9 Best Travel Strollers of 2019

Best Travel Strollers of 2019

June 25, 2019

Best Travel Strollers of 2019

Because of their lighter weight and compact fold, travel strollers are more convenient than others for toting up stairs, riding on public transportation, and stowing out of the way in small hotel rooms and hole-in-the-wall eateries.Best Travel Strollers of 2019

You don’t have to be travel obsessed to love a good getaway.

A family vacation—whether a road trip to grandma’s house or overseas to a bucket-list destination—is one of life’s great joys. It just takes planning ahead and having a few pieces of kid gear that make life on the road easier. A stroller that acts like a rolling home base (a sitting-napping-chilling spot) is an essential for trips with younger tots.

In this article:

Do You Need a Travel Stroller?

Some families use a traditional stroller for everything, even traveling. But having a lighter, more nimble travel stroller pays off when you really need it: for airports, narrow city sidewalks, public transportation or just to lighten the load for grandparents.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using different types of strollers for travel:

  • Traditional stroller: Everyday strollers typically have convenient features like lots of storage space, cup holders and trays, and large canopies. Some may also have all-terrain wheels and accommodate an infant car seat. But they’re heavier and bulkier to fold, which makes using and storing them in tight spaces more difficult (think: narrow doorways, airplane overhead bins, small car trunks).
  • Umbrella stroller: Bare-boned and exceptionally lightweight, umbrella strollers lack many amenities you find in traditional strollers like adjustable seats and cup holders. They have skimpy canopies, minimal cushioning and seat support, and don’t fold small enough to fit in airport storage bins. Umbrella strollers are good for when you occasionally need a slimmer, fast-fold stroller.
  • Travel stroller: Sometimes also called a lightweight stroller, travel strollers strike a balance between traditional and umbrella stroller styles. They’re lighter than the standard stroller, easy to fold and compact in size when collapsed. But they still have some big-stroller amenities like large sun canopies and a storage basket. Some even have extras like cup holders and trays.

Many parents find that a travel stroller can work just as well as a full-size stroller for everyday use, but without the bulkiness. Several travel strollers are also compatible with infant car seats. For those styles that aren’t, you have to wait until your child is six months old and able to sit up unassisted to use them.

What Should You Look for in a Travel Stroller?

A travel stroller should be easy to take with you on trips and be a comfy spot for your little one, especially since your child will probably spend more hours in it while traveling than at home. Look for travel strollers that:

  • Are lightweight
  • Are easy to fold
  • Collapse into a compact shape
  • Have a large canopy
  • Have adjustable seats with machine-washable covers
  • Come with a carrying case or strap

How to Fly with a Stroller

Bringing a stroller with you on trips can seem daunting. How do you get it from point A to point B when you’re flying? Will it count toward your carry-on and baggage allotment? And what if you need to use your stroller in the airport? Good news: You can pick how you want to travel with your stroller, depending on your needs. Here are the choices:

  • Check the stroller with your baggage: Some parents unload the stroller during check-in and switch to using a baby carrier through the airport instead. Pair a front carrier with a backpack-style diaper bag so your hands will be free to deal with other things. Note: If you have a large stroller, you may be required to check it as baggage anyway. Usually, this doesn’t count toward your baggage allotment.
  • Check the stroller at the gate: Want to use the stroller until you board the plane? You can check the stroller with the gate agent—it just needs to be tagged—and then pick it up outside the aircraft door when you arrive. But, if you have a connecting flight to catch, waiting for your stroller to be placed on the jet bridge can eat up precious time.
  • Stow the stroller on the airplane: Some travel strollers fold up so small they fit in a backpack and can be stored in an overhead bin. Having your stroller with you eliminates the hassle of waiting for it on the jet bridge or at baggage claim (or losing it).

Some other air-travel tips to keep in mind:

  • If you check the stroller with baggage, it could get a little beat up. Ask the agent at check-in for a plastic bag to cover and protect it during transport.
  • If you’re taking the stroller through security, you’ll have to fold the stroller to put it through the X-ray machine. So don’t stuff the undercarriage basket until after security.
  • If your checked stroller doesn’t come out with the suitcases at baggage claim, check the oversized luggage area. It may have been set aside there.

