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Best Stroller for Airplane Travel

Are you looking for the best stroller for airplane travel? This guide takes you through the best strollers for planes when traveling with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Double strollers are included too. Whether you are looking for a compact stroller to store in the overhead locker or want to gate check and collect it on arrival, we have you covered.

There are many different types of travel strollers, so first of all decide on how frequently it will get used, what type of traveling with a baby you intend on doing and where. For short trips on predominately smooth surfaces, then suspension may not be a key factor in your purchasing decision, but daily outings with narrow doorways or stairs in a hot climate with naps a must, will lead to an entirely different stroller. You might like the option of baby wearing and using a baby carrier as well as using a pushchair.

However, for these reviews, we have stuck to the main key features that have been useful when traveling with a baby and specifically strollers which are great for plane travel.

strollers on airplanes, baby zen yoyo plus stroller pushchair in airplane, best stroller for travel as it fits cabin sized overhead lockers? #familytravel
The BabyZen YOYO is a popular stroller for air travel

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Key Features When Looking for an Airplane Travel Stroller for Babies.

Key features are a full recline option, comfort, UV sun protection, ease of use, compact, lightweight, your travel needs and price.

Recline, Storage and other features

A full recline option is a must for babies and sleep times. If a lie flat option does not come as standard on the below compact strollers, then a full bassinet or cot attachment is possible.

These lightweight strollers offer a recline function and a fairly decent sun canopy, but you may need to compromise on the storage basket. For instance, you could forego a large storage basket for a comfortable backpack.

Often you can buy accessories like cup holders, bag clips/ stroller purse clip hooks to make the stroller more convenient. (I found my buggy clip invaluable, especially if the storage basket was small). Decide which features are an absolute must for you, and ones you could compromise on. For example, you are unlikely to find a travel lightweight stroller with a tray.

Comfort

The stroller needs to obviously comfortable for your baby but is it also comfortable for you? Does it have adjustable handles to avoid back pain, maybe a convenient drink holder?

UV Sun protection

Even cloudy days can cause sunburn, so a stroller with a good canopy is useful not only for sun protection but also making it a little more dark and cosy for little one to relax or nap. Like all strollers, it’s often hard to get the perfect match for all your requirements, and should you need then a product like CoziGo is brilliant as UV sun protector (and as an airplane bassinet cover for babies.)

Ease of Use

After trying to take down a larger bulkier stroller at an airport gate (even after practising) and with a baby in arms, ease of use is essential! Ideally one handed fold or set up is the dream!

If you are flying or travelling solo, then an easy folding function is a must when you are looking for the best compact travel stroller.  Some of the best foldable strollers for travel can quickly and easily be folded up using just one hand. The good news is that most foldable prams for travel, are easy to use!

Compact

A compact stroller is not only useful for stowage in smaller apartments but also in crowded places and on the plane too, as sometimes a particularly compact travel stroller can be brought on board a plane as cabin carry on baggage.

Some airlines state this on their website, stipulating that it can be brought on instead of cabin baggage. eg, BA state, ” Pushchairs that fold down into a carry bag, such as the Yo-Yo Zen and are within the maximum hand baggage dimensions, can be taken on board in place of, but not in addition to, your larger cabin bag.”

The image below shows infant baggage and carry on allowances on airlines and whether their cabin bags rules would allow a compact stroller inside the cabin with you, in replacement of your cabin allowance. Hold luggage is also included.

As you can see cabin baggage does vary with some airlines like Etihad allowing a generous 50cm x 40cm x 25cm, American Airlines 56 x 36 x 23cm and Southwest 25 x 40.5 x 60cm and budget airlines like Ryan Air 40 x 25 x 20 cm

Guide to Airline Infant Baggage Allowance - copyright Carrie Bradley
Guide to Airline Infant Baggage Allowance – copyright Carrie Bradley – not to be reproduced without permission. CLICK to enlarge image.

Lightweight

A lightweight stroller speaks for itself, especially if you need to carry it around when not in use or lug it up and down stairs.

Your Travel Needs

What sort of travel will you be doing can impact the type of travel pushchair you need. Is it the best buggy for your holiday or vacation?

Does it need to fit as carryon on an aircraft or can it manage cobblestones in Europe with kids? Does it need to be the lightest travel stroller or one with more features?

Will it be used for short distances and to help transport your bags or will you need it for long day trips and naps during the day? Or will you load it up in the car for baby road trips?

Cost

There are some all singing/all dancing travel strollers out there – but these do come with a higher price tag. When you are looking for the best strollers for traveling, shop around and look for the best deals.

