Are you planning a vacation with your little one? Maybe you can’t fit your regular stroller in with all your luggage when you visit family?
Forget the hassle that comes with a heavy pair of wheels. A more lightweight, compact ride for your baby is just around the corner.
Here’s everything you need to know to find the best travel stroller for your family.
Do I Need a Travel Stroller?
Travel strollers are designed to make your life easier when you’re on the move. They’re less cumbersome and considerably lighter than some other strollers. With easy-fold mechanisms, a small footprint, and a carrying strap or handle, they don’t add too much to your load.
Some can be taken onboard an airplane and placed in the overhead compartment. This saves you the trouble of checking it and having to wait by the gate for retrieval.
Additional baggage can be a headache when carting kids around. A travel stroller can ease your load, even when not on vacation.
They also come in handy as a backup option for secondary caretakers.
Different Types of Strollers for Travel
Here are some of the various kinds of strollers and their advantages and disadvantages for travel.
Traditional strollers have large canopies, lots of storage space, and often have cup holders and trays. Some have wheels designed for all terrains and can accommodate an infant car seat. They’re designed to provide a comfortable ride.
On the downside, they’re bulky when folded and heavy, making them harder to fit in the trunk of your car or to take with you when traveling. They need to be checked either with your luggage or at the gate.
Checking a stroller also leaves it open to damage in transit.
- No need to buy a separate stroller.
- Comes with accessories.
- Comfy ride for your child.
- Bulky and weighty.
- Must be checked for flying.
Umbrella strollers are incredibly lightweight and fold easily. Most models have a carrying strap, which makes them an excellent option for use on public transport. Their slimmer style works well for maneuvering through narrow doors or busy places.
Although they won’t all fit in an airplane overhead compartment, they can be checked at the gate. Bags to protect them in transit are readily available.
You may find these strollers lack in other areas. The canopy could be inadequate and the seating not as cushioned and supportive as you’d like. Extras, such as cup holders or snack trays, are not commonly found on these models.
- Fold easily.
- Generally, they have a carrying handle or strap.
- Lack of accessories.
- Less storage.
These strollers give you the best of both worlds. They’re compact and lightweight with features associated with a traditional stroller.
Many travel strollers have a two-fold design making them small enough for overhead airplane storage. This negates the need to check your stroller so it is always on hand.
Accessories such as sun canopies and storage baskets are usually standard. Cup holders and snack trays might be included, but can always be purchased separately.
The seating is padded for comfort and typically reclines.
Bear In Mind
- Compact when collapsed.
- Accessories included.
- Might not be suitable for young babies.
How to Choose the Best Travel Stroller
Not all travel strollers are created equal. These are the stand-out features to consider:
1. Weight and Size
While there’s often a trade-off on the comfort front, the weight and size of travel strollers are considerably less than their traditional counterparts. You want one you can easily carry up and down stairs or pop in the trunk of your car. The smaller size will make negotiating doorways, or traversing a busy airport or city street more doable.
Also, think about storage. A small hotel room doesn’t leave much space for storing things. Imagine stopping at a cafe for a drink or a meal. A travel stroller is easy to fold and use in busy places.
Being able to steer a stroller without fighting is a must-have. Although they rarely come with all-terrain wheels, suspension and swivel wheels are common.
Factor in handlebar height. If you’re on the taller side, look for higher or adjustable handles.
Look for single handlebar strollers, which are easier to maneuver than others.
3. Sun Shades
Sun shades are essential on days out. Extendable ones provide the best cover. Built-in ventilation and mesh are important for better airflow.
A peek-a-boo window is a definite bonus so you can see baby easily.
Storage for diapers, snacks, and drinks is crucial and often a money-saver. Check out whether the stroller has a basket underneath. Look for how accessible this area is; sometimes they’re hard to reach when the seats are reclined.
Seat back pockets are another handy storage feature. They’re perfect for storing your phone, keys, or wallet within easy reach.
5. Reclining Seats and Car Seat Compatibility
Fully reclining strollers are suitable for newborns as well as older children — a perfect solution.
Additionally, some are compatible with car seats, although you might need to purchase adapters separately.
6. Is It Easy to Fold?
Holding a baby in one arm and trying to fold a stroller with another is no easy feat. We’ve all been there with the wriggling toddler, dropping the contents of our purse over the floor. Ease of folding is an important consideration.
Many travel strollers have one-handed folding mechanisms. This makes it a more realistic mission to juggle your baby, bags, and the stroller.
Decide whether you want things like cup holders, purse/bag clips, and storage baskets, or whether you can do without them. We all have different needs.
