Best Lightweight Strollers for Travel

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Last update: January 9th, 2024 at 02:57 pm

Best Lightweight Stroller for Travel Models

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Lightweight Stroller for Travel Intro

Traveling with an infant or baby can be challenging, but having the right travel gear, such as a compact and lightweight stroller for travel can make things so much easier (especially if you are specifically looking for an airplane stroller for flying with a baby or toddler).

While there may not be one perfect solution, we want to get you as close to perfection as possible and help you find the best compact stroller for travel.

Important Disclaimer: I intend for the information on this website to serve as a general overview on matters of interest derived from my experience traveling with my own children. I am not an expert on the subject and safety of travel strollers. I attempt to ensure that the content is current and accurate but I do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Top 3 Travel Strollers

Don’t have time to read this whole post?  While I will go into all 7 compact strollers in greater detail later in this post, here are my three favorite (and top selling) lightweight stroller for travel options.

1. Best Cheap Travel Stroller

Coming in at less that $100 (USD) and only 13lbs, the Summer Infant 3D Lite is one of the best umbrella travel strollers on the market. It is also jam-packed with features including a 4-position recline, an extendable sun shade, and a handy storage basket.

While this travel umbrella stroller is not quite small enough to store in the airplane overhead bins, it can be easily gate checked. This has been my number #1 selling travel stroller for several years in a row. Learn more about the Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller here.

2. Best Infant Travel Stroller

If you can move up a little in price (a little over $200 USD), you will love the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 lightweight stroller for travel. This foldable stroller gets great reviews for its light weight (14 lbs) and the fact that it will fit in most overhead bins on airplanes (with wheels removed). It has a one-hand quick fold, one-hand steering, and handles superbly on a wide variety of terrains (important if you are looking for a stroller for cobblestone streets in Europe).

The City Tour 2 has some great improvements over the original City Tour in that it has a deeper seat, a calf adjustment for naps, and is car seat and carry cot adaptable allowing it to be used from birth to 45lbs. Learn more about the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 lightweight stroller for travel or watch the demo video.

3. Best Luxury Lightweight Stroller for Travel 

While most parents inevitably choose something less expensive, if you have the budget, the 14lb BabyZen YoYo compact stroller for travel is amazing.

It can be used from infancy (with cot or car seat) and then converted to a baby travel stroller for use from 6 months to 40lbs. It has an extended sun canopy, an excellent suspension system for rough terrain, and it comes with some great little extras (carry bag, strap and a rain cover). Furthermore…it looks pretty gorgeous too.

Learn more about the BabyZen YoYo+ here. You may also want to watch this 1 minute BabyZen YoYo+ demo video.

Travel Stroller Airplane Policy

What kind of stroller can I take on a plane?

The best strollers for airplane travel (and travel in general) are both light and compact. If you would like to be able to bring your small travel stroller right onto the plane to put in an overhead bin, it technically needs to be a cabin size stroller (meaning it cannot exceed carry-on luggage size parameters).

What size of stroller can I take on a plane?

For flying domestically in the U.S., a carry on stroller or carry on piece of luggage should not exceed 22″ x 14″ x 9″. Something you may notice, however, is that many strollers designed for air travel slightly exceed these dimensions when folded. In all likelihood, you will not be hassled about this and should be able to board and store it within the cabin.

What about gate checking a stroller?

The best travel stroller for flying does not necessarily need to fit in an overhead bin*. There is always the option of gate checking your travel stroller. You simply need to obtain a gate-check tag for your stroller when checking in or boarding. You then can leave your folded stroller at the entrance of the plane. It will be placed in the cargo hold and returned to you after you exit the plane (sometimes you need to wait a few minutes so there is no need to rush off).

If you are concerned about handing over your beloved, brand new travel stroller to a ground crew, I recommend using a padded stroller travel bag (some models are sold with one).

* I discourage you from choosing a compact stroller for travel solely on the basis of it fitting in the overhead bins of an airplane. The reason for this is that the smallest foldable travel strollers tend to also be stripped of features such as the recline function, which can be very important on trips.

