As a new parent, traveling with your baby can be a challenge, especially if you’re dragging along a full-sized family stroller to the airport. Traveling with your baby can be so much easier once you get your hands on the right infant travel gear, and for the airplane, you certainly need a lightweight infant travel stroller with a compact fold.
Baby strollers specifically designed for travel usually have similar features as traditional family strollers with a folding design that transforms it to compact luggage that can be toted around. The best travel strollers make traveling with your infant a lot less stressful, but since airplane strollers are not one-size fits all, finding the perfect one for your family can be daunting.
Here we put together an almost exhaustive piece of finding the ideal stroller plus our top 10 strollers for travel with their strongest and weakest design features to simplify your selection process. Okay, let’s get right into it…
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Features to look for in a stroller for airplane travel
A travel stroller is an essential item for any working and travelling mom. It makes your time out with your child so much easier. But just about any stroller in the market won’t cut it, you need a reliable baby stroller specifically designed for travel with all the useful design features to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort on-the-go, plus it should also be easy for you to fold/unfold and maneuver through crowds.
When shopping for a stroller for travel, first think of how often you’ll likely be using it for your travels. If you will be travelling very often, then your stroller will see a lot of use. Which means that, durable and longevity of the product should be a major concern. Also at the top of things to consider is the weight and size of the stroller. It goes without saying that a travel stroller which will accompany you to different places should be very lightweight (ideally less than 15 pounds) and compact to enable easy carriage. It’s very important that the stroller folds small and maybe has a detachable cross-body strap.
Here’s a quick rundown of things to consider when shopping for a travel stroller for traveling with your baby:
- Consider the weight and portability of the stroller
- Think of how easy it is to use; does it fold and unfold with just one hand.
- Do you want a travel stroller for a newborn or toddler, or do you want one your baby will grow with?
- Do you want features like a reversible seat, adjustable recline positions, adjustable handlebar, adjustable canopy, removable cup holder, detachable shoulder strap, travel bag, etc.
- Check for safety features like 5-point safety harness, quality swivel wheels that can be locked into place, good suspension for shock absorption, excellent hand brake, etc.
Best travel strollers for airplane travel
- Baby Jogger City Tour 2 stroller
- Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller V3
- Compact besrey airplane stroller
- Babyzen YOYO 2 Stroller
- Summer 3D lite Convenience Stroller
- Bugaboo Ant Baby Stroller
- The Clutch Stroller by Delta Children
- Babyroues Ultra Lightweight Traveler Stroller
- BABY JOY Lightweight Travel Stroller for Airplane
- Thule Spring Compact Stroller
1. Baby Jogger City Tour 2 stroller
The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is an excellent stroller for the parent who loves to travel with their infant. It’s the ideal stroller for a casual stroll around the neighborhood or travelling across the country. The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is as compact as they come with a one-hand fold design and a carry bag for storing essentials for your trip. The seat is generously padded to ensure your baby’s comfort, and it reclines backwards, so your baby can relax and be comfortable. This folding stroller also has an adjustable footrest for maximum comfort. The Baby Jogger City Tour weighs only 14 lbs and is compatible with infant car seats.
- Lightweight and compact travel stroller
- Beautifully designed with long sun visor to block sun rays
- It folds and unfolds very quickly
- Has plenty of room underneath for a storage bag
- The fold gets difficult after a while
- It doesn’t feel very durable
2. Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller V3
A great choice for a compact and lightweight stroller for airplane travel is the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller. It weighs less than 13 pounds and is easy to open with just one hand, and you can fold it by simply pushing two buttons. The Mountain Buggy Nano stroller compresses beautifully-well and snugly fits in the overhead bins on airplanes, and it has a detachable carry strap for easy carriage when compressed. A safety brake and sturdy wheels that swivel to make it easy to maneuver on uneven terrains. To ensure your baby’s comfort, the seat has a full recline with safety straps to keep the child secure.
