August 7, 2022

Model Desac

It’s Time to Fly

Best Travel Strollers 2022

11 min read
Best Travel Strollers 2022

The best travel strollers are lightweight and compact enough to squeeze into an overhead bin with your carry-on luggage. Many of them fold with one hand and are narrow enough to squeeze through the aisles on a plane. Some have car seats built right in or just an attachment away. These strollers help families roll up to the gate (and sometimes right onto the plane) with fewer complications.

I spoke with parents and parenting experts to find the best travel strollers depending on your needs, from the most compact travel strollers to travel stroller systems that take infants from the car seat through security and into their airplane seat.

“Even when you travel with another adult who can help, traveling [with children] always feels hectic,” says Chelsea Stivers, mom, postpartum and motherhood expert and founder of The Balance After Baby. She opts to travel with a travel stroller because, as she says: “I need something lightweight that can fold up in one or two quick motions. You don’t realize how often you have to do this when traveling, but it’s a lifesaver.”

In general, you’ll want a lighter stroller than your everyday wheels or certainly more compact than a rugged jogging stroller. Read more about how to select the best travel strollers in our buying guide at the end of this article.

Best Travel Stroller Overall

The Most Lightweight And Compact Of Them All

MOST POPULAR

Weight: 13 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: Yes | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: No | Weight Limit: 55 pounds

Best For: Frequent travelers and social butterflies who need a lightweight solution to fit their busy lifestyle.

The gb Pockit+ All City stands out as the lightest of all the best travel strollers. If you’re looking for a travel stroller to zip you through the airport and to your destination, the gb Pockit is worth considering. This travel stroller folds up as small as a handbag in seconds, making it TSA carry-on compliant.

“I can’t imagine going anywhere without first putting our gb Pockit in my trunk,” says Alex Powers, mom of two and avid traveler. “It’s lightweight, so easy to break down and can fit into any overhead compartment. Plus—major bonus—you can also use it while walking down the airplane aisles.” Skipping the wait for your gate checked items is a win for most of us, but for overloaded parents with cranky travelers, it’s a coup.

Not every car seat attaches to the Pockit, but a separate (included) adapter does make it baby-ready with any Cybex infant car seat. The All City version reclines at multiple levels, although not flat.

The storage basket offers an 11-pound capacity, so you can throw a small diaper bag underneath with essentials. The fabric is removable and machine washable, and the sun canopy includes a 50+ UPF rating. Given that the gb Pockit+ All City travel stroller holds children up to 55 pounds, parents can use it for many years.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Fits into an overhead bin
  • Suitable for kids up to 55 pounds

Cons:

  • Not durable enough for daily use
  • Limited car seat options

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Best Compact Travel Stroller

Most Likely To Fit In The Overhead Bin

Weight: 14 pounds |  Car Seat Compatible: Yes | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: Yes | Weight Limit: 48 pounds

Best For: Lightweight and super compact, this stroller is ideal for short vacations, road trips and visits to the park.

Poll any group of new parents, which I did, and many will tell you they absolutely love the Babyzen YoYo2. Anne Bransky, frequent cross-country traveler and mom of two, swears by the YoYo, because it’s easy to use and fits in the overhead bin like a dream. At just 14 pounds, you won’t throw your back out lifting it up. It also folds up so compactly that you can carry it like a handbag. Bransky also appreciates the board attachment, so that another sibling can hop on for a faster stroll through the airport.

While it’s a bit lightweight for everyday use, the padded seat, four-wheel suspension and shock absorption make for a comfortable ride for your child. Unfortunately, the seat is typically purchased separately. Parents can choose from a newborn bassinet or a regular seat. The Babyzen YoYo2 also has an adjustable leg rest and is compatible with most car seats with the right adapter. There is a back pocket for storage, which is great for passports, wallets, phones and snacks, and a 50+ UPF solar screen so parents can rest easy. 

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Shoulder strap for carrying
  • Board attachment for siblings to ride along
  • Compatible with most car seats (with adapter)

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Seat and canopy require separate purchase


Best Budget Travel Stroller

Cost-Efficient And Easy To Use

Weight: 15 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: Yes | Carry-On Potential: No | One-Handed Fold: No | Weight Limit: 50 pounds

Best For: Families on the hunt for a budget-friendly option that has all the bells and whistles of more expensive options.