Is the a weight limit for a gate checked stroller?

The maximum allowable weight and dimensions of a gate checked stroller vary by airline. Typically, however, a stroller that weighs over 20 lbs needs to be checked with regular luggage at the ticketing gate (not gate checked at the plane entrance). For this reason, I urge you to leave your big stroller at home. If you ever take a walk by the oversized baggage pickup area in an airport, you may recognize a wide variety of broken parts. Why take the risk?

Recommendation: In airports, I always found that having a lightweight baby carrier along with my traveling stroller to be very helpful. Sometimes my kids would get restless and cranky in an airport while in their newborn travel stroller (especially if we were nearing nap time) and just needed to be close to mom (or dad). In these cases I was always glad to have a lightweight travel baby carrier on hand, usually just tucked into the bottom of the stroller or in my diaper baby.

Best Lightweight Travel Stroller Features

Many parents find that they purchase a light and easy travel stroller as a secondary stroller, but due to its light weight and ease of portability, it quickly becomes their favorite. With that in mind, when comparing foldable strollers for travel, you may want to consider spending a little extra money to get all the features you need, rather than just buying the cheapest travel stroller. Here are some of the most desirable features in a folding stroller for travel.

Key Lightweight Stroller for Travel Features

1. Lightweight

The lighter the travel stroller, the better so long as you don’t give up too many features (stroller features add weight !) Most of the top travel strollers are less than 14 lbs, but some of the best strollers for air travel go as low as 11lbs.

2. Five Point Harness

Keep your baby secure with a 5 point harness that ideally converts to a 3 point as they grow.

3. Option to Recline

Will you have action-packed days where your baby or toddler may need to nap on-the-go? If so, a reclining* travel stroller could be important to you.

*Please note that only strollers that recline to flat (or have an option to add a baby bassinet or infant bucket car seat) are suitable for use as an infant travel stroller. If you are looking for the best travel stroller for an infant, be sure to look for one that has cot/car seat compatibility.

4. One Hand Open / Close

An easy open and close feature is very helpful when you are on the go with a baby or toddler. It is a huge advantage if you can pop your child in one arm and open or close your stroller with the other. Bonus points go to a stroller that can stand on its own.

5. Good Wheels and Suspension

Will you be rolling your stroller along the smooth paths of Central Park or do your travel plans include Europe’s cobblestone streets? Having quality (larger) wheels and a good suspension systems are definitely features to look for with the latter.

6. Canopy / Cover

A good travel stroller should have a large sun canopy and an optional rain cover to protect your child from the elements.

7. Air Vents

It is also nice if the travel stroller has an option to zip open an air vent to keep your child cool in hot weather.

8. Large Storage Basket

A large storage basket under the stroller can be quite useful. It is very easy, for example on a beach trip, to end up with a toddler travel stroller full of all kinds of gear (umbrellas, pails, sunscreen etc.).

9. Carry Strap or Bag

 When selecting a portable stroller for traveling, it’s nice if it includes a handy travel bag or carry strap.

Travel Stroller Comparison Chart

Scroll Right to See Full Table
* With Compatible Car Seat or Infant Bed
Stroller Model
ImageWeightAge RangeRecline PositionsCabin/ Gate Check
GB Pockit 9.5lbs6mo-55lbsNoneCabin
Graco Breaze17.7lbs1mo*-50lbsMultiGate
Baby Jogger City Tour 214.3lbs1mo*-45lbsMultiCabin/Gate
Maclaren Sherpa11.2lbs6mo.-55lbsMulitCabin
Mountain Buggy Nano V313lbs1mo*-50lbsTwoCabin/Gate
Summer Infant 3D Lite13lbs6mo-50lbsMultiGate
Zoe XLC Best11lbs6mo-50lbsMultiCabin

Best Compact Stroller for Travel 2021 – The List

Whether you are looking for the best newborn travel stroller or the best travel stroller for a toddler – we’ve got you covered here with these 7 models.