- Very durable and study for a lightweight stroller
- It’s compact and easy to fold/unfold
- It’s easy to maneuver
- Sun canopy is too small
3. Compact besrey airplane stroller
Weighing only 12lbs, the Besrey airplane stroller is one of the most compact strollers on the market. It’s a feature-rich compact travel stroller with a foldable canopy, reclinable basket, safety belt, protective comfort pads, adjustable footrest to make your child more comfortable during every ride. The ultralight aluminum stroller frame and compact foldable design makes the Besrey airplane stroller ideal for flying. When folded, this stroller will comfortably fit into the overhead bin of almost any plane or train. It’s suitable for newborns and babies up to 36 months old, and it comes with a rain cover and a bag for the stroller.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Perfect for travel
- Compatible with car seat
- Comes with rain cover and storage bag
- 24-months hassle-free return policy and lifetime warranty
- Can be hard to open and fold
- The small wheels make it difficult to maneuver
4. Babyzen YOYO 2 Stroller
If you’re shopping for a travel stroller that’s built to last for years, then Babyzen YoYo 2 is a compact stroller for you. The Babyzen YoYo stroller is one stroller that’s designed to handle a lot of stress. It’s compact and ultralight, weighs only 12.8 pounds, yet very durable and perfect for your newborn, 6 months old or 3 years old. babyzen YoYo 2 is super-lightweight and easy to push with one-hand on rough terrain, even with your 3-year-old in it. It folds fast with one hand and can be slung over the shoulder when not in use. Babyzen YoYo stroller comfortably fits the overhead compartment in airplanes, and is compatible with infant car seat, perfect for any kind of travel.
- Very compact and lightweight stroller
- Easy to push and maneuver even on grass
- Fabric can be removed and washed
- The fold is easy and compact
- The canopy is very small and hardly effective
- It almost has no recline function, the baby is almost sitting at full recline
- Insufficient shock absorption
5. Summer 3D lite Convenience Stroller
The Summer 3Dlite Convenience lightweight stroller is designed for every day and travel, with a durable aluminum construction and a compact design. Weighing just 13 pounds, it’s an ideal super-light stroller, and it folds easily with a carry strap and auto lock for easy storage. The Summer 3D lite convenience stroller is designed to keep your infant safe and comfortable with anti-shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels. The 3D lite has 4 recline settings and a 5 point safety harness to keep your infant comfortable at all times. It comes with an extra storage basket that fits underneath.
- It is lightweight and very easy to open and close
- Adjustable recline feature for a sleeping baby
- Enough storage space under the seat
- Has an extra large storage basket and parent cup holder
- The sun canopy is not sufficient
- Not great for bumpy terrain
- It cannot fit in the overhead compartment on a plane
6. Bugaboo Ant Baby Stroller
The Bugaboo Ant is another excellent lightweight stroller for both travelling and running errands with your little one. It’s beautifully designed with an adjustable two-view seat which can be reversed for your baby to either face you or look forward. Bugaboo Ant is built for both infants and toddlers, and can easily compress to fit in an overhead plane compartment. It also has a rear basket and a large under-seat for storing all your essentials during your travels. The Bugaboo Ant stroller for travel has a reversible seat that can be reclined to get your kid to a more comfortable position.
- Durable and compact stroller
- Easy to ride and steer
- 5-point safety harness
- Enough under-seat storage space
- It requires both hands to fold and unfold
- Maximum recline is about 45 degrees
7. The Clutch Stroller by Delta Children
At 11.7lbs, the Clutch Stroller is certainly one of the lightest baby strollers in the market. It is extremely lightweight and super-compact, making it an excellent companion for getting your child out and about. The seat has enough padding to support your babe, and safety straps to keep your little one safe. It’s easy to maneuver with a smooth ride, and it includes a travel bag which stows in the space beneath the seat. When folded, this stroller is very compact and can be carried with shoulder straps. The stroller is easy to fold and can fit in the overhead bin in airplanes and trains.
- Lightweight travel stroller with a compact fold
- Easy to fold and fits in overhead airplane bin
- Has enough storage space under the seat
- Comes with an extra travel bag
- Not a reclining stroller
- The sun cover is almost non-existent
8. Babyroues Ultra Lightweight Traveler StrollerNo products found.
The Babyroues travelers stroller is an ultra-compact and lightweight travel stroller designed for travelling with your newborn or toddler. Its compact but fully-featured design ensures your baby’s safety and comfort. The Babyroues stroller features an extra padded seat, adjustable padded harness, adjustable leg rest, adjustable recline of up to 170 degrees and an adjustable sun protection to block off harsh sun rays. For added safety, the Babyroues has a 5-point harness system and dual braking. This lightweight stroller is easy to open and close, and it includes a protective nylon carry bag with cross body strap and a pull handle to enable easy carriage. It weighs only 10lbs and folds small to fit the overhead compartment on planes.
