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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best travel stroller is, I’d recommend the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller.
If you have children, you will very quickly learn that the world of strollers has endless choices. How will you ever make up your mind? It’s easy to lose the forest through the trees with the immense amount of options available nowadays.
As for versatility, a travel stroller would first come to mind. They’re compact, lightweight and make heading out with your kids a whole lot easier.
In this article, I will break down features to look for and review the best travel strollers on the market.
Here are the travel strollers I will be reviewing:
Who Needs A Travel Stroller?
With the busy lifestyle many modern-day parents live, it’s easy to see most people don’t just use a stroller in their neighborhood. A travel stroller isn’t only a good option for people who go on vacation. If you’re regularly taking your stroller in and out of the car, it may make sense to look into travel strollers.
Some people choose to travel with their normal stroller. But having a more lightweight and compact stroller certainly has its benefits. Maneuvering narrow streets, airports and cargo situations or just having minimal weight-lifting when transporting the stroller are just a few.
Pros And Cons Of Using Other Strollers For Traveling
There are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider when thinking about using other kinds of strollers for traveling.
Normal strollers for everyday use may have a lot of convenient features; large canopies, storage space or trays and cup holders for parents and children. Some feature a system that integrates the possibility of mounting a car seat on the stroller in the design and may have wheels that easily glide over all sorts of terrains.
The downside of having all these features is the considerable difference in weight and size, especially when traveling. Imagine having to put such a system in the overhead compartment of a plane or in the trunk of a small car.
An umbrella stroller is an exceptionally lightweight and easy to fold version, but without most of the extra features that come with a traditional stroller. Most won’t have trays or adjustable seats, and you’ll find them to have minimal canopies, padding and seat support.
Many of the extras and comforts will be sacrificed to minimize size and weight. Basically, it’s mainly useful when you occasionally need a lightweight and small stroller.
Also known as lightweight strollers, the travel stroller holds the middle between a traditional and an umbrella stroller. They’re lighter than everyday strollers, easy to fold and compact when folded, but without sacrificing too much of basic comforts and necessities. They still have a few traditional-stroller-features, like large canopies and storage space, and some still manage to offer trays or cup holders.
This is one of the reasons many people come to choose a travel stroller as their best choice for an all-purpose stroller. It has the most important features of a bigger stroller, but without the bulkiness.
Many of the travel strollers on the market nowadays have baby car seat compatibility, which allows you to use the travel stroller for your newborn as well. Otherwise, your child needs to be able to sit up unassisted, usually around six months, before you can use this stroller.
What To Consider When Selecting A Travel Stroller?
It goes without saying that a travel stroller should be easy to bring with you when you travel or go on road trips. You’ll want your child to be as comfortable as possible, as they will spend a fair amount of time in it, when away from home. When selecting a travel stroller, look for the following features:
- Easy to fold
- Compact when folded
- Adjustable seats
- Large canopy for shade
- Carrying strap or case
- Safe brakes and harness
Things To Consider When Flying With A Stroller
When I was traveling to visit family overseas, I became so frustrated with not having a travel stroller. I couldn’t fold mine using only one hand and had to ask strangers for help on the journey. And then when I finally had it folded, the airport staff told me it was too heavy and had to be checked in the hold.
Travel strollers can make trips much easier in so many ways. I’ve learned that with proper planning, you can choose how you prefer to travel, depending on your needs and type of stroller. Here are some tips to keep in mind when traveling with your stroller:
- Check-in cargo with your luggage: If you don’t need your stroller or you don’t want the hassle of extra hand luggage items on the plane, you can check your stroller in. You may want to move your child over to a baby carrier, to have your hands free through the boarding procedure. Opt for a front-carrier with a diaper bag in backpack style for extra convenience and freedom.
- Check-in at the gate: If you need to use your stroller before boarding, you can hand it to the airport staff at the gate and have it tagged. Upon arrival, the staff will hand it to you again when you disembark the plane.
- Store in the overhead compartment: This may be the best option if you have a connecting flight to catch and a tight schedule. If your stroller folds up to fit in a backpack, you can store it in the overhead lockers and eliminate the risk of losing it or having to wait for it too long.
