If travel isn’t stressful enough, adding a baby or child to the mix adds a whole new level of complexity. From all the gear you have to bring to special formula and food, your luggage multiplies significantly. But arguably the most important purchase for traveling families is a travel stroller.
Of course, you can bring your everyday stroller along for your travels, but a big and bulky stroller isn’t ideal for getting through the airport, stowing away on the airplane and then fitting in the trunk of a rental car.
Fortunately, there are many travel strollers — and travel system strollers — available that make the process much more stress-free. Many of these travel strollers even have similar functions to a high-end stroller, such as large sun canopies, multi-position recline, undercarriage storage baskets and even the option to attach a car seat or bassinet. But they are significantly lighter weight, more portable and compact, and often easier to close. In fact, some strollers fold down enough that they can be stored in the overhead bin of an airplane.
If you’re a frequent traveler or just want a stroller that’s easier to take on the go, here are 18 of our favorites.
Travel strollers for airplanes
Having a stroller that folds down small enough so it fits in an airplane’s overhead bin means you don’t have to worry about gate-checking your stroller and inheriting the risk of it coming back broken — or even worse, missing.
Although these strollers are on the pricier side, some of them can actually serve as your main stroller at home and eliminate the need for having multiple strollers for different purposes. Many even offer the option to attach a car seat or bassinet, allowing you to use the stroller from your child’s birth.
$399.99 at Amazon
You can’t go wrong with the Uppababy Minu, as it’s considered one of the best travel strollers for everyday use, according to baby expert Eli Gurock at MagicBeans. As a hybrid between a full-size stroller and an umbrella stroller, the trifold one-handed close allows you to store the stroller in an overhead bin of most airplanes. With its all-wheel suspension and large sun canopy, you’ll have a smooth ride — whether you’re walking around a large beach resort complex or on cobblestone streets through Europe. It also offers a multi-position recline, so your child can easily take a nap on the go or sit upright.
$529.98 at Amazon
The Babyzen Yoyo2 was one of the first strollers truly compact enough for an airplane’s overhead storage bin. The Yoyo2 offers a large canopy, four suspension wheels and machine-washable fabric, and at just 13.6 pounds, it’s one of the lightest compact strollers available. However, it has a two-handed fold, meaning folding this stroller while also holding a baby in your arms can be complicated.
$219.99 at Amazon
The Mountain Buggy Nano can be used right from your child’s birth, thanks to its unique universal car seat adapter, which allows you to use any infant car seat. The Nano also offers a Freerider Stroller board attachment to make travel even easier with an older child in tow as well. However, the two-handed fold makes the stroller more difficult to close.
$399.99 at Nordstrom
As one of the lightest and most compact strollers, the Silver Cross Jet can be rolled through the airport just like a suitcase. With its car seat compatibility and infant recline, the stroller can be used from your child’s birth all the way up to 55 pounds. However, if you’re looking to close the stroller while holding your baby in your arms, it may be tricky, as closing requires two hands.
$399.99 at Amazon
With the touch of a button, the Peg-Perego Selfie folds by itself and automatically locks in place. The bumper bar then acts as a carrier, allowing you to easily take the stroller on the go. The Peg-Perego Selfie is also car seat compatible and offers ball bearings and suspensions on all four wheels for supreme maneuverability.
$349.95 at Amazon
Unlike most other compact strollers, the seat on the Cybex Eezy Twist 2 rotates a full 360 degrees, which allows your child to be forward-facing or parent-facing. And while the stroller is car seat compatible, you need to take off the built-in seat to add your own. While this stroller is compact enough to fit on most airplanes, it’s not as lightweight as others, weighing 18.2 pounds.
$429 at Amazon
At just 13.4 pounds, this easy-to-use one-step fold is ideal for the traveling family. In addition to its four-wheel suspension and ventilation on both the canopy and seat back, the Joolz Aer offers a lifetime warranty.
$199.99 at BuyBuyBaby
As the world’s most compact stroller — named by the Guinness Book of World Records — the GB Pockit stroller weighs only 9.5 pounds. When folded, the stroller not only fits in an airplane’s overhead bin but also under the seat in front of you. And on the go, you can even carry the stroller in a large purse, in your diaper bag or in your suitcase. But there are a few drawbacks to this stroller because of its size. It has a tiny basket, a small canopy, no recline and is not car seat compatible.
$295 at Bed Bath & Beyond
The stylish Colugo Compact Stroller offers many seat fabric colors — all of which are both removable and washable. The stroller offers a quick and easy one-handed compact fold, where the rectangular shape can be stored right into the included backpack. The seat also fully reclines, which is perfect for a napping baby, but the stroller is not car seat compatible.
$179 $159 at Zoe Strollers
Known for its extra-large canopy and oversized wheels, this one-handed fold stroller will fit in the overhead bin of most airplanes. Unfortunately, though, the stroller is not car seat compatible.
$189.99 $169.99 at Amazon
The Besrey Lightweight Baby Stroller offers many of the features of a full-size stroller, such as a mesh-lined storage basket, a retractable canopy cover, removable handrails and an adjustable seat, but it’s still compact enough to fit in the overhead bin of many airplanes. A downside of this stroller, however, is that there’s no bassinet or car seat attachment option, which means the stroller doesn’t work until your child is approximately six months old. And since the maximum child weight is only 33 pounds, this stroller doesn’t have the same longevity as you’ll find in some other travel-friendly strollers.
Lightweight travel strollers
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option but you still want a stroller that’s easy to take on the go, umbrella strollers offer a great solution. While most of them do not offer the same bells and whistles as the above compact travel strollers, they’re still great for traveling — especially when used for short distances.
Umbrella strollers are also incredibly compact, although they don’t have the trifold technology as some of the newer, airplane-compatible strollers, so many of them can’t be stored in an airplane’s overhead bin. But since they are still lightweight in nature, they can often be carried on your shoulder for easy, on-the-go transportation.
Most umbrella strollers also require a two-handed push and don’t hold up as well on rocky terrain. But for getting through an airport or in and out of a taxi, an umbrella stroller might be all you need.
$26.88 at Walmart
Even though the Kolcraft Cloud Umbrella Stroller is the least expensive option, it still performs well with a compact fold and extendable sun canopy. The stroller also offers a roll-up back pad to keep your child cool on a warm day.
$59.99 at Amazon
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller is not as compact as some of the others, but it’s still lightweight at less than 12 pounds. The stroller offers a one-handed fold, an expandable canopy with peekaboo windows, a parent tray with two drink holders and a large storage basket. Unfortunately, however, the stroller doesn’t recline completely flat.
$118.83 at Amazon
The Summer Infant 3D Lite Plus is a very durable option with a full canopy and sunshade extender, a large basket, a cup holder and even storage pockets throughout. The stroller also comes with a shoulder strap for ease of carrying.
$199.99 at Amazon
Similar to many of the other Uppababy products, the Uppababy G-Luxe Stroller holds up extremely well for all of your traveling needs. The stroller offers a reclining seat with an adjustable footrest, a spacious storage basket and an extendable sunshade. The stroller is also easy to fold, and once folded, it will stand on its own.
Double travel stroller
If you have twins or two children close in age, you might want to consider a double stroller for your travel needs. This will allow both children to be securely buckled while trying to get through a congested airport or a crowded amusement park.
$99.98 at Amazon
At just 18 pounds, the Delta Children Jeep Scout Double Stroller can fit through any standard 30-inch doorway. It also offers front swivel wheels and a suspension system for a smooth ride. With its multi-position recline, each seat can be customized so each child can sit in their ideal position, which is great if one child is napping while the other is ready to take in the world. However, the stroller has a restrictive maximum capacity of 70 pounds in total weight.
$156.99 at Amazon
If you need a travel stroller that can accommodate two car seats, the Baby Trend Sit N Stand Ultra Tandem Stroller is the ideal choice. With many seating options, the stroller allows up to two infant car seats, up to two children sitting in stroller seats or one and one. The stroller offers a one-handed fold with a large basket and removable shade canopy.
$399.99 at Amazon
This lightweight double travel stroller has a compact one-handed fold with built-in storage holders. There’s a multi-position recline and an adjustable three-position footrest. Best of all, the stroller’s fabric is removable and can be thrown in the washing machine.
Maximizing your travel stroller purchase
When purchasing your brand-new stroller, make sure to use the best credit card to both protect your purchase and maximize the points you earn, which can then turn into free travel — and more opportunities to use your child’s new stroller.
While most strollers offer some sort of manufacturer’s warranty, your credit card can potentially extend your warranty another year while also offering purchase protection if something were to happen to your stroller within the first few months.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will extend your warranty another year if the item purchased comes with a warranty of three years or less. Additionally, if your stroller becomes damaged or stolen within the first 120 days, you’ll also be covered. With both benefits, you’ll be covered up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
Then, for maximizing the points and miles earned from your travel stroller purchase, there are many options. If you’re purchasing your stroller through Amazon or Target, the Citi® Double Cash Card will earn you 2% cash back — 1% when you make a purchase, and another 1% when you pay your statement.
For department store purchases, such as purchasing a stroller at Nordstrom, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is your best bet. With this card, you’ll earn 2% cash back at select US department stores (as well as US gas stations).
For all other stores, such as a boutique online retailer, the Chase Freedom Unlimited will earn you 1.5% cash back, but if paired with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can instead transfer the points earned to partner loyalty programs where points are worth 2 cents apiece — effectively giving you 3% cash back on your stroller purchase.
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.