Travel strollers are an essential item to have on any parent’s packing list when traveling with young children. It makes schlepping through airports, train stations, and city streets much easier and saves mom and dad from carrying a tired toddler all day.
Another bonus is that, unlike a traditional stroller, travel strollers can typically be easily folded up and stashed into overhead compartments or tucked under an airplane seat. This prevents the need to check your stroller, reducing the risk of damage from careless baggage handlers or shifting luggage in the airplane’s cargo hold.
But with so many different travel strollers on the market, how do you decide which one is right for your family?
“The best travel stroller has quick and easy folding capabilities and a lightweight frame…There are a lot of sturdy but light strollers that offer a fully reclining seat for naps on the go, large canopies for rain and sun coverage, and good storage underneath.” - Sarah Huff, Senior Manager, Customer and Community at BabyQuip
Travel strollers aren’t just for airplane travel, either. These lightweight, typically foldable strollers are a great second stroller option for parents to tuck into the car for grocery shopping, day trips, and other occasions where you wouldn’t want to bother with packing and unpacking a heavy-duty primary stroller.
With countless stroller options available, choosing the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. To help narrow down the selection, we’ve rounded up the top 10 travel strollers available on the market today. Read on for our guide to the best travel strollers in 2022.
The best travel strollers
The Cybex Libelle foldable stroller weighs in at 13.7 lbs, making it a great lightweight option for families on the go. Parents love that the Libelle stroller is durable yet light enough to carry in one hand. It’s a great second stroller option that can be stored in the trunk of a car or taken on a plane, as the foldable design allows it to fit neatly in an overhead bin or carry-on bag.
But don't let its size fool you. This stroller has plenty of features, including an adjustable safety harness, an easy one-foot brake system, and a generous sunshade with a UPF 50+ rating to protect from the sun, though there is no peek-a-boo window to keep an eye on your little one.
The Libelle has an option to recline the seat, as well as an adjustable leg rest to allow your child to sit in a more ergonomic position. A basket tucked under the seat allows for ample storage of your items and quick access. The stroller is also equipped with front-wheel suspension and rubber tires that provide a smooth ride over bumpy terrain.
The Libelle is also compatible with any Cybex car seat and includes a car seat adapter, so you can keep your child safe and secure as you transition with ease from the plane or car to the sidewalk.
Seeking a top-of-the-line, luxurious stroller that can go anywhere and do anything? Look no further than the Babyzen YOYO2. This sleek stroller features independent, four-wheel suspension for a smooth ride, even over rough terrain. It's also compatible with multiple car seats so that you can use it from birth onward. And because it's so compact, it's a breeze to fold up and take with you on the go.
The YOYO2 rings in at $479, making it one of the pricier offerings on this list, though it’s not lacking in design for that higher price point. It has a roomy storage basket for all your baby gear, plus a seat that reclines in multiple positions, all the way back to 145 degrees. If more storage is needed for keys, phones, or wallets, there is also a zippered mesh pocket on the back of the seat.
The stroller is narrow enough to be rolled down the aisle of a plane and comes with a handy dedicated carrying case to sling over your shoulder when needed.
The seat fabric is removable, machine-washable, and comes in a variety of trendy colors, and a leatherette handlebar completes the look of this stylish stroller.
The main drawback that parents report is that many of the accessories require additional purchases. For example, the stroller comes with a rain cover, but if you wish to have items like a car seat adaptor, you’ll need to buy them separately. However, it is also sturdy enough that it could be used as a primary stroller, which could help defray some of the costs of this higher ticket investment. The coolest accessory? A pair of attachable skis allows you to glide the stroller over the snow (though it’s not to be used while skiing or snowboarding).
The Bugaboo Butterfly is a powerhouse option for parents looking for a premium stroller that packs a punch. Though it does come with a higher price tag, the Butterfly stroller has a slate of luxurious features that make it worth the cost.
This stroller has one of the highest weight capacities of the strollers on this list, able to accommodate a child weighing up to 50 pounds in the seat, plus an additional 17-pound capacity in the under-seat storage basket.