If you can’t forego the accessories (don’t worry, we feel you), they can often be purchased separately.
Carry handles are the one accessory we feel we can’t live without. Handles that fit over your shoulder are perfect for leaving your hands free to deal with the baby and other luggage. Some can be worn as a backpack, which is even better in our book.
If you plan on a travel stroller being your only one, then you might want to splurge on a model that is top of the range. However, if you’re buying it purely for travel, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available.
Some people find it’s easier to buy a cheap one when they arrive at their destination, just use it for their vacation and then leave it behind. If that feels superfluous to you, donate it to a local charity in the area.
9. Your Own Travel Needs
Think about where you’ll be using your travel stroller. If your vacations don’t involve air travel, there’s no need to focus on one that’s compact enough for an overhead compartment. If long days out and napping in the stroller come into play, veer more toward the recline and comfort features.
Are you traveling with more than one child? Compact doubles are available for this scenario.
If you plan to visit Disneyworld, they have a size restriction on strollers. They must be less than 31 inches wide and 52 inches high. Most travel strollers meet this requirement, but always double check just in case (2).
The Best Travel Stroller Reviews of 2020
After scouring the top products recommended by professionals, considering feedback from other parents, and adding in our own real-life experience and research, here are the seven top traveler strollers that stand out from the pack.
1. Babyzen YOYO+ Stroller
This travel stroller is at the higher end of the price range but could be worth the extra expense if using it daily. Although not included as standard, clips can be purchased to cover several brands of car seats. You can also get a newborn pack, giving the stroller more versatility and longer life.
The company’s patented Soft Drive suspension is designed to handle different surfaces. Maneuverability is a breeze with the front swivel wheels. It’s ideal for one-handed steering and can fit through narrow doorways and even airplane aisles.
Accessories include a carry strap, storage basket, an extendable sun canopy, and a rain cover. Come rain or shine on your travels, this stroller has your little ones covered.
Why We Love It
Airlines have a maximum allowable hand luggage size. You don’t have to worry with this stroller as it meets the specifications for a carry-on bag. Popping it in an overhead airplane compartment, under the seat on a train, or in a car trunk is a breeze.
Even when open, this stroller isn’t large, measuring 42 inches by 17 inches by 34 inches. It’s wonderful for trips to the mall and negotiating tight aisles in the store.
Ready for a Smooth Ride
Travel strollers often sacrifice suspension and comfort for weight and size. It’s not the case with this model; padding in the seat and patented technology make for a smooth ride. Whether it’s cobbled streets in Europe, a stroll around Disneyworld, or navigating the local sidewalks, the bumps will be absorbed.
Plenty of Storage
Are you worried about where to keep all the extra baby stuff when you’re out? The storage basket underneath can hold up to 11 pounds in weight.
There’s also a storage pouch in the rear of the canopy. This is ideal for keeping your rain cover on hand. We know how easy it is to get caught offguard by a sudden change in the weather.
Keep In Mind
Not Recommended for Infants
Without purchasing a newborn pack, this stroller is not recommended for babies below 6 months old.
The maximum recline is 145 degrees, which isn’t enough for a little one who can’t support their head.
|Product Weight||12.8 pounds|
|Folded Dimensions||20 inches by 17.5 inches by 7 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||40 pounds|
|Color Choices||Air France navy; black; black with taupe; black/grey; ginger; peppermint; red|
|Extra Features||Extendable sun canopy; reversible backrest; rain cover; storage basket; carrying strap; travel bag|
2. Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller
Graco has been giving moms and dads baby products to make life easier for over 60 years. This umbrella stroller is no exception with its simple one-hand fold and lightweight but sturdy frame.
The multi-position reclining seat is suitable for use from birth right up until your child weighs 50 pounds. Not only that, it’s compatible with the majority of Graco infant car seats, and it only takes one step to attach them.
With UV50 protection, the oversized canopy is perfect for hot sunny days while an adjustable calf rest keeps your little one’s legs supported. They’ve not forgotten parents either with a cup holder for your much-needed caffeine fix.
Why We Love It
Easy to Fold and Carry
The one-hand fold on this stroller is simple to operate, even when you’re juggling bags and a baby. It automatically locks closed, and there’s a handle on the side. This is pure convenience for lifting it into the trunk of the car or for carrying.
Need room for all those travel essentials? The extra large lower storage area on this stroller has you covered. You can pop your diaper bag in there, or maybe the souvenirs you picked up at the local market.