- Very lightweight and convenient to use
- Fits in the overhead compartment on airplanes
- Easy to fold/unfold and steer
- An included rain cover shields our infant from the rain
- Extra large storage space beneath the seat
- It feels somewhat flimsy and tips easily
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9. BABY JOY Lightweight Travel Stroller for Airplane
The Baby Joy is another excellent baby stroller designed to accompany new parents on airplanes, it folds to a very compact size and comfortably fits into the overhead compartment on the airplane. This lightweight stroller has an extra padded seat, adjustable footrest, and a recline option of up to 95°-175o to ensure the child stays comfortable whether they’re sleeping or awake. The suspended four-wheel drive system provides excellent shock absorption even when driving on uneven terrain. The Baby Joy travel stroller is easy to fold by simply pressing the button on the handrail, plus it has a large space under the seat for convenient storage.
- Super-compact and folds really small
- Easy one-hand open and close
- Lightweight, portable and durable
- The seat cover can be removed and washed
- The plastic trolley pull doesn’t feel very sturdy
10. Thule Spring Compact Stroller
Compact and lightweight, the Thule Spring travel stroller is great for both travelling, shopping or running some errands. It’s designed to quickly close and open with one-hand, which is excellent if you’re carrying your infant. This stroller is equipped with a full range of safety features including an extra padded reclining seat with a 5-point safety harness. The no-puncture, foam-filled tires ensure a smooth ride while the swivel front wheel with suspension can be locked in a fixed position. The handlebar is adjustable for extra convenience and a large under-seat storage basket can hold your essentials for quick access.
- Compact 3-wheel travel stroller
- Easy one-hand fold/unfold
- Made with quality materials for durability
- Easy to maneuver, doesn’t tip when empty
- Easily accessible under carriage basket
- Not easy to maneuver with one hand
- The seat isn’t very deep and may not be very comfortable
Buyer Guide & FAQs
Different types of baby strollers
Baby strollers come in different styles and types, and each type has some unique design features that sets it apart from the others. The ideal baby stroller type for you and your baby will depend to a large extent on how you intend to use it. To help you identify the best stroller type for you, we briefly discussed the different types of strollers and the major ways in which they differ from each other.
Here are the most common stroller styles on the market:
- Full-sized strollers: these are the most common strollers out there. Full-size strollers are designed for family use and they come with the most number of features and accessories including reclining seat, large storage space, sun shade, footrest, parent tray, cup holders, storage pocket, glider boards, car seat adapters etc. They are hardly lightweight and compact, but very useful and durable.
- Lightweight umbrella strollers: these are very lightweight and compact strollers, they are able to fold up long and thin like umbrellas and are very easy to get around with which makes it a great choice for families who are always on-the-go. An umbrella stroller is not as bulky as a full-sized stroller, but its portable nature makes it excellent for airport travel. Umbrella travel strollers are also come at a lower price-point, although they are not as sturdy as full-sized strollers.
- Jogging stroller: these are strollers made for parents who want to enjoy the great outdoors with their infants. Jogging strollers are generally built to be very strong and durable, they have certain special features to make them suitable for walking, jogging or hiking. Jogging strollers are usually heavy with large sturdier wheels and enough wheel suspension to absorb shock. These strollers will also come with enough storage and are compatible with infant car seat for camping adventures.
- Double stroller: these are strollers designed for parents with twin babies or two kids that are close in age. A double stroller will have two seats either in tandem or side by side. Some double strollers have permanent seats while some will give you the liberty to change up the seats. For instance, you can have two infant car seats, an infant car seat and a toddler seat, two toddler seats, etc.
- Travel system: a travel system is basically a combination of an infant car seat and a stroller. The infant car seat can be fitted in the stroller to be pushed around or removed. There are different combinations of travel systems available, you can buy a stroller with a compatible car seat adapter to use with your own infant car seat, or buy a stroller+infant car seat combo.
Choosing your next compact stroller for travel: key points for consideration before buying?
After you identify the best type of stroller based on your need, you still should be able to know what features to look for in a lightweight stroller for travel. The following are the features that make a perfect stroller, and it should give you an idea of what to consider when shopping for a stroller for travel.
Lightweight and compact
Travel strollers are built to be compact and lightweight to make them easy to carry about. Most travel strollers weigh less than 15 pounds, but the most ideal strollers for air travel should weigh no more than 12 pounds, be able to fold very small and stand on its own when folded. The more compact a stroller is when folded, the better, because this ensures that they can fit in the overhead compartment on airplanes.