Check if companies offer price match – often if you cut the middle man out you can find a better deal too. Also look into second hands strollers, or perhaps borrow a friends?

When looking at prices, see if the stroller will last a while, or if a baby would quickly outgrow it? How often will use your travel stroller? Can it adjust for toddlers and older kids? Is it made of sturdy materials and built to last? Is it good value? Would you be able to use if for another child?

The main differences between a regular stroller and a travel stroller are the size and weight. The best strollers for travel are considerably lighter and usually a lot smaller than their heavier counterparts.

Overview:

Lightweight travel strollers may have less features and comfort but that is the tradeoff for the other practical features. The best traveling strollers for long days out are those that are lightweight and small enough to lug around and store, yet feature extras such as recline, a sun canopy and a decent storage basket underneath.

I found for me the recline and sun canopy was the most important when flying with a baby or young toddler.

TRAVEL STROLLER ACCESSORIES

Above we mentioned how it is hard to find the perfect baby travel stroller which meets your every need when out and about. If you do find yourself deliberating between a couple of choices, remember, often accessories can be added, like stroller hooks (my favorite!) or a stroller organizer etc. More ideas and details are below.

stroller hook
stroller hooks are SO useful and easy to pack

Stroller hooksStrollers hooks are brilliant for purchases, diaper/nappy bags and for adding to airplane strollers that have no basket or other limited storage capacity.

Universal Stroller OrganizerUniversal organizers for travel strollers are perfect for keeping everything in one place. Organizers can hold drinks, snacks, phone, tissues and allsorts!

Cup Holders for Travel StrollersUniversal stroller cup holders which fit most travel pushchairs can be easily bought for added convenience.

Stroller Travel Bags – Stroller travel bags are a great way to help protect your stroller when traveling, particularly if flying. Padded stroller bags offer better protection but are more expensive, but even a polyester gate check bag can help keep straps and buckles together and the stroller clean. Stuffing a few diapers/nappies in discreetly can help protect it too. Some cabin sized strollers already come with their own bag and carrying strap making it easier to stow in the overhead lockers on the plane.

Our top picks – Best stroller for air travel quick guide.

Most Compact: Can even fit under an airplane seat: GbPockit but for babies 6 months +

Best All Rounder Airplane Stroller: Ergobaby Stroller and Babyzen Yoyo2. These are compact, both feature a decent recline and with an insert work from newborn through toddler.

Best Strollers for Airplane Travel

DOUBLE TRAVEL STROLLERS FOR BABIES

Best Travel Strollers for Toddlers

Whilst some of these are briliiant for babies as well, especially if they have an infant insert (meaning they can last longer and be better value for money), these strollers are perfect for toddlers and older kids. Those marked with an asterix * also feature as our best travel strollers for babies too!

Uppa Baby Minu *

The UPPAbaby MINU is very easy to use with one step and one hand fold - meaning you can hold baby and easily open up this pushchair. The shock-absorbing, all-wheel suspension is helpful for uneven terrain.

The MINU’s spacious, reclinable seat holds up to 50 lbs and the generous pop out UPF sunshade extends to shield your child from harmful UV rays. The canopy’s vented peekaboo window allows you to check in on your child. 

This lightweight stroller weighs in at 15 lbs, and comes with a useful built-in carry handle and shoulder strap.

Car seat adapters, are available for the MESA Infant Car Seat or select Maxi-Cosi®, Nuna® and Cybex infant car seats.

Suitable from 3 months to 50 lbs with a maximum child height of 40" or suitable from birth with the 'From Birth Kit' accessory

Storage under the stroller seat can accommodate 20lbs.

Pros
  • Multi-position recline
  • Extendable, pop out UPF 50+ sunshade
  • Vented peekaboo window
Cons
  • It may be hard at times on cobblestones in Europe
  • Canopy could be better
What other readers of Flying With A Baby Say:

"I needed two hands for the lock but otherwise easy to use."

  • Weight: 14.8 lbs
  • Dimensions when folded: 11.5″ L x 20.5″ W x 23″ 
  • Recline: Yes
  • Storage Basket: Yes
  • Travel Bag: Yes
  • Sun Canopy: Yes, pop out UPF 50+ sunshade
  • Max Weight Capacity: 50lbs
  • Age: 3 months to 50 lbs with a maximum child height of 40"
  • Compatible with Infant Car Seat: Yes - MESA Infant Car Seat or select Maxi-Cosi®, Nuna® and Cybex infant car seats.
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