As with anything baby related, travel strollers can get really expensive. Leave it to Graco to craft an option that’s budget friendly and versatile. Aside from the price, parents love this travel stroller, because it attaches to all the (uber popular) Graco infant car seats in a mere second, so you don’t have to wake baby to transfer them. It folds compactly in one step and includes a parent tray with cupholder and a child’s belly bar with cup holders so they can have snacks sand drinks easily accessible. Everyone knows a fed baby is a happy baby. Ditto for an adequately caffeinated parent. The multi-reclining seat includes a 5-point harness for optimal safety. The storage basket is more than adequate.

Two downsides to note: The fabric of the stroller can’t be removed, so you’ll have to spot clean with soap and water. And while lightweight at 15 pounds, the Graco NimbleLite won’t fit in the overhead bin, so you’ll need to gate-check it.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Simple folding mechanism

Cons:


Best Travel System Stroller

A Compact Stroller That Folds On Its Own

Weight: 13.6 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: Yes | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: Yes | Weight Limit: 50 pounds

Best For: Those looking for a self-folding, top-of-the line travel stroller system.

The newly introduced Nuna TRVL travel stroller came close to snagging the overall best travel stroller moniker, but I think it fits better as the Best Travel System Stroller for several reasons. For one, the TRVL connects directly to Nuna Pipa car seats with no adapter, which is a convenience for many overtired parents. know, there’s a unique kind of panic that comes with forgetting a key part of any baby gear.

Separately, the Nuna TRVL checks all the boxes in terms of the best travel strollers expected features. It’s easy self-folding feature is a huge help to traveling parents juggling a million of bags, kids and general stuff. It also fits in the overhead bin, comes with a carrying case and accommodates children up to 50 pounds, making it a wonderful long-term stroller option. I also like the one-touch break, all-wheel suspension, adjustable leg support, customizable recline, self-guiding magnetic buckle and the removable and adjustable push bar.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and overhead-bin compatible
  • Excellent for babies and toddlers
  • Durable enough for everyday use

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Only fits Nuna Pipa car seats


Best Toddler Travel Stroller

Lightweight But Sturdy Enough For City Trips And Big Kids

Editor’s Pick

Weight: 16 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: No | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: Yes | Weight Limit: 55 pounds

Best For: Those who take long and short trips frequently or need a lightweight option for daily use.

The Colugo Compact stroller is another mom-favorite because of its multitude of features combined with a lower price. The one-handed two-second fold and its extremely handy carrier backpack get high marks as do the no-puncture foam filled tires and 5-point magnetic harness buckle.

Jane Sung, the senior beauty editor at Forbes Vetted, called the Colugo “indispensable” for her family vacations. “The stroller is really well designed, lightweight yet sturdy enough to withstand the bumps of strolling in various locales,” she says. “It folds down in seconds and fits in an airplane overhead bin, and the best part is that it can roll down the aisle to your seats—perfect for the gate-check-averse like me.”

Colugo Compact is a particularly smart choice for parents looking for a long-term travel stroller investment because it holds children from ages 6 months (or whenever they’re able to sit up unassisted) all the way up to 55 pounds, which is about 5 or 6 years old.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • One-handed, 2-second fold
  • Includes carrier backpack
  • Works for ages 6 months up to 55 pounds

Cons:


Best Lightweight Travel Stroller

An Umbrella Travel Stroller That’s Just 14 Pounds

Weight: 14 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: No | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: Yes | Weight Limit: 50 pounds

Best For: City dwellers who need an option they can use for errands and when traveling to a different location.

Like other greats in the travel stroller game, the Maxi-Cosi Lara has a one-hand-fold option and it fits in the overhead bin. This umbrella travel stroller is best for toddlers who can already sit up on their own and up to 50 pounds. There is no car seat attachment option, so that may be a dealbreaker for some.

However, I love the basics of this super lightweight stroller and the perks, such as an extended umbrella canopy for sun and rain protection. Many travel strollers fall short in this area. The Maxi-Cosi Lara canopy extends to cover most of your child’s trunk so you can explore the great outdoors without worrying about them overheating or getting wet from a mid-day sprinkle. It also creates a cozy nap environment for tired kids.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and one-handed fold
  • Extended canopy
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No car seat attachment option
  • Limited recline options
  • Spot-clean only


Best Double Travel Stroller

Lighter Than It Looks And Able To Stroll Two Kids

Weight: 28 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: No | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: Yes | Weight Limit: 50 pounds

Best For: Families of twins or two close in age.