Easy one-hand open/close folding design
The perfect stroller for air travel should be very easy to snap open and close with just one hand. This is very important because you’ll probably be holding your child with one hand and opening or closing the stroller with the other hand, especially if you’re traveling without your partner or anyone else.
Sturdy wheels and suspension
You will always have to push your travel stroller through crowded airports and bumpy sidewalks, therefore it has a very sturdy wheel and a suspension system that will ensure smooth and effortless maneuvering. The front wheel(s) should be able to swivel and at the same time can be locked in a forward position, this will enable it to navigate curbs and uneven surfaces.
To ensure your baby’s safety, a travel stroller should meet all the basic safety requirements. It should at least have an adjustable 5-point harness system (two straps over the shoulder, two straps for the thighs and one crotch strap), this will ensure the baby doesn’t slip off or fall when the stroller is tipped to one side. The safety harness should be easy enough for you but difficult for a child to unbuckle. In addition to this, a safe stroller should have a hand brake or parking brake that’s easy to operate and locks two wheels. Also, strollers for infants with seats that fully recline should have leg holes that close to prevent the newborn from slipping or falling off.
Sun canopy and rain cover
A sun canopy will protect your baby from the harsh rays of the sun and unfriendly wind while a rain cover will keep the little one protected from rain showers. It’s also best if the sun canopy is large and can be easily adjusted. Some travel strollers also come with a small window which you can peek through to monitor your child from time to time. This is an optional feature, but you’ll certainly find it useful on many occasions.
Babies come with loads, lots of it, therefore you need the extra storage space especially for a travel stroller. A large storage basket under the seat for keeping essential baby items, such as a diaper bag or breastmilk bag, within reach is very important since you’re basically travelling.
Carry Strap or Bag
One of the most important features of a travel stroller is its portability, and the carry strap or bag only adds to that. A lightweight and compact stroller with a removable carry strap or bag can be carried like an oversized tote bag. This makes it easy to carry the stroller around when it’s not in use.
A stroller for travel will most likely get a lot of abuse from curbs and bumpy sidewalks to continue folding and unfolding, plus it can get thrown around when you check it. Only a sturdily-built stroller can withstand all of this without falling apart, and this is certainly what you want, right? Durable strollers have solid aluminum frames and high-quality fabric with enough padding at the right places. And it will last for years, preferably until your little one outgrows it.
What type of stroller can I take on a plane?
The best stroller to take on a plane is obviously an ultralight cabin-size stroller that folds very small and can easily pass as carry-on luggage. The size and folded dimensions of the stroller should not exceed the size parameters of a carry-on luggage, so that it can fit in airplane overhead bins.
What size of stroller can I take on an airplane?
Different airlines have different policies on the size and weight limit for strollers they allow on planes, so you’ll have to check in with the airline to be sure. But for reference, domestic airlines in the US allow carry-on luggage with maximum size 22″ x 14″ x 9″, so a stroller you intend to carry on an airplane should also be within these dimensions when folded.
What is the ideal weight of a travel stroller?
There is actually no ideal travel stroller weight because different airlines have different policies and restrictions. However, most airlines will insist that a stroller that weighs 20 pounds or above must be checked at the ticket counter, and small strollers that weigh less than 15 pounds can be checked at the gate or taken on board. But remember that this isn’t the case with all airlines, and always check with the airline you’re flying to know their specific policies on strollers for travel.
Is it free to check a stroller?
Yes, checking a stroller is free. Virtually all domestic airlines in the US permit a ticketed adult to check one stroller for free.
How do I protect my stroller when flying?
The best way to protect your stroller when flying is by using a padded stroller bag for overall protection from possible abuse by baggage handlers. There are also non-padded stroller bags that can keep your stroller neat and dry, but will not protect it from bumps as well as padded bags. Stroller bags are inexpensive and you can get one on Amazon.
Flying with your baby will be very stress-free and convenient with a travel stroller, as any mom would tell you. And the best stroller for traveling with your family should be as lightweight and compact as possible; actually the lighter, the better plus it should be easy to operate with one hand and fold small.
Despite the ultralight design, strollers for travel also need to be sturdily-built with a durable aluminum frame and complete design features to ensure your baby’s comfort on every ride. Our top recommendation for flying with infants is the Besrey airplane stroller due to its fully-featured and portable design. Another excellent choice that has impressed many parents is the Baby Joy lightweight travel stroller, it has a solid design, folds small and perfect for flying.