Review: Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light vs. Graco Pack ‘N Play 

Graco Pack ‘N Plays (PNP) have become such a staple in the baby gear market that they are now like Kleenex – the model name is synonymous with the product. We don’t call them travel cribs we call them PNPs just as we call most tissue Kleenex. So as a first time mom it didn’t dawn on me that I would need anything other than a PNP, so when I saw one at my local grocery store on clearance I snagged it up. 

It worked AWESOME as a cosleeper when my son was tiny. I put it right next to my bed and I really felt the flat open surface helped him transition to a crib. It worked great as a place for him to nap in our living room after that. Then it was great to take with us as a place for him to sleep when we traveled…. Until he started to stand and jump. Then I didn’t like it because of the raised bottom it would wobble under him when he stood and jumped. 

I decided since we do travel a bit I wanted to look for something better and more sturdy for that.

I found a couple that intrigued me – the Baby Bjorn travel crib and the lotus travel crib. Both were around $200 which was more than I had to spend at the time so I decided to make do with the PNP for the time being, but put them on my want list for the future since we planned on having more kids. 

 Fast forward a year or so and I’ve had another baby and we have a trip coming up for Christmas. My older son still sleeping in a crib so I start looking at the Lotus and Bjorn again scouring for deals. I really couldn’t decide between the two so I thought I would just get whichever one I could find the better deal on. The Bjorn came down around Black Friday so I snagged it up.

Long story short we transitioned to toddler bed before the trip and I didn’t take the Bjorn with us. 

So it’s been sitting unused but now that my baby is getting older we’re getting the PNP out again and I said HEY! I have that Bjorn travel crib lets test this thing out and see if it’s worth keeping or if I should sell it. 

So this is my review of the Bjorn Travel Crib compared to the Graco Pack ‘N Play. 


Side by side visual comparison the Bjorn immediately looks quite a bit smaller. But this is deceiving as I found when I broke out my tape measure! The PNP measures 39.5″ long by 28.5″  wide. The Bjorn is narrower at the top than it is the bottom. The top is 33″ x 21.5″ but at the bottom, what would be the sleep surface,  is 41″ (longer than the PNP) x 24″ (shorter than PNP). The PNP is 28.5″ tall with the bottom platform being 5.5″ off the ground. The Bjorn Travel Crib Light is 25″ tall but only 1″ off the ground (overall 1″ deeper than PNP).

In terms of size, it’s a draw for me, so it’s a matter of what’s important to you and what space you’re working with. 

Best in size: Tie! 


When it comes to cleaning the two portable cribs, the Bjorn is going to win hands down. The entire cover comes off and is machine washable. That is a HUGE plus, in my opinion. Babies and kids are messy. My PNP is nasty just from 1 kid using for a year and it’s not as easily cleaned since the cover cannot come off and be thrown in the washer like the Bjorn. 

Cleaning Winner: Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 

Assembly/Pack Up/Stored Size 

The Bjorn comes in it’s own zippered handled case. The case is thicker than that of the PNP. The manual for the Bjorn is tucked into a pocket on the inside of the case.

Pull it out of the case and the mattress is wrapped around the crib. Open up the mattress and then open up the crib.  Once you’ve opened up the crib, it’s so easy it’s ridiculous. just pull those legs up and they snap into place.  

Then flip it over put the mattress in, pull the red tabs through on the corners and snap them in and you’re set! Taking it apart is nearly as easy, just reverse those steps and to get the legs down you just pull them back out (PULL! it says) and they fall back down, fold it up and put it back in the case! Simple! 

The PNP … well … not as simple. To set up and take apart is like a 10 step process. The buttons/sides get stuck at times when trying to fold and unfold. There is a thin cover that covers it once folded with a handle.

In regards to portability, the Bjorn is much lighter. The Bjorn folded is long and wide but thin since it’s basically only folded in half. The PNP is a much smaller footprint folded because it’s essentially folded in 4. 