While the best travel stroller for flying will depend on your specific needs, I will tell you that strollers # 1 and #2 on this list are my best sellers by far (with price being a determining factor for most people – #2 is twice the price of #1).

1. Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller

Claim to Fame: #1 Top seller for those looking for the best travel umbrella stroller for airplanes.

Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller


  • Weighs 13 lbs.
  • Good from 6 months to 50lbs (22.6 kg) making it a good travel stroller for toddlers too !
  • Award winner in the category of best lightweight umbrella stroller for travel.
  • Folded dimensions are 10″ x 9″x 43″ (gate check).
  • 4 position recline.
  • 5 point safety harness.
  • Cup holder and storage pocket.
  • Anti-shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels.
  • Adjustable and removable canopy with flip out sun visor.
  • Extra-large storage basket and rear storage pocket.
  • Easy compact fold (2 hand) with carry strap and auto lock.
  • Want to learn more about the Summer Infant 3D Lite travel umbrella stroller? See this demo video.

Read reviews and further details about the Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller here.

2. Baby Jogger City Tour 2

Claim to Fame: Our all-around pick as the best lightweight stroller for travel (luxury features at half the price).

City Tour 2

Features of the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Travel Stroller:

  • Weighs only 14.3lbs – a good stroller for airplane travel.
  • Suitable from birth – 45lbs (with compatible car seat or carry cot).
  • Folded stroller dimensions: 21.6″ x 16.9″ x 6.8″.
  • One hand quick fold.
  • Multi-position near-flat recline.
  • Adjustable calf rest for naps.
  • UV 50+ sun canopy with canopy extension and peek-a-boo window.
  • 5-point harness.
  • Under the seat storage basket
  • Shoulder carry bag included.

Read more reviews and get further details about the Baby Jogger City Tour 2  compact stroller for travel

3. The Mountain Buggy Nano V3

Claim to Fame: An excellent stroller for air travel that can go from newborn to toddler stage.

Mountain Buggy Travel Stroller


  • Weighs 13 lbs.
  • Suitable from birth (with compatible infant cot or car seat).
  • Perfect baby travel stroller up to toddler-age with range to 50 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 22″ x 12″ x 20″ (cabin or gate check).
  • Easy 1 step open, compact 2 step fold.
  • One hand steering (single bar).
  • 2 position recline with air vents.
  • Large sun canopy with flick out mesh sun visor.
  • Easy foot pedal brake.
  • Lockable swivel or straight front wheels.
  • This compact stroller for travel has an included travel bag.
  • Handy shoulder carry strap.
  • Multi point safety harness.
  • Free rider scooter compatible for 2nd child (attach with a connector 2 )
  • Includes a universal car seat adapter (see Nano car seat compatibility list ).
  • Reviews and further details about the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller here.

4. Zoe XLC Best Travel Stroller

Claim to Fame: The most lightweight stroller for travel (11 lbs) that still has a recline feature.

Zoe XLC Best Stroller



  • Weighs only 11 lbs!
  • Good for child 6 months to 40 lbs (18 kg).
  • Folded dimensions: 22″ x 17.5″ x 6″ (will fit most overhead bins).
  • One hand steering (single bar).
  • One hand fold and open.
  • 5 point safety harness.
  • Large extendable sun canopy and peek-a-boo window.
  • 165 degree reclining seat (where 90 Degrees is straight up and 180 degrees is totally flat.)
  • Large mesh storage basket.
  • Reviews and further details about the Zoe XLC Best stroller here.

Note: The Zoe is also available in a 19 lb double travel stroller !  Read reviews and learn more about the Zoe Tandem Double Stroller here.

5. GB Pockit Stroller

Claim to Fame: The most compact stroller for travel. World’s smallest folding stroller!

