How to Pick the Best Travel Stroller For You

From the moment the two lines appeared on test, we knew that we wanted to travel the world with our children. We envisioned a fistful of passports and family photos at iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal, Big Ben, and Machu Picchu. I pictured journals full of scribbles, a child’s unsteady hand documenting the new sights and smells of a new destination.

And to be honest, most of those dreams have come to fruition.

What we didn’t picture was hauling around ginormous car seats, a heavy diaper bag, over-stuffed luggage, and the frantic fumbling of folding a stroller before boarding the plane. Traveling with children can be magical and enlightening but children’s travel gear can often be a nuisance.

THE BEST TRAVEL STROLLERS

But it doesn’t always have to be. We’ve found that travel strollers can pull double duty as luggage carts, napping stations, and high chairs. Once you find the best strollers to fit your lifestyle, you’ll be unstoppable.

Searching for the perfect stroller can be a bit daunting. Do you need a full-size stroller? Or perhaps one with a compact fold? What about a stroller that can attach your infant car seat? And don’t even get us started with all the various add-ons. Do you spring for the extras like a rain cover, cup holders, and carry strap? Let us take the guess work out of stroller shopping by listing our favorite travel strollers below.

But first…

Do I need a travel stroller?

This is the question we frequently asked ourselves when it came time to pack for the next trip. Between the extra diapers, multiple changes of clothes, medicine bag (you know, “just in case”), and ALL. THE. SNACKS., we weren’t sure if adding a stroller was going to benefit or weigh us down.

We experimented with leaving the stroller at home for a trip to Estonia and it lead to me carrying two very heavy toddlers in the snow on the way to catch our ferry. 1/10 do not recommend.

A light, nimble, compact stroller proved for easier travel. One that could fold with a single hand. Especially when it came to stairs, airports, taxis, narrow doorways, airplane overhead bins, and more!

Best Lightweight Stroller

As a parent or guardian of young children, you’re probably already aware of the sheer amount of things you need when leaving the house. The last thing you want to do is lug around a heavy stroller, especially if you’re traveling.

In our opinion, there are two lightweight travel strollers that reign supreme: The Baby Zen YOYO and the Gb Pockit Air. The latter takes its own category for compact strollers so let’s focus on the Baby Zen YOYO.

Babyzen YOYO (and YOYO²)

Major perks of the Babyzen YOYO stroller is that it can fold and unlock in a matter of seconds in an easy one-hand fold maneuver. Although the YOYO can fold down so it’s compact enough to fit in a trunk, over head bin, and may other nooks and crannies, it is still suitable for children up to 48lbs.

The brand new Babyzen YOYO2 allows for a newborn pack that is sure to keep your infant warm and cozy on your adventures. Not only is the Babyzen YOYO a good travel stroller, but it’s also perfect for those living in big cities that need the ease of a quick and easy breakdown for taxis and subways.

For the older sibling, we recommend the Babyzen board attachment. This handy design attaches to the back of the YOYO in one easy click and allows older bro or sis to sit (or stand) while enjoying a comfortable ride with their new sibling.

Best Compact Travel Stroller

Gb Pockit Air

This is perhaps the lightest stroller we’ve encountered. Its compact size allows it to be stacked in the overhead bin of most airplanes, making it perfect for air travel. It makes for the best compact stroller for travel.

The downside is that your kiddo will need to be at least six months old before they use a Gb Pockit Air and the stroller doesn’t accommodate car seat adapters or attachments. We recommend this stroller for toddlers as it’s easy to tote, folds up nicely, and comes with a shoulder strap.

In our opinion, this is the best lightweight travel stroller on the market. For infants, we recommend the next stroller in the lineup.

The Stroller That Does It All

Doona all-in-one

We love multipurpose items. And the Doona all-in-one car seat and stroller is revolutionary when it comes to ease and function. Doona is the world’s first complete and full integrated travel system that allows you to move from car seat to stroller in seconds. No one wants to wake a peacefully sleeping baby in order to move them from car seat to stroller (and vice versa).

Customize your Doona by choosing from seven different canopy colors. One of the only complaints is that taller parents find the Doona to sit a little lower to the ground.

Best Double Stroller for Travel

When we were awaiting the arrival of our second child, I knew a double stroller was in our future. Our kiddos are exactly two years and two days apart and I wasn’t about to break my back carrying both kiddos in my arms. Travel days with kids can be stressful enough, so why include the added pressure of juggling multiple kiddos while attempting to fold and unfold your stroller.

