Are you looking for the best travel stroller for flying with kids? When I first started traveling with kids, I brought our bulky everyday stroller with us on the plane and checked it. I quickly learned that once my son was big enough for an umbrella stroller, I knew I needed something more compact and more practical for a travel stroller.
We traveled so much with him and our twins in their earliest years that we learned a thing or two about the best travel strollers for kids. In fact, we lived in London with three kids under age 5. When I say I literally drove the wheels of my first travel stroller, I mean, they literally fell off.
We have had to find strollers that pack up easily for getting on busses and the Underground or that would withstand a lot of use. We have had to find ones that fold down quickly at the jetway to ones that navigate the Disney parks with ease. Trust me, we have tried MANY of them.
But just like a big huge suitcase isn't right for every occasion, neither is a big bulky stroller. With the right plan – and the right gear– you can travel easier and more efficiently with kids.
Trust me when I tell you having a good travel stroller for flying with kids is a GAME CHANGER. It will make flying with kids so much easier.
That’s what got me searching for the best travel stroller for all occasions, ages, and modes of transportation. Keep reading to find my picks for the best travel stroller for traveling with kids.
This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase using this link. See my disclosures.
About the Best Travel Stroller For Flying With Kids
I’d spent so many trips thinking about the best luggage for myself that I thought I had it all figured out.
Turns out I really didn’t! That first trip with our son to Disney and then the next trip to the beach, and eventually our first trip to Europe with our son taught me not all strollers are the same. Then, with the addition of twins, finding a great travel stroller was incredibly important.
I needed to seriously think about the time, place, and circumstances of the trip before I knew what to bring for my newborn or toddler.
Things To Think About When Selecting The Best Travel Stroller For Flying With Kids
- Would it be better to bring a lightweight travel stroller (like an umbrella stroller) or his regular stroller?
- How easy is it to push (does it have an all-wheel suspension for a smooth ride)?
- Will it fit through crowds, narrow spaces, doorways, and on transportation? Compact strollers are easier for this.
- How easy is it to fold down? Is it a compact fold and can it one hand fold if I need it to be (i.e. if you have carry-on luggage as well)?
- Does it have a shoulder strap?
- Is there a large storage basket to hold all of my baby gear and diaper bag?
- Does it have a multi-position recline or a flat recline for napping? Is the stroller seat comfortable?
- ls it compatible with an infant car seat if I need it to be?
- Does it have a sun canopy for sun protection and cup holder?
- Do you need it to be compatible with infant car seat or have a universal car seat adapter?
My Experience With Best Travel Strollers
I also learned that needs vary by age. For example, the best travel stroller for toddlers is going to look a little different than a lightweight stroller for newborn babies, so I began to highlight those differences, too.
Then, you need to think about how you’re getting there. Do you need something that can easily be folded for travel on the road? Is an umbrella stroller best? Does it need to be suitable for an airplane and could it fit in an overhead cabin? Will you be in the sun and need a canopy? (It was hard enough worrying about the weight of my own luggage and then figuring out how to check a stroller was a whole new ball of wax!)
But don't worry. I have done the research and had the experiences for you. And here are the results and picks for the best travel stroller to travel with kids!
Qualities of the Best Travel Stroller For Flying With Kids
So what are we looking for in the best travel stroller? These are the qualities I value the most when I make this list:
- Size : The best travel stroller for air travel needs to be hand luggage compliant and be able to be checked at the gate if the airline allows. If you need a double stroller, umbrella strollers also have doubles that can travel well (speaking from experience). Having a compact travel stroller will make traveling with kids easier (especially with your travel bags!)
- Foldable : Those traveling by bus, car, or train will want a compact, foldable stroller. Some airlines may let you store it in an overhead cabin but most don't in my experience. So you want one you can at least check at the jetway. Trains may allow you to store it in an overhead cabin.
