Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

Last updated date: September 17, 2020

DWYM Score
9.5

Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard

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We looked at the top Playards and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Playard you should buy.

Overall Take

Available in a variety of designs, this playard has feet and wheels that automatically fold to make it easy to transport. An insert lets you raise the sleeping surface to a level more easily reachable, and mesh sidewalls keep airflow moving through the playard. The mattress is held in place with fastening straps to give you the peace of mind of knowing your baby will stay firmly in place. In our analysis of 61 expert reviews, the Graco Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard placed 2nd when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note September 17, 2020:
Checkout The Best Playard for a detailed review of all the top playards.

Expert Summarized Score
7.8
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
12,112 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Graco seems to have put a lot of thought into this play yard’s design because it has a lot of safety features. From the fastening straps on the mattress to the mesh siding, down to the carefully padded metal bars, parents really don’t have much to worry about—unless their child is over the height, weight, or development limits.
- Verywell Family
This portable baby playards has a pair of wheels. Therefore, you can conveniently move it from one place to another with ease.
- PrimeTopList
Convenient for travel or home
- What To Expect
The Pack ‘n Play can also be a playard, which is a handy place for your baby to hang out when you have to do something else and can’t keep eagle eyes on them. (Oh, hi, toddler climbing on the table.)
- Baby List
It DOES come with an insert that raises the base level of the sleeping surface, which is a big help with newborns when you’re laying them down/picking them up.
- Lucie's List
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.
- Baby Gear Lab
With a one-year warranty and a sturdy design, the Pack ‘n Play On the Go lets parents relax and feel secure that they’re making a good purchase.
- Parenting Pod
The Graco Pack ‘n Play portable play yard has been specially conceptualized and designed to provide not only a safe and protected place for your baby to play, but also take rest and recharge themselves.
- Portable Guide
What experts didn't like
It’s a good option for local travel, but may not withstand the beating it would get in the luggage compartment of an airplane.
- Verywell Family
Sheets and other accessories sold separately
- What To Expect
It’s heavy and hard to use. Folding and unfolding can devolve into a wrestling match. The lightest version is more than 20 lbs, and most are closer to 30.
- Baby List
It is a little harder to use and heavier than some parents will want to carry.
- Baby Gear Lab
There aren’t any extras, the fabric isn’t machine-washable, and this pack ‘n play has a two-step fold, not a one-hand fold.
- Parenting Pod
Need to buy sheets separately
- Portable Guide

From The Manufacturer

When your little one needs a place to nap or play right away, there's no more convenient solution than our Pack 'n Play Playard. Its durable frame makes it perfectly suited for travel. The signature Graco push-button fold allows you to break it down in seconds, and the automatically folding feet and wheels make it amazingly compact when folded. At home or away, your young one will have sweet dreams and comfy surroundings. No bleach. Clean with household soap and warm water/drip dry.

Overall Product Rankings

Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard
2. Graco Pack & Play Compact Fold Portable Playard
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 9
Regalo 6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit
3. Regalo 6-Panel My Portable Washable Playard Kit
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 9
Joovy Room2 Portable Playard
5. Joovy Room2 Portable Playard
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 8
Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard
6. Baby Trend Nursery Center Playard
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Playards

You can’t keep eyes on your baby 24 hours a day. Infants and toddlers need room to play and move around and doing so can easily get them into trouble. Even if you’ve baby-proofed your house, things can happen.

That’s where a playard comes in. Earlier generations called them playpens, but a brand called Pack ‘N’ Play, manufactured by Graco, transformed the concept of a playpen. Instead of being confined to your home, Pack ‘N’ Plays allowed parents to fold up their playpens and take them on the go. But today, Graco isn’t the only manufacturer making this type of product, so to get a true picture of the market, you’ll need to use the product name “playard.”

Like a playpen, a playard gives babies a small, safe space for them to play freely. Think of it as a gated area, only the gate is a soft, safe mesh, and instead of crawling around on the floor, babies get a soft flooring to crawl around on. But perhaps the best thing about playards is they don’t limit you to one small area of your home. They’re built to easily fold up so that you can take them on the go with you.

You aren’t limited to inside play areas with playards, either. You can find some that can be used either outdoors or inside, making them much more versatile than the playpens your grandparents and their parents used. The mesh walls of playards also ensure airflow gets through, which keeps your little ones from being confined between walls that restrict the oxygen they breathe.

But as with almost every other baby product, playards come in a wide variety, with each offering its own unique features. You may find you love the ease of cleaning one playard, only to discover that a competitor has a more comfortable mattress or better safety features. That’s why it’s important to shop around until you find the playard that has everything you need.

DWYM Fun Fact

Playpens have a long history. In fact, they’re believed to have gotten their beginnings when primitive moms realized they could confine babies to a corner of the cave using a barrier, effectively keeping them safe. But as a commercial product, playpens weren’t popularized until the late 1800s, when they were referred to as a “baby cage.” These cages more closely resembled a walker than a playpen, though. That version could double as a cot. A later version was an adjustable cot that could double as a playpen and a go-cart. The first known use of the term playpen was seen in a 1931 ad in the Daily Express, which referred to “play-pens in best hardwood.”

The Playard Buying Guide

  • One thing many playards offer that playpens didn’t is portability. You’ll find most fold down, with some even coming with storage bags that you can use for carrying. Look at the folding mechanism. The best ones make it easy to set up and break down, taking mere seconds. Some even let you do the setup and breakdown work through the use of a foot pedal, which comes in handy if you’re holding a baby.
  • If you opt for a playard with a storage bag, make sure it has a storage strap that makes it easy to tote around.
  • Some playards have something called a “bassinet feature,” which simply means you can lower and raise the sleeping area by adjusting it. This can make it easier to pick up and put down your baby.
  • If you plan to regularly take your playard on the go with you, look for one that has a changing area built in.
  • Safety features are important with any product geared toward children. Check to make sure the mattress will be secure and that all parts of the frame are sufficiently padded to reduce the risk of injury.
  • As useful as playards can be, it’s still important to keep an eye on an infant or toddler, even when in a confined area.
  • Durability is important, too. The frame needs to be built to last. If you plan to use your playard outside, make sure you buy one that can weather sun, humidity and even a surprise rainstorm.
  • You’ll need to clean the playard. In fact, you’ll probably find cleanup is necessary on a fairly regular basis. Having one with a cover for the mattress area can be valuable since you can simply remove the cover and wash it as needed. But it can also be nice to have one made of material like nylon that can simply be wiped down with a damp, slightly soapy washcloth when needed.