Other things to remember when at the airport:
- Bring a cover/travel bag or ask for the stroller to be wrapped: Baggage handlers are known not to be too gentle when under time-pressure and you don’t want your stroller to break or get beat-up.
- Don’t stuff the storage space until you’ve passed security: You will need to fold the stroller to go through X-ray.
- Check oversized baggage area: If your stroller doesn’t arrive with your regular baggage, it may have been sent to the bulky or oversized luggage area.
My Travel Stroller Reviews
I’ve selected 10 of the best travel strollers on the market for you to take a look at. No matter your preferences, there should be something here for every type of parent.
The first stroller on the list comes in at a very affordable price. It weighs only 13 pounds and is therefore very easy to handle. Naturally, the first thing we looked into was collapsing it and opening it again.
It has a convenient mechanism for folding and unfolding, though it may need some practice. It’s quite manageable with only one hand, and it locks automatically, folding into a reasonable size. Opening it is done by undoing a clasp, and it unfolds itself.
The seat is comfortably padded and has three reclining positions, including one fully lying down. There is no way to lock it down, though, so a crunch from your child allows him or her to sit up again when they don’t agree with nap time.
It has a carry strap attached to it and carrying it over one shoulder is really lightweight. The attached canopy is large enough to provide sufficient shade. As a result, most of the travel features are ticked off with this one.
It’s actually quite stable and easy to push. For a regular stroller type, not being a jogger, it moves very smoothly over multiple terrains without getting stuck and maneuvers with ease. The handlebar has a convenient height for both average height and taller parents to comfortably walk with.
It has a storage space under the seat, detachable cup holders that can be used in different positions and a footrest for your little one, convenient if they’re a bit taller. The safety harness is a bit narrow, and you have to adjust each strap individually.
If you’re interested, here is my comprehensive Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller review.
The stroller is actually a lightweight travel system. The base can be used as a travel stroller, and it comes with a car seat, which allows you to use it for your newborn from the very beginning. The stroller weighs in at about 20 pounds, which is fantastic for this style.
The design is pleasing to the eye; it looks stylish, comfortable and has a high-quality feel to it. The stroller has a bassinet and a seat, which is very easy to move from an upright to a flat position. As its position is quite high, not only is child-contact easy, it’s also no issue to reach the storage underneath at all times.
The car seat is very easily attached and removed, feels lightweight, yet sturdy and safe. It has soft padding inside and a safety harness with padding, though the padding isn’t adjustable. It features a modular frame with a different setting, allowing your child to face the front or back when using either a bassinet or a car seat.
It’s easy to fold and unfold, again with a little practice, and unfolding needs both hands. It folds to a reasonable size that fits easily in a small hatchback. The Evenflo features a large canopy that almost covers the whole seat to protect from the sun.
The Pivot is definitely a stroller for the city or smoother environments. With more weight, the front wheels can get stuck in the turn-position, making it hard to get going again. It has a few extras like a cup holder and child tray.
This stroller is so light and super compact, it would actually fit in the overhead compartment of a plane. According to owners, it’s easy to carry it around and lift it in and out of the car when traveling, as it’s only 12.6 pounds. The one-hand folding mechanism is great; however, two hands are needed when unfolding it again, and it is self-standing.
It’s a breeze pushing it around; you can easily push and turn it using one hand. There’s a large storage basket under the seat, and extra clips are provided, so you can hang bags from the handlebar, which is convenient.
The seat has two reclining positions and reclines far enough for baby to have a nice nap. The lining isn’t state of the art, but still comfortable enough, plus it’s washable. The canopy is reasonably large and has a peek-a-boo window.
The Tiny Wonders stroller is sturdy, though the wheels are hollow plastic. I’m not sure how long they would last. The harness strap is slightly difficult to unbuckle and seems a bit too wide for smaller children who aren’t able to sit up unassisted.
It comes with a few extras like cup holders and a mosquito net, but they aren’t the best quality. Some users reported breakages and difficulty using them. A carrying bag is provided for travel, which is convenient.
The Besrey Airplane Stroller has been designed for air travel. It weighs in at 12.3 pounds and fits in overhead cabin storage with its compact folded size.
