When I went on my hunt for the best travel stroller, I found many that I liked – and one that would quickly become my go-to for jaunts to the local park or Disneyland. However, things changed when it came time for our first airplane ride. I wanted to find the very best stroller for airplane travel. After all, there’s enough to worry about when it comes to flying – why add another element of stress?
That said, I set out to find the best travel stroller for airplane travel – and I came up with this top-notch list. Below, you will find the best travel strollers for flying, whether you need something super small for your young baby or need a double stroller to travel with your two kiddos.
Table of Contents
- My Top Picks for the Best Strollers for Airplane Travel in 2023
- How I Determined the Best Strollers for Airplane Travel
- What Should You Look for in a Stroller for Airplane Travel?
- Pros and Cons Of Flying With a Stroller
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Stroller Accessories for Airline Travel
- Tips for easier and safer airplane travel with a stroller
- Verdict: Your Best Stroller for Airplane Travel
I’m someone who thoroughly enjoys traveling. Whether it’s a three-day weekend to a nearby beach town or trekking across the country by plane to see some new sights, I’m always game. And that didn’t change when I had kids. That didn’t mean that traveling didn’t change, though. Instead of hopping into the car and taking off, all of the sudden, there were new things to attend to – diaper bags, toys, car seats, and of course – a top-notch travel stroller.
Here are my favorite strollers for airplane travel this year.
My Top Picks for the Best Strollers for Airplane Travel in 2023
Not all strollers are created equal, and some are more suitable for air travel compared to others. I took the liberty of extensively researching strollers to make sure I found the ones that were best suited for airline travel.
Here are the top five to consider if you’re in the market for a great travel stroller to take on your next vacay.
#1: Mountain Buggy Nano V3 Stroller(Best Value)
Recommended Age: 0-2 years
Stroller Weight: 13 pounds
child weight limit: 44 pounds
Fits in the overhead compartment: Yes
One look at this stroller may leave you to say, “Meh.” Honestly, the Mountain Buggy Nano V3 Stroller looks like any other umbrella stroller on the market. Nothing special, right? Nope! Think again. The Mountain Buggy Nano V3 is easily going to become your go-to compact travel stroller for all of your flying adventures.
When it comes to umbrella strollers, you’re simply not going to find a stroller that can reach “flat mode” – you know, the ideal mode for when your baby or toddler needs a nap. But the Mountain Buggy Nano V3 can. This lightweight stroller is uniquely designed with a fabric sling seat that reclines all the way back. So go ahead, baby, enjoy your cozy nap before the long trip!
Lightweight With Shoulder Strap
When you’re traveling by plane, the last thing you want to do is struggle with a stroller that weighs as much as a horse. Well, the Mountain Buggy weighs just 13 pounds and comes with a handy shoulder strap. Essentially, when you carry the Mountain Buggy, it’s like having another purse on your shoulder. Who doesn’t love that? Travel bag included!
Two-Step Compact Fold
Getting on an airplane feels like you’re playing a game of beat the clock. Who has time to struggle with a challenging stroller? The Mountain Buggy comes with a handy two-step compact fold. And the best part is, it breaks downso tiny that it can be carried onto most planes. Yippee!
Travel System Ready
OK, so the “flat mode” is great, even for younger babies. But if your baby is a little too young and requires an infant car seat, then don’t worry – this compact travel stroller can accommodate you. Using the universal car seat adapter, you can attach just about any infant car seat in a flash. Talk about convenience!
This stroller isn’t awesome on rough terrain. However, that’s to be expected, as this compact stroller is not an “all-terrain” model. Also, the shoulder straps can be a little long when folded, but they’re adjustable, so you should be able to find a comfortable spot to carry this compact stroller.
#2: gb Pockit+ (Best Premium)
Recommended Age: 0 months – 3 years
Stroller Weight: 10 1/2 pounds
Child weight limit: 55 pounds
Fits in the overhead bin: Yes
When it comes to the best compact travel strollers on the market, the gb Pockit+ is the clear winner. Of course, it’s one of the most expensive models on this list, but if you don’t mind shelling out a few extra dollars for added convenience and class, this is definitely the stroller for you.
Most Lightweight Stroller on This List
There are many lightweight strollers on this list, but none compare to the gb Pockit+. This remarkable stroller is only a mere ten and a half pounds, making it the best lightweight travel stroller on the market.
