Updated September 2019
What is the Best Stroller for Travel 2019?
If you are wondering what are the best travel strollers for holidays or your vacation, then this guide on the best strollers for travel will help you:
- Compare features of various styles of travel strollers including single and double travel strollers.
- Discover the pros and cons of each type of travel pushchair, with real parents opinions.
- Find a lightweight baby stroller which works for your needs.
The following pushchairs are some of the best travel strollers which are especially designed for travel – with a strong emphasis on being light and portable.
They don’t have all the features that you would expect from a travel system, however some are very close! Some reviews look at the best umbrella stroller for travel for you, whilst others look at more compact options.
What kind of stroller can I take on a plane?
You can take any stroller on the plane for free. They normally need to go in the airplane hold, where your suitcases go. However, some of these pushchairs are so compact that they are suitable for plane travel and fold up small enough to be considered an airline friendly stroller and as hand luggage! When we used one of these on a flight, it was so incredibly useful – especially with a heavy toddler.
What Are Their Pros And Cons For Flying?
The benefit of having a really compact stroller means that you can literally land, pop baby into the pram and walk down the aisle and off the plane towards baggage reclaim (providing there is an airbridge of course.) Here I am doing exactly that with the BabyZen YoYo plus on an Easyjet flight. It folds up more compactly than an umbrella stroller!
Some of the best umbrella strollers for travel are also included in the comparison chart below. Others factors to consider include the sun protection offered and if the stroller reclines for naps.
For travelling by air, you may wish to consider a stroller travel or gate check bag, unless you have a cabin baggage approved stroller. Not only will this help to protect it in the aircraft hold, but you can add a few nappies/diapers and other items to help protect it further and save a bit of space in your suitcase! Here are some of the best stroller travel bags.
What kind of stroller can I take on a plane?
All strollers can go in the hold of an airplane – this is usually in addition to your normal baggage allowance. If you wish to have a stroller on a plane and have it in the cabin with you, then there is no guarantee it will be allowed, unless it fits into your airlines cabin baggage restrictions. In which case, it is often considered as 1 piece of your cabin baggage allowance.
Can you take a double stroller on an airplane?
Absolutely, but as it will not fit as cabin baggage it will need to go in the hold. You can either check it in with your bags or gate check it before you board your flight.
Can you take a stroller through airport security?
Yes, you will need to if you are gate checking or taking it as hand luggage. If it folds up compactly, you can put it through the X-ray machine, otherwise it will need to be manually inspected.
In a hurry? Our top picks for the best travel stroller (read further below for in-depth reviews, a comparison chart and further options)
- Best Overall: Summer Infant 3D Lite stroller and Mountain Buggy Nano
- Best Budget: Baby Joy
- Best High-End: BabyZen YoYo+
- Best for Airplane Travel: Baby Joy
- Most Lightweight: Original GB Pockit Lightweight Stroller
Best Lightweight Compact Stroller For Traveling Comparison Chart
|Name||Image||Weight||Single Fold?||Reclines?||Fits as cabin baggage?||Latest price and more information.|
|GB Pockit Stroller||9.5lbs/ 4.4kgs||No||No||Yes||Lastest price
|UPPABaby G-Lite Denny||11lbs||No||Yes||No||Latest price see here|
|Pockit + All City||12.5lbs/5.7kgs||No||Yes||Yes||Latest Prices see here|
|Summer Infant 3D Lite||13lbs/6.2kg||No||Yes to nearly flat.||No||Latest price see here|
|BabyZen YoYo Plus||13lbs/6.2kg||No (after buttons pressed the rest can be folded single handedly.||Yes||Yes||Lastest price
|Mountain Buggy Nano||13lbs/6.2kg||No||Yes||No||Lastest price
|Maclaren Techno XT||13.8lbs/6.29kgs||Yes||Yes||No||Lastest price
|Baby Joy||14.5/lbs/6.3kgs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Latest Prices see here<|
|Baby Jogger City Mini||18.4lbs/8.3 kgs||Yes||Yes||No||Lastest price
|Double Stroller Zoe XL2||17lbs/7.7kgs||Yes||Yes||No||Latest price see here|
|Joovy Twin Ultra Light Stroller||26lbs/11.79kgs||No||Yes||No||Latest Price See here|
|Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller||28.6lbs/12.9kgs||Yes||Yes||No||Latest price see here|
Things to Consider When Buying a Travel Stroller
Here are some of the most important things to think about when looking for the best travel stroller.
1. Size and Weight
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.
