Best Strollers for Traveling
Going on a trip alone can sometimes be a real hassle. Going on a trip with the entire family can feel like an insurmountable feat. Whether you are traveling via airplane and navigating through crowded airports, or packing up the car for a week at the beach- the more compact the items you need to pack, the easier your trip will become. Sometimes called umbrella strollers, these products are used to simply unfold and can hold your little one in place as you travel through airports, or shuffle around busy tourist destinations. Some units can be folded down so small that they can be stored in your carry on bag and stored under the seat.
When shopping around, you want to make sure that they are constructed from lightweight materials- such as aluminum- and also have a comfortable 5 point safety harness.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Can be backed away in a carry on bag
Top 10 Picks
1. GB Pockit
Can be backed away in a carry on bag
Some find that the shade isn’t very effective
Some find it to be a little flimsy
If you really need to conserve space while you are away from home and traveling via airports, this product brought to you be GB will be sure to provide a smooth and safe ride while folding up to become one of the most compact models out there on the market. In fact, it even won the Guinness book of world records award for smallest folding stroller in the entire world in 2014.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
Even when it isn’t folded, this model weighs just under 10 pounds. When folded up, it measures in at 11.8 inches long and 7 inches wide.
Thanks to its ultralight weight, even if you are juggling tons of luggage this product won’t add any unnecessary weight. This model is available in many different colors so that you can select the color that even matches your luggage- making you look like the family that really has it all together. Colors options include blue, red, black, or purple.
Sure, it may fold up to be incredibly compact and lightweight, but is it easy to push, and will your little one enjoy riding in it? Users and drivers love the way that this model rides. It has a small canopy that runs along the top to protect little eyes from the sun, and the harness system is made from soft, padded materials.
At the end of the day, you will end up paying more for this product than many of the other models that are currently on the market. However, if you are a traveler that hates to be burdened with excess luggage and gear- this record winning model will be well worth the padded price tag.
If you are in the market for an easy way to navigate you and your little ones around crowded airport, but hate trying to maneuver bulky carriages in crowds- this is an excellent choice if you are willing to spend the extra money.
2. Summer 3Dlite
Cup holders and storage compartment
Easy to fold
Will not stand upright when folded
Some find it to be flimsy
This model is a little bit bulkier than the GB model, and consequently, it folds up a little bigger than the previous design. It allows for a lot a room to carry various items, comes in many colors, and is a cinch to fold up when it's time to board your flight.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
Due to the lightweight aluminum construction, this model weighs in at just 13 pounds, which is sure to not weigh you down when navigating airports. When it is fully unfolded, it measures to be 3.5 feet high so even taller parents won’t have to hunch over to be able to drive this product. It is capable of supporting a child that weighs up to 50 pounds.
This model comes in many different sharp colors such as orange, blue, green, red, pink, and yellow, and they all have black accents. If you assumed that these types of products were too compact to have any additional features- you would be wrong. This model comes equipped with cup holders and pockets that are designed to hold up to 10 pounds of travel gear.
This model is so comfortable that you would wish you could crawl into it and had your toddler push you around the airport. It is able to be reclined to 4 different points to make taking a nap easier than the models that only stay upright. It also has a retractable canopy to keep the sun out of little eyes.
The cost of this model is more affordable than some of the other models out there on the market, and will allow you to spend more money on other travel toys. Given how many features this has and the quality of materials that are used- this product comes in at an excellent price.
If you are in the market for something that will help you navigate airports or family vacations that is as lightweight as it is contractible- this is an excellent choice that is offered at a fantastic price point.
3. Jovial Portable
Comes with carrying case
Large retractable canopy
Some find that this model has a clicking sound when in use
Storage area cannot hold all that much
This model is another great option to take along with you on your next trip. It is incredibly lightweight, easy to set up and pack away, and is available in three different color designs. If you need something that will keep your little one comfortable, yet is super easy to push even with just one hand.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
The weight of this design is just a little bit more than some of the others- weighing in at 16.3 pounds. When completely folded, it measures to be 18 inches long and 10 inches wide. When in use, it measures to be 39.8 inches tall and 18.7 inches wide.
The design of this model is sharp and simple and resembles a classic baby buggy. It is only available in black, with three different color options for the canopy: red, blue, and black. It has a mesh storage container along the bottom so you can also store important travel gear- like toys- beneath the unit.
