Note: There is no one universal “best,” especially when it comes to parenting. These are “The Best Travel Strollers” based on Also Mom's strict criteria, detailed here.
Certain occasions call for smaller strollers. Travel strollers, compact strollers, and umbrella strollers (all functionally similar) are great for travel, for city living, and/or as a hot spare to keep in your trunk. While many parents choose to buy both a full-sized or standard stroller and a travel stroller, our favorite travel stroller, the Babyzen YOYO+, is actually full-featured enough to be your only stroller.
These are the best travel strollers, in loose order of preference…
- Babyzen YOYO+ ($495 stroller only, $720 including bassinet) – The Babyzen YOYO+ is expensive, but could very well be worth every penny if it suits your lifestyle and budget. The YOYO+ has nearly all the same features as standard strollers, including a bassinet and solid car seat compatibility, but folds incredibly compactly, is wonderful for travel, and is smaller (and better) for navigating tight urban spaces. If you live in a big city and only want to get one stroller, this is the one. [full review]
- GB Pockit Plus ($299.95) -An upgrade on the super-compact GB Pockit, the Pockit Plus has a larger canopy, a deep recline suitable for naps, is compatible with the best infant car seats, and has the tiny, simple fold and excellent maneuverability for which the Pockit is already known and loved. [full review]
- Zoe XLC Best v2 ($249.95) – This stroller is awesome, but it has some limitations– namely that it is not suitable from birth. We love most everything about it, especially its ridiculously easy, ridiculously compact fold, its oversize canopy, and its comfortable ride. This stroller does not accept infant car seats and is not compatible with a bassinet, so it is not suitable for babies younger than about six months, but hey, it's easier to babywear at that age anyway! [full review]
- GB Qbit Plus ($299.95) -You might choose the Qbit Plus over the Pockit Plus if you wanted a slightly sturdier travel stroller with a deeper seat. Other than that, we'd choose the GB Pockit Plus (or Babyzen YOYO+ if it's in your price range) instead, since the Pockit Plus is similar in most ways, but has a more compact fold. [full review]
- Joovy Groove Ultralight ($199.99, often available for ~$110) – The Joovy Groove Ultralight is a nice-enough-looking, lightweight second stroller (or even a totally fine solo stroller for those who prefer to babywear the first six months). It has very few bells or whistles– no bassinet, no car seat compatibility, no super compact fold– but it does have a deep recline and an adjustable footrest. It is also technically suitable from birth since it reclines nearly flat, but because it doesn’t have great suspension, it bumps and jostles a bit too much for a newborn without a bassinet or car seat. [full review]
- Summer Infant 3D Lite ($89.99) – The Summer Infant 3D Lite is an inexpensive, lightweight second stroller (or even a totally fine solo stroller for those who prefer to babywear the first six months). It has very few bells or whistles– no bassinet, no car seat compatibility, no super compact fold– but it is only 12 pounds and less than $100. [full review]
Which Is the Best Travel Stroller for Your Family?
If you want a travel stroller that can also be your perfect, every day stroller… the Babyzen YOYO+ is the absolute best of the best, since it can be used from birth with a bassinet. The GB Pockit Plus and GB Qbit Plus both work from birth with a car seat (which we don't love as an everyday solution, but maybe you're not as picky as we are). If you plan to babywear for the first six months anyway, the Zoe XLC BEST v2 is another great option.
If you want an inexpensive travel stroller for the rare occasion when you travel and don't want to have to worry about something nice (but still want something nice enough)… the Summer Infant 3D Lite or Joovy Groove Ultralight are the way to go.
If you want a travel stroller that accommodates multiple children… the Babyzen YOYO+ has a ride-along board accessory sold separately that many parents (and kids!) love. Or look into double travel strollers. [reviews coming soon]
If you want a stroller that accepts convertible car seats… the only stroller for that job is the Mountain Buggy Nano along with the Cosco Scenera Next car seat. The Nano has some design flaws, but maybe you can see past those.
To us, a great travel stroller…
- Looks fantastic and suits your personal style
- Is compatible with your infant car seat
- Has a bassinet for small infants
- Has a seat that reclines significantly or completely
- Has high-quality wheels, good suspension, and great maneuverability
- Folds small enough to fit where you need it to fit (overhead bin, trunk, etc.)
