As a two-time mom, four-time aunt, frequent keeper of friends’ kids, and long-time product reviewer, I know my way around a play yard. The past few years I’ve been devoted to my Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Lite (still a goodie), but with a new baby in the extended family headed my way for a visit, it was time to upgrade to something with a changing table/bassinet option. My initial research showed that there wasn’t a whole lot new and exciting on the play yard scene—until I stumbled upon the QuickSmart 3in1 play yard.
I didn’t know a lot about QuickSmart (other than what I’d read in the review of their Backpack Stroller, so I decided that this would be the play yard for me. It’s always exciting checking out gear from a new company! (And for those of you thinking my idea of exciting is pathetic, well, wait. You’ll get there too.) My 3in1 play yard arrived quickly and required no assembly (yay!). I opened the box, pulled out the play yard, read the simple instructions, and popped everything in place with ease. The process was simple and literally took maybe one minute. There are four bars to straighten and pop on the sides, and once they’re secured, you simply turn the play yard on its side and slide out the bottom legs. (Turning it on its side might sound tough, but it truly isn’t. Easy peasy, I promise.) Once you’ve secured the sides and legs—and pushed down the mattress—the play yard is ready to go for bigger kiddos or those who aren’t interested in using the bassinet option.
Here’s where I did my initial overview of the play yard. At first, I worried that it might be a bit wobbly. So I did what any sane person would do: I called my neighbor and asked if I could come over and wiggle her play yard. (That’s normal, right?) She has a fairly new Graco model, and it is definitely comparable in sturdiness to my QuickSmart. And since she assured me that her healthy 1-year old gives that yard a shake for its money from time to time and it’s always held up fine, I’m confident that the QuickSmart could sturdily handle similar abuse.
Since I happened to have the opportunity, I also gauged the size of the two different play yards. The QuickSmart appears to be larger (in terms of room for baby, not in a bad way). And as far as looks go, I’m a fan of the QuickSmart: It’s a nice gray/black combo, with a cute geometric pattern that would work well for a girl or a boy. I wouldn’t have any problem showcasing this baby in my living room as an extra nap/changing spot.
My next step was attaching the bassinet and changing table. Also quick and easy, and it felt nice and sturdy. The bassinet is a nice size (a larger sleep area than many other I’ve seen).
The next step is where I usually turn into a play yard hater: folding it up and fitting it in the carry bag. Trust me, this doesn’t always happen effortlessly. In the case of the QuickSmart, though, it really is pretty effortless. Hit the button to release the locks, pull up the mattress, push in the legs and you’re done. The mattress folds with the play yard, rather than wrapping around the outside like some other models. The whole shebang fits easily into the carry bag, which is a little larger than some others I’ve seen and used, but again in a good way—the bag is tall and thin rather than rectangular and chunky, so you can actually just sling the long strap over your shoulder and carry it like you would a tote. There are also short straps for those who prefer to use handles. The yard itself is just a little over 15 pounds—not bad—and the bassinet/changing table weigh in at only a little over 6 pounds. Like any play yard, you probably wouldn’t want to carry it for hours, but it’s definitely a manageable size and on the lighter side as far as travel beds go.
Good to know: you can use this baby all the way until your tot reaches 30 pounds. At $250, it isn’t he cheapest option available, but I really believe it’s a worthwhile investment. In comparison with other play yards I’ve used, it’s extremely easy to set up and take down, it’s truly portable (including the bassinet and changing table), and it is very well made. Plus, since it’s a pattern and color scheme that won’t get old, you’d be able to use it for several kids, and for several years with each one thanks to the 30-pound weight limit and extended size. I’m excited to see more of what QuickSmart has to offer. I’m impressed with my first find from their line!
Buy it: quicksmartgo.com