It folds very easily using only one hand. All it takes is the push of one button, and it collapses on itself. The stroller stands firmly on its own after collapsing, which is convenient when traveling by car or plane, no bending over is needed.
There is a one-step center brake in the middle to lock the stroller in position when resting. With a firm stride, it’s possible to accidentally hit the brake, so that’s something to be mindful of.
The backrest of the seat seems strong, yet a little short. For taller children, it may not be long enough to sit comfortably. The seat is well padded, though, and has a comfortable adjustable safety harness.
The backrest can be reclined, and it has pads on the headrest, helping your baby’s head to stay in position, even when sleeping.
The angle of the leg support is adjustable, which can help getting baby in the most comfortable position. There is a reasonable canopy, a footrest and bumper bar and it has a storage space under the seat, though it’s not very large.
As for maneuverability, it works fine and smooth on even surfaces, but doesn’t seem to be the best option on rougher terrains. Then again, it’s not a jogger, but some parents may live in a more rural environment and prefer something sturdier.
This stroller is an absolute champ when it comes to size and weight, it weighs only 9.5 pounds. It has a two-step folding design, folding the stroller in a super-compact package, which definitely fits in any overhead bin or under your seat on planes.
Unlike the other strollers selected so far, the folding process requires two hands to fold and unfold and the process takes up more time. This can be difficult when traveling alone with one or more children.
The first thing we noticed was the lack of a canopy, though. It has an umbrella that really doesn’t provide much shade, especially in the recline position. The seat can be reclined in one position but it doesn’t lie flat.
No carrying strap or travel bag is provided, but a strap of any material can easily be attached to the handlebars to create your own.
The stroller looks sturdy and has small, solid wheels. It moves easily and smoothly over flat and even surfaces. However, when taking it for a walk and having both baby and necessities loaded onto it, users mentioned it felt like toppling over on more uneven grounds.
Packing it too heavily may make it fall over backward, as there’s hardly any weight in the stroller itself to compensate for that. The Pockit features a tight storage compartment under the seat, not very large.
All in all, this seems like a great pick if you’re a couple, looking for super compact and lightweight, have younger children and expect mainly urban use.
The Baby Trend Rocket, weighing a little over 13 pounds, is not only lightweight, but also very affordable. Though it’s compact when folded, you need two hands to fold and unfold it (or an arm and a leg to fold). It’s reasonably compact when folded, though not small enough to take into the cabin of a plane.
The stroller has a solid and sturdy design and moves smoothly on firm and solid wheels, but does lack in comforts. For example, the seat hardly reclines at all, which is a definite con. The seating is also relatively narrow for toddlers.
The Baby Trend features a canopy, but it’s not what you’d expect from a feature like this. The canopy is held in place with velcro to prevent it from falling down, which means you can’t make any angle adjustments.
The under-seat storage compartment is hard to reach due to the frame design on the back. The X-shape will have its function when it comes to sturdiness and stability, but makes reaching for any necessities a lot harder.
That being said, it does feel sturdy and moves smoothly over multiple terrains. The stroller is also quite tall, making it easy for users of different heights. It’s a bit harder to steer using one hand only, as this way the stroller doesn’t respond that well.
It features a convenient parent organizer on the back below the handlebars, large enough to store personal items and to carry a cup or bottle.
My first thought when seeing the Joovy New Groove was “now this looks funky and sturdy”. Weighing 15.7 pounds it can not be called ultra-light, but it’s likely lightweightness was sacrificed in providing sturdiness.
Collapsing the stroller is a three-step mechanism, which isn’t the easiest out of the other options we have reviewed. The fold is compact and the stroller stands on its own, which is a plus. There is a royal canopy with a peek-a-boo window. The size of it is almost unique compared to other travel strollers.
Another great feature is that the seat reclines almost fully; you can even use it as a changing table without having to fold baby in impossible positions. The size of the seat is comfortably wide, so older children still fit in nicely. It comes with a safety harness that is easily adjustable but unpadded.
The stroller features a footrest which is adjustable in recline as well. Joovy provides a carrying strap, a travel bag and/or rain cover can be purchased separately. The handlebars are relatively high compared to other travel strollers.
