If you’re looking for an independent, real-world review of the Guava Lotus Travel Crib, you’ve come to the right place!
We used this portable crib continuously for four years as both a primary bed AND travel crib. Yep, you read that right, FOUR years — NOT with the same kid, of course. That would just be cruel and unusual.
As you might expect, we’ve learned a little something from all those months and miles under our belts, and want to share that with anyone else thinking of getting a Lotus travel crib.
So, here goes!
Lotus Travel Crib Review
The Ultimate Test
Guava Family Lotus
Everywhere Travel Crib
Why We Chose the Lotus Travel Crib
When our first son, Noe, was born, Lori and I knew we were moving to Southeast Asia in a few months to start a new job. We needed a crib that could double as an ultra-portable infant bed, and eventually a portable toddler bed, too.
Our criteria was simple:
- The portable crib had to be lightweight and easy to setup and take down (for traveling with the kiddo), yet sturdy enough to be our son’s full-time bed.
- The thing also needed to be well-built to handle the rigors of daily use and abuse, but also large enough to serve as a travel crib for a toddler someday.
- And, of course, it needed to meet basic safety standards for infants.
And that was about it.
After considering other similar cribs and play yards like the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light and reading the latest Lotus travel crib reviews on Amazon, we decided to go with the Lotus crib.
What ultimately sold us on the Lotus crib (in addition to price and positive reviews) was the compact size, side zipper door, backpack straps, and overall build quality.
Our Experience with the Lotus Travel Crib
True to its name, the Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib (that’s one heck of a name!) has been everywhere with us — and when I say “everywhere” I mean it.
We moved to Laos when Noe was three months old, and—with the exception of a handful of nights on planes and a boat—he spent every night in this crib until the ripe old age of 2.5, when baby brother, Riley, moved in and Noe graduated to a big boy bed.
That includes dozens of budget backpacking trips throughout Southeast Asia, hotels in the U.S., and countless flights, buses, and boats along the way.
All the while, our son’s portable crib was traveling right alongside us.
So how did the Lotus travel crib held up?
Read on to find out.
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Lotus Travel Crib Review — Pros (+)
Quick and Easy Setup (and Take-down)
When I first took the Lotus crib out of its package, it took about 10 minutes for me to initially figure out how to assemble and disassemble the thing.
Now, it takes me about three minutes to set up (including attaching the bed sheet — more on that later) and less than a minute to collapse and put the travel crib in its carrying case.
There are two hidden safety releases which must be squeezed at the same time to make the lightweight metal frame fold up for packing.
In order for the crib to fold successfully, each side must find its match, aligning moon to moon, star to star.
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Once the crib is folded flat, the four legs can be folded up by pulling out/down, then folding.
Folded crib goes inside the bottom pad (like a hot dog), then slides into the nylon carrying case.
I’ve included the diaper here, not so much to add some flair (though I do think it adds a nice little touch of reality), but rather to add some sense of scale of how compact the ol’ portable crib is.
Convenient Side Zipper
The Guava Lotus travel crib has a number of helpful features that we like. One of our favorite features is a convenient side zip door (for easy access to your little troublemaker)…
…and a zipper “lock” to keep said-troublemaker from not getting into more trouble, and help mommy and daddy sleep better at night…
…or during the day…
Lightweight AND Built Like a Tank
Obviously, the big selling point of any travel crib is its portability. Or, at least, that’s the idea.
In addition to being portable, we also wanted something that would stand up to both the rigors of both travel and daily use.
Many parents we know had Pak ‘n’ Play cribs, which they were very happy with. But they were just to big, bulky, and heavy for our needs.
Others swore by the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light, which lacked the side door and seemed a bit too lightweight for the durability we wanted.
The Lotus travel crib seemed to strike a balance between the two, which was perfect for our needs.
Easy to Clean
In addition to its portability and strong, yet lightweight construction, the Lotus crib is really easy to clean.
The whole soft shell zips off of the frame for easy machine washing, the vinyl pad makes cleaning up spills and other nastiness pain free, and the 100% cotton sheets are what you’d expect.
Lotus Travel Crib Review — Cons (-)
Velcro System Could Be Improved
As mentioned above, it takes me 3-5 minutes on a good day to completely set up the crib. It would actually take me a fraction of that time if it weren’t for the six velcro tabs that hold the sheet and pad securely in place.
But it’s nice to know that no matter how hard the kid tugs on it or rolls around, that sheet ain’t going nowhere.
2nd Kid Addendum
Our first son in his 2.5 years of residency never achieved this, but our younger son at 19 months is something of an animal, managing to yank the pad up occasionally. It’s worth noting that, as you might expect, the velcro has weakened a bit over the past four years of use and abuse.
If Guava Family did happen to come up with a quicker-release system that didn’t sacrifice the sheet and mattress’ firm connection to the base of the crib, I’d be very happy.
On the other hand, if I get to the point where I can’t even spare three minutes to get this thing setup, setting up a folding portable crib for a toddler is probably the least of my issues.
Some Toddlers Can Tip It Over
Yes, it is possible for some kids to be able to tip the crib over and escape.
This was never, ever an issue with our oldest son (he rarely even rocked the crib up through age 2.5 when he graduated to a bed).