The Joovy KooperX2 double stroller is about as compact as you can go with a double stroller. It fits babies from 3 months old up to 50 pounds in each seat. I love the recline, standing fold and additional perks, such as the lockable front wheels for faster strolling and the leg rests that adjust to growing kids.

If you have to take the double stroller along on your trip, this Joovy double travel stroller is worth considering. It’s also machine-washable, includes two snack trays, matching canopies with peekaboo window, under-carriage storage and a linked rear break for stopping quickly. I also prefer the single handlebar for pushing significant weight as it feels easier.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and standing fold
  • Machine washable
  • Recline and foot rests offer multiple positions

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No car seat option


Best Travel Stroller For Infants

Wheels And A Car Seat All In One Package

Weight: 17 pounds | Car Seat Compatible: Yes | Carry-On Potential: Yes | One-Handed Fold: No | Weight Limit: 35 pounds

Best For: Parents with children under 2 years old who want to simplify travel.

The Doona is a favorite of parents with newborns and infants because it allows for a seamless transition between your gate, the plane and the car after your flight. The stroller folds down to become a carseat so you don’t have to remove your sleeping infant in order to get them sorted out in the car. The large wheels allow for a smooth ride and, as fashion designer and mom Lindsay Lorente says, “it eliminates the headache of renting a car seat at your destination.” She adds that it’s a game changer for those who live in major cities because “it allows for the ability to take your infant on a cab ride.” The downside, however, is that the weight limit maxes out at 35 pounds so it’s really only of use in the first year or two, depending on how large your child is. 

Pros:

  • Stroller and carseat in one
  • Lightweight and TSA approved
  • Incredibly handy for travel and daily use

Cons:

  • Expensive for a short-term option
  • Not suitable after 35 pounds


How We Chose The Best Travel Strollers

As with everything we choose to highlight on Forbes Vetted, we put in a great deal of research. Through personal use, recommendations from real parents both at Forbes and elsewhere, as well as a plethora of written reviews, we ultimately decide which travel strollers are worth your money. I’ve tested a great deal of these strollers with my own child or taken friends’ for a spin during park runs. This article is updated regularly (most recently in July 2022) to ensure the products and prices are still accurate and that we still love these strollers just as much.

  • Personal test runs and reviews by parents
  • Extensive research and product comparisons
  • Frequent updating of this list to ensure accuracy

How To Choose The Best Travel Stroller For You

Katie Long, director of strategy at The Mom Complex and mom of two under 5 (the equivalent of a parental PhD), explains that when it comes to purchasing a travel stroller, there are several key factors to keep in mind: “Look for one that packs down really small. Can it go in another bag or be worn by a strap? This is crucial for when a child needs to be carried. Parents often need both hands.”

What Are The Top Travel Stroller Features?

Long says it’s especially helpful if the travel stroller fits in the overhead compartment to ease the transition from airport to airplane and back again. A travel stroller that reclines is a boon for kids who might just nap on the go.

Stivers recommends a travel stroller with storage space underneath. “It’s always a huge plus to not have to have a diaper bag or carry-on strapped to you constantly,” she says. “It’s worth the investment, and your back will thank you later.”

Do Travel Strollers Work Well Enough For Daily Use?

Yes and no. While most travel strollers are optimal for travel, which means not everyday use, there are a few (like the Nuna TRVL) that work for errands and daily use. For the most part, however, the allure of travel strollers is that they’re lightweight and compact, which doesn’t always suit parents’ needs on a daily basis.

Frequently Asked Questions On Stroller Travel

How Do You Go Through TSA With A Stroller?

Per the TSA’s rules: You should place your carry-on items, as well as your child’s items, on the X-ray belt to be screened. Your stroller, travel system, baby carrier, booster and car seats must go through the X-ray machine, too. If you can place it on the belt, great, but if not, they will direct you to stroll through with it. Place any items from your stroller onto the X-ray belt to avoid complications.

You’ll also need to remove your child from the stroller and carry them through the walk-through X-ray machine, so be sure to prepare for that. Some airports will allow parents and young children through a separate scanner.

Are Strollers A Carry-On Item?

Many travel strollers are carry-on approved but are not classified as your carry-on, which means you can still bring your diaper bag. Before planning your trip, check with your airline to ensure your travel stroller is carry-on approved.

Can You Check Strollers For Free?

Again, ask the airline that your family is flying, but for the most part, airlines recognize children’s strollers and car seats as essential and not part of the standard baggage fees, so you are often able to check these child travel items for free at the gate, ticket counter or curbside. Some strollers outlined above are even small enough to stroll right onto the plane.

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