Looking for the best travel stroller? This is our roundup of the best lightweight strollers for travel and everyday use for ease of use, weight, storage options and comfort both kids and adults.
Strollers have been our faithful companion on many trips. From our very first gateway as a family with Quinny, when Mr M was only 8 weeks old, to our first transatlantic adventure with Mcaleren Quest, we have worked our strollers very hard. They have come with us to beaches, cities and archaeological sites and of course have travelled with us on planes.
Among the several we tried there are of course favourites and this is our selection of the best lightweight strollers for travel, family outings and daily use.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them we might get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. We compiled this list based on our personal experience, the experience of families who travel often and give specs as provided by manufactured websites. Please follow the links provided for additional info and availability.
Do you need a lightweight stroller for travel?
As it is the case for many other family travel items, the answer to this question is: it depends. When I had my first child, I spent ages looking for the best stroller to buy and was under the impression I would be able to buy just one stroller and use it until my kids were old enough to walk without complaining too much.
After all, this is what I kept hearing from my parents: memories about my stroller (singular), cot (singular as well) and even my pacifier (!). So, surely one would be more than adequate. Right?
An inordinate amount of pacifiers later and more strollers that I am comfortable admitting to own, I realised a good stroller for a baby is often not the same thing as a good stroller for a toddler and even a good stroller may not work well when travelling.
A good lightweight travel stroller must have some very specific characteristics and your baby travel system is unlikely to be the best travel stroller, especially for flying. Should your everyday stroller be heavy, fiddly or hard to carry, I believe a lightweight stroller for travel will be worth investing in.
Best lightweight strollers for travel top picks 2018
What makes the best travel stroller?
Strollers recommended for travel are usually referred to as either lightweight stroller or umbrella strollers. The two terms are not identical (umbrella strollers are usually less feature rich) but for the purpose of this post similar enough for me to bundle them up together. The names highlight portability and ease of folding and indeed the best travel stroller is:
Lightweight So they can be easily carried along with luggage
Sturdy: a travel stroller needs to be able for cobbled streets and long days out. The quality of the wheels is among the most important things to check as spare parts may be hard to find away from home
Reclines fully Especially for babies and young toddlers, this is an important feature for comfortable naps and dinners out.
With a large enough basket: lightweight strollers don’t often come with large baskets but there is quite a variety out there and it is worth checking especially if, like me, you consider the stroller and extension of your bag
Easy to fold. This is exceptionally important when passing security in airports (read our guide to flying with kids here). Fighting against a non cooperative strollers, while your toddlers runs across the security checks without you and an angry line of passengers stare at you, it’s a stress you can sure do without!
Large canopy / proper rain protection accessory to protect from the sun/rain during long days sightseeing
Safety harness, ideally 5 point so you know your child is secure no matter what
Sufficient padding to maintain your child comfortable during long walks. I usually check this when evaluating the material of the seat: the best travel stroller, in my book, has a comfortable seat made of breathable fabric
Lightweight Travel Stroller Airline Policy
Airlines don’t have consistent policies when it comes to strollers. In the vast majority of cases and unless otherwise stated, strollers are not allowed passed the boarding gate: they will be able to pass security with them and get to your gate but they will then be taken for check in and returned to you either outside the aircraft or at luggage reclaim (this depends on the airport, not the airline).
You can get an overview of airline stroller policies here but always check with your airline as rules and allowances change often.
Best travel strollers 2018
Best travel stroller for durability: Maclaren quest
An excellent lightweight stroller in terms of comfort and features. This has been our go-to stroller for all our trips and quickly became an everyday favourite at home too. We recommend it as the best travel stroller in the mid-budget range.
Maclaren quest main selling points are:
- Easy to fold and with a generous basket and large canopy.
- Sturdy wheels
- Suitable for newborns and children up to 55lbs
- Basic weight of 5.7kg / 12.6lb
- Fully recline multi-position seat
- Extendable waterproof + sun canopy and built-in sun visor
- Good size hood and shopping basket
- Lockable front swivel wheels
Chicco capri: good values lightweight stroller for travel
Chicco Capri is a firm favourite of many travelling parents: it offers value for money, it is super lightweight and folds easily, making it perfect for airports and public transport. Main specs:
- Basic weight: 11 pounds, Carrying capacity: up to 37lb
- Excellent steering and suspension system
- Compact umbrella style folding system with shoulder strap
- 5 point safety harness
- Removable sunshade
- Need to know: the stroller does not fully recline
I discovered the Uppababy G-luxe stroller thanks to a friend who raved about it. Light and very easy to fold, it has the added advantage of standing on its own when folded, which I find handy in restaurants and hotels.