GB Pockit Stroller

Features of the GB Pocket Stroller:

  • Weighs only 9.5 lbs (the lightest travel stroller).
  • Suitable from a 6 month old baby, to a child up to 55lbs.
  • The smallest stroller for travel ! Folded dimensions of 12″ x 7″ x 14″ (airplane cabin size stroller).
  • Easy 2-step fold – a convenient lightweight stroller for travel.
  • Self-standing when folded.
  • Small but strong: Built using durable materials.
  • One-hand push and steering. 
  • Adjustable harness system.
  • Want to learn more about the features of the award winning GB Pocket Stoller? See this video.
  • Reviews and further details about the GB Pocket stroller here.

Please note: While this model makes an excellent airplane cabin stroller, it does not recline, which I realize may be a dealbreaker for some.

6. Maclaren Sherpa

Claim to Fame: The new Maclaren travel umbrella stroller fits in overhead bins.


  • Weighs only 11.1 lbs.
  • Suitable from 6 months to 55 lbs.
  • Easily fits in airplane overhead bin.
  • One hand umbrella fold.
  • Large UPF 50+ hood.
  • 5 point adjustable safety harness.
  • Made from lightweight aluminum.
  • Large storage basket.
  • Reviews and further details about the Maclaren Sherpa stroller.

7. Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller

Claim to fame: Best travel stroller for infants as it is suitable from birth and car seat compatible !

Graco Breaze Stroller

Features of the Graco Travel Stroller:

  • Weighs 17.75 lbs ( a little heavy for a compact stroller for travel, but has some great features).
  • Suitable for children up to 50 pounds.
  • Folded dimensions: 11.5″  x 16″ x 43″.
  • Full flat recline option. Great travel stroller for 3 month old infant or a newborn.
  • Deluxe padded seat.
  • Extra-large canopy with a visor extension and peek-a-boo window plus UV 50+ protection.
  • Exclusive one-hand fold makes this the easiest folding umbrella stroller.
  • Easily accepts all Graco Click Connect infant car seats with a secure one-step attachment.
  • Want to learn more about the features of the Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller? See this product demo video.
  • Reviews and further details about the Graco Click Connect Stroller here.

Further Reading

22 Responses

  1. Shahzeen
    | Reply

    I have nautica compact stroller and it’s folded dimensions are 20”18”9”. I was wondering whether I can put the stroller in the airplane overhead bin or not.

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Shahzeen,
      Technically, your stroller exceeds carry-on dimensions, but just barely. You might (depending on the flight crew and how full the flight is) be allowed to bring it on. More likely, however, you will have to gate check it (give it up at the entrance of the plane and have it returned to you post flight). For this reason, a bag than can protect your stroller from damage (or losing any parts) might be helpful.

  2. Danielle
    | Reply

    Hi, Tara, what do you think about GB QBit+ and Chicco Mini Bravo? Are they good travel strollers for car/plane trips? My baby is 16 months old and 12,5kg weight. I need something light, as confortable as possible, and not so expensive like Babyzen Yoyo. Thank you! Xoxo

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Danielle,
      There are a number of strollers in that price range that could be suitable (and I don’t have room to list them all here). I would just make sure you read the critical reviews for each carefully to find the best fit for you. For example, tall people seem to really like the QBit, but shorter people, not so much due to the height of the bar. The one thing I would say about the Mini Bravo is at 18.5 lbs, it is a little heavy for a travel stroller. That said, if you love the extra features, then the extra weight may not bother you (more features generally means a heavier stroller).

  3. Erin
    | Reply

    You mentioned that you also ise a light weight carrier at the airport when travelling. Which one do you have/recommend? My little guy will be 7 months when we travel and is already at 22 lbs at 5.5 months.
    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply


      We just used the one we would normally use at home (in our case the Baby Bjorn Carrier One). I don’t think you need to go out an buy one especially for travel, unless you need a new one anyway. My two favorites are the Ergo 360 and the aforementioned Baby Bjorn Carrier One. Both of them are suitable up to 33lbs. I have a full post on the topic here:

      Note: You didn’t mention how far you will be traveling. We liked also having a carrier because our travels often involved a long day. If you are just point-to-point and a few hours, you could probably get away without it.

      Happy travels !