Your little one will be incredibly comfortable in this model. The canopy is a lot larger than some of the other canopies out there, and will really keep the sun out of their eyes. It has a smoothly curved seat, and a soft and padded 5 point safety harness. It also has a lock on all 4 wheels so you will never have to worry about one of the wheels coming out of place on your trip.
The cost of this unit will set you back about the same price as the Summer Infant model. While it is not the most expensive model out there on the market, it is also far from the least expensive. If you were looking for something that is made from high quality materials, but doesn’t cost top dollar- this is a great deal.
For parents that want something that is incredibly durable and comfortable, but also folding up easily that won’t break the bank- this is an excellent option. In fact, you might come to love this model over your every day model.
4. J is for Jeep Brand North Star
Easy to use
Does not have a 5 point harness
Some find it rattles when in use
Yes- J is for Jeep is actually from the same manufacturers that make the automobiles, so you know that is it made from quality materials. This particular model is made from materials that are both sturdy and lightweight, and it is incredibly simple to assemble and pack away when it is not in use.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
The weight of this model is just under 10 pounds (9.9 to be exact), making it one of the lightest models on the list, and can support a child that weighs up to 40 pounds and is over 9 months old. It measures to be 40 inches high and 18 inches long, and 31.5 inches deep.
There isn’t much room for personalization when it comes to this model- it is only available in black with no other color options out there. It is constructed from metal, plastic, and nylon components. It has a large canopy that will ensure to keep the sun out of tired little eyes.
Your little one is sure to be secured and comfortable in this Jeep design. It has a 3 point safety harness that buckles at the waist and doesn’t have any over the chest straps holding your little one down.
One of the best features about this model is that it comes at an incredible price point, and is almost half of the cost of many of the other models out there on the market. In addition to coming in at an extremely affordable cost, it also comes with a 90-day limited manufacturer's warranty in case anything on this model breaks within the first 90 days after purchase.
If you were in the market for an easy way to get the whole family out and about without being held down too much by bulky designs or too much weight, and without costing you a lot of money- this is an excellent option.
5. Britax B-Mobile
Easy to use
5 point safety harness
This is a great option for parents on the go that want a device that is not only easy to use, but also packs up really nicely to take on car trips or to airports. It might cost more than some of the average products out there, but the additional features are well worth it if you are a family on the go.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
This model weighs a little bit more than some of the others- weighing in at approximately 16.3 pounds, and it is able to support a child that weighs up to 55 pounds. The unfolded model measures to be 15 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 20 inches tall.
There isn’t a lot of colors options available with this unit. It comes with a base black color, and users can select to get red, blue, or black accents. The color accents appear on the canopy and the handle. The back is made from a mesh material to keep you little one cool on hot summer days, and there is a mesh carrying system underneath to store import travel accessories such as toys and stuffed animals.
The large canopy is able to be extended down to ensure that the sun stays out of your little one’s eyes on hot and sunny summer days. It has a secure 5 point harness designed to keep them securely in place while you are rushing to make it to your gate on time, and a handrail that is covered in a soft foam material.
While it will cost you significantly more than some of the more affordable options out there on the market- the added safety features and intuitive design makes this model well with the slightly padded price tag, especially if you are a family that is constantly on the go.
For families that are always on the go and need something to help get the entirety of the family from point A to point B without adding too much extra weight, and provides extra trunk space for more outdoor gear on your next family vacation- this is an excellent choice.
6. Chicco Liteway
Color options available
5 point safety harness
4 point adjustable backrest
The Chicco Liteway model provides you all of the tools that you will need to cart your little one through crowded airports or tourist attractions without being weighed down with extra bulk. This model checks off all the boxes of what families want in effective travel gear for the whole family.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
This model weighs in at 18.8 pounds- which is one of the heavier models to make this list. If you are someone that is looking to get the lightest model out there, this one might not suit your needs. It has a minimum weight recommendation of over 10 pounds, and a maximum limit of 40 pounds.
This model is available with black hardware, with the option to pick different colors of fabric. Fabric colors include red, blue, and gray. All the colors are soft and muted, so if you are someone that doesn't like bright colors- you will like the style of this model. It has a nice mesh storage system underneath to store all of your souvenirs from your vacation, and fully locking wheels.
