below provides details on how the Fisher-Price performed compared to the competition.
Ease of Use
The Ultra-Lite earned a 7 of 10 for ease of use, which is above average for the group. This playard is relatively easy to open and close and fits in the bag nicely without a struggle. Some testers felt it was harder than others, but compared to the competition it fared well.
It took us almost 7 minutes for initial setup and about 9:20 including the included bassinet. After repeated use, the setup time average is closer to 2 minutes. The crib shakes open, and the legs lock in place. The hardest part is attaching the mattress with velcro. The frame has two buttons to push to unlock before folding to close. You have to start the fold while pushing the buttons which takes some practice but gets easier over time.
This playard is spot clean only, and if vomit or other fluids got in the cracks, it could be difficult to clean. It scored near the bottom for ease of cleaning as a result. We suggest using the fitted sheet (see below) accessory to avoid most issues, but it could still be difficult to clean.
The Ultra-Lite earned a 5 of 10 for portability. This crib weighs 17.5 lbs in the bag and ready for travel. This weight is heavier than four other cribs we tested and could make carrying the Ultra-lite more difficult over longer distances. It does come with a carry bag that has a hand and shoulder strap for easier carrying.
The folded products measures 22.4"H x 26.5"L x 7.2"W which is larger than a lot of the competition. We had difficulty lifting it and putting it in trunks, and it doesn't stand on its own and frequently fell over during testing.
The Ultra-Lite earned a 2 of 10 for comfort, which is the lowest score in the review for comfort. The mattress on this playard is thin and hard. It has a cheap feeling and doesn't feel like it would be comfortable for napping or sleeping on all night long.
Getting baby in and out of the crib is also uncomfortable. With deep sides and a smaller top opening, it can be difficult to get baby in and out of the crib without fully bending over and holding your baby in an awkward manner.
The Ultra-Lite earned a 3 of 10 for quality which is once again the low score for a metric. Given the lower price we do expect potentially lower quality materials, but the Graco Pack 'n Play is almost half the price of this model, and it earned a quality score of 6. This information means it is possible to find a nicer quality option at a lower price.
The crib itself is made of polyester and plastic stiffeners, and Fisher-Price doesn't list what the mattress is made of. It has mesh sides with no zipper access and no wheels which would have made it easier to move from room to room. The Ultra-Lite looks okay from a distance but the closer you get and the more you use it, the more you realize it is fairly flimsy, and the attention to detail or quality management is limited. We experienced inconsistent stitching, thin materials, and snagable mesh in the product we purchased for testing. When we compared this option side-by-side with the competition in our tests, it stood out in both design and materials as a disappointment.
FIsher-Price offers no features or materials for eco-health on the Ultra-lite. It earned a 1 of 10 for eco-health as a result. It isn't alone in this metric as only four products in this review earned a score higher than 1. We hope more manufacturers will consider baby health and environmental impact in the future. Fisher-Price does not report on the use of flame retardants in their baby products despite a 2014 law that states play yards do not require flame retardants. We assume the lack of information is an indication that this product includes the use of chemicals that have been shown to be potentially harmful to babies. According to the Center for Environmental Health, Fisher-Price is still listed as a "red" company or one where the products may contain flame retardants as they did not respond to inquiries.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
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