Boy oh boy did I learn how active babies can get. And how interested in everything they can be. As soon as my son hit the 6-month mark I realized it was time to get him a play yard or else suffer the consequences (including burned baby hands from the fireplace he so desperately wants to touch!).
I began my search with some doubts - I was not liking the play yards I'd seen in the store. They looked like cribs and all would be out of my son's age range within a few short months. Not to mention they're tiny and I wanted something with a lot of crawling room.
I found this on the WalMart.com website and realized that this was exactly what I was looking for. It has a lot of room to move around in (18.5 sq feet), is tall enough to keep my son from climbing out (at least for now), and, most importantly, is made of a durable material that can be used outdoors.
When I received the play yard the box was a little bigger than I expected, but I'm not very good at gauging sizes without a measuring stick either. When I unpacked the yard it was exactly as advertised and I knew I'd made the right purchase. On the flip side, there is enough room for me (and even my husband - at the same time) to get in and still have a lot of space for crawling and playing.
The play yard itself comes in three sections of two panels with the option to purchase additional sections at a later time if desired. It comes mostly assembled, leaving only one joint to put together to close the hexagon. It's a little difficult to figure out how the joints work at first but once I figured out how it works taking the yard apart and putting it back together became incredibly easy.
As for portability, well, you COULD take it just about anywhere there's room, but it's a bit bulky and the carrying strap is a bit flimsy. The only places I take it are on long visits to Grandma and Grandpa's (two sections, for naps) or out in the front lawn. It's just too big to take to friend's homes, etc. for short visits.
I really like this play yard. It's a great way to encourage my son to have his own time in a safe environment of his own while at home. Now I just have to find something I can take to friends houses!
Update On Dec 14, 2008: Now that my son is 17 months, he doesn't particularly appreciate being confined in such a small space. This piece, however, is still amazingly useful. It can be used to block off particular spaces, and currently it's being used to keep my son from reaching the TV and movies.