  4. Marie
    | Reply


    I have spent an embarrassing amount of time researching strollers for an upcoming trip to Portugal and Spain. I have a 2.5yo and 6mo. We have a mountain buggy nano but are toying with the idea of a travel stroller with two seats so my toddler can rest and nap as well. Can you recommend a double travel stroller for Europe? I’m thinking side by side might be a bit much for some locations. Or should we just stick with ergo and 1 stroller? Too many options! Thanks in advance for your help!

  5. Maria
    | Reply

    Hi! Thanks for sharing this information! I’m trying to decide which stroller is best for us to take our 1yo girl to a 2week trip to Europe in August. I’ve been considering the Zoe XL1, Maclaren Mark II, Mountain Buggy or just keep the Zobo we currently have. I’m looking for something light, with enough reclining for naps and good wheels for cobblestone or uneven terrain. What would you recommend? I also thought that being able to take it with us on the plane was a good feature, but now I think checking it at the gate wouldn’t be that bad, right?

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Maria! How lovely that you are off to Europe. I’m sorry, but I don’t know a lot about the Zobo. I will say, however, that for Europe it is really all about the wheels and the size of the stroller (smaller = better). The wheels (and suspension) are important for those cobblestone streets and the size because, well, everything is a little tighter over there (restaurants, cars etc.). Both Maclaren and Mountain Buggy are good choices. We always gate checked, but it is nice if you can put your stroller in a stroller bag for extra protection of parts (some strollers come with them). I would just avoid checking with regular luggage (at check in).

  6. Jessica Davis
    | Reply

    Thanks for this great post! Any suggestions for
    A double stroller great for travel. My 3 year old and 7 month old will be travelling with us to North Africa and I just know they will both need use of a stroller. Or do you recommend me and hubby each push a single. Help!

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Jessica,

      I wish you could see the whiteboard in my office. On it there is an item “double strollers” under “posts I need to write”. It has just sadly been there for a really long time.

      I understand your conundrum well. I’m not sure how familiar you are with North Africa or the developing world in general, but I’m a little concerned about the quality of the road/sidewalk infrastructure. Strollers are great when there is a good surface to roll them upon. Having traveled a fair bit in Mexico when my kids were little, there was a lot of picking up the stroller when the sidewalk ended, broke apart, or simply didn’t exist. I think it is important to have that kind of expectation for North Africa (unless you are staying at some swanky resort like the Four Season with impeccable grounds).

      If it were me, and after conferring with a friend of two young children (who is familiar with North Africa). I would bring one good travel stroller (with a good sun shade) that could hopefully accommodate either child and a baby carrier (also with sun shade). The higher quality travel strollers, such as the Mountain Buggy Nano tend to have better wheels and handling on rough roads. I hope this helps F.eel free to email me directly as well at [email protected].

      • Michelle Osino
        | Reply

        Hi Tara, great article indeed, i`m actually in a similar situation as Jessica, we are travelling to East Africa in 2 months with our 2 year old and one of my friends had suggested i take the baby jogger stroller, one since it`s a bit hotter there, the huge canopy will come in handy, and also since it`s built to handle almost any terrain, it would be an ideal choice. Personally i`m leaning more towards it because of it`s lightweight and easy to fold making it easier for travelling. I was wondering if you recommend it for travelling to such an area or is there a better option compared to it. Thanks in advance.

        • Tara Cannon
          | Reply

          Hi Michelle,

          Where are you going in East Africa? Will you be in a city or are you on a safari or something? While I love the suspension and tires on the Baby Jogger, I’m just a little worried about the airlines asking you to check it with regular luggage (if it is larger). There is just a bigger chance of it getting damaged.

