What is the Best Stroller for Travel?
What Are Their Pros And Cons For Flying?
One of the most frequent travel gear questions I am asked, is, “What is the best stroller for travel?” I’ve used a few and each has had its advantages – particularly at certain ages.
It is a tricky question because everybody is obviously travelling using a different mode of transport and visiting a different destination. Visiting historical areas in Europe can often mean cobbled streets, a visit to colder climes in winter months usually means snow, and of course a beach holiday/vacation is going to mean sand and hopefully some sunshine. In this guide I cover the pros and cons of several strollers, including a selection of strollers specially designed for travel. These include suggestions for the best lightweight travel stroller, the most compact stroller for travel, the best double stroller for travel as well as reviews on more everyday travel systems and whether they are worth bringing with you.
The best lightweight stroller for travel
The following travel strollers are especially designed for travel, with the 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 are even so compact that they are suitable for plane travel and fold up small enough to be considered hand luggage! The benefit of having such a compact stroller means that you can literally land, pop baby into the stroller and walk down the aisle and off the plane towards baggage reclaim (providing there is an airbridge of course.) 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.
Best Light 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|
|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 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|
This stroller is currently the world’s smallest and most compact stroller. It weighs a mere 9.5 lbs 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 stroller really comes into its own for plane travel, due to its compact size. It is definitely a good contender for the best stroller for airplane travel as it meets cabin baggage sizes. This probably wouldn’t be your every day stroller but for travel it has some clear advantages. For more information on the specifications and latest prices for the GB Pockit see here.
- 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!
- 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
The updated version of the popular G-Lite 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 sunvisor. A cup holder comes as standard. The price is also very reasonable for all the functions. 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 another stroller which meets most airlines cabin baggage allowances. It is not as light as the GB Pockit for plane travel – but it weighs in at a very light 13lbs/6.2kg. It comes with a storage bag and a 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 stroller. These are quite popular in Europe because they fit through narrow doorways. Another bonus is it can handle cobbled stones. 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.
This travel stroller is suitable for babies aged over 6 months, but you can buy a newborn pack as an additionalfeature. 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
- 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, 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. 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.
- 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 been 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 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 is 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
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 McClaren 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 great 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 holder s and each seat individually reclines. It’s narrow width means it can fit through normal size doorways. For more information and latest prices see here.
Like it’s popular single stroller, the seats recline to near flat position and the adjustable canopy hoods offer peek through flaps. This is slightly heavier at 28lbs but can still be folded single handedly. For more information and latest prices, see here.
The case for taking a larger travel system on the plane.
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, and it is impossible to dismantle one handed, with a baby trying to crawl on top of you or it.
However, 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 minimalize 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.
- Need two hands to fold away.
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