How We Chose our Best Travel 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 travel strollers.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

Best Budget Travel Stroller

Why We Love It

Your baby can kick back and relax with two different seat positions on this stroller, and all-wheel suspension that makes for a smoother ride. All done exploring for now? Tuck the Chicco stroller into its carryall bag and sling it over your shoulder, golf-bag style.

Keep in Mind

This travel stroller only accommodates smaller kids up to 37 pounds (about three years old). If your child is on the tall side, the number of years you can use this stroller will be even less.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s so quick and easy. And, I can maneuver it one handed.” -Lauren

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 11 lbs
Age Range 6 months to 37 lbs

Best Travel Stroller for Souvenir Shopping

Why We Love It

While your mini-me naps—thanks to the stroller’s near-flat seat recline and a large canopy for shade—you can hit the Parisian flea market or stroll the streets with coffee (there’s a cupholder). Stow maps and your phone in the seat-back storage pocket, and your once-in-a-lifetime purchases in the big storage basket.

When folded, the 3Dlite Stroller automatically locks in place, and you can use the attached shoulder strap to tote it around.

Keep in Mind

When the seat is fully reclined, it’s nearly impossible to access the storage basket.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love this stroller. It’s light and compact yet sturdy. My baby likes to be front facing so she loves it. It’s a really good stroller for the price.” -Tiffany

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 14 lbs
Age Range 6 months to 50 lbs

Best Travel Stroller for Newborns

Why We Love It

The Mountain Buggy Nano stroller is the best of both worlds—a travel stroller that can also act as a travel system. Unlike most travel strollers, this one is compatible with an infant car seat, so you can use it from birth (it’s equipped with an adapter to accommodate most leading car seat brands).

It’s also lightweight and compact enough to easily fit into many carry-on luggage units on planes and trains or in a trunk, and the travel bag has a handle and strap for portability. The narrow width and front-wheel swivel makes it good for using on city streets or other tight spaces.

Keep in Mind

It’s pricey. And if you’re not using an infant car seat (or the Nano bassinet) with the Mountain Buggy Nano, you can’t use the stroller with babies younger than six months.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 13 lbs
Age Range With use of infant car seat or bassinet newborn to 4 years or 44 lbs; otherwise 6 months to 4 years or 44 lbs

Best Travel Stroller for Frequent Flyers

Why We Love It

If you’re looking for a stroller so small and light you can fit it into an airplane’s overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you, then you and the GB Pockit Stroller are going to be very happy together.

It’s the world’s most compact stroller, measuring just 12 x 7 x 14 inches when folded flat. It has a simple, two-step fold, so going from pushing to carrying takes mere seconds. And it sits on its own when folded.

Keep in Mind

The canopy and storage basket are smaller on this minimal stroller. Also, there’s no carrying strap or case, but you could load it into an oversized backpack.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love everything about it! I travel a lot with my baby. It’s easy to fold up. It’s so light. It’s small enough to be carried onto the plane rather than having to gate check. Since they assume you are going to gate check the stroller, it does not count as one of your carry-on items either.” -Kristin

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 9.5 lbs
Age Range 6 months to 55 lbs

Best-Looking Travel Stroller

Why We Love It

One minute the Babyzen YOYO+ is a stroller and the next it’s slung over your shoulder like an oversized purse. It has a fast, one-handed fold and because of its super-compact size, it easily fits into an airplane’s overhead compartment.

It performs like a champ out of its carrying case, too, steering through crowds and catching a lot of looks. Parents also appreciate that the seat cover is removable and machine washable because crumbs, spills and diaper blowouts happen…even on vacation. With adapters that are sold separately, you can also use this stroller with infant car seats from Nuna and Maxi Cosi, among others.

Keep in Mind

For this price, we’d expect to get more than a rain cover. But you can purchase other extras like a baby leg rest and a cup holder to add onto it.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s small and lightweight-perfect for tiny NYC shops and restaurants.” -Christina

“Fits in airplane cabin. We took it on so many trips!” -Emily

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 13.7 lbs
Age Range From 6 months old to 40 lbs

Best Travel Stroller for a Cushy Ride

Why We Love It

Consider this the ultimate, on-the-go chill spot for your little one. This stroller has a deep, padded seat and adjustable calf support to keep your kiddo comfortable. Plus, a huge UV 50+ sun canopy provides shade. An updated version of the popular City Tour, this model can be used with Baby Jogger City GO and Graco Click Connect car seats (adapters sold separately).

Parents also appreciate that it folds—with one hand—into a 19-by-23 inch rectangle and automatically locks closed. Carry it by the handle, or tuck it away in the included tote bag carryall while your little one roams free.

Keep in Mind

This travel stroller makes a great everyday stroller, but it’s heavier than others - something to consider if you’ll be toting it around a lot.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love that I can carry, open and fold it with one hand. It’s easy to maneuver and the only stroller I own. Perfect for city living!” -Amie

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 14 lbs
Age Range With use of infant car seat or bassinet newborn to 45 lbs; otherwise 6 months to 45 lbs

Best All-Weather Travel Stroller

Why We Love It

Whether you’re exploring a new city or getting chores done, sometimes you have to deal with weather. Enter: the Maclaren Triumph’s large, waterproof, UPF 50+ canopy and wind-resistant rain cover. It keeps your kiddo protected from the elements you’re while out and about. And, for hot days, the roomy, padded seat is made of breathable mesh.

You also can feel super secure knowing there’s zero chance of your kiddo unbuckling the harness. (You have to press both sides and the back simultaneously for it to release.) And when your adventures are done, the Maclaren Triumph folds up like an umbrella stroller and has a convenient carrying strap.

Keep in Mind

This all-purpose stroller doesn’t have a car seat adapter. You’ll have to wait until your baby is six months old to use the Triumph.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The stroller is so lightweight, but super sturdy and a comfortable ride for my baby.” -Sandy

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 11 lbs
Age Range From 6 months old to 55 lbs

Best Travel Stroller for Naps

Why We Love It

Smooth rolling motion and tons of shade and privacy from a giant canopy make this stroller ideal for afternoon naps. Just recline the seat all the way back (it goes almost entirely flat) and check in on your snoozer through the canopy’s magnetic peekaboo window. Larger tires glide over uneven surfaces so your little one doesn’t get jolted awake.

Parents especially love higher-end goodies that come standard with this affordably priced stroller: parent and child cup holders, snack cup for your kiddo and a padded leg rest. The ZOE XL1 is light enough to travel well—especially if you purchase the double-carry straps to carry the stroller like a backpack—but it also makes a great everyday stroller. The tall seat gives your child plenty of space to grow and the option to add another seat (sold separately) to create a double stroller means you can use this for years to come.

Keep in Mind

Once your baby is six months old, you can take this stroller out for a spin. But just know that the storage basket isn’t that great. It’s small and made of mesh, so you have to be careful not to overload it.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Lightweight, easy to maneuver, leans back really far (for naps).” -E.V.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 11 lbs
Age Range From 6 months old to 50 lbs

Best Travel Stroller for Tall Parents

Why We Love It

Most travel strollers aren’t equipped with telescoping handlebars that makes pushing a stroller more comfortable for tall parents. And while the ones on the New Groove don’t move either, they’re positioned at a magical height that makes them just-right for a range of sizes.

The bonus? This stroller can be used from the newborn days far into the toddler years, which makes it fantastic buy. In newborn mode, the seat reclines nearly flat and has a built-in pocket to tuck your baby’s feet into so your little one can feel safe and secure. It’s easy to steer one-handed and has nighttime safety reflectors so cars can spot you after dark too.

We also like Joovy’s Caboose Ultralight Caboose for families with two kids. The built-in parent-facing bench seat and standing board lets an older child hitch a ride when those little legs get tired of walking.

Keep in Mind

The New Groove has lots of convenient features like cupholders and a UPF 50 canopy that make it great, lightweight stroller for everyday use. But the multi-step fold and heavier weight aren’t ideal for jetsetters.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I love that it reclines to an almost-flat position.” -Meg D.

Additional Specs
Stroller Weight 15.7 lbs
Age Range Newborn to 55 lbs

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Choosing What’s Right for You

Don’t let overwhelm hold you back from choosing the right travel stroller for your family’s adventures. Just consider if you’ll be using it mostly for road trips (and how much trunk space you have) or need it to fit into the storage areas of airplanes, trains or buses. Maybe you need something that works for all of the above.

Good news! The travel strollers on this list are all lightweight and compact. So no matter which one you choose, you’re getting a stroller that will be an easy travel companion.

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