Assembly/Pack Up/Stored Size Winner: Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 


The mattress is more plush on the Bjorn than the PNP. This is because the PNP mattress has to be hard on the back because it’s also the outer cover once folded. It’s also more comfortable as it’s essentially on the floor so it’s not going to wobble a whole lot, whereas the PNP floor is very wobbly once the baby can stand and/or jump as it’s quite a few inches off the floor. 

Comfort Winner: Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 


The PNP has the Bjorn beat on additional accessories by far. You can get PNP’s with all kinds of features – changers, nappers, bassinets, mobiles – plus you can buy all kinds of sheets and other accessories. The fact that you can even use the PNP as a bassinet is a great advantage over the Bjorn because as a mom of a newborn you don’t want your baby that low to the ground, plus it’s very far to bend to put them in and take them out. For the Bjorn you’re pretty much just limited to sheets for the mattress. This may or may not matter to you in your purchase of a portable crib, but a point to compare as well. 

Accessories Winner: Graco Pack ‘N Play 

Final Decision

For families who travel fairly regularly such as ours, comfort is very important. You’re replacing the baby or child’s normal sleep environment – a nice cushy mattress – with something much smaller. Comfort and semblance to their normal sleep environment are important to keeping sleep habits and schedules while traveling. Also for travelers, set up/take down and folded size are hugely important. When you’ve been traveling all day or had crying kids in the car, the last thing you want to do when you finally get to your hotel is be messing with this thing getting it set up. Folded size is important because it’s one more thing you have to lug with you when you travel now that you have kids! In all of these areas, the Bjorn wins by a landslide. 

However, we do use it at home which is much more often than we travel. As a place to be safe from dogs or to take a quick snooze in the living room, both the PNP and Bjorn will serve those functions fine. However, as a primary sleeping place for a young baby, you can’t beat the bassinet feature on the PNP. In terms of my current decision though, my baby is old enough that we won’t use the bassinet feature too much longer. Fortunately for me, I got my PNP for $40. The same one retails at Amazon for double that, and it’s one of the VERY basic PNP’s. The Bjorn is around $230. I got it for $160. So in my case, I’m going to keep them both – KEEP ALL THE PORTABLE CRIBS! HA! 

But, if I were starting all over again, I would go with the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light. It’s lighter, easier to use and maintain as a portable crib than the PNP. For a bassinet type solution, if needed, I would go with something like the Arms Reach – which I also got one of this time (I am a baby gear junkie), maybe that’s my next review!

However if you don’t want to have separate pieces for these functions, or if you have a limited budget, the Graco Pack ‘N Play would be a great choice as well. I really don’t think the ones with the fancy extra features are necessary. Even my basic one had the bassinet feature, which is all you really need. 

Now the one we’re missing here is the Lotus! How does it compare? Well I have some friends that might be able to help me compare the Lotus to these so I will update if I can get the Lotus comparison as well!

Diono Travel Accessories 

With the recent purchase of my new Bumbleride Indie Twin (see my review here), I needed to purchase another parent console. I’m too forgetful to move them between strollers so I just get one for each and leave them on them.

Well I took to Amazon to see if I could find anything better than the Britax and Skip Hop ones that I love for my other strollers. I tried one by Dot&Dot that got GREAT reviews and looked like  the perfect mix of the two I love, plus it came with a set of stroller hooks. Bonus! Well it fit great but the problem was it doesn’t fit larger drink cups. BIG problem for me because I usually carry 1L water bottles plus my son usually has a Contigo kids bottle since he chugs water like it’s goin out of style. So I sent it back. Boo.

Next I looked at the Diono one. I’ve always been intrigued because it’s $8, whereas most others are $20. I’ve also heard great things about it from my friends in the StrollerQueen StrollerSwap group on Facebook. So I said what the heck for $8 I’ll try it.

