Brica Fold 'n Go Travel Review
Pros: Lightweight, portable, easily fits inside car or larger suitcase
Cons: For use on floor, protective barrier lacking and presents risk if pets present
Our Analysis and Test Results
The youngest company in our selection, Munchkin, based in Los Angeles, was founded in 1991 by Steve Dunn. Munchkin is a brand-name that can be found in the homes of most new parents, as their lineup includes an array of bath toys, regular toys, storage solutions, and travel accessories.
The Brica Fold 'n Go Travel has some points of convenience that make it a tempting purchase, especially for a parent who takes their baby out of the house frequently. It is the lightest weight of all the products we reviewed in this category, easily held in one hand while you tote around baby-gear galore. It is definitely the most portable of the ones we rated, closing with the simple push of two buttons, folding in on itself, and then held closed with a small velcro strap. However, despite its usability during travel, for general use around the house, you may want to look elsewhere. It's important to note that it is NOT designed to be safely used anywhere but on the floor. We felt its design was a bit deceiving, making it seem as though it could be used in a bed or on a sofa, which is in fact, not a safe practice.
Health and Safety
The Brica Fold 'n Go has only been approved to be used freestanding on the floor. We felt that for any family that has pets, this is automatically a poor option, since a dog or cat could easily jump right in; it even resembles a pet bed! Furthermore, if anybody other than the parent who put the baby in it is in the home, there is potential that it could go unseen and could be tripped over, since it is directly on the floor and not elevated at all. As for night-time sleeping, since it is not a co-sleeper, baby could be exposed to dust and drafts or anything else that was on the floor. We also didn't feel comfortable placing it on the floor next to the bed, for fear that baby could be stepped on when getting in and out of bed in the middle of the night, or a blanket could fall on top of it, posing a breathing hazard for your young one.
A true co-sleeper such as the Arm's Reach Mini Arc Co-Sleeper and the HALO Bassinest Essentia is designed to be used next to parent's bed safely; there is both easy access for parent to baby from the bed yet a defined separate sleeping space for baby that avoids rollover or parent's bedding suffocating baby. As such, the Fold 'n Go is not a co-sleeper, and it is not intended to be used on an elevated surface; The mesh sides, though they provide improved breathability for your little one, fold down so easily that your baby could easily roll out of it. Additionally, with the Brica was inside parent's bed, in our opinion, it could be easily rolled onto and/or bedding could find its way inside if the Brica, all scenarios which could suffocate baby.
As for the fabrics, they are sub-par at best, consisting of polyester and polyurethane foam. It meets an older flame retardant standard, TB-116, which means the foam is very likely to contain flame retardants.
Ease of Use
BabyBjörn Cradle which won our Editors' Choice Award, or the Arm's Reach Mini Arc Co-Sleeper which is also portable, but better suited for inside the home as a freestanding bed and co-sleeper. The mattress is easily washed, however the entire lining must be spot-cleaned, and is not removable from the frame.
The quality of this bed seemed relatively uninspired. We wished Munchkin had taken more care to use safer materials that did not contain flame retardants. We also felt that the fabric on the sides was very flimsy and seemed ineffective, as just leaning against it will cause it to collapse.
Ease of Set-Up
The Brica Fold 'n Go arrives ready for use, making it the easiest to set up of all of the units we rated.
Truly, the most realistic use of the Brica is for its ultra-portability. We do not feel that it is realistic to use this as baby's main sleeping area around the home. Perhaps if one's mattress were on the floor, it would make sense to use the Brica next to it, if ample care is taken to assure no loose bedding will make its way into it, but it should be stressed that it is not intended to be used in the bed.
If you take a look at our Value Chart, you will see that the Brica Fold 'n Go Travel is much less expensive than the other bassinets we rated, however it also has a lower value. Unless you are looking specifically for a piece of gear to take on the road or in the air, we think you should consider one of our other options.
This is a great innovation in theory, especially for parents who would like to hit the ground running after their new baby arrives. If you have a flight planned or spend a lot of time on the road, then this is a valid option to consider, but in comparison to its contenders which are elevated, sturdier and have other features like rocking and co-sleeping, we felt the Brica Fold 'n Go was not the best option. It may be a nice choice for its portability, but by all means, watch out for curious pets and don't succumb to the temptation to put it in the bed with you!
— Juliet Spurrier, MD, Molly Hutto, & BabyGearLab Team