What Didn't Make the Cut
These are few popular travel strollers we don’t recommend and why…
- Baby Jogger City Tour ($170) – This is a great looking stroller, but it has a major design flaw– the seat is angled downward. There have been too many complaints about children nearly sliding out of this seat for it to make the list, though there are some who absolutely love this stroller.
- Baby Jogger City Tour Lux ($260) – Similar to the City Tour but even better looking, the City Tour Lux has a lot of great things going for it. It is modular, which is totally unheard of for compact strollers. It accommodates a bassinet for newborns and a ride-on board for older children. The big downside is the handlebar height, which is only 38 inches, making it too short for parents taller than 5'8 or so. It also has a rather narrow seat and a larger fold than preferred. We prefer similarly priced strollers like the GB Pockit Plus.
- Besrey Airplane Capsule Lightweight Stroller ($170) – Inexpensive and folds to carry-on size, this stroller would be awesome if only it reclined. But it doesn’t, so we don’t recommend it.
- Britax B-Mobile ($160) – A nice-looking stroller at a mid-tier price point, the B-Mobile is fine for those committed to the Britax brand, but it is unfortunately pretty bulky for a travel stroller. We love the modern look, the large canopy, and the belly bar, but its fold is on the larger side, taking up about as much volume as a bulky umbrella stroller, despite a different folding mechanism.
- GB Pockit ($180) – Although this is the absolute smallest-folding stroller on the market, it does not recline and is not suitable for naps. It also has a ridiculous canopy.
- Maclaren Volo ($130) – This stroller does not recline and is more expensive than the Summer Infant 3D Lite. We like the mesh edges, which would be great for hotter weather, but without a recline, this stroller is not suitable for naps.
- Maclaren Globetrotter (~$160) – Very similar in look, feel, and function to the Summer Infant 3D Lite, but $100 more expensive. The quality is better (despite looking similar) and the sunshade is bomb, but is that worth $80 to you?
- Maclaren Triumph (~$180) – Like the Globetrotter but ~$100 more expensive than the Summer Infant 3D Lite. It has nice cushioning, but not much else going for it.
- Maclaren Quest (~$225) – This is a very good-looking stroller in black, but for the price, it is pretty limited in capability. It is lightweight (12ish pounds), but because it is an umbrella stroller, it does not fold nearly as compactly as the Babyzen and GB strollers we recommend. It lays nearly flat for newborns, but so does the Joovy Groove for less than half the price. The sun canopy is awesome, but not ~$225 awesome.
- Mountain Buggy Nano ($249.95) – We almost added this stroller to our main list, because so many people love this stroller. It also has a couple of nasty design flaws. The main strike against the Nano is the placement of the foot brake, which tends to get kicked accidentally all too often (bringing the stroller to an abrupt halt) and the low handlebar height, which makes this stroller suboptimal for parents taller than 5'8 or so. On the plus side, the Nano is the only stroller that is compatible with a convertible car seat, the Cosco Scenera, which is an amazing feature for air travel with toddlers or for carless city dwellers who rely on Uber to get from A to B. In our opinion, this feature is the only reason you would buy this stroller over similarly priced alternatives. [full review]
- Nuna Pepp ($250) – The same price as the Zoe XLC BEST with similar features and a bulkier fold. We would choose the Zoe (or the slightly more expensive GB Pockit Plus) ten times out of ten.
- UPPAbaby G-Lite ($200) – Super breathable mesh at a similar price point to the Maclaren Volo, with a similar flaw: it can’t be reclined.
- UPPAbaby G-Luxe ($280) – Very similar in look and function to the Joovy Groove Ultralight, but nearly twice the price. Not worth it in our opinion.
- UPPAbaby Minu ($400) – Although this stroller features leather accents and a polished look, the fold is on the bulky side (bulkier than the GB Qbit Plus) and it is expensive for what it is. For only $100 more, you can get our all-time favorite travel stroller, the Babyzen YOYO+, or you can save yourself $100 and opt for the GB Pockit Plus, GB Qbit Plus, or Zoe XLC BEST v2.