To make traveling as seamless as possible with a young companion, you’ll want a travel stroller that’s easy to fold and unfold, carries comfortably from place to place, and handles well over various surfaces. The Joolz AER Premium Stroller has all this plus top-notch durability. To maximize value for money, we also recommend the Kolcraft Cloud Plus Stroller.
Other Travel Strollers We Tested
Doona: We liked that this was the one stroller tested that also works as a car seat. It also performed very well in the maneuverability test, as one tester noted being able to maneuver through the cones one-handed. However, it was tough to fold and unfold (we had to watch a video to figure it out). Overall, our testers concluded that it’s a specific product, and while it was good, it wasn’t great enough to make our top picks.
Cybex Libelle Stroller: The Cybex Libelle Stroller was another good, just not great performer. It was fine in our tested categories and will get the job done. Our testers just liked the other ones listed above better. Our testers particularly liked how easy it was to fold and unfold.
Jeep Scout Double: Folding the Jeep Scout Double was not intuitive and took some figuring out. “Once you get used to it, it does get easier, but it’s not very intuitive,” concluded one tester. While this one falls into the budget range, our testers didn’t care for it.
Summer Infant 3D Lite: “It’s very inexpensive but not equipped with nearly the features you can get from the others,” one tester said of the Summer Infant 3D Lite. If you’re not looking for additional features, this one will get the job done as it is easy to fold and unfold, and maneuvers just fine.
Mountain Buggy Nano V3 Stroller: The Mountain Buggy Nano V3 Stroller was lightweight and compact. It also did well in the maneuverability test on turns and with one hand. But this one had some quirks, like a reverse folding canopy and an unfolding process that was counter-intuitive enough to keep it off our favorites list.
Jovial Portable Folding Stroller: Overall, the Jovial Portable Folding Stroller wasn’t a super strong performer in our lab tests. It did fine—just nothing to put it over the top. The folding and unfolding took some effort. The handlebar was a bit low, and the canopy felt somewhat flimsy. And it struggled on the gravel during our maneuverability test.
Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Stroller: Waking a sleeping baby is a big no-no. And while the Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Stroller had some features our testers liked (folding and unfolding, excellent maneuverability, and good reclining), it was loud, particularly the canopy. “It just didn’t impress across the board for the price,” one tester concluded.
Colugo The Compact Stroller: The Colugo Compact Stroller checked many boxes. It can be folded and unfolded with one hand. It has padded shoulder straps. And it was pretty good at maneuvering and handling turns. But it performed poorly on gravel. And the buckles for the straps hurt our testers’ hands. Plus, the canopy’s performance deteriorated throughout the test.
Our editors and testers tapped into prior knowledge of strollers and stroller brands and conducted internet research to select products. Once a group of products was set, we whittled the list down based on the strengths and price of each stroller to get a range of functions and price points.
How We Tested
All products mentioned in this roundup were tested in our Brooklyn, New York lab. Products were tested for the following attributes: folding/unfolding, design, portability, maneuverability, and overall value. We also weighed and measured each stroller.
We followed the instructions to fold and lock each stroller and then unfold it. We rated it based on how easy these actions were and if they could be achieved with one hand. The design was ranked based on the stroller’s extra features and how well (or not) those features worked. We were looking for things like adjustable handle heights, reclining positions, storage space, and canopies, among other things.
For portability, we folded each stroller into its most compact state and carried it around our testing lab, up and down stairs. We also created a simulated overhead bin space using a baker’s rack. Maneuverability was tested with a traffic cone obstacle course in our lab and on different surfaces including hardwood, tile, shag carpet, fake grass, and gravel.
Durability was tested by dropping the folded strollers from waist height and from on top of a table. Lastly, overall value was rated based on the cost of the stroller and how it performed in the tests compared to others.
What to Look For in Travel Strollers
If you’re buying a travel stroller, you’re after one that’ll be lighter and more compact than your everyday model. Look for high-tech materials that are sturdy without adding extra weight. You’ll find materials such as aluminum, polyester, and plastic are popular. Anything less than 15 pounds for an individual model is an excellent place to start, which applies to all the picks on our list. Fully collapsible models can be carried on board airlines, and weight restrictions for these are uncommon but not entirely nonexistent. Check your airline’s requirements and restrictions before your trip.
A comfortable child on vacation is a happy child on vacation—so you’ll want a stroller that will keep your child at ease during long days of sightseeing and exploring. Look for reclining seats, adjustable canopies, and padded harnesses. Keep in mind that features that add comfort often add weight. Consider a more minimalist design if you’re planning to use a travel stroller primarily to get from point A to B or will be loading and unloading frequently. On the other hand, if you’re road-tripping to natural or attraction parks, you and your little rider will appreciate those added comfort items.
Sure, you can go bare bones with a stroller that’s little more than a nylon sling chair on wheels, but you may also want features like cup holders to stay hydrated (or caffeinated) or a rack underneath to hold larger bags. Your ideal travel stroller fits the specific needs of your family and the type of trip you have in mind. That extra storage space could save you from carrying another bag or two, which could turn a potentially stressful event into a relaxing and fun outing, depending on where you’re headed.
Why Trust TripSavvy
Jess Macdonald is a travel expert and has been writing for TripSavvy since 2016. She has honed her skills as a freelance writer specializing in travel, scuba diving, and wildlife conservation. She’s also a mom-of-two who has traveled extensively (both at home and overseas) with her kids.
Nathan Allen is the Outdoor Gear Editor at TripSavvy. While not a parent himself, he’s learned the importance of having a good travel stroller after spending a month road-tripping the Western US and Midwest with his four-month-old niece.