A lightweight travel stroller 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 basket underneath.
I found for me the recline and sun canopy was the most important.
2. Your Travel Needs
What sort of travel will you be doing can impact the type of travel pushchair you need. Does it need to fit as carryon on an aircraft or can it manage cobblestones in Europe? 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? Who is for – will you need a double stroller for slightly older kids if heading out to Disney World or one that is suitable for a younger baby – if so does it need an additional insert?
3. Recline And Other Features
As mentioned above, several 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 mine invaluable, especially if the storage basket was small). Decide which features are an absolute must for you, and ones you could compromise on.
4. Ease of Folding
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 – incredibly convenient if you need to carry your baby with the other arm!
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?
Reviews of the Best Travel Strollers for 2019
This hand luggage pushchair is currently the world’s smallest and most compact stroller for travel. It weighs a mere 9.5 lbs making it the lightest stroller and folds down to 11.8 inches x 7 inches x 13.8 inches. It’s narrow width means it easily passes through narrow door ways and small turnstiles at train stations.
It does not come with a bag or straps to carry it but you can easily buy something to fix this or just pop into a tote bag. There is a small storage bag at the bottom for small items. This cabin size stroller really comes into its own for plane travel, due to its compact size.
With all this in mind, the original GB Pockit is definitely a good contender for the best stroller for airplane travel as it meets most cabin baggage sizes.
This probably wouldn’t be your every day stroller but for travel it has some clear advantages. There are several new models out now, including the the Pockit Air Terrain 2019 model which is making this original model slightly cheaper.
What other readers of Flying With A Baby Say:
“Easy to fold, a super light stroller and comfy as much as it can be. We only use it when travelling by subway, bus and airplane.”
- A small, lightweight compact stroller
- Can be used as cabin baggage. It will even fit under the seat.
- Front wheels can be locked to a stationary position or left to swivel
- It’s really small and a very collapsible stroller!
- Did I mention how small it is?
- Only suitable for babies aged 6 months plus.
- Sun canopy does not offer a great deal of protection
- There is no recline option (unless you purchase the Pockit Plus)
The GB Pockit + is an upgrade from the original GB Pockit above and tweaks have it made it stronger, more robust, and even more practical for travel. This newer version benefits from a recline function, a sun canopy whilst still folding up incredibly compactly, making it a fully collapsible stroller
It folds down in 2 simple steps and can be carried effortlessly via the attached handle. It is now considerably heavier at 13lbs/5.8kgs than its predecessor, but it is still a very lightweight travel stroller, which can be moved with one hand.
The Pockit Plus model has also been updated, and the Pockit + All City is the new 2019 version. This newer version is slightly lighter at 12.5lbs/5.7kgs and folds up really compactly L19 xW 33 x H48cm (7.5 x 13 x19″) and is suitable for 9 – 17 kg/From 6 months up to approx. 4 years.
Another Flying With A Baby reader reports back that, “It is extremely lightweight – so you can not hang a bag over the handles and it’s one of the best compact strollers making it great for family travel”
For more information on the specifications and latest prices for the GB Pockit Plus, see here
- Can be used as cabin baggage.It is one of the strollers that fit in a overhead compartment and it will even fit under the seat.
- Front wheels can be locked to a stationary position or left to swivel
- It’s really small and often listed as the best stroller for airplane travel due to its size.
- One of the best lightweight strollers for toddlers.
- Only suitable for babies aged 6 months plus.
- Sun canopy does not offer a great deal of protection but a bit more than its predecessor.
The updated version of the popular G-Lite travel pushchair is now reclinable and even lighter at 11lbs. It has lost the function to stand up by itself – but for the lightness that’s not a huge inconvenience.
The seat has a breathable mesh and the basket is very reasonably sized for an umbrella stroller. The large UPF canopy is an improvement with an additional pop out sun visor. Some readers have said it doesn’t offer another support for a younger baby.
A cup holder comes as standard. The price is also very reasonable for all the functions making it one of the best umbrella strollers. For more information and latest price for the UPPABaby G-Lite, see here.
- Very light
- Large sun canopy
- Can hold up to 55lbs
- A smaller recline than some.
This is a popular mid way budget lightweight stroller for travel (13lbs/6.2kg). An appealing feature is it reclines to a nearly flat position and is easy to manoeuvre.
A carry strap and compact fold helps make it easy to transport. It can used til your little one reaches 50lbs.