But then Amazon, you know me so well, a sucker for baby gear. As I added it to my cart it said you might also like these… And suggested some other Diono accessories. A pop up trash bin. Well shoot I do need a place for trash. Also around $6. Add to cart. An organizer for between the car seats. Around $10. Why yes I would like something there for my sons snacks and sippys because I used to do the diaper bag but now if I leave it there he pulls everything out so yup… Add to cart. And a organizer for the back of the seat. Well I have one on my drivers seat but I could probably use one on my passenger seat and the pockets look much more handy on this one. It’s also around $8 you say? Why yes I would like to add that to my cart as well.

So around $30 all in, I’ve got 4 handy car/stroller accessories from Diono, a brand who’s car seats I love. I’m excited to try them out but also wondering what’s the catch… Why are they so cheap?

So they finally came. Yay!

Except the organizer for between the car seats that came the next day (even though they’d all said 2 day prime shipping… Whatever).

So immediately as I open them with kid on Christmas morning excitement I immediately notice one flaw that might be the reason they’re so cheap … They come with no instructions!! Not a big deal on a stroller organizer, or a pop up trash can, I can figure those out. But on a car seat back organizer that has two short elastic straps with hooks – uh what? Where do these go?

Then the next day when the organizer for between their seats come, same thing no instructions. Not a big deal for assembling it that’s pretty easy to figure out. But there’s a flap across the back that velcros, I’m assuming to attach it somehow? But how!?! No instruction. I hope it’s secure somehow or my son is gonna fling it on the floor, but I have no idea how you do so.

There’s simple explanations of what these items do on the packaging. But there’s no instructions in or on the package on how to secure both the seat back organizer and the between the seats organizer. Kind of frustrating… And a google search is no help. I found nothing on their site or any other that was of any assistance. Now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s me – am I just not smart enough to figure these out?!? (If so, please feel free to educate err help me in the comments)

So here’s my review of these items, in case you’re considering snatching them up from Amazon at these great prices.

Diono Travel Pal Car Storage (goes between car seats) – currently $10.50

The travel pal fits between the car seats on your rear bench seat. It has two external cup holders, several inside pockets, a zipped inside pocket and some mesh pockets on the sides. Looks perfect for storing some toys, snacks and Sippy cups.    

That’s what it looks like on the back. Looks like it should secure somewhere. I have no idea how. So I half love it, but really confused on how to secure it and how far my son will throw it with it not being secured.

Diono Stow ‘N Go Car Organizer (goes on back of seat) – currently $8.79

Lots of pockets, including one closed. A couple of them could hold cups or drinks. Attaches around headrest with buckled strap. But the bottom?

No clue. Those don’t look long enough to wrap around the seat so I clipped them to the seat tracks for now, but I don’t think that’ll hold it well.

Diono Pop Up Trash Bin – currently $6.00 

It pops up as soon as you take the straps off. There’s a Velcro piece on the bottom though I’m not sure where you would Velcro a trash bin on the bottom in your car (it’s a Velcro piece with tape on the back so you’d have to tape that Velcro strip somewhere to hold the trash bin). They sell bags for it, but it fits the small grocery plastic bags just fine. Very easy to push it back down and wrap the straps around it if you needed to store it.

Diono Buggy Buddy (Stroller Organizer) – currently $8.00 

Out of all the stroller organizers I tried, this one has the easiest and cleanest straps, in my opinion. The Britax and Skip Hop that I use have Velcro strap overhang which snag on things and curl sometimes. The straps on the Diono are a closed loop around the stroller bars full Velcro so whether you have it tight or loose it’s a closed loop and all the Velcro is inside.  

It’s completely open which could be a disadvantage or advantage depending on how you use it. There’s an inside zippered pocket on the back. There’s two pieces of elastic on either side that will make the outer corners drink holders. They fit small bottles and cups easily, bigger ones are a stretch but they do fit, they just don’t slide in and out easily. It usually requires two hands for me to put my 1 liter water bottle in. 

It kind of hangs on my Bumbleride Indie at a little bit of an angle, but not big enough to buy me.

Overall, I like them and the material seems to be high quality. I think at these prices I will keep them, but I would really like to know how to secure the organizers in the car so if you know please let me know! And I will add it to the post as well.

