In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go Review

Budget friendly with average functionality but it isn't as portable
Best Value Award
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Price:   $80 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Price, average comfort and quality
Cons:  Large, heavier, not eco-healthy
Manufacturer:   Graco
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Oct 3, 2017
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 7
  • Ease of Use - 35% 6
  • Portability - 30% 4
  • Comfort - 15% 6
  • Quality - 15% 6
  • EcoHealth - 5% 1

The Skinny

The Graco Pack 'n Play on the Go is an inexpensive, quality travel crib and play yard for infants to toddler. This Graco is a nice option that provides what you need for a very reasonable price. It is a little harder to use and heavier than some parents will want to carry, but it has what you need for everyday use and on the go sleeping. While this economical option isn't the right fit for every family and it doesn't deny the use of flame retardants, we think it is a good choice for parents on a budget and that most families will be pleased with the features, functionality and overall quality of the Pack 'n Play.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

In Philadelphia in 1942, Russell Gray and Robert Cone launched the Graco company which fabricated car parts. Years later, after Gray left the company, Cone hired an engineer to design baby-centric gear. Their first product was an infant swing inspired by an outdoor glider used to soothe a coworker's crying infant. The cool swing sold millions and helped put Graco on the baby gear map where they soon became the world's leading manufacturers of baby products.

Performance Comparison



The Graco Pack 'n Play on the Go comes with a bassinet  play mobile  diaper storage bag and a changing station making it one of the full-featured options in the review.
The Graco Pack 'n Play on the Go comes with a bassinet, play mobile, diaper storage bag and a changing station making it one of the full-featured options in the review.

Ease of Use


The Graco offers average ease of use compared to the competition.


Our ease of use metric consists primarily of set up and take down as this is the main functionality of this product type.

The included storage bag means you can keep diapers and other supplies nearby when using the Graco.
The included storage bag means you can keep diapers and other supplies nearby when using the Graco.

The Graco took about 5 minutes to set up without the bassinet and closer to 7 minutes with it. If you add the accessories to the mix, it can take over 9 minutes. Over time the average setup time during testing was 1:47 minutes.

The Graco locks into place with the Graco one push button common on most of their play yards.
Folding the Graco is easy with the centrally located pull handle.

There are a lot of moving parts with the Graco, but the directions are listed on the bottom if you get confused, which includes locking the sidebars (above left) and pressing down on the center of the bottom (above right). This is reversed for folding. Once folded, you need to ensure the handles on the product line up with the handle holes on the travel bag before putting it in.

The Graco crib bottom secures to the frame with a snap.
The mattress of the Graco secures to the bottom of the crib with Velcro tabs.

You need to snap the bottom to the frame (above left) and secure the mattress to the bottom with Velcro (above right) to complete the setup.

This yard is spot clean only. Some areas will be easy to keep clean, and others may require scrubbing or a vacuum. We suggest using the fitted sheet to help keep the mattress from getting dirty.

While the Pack 'n Play isn't super long  it is relatively wide compared to the competition. Its overall measurements and weight earned it a below average score for portability.
While the Pack 'n Play isn't super long, it is relatively wide compared to the competition. Its overall measurements and weight earned it a below average score for portability.

Portability


The Graco isn't the easiest option to travel with thanks to the size and weight of the folded product.


This travel crib weighs 17lbs and 12 oz when folded in the travel bag. It measures 10.6"H x 27.7"L x 10.3"W making it one of the largest in the group. If you include the bassinet, the weight goes up over 20 lbs.

The Graco has two wheels on one end for easier movement between rooms. While it won't help you while traveling  it can help if you plan to use it as a play yard or safe place to rest baby while you divert your attention.
The Graco has two wheels on one end for easier movement between rooms. While it won't help you while traveling, it can help if you plan to use it as a play yard or safe place to rest baby while you divert your attention.

This weight means carrying the Graco will be difficult. The small handles make it hard to move and the size means it may not fit in some spaces. This product has wheels on one side for easier moving between rooms.

The Graco crib mattress has a decent cushion and is soft with some firmness for support.
The Graco crib mattress has a decent cushion and is soft with some firmness for support.

Comfort


The Graco offers basic comfort that isn't impressive but isn't terrible either.


This travel crib has a one-inch mattress made of polyurethane foam. It is soft with enough firmness to stop it from depressing to the hard bottom. It is the third most comfortable mattress in the group. It is also fairly easy to get a baby in and out of the crib.

The Graco Pack 'n Play is not the nicest of the bunch  but for the price  it provides better quality than some cribs that cost over twice the price.
The Graco Pack 'n Play is not the nicest of the bunch, but for the price, it provides better quality than some cribs that cost over twice the price.

Quality


The Graco offers above-average quality for the price, even if it can't compete with the higher-end competition.


The Graco frame is sturdy and while it shakes somewhat the legs don't move when you press on the top bar like some of the competition. The fabric feels durable and we didn't observe any stray stitching or random threads. There are some Amazon reports indicating trouble with the fabric, but we didn't experience this in our setup process.

Graco does not provide any information on the materials or possible chemicals used in the construction of the Pack 'n Play which leaves us to assume that flame retardants are potentially used in this product.
Graco does not provide any information on the materials or possible chemicals used in the construction of the Pack 'n Play which leaves us to assume that flame retardants are potentially used in this product.

Eco-health


Graco doesn't offer much in the way of eco-health, which is similar to the majority of popular brands and their use of harmful chemicals.


The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) retains a list of most major manufacturers and their responses to inquiries about their use of flame retardants. Graco did not respond to questions and doesn't provide information on their website about flame retardants leaving the CEH, and us, to assume they use flame retardants.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz