The 8 Best Travel Strollers for Stress-Free Trips
There’s nothing like traveling with your little ones to add stress to a vacation. But one way to help ensure smooth sailing is having a quality travel stroller on hand. Travel strollers tend to be both lightweight and compact in size, making them easy to push around, transport and pack away, no matter the destination or mode of travel. They’re also a great option to have on hand for older children who may have outgrown a regular stroller but still need a rest during full days of exploring a new place. But with so many out there to choose from, finding the best travel stroller for your family can be overwhelming. We’ve got you. Read on for features to look for, tips to keep in mind and a breakdown of the best options to buy before you hit the road or take to the skies with your tiny travelers.
In this article:
Overall best travel stroller for infants
Overall best travel stroller for toddlers
Best compact travel stroller
Best lightweight travel stroller
Best travel double stroller
Best umbrella travel stroller
Best stroller for airplane travel
Best budget travel stroller
Finding the best travel stroller for your family starts with taking a few different factors into consideration:
Your child’s age and size. Will you be traveling with a newborn? Taking trips with multiple kids? Hitting Disney with an older toddler? Your child’s age and size will be a major factor in deciding which travel stroller is best. A travel stroller that’s car seat-compatible can be a lifesaver for parents with an infant, while models with a higher weight limit and more spacious seat will work well for those with older toddlers.
Your travel style. Are you a family that loves exploring big cities? Are you packing up the car for a road trip? Or do you simply need a stroller to help you swiftly navigate the airport? Considering your travel needs and style will help prioritize the features you’re looking for in a travel stroller.
The stroller’s size and weight. These are key considerations when selecting a travel stroller. Many feature ultra-compact folds that make them ideal for stowing away in packed car trunks or crowded overhead bins. Likewise, travel strollers are often incredibly lightweight (some as light as 10 pounds), which is ideal for whoever ends up carrying it around.
The recline. If you’re planning for naps on the go, make sure you select a travel stroller with a near-flat or fully flat recline.
The canopy. When brands design strollers that are as lightweight and compact as possible, it often comes at the expense of other features, such as the canopy. Be sure to check how far the canopy extends and if it offers any UPF protection.
The storage. Storage on travel strollers is often lacking, but many newer options are increasing the capacity of their under-seat baskets and creating easier access points. Having a solid storage option on a travel stroller is a plus for toting around any baby and toddler essentials.
How it folds and unfolds. When you’re out and about with your hands full, you’ll wanta travel stroller that collapses (and opens) quickly and easily. There are several travel strollers that not only feature one-handed folds and unfolds, but even collapse down in as little as a second.
Now that you’re familiar with the important criteria to keep in mind, shop our top travel stroller picks across eight different categories.
The convenience factor of this option for parents with infants can’t be beat. The Doona is a car seat and stroller combo, with wheels that unfold from the bottom of the seat in just seconds. For traveling parents, that means lugging one less item of baby gear around, as well as seamlessly transitioning from the sidewalk to a safe and secure seat. While most travel strollers are only recommended for 6-month-olds and up without certain modifications, the Doona is one of the few travel-friendly strollers that can be used with baby from day one without any extra adaptors or attachments.
- Stroller handlebar serves as a side impact protection and anti-rebound bar when in car seat mode, offering extra safety
- FAA aircraft approved for travel
- Can be used with or without the car seat base
- Lacks storage in stroller mode (but accessory bags are available as attachments)
- Only suitable up for infants up to 35 pounds and 32 inches, giving it a shorter lifespan than other travel strollers at this price point
Travel strollers can be light and flimsy, which doesn’t always bode well for growing toddlers. Enter the Bugaboo Butterfly. The model features one of the most spacious seats we’ve seen, along with adjustable calf support, comfortably accommodating even the tallest toddlers (up to 48.5 pounds!). Its folded size is as compact as the seat is roomy (it fits into overhead bins), and it only needs one hand to collapse in a one-second fold. No wonder it earned a Best of Baby award!
- Easily portable with a hands-free shoulder strap
- Deep storage basket that’s easily accessible from the front or back
- Car seat compatible (with adaptors), so you can use with infants as well
- Heavier option at about 16 pounds
Fans of the GB Pockit stroller—long touted as the tiniest stroller on the market—will be blown away by the Cybex Libelle. The new compact stroller model addresses all of the shortcomings of the Pockit: Singular wheels and front wheel suspension make the Libelle easier to maneuver; the canopy offers more complete coverage from the sun or the rain; and the addition of an adjustable footrest guarantees your little passenger will be comfy, even as they grow. This feature-packed, compact stroller for travel swiftly collapses down to a carry-on compliant size—and at just 13.7 pounds, it’s easy to carry with one hand.
- Folded dimensions of 12.6 x 7.8 x 18.9 inches make it easy to fit in any plane overhead compartment
- Features a weight capacity of up to 50 pounds
- Car seat adaptors included, allowing for use from birth to 6 years old
- Does not fully recline
- Handlebars are not adjustable
A parent favorite for many reasons, Babyzen Yoyo2 is the updated version of the Yoyo that folds down to a neat, compact size of 20.5 x 17.3 x 7.1 inches, and unfolds in a second with the flick of the wrist (hence its Yoyo name). At a mere 13.6 pounds, it’s a great lightweight option—but it’s still sturdy and maneuvers smoothly. Plus, the Yoyo2 is easy to carry in one hand or over your shoulder with the provided (and padded) carry strap.
- Can be used from birth
- Child can face toward you
- Carry bag included for stroller protection while traveling
- Requires two hands and two steps to fold
- Canopy is small
The Mountain Buggy Nano Duo accomplishes what most travel double strollers can’t. It’s extremely light (just 20 pounds) and small when folded, while still featuring a frame that’s sturdy enough to support two children (up to 66 pounds total). It works well for parents of twins or children of different ages, thanks to multiple seat configurations and individual adjustable leg rests. Plus, the shoulder strap allows you to transport this travel double stroller hands-free when needed.
- Slim profile that easily fits through doorways
- Twin cocoon accessory allows infants to lie flat together
- Easy to store, carry and pack
- Under-seat storage can hold 17 pounds
- Canopies are small and offer no peek-a-boo windows
- Seats have a lower weight limit (33 pounds each), meaning they won’t work for larger or older children
- Difficult to fold
Umbrella strollers are known for a slender, vertical shape when folded that resembles—you guessed it—an umbrella. Our top pick for this category is the Uppababy G-Luxe, thanks to its lightweight yet sturdy build, self-standing fold and smooth ride. The G-Luxe also helps keep both you and your kiddo comfortable in transit, with its padded, reclining seat for your passenger and the easy-access storage basket, carry strap and cup holder for you.
- Stain-resistant fabrics
- UPF50+ canopy is now larger, with an extendable pop-out for extra sun protection
- Adjustable footrest keeps kids comfy
- Difficult to collapse, requiring two hands
The latest iteration of the Silver Cross Jet is ideal for families choosing to fly, particularly because of how small it is when folded (which allows it to fit in most overhead bins) and the toddler bar that doubles as a luggage handle, so it can be wheeled around like a carry-on when folded. The Jet also comes with a travel sleeve to keep for protection and a rain cover for shielding your child from the elements. And at 13.6 pounds, it’s one of the lightest travel strollers around.
- Full-flat recline and muff-like feature allows use from day one for newborns (no car seats, bassinets or adaptors required)
- Improved fold is swift and easy to do with one hand
- Easy strap-in thanks to new magnetic genius buckle
At under $80 and less than 12 pounds, the Kolcraft Cloud Plus stroller is light on both your wallet and the scale, making it one of the best travel strollers you can score on a budget. But its benefits go beyond its shopper-friendly price. It folds and unfolds easily with just one hand, self-stands when folded and has a storage basket that’s roomy enough to fit a small backpack. It’s also one of the few travel strollers to come with a removable tray for your little one’s food and drink, making it a great option for days on-the-go or theme park visits.
- Features several accessories, including adult cupholders and child snack-and-drink tray
- Multi-position recline
- One of the lightest strollers available at 11.8 pounds
- Not as portable as others: no carry strap or handle and doesn’t fold small enough for plane overhead bins
- Small adult cupholders
- Difficult to push on gravel or rough surfaces
Picking the best travel stroller for the job will certainly make trips easier—as will these handy tips for flying with a stroller in tow:
Call your airline. Even if your travel stroller claims to fit in the overhead bin, it’s worth calling your airline to double check their dimension requirements and policies.
Decide how you want to check your stroller. Most airlines let you check your stroller for free, either at check-in (meaning you’d navigate the airport without it; potentially a plus, if you’re planning to put baby in a carrier) or at the gate (meaning you’d be able to stroll baby through the airport and right up to the plane).
Practice folding and unfolding. Most likely, you will need to remove your child and collapse the stroller to go through airport security. Practicing this at home can make for a less stressful transition in the security line.
Bring a protective bag. Even if you’re planning on bringing your travel stroller as a carry-on, take a protective bag (most stroller brands offer one as an accessory) to protect your stroller from damage from other luggage, which will ultimately extend its longevity.