I definitely recommend the pop up trash bin and buggy buddy organizer.

Remember when I said I wanted to be a babywearer …

Turns out I might be. 


(Not perfect form, I know fellow babywearers but it was my first successful attempt at a back carry so I was proud)

This little squishy bundle of adorableness … Loves to be with me. Or dad. Preferably me (hey I provide the food). But either way loves being held. And he may look teeny in the photo, but he’s not. A big ole 27″, almost 19lb, 5 month old. I love that he wants me so much but mommas arms get tired. Especially since he’s in the “I want to explore the world and see all the things” phase. This phase equals no matter which way I hold him, he cranks around to look in the other direction. Even harder on said momma arms. 

So I’m picking up the wraps and ring slings more. And attempting back carries. Because momma hold + baby turn around crank = not much getting done (plus the sore arms). Back carries used to terrify me. I practiced over my bed, many many times, only to end up sweaty and frustrated and too loose a carry to leave the bed. In fact, after my last attempt, not only did I fail but I ended up with baby spit up in my hair. Not once, but TWICE in the same attempt. Thats talent. 

So I decided the other day to finally give it a go again. This time, I used the couch instead of the bed. Wow! What a difference that made. I could comfortably sit while I worked on it. I could also brace him up against the back for some tension as well. And I actually got it and didn’t feel (AT ALL) like he was gonna fall out! The pic you see above is my finished product!

I know, fellow babywearers, that I have some work to do. And I got lots of feedback from Babywearing pros on Facebook on what I could do better and different carries to try. I really like this one though. I just need a shorter wrap now so I don’t have the long tails… Muahahaha. An excuse for another wrap! 

But the result felt very freeing. My little munchkin could explore the world. And I could enjoy my front free space, and free arms, once again! 


But I still love my strollers too. 🙂 

Edited to add: clearly he didn’t like it. 


Review: Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double vs. Bumbleride Indie Twin

So I’ve been in search of the great white buffalo of strollers if you have more than one kid … The “perfect” double stroller. Friends in my Facebook stroller group say the perfect double stroller is elusive. Yes there is such a thing as a Facebook stroller group and it’s a magical wonderful place if you’re a stroller lover like me, check it out, by far my favorite Facebook group – StrollerQueen StrollerSwap, which is not just a swap by the way, they’re fantastic for reviews, opinions and questions.

In my case, I feel the perfect double stroller is even harder to find because where I live I need the all terrain factor as we frequently head off road on the ranch not to mention our main road is a special kind of ridiculous called chip coat where it’s super rough and rock chunks stick up to stab you in the foot and make strolling a stroller 10 times harder. While all terrain is a main factor in my search for the perfect double, I also am used to (and just all out LOVE) my Baby Jogger City Mini and City Select which have awesome canopies, great quick and slim folds and are fairly lightweight and the fabrics have stood up very well with my boys. So I hoped to have some of the same features in my side by side double.

The recommendations by my fabulous gals at SQSS recommended the Bumbleride Indie Twin, the Mountain Buggy Duet or the Bob Duallie. All perfect recommendations for my needs. These ladies know their stuff. However, to me, looks is an equally important factor and I just don’t personally care for the appearance of the Bob or the MB. So they let me know of the best deal on the BRIT and off I went to purchase it!

When my BRIT arrived, I instantly loved the look and a lot of the features. Then I took it for it’s first test spin. After my first outing and then needing to fold it and bring it in the house, I definitely had some hesitations about it and probably due mostly to the fact that it was a completely different brand and beast than I was used to. I started to wonder if a City Mini GT Double wouldn’t meet my needs and be a stroller I’d be happier with being a mostly Baby Jogger user otherwise. However I decided to start by contacting Bumbleride to see if they could help resolve some of my concerns. The biggest concern I had was that after the first outing the seat fabric was already dirty. Yes I live in the country and I have boys, but my other strollers have never been noticeably dirty nearly this fast. So Kandi at Bumbleride was great at giving me a couple of options and ideas. I selected her option of trying a different color fabric. However part of me still hesitated and wondered about the CMGTD and I found a great deal for one online so I decided to order and compare.*

Having both to compare and discussing with my friends at SQSS helped me decide to do a full personal comparison and write up on the two as I had only found one other such direct comparison online. So here’s my findings and decision between the City Mini GT Double and the Bumbleride Indie Twin.