- For children 3 months to 55lbs.
- 5-point harness, 3 recline positions, adjustable footrest
- Lightweight aluminum frame, 1-step brake, lockable front wheels
- Easy to clean removable seat pad
- Sun canopy
- Hand-level folding triggers, Stands when folded
- 5-point harness
- Large, easy-access basket
Lightweight travel stroller: Mountain Buggy Nano
This stroller comes up regularly in family travel forum as a recommended option often compared with the city mini select (below). The main selling points for the Mountain Buggy Nano are its exceptional lightweight and the fact that is it so compact it is easy to transport when travelling.
- Car seat ready, something most travel strollers don’t offer
- Compact size and fold that meets current regulations for airline carry-on luggage
- Shoulder carry strap.
- Multi point safety harness
- Good size seat despite the compact size when folded
- Good size sun canopy
- 2 step folding system
- Need to know: some parents find the folding system hard to learn at first. Others complained of heavy duty velcro straps catching on clothes
Best travel stroller for city travel: Baby Jogger City Mini
Travelling parents forums buzz with the name ‘baby jogger city mini‘. It always comes up as the best travel stroller of all especially for its small size when folded which makes it handy on planes and road trips: if fits nicely even in a smaller car. Often compared with the nano above, these are its main characteristics. Please note that despite the name this stroller is not intended for jogging! It is marketed for city parents and urban travel.
- Suitable from birth
- Exceptionally easy to fold
- Reclines fully
- Large canopy with pick-a-boo windows
- Great front-wheel suspension
- The foot muff is machine washable
- Need to know: some parents find it unstable when used as a base for car seat (attachments sold separately)
Best lightweight stroller for plane travel: BabyZen Yoyo
Baby Zen Yoyo caught the attention of travelling parents as one of the first (possible the first!) stroller to fit in the plane overhead bins. It gets exceptional reviews especially for city travel since the wheels hold very well on cobble streets, something that our travels to Rome have often shown as quite a test for lightweight strollers!
- Fits current airline regulations for carry on luggage
- Suitable from 6 months
- Large basket
- Includes: Chassis, Carrying strap, Rain cover, Under-seat storage basket, Travel bag, and Color pack
- Need to know: marketed as a luxury stroller, it has a higher price point than other good travel strollers
Summer infant 3D lite
The Summer Infant 3D lite is a good value for money options parents love for its compact size and lightweight, which make it handy for everyday errands and car journeys in particular. This is the best travel stroller if you don’t want to blow the budget.
- Aluminum frame (13 pounds) with large seat area
- 4 position recline with 5 point safety harness
- Anti-shock front wheels
- Adjustable and removable canopy with flip out sun visor
- Storage basket and rear storage pocket
- Compact fold, it comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying
- Need to know: parents often notice the buggy will tilt when empty if you have a heave bag attached to the handles.
Baby trend rocket lightweight stroller
A good value for money option, the Baby Trend Rocket stroller has a compact design that makes it handy when travelling and on everyday errands.
- Comfort-grip Handle and parent organizer tray
- Dual Foot activated parking brake
- Large Canopy and basket
- Compact fold for travel and storage
- 5 point harness
- Lightweight and sturdy steel frame
- Footrest for baby’s comfort
- Bi-fold feature for easy travel and storage
- Need to know: does not fully recline
Best travel stroller for manouvrability: Quinny Yezz
Quinny is the brand of our first and most loved stroller of all so I want to close this list with a mentions of their travel stroller proposition. Quinny Yezz is often mentioned as exceptionally easy to manouvre and I always found the quality of the Quinny frame excellen.
- Designed for children from 6 months to 40 pounds
- Very light 11 lb (5 kg)
- Very easy to fold, perfect for airport travel or if catching public transport during urban adventres.
- Water and dirt repellent seat
- Need to know: does not recline. The seat is studied to offer a comfortable cradled position
I hope you enjoyed our overview about lightweight strollers for travel and it helped you pick the best travel stroller for travel. Happy shopping!
Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites