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Best Strollers for City Living
Updated on
April 5, 2024

Best Strollers for City Living

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Best Strollers for City Living.
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Best Strollers for City Living

Whether you’re in the market for a lightweight stroller to lug up the stairs to your walkup apartment or a full-size model that can tackle the bumps of city sidewalks on the regular, one thing remains the same: you need a stroller that’s going to meet your specific needs as a city-dwelling parent.

How to Choose a City Stroller

Parenting in the city has so many benefits, but it comes with its own unique challenges too. Finding the best stroller to meet your needs is one of them. A stroller is a big investment, so you’ll want to make sure you think it through before you make a purchase.

Take a look at your lifestyle and how you plan on using your stroller before making a decision. Here are a few things to consider and some questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide which stroller is going to fit your urban family’s needs.

  • Most city families do a lot of walking, and city sidewalks can be bumpy and uneven. Is the stroller durable enough to handle this type of terrain? How’s the suspension system? What are the wheels like? Is it easy to push, steer and turn?
  • If you’re tight on space, you’re not alone; many families who live in city apartments don’t have much storage area to spare. Do you have room to store whatever stroller you choose, either folded or unfolded? And if you’ll be breaking down your stroller each time you need to use it, how easy is it to fold and unfold?
  • Do you have an elevator in your building, or do you need to climb stairs? If you live somewhere with elevator access, the size and weight of your stroller won’t matter as much. But if you’re trudging up and down stairs every time you walk out your door, you’ll want a stroller that’s lightweight, compact and manageable for you to carry.
  • If you don’t own a car, your stroller is going to become your mode of carrying all the things—think your diaper bag, water bottles, groceries, toys for the park, etc. Is the storage basket large enough and easy to access? Your stroller is also going to get a ton of use. Think through features like ease of cleaning, canopy size and how easy it is to adjust the straps and buckle your child in and out.
  • Who’s going to be pushing your stroller the most? Will the handlebar adjust for parents and caregivers of different heights?

For more information on how to select a city-friendly stroller—and how to create a registry that suits your city lifestyle—check out our 5 Tips for Building the Best City Baby Registry guide.

How We Chose our Best City Strollers

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best city strollers.

Full-Size Single Strollers

Full-size strollers are just what they sound like: strollers that are on the larger side. They often feature larger wheels, souped-up suspension systems, great maneuverability and ample undercarriage storage space. The full-size stroller is the ultimate workhorse of the urban family; it’s a great choice for tackling bumpy city streets and hauling a week’s worth of groceries home from the store. But it’s not a great choice if you live in a walkup, are short on storage space or are planning on using your stroller regularly on public transportation.

What Our Experts Say

If you’re a city parent who’s ever experienced a feeling of dread wash over you while your taxi or rideshare driver waited not-so-patiently curbside as you fumbled through folding your stroller, read on. Full-size strollers can be tricky to break down, but that’s not the case with the City Mini. The brand promises a “one-handed, compact fold”—and they’re not kidding. We swear you won’t even have to crack the instruction manual to figure out how to quickly and easily break down this fantastic stroller.

It’s not light on the city-friendly features, either. There’s a three-wheel design for easy maneuvering, “forever air” rubber tires, all-wheel suspension, an adjustable handlebar and a hand-operated parking brake for when you need a quick stop. The seat doesn’t recline completely flat, but it’s close enough, and the slim design won’t pose an issue in narrow doorways or cramped shopping aisles. And we can’t forget the price; the City Mini is nearly half the cost of many other comparable full-size, city-friendly strollers.

What’s Worth Considering

The storage basket on the City Mini is fine, but it’s not great. There’s no bassinet attachment. And you can’t reverse the set to parent-face. (Although you can purchase adapters for your infant car seat, which will rear-face when snapped in.)

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 22 lbs
Child Guidelines Newborn to 72 mos, up to 65 lbs
What Our Experts Say

Unlike anything else in the world of strollers, the Doona solves for one of the biggest challenges faced by city parents everywhere: how easily to travel with a baby in a rental car or rideshare. Part stroller, part car seat and part travel system, this hybrid innovation transforms from an infant car seat into a stroller with the click of a button. When it’s time to get in the car, the stroller legs and wheels push up and fold under the car seat. It’s quick, easy and will minimize the amount of stuff you have to lug along every time you leave your apartment—and that’s a big parenting win.

What’s Worth Considering

Babies outgrow the Doona quickly; most won’t be able to use it much past a year old. There’s no storage basket. And the suspension isn’t great for navigating bumpy sidewalks and high curbs.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 14.3 lbs
Child Guidelines 4-35 lbs, up to 32”
What Our Experts Say

Excellent suspension + a compact fold + easy in and out magnetic buckles makes Nuna’s Mixx stroller an ideal solution for city living.

First up: the ride. The oversized rear wheels and all-wheel suspension are no match for bumpy city streets. There’s a height-adjustable handlebar so parents and caregivers of any height can push and steer the Mixx easily. Next: the fold. The axle folds away, so the Mixx takes up much less room when broken down than many other full-size strollers. And finally: the buckles. As a city parent, you’re likely going to be taking your little one in and out of their stroller many times throughout the day. The self-guiding buckles on the Mixx seamlessly lock into place without much effort on your part, and they release automatically and with one hand.