The cup holder is ideal for parents and the baby. It’s conveniently placed on the handle within quick reach.
Steering a stroller through crowds of people or around unfamiliar streets is a challenge. With lockable swivel front wheels, this stroller will have you turning on a dime.
The included suspension helps create a more comfortable ride for your little passenger.
Infants can’t hold their heads up, meaning a stroller is usually out of the equation until they’re about 3 to 6 months old. Not the case with this one.
The fully reclining seat means an infant can lay flat, which is necessary for nap times on the move. It also functions as a handy diaper changing area.
A one-touch car seat attachment for most Graco car seats means not having to wake baby to put them in the stroller.
Keep In Mind
Storage Access Issue
If you plan on using this stroller with a car seat, your access to the storage basket will be limited. Consider the load you’ll have to carry, such as your diaper bag or shopping.
|Folded Dimensions||41 inches by 20.25 inches by 14 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||50 pounds|
|Color Choices||Lake green; piazza; pierce|
|Extra Features||Lockable front swivel wheels; suspension; storage basket; sun canopy; cup holder; carry handle|
3. Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double Stroller
Double the fun, but double the trouble and weight to push.
The maximum load of this stroller is 100 pounds, enough for two toddlers. The seats recline until they’re almost flat and have padded areas for comfort. Although not suitable for tiny babies, car seat adapters are available.
A compact folded size equals a good option for traveling. It opens and folds using one hand. Yes, it’s heavier than its single counterparts at 32.5 pounds, but then again, there’s room for two.
Don’t be misled by the name of this stroller — it’s not intended for jogging. But it can go off-road. It has all-terrain wheels allowing it to be pushed easily on sidewalks, grass, gravel, and other uneven surfaces.
Why We Love It
It Can Go the Distance
The wheels on this stroller have 8.5-inch all-terrain air tires. The front swivel wheels also have suspension to absorb shock from uneven surfaces.
Got two kids at different weights? Having air-filled tires lets you adjust the tire pressure for each side so your stroller isn’t out of kilter. You won’t be fighting to steer it (think about pushing a poorly-aligned shopping cart).
Large Sun Canopies
One baby sleeping and the other awake? No problem. The stroller has individual canopies for each seat, and they provide plenty of shade.
There are also two clear windows on each, one at the top and one at the back. Whether the seat is up or fully reclined, there isn’t anything blocking your view of the little ones.
The included mesh on the seats is great for air circulation to keep baby cool when you’re vacationing in sunnier climates.
When the weather changes, there’s a cover to fit over the vented area, perfect for keeping out the wind and rain.
Adjustable Handlebar With Built-In Brake
It doesn’t matter your height — the handlebar is adjustable to accommodate.
The brake is handily located in the handlebar. A lever at the side pulls up for locking and pushing back down for release.
Keep In Mind
Lack of Accessories
There are few accessories supplied with this stroller. No cup holders, parent tray, or kids’ tray here. Some of these are available separately if it’s something you need.
|Folded Dimensions||31 inches by 29.75 inches by 12.5 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||100 pounds|
|Color Choices||Black; red; grey; teal blue|
|Extra Features||Sun canopy; suspension; handlebar brake; seatback storage pockets|
4. Summer Infant 3D Lite
Are you a taller mom, or does Dad refuse to push the stroller because he has to bend over? Share the vacation workload here. The added height through the handles makes this stroller a good choice for those on the tall side.
This umbrella-style stroller has a three-step fold mechanism which is easy once you’re used to it.
The aluminum frame keeps it lightweight, and there’s a convenient carry strap included.
Extra features include a padded five-point safety harness, storage basket underneath, sun canopy, and a cup holder. A handy rear storage pocket is fantastic for keys or your phone. Keep it nearby for holiday snaps, selfies, or tweets when you’re traveling.
Why We Love It
Comfort for You
Not being able to stand up straight when pushing a loaded stroller can be a pain, literally. It can cause pain in the back. The handles of this stroller sit at about 43 inches when extended, making it a good option for taller parents.
Comfort for Baby
This stroller has three reclining positions and padding over the safety harness. Your child can sit up and watch the world go by or relax back when it’s nap time. You also get peace of mind that they’re strapped in safely.
Once folded, this stroller measures 42 inches by 14.75 inches by 12.5 inches. The aluminum frame keeps it lightweight at just 13 pounds. The addition of a carry strap makes it manageable when getting on and off the subway or traversing an airport.
Open Back Design
The benefits of the design are two-fold. First, it allows the seat to recline until it’s almost flat, but not flat enough for a newborn. However, it’s ideal when your toddler nods off in the stroller.