What other readers of Flying With A Baby Say:
“Portable, lightweight and pretty sturdy. We used it extensively on cobbled Italian roads, smooth US roads and Mexican roads as well. We liked our compact baby stroller”
For more information and latest price for the Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller see here.
- Near flat recline
- Has a variety of storage: A cup holder, pocket on the back, and storage underneath
- Provides more shade than cheaper umbrella strollers
- Legs can dangle a bit if child is tall.
This is another stroller which meets most airlines cabin baggage allowances and joins the ranks of the few strollers that fit in the overhead bin. It is not as light as the original GB Pockit for plane travel – but it weighs in at a very light 13lbs/6.2kg. – the same as the GB Pockit Plus. It is consistently rated highly as a contender for the best lightweight travel stroller.
It comes with a storage bag and a shoulder strap so you can easily carry the BabyZen on board a plane. It’s narrow enough to fit in most airplane aisles and will easily fit into the hat rack.
This compact travel stroller feels sturdy and is often used as a daily stroller because of all its features; including multi recline, a sun canopy, rain cover and generous under seat storage.
It is on the pricey end of the market but if it is used daily and used for travel, then it may save you from buying a separate travel buggy. These airplane strollers are quite popular in Europe because they fit through narrow doorways.
Another bonus is it can handle cobbled stones, at least on a temporary basis. Yes, it is best for flat surfaces so there were a few bumps, but when I trialled it, the YoYo managed them surprisingly well, despite not being built for this. For long term use on cobbled streets, I think you will need something with more suitable wheels.
I have also seen it consistently recommended by parents when anyone asks them what the best travel stroller is.
This travel stroller is suitable for babies aged over 6 months, but you can buy a newborn pack as an additional feature to make it a lie flat stroller. This pushchair can be used in parent-facing mode from birth and front facing from 6+ months up until 18kgs.
For more information on the BabyZen YoYo Plus, please see here.
- Easy to fold and unfold
- UPF 50+ sun protection canopy
- Shoulder strap
- Quite pricey
The Mountain Buggy Nano consistently crops up as one of the best strollers for travelling.
At 13lbs, this lightweight stroller has a full-size, padded seat with an adjustable leg rest and multi-position recline.
The seat can almost go into a lie-flat mode, making it one of the best reclining strollers for travel. However there is a newborn cocoon available as an extra, if you need.
Like the BabyZen YoYo Plus, this stroller comes with a carry handle and carry strap plus a travel bag. For most airline hand baggage rules, the Nano is too big to be considered as hand luggage, despite it being very compact.
The rain cover does need to be bought separately. It cannot fold one handed but feels sturdy.
What other readers of Flying With A Baby Say:
“We would be lost without our Mountain Buggy Nano. It has been on almost 50 flights in 18 months and is still in the best condition. Great recline too.”
For more information on the Mountain Buggy Nano, please see here.
- The narrow frame is good for narrow streets and doorways.
- Can be pushed one-handed easily.
- A good lightweight reclining stroller.
- Fits into overhead storage compartments (if permitted.)
- Cannot be folded with one hand.
- Can be a bit tricky down a set of steps due to the small wheels.
by Lucy Bruce, mum of 3 children, including an 11 week old.
As a mother of 3 small children that travel a lot, I have to be 100% sure that I pack the right type of baby paraphernalia to help me on my way.
Over the years I have learnt that although your baby may be traveling in complete style and comfort, it can be a total mission (and workout) to get these items from A to B. One of the most essential baby items (and most cumbersome to carry) is choosing the best stroller for travel.
During my less experienced days I would transport my top of the range Bugaboo along with accessories and matching travel bag leaving me with an extremely heavy and large piece of oversized baggage on arrival.
I soon learnt that the good old foldable travel buggy is the way forward for me, but I still had to navigate my way around the baby showrooms who displayed what seemed to be hundreds of brightly coloured push-a-longs, all claiming to be better than the next. I opted for the Maclaren Techno XT and here are my findings.
The Maclaren Techo XT specifies that it suitable for children from birth. Although it is meant to fully recline, it is not completely flat, but it is near enough horizontal and certainly comfortable enough for the baby to sleep for many hours.
There is also an extendable foot rest for older babies which allows their legs to be fully elevated. The clasp to secure the straps can be a little fiddly as to unlock as you have to squeeze the buttons on the front and back at the same time making it difficult if you have long nails or weak fingers.
The straps do not adjust properly for newborns as they rub against their ears, the strap covers are definitely required but at an extra cost and for complete comfort you would need a headrest.