Joovy Kooperx2 double stroller

The KooperX2 is one of the most compact double strollers on the market. It features bigger wheels for a smoother ride. To be honest, the Joovy KooperX2’s specs check off most of our wish list. It features a one-handed standing fold, a gentle ride, and is Disney parks approved.

And here’s something you don’t see often: the two trays fold with the stroller! That means your kiddos can enjoy their snacks and treats and you don’t have to worry about removing the trays with every fold/unfold. That alone saves you hours of needless hassle.

Best Travel Wagons

We’re seeing more and more travel wagons hit the streets, replacing the everyday stroller . And while we love the added space that wagons offer, finding one that is fit for travel can be a little difficult. Travel wagons are often bulkier than strollers and we haven’t found one that will fold down small enough to fit in an overhead bin, Regardless, here are a few travel wagons that have caught our eye. These are great options if you’re going to be staying in one spot and don’t need to fold–stash-unfold all of the time.

Veer Cruiser Wagon

Great over rough terrain and uneven surfaces. Be warned that the price point is high but if you’ve got multiple kiddos, this is a great option. The Cruiser can hold two riders up to 55 lbs each. Its terrain wheels made snow, sand, and mud no big deal. With the use of adaptors, you can attach most infant car seats and kiddos will love the cozy, open-air ride.

The Cruiser weighs in at a hefty 35 lbs and comes with a hefty price tag. However, if you find yourself on a lot of off roading adventures, the Cruiser might be a great stroller for your family. While it’s not the best for tight spaces, it shines in the great outdoors.

Keenz 7S Stroller Wagon

Keenz stroller wagons are another great option for toting around kiddos (and their gear). While it’s not the most compact stroller, the Keenz 7S Stroller Wagon is built to last. The wagon includes a canopy with built-in shades that are perfect to shield the sun and provide cover for inevitable diaper changes. This is a sturdy stroller that’s perfect for beach and hiking trips that provides a safe and comfortable ride for the kiddos.

Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon

A more affordable wagon option on the market is the Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Fold Wagon. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this wagon for long-term (and long distance) travel, it’s perfect for fun every day excursions. Think: walks around the neighborhood and trips to the local famers’ market.

The Radio Flyer 3-in-1 is great for two kiddos and can transform into a travel seat that’s perfect for outdoor concerts and picnics. Bonus points for it’s easy and compact fold!

Affordable Travel Stroller Options

We’re aware that many of the strollers on the list come with a hefty price tag. We’ve found that travel strollers tend to lean on the higher price points for their durability and ease. However, there are many options that won’t break the bank. Here are a few affordable options that are a great choice for traveling with kiddos.

Summer Infant 3D Lite

The standout features of the 3D Lite is its lighter weight (only 11 lbs), it’s reclining seat, extra storage. This is a good option for parents on the go who are looking for a compact design that won’t break the bank.

Best Compact Jogging Stroller

I almost didn’t include this category because I find jogging strollers to be a bit cumbersome. Don’t get me wrong, I love our BOB jogging stroller for it’s smooth ride and maneuverability but it weighs as much as our car and typically take two hands, a lot of hushed curse words, and a few prayers to both fold and shove it in our car.

That being said, I think I’ve found a stroller that has all of the great qualities you expect from a jogging stroller but with a little less bulk. Meet the Guava Roam Crossover stroller.

Guava Roam Crossover Stroller

Run miles. Run errands. Run around airports and subways with Guava’s newest stroller. The aptly named Roam Crossover allows you to do just that: roam. The stroller comes with special 3D folding technology that allows it to fold 50% smaller than traditional jogging strollers. And guess what? It comes with an easy one-hand fold. You know we love it.

Uppababy Vista

We’ve taken our Uppababy Vista on trips to South Korea, Norway, and all across the States. We loved it for its stability and comfort but it required a fair amount of sweat and muscle when it came to folding and storing it on the various buses, trains, and flights we took. While it’s not my favorite travel stroller, the Uppababy Vista is one of the best baby strollers for everyday use, especially if you have multiple kiddos in tow.

Our youngest taking in the sites of South Korea in our Uppababy Vista (with Maxi-Cosi car seat attachment).

Our Uppababy Vista provides a smooth ride, a ton of storage, and a wide array of seating arrangements that grow with your family.

Still not convinced?

If travel strollers still sound too bulky, we have an entirely different post regarding baby slings and carriers. These provide your baby with a safe space to snuggle while keeping your hands free. Stay tuned for our favorite baby carriers on the market.

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