  7. Nicola
    | Reply

    Hi, I’m really torn between the baby jogger, the mountain Nano & the pocketit. We are doing a road trip with our 3 year old plus 3 other kids. We need something which won’t take up much space in the car along with all the luggage but want something which is good for walking as we will be doing a lot of walking once we reach our destinations. Can you help me make a decision…she’s quite a big girl so I’m worried the baby jogger seat is too narrow

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Nicola ! While I love the Pockit for its size and weight, the seat it quite narrow (only 9″!). Being so light, it also doesn’t have a ton of features such as recline or a sun canopy (not sure how sunny it will be where you are going). If there is one complaint about the Baby Jogger, it is that the seat is not deep enough. With your child being 3 years old, I would recommend the Nano. Now, that said, I would recommend buying it from somewhere that has easy free returns and I would try to sit your child in it (perhaps on carpet so wheels don’t get scratched), to make sure that you love it. As you already know, it is on the pricier side. I hope this helps ! Have a great trip !

  8. Charlotte
    | Reply


    I have 3 year old so only need a travel stroller for another year or 2 for trips to NZ and Europe. We don’t travel that much only 2-3 times a year. I have a disability so can only use 1 hand well and light weight is important. I am torn between the kolcroft and summer d-lite. Is the kolcroft thin when folded ? I’ve heard you can hit your legs if you have a long stride but I’m not that tall. Over those 2 which would you recommend for ease of 1 handed use?. We have taken the britax b-agile to NZ but it was a mistake. That stroller is so hard to maneuver with the 1 front wheel.


    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Charlotte. It sounds like you have some nice travels coming up ! While I know it is easiest to order things online, I wonder if you might do best to go into a baby store where you can actually try the strollers out. Personally, I find a single bar (not 2 handles) is best for one handed steering, and wheel/suspension quality is also key. The latter is where the pricier strollers really shine (Baby Jogger City Tour and the Mountain Buggy Nano). I used a version of the Kolcraft with my kids until about 4 years old, but I wished in retrospect that I had purchased a more expensive travel stroller for the reason of better handling. Keep in mind that strollers have good resale value on sites like Craigslist if you keep care of them (you can probably get at least half your money back). The last thing I am thinking about is the seat height and depth on the stroller. As you have a 3 year old, you would want to make sure that the seat is not small or short. Now, to actually answer your question though….I would choose the Kolcraft over the Summer for the single handle bar. 🙂

  9. Jeanette
    | Reply

    I need something that can be pushed easily with one hand since I have to push luggage around with the kids. What do you think would fit my need?

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Jeanette. For one-handed pushing, I find that a single push bar (handle) works best. Also, better quality wheels/suspension also help. If you have the budget, I would look at the Baby Jogger City Tour, or something of that quality. I used something similar to the Kolcraft shown in this post, which was fine until you hit some gravel or something (the wheels are not nearly as good as those on the Baby Jogger). Your child may be too young for this, but we also found the Trunki ride-on luggage to be very helpful in airports when traveling with a toddler. Best of luck with your travels. If you have the time later, drop me a line and let me know how things worked out for you. 🙂

  10. Alexis
    | Reply

    My husband and I are planning on a. Cruise with our 3 year old and 10 month old. We are thinking of bringing 1 stroller to minimize stuff to fly/in our cabin. Plan is to get a stroller they can share, when the toddler is in there I will carry the baby and when the baby is in there in toddler will walk. I need a reco on a stroller that is lightweight, good vetting for the Caribbean weather, good recline for napping and on the go diaper changes, can be a carry-on (gate checked) and really easy, fast and small to fold for the airport, cruise check in and cruise cabin. What stroller do you think would be best?
    Thank you,

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Alexis. A cruise – what fun ! I am a big fan of the Zoe XL1 Best stroller for travel. While it doesn’t have a full flat recline, it goes to 165 degrees which is pretty good (and decent for diaper changes on the go). It has better wheels/handling than some of the less expensive strollers. This can be an issue in the Caribbean where the roads and sidewalks are not always the best. It also has a peekaboo window/vent at the top that can help with air circulation. All that said, it is a little pricey. If you are looking for an inexpensive option, I would go with the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience stroller. We used a very similar stroller for several trips to the Caribbean and it was just great (it was just a little weak in the handling department when you hit gravel or sand). I hope this helps. Regardless of which way you go, I would encourage you to thoroughly read reviews. Have a great trip ! 🙂

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