Parents report that the four-wheel suspension system makes the stroller easy to maneuver, and it handles well over bumpy terrain. For protection from the sun, the Butterfly boasts an XXL sun shade with four oversized panels that stretch to provide ample coverage, and the seat is designed with a breathable mesh fabric and ventilation holes to keep children cool. An adjustable handlebar and included cupholder round out the list of premium accessories.
Bugaboo also promises a lightning-quick “one-second” fold and unfold process, with the ability to transition seamlessly with one hand. Parents just need to grip the handle and pull upwards firmly – gravity takes care of the rest!
While it isn’t the smallest option available on our list, the Butterfly is also IATA-compatible, which means that the stroller is accepted as a carry-on for most airlines.
The Britax B-Lively stroller is a great mid-range option for parents looking for a sturdy, reliable everyday stroller at a mid-range price point. While it’s technically a full-size stroller, the 20 lb weight and ability to fold the stroller make it worthy of consideration for families on the go.
The lightweight aluminum frame and quick-fold mechanism make it a breeze to fold up quickly. To fold the stroller, parents simply need to tug on the quick-pull handle on the seat.
For those seeking an option with great storage capacity, the B-Lively is a great fit. An XL storage basket under the seat is great for carrying essentials, and an opening in the front allows you to easily access items from the front or back of the stroller.
A ventilated UV 50+ canopy with a mesh peek-a-boo window protects your little one from the sun and keeps them cool and comfortable while allowing you to keep a watchful eye during strolls. The stroller doesn’t come with cup holders or a snack tray attachment, but these options are available to purchase.
The stroller allows parents to easily and safely secure any Britax car seat to the stroller, utilizing the company’s Integrated Click & Go system.
An infinite stroller seat recline feature allows you to adjust the seat to accommodate sleeping infants or attentive toddlers to keep them comfortable on extended journeys. The seat is also made with Cool Flow mesh fabric to keep kiddies cool on sunny days.
The GB Pockit stroller is the world’s smallest buggy, as named by the Guinness Book of World Records (2014). Though small in size, the stroller is mighty, with a sturdy design that parents report can be pushed with one hand.
While the Pockit is undoubtedly one of the most compact strollers on the market today, some of the ancillary features of the stroller are not as robust as other offerings in this category.
The seat doesn't recline, and the sun canopy has a limited range of coverage. The stroller has a storage basket underneath the seat, but it is smaller than most other options available, and parents would struggle to fit a standard diaper bag in this space.
A great plus of the Pockit is that no assembly is required – the stroller is ready to go right out of the box. However, due to their unique folding system, which utilizes push buttons on either handle and a two-step folding process, learning how to unfold or fold the stroller correctly and efficiently can take practice.
While the Pockit does lack some of the bells and whistles of other strollers on this list, by paring down these extra features, gb has created an ultra-efficient travel option great for situations where saving space and reducing the stroller’s weight is the top priority.
Those with an eye for style will want to consider the Mountain Buggy Nano, which took home a Red Dot Award in 2015 for its elegant design and compact size. This solid, dependable mid-range stroller option incorporates bright, fun patterns and fabrics to add a splash of color to your stroller style.
Features-wise, the stroller offers a fairly standard set-up, though it is equipped with a universal car seat adaptor compatible with most car seat brands on the market, which is a nice touch.
The sun hood on the stroller offers UPF50+ protection from the sun, and there is a pull-out sun visor to extend the coverage for extra sunny days. There is ample storage space in the storage tray under the seat, though it’s not enclosed, so parents should take care to ensure items don’t fall out while on the go.
Mountain Buggy was founded by a father hoping to take his child’s stroller off-road more easily. The innovative wheel design on this stroller reflects the company’s dedication to crafting strollers made for family-friendly all-terrain adventures. The front wheels of the buggy have two modes: locked back to provide better control over uneven terrain or 360° swivel, which helps maneuver through tight doorways and spaces.
It is important to note that the handle on this stroller is not adjustable, so it might be better suited for shorter parents.
The Metro+ Stroller is the updated version of Ergobaby’s successful original Metro stroller. The company has added enhancements to this new edition, including additional padding and an adjustable-height handlebar, to improve the stroller experience.