The XT is easy to fold away and open, and the handle at the side makes it easy to lift onto a trolley or put into the back of a car. The XT is the heaviest of the Maclarens but it’s benefits outweigh the extra two kgs that have to be lugged.
It is compact enough that on many occasions the Purser/CSD of the flight has allowed me to bring it on board to be stored in a cupboard. It can be a little heavy to push, but the swivel wheels to help it to easily glide around corners and manoeuvre through complicated spaces.
The Maclaren comes with a rain cover, which is great if you are travelling to tropical countries but investing in a mosquito net that fits securely is a must.
The hood has a handy clear window so you can see your child even when it is open but you will need a CoziGo or Snoozeshade draped over it if you want to completely block out the sun. The seat cover does get very dirty on the baggage belt and my hood did get slightly damaged on one occasion, so do invest in a canvas cover if you want to keep the buggy in pristine condition.
The pockets at the back of the XT are really handy for keeping water, sun cream and a hat at the ready: the storage beneath the buggy is ample for a few bags of shopping if the seat is not reclined.
One thing which always catches me by surprise is how the pushchair will topple over once to take the baby out if you have shopping bags on the handles, the buggy can also topple over when the baby is in the seat if there is too much weight on the handles.
At the end of your trip the seat cover can be removed and washed in the washing machine though refitting it can take time and is a little complicated. In general, I have been pleased with the Maclaren Techno XT and four and a half years later it is still going strong.
I am now using it for my 11 week old baby and although it is a little worn and torn, the functions work just as well as they did when I purchased it. I would recommend the Maclaren Techno XT to any travelling family and can assure you that the Maclaren brand has lived up to its long trusted name. For more information and latest prices of the Maclaren Techno XT, click here.
- Lighter than a travel system. Weighs 13.8lbs
- Has handy pockets.
- Suitable from birth.
- One handed fold
- Need to buy extra pieces for complete comfort.
- Can tip over if shopping bags are on the handle, with or without baby inside
The Baby Joy is great budget option if you are looking for a cabin size stroller. This umbrella style pushchair has a fairly large shopping basket, a detachable water bottle holder, a 5 or 3 point harness, multiple recline positions including flat, an umbrella plus a shoulder strap to carry it around easily.
Legs will dangle in the recline position though, due to no calf or leg support.
The Baby Joy is so small in measurements that it meets most airline cabin baggage rules. (It is just a little bit too wide for Southwest)
- Weight: 14 lbs/6.3kg
- Folded 31cm x 31cm x 16.5 cm (12.5″ x 12.5″ x 6.5″)
- Age suitable for: 50 lbs/22.6kg
- For more information and latest prices see here
BabyJogger City Tour 2
Another incredibly popular stroller, one that ALWAYS comes up on Disney World and Disneyland posts as well as my Flying With A Baby Facebook page. The new BabyJogger City Tour 2 is heavier than the ones mentioned above, but versatile from birth to older toddler, and is compatible with car seats seats. One hand fold, multiple recline positions, a UV extendable hood, swivel wheels make it a great all rounder. It fits in with some airline cabin baggage allowances, such as JetBlue, Turkish Airlines etc but is otherwise generally over these requirements.
- Weight: 14lbs/6.5kgs
- Folded: 59.5cm x 49.5cm x 9cm (21.6″ X16.9″ X 6.8″)
- Age suitable for: Up to 45lbs/22kg
For more information and latest prices see here
Bugaboo Ant – coming soon!
At only 7.2 kg / 15.8 lbs the Bugaboo Ant is the ranges most lightweight stroller yet, and thanks to its most compact folded size of just 55 x 38 x 23 cm (9.03 x 14.96 x 21.65 inch) it can also be used as a carry-on for several airlines.
Despite its lightweight frame, the Bugaboo Ant is strong, and can carry a child up to 22 kg / 50 lbs. An always-accessible rear luggage basket and large under-seat basket provide a combined 8kg of additional storage capacity. It is just a bit too big several popular airlines cabin baggage rules, but meets easyjet, British Airways, ANA and several others requirements.
- Weight:15.8 lbs/7.2 kg
- Folded55cm x 38cm x 23 cm (21.65 x 14.96 x 9.03″)
- Age suitable for22 kg / 50 lbs.
- For more information and latest prices see here (check back October 2019)
(Review by Charlotte Fletcher, mum of a now 1 year old and 4 year old).
I know a buggy is an incredibly personal choice but I really have great things to say about the Babyjogger City Mini when flying with a baby.