You want to make sure that your little one stays nice and comfortable during your frantic travels- and this model will do just that. It has a large canopy that will keep the sun out of their eyes, and also keep them nice and shaded on hot summer days at the beach or on the boardwalk. The backrest can be adjusted to accommodate various sizes and heights of children so you can rest assured they are always safe and comfortable.
This runs about in the middle of the road in terms of price. It is not the most expensive model out there on the market- but it is also not one of the least expensive. If you were looking to get your hands on one of these products, and you wanted quality without paying too much- this is a perfect option.
Family vacations don’t always have to be weighed down by a lot of excess gear- not if you pack smart. The addition of one of these products will like plenty of room in the trunk of your car for more body boards and beach chairs.
7. Graco Breaze
5 point safety harness
Easy to assemble and fold
Some find that it rattles while in use
Past users do not like footrest
Graco has been in the business of making fantastic baby products for over 75 years, so it is no wonder that they have landed a spot on this list. This particular model is incredibly lightweight and compact and is incredibly comfortable for your child. This would be an excellent addition on your next family road time to the beach.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
This model is getting up there in weight- checking in at 17.79 pounds- which is one of the more heavier items to be found on the market. It measures in at 27 inches long and 20 inches wide.
The design of this product is pretty basic. It is offered in two different color options- gray with lighter gray trim, or gray with lime green trim. It has a 5 point harness that has padded shoulder straps with a decorative design that matches in the interior of the canopy that is able to be retracted when indoors.
Everyone will be comfortable while using this model. Parents will love the swivel wheels that are able to swiftly navigate through some of the trickiest of situations that can only come about while on vacation, and the little ones will love the comfortable seating that is able to be retracted back to catch some afternoon z’s. It also has a nice cup holder so both you and your little one will stay hydrated on those long days at tourist attractions.
While this may cost a little bit more than some of the other products that run the middle of the road, you can be assured that you are buying the best of the best when you purchase a baby product from a company such as Graco. They have a long line of satisfied parents for over 75 years.
If you are looking for something that has brand recognition, and a long history of making quality products for parents and kids- this is an excellent option if you are willing just to pay a little bit more than some of the other brands.
8. Baby Trend Rocket
Shoulder straps don't stay in place
Wheels can be noisy
This simple design does everything that parents would want when carting around the entire family for the yearly family vacation. It is lightweight, offers a sleek design, and most importantly- it comes at an incredibly reasonable price. The more money you will save on travel gear means more money that you will have to spend on toys and road trip snacks.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
This unit only weighs 12.5 pounds and is capable of supporting up to 50 pounds. THe measurements of this model when unfolded measure in at 40.55 inches long and 29.5 inches wide.
This is a pretty basic model that comes in two colors- solid black, and solid black with red trim on the canopy and back of the seat. It comes equipped with two cup holders- one for you and one for your little one- as well as additional storage space so that you have a place for all of the souvenirs that you will no doubt be buying on your vacation.
The seat of this model is made from soft nylon that has a super secure and comfortable 5 point safety belt. The canopy that runs along the top is wide enough to really block out the sun on hot summer days to keep your little one cool and in the shade. The seat also reclines to accommodate all sizes and shapes of toddlers, and it can also recline back when it is time for that afternoon nap.
The best part about this model is that it comes at an incredible price point, and is one of the most affordable models out there on the market today. If you were looking to save a little bit of money, but still wanted a product that was simple to use, lightweight, and comfortable- this is a really great option.
If you are in the market for a really great way to make sure that entire family enjoys the next family vacation- even the smaller members with the short legs that have trouble keeping up- this is a really great option that comes at one of the best prices out there.
9. Kolcraft Cloud
Easy to assemble
Some find it difficult to keep it closed
Begins to wobble if user is walking quickly/jogging
The Kolcraft Cloud model is another great option that comes in at a really great price. It checks off all of the boxes of what parents want when looking for an easy way to transport tired toddlers without adding too much unnecessary bulk and weight so that you can load up more on the fun stuff- like beach umbrellas and body boards.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
This design weighs just 12 pounds and can support a toddler that weighs up to 50 pounds- making it one of the more lighter models on the market. When not in use, it can be folded in with just the use of one hand. It measures in at 18 inches long and 31.25 inches high.
This model comes in three different colors: red, pink, and gray. All of the models have sharp black accents with a large canopy that is designed to keep your little one cool and in the shade even on those hot summer days. There is a big mesh storage space under the seat that is great to hold travel toys and extra blankets.
