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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.
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.
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
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 ChartScroll Right to See Full Table
* With Compatible Car Seat or Infant Bed
|Stroller Model||Image||Weight||Age Range||Recline Positions||Cabin/ Gate Check|
|Baby Jogger City Tour 2||14.3lbs||1mo*-45lbs||Multi||Cabin/Gate|
|Mountain Buggy Nano V3||13lbs||1mo*-50lbs||Two||Cabin/Gate|
|Summer Infant 3D Lite||13lbs||6mo-50lbs||Multi||Gate|
|Zoe XLC Best||11lbs||6mo-50lbs||Multi||Cabin|
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.
- 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).
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.
- 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.
- 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!
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 !
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.
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