- Ease of use : And if you’re going to go go go the whole trip, you’ll definitely value a lightweight stroller! In fact, we had a lightweight travel stroller that we just used for travel.
- Compatible With Infant Car Seat: If you have a young infant, you will want to make sure you have one that it is compatible with an infant car seat. Many on this list are for babies and toddlers who can sit in a compact stroller or lightweight umbrella stroller. But there are a few at the end that are compatible with an infant car seat.
The Best Travel Stroller for Flying, On-The-Go, and Lightweight Travel
Since traveling already puts a strain on finances, I’ve included a good mix of both budget and higher-end options! Here are our finalists:
- Maclaren Atom Styule
- UPPAbaby G-Luxe
- gb Pockit Air
- Dream On Me Lightweight and Compact Coast Rider Stroller
- Summer Infant, 3D Mini Convenience Stroller
- Joolz AER – Premium Baby Stroller
- BABY JOY Lightweight Baby Stroller
- Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Baby Stroller
- Plus a few bonus suggestions!
Let’s dig into these options! Please note that prices are as of the date this was written.
Maclaren Atom Style
What would our list be without a review of the Maclaren Atom Style ultra-compact stroller? The Maclaren Lightweight Stroller is an excellent choice for parents on the go.
Now, I am a huge Maclaren lightweight travel stroller fan. In fact, when we needed a double travel stroller for our toddlers, Maclaren was a great choice. Double travel strollers are ideal for two kids who aren't able to fully walk independently yet or, like in my case, when you have twins.
With its compact and lightweight design, it's easy to transport and store, making it perfect for travel. The stroller has multiple recline positions, including a full recline for naps, and a large sun canopy to protect your little one from the sun.
The included accessories, such as the rain cover and storage bag, add to the convenience of this stroller. Overall, it's a great investment for parents looking for a practical and functional stroller.
The UPPAbaby G-Luxe Stroller is a premium lightweight stroller that is perfect for families who travel and it's a great airplane-friendly stroller. It also has a shoulder strap for carrying when it's folded. How's that for convenience?
Its name tells you all you need to know. This stroller is luxurious! When our oldest was a baby and toddler, we loved the UPPAbaby brand, and the G-Luxe Stroller is ideal for easy traveling. It boasts a sleek and stylish design and is easy to maneuver with its four-wheel suspension system.
The stroller has a one-handed recline, adjustable footrest, and a large canopy to keep your child comfortable and protected from the sun. It collapses to a compact fold and it has ample storage space underneath. The stroller's aluminum frame and easy fold make it easy to store and transport.
This stroller also includes a removable cup holder and a large storage basket. Overall, the UPPAbaby G-Luxe is a top-quality stroller that provides both style and functionality. Whether you are going to Disney World with a toddler or heading to London with your kids, this stroller is one of the best travel strollers on the market.
gb Pockit Air
This gb Pockit Air stroller is only 10.4 lbs, and yet has a weight capacity of 55 lbs! So even though it comes in at just under $160, it’s well-worth the convenience as it is one of the lightest travel strollers on the market.
A great lightweight stroller, this is another of the best travel strollers out there. The mesh fabric is great for warm weather, but it also comes with a padded inlay for cooler climates.
It’s an extremely lightweight, compact stroller, so it does not come with additional storage. But it’s so small and light! Plus, you can always use stroller hooks for your diaper bag if needed.
This fantastically minimalistic foldable stroller has dimensions of 11.8 in. x 7.1 in. x 13.8 in. It's a cabin-size stroller that may fit in an overhead compartment (depending on the airline) and makes for a great airplane travel stroller.
Though very easy to tuck away during train, car, or bus travel, reviews have noted that this may not be the best lightweight stroller for a newborn – a child that is unable to sit up by themselves would do better with a sturdier option. But for toddlers and older, this may be a great travel stroller!