If you find my review helpful, you can purchase them here through Amazon using my affiliate links – I would greatly appreciate it!

City Mini GT Double –

Bumbleride Indie Twin (BRIT) – 
Overall Size

Very similar in overall sizing, I measured both to be 29″ wide. The back wheels on the CMGTD are 26″ and the BRIT are 29″ and for me that meant the difference of fitting through some spaces.

Folded size – big difference! The BRIT is nearly twice the size (24″) folded as the CMGTD (13″).

Here they are folded in the back of my trunk (GMC Terrain) also.

In terms of weight, obviously the CMGTD is going to be lighter which combined with the fold makes it a much more easily portable side by side double.

Best in overall size: City Mini GT Double  


Both strollers have 11″ wide seats and the footwell is 10.5″ on both, however with the Bumbleride Indie Twin the footwell has 3 adjustable heights and even an infant mode as well (bassinet like with upright footwell and straps that come out and snap to form sides). The City Mini GT Double seat back was 17.75″ tall per my measurement, whereas the BRIT was 19″ and also a coupe extra inches of head room above the seat back before you’d hit the canopy.

Both seat backs recline flat, and the adjuster for the seats was a much tougher on the BRIT, in my opinion.

Harness levels are more spread out on the BRIT and it even has infant support straps for you to thread the bottom harness straps through for better infant support.

The seat back came more upright on the BRIT for me.  

Both seats have pockets on the back (zippered BRIT, mesh elastic CMGTD)

and have venting options (unzip and fully open BRIT, mesh CMGTD).

Seat winner: Bumbleride Indie Twin


The canopy actually rotates down in addition to extending on the Bumbleride Indie Twin so it will actually come lower than the City Mini GT Double.


The CMGTD has 2 peek through windows that are plastic and glare a bit but are able to be rolled up and secured (Velcro closure and roll up).

The BRIT has one peek through mesh window that’s also rolled up and secured with an elastic strap.

The BRIT canopy is slightly tighter than the CMGTD so it can be a little harder to pull down, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your kiddos.

Canopy winner: Bumbleride Indie Twin 


The max handlebar height on both is 42″. Both go low enough that your kiddos can push. However the City Mini GT Double has many more setting selections (5+) than the Bumbleride Indie Twin (3?). For me, at 5’8″ it makes a difference. I found a much more comfortable setting on the CMGTD, whereas the next closest setting on the BRIT is about an inch lower and therefore a little less comfortable.

I could put it up higher on the BRIT, to the highest setting, but then it would be hard to use a parent console because of the angle.

Another difference is the middle bar on the BRIT. This will allow you to use nearly any parent console whereas on the CMGTD you’d need one specific to a double.

I personally prefer the rubber on the CMGTD handlebar over the BRIT, but I’m putting City Grips on them anyway so it’s not a huge deal.

Handlebar Winner: City Mini GT Double


The basket on the Bumbleride Indie Twin is easily more accessible and bigger than the basket on the City Mini GT Double, probably at least in part to the difference in the rear wheel width. 

With either of the footwells up, the basket on the BRIT is also easily accessible from the front too (which is nice because my toddler can put his water and snack cup in there on his own). 


Basket winner: Bumbleride Indie Twin


The fold on the City Mini GT Double is not only thinner as I mentioned earlier but much easier. Grab the two handles on the seats and pull up. To open, unlock on the one side and flip open. The Bumbleride Indie Twin is kind of a two step fold with a manual lock (the CMGTD lock engages automatically once folded tight enough). For the BRIT you pull up the fold handles on both sides and fold the seats down forward in front of you but you also kind of need to push the bottom forward with your foot too. Then once folded you have to push down and engage the locks manually on either side.  