Second, it allows for easy access to the large storage basket beneath the seat. This is much appreciated when you need to reach for something quickly or would rather not struggle to throw your essentials back in.
Keep In Mind
Not Enough Shade
Having a canopy included on a travel stroller is a bonus. However, you want it to shade your baby from the sun. Unless the sun is coming from behind you, this canopy might fall short.
That being said, if this is a must for you, a sunshade can be purchased to give your child full coverage.
|Folded Dimensions||42 inches by 14.75 inches by 12.5 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||50 pounds|
|Color Choices||12, including the popular black and green|
|Extra Features||Storage basket and pocket; cup holder; carry strap; sun canopy with visor; lockable rear wheels|
5. GB Pockit Plus Stroller
GB Pockit has found its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the smallest stroller. The two-step mechanism allows it to fold compact enough to pop in a tote bag. It easily fits in an airplane’s overhead compartment or takes up only a small corner of the car’s trunk.
Although it’s small, it’s also durable, accommodating children from at least 6 months until they reach 55 pounds. It holds up to 11 pounds in the storage basket as well.
It has a padded harness, and the back panel is adjustable for length. One-handed steering and lockable swivel front wheels make for no hassle when maneuvering this stroller. A sun canopy offers some protection for your child when out exploring.
Why We Love It
The folded size of the Pockit is a mere 11.8 inches by 13.8 inches by 7 inches.
No more checking your stroller at the gate of an airplane — just take it on board with you. Taking the subway, bus, or train? Fold it up and place it in a large handbag or tote bag.
Then there’s weight: At just 9.5 pounds it won’t add too much to anything else you’re carrying. Carry over your shoulder, lift into an overhead bin, or place in your car trunk.
Easy Open and Fold
Although it takes two hands, this stroller is a breeze to fold and open again.
There are two ways to fold it: one with the wheels folded in, which gives you the most compact package. The other leaves the wheels out before folding, but it’s still small.
Opening just requires the push of two buttons on the handles and a shake to release it. Within seconds of leaving the airplane, you could have baby in the stroller ready to negotiate customs and baggage reclaim.
A five-point harness is fitted to keep your precious cargo safe in the stroller. It has padding at the shoulders and crotch strap for comfort. This can be set at different heights allowing your stroller to grow alongside your child.
Keep In Mind
Some things have to be compromised for the compact size of this stroller. One of these is a reclining seat. Although convenient for travel, there’s no option to lay your little one back.
|Folded Dimensions||11.8 inches by 13.8 inches by 7 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||55 pounds|
|Color Choices||Cherry red; Laguna blue; Capri blue|
|Extra Features||Sun canopy; adjustable harness; adjustable backrest; storage basket|
6. UPPAbaby G-LUXE Stroller
Travel can take its toll on a stroller — messy ice creams, sticky popcorn, and spilled drinks. Yes, we’ve been there!
We love that this stroller’s seat pad is removable and can be placed in the washing machine. The remaining fabric parts are also removable for spot cleaning.
This open-and-fold stroller has suspension on all four wheels for a more comfortable ride. The single action brake is flip-flop friendly, convenient for hot summer days.
Along for the ride are also a height-adjustable sun canopy, reclining seat, storage basket, carry strap, and cup holder.
Why We Love It
Travel-Friendly with Extras
This model folds easily with triggers situated on the handles, which release just with fingers.
We like that it will stand on its own once folded. This means you won’t be looking for something to lean it against when not in use.
The carry strap is designed so you can transport the stroller over your shoulder.
Easy Steer and Brake Systems
This stroller has two single front wheels, shock absorption, suspension, and ergonomic handles. These factors make for an easily steerable stroller.
The brakes are applied with just one foot. Great for waiting at the curb to cross the road when you want a quick, safe stop.
Ready for Nap Time
Life on the go is sometimes tough for a little one, and they often need a nap. The quick recline action operated with one hand will have them comfortable in no time.
An extendable sunshade with UPF 50 serves as sun protection and shade for keeping cool during nap time.
This stroller is not recommended for newborns as it doesn’t fold flat. The suggested starting age is 3 months.
Keep In Mind
Not Very Upright
The recline on this stroller only has two positions. The layback is excellent for sleep time, but the upright position is still slightly reclined.