Other city-centric features to love: a large storage basket, a true-flat recline and an extendable canopy to block out the (many) sights of the city when you’re hoping for a nap, a modular, all-season seat (the top layer unzips to reveal a mesh seat for the warmer months) and the ability to attach a bassinet or any of Nuna’s top rated infant car seats.

What’s Worth Considering

The Mixx is pricey considering it can’t grow to accommodate more than one child, especially if you want to add on the bassinet. It’s also on the heavier side for a single stroller at almost 30 pounds, so we don’t recommend it if you need to carry your stroller often.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 28.3 lbs
Child Guidelines Birth to 50 lbs
What Our Experts Say

Bugaboo is no stranger when it comes to city-friendly strollers; the brand has an enthusiastic, loyal following. (One that’s totally well-deserved.) The Fox5 does everything right when it comes to a city stroller. It’s large enough to tote around all the things you’ll need for a day out with your little one but offers a compact fold if storage space is tight. There’s a shock-absorption suspension system built into the wheels and the frame, and parents rave about the easy pushing and steering. (The steering on this model, the Fox5, is actually an upgrade from Bugaboo’s last version of this popular stroller, the Fox3.) There’s a lay-flat, forward- and back-facing seat that’s a bit higher than most full-size strollers for a great view of your baby, and the bassinet is included. And the handlebar, seat recline and fold can all be done with one hand—a huge perk when you’re trying to adjust or fold your stroller while on the go.

What’s Worth Considering

The Fox5is a luxury stroller with a luxury price tag. (For a similar but more affordable Bugaboo stroller, check out the Lynx.)

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 22.9 lbs
Child Guidelines Newborn to 50 lbs

Convertible Strollers

Convertible strollers are a good choice for city families who are planning on having children close together in age or who already have two or more little ones who ride in a stroller. Convertibles transform from a single stroller to a double, and some can even accommodate three children. Convertibles come in tandem configurations (front-to-back, also called in-line) or side-by-side. Like many full-size strollers, a convertible isn’t a great choice if you don’t have elevator access into your home or need to regularly take your stroller on a train or bus, as they tend to be large, heavy and bulky.

What Our Experts Say

With its multiple configurations, unmatched maneuverability and countless parent- and kid-approved features, we already know why the Vista is such an impressive all-around stroller. But why is it the go-to stroller for so many city families? Let us count the ways.

The Vista is super sturdy and boasts a ridiculously impressive suspension system, making bumpy sidewalks, curbs and even stairs no match for its oversized, shock-absorbing wheels. The undercarriage basket is huge—it can hold a significant grocery haul without an issue. The seat switches from forward- to back-facing with an easy click and turn, and there’s a full recline for naps on the go. There’s also a telescoping handlebar for parents and caregivers of different heights and an included bassinet.

And don’t forget the best part: you configure the Vista to work for up to three kids, a huge perk for any family, not just city dwellers.

What’s Worth Considering

The price point of the Vista is high, but we think it more than stacks up when put up against other comparable strollers on the market. The stroller is large and heavy, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for something that’s easy to transport on the regular. (Because this stroller isn’t taht.) For something slightly more compact (and cheaper), check out the UPPAbaby Cruz.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 27 lbs
Child Guidelines Birth to 50 lbs
What Our Experts Say

Let’s get this out of the way now: The Bugaboo Donkey is really, really pricey and not a realistic choice for many families. But it’s an incredible city stroller that deserves a spot on this list, and here’s why.

Lots of city families are in the market for an urban-friendly convertible stroller with a side-by-side configuration, but finding one that fits that bill can be tricky. Many are too wide to fit through city doorways and too cumbersome to maneuver easily. The Donkey overcomes all of these obstacles (and more) with incredible ease. If you’re willing to splurge, it’s the most perfect convertible city stroller out there.

The Donkey is a dream to push, even one-handed. It’s so narrow and easy to steer that you’ll almost forget you’re hauling around two heavy kids and every sandbox toy ever made. (Each seat can hold up to 50 pounds.) There are 17 different configurations, including two bassinets, two infant seats, a bassinet + toddler seat and lots more, making it both endlessly customizable and suitable for twins. You can even use the stroller as a single alongside the side-luggage basket that holds up to 22 pounds—perfect for city grocery runs. The Donkey is truly designed to grow with your family and last forever and will come along on any adventure you throw its way.

What’s Worth Considering

The cost of the Donkey is the glaring shortcoming here. Yes, it’s incredibly well made, yes, it should last you forever through multiple kids, and yes, it’s one of the best convertible strollers on the market. But wow, it’s expensive, especially when you start adding on extras like a second seat, bassinets etc.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 26.9 lbs in Mono configuration
Child Guidelines 0-4 years, max child weight 50 lbs per seat

Lightweight Strollers

If you’re a city family who lives in a walk-up apartment or will be riding public transportation often with your little one—or you simply don’t want the bulk of a full-size stroller—then a lightweight stroller is the way to go. You’ll be sacrificing undercarriage storage and a bit of suspension/shock absorption, but you’ll be gaining portability, storage space (when the stroller is broken down) and ease of fold. And don’t worry about maneuverability; lightweight strollers have come a long way over the last few years, and many now boast the same pushing and steering ease as their full-size counterparts.