It has zipper pockets and mesh pockets on the back as well as in the seat, allowing for extra convenient storage spaces. The storage space under the seat isn’t so easily reachable, but still provides enough space for baby and your necessities.
Maneuvering is easy and smooth, even on uneven surfaces. The Joovy provides a cup holder, though it tends to fall forward when on the move, so be careful with hot drinks.
Wow, what a beauty! This stroller looks high-quality and the amount of features it has is incredible. This product is in between a traditional stroller and a travel stroller. It may be heavy and big compared to the others on the list, but this is a good choice for those looking for something more sturdy.
The folding process is easy, but the fold is still rather large and weighing in at almost 26 pounds, this can hardly be called lightweight. That being said, everything else about it is almost a mother and baby’s dream. It starts off with having a single handlebar, which is adjustable.
The stroller is convertible from a sit-up stroller to a semi-recline, which is perfect for resting, and it even folds out to a fully reclined bassinet in the last position. It can even be reversed for your baby to face you when walking. The canopy has a great size and is adjustable to four different positions.
The safety harness is padded and comfortable, and there’s a storage basket under the seat which is easily accessible in all positions. The back wheels are slightly bigger than the front wheels and seem super sturdy, though maneuvering with it isn’t as easy as we would like.
The Cinebaby comes with many extras like quality cup holders and has a lot of extra pockets and storage space provided in the back and lining of the carriage. Also a baby tray, a mosquito net and a leg and foot cover are provided, to cover your child when it’s raining or cold outside.
A safety strap to tie around your wrist while walking to prevent a runaway stroller is thought of as well. This feature is helpful if you’re walking downhill, I’m always paranoid that it could disappear at the slip of a finger.
Another beauty that looks pretty, I wanted to use the opportunity to review this stroller even though it’s pretty much full-sized. It’s extremely heavy, so not good for train and plane travel. But if you’re looking for an all-rounder that can go on a road trip with you, this could be it.
The Hot Mom 360 can serve as a high chair, a sleeping area and more. Plus it really does look amazing, almost futuristic. That’s definitely also where the high-end price comes in.
The name says it: the bassinet-like seat is rotatable 360 degrees in a very easy manner, allowing your baby to face front or back. The seat can be reclined and the single handlebar adjusted accordingly, with provides for convenience and its looks to be optimal. It then also comes with an actual bassinet for your newborn.
It has a rather spacious storage under the baby basket, which has a cover to protect items placed in it from getting wet or stolen. The Hot Mom 360 features a beautiful adjustable canopy and is car seat compatible.
It’s very smooth and easy to steer and drive on multiple surfaces thanks to the sturdy rubber wheels. The rear and front suspension makes sure baby stays comfortable no matter where you’re walking.
The last pick in our hunt for the perfect travel stroller comes at a very affordable rate and weighs in at only 12.5 pounds. With these featured checked, I continued looking for the other features, like folding mechanism and size.
It took users a while to figure it out, but once they got the hang of it, it was easy to fold and collapse. You do, however, need two hands to fold and open, and the stroller also doesn’t stand on its own. Once folded, the Baby Joy is relatively compact, while unfolded the frame is reasonably high for taller people to push and walk with it.
The seat has a partial recline, though not all the way back. The seat’s depth seems a bit shallow, though, and it might get uncomfortable when baby gets older. The safety harness is very easy to adjust and open and close. It’s made from a strong, sturdy material.
The Baby Joy has a canopy to prevent sun from bothering your baby, which is adjustable to different heights, yet it is still a bit short to my liking. It’s easy and light to push, but the wheels appear of lower quality and would likely not be so durable on rougher surfaces. They aren’t able to manage larger bumps very well.
The stroller comes with a carrying strap and has a footrest for toddlers.
Wrapping It Up
We decided to go for the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller as the top pick for the best travel stroller. For travel needs, it provides the best value for money, not sacrificing in either being lightweight or comfortable.
However, depending if you feel you need even more features or just need the lightest or most compact stroller out there, you may find your personal best option based on those needs. Happy travels!