Dream On Me Lightweight and Compact Coast Rider Stroller
It doesn’t get much more budget-friendly than this less-than $73 Dream On Me Lightweight and Compact Coast Rider Stroller (though we do have one more, even less expensive option on my list)! But with almost 4,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, it’s absolutely a quality purchase.
It sure is light–just 13.5 lbs and it's a compact stroller! It’s certainly light enough to take advantage of the easy, one-hand folding feature while you’re holding your baby with your other arm. To make it more fun, it can be adjusted to work as a scooter or rider as well.
The wheels are super smooth, but reviewers have noted this isn’t the best option for use on gravel or dirt.
Summer Infant, 3D Mini Convenience Stroller
The least expensive travel stroller on my list, it’s also extremely highly rated with over 14,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating. The Summer Infant 3D Mini Convenience Stroller was $60 at the time I’m writing this.
It definitely gets points for maneuverability. It’s just 11 lbs and gestures auto-lock, anti-shock front wheels. And it has extra storage! Because of this, it would be a top pick for the best travel stroller once your child can sit unassisted.
One reviewer noted that they took this stroller through Costa Rica, another on the streets of San Diego, and another still through Mexico. That is to say – it’s easy to use anywhere!
Joolz AER – Premium Baby Stroller
The Joolz AER stroller is definitely higher-end. It’s $449 but has plenty of perks to make up for the cost. This stroller is about 13 lbs but rides extremely smoothly. It’s great on grass, dirt, or concrete. It also comes with a travel bag, and this umbrella-style buggy can be used with confidence even on rainy days.
And did I mention it’s super stylish? The muted earth tones are always fashionable!
Judging by the reviews, this is a fantastic travel stroller for toddlers. One parent, who titled their review “Buy this stroller, it’s awesome – tired parent review” wants to save the rest of us weary parents the time needed to research a great, toddler-proof stroller. So here I am sharing their discovery!
BABY JOY Lightweight Baby Stroller
At just under $110 at the time of writing this, the BABY JOY Lightweight Baby Stroller is one of the least expensive strollers that fit in an airplane overhead and has what it takes to survive the trip. It’s also a great lightweight stroller for newborn to 18-month-olds with a hard, thickened board for spine protection. It's a great airplane stroller!
When you have others handling your luggage or you’re tossing it into your car without much thought (we’ve all been there!), you want to make sure the fabric won’t rip or the metal won’t bend. And since the reviews highlight how durable this BABY JOY stroller is, it seems perfect for the task!
Another review mentions how easy it was to use this BABY JOY stroller through the airport, and all around Disney World. So if that isn’t a testament to the convenience and durability of this stroller for intense travel, I don’t know what is!
Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Baby Stroller
Our higher-end option for air travel is the Ergobaby Metro+, another foldable stroller that comes in at $299.
It’s a little heavier at 17 lbs, but it’s durable. The car seat compatibility is also convenient, supporting you and your baby at every stage of travel, and making it a top lightweight stroller for a newborn. If you’d like, there are plenty of other accessories you can purchase to add-on, such as a footmuff for chilly weather, an additional support bar for your baby to hold onto, and an extra carry bag for the stroller once it’s folded up.
That extra weight gives you an adjustable handlebar and a bit of that extra underneath storage. And it’s so adjustable and spacious! It can also carry up to 50 lbs, which is crazy convenient.
What is the Best Travel Stroller to Take on a Plane?
The criteria I used to judge the best travel stroller for air travel is hand luggage qualification, whether or not it fits in overhead bins, and its overall durability.
I gave extra points for storage and comfort – because even babies find those long airport visits tiring, and deserve to be comfy while they’re waiting around with the rest of us! I always recommend a lightweight stroller as they are easier to push.
One thing to note is that many airlines won't allow you to store them in an overhead cabin. But you can typically check them at the gate and leave them at the jetway. They are usually waiting for you on the jetway at your arrival destination.