This could mean your little one will try and sit forward to see things or slide down in their seat. Although, there’s an adjustable footrest to push themselves back up.
|Folded Dimensions||19.2 inches by 12 inches by 41.7 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||55 pounds|
|Color Choices||Black; Pascal grey/silver; red|
|Extra Features||Sun canopy; carry strap; cup holder; storage basket; four-wheel suspension|
7. Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller
If you’re shopping for a stroller on a budget, then the Kolcraft could fit the bill without compromising on features. It’s a lightweight stroller packed with all you expect from more expensive models.
Weighing just 11.8 pounds, it folds compactly and can stand once folded. You need only one hand to collapse it down for travel or storage.
A multi-position reclining seat has a five-point adjustable harness. The recline doesn’t go all the way back, so it’s not suitable for newborns — wait until they’re 3 months.
There’s an extended canopy consisting of three tiers. We like that this has a clear peek-a-boo window so you can see what little one is doing. We’re always hearing from parents who prefer this as an included feature.
Added extras include a large storage basket and a removable child tray with dual cup holders. Parents are catered for too with a removable parent tray for two drinks and key/phone storage.
Why We Love It
Accessories for Parents and Kids
We all love a good accessory, and we aren’t talking Gucci handbags or the latest Manolos. The practical add-ons included with this stroller make life easier on the go.
The thoughtful parent tray has two cup holders, and a space carved out in the middle for keys or a phone. The kid’s tray can also hold a cup or a juice carton.
Stands Alone After Folding
The stroller has a one-handed folding action. The parent and kids trays don’t need to be removed either. Once collapsed, it stands on its own, leaving you hands-free to deal with baby.
Fortunately, you don’t have to find somewhere to lean it or lay it down, which is ideal when you’re tight on space or out at a restaurant.
Easy steering and a smooth ride for your child are important. The single handle on the back of this stroller allows maneuverability with just one hand. This is great for opening doors and pushing a stroller through.
The wheels are suitable for all terrains, including uneven sidewalks. Front wheel suspension helps prevent a bumpy ride.
Keep In Mind
No Carry Strap
One of the features that missed the list is a carry strap.
You can lift it by the handle but be careful when doing so. This is where the lock-and-release mechanism is, so you could end up opening it by mistake.
|Folded Dimensions||18 inches by 12 inches by 34 inches|
|Child’s Weight Limit||50 pounds|
|Color Choices||Fire red; slate|
|Extra Features||Removable adult cup holder and tray; child tray; storage basket; sun canopy|
|Product||Award||Product Weight||Folded Dimensions||Child’s Weight Limit||Color Choices||Extra Features|
|Babyzen YOYO+||Everyday Use||12.8 lbs||20″ x 17.5″ x 7″||40 lbs||8 colors||Extendable sun canopy; reversible backrest; rain cover; storage basket; carrying strap; travel bag|
|Graco Breaze Click Connect||Infant-Friendly||17.75 lbs||41″ x 20.25″ x 14″||50 lbs||3 colors||Lockable front swivel wheels; suspension; storage basket; sun canopy; cup holder; carry handle|
|Baby Jogger City Mini GT||Twins or Siblings||32.5 lbs||31″ x 29.75″ x 12.5″||100 lbs||4 colors||Sun canopy; suspension; handlebar brake; seatback storage pockets|
|Summer Infant 3D Lite||Tall Parents||13 lbs||42″ x 14.75″ x 12.5″||50 lbs||12 colors||Storage basket and pocket; cup holder; carry strap; sun canopy with visor; lockable rear wheels|
|GB Pockit+||Accommodating for Airplanes||9.5 lbs||11.8″ x 13.8″ x 7″||55 lbs||3 colors||Sun canopy; adjustable harness; adjustable backrest; storage basket|
|UPPAbaby G-LUXE||Easy Cleaning||16.3 lbs||19.2″ x 12″ x 41.7″||55 lbs||4 colors||Sun canopy; carry strap; cup holder; storage basket; four-wheel suspension|
|Kolcraft Cloud+||Budget-Friendly||11.8 lbs||18″ x 12″ x 34″||50 lbs||Fire red; slate||Removable adult cup holder and tray; child tray; storage basket; sun canopy|
Ready to Get Away
Taking the best travel stroller with you on vacation is an excellent idea. Its lighter weight, different carrying options, and smaller size make for an easier life.
Many will come with useful extras like sunshades, storage pockets and baskets, drink holders, and rain covers. They also maneuver easily and are a breeze to fold and store.
All our featured strollers will cover you for different travel options. Just remember, unless they fully recline, or you attach a car seat, they’re not suitable for infants.
Where are you planning on vacationing, and what are your must-haves for a travel stroller? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment and don’t forget to share with fellow traveling families.