Even if you've packed for your next trip weeks in advance and have everything under control, small children usually require products you maybe never thought you'd need — including one of the best travel strollers. Because, make no doubt about it: That bulky, super sturdy stroller you use on your home turf probably isn't going to fit comfortably in an airplane's overhead compartment.
When you're shopping for an innovative travel stroller, the most popular option and the one that weighs the least, is an umbrella stroller that folds up easily and takes up very little storage space. If you rarely use your travel stroller or have an older child, a bare-boned umbrella stroller is a great alternative to bigger strollers and can save you money.
If you'd really love your newborn to nap in the stroller, or will be spending tons of time outdoors and require a stroller with an expandable canopy and UV protection, opt for a five-harness stroller that boasts more features than a simple umbrella, but is lighter and folds up to a more compact shape than traditional strollers.
Depending on your travel style, lifestyle, and needs — because if you have twin toddlers a double stroller is a necessity — one of the best travel strollers will make packing and planning for your next vacation a breeze (or close enough to it).
1. Overall Best Stroller For Travel
This compact stroller with shock-absorbent wheels also has a full bar handle that many parents feel is more comfortable to hold and steer, especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time walking outdoors on your next vacation. It has a full canopy that features UV 50+ protection, a canopy extension to get you through early mornings and sunsets, and a peek-a-boo window so you can check in on your little one. And because it reclines to an almost flat-back position, babies and small children can actually nap in this stroller.
This travel stroller also has one-hand folding. And, while it's roomier than other travel strollers (and has much more space than an umbrella stroller), it weighs just 14 pounds and folds up to fit into a travel bag. It also comes with options like a removable tray, and has a fairly large storage basket beneath the seat for baby items you need to take with you. Consumer reports even rates this as "very good," when it comes to safety, maneuverability, and ease of use.
2. A Compact Stroller For Airplane Travel
This lightweight stroller is amazing at folding up into a super small bundle that you can easily store in airline overhead compartments — it even won the Guinness World Records for the most compact stroller. Weighing less than 10 pounds, it can hold children from 6 months old up to 55 pounds (plus 11 pounds of storage) and features one-hand pushing and steering with padded handlebars.
The wheels aren’t great at handling rough terrain, but will do just fine for day trips to places like the zoo or museum, provided you aren’t putting it to the test. Another downside is that the sun canopy is a little on the smaller side. But if you’re traveling by airplane, train, or making several trips and need the most lightweight, compact design, this stroller is a dream.
3. Best Budget-Friendly Stroller Under $100
This affordable stroller has one of the biggest canopies you’ll find, with three tiers, an extension, UV 50+ protection, and a peek-a-boo window. It weighs around 11 pounds, has one-hand folding, and when it’s folded, the stroller can actually stand on its own, which is rare for such a lightweight model.
This stroller’s storage basket is really roomy and great for storing bags and items. It also has two storage trays: One for your child with a juice box and cup holder and one for adults with two cup or bottle holders. And, according to reviewers, this is a comfortable stroller to use if you’re a taller parent — no need to slouch down when pushing. And, when Consumer Reports tested this stroller, they gave it "very good," marks on its ease of use and safety.
4. A Stroller That Grows With Your Children
Most travel strollers (and umbrellas) are designed for babies 6 months up to 50 pounds. This travel stroller is an exception: It can accommodate newborns, thanks to an adjustable seat that converts from flat-back bassinet style seating to a seat that sits up for older children. The retractable sun canopy is adjustable to suit different seat positions and this stroller folds up into a slim bundle with one hand. It has a decent-size storage basket and a brake pedal that’s easy to control with your foot. One thing to note? Although this is smaller than standard strollers, some parents thought it was slightly too big to store comfortably on the plane. But if you’re taking a car trip or cruise, or don’t mind having a little more patience when storing this stroller on a plane, it’s a great choice.
5. Best Travel Stroller For Multiple Children
This double stroller is a lightweight lifesaver if you are traveling have multiple children. Weighing just 21 pounds, which is fairly light for a double stroller, it’s a well-rated umbrella-style double stroller that folds into a compact bundle. It features two independent and wide, expandable canopies to protect your children from the sun. Both seats also recline independently, so each child can position it the way he or she likes.
While this stroller comes with a parent cup holder, it lacks a storage basket. As for the question on the mind of every parent of multiple children: Will this stroller fit through doors? Reviewers say you won’t have many problems getting through standard doors, but that if you’re traveling in Europe, you may encounter challenges in some places.
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