Comfort is the name of the game with this stroller option. The seat is AGR-certified as a back-friendly product for parents and children. Ergobaby claims the Metro+ features the #1 most padded seat on any premium ultra-compact stroller currently available, as measured by an independent third-party laboratory.
The comfort continues with ergonomic padding on the seat and the shoulder straps to keep your child secure yet cozy. The seat reclines to an almost-flat 175° position to accommodate naps on the go. In addition, there is a handy storage pocket on the back of the seat, though parents report that the pocket can be a bit difficult to access when the seat is fully reclined.
Parents will love the leatherette cover and adjustable height on the handlebar, allowing for a comfortable experience for parents while pushing the buggy. A PVC-free rain cover also is included with the stroller to keep children warm and dry on stormy days.
The Metro+ is a bit heavier than some other strollers on this list, so it might be more suitable for parents seeking a durable option for strolls around town rather than jumping on a plane. However, it still folds to a size compact enough to fit in an overhead compartment, though it is not “cabin-approved,” as it would not fit under an airplane seat.
Baby Jogger’s City Mini 2 stroller offers a great array of features in a compact, sporty design that’s easy to maneuver and bring around town.
To fold the stroller, you simply need to pull on the strap located on the seat, which brings the stroller together into a compact package in one quick motion. It also auto-locks to prevent the stroller from popping back open as you start to carry it.
A front-wheel suspension with a double-wheel design in the front provides a smooth ride over bumps. The lie-flat option allows the seat to almost fully recline, and the adjustable calf support helps to ensure that your child rides in the utmost comfort when they are ready for a nap.
The City Mini also boasts a decidedly not-so-mini UV 50+ canopy shade that provides significant sun coverage for your child, with a generous window for you to keep an eye on what’s going on under that protective hood.
Baby Jogger partners with several car seat manufacturers to provide adapters that can be used in conjunction with the stroller frame. This opens up the possibility to use your existing car seat or allows for a greater range of choice, rather than being locked into one company’s car seat options.
While the stroller does have limited storage options (there is an under-seat basket, but it’s not very large or easy to access), overall the City Mini is a great option for those looking for a lightweight stroller with many of the features of a full-size stroller.
How to choose the best travel stroller
As you can see, when shopping for a travel stroller, the options are endless, and there are so many features available, though not all might be important for your specific situation.
It’s essential to think about your travel style and make a list of what features are most important to your unique situation. For example, will you be hopping multiple flights with quick connections? If so, a lightweight, ultra-compact stroller with limited extra features might be the right fit for your upcoming travel plans, so you can easily carry or push it while moving quickly through the airport.
If walks across cobblestone streets or through parks are typically part of your vacation, you might prioritize a stroller with a more robust suspension system to allow for a smooth ride for your child.
If you intend to use the stroller mainly for trips around town or as a second stroller stored in your car, a heavier, more durable but slightly less compact or lightweight stroller might be a good solution.
No matter what stroller you choose, you should ensure that your child fits in the seat comfortably, and you can buckle the harness snugly to keep your child secure without fitting too loosely or tightly.
What the experts say
Before traveling, parents should also ensure that they are familiar with how to operate the brakes for the particular stroller model and take care to test the brakes to ensure that they are in working order before leaving for a trip or after removing the stroller from a plane or car trunk.
We spoke to Sarah Huff, Senior Manager, Customer and Community at BabyQuip, and asked for her travel stroller advice. She told us that “Parents should be cautious if they decide to check their stroller or car seat when flying. Airlines are notoriously hard on strollers."
She recommends using a travel bag for the stroller to avoid scuffs or wear, especially if you anticipate needing to check the stroller. Huff advised that “some stroller companies even offer full replacement of your stroller if it’s damaged while in their travel bags. That’s some added reassurance for parents.” A travel bag can also protect the stroller from dirt or germs.
Once you select your stroller, Huff also recommends to “practice folding and unfolding your stroller, so you aren't trying to get out of your Uber with a baby and fighting with a travel stroller you aren’t used to.” While most of the strollers on our list have easy-to-use mechanisms to fold and unfold, practice makes perfect and can help avoid stress on the road or in an unfamiliar location.