What makes this model unique is all of the additional features that this model has. NO only does it have a storage tray and cup holder for your little one, but it also a cup holder and a storage tray for the driver. The seat is able to be reclined back and comes with a safe and comfortable 5 point safety belt.
While it is not the most inexpensive model out there on the market, it runs just slightly below what the average models are selling for. If you are looking to save a little bit of money, but still buy a product with a lot of additional features that it made from great materials- this is offered at a great price.
If you are in the market for an affordable way to get your little ones through a crowded airport without adding much extra baggage and weight, this is an excellent option that will also be easy on your wallet.
10. JOOVY New Groove Umbrella
Can carry more weight
Reclines all the way back
Canopy is difficult to open and close
Difficult to close
The JOOVY model is a little bulkier and tough than some of the others to make this list, but it can also handle a little bit more weight. It has a lot of additional features that are great for the passenger as well as the driver.Read more
Weight and Dimensions
The lightweight aluminum frame weighs in at 14 pounds, and it able to carry up to 55 pounds. It is 42 inches high, and 20.5 inches deep. The ability to handle just a little bit extra weight makes this great for growing with your little one, as well as holding more beach gear in the storage underneath.
It comes in three neutral colors that include gray, black, and a fiery red. Running along the top is a big canopy that will keep your kid cool in the shade even on hot summer days in the middle of a busy tourist destination. It has a lot of pockets that are perfect for parents for storing wallets, cell phones, and travel gear.
The design of this model will be incredibly comfortable for the passenger, and a lightweight and easy design makes it a great drive for the parents. There are plenty of cup holders for your little one as well as for yourself.
The cost of this model is one of the more expensive designs to make this list, and one of the more expensive models on the market. However, the ease of folding and the lightweight design makes it well worth the slightly padded price tag.
If you have a little bit of extra money to spend, and you need something that will be able to carry more weight without sacrificing the actual weight of the product- this is an excellent choice that will be a welcome addition to all of your future family vacations.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Weight was something that we definitely looked at in our research. If this is something that you are going to fold and store- the last thing that you want is another heavy thing to carry. The typical range of these types of products goes from anywhere from 10 pounds to 20 pounds. There didn’t seem to be anything that was under 10 pounds- so 10 was the number that we shot for. Anything that was under 10 pounds just wasn’t made from quality materials- meaning that they were flimsy and possibly unsafe. While anything over 20 pounds would likely add to much extra weight- making for an ineffective travel device.
It might be light, and it might be comfortable, and it even might be affordable- but if you have a hard time using it, it wasn’t worth our time. We liked models that were easy to fold- and some you could even do with one hand. Being able to fold it so simply is a lifesaver to parents who are likely trying to fold up their units with one hand while holding a fussy toddler in the other. We liked anything that would make your life easier. We also liked pivoting wheels, because they were easier to use when navigating tight and compact areas. If that is something that is important to you- be sure to check out how the wheels are mounted. If they don’t pivot, you might have a harder time making complicated veers and turns.
While it is important to cut out some of the extra features that come with standard units- you still want your little one to be comfortable. If they are not comfortable, they simply will not want to ride in it. And no parent wants to have to negotiate with a stubborn toddler when they are trying to hurry to make it to their gate on time. Comfort to use means that that harness is made from soft materials, and is sometimes even padded to provide additional support. We also like models that were able to recline. Not only were these able to support newborns, but they work great for toddlers that want to sleep while their parents go shopping on a crowded boardwalk. Comfort also means that is has a functional canopy to ensure that your toddler is shaded from the harsh summer sun.
When it comes to something that you will use every day, it’s easy to justify spending a lot of money. However, when it comes to spending money on something that you will really only use on vacations and trips- it’s a little harder to spend that extra money. We kept that in mind while we were selecting models for this list. We made sure that the quality and materials were still up to par for you and your little one, but we tended to avoid some of the models that were set at the higher end of the market. More money that you can save on travel gear just means you will have more money left over to take the entire family out to dinner or afford to stay an extra night or two at the hotel.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It’s best to check with the manufacturer to ensure that it doesn’t have a minimum weight requirement. Most products don’t, but there are some that require it has at least 10 pounds. If you don’t find a limited weight requirement, they can be used even for newborns- if they recline all the way back to lay them flat.
These types of strollers are a great investment. It's a great idea to keep one of these in the back of your car for that unexpected nap, navigating through the mall on Black Friday, or a random outing to the Zoo. They are so small and useful, hopefully you won't forget it's there!
Other Factors to Consider
The reason many parents gravitate to these products is that they are easily stored. Some even become so compact that they can fit in a carry on bag and stored under an airplane seat or overhead compartment. We wanted something that could fold up small, and we also wanted something that could fold up with the touch of a button. Something that you might want to keep an eye out for is wheels that lock in place. If your unit doesn’t have locking wheels, you might run the risk of taking a tumble if one of the wheels isn’t securely in place.
Parents know that there are a million things that could go wrong when you decide to pack up the entire clan and hit the road. If there is even one opportunity to sidestep potential snags- we know you are savvy enough to take them. Relieving yourself of the incredibly frustrating task of wrestling with a cumbersome stroller may free up just a little more patience to tackle some of the other hiccups that will undoubtedly arise as you make your way to your destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What’s an umbrella stroller?
Basically, it’s just another word for a stroller that is used for traveling. It got that name due to its ability to easily and simply fold up- much like the classic umbrella. Whenever you see the name umbrella in a product title, you can rest assured that it is designed specifically for travel, or for fitting in tight spaces for families that aren’t working with a whole lot of space.
q: Why do I need a different stroller for traveling?
You might feel reluctant to spend the extra money to buy a different version of something that you already have, but trust us- you will be glad that you did. There is a reason there is a whole aisle at the department store dedicated to tiny travel sizes items like soaps and shampoos. It’s because everyone likes to travel light. The more room that you have to travel means the easier your trip will become. When you are dealing with traveling to toddlers- you want to make things as easy on yourself as possible. Investing in one of these products will lighten your load significantly, meaning you will have a better vacation that your children will always remember.
q: Are they safe?
You might be reluctant to take the plunge because something that is so compact might not be as safe- but you would be wrong. Most models support a 5 point harness. 5 point harnesses strap your little one in by coming in contact with points on their body- shoulder, hips, and one point between their legs. This keeps their entire body in place when the road becomes a little rough. This design of harness is so secure that is it the required type of safety belt used by the fine folks in NASCAR. If they are safe enough to be used in NASCAR for vehicles that reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour, your little one should be safe at even your most frantic of airport hustles.
q: Are they difficult to use?
No, many of them are not difficult to use and can be closed with just the press of one single button. Some of the more compact designs may require a little extra effort, but the instructions that are included in these designs are simple and easy to read according to past users. If you find that you are still unsure on how your model folds, there are plenty of tutorials and explanations on the internet.
q: How do they fold?
Most models fold in half by the utilization of a single button so that you can be able to fold it up without the need of even sitting down your child. It should be noted, however, whenever it comes to products that have folding mechanisms, you should always make sure that fingers stay clear of certain points because there will be a possibility of them becoming pinched. Other models out there not only fold in half, but they also fold down, and the wheels come off to allow them to be placed in a small bag and carried like a modestly sized purse or duffel bag. While this design might have a smaller footprint than the models that fold in half- you might want to keep in mind that they will take a little bit longer to assemble when you need it than the design that unfolds with one click from one hand. Assess what is most important to you when traveling before you make your purchase.
q: Where can I use them?
They can be used anywhere and anywhere you need to lighten the load and maneuver through tight spaces. They are primarily used for taking on trips because they can fold up incredibly easily and fit into the trunk of your car. Depending on how compact the model that you use is, some of them can even be taken with you on an airplane as a carry-on, and will fit right up under the seats. Some parents that are always on the go tend to use this design for everyday use because it is so easy to use and carry.
q: What’s the canopy’s function?
If you are using it in an outside space, your little one might have to contend with the sun. Many family vacations are taken at the peak of the summer months- when the sun is at its hottest and brightest. If you are walking on a hot and busy boardwalk, a good way to keep your little one out of the hot sun is to retract the canopy to block them from the sun. Not only will it make it easier on their eyes (especially if they are trying to take a nap) it will also make them cooler. And a hot and uncomfortable toddler is a recipe for tears. Some models have canopies that are treated with a substance that makes them block out all of the harmful UV rays as well, so you don’t have to run the risk of sunburns.
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