A few additional ones not on this list but that many people love because they come with universal car seat adapters include:
Baby Jogger City Tour
This is a great stroller for traveling. We used to have one, plus the scooter add-on for our older son to stand and ride. One thing to note, however, is when more than one child is on this stroller, it is heavy to push.
It does not fold down as easily as other of the best travel strollers for flying with kids. However, it is a great everyday stroller and a good infant travel stroller.
It is compatible with infant car seats, including Cybex Infant Car Seats and the Mesa Infant Car Seat as it has a universal car seat adapter, so it is one to consider if you are looking for that. Plus, I like that the child in the back sits higher than the one in the front.
It will not fit in an overhead bin but you can usually check these strollers at the jet way. An alternative to this stroller is the Baby Jogger City LUX Stroller which is best for the youngest globetrotters, with a max weight of 25 ibs.
Baby Jogger City Mini
This stroller is another popular option for many families as one of the favorite travel strollers. It is easy for steering, includes a car seat adapter so it is compatible with infant car seats, like the Cybex Infant Car Seat or the has decent storage basket underneath so it can fit your diaper bag (or you can use a stroller hook), and it is easy to drive.
It is a great infant travel stroller for traveling, though it doesn't fold down as easily as the lightweight travel strollers and doesn't have an adjustable leg rest. However, it is good for an everyday stroller and for travel if you don't want to have a separate umbrella stroller for traveling.
Like the Baby Jogger City Tour, it will not fit in the overhead compartment and you will likely need to check it at the jetway.
iCandy Peach Stroller
The iCandy Peach was our stroller when we lived in London with kids. This stroller was a game-changer for getting around Europe. Not only did it fit perfectly on buses, but it was easy to drive with one hand (even with two kids in it), and it's a compact travel stroller that easily fit on buses, in taxis, and zipped around like a luxury SUV.
If you are planning any big-city travel with kids, this is my favorite stroller. It is a bit more pricey, but it is a high-quality travel stroller that is ideal for city travel.
Mountain Buggy Nano
A few reasons people like the Mountain Buggy Nano as a compact travel stroller is that it has a narrow compact travel stroller, is car seat ready without needing a universal car seat adapter, and folds with an easy two step process.
It is compatible for airline carry-on luggage and can be usually checked at the jetway and may fit in the overhead cabin. This stroller can even fit in a travel bag. But most of all, it has all the features kids and babies need, including a reclining stroller seat, a sun canopy, a comfortable stroller seat, and is easy to drive.
Can You Use a Travel Stroller as an Everyday Stroller?
Absolutely! I’d recommend choosing one that is car-seat compatible for ease of use (unless you’re one of the lucky ones with great public transportation).
It all depends on your needs. So whether you need storage, something lightweight, or something to keep out of sight, any of the options above would be great for everyday use, depending on how much you are using it.
I do like the under-storage area to be sizeable. And, living in London with three kids and having to put a lot of miles on our stroller, having an umbrella stroller for this type of daily use isn't practical as it simply won't last. But if you use it a bit every day, a travel stroller can be used for every day use.
Is it Worth Getting a Travel Stroller?
It depends! How often are you traveling? What’s your overall budget? What is the method of travel?
We traveled a lot so we had separate travel strollers and portable car seats specifically for travel. But if you don't travel often, or won't need it much in your destination, then you may not need a travel stroller just for travel.
If this is a one-time destination trip, or your child is just about to the point at which they’re a year or so away from no longer needing a stroller, it may not be worth the investment. However, all of the budget options I’ve listed above could make it worth getting a travel stroller to add some convenience to your trip!
Final Thoughts on the Best Travel Stroller
At the end of the day, the best travel stroller is the one that will make your life easier on your family trip! Think about what you value the most: easy storage, ease of use, or something you can take anywhere and everywhere?
Whatever that answer may be, you can be sure there’s a stroller here that will fit your budget and your travel itinerary! Lightweight strollers can make traveling with kids easier. So if you decide you need one, I hope this list will help you find the one that best suits your needs
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