However, our youngest surprised us around the age of two when he started flipping the crib on its side and escaping (which honestly took him quite a bit of effort, even at two).
Fortunately, it was never a safety issue for us, so much as a distraction for him, and after a few weeks the novelty wore off.
Not Quite Carry-On Size
While the Lotus travel crib folds up to a pretty compact size, you probably won’t get away with putting it in the overhead bin in today’s airliners.
With that said, if you are lucky (i.e. not on a domestic flight in the U.S.), chances are your airline still allows one free checked-in bag (even for your lap baby!).
For every other mode of transport—cars, trains, boats, camel—you should have no worries.
Sheets Are Not Included
It’s important to note that, at least as of this writing, the Lotus travel crib does not come with the custom, fitted sheets (they are sold separately here).
Obviously, you’ll want at least one, but you’ll probably want a second as well…particularly if you plan on actually taking this travel crib on the road, as all good travel cribs deserve from time to time.
Would We Buy It Again?
I’m happy to report that after four years of continuous use and abuse, the Guava Lotus Travel Crib surpassed our expectations. Even with the current offerings in 2023, we think we’d still be hard pressed to find a better travel crib at any price point.
If you are looking for a travel crib that’s built like a tank yet uber portable, easy to clean, easy to setup, and comfortable for baby or young toddler, then we’d recommend Lotus travel crib hands down.
Want more real world baby and toddler travel gear advice from two nomadic parents?
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- 10 Game-Changing Toddler Travel Essentials
- 15 Easy Tips for a Road Trip with an Infant or Toddler
- Traveling with a Toddler – 10 Expert Tips from a Nomadic Family
- How Do I Get My Baby a US passport? (6 EASY Steps)
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That means that our opinions and recommendations are 100% independent and unbiased (though we will admit we have a strong bias towards useful gear that's built to last!).
And That’s Our Lotus Travel Crib Real World Review
Do you have a Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.
12 thoughts on “Lotus Travel Crib (Independent) Real-World REVIEW”
Hi- did you use the mosquito net? It sounds like you travelled to some pretty exotic places. We are considering using this for our 3 month old but are concerned with him sleeping so close to the ground, and need to be sure the mosquito net really does keep our any small creatures where we are going (lizards, etc). It looks like the net doesn’t work with the bassinet, only the crib.
Hi Maureen- We did have the mosquito net but honestly we never got the use we thought we’d get out of it. We had the “Fun Shade” from the very beginning, which we found much more useful in year 1 because it protected our son from mosquitoes while also blocking out a lot of light during naps (it covers the top and one long side). After our son began to pull himself up to stand, however, both the net and the Fun Shade became pretty useless. Even with the crib open on top, we never had an issue with crawly critters finding their way in during the 4 years we used it in Southeast Asia and Mexico with our boys. That’s not to say it can’t happen, of course, but I think it’s pretty unlikely. We didn’t have the bassinet, but I can see why it wouldn’t work with the net or Fun Shade.
We used this for our son as both a travel and primary bed after he started escaping his crib around 18 months. I will say that we had to stop using it around 2, when he simply could flip himself out of it or over the top. I still think we’ll get great use from it with out next one and plan to get the bassinet conversion, but thought I’d throw out there for reference on its longevity in our house.
Thanks Kirsten for sharing your experience! Incidentally, our #2 started tipping it over as well around 2 years, and your comment was a great reminder to add that to the review. Worth noting that #1 never even attempted (we moved him out at age 2.5), so I guess it depends on the tenacity of the kid.
We have been using the bassinet converter kit the first 4 months of our baby’s life and are transitioning to the regular set up now that she is starting to roll over. The bassinet was super easy to set up/take down and it was nice to have the option of rocking our daughter to sleep when she was really small, Having had a c section, I was glad we got the bassinet set up since I had less ability to bend over those first weeks (which was also when baby needed lots of ups and downs for feeding). Thanks for the review of the crib!!
Thanks for sharing, Kim! Super helpful info for other moms who find themselves in a similar situation!
This is quite descriptive.
I like that it is super easy to set up and take down so the little one is put to sleep as soon as they need it.
I think this makes it all the more fantastic for travelers.
Thanks Jerome. Agreed!
Thanks for this review! I am considering this as the main + travel crib too – did you put kid #2 into it from birth onward? They sell a version with a bassinet converter kit but I wonder why that would be necessary if they say this is safe for infant sleep? Would love any insight you can give! Thanks!
That’s a good question, as we’ve wondered that ourselves. When #2 came along, #1 was still sleeping in the Lotus. It wasn’t until we moved into long-term housing that we transitioned #1 to a big boy bed (@2.5 yrs) and #2 into the Lotus (@3 months). Our oldest started sleeping in it at around 3 weeks old and we were happy with the outcome. We never ended up getting the bassinet converter.
Thanks for replying! Good to know. I actually also sent Guava an email and they confirmed it’s certified safe for infant sleep (same certifications as most pack and plays). I guess the bassinet is a ploy to get extra money from clueless parents using that bassinet buzzword 🙂
Or when you dont want to bend all the way over after just giving birth to continuously pick up a newborn, I think the bassinet converter could be very helpful for that.