Fold winner: City Mini GT Double


The Bumbleride Indie Twin has an all silver frame whereas the City Mini GT Double has an all black frame. Personally I prefer the all black frame. As I mentioned earlier, the fabric stained on the BRIT very quickly just from mud and using the recommended cleaner (BuggyLove) didn’t do the trick. I’ve never had noticeable stains on any Baby Jogger fabrics before. The seat fabrics on both however are easily removed, washable, and then reattached.

You can easily change the color on your BRIT by ordering new fabrics from them for $120+ shipping. I got an aqua set to try with black liners to see if that will help my dirtying problem. Because the seat fabrics are separate too you could mix and match colors. I’ve seen black and pink mixed seats for boy/girl siblings on SQSS. The seats are all one piece on the CMGTD so you can only change the color of the whole stroller. I’m fairly certain you can order new ones from Baby Jogger for a similar price.

BRIT comes with the belly bars and universal infant seat adapter which is nice, because no accessories come with the CMGTD. For child snack tray options on the BRIT you can get a Snack Pack ($45) which is raved about on SQSS. Bumbleride also sells a parent console ($25). They also sell a combo seat liner/footmuff for $70, great option if you live in a cooler climate. I don’t but I considered it just for the matching liner alone for my staining issue thinking a liner is easier to wash than the whole fabric. You can also get a bassinet ($160), diaper bag ($60), mini riding board ($100), and rain cover ($45).

The CMGTD comes with no accessories. However you can get a parent console ($35), belly bar ($45), snack tray ($25), cooler ($25), rain cover ($65), bassinet ($170), footmuff ($65), infant seat adapter ($110), glider board ($85), and cup holder ($25).

Accessories/Customization winner: TIE!


Both handle well on smooth terrain and grass. Off road, the Bumbleride Indie Twin glides over gravel, rocks, uneven terrain. The suspension makes it fairly seamless to the riding kids. The City Mini GT Double went off road but it was much more difficult to push and was noticeably much more jolting to the kiddos.

On my awesomely stupid chip coat road, both were slightly difficult to push so that was a draw.

Handling winner: Bumbleride Indie Twin 

Final Decision

For me, the main things holding me back from being 100% on the Bumbleride Indie Twin was the fold/weight, seat fabric and difficulty adjusting seat back, handlebar height and questioning if the City Mini GT Double would handle just as well but correct some of those other hang ups. In my conclusion, the Indie handled just as well or better than the CMGTD and push is a huge factor as I will use it almost daily for walks. The dislikes I had for the BRIT weren’t significantly better on the CMGTD for me to sway that way for a worse push/handling overall. Plus I kinda like the customization and accessory options on the BRIT better and the color is much prettier I think. So the winner for me is …. BUMBLERIDE INDIE TWIN!

Now if you’re someone who doesn’t have as rough of terrain as I do, I think the City Mini GT Double is a great choice and I know so many people who have them and love them. Like I said, I LOVE my other Baby Joggers, and maybe I’ll get the CMGTD again some day for a different use. But for my current everyday usage walking and around the ranch, Bumbleride Indie Twin is mah jam!

*For the record, both of these strollers were purchased by me, they were not provided by the manufacturers. 

Edit to add: I ordered the footmuff and liner as I have a hard time keeping my littlest covered when we go walking due to the high winds where I live and I love it!

It covers him perfectly and provides a little more cushion for him in the seat.

It was very easy to attach to the back of the seat with the elastic strap and re-thread the harness through it. The footmuff easily zips off if you just want the liner.

My only complaint is the exposed zipper when you take the footmuff off, but it’s a minor one because overall it’s great! I’ll have to buy another for the other side as my older son is the one who will dirty the stroller most and the liner would be great so I don’t have to wash the entire seat fabric when he jumps in with his muddy shoes. I highly recommend it as an accessory for your Indie or indie Twin.