We bought a MacClaren run around when we started travelling with our son but when that broke we replaced it with the Babyjogger and three years and another little one down the line and it’s still going strong, in spite of all sorts of rough treatment from the baggage handlers.
It’s just as travel-friendly – folds down super easily, is nippy and light – but feels much more solid and comfortable for the little ones. It feels more like a flight-friendly regular buggy than a buggy you buy specifically for flights. For more details on the Babyjogger City Mini, including the UV cover, please click here
- Light – weighs 18.4 lbs
- Can fold with one hand.
- Easy to manoeuvre.
- Seat tilts back to flat for nap time on the go.
- I can’t think of any!
Best lightweight double stroller for travel
If you are flying with twins or two little ones, a double stroller is probably on your essential list! Double strollers are also allowed as hold luggage but be aware that with American Airlines you will not be able to gate check it if it weighs over 20lbs – which most do.
The Zoe is sadly not available in the UK, which is a shame as it’s not only a practical double travel stroller, but a super lightweight twin stroller for travel too.
It is incredibly light at 16lbs, meaning it can even be gate checked on American Airlines! It’s easy to fold and to open. Each seat reclines separately, but not completely flat. The sun canopy is generous for a travel stroller. For more information, & latest prices see here
At 26lbs this double travel stroller is still light and portable. It comes with 3 cup holders and each seat individually reclines.
It’s narrow width means it can fit through normal size doorways which makes it an easy stroller for travelling. For more information and latest prices see here.
Like it’s popular single stroller model, the seats recline to near flat position and the adjustable canopy hoods offer peek through flaps.
This travel buggy is slightly heavier at 28lbs but can still be folded single handedly and is a good option if you are looking for a lightweight stroller for toddlers. It’s definitely a good contender for the best twin stroller for travel. For more information and latest prices, see here.
The case for taking a larger travel system on the plane.
Review by me.
We’ve all seen the Cameleon out and about on the streets, but how is it for travelling? It can be tricky to put away, is most definitely not a carry on stroller nor a compact lightweight stroller and it is impossible to dismantle one-handed, with a baby trying to crawl on top of you or it. So why take it on vacation?
It does pack away very neatly in the especially designed Bugaboo travel bag. The carry handles and/ or wheels (depending on which edition of the bag you have), make it very convenient. You’ll find you will need a few practise goes beforehand, so as to minimise any stress whilst at the airport. (Unless you check it in straight away).
Dismantling it means removing the 4 wheels, removing the bumper bar and folding the frame, taking the carry cot /chair seat off and packing them flat.
(So if you are using the bassinet, you’ll need to remove the black plastic strips, and all the Velcro fastenings).
There seems to be only one way to pack the bag. My only issue is because the bag has a specific shape, it really does leave no room for error.
It can take 5 minutes. (More if stressed!) However, once arriving at our many overseas destinations, it was well worth the effort for us and it’s come with us on every flight so far.
Especially as she was 11 weeks old, we needed something safe and secure with appropriate coverage for our little traveller.
Not only was she used to her pram, and when smaller, she slept had slept in when we attended a couple of weddings, but it also provided adequate shelter from the elements, whether sun, rain or wind. (The free mosquito net came in handy too).
It seems to be a myth that you can’t take your regular stroller or travel system with you on the plane. You can, but to minimise any possibility of damage, I choose to use a bag to minimise damage from any over-zealous baggage handlers.
If you have a young baby, this is a good contender to cover all bases- especially if you anticipate various terrains and weather. For more information on the Bugaboo Cameleon, including all its accessories and latest price, please visit here.
- Packs away very neatly.
- Easy to transport once in bag.
- Great to have regular pram at destination.
- Saves buying a new pram for travelling.
- Can use the bassinet as cot if baby is small.
- If using the bag, you can pack extra things inside.
- All terrain wheels which can handle snow and sand.
- No room for error as it only packs one way in the bag .
- Can be time-consuming to dismantle.
- Heavy – this is definitely not the best lightweight stroller!
- Need two hands to fold away.
I hope this guide to the best lightweight travel strollers for 2019 has helped you? Do let me know your favourite or recommendation for the best travel stroller and which one you decided on below!
Other travel gear for kids
If you are heading out and about, you may find these other travel gear items for kids useful too. If you are based in the UK, it is worth checking if there are any active Amazon discount codes, (Disclosure: advertorial link*) that will save you some money, before ordering.
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Pin for later?
What’s your recommendation for the best compact stroller 2019? Let me know why yours worked for you below in the comments.