What Our Experts Say

There are a lot of (very good) lightweight strollers on the market that are well-suited for city families, but the Joolz Aer+ is one of our favorites. Besides the obvious standout feature of this stroller—its light weight—suspension and maneuverability are where the Aer+ really shines. This stroller can handle city bumps impressively well considering its 13-pound frame and smaller wheels, so much so that you’ll almost forget you’re not pushing a much larger stroller.

The Aer+ folds down ultra compactly with the push of one small button and features a strap so you can sling it over your shoulder when you’re on the move. It’s newborn-friendly with the addition of adapters and an infant car seat (sold separately and compatible with Nuna, Cybex and Clek car seats) or a bassinet, and can fit in the overhead bin of an airplane if you want to use the stroller for travel.

What’s Worth Considering

You’re sacrificing size for storage with most lightweight strollers, and while the basket on the Aer+ is fine, it’s definitely not large. The stroller is expensive, especially if you add on a bassinet or an infant car seat, which you’ll need if you plan on using the stroller from day one. The footrest is also sold separately.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 13.2 lbs
Child Guidelines Suitable from birth with bassinet or infant car seat attachment; otherwise 6 months up to 50 lbs
What Our Experts Say

Bugaboo’s compact stroller, the Butterfly, is another top pick if you’re in the market for a city-friendly lightweight. It’s packed with thoughtful, impressive features, two favorites being the smooth ride and the quick, easy fold. Like the Joolz Aer, the Butterfly has four-wheel suspension, so it handles well on uneven city terrain. It moves and turns easily and you can steer it with one hand. The fold is just as impressive; you can also do it one-handed, and the Butterfly folds down to about the size of a small bag. (There’s a built-in carry strap, too.) The Butterfly accommodates many brands of infant car seats with adapters, sold separately.

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re trying to decide between the Aer and the Bugaboo, you truly can’t go wrong with either. Both are light, fold easily and can handle city sidewalks. The Aer is lighter than the Butterfly by a few pounds and accepts a bassinet, while the Bugaboo has a larger basket and a better canopy.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 16.1 lbs
Child Guidelines Suitable from birth with infant car seat; otherwise 6 months up to 50 lbs
What Our Experts Say

If you’ve spent time in any city, you might recognize the distinctive white hubcaps of this popular urban stroller. It’s another good lightweight option that’s just as easy to carry over your shoulder on the subway as it is to pop into the overhead bin on your next flight.

Coming in at about 13 pounds, the YOYO2 is strong and light and holds up well to city wear and tear. There are a lot of thoughtful features packed into this compact stroller. We love the removable, washable fabric seat, the extendable canopy with a peekaboo window, the one-handed steering and the great maneuverability. You can also attach a bassinet or a car seat if you want to use the YOYO2 with an infant. It’s small enough to fit under the table of a restaurant when folded—because we all need an extra reason to go out to eat, especially new parents. And you can buy the Connect Stroller Frame accessory to hook two YOYOs together and turn the whole thing into a double stroller.

What’s Worth Considering

Although the fold isn’t difficult, it does take a bit of practice. (The unfolding is a lot easier, though.) The storage basket isn’t huge, but the large opening makes it easy to access, which is a plus. It also doesn’t handle bumps as well as some of the other lightweight options on our list.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 13.6 lbs
Child Guidelines Suitable from birth with infant car seat or bassinet attachment; otherwise 6 months up to 50 lbs
What Our Experts Say

Pair this lightweight stroller with the brand’s aptly named urbn infant car seat and you’ve got the city travel system of your dreams.

First, let’s talk car seats. The urbn is the only baseless infant car seat with a rigid latch built right in. What does that mean in real life? Many infant car seats can be installed without a base, but instead require a seat belt—and also a lot of time and patience. That’s not the case with the urbn. There’s no base to worry about AND the latch system is built right into the base of the seat itself. Simply press a button on each side to attach the seat directly to a vehicle’s lower anchors and you’re good to go. It’s about as foolproof as it gets, and it’s especially ideal for city dwellers who don’t own a car and use rideshares or taxis.

As for the TRVL stroller, it’s light and compact and folds in one easy motion with the touch of a button and a slight push forward of the handlebar. It stands on its own when folded and has an easy-to-access storage basket, a large canopy and solid suspension.

What’s Worth Considering

The TRVL accepts infant car seats (adapters sold separately) but doesn’t have a bassinet attachment. It’s a bit bulkier than some of the other lightweight strollers on our list. There’s also no carry strap on the stroller; you’ll need to use the handlebar. The urbn car seat has a lower height limit than many infant car seats.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 13.6 lbs
Car Seat Weight 7 lbs
Child Guidelines Stroller: suitable from birth with infant car; otherwise 6 months up to 50 lbs; Car seat: 4-22 lbs, up to 29”

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

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