Compact and Self-Standing
Having to bring your airplane travel stroller through the gate check is a nuisance. But with the gb Pockit+, you won’t have to worry about that. That’s because this travel stroller is ultra-compact and breaks down to look more like a handbag than a travel stroller. Being so lightweight and compact, it can easily fit inside overhead bins, making your life that much easier.
Oh, and by the way – when this compact travel stroller breaks down, it’s entirely self-standing, so you won’t have to fiddle with it while you’re trying to board your flight.
Now, we have to mention that this travel stroller doesn’t offer as smooth of a ride as the Baby Jogger (number three). However, seeing as this is more of a “typical” umbrella stroller rather than an all-terrain stroller, it’s pretty impressive.
You can go from smooth terrain to bumpier ones without your little one wiggling every which way. All you have to do is lock the wheels, and your tiny-but-might travel stroller can tackle anything.
Comfortable Toddler Seat
Some compact strollers might not offer a reclining seat, but the gb Pockt+ certainly does! The stroller seat offers a multi-position recline to keep your kiddo happy. Oh, and in case you do need to bring a little newborn babe along for the side, note that this stroller is 100% car seat compatible – you need to buy the attachment separately.
There’s almost nothing negative to say about this stroller! It will fit in the overhead and easily become your go-to travel stroller for all your adventures. The only potential drawback is that it takes a little bit of a learning curve to understand how to fold it. However, it’s easy to fold once you get the hang of it.
#3: Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 (Best All-Terrain Travel Stroller)
Recommended Age: Newborn +
Stroller Weight: 21 pounds
Child weight limit: 65 pounds
Fits in the overhead bin: No
Some people prefer all-terrain strollers because they want to be able to glide wherever they go. Now, this may not be your #1 concern when flying to your destination, but depending on where you’re landing, it could be a significant must-have! That said, if you’re looking for an all-terrain stroller that is great for air travel, consider the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2.
Air-Filled Tires + All-Wheel Suspension
The biggest perk of using the Baby Jogger is that it comes designed with air-filled tired and all-wheel suspension. Together, this creates the smoothest ride you could ever imagine – regardless of what type of terrain stands in your way. The other lightweight travel strollers on this list simply can’t compare!
Four Modes of Transporation
OK, so a few of the compact strollers on this list can be used with an infant car seat. But can any of them offer four modes of transportation? I think not!
If you’re using the most versatile lightweight travel stroller on this list, consider the Baby Jogger. You can use it with your favorite infant car seat (works with almost all Britax, Chicco, Cosi, Graco, and Cybex infant car seat models) or with a pram for newborns.
Or, ditch the attachments and let your older baby or toddler sit in the comfy toddler seat (up to 65 pounds – the highest weight capacity on the list).
But it doesn’t stop there – you can also purchase a glider board attachment. This means that you can easily transport two kids at once – or, you know, just your toddler when they no longer want to sit in the “baby seat.”
As a taller momma, I know the importance of having an adjustable handlebar; I mean, who wants to end their day of traveling with an aching back? That said, I had to add the fact that the Baby Jogger comes with an adjustable handlebar to suit everyone’s needs, regardless of height.
Big Sun Canopy
I have to be honest with you – most travel strollers don’t come with a very impressive sun canopy. In fact, many would describe the sun canopy of their compact stroller as a “flop.” But that’s not the case with the Baby Jogger. The sun canopy is surprisingly large, offering plenty of sun protection. There’s also a cute peek-a-boo window to check on your babe!
Unfortunately, the storage basket on this travel stroller isn’t the best, so be prepared to bring your diaper bag along for the ride. It’s also heavier than the other compact travel strollers on this list, weighing in at around 21 pounds. While this isn’t a huge issue, it’s something to consider, mainly because it will likely be too tricky (or impossible) to store in the overhead bin.
#4: Summer Infant 3D Mini Convenience Stroller (Best Low Cost)
Recommended Age: 6 months – 4 years
Stroller Weight: 11 pounds
Child weight limit: 45 pounds
Fits in the overhead bin: Yes
Kids are expensive. Trust me, I know; I have two myself. So when it comes to shopping for essentials like travel strollers, you don’t want to hand over your entire paycheck. But you also don’t want to skimp on quality. Hello, we want the best for our children! Well, if you want the best of both worlds, consider the Summer Infant 3D Mini. Here’s why.
Incredibly Lightweight Stroller
When you’re traveling by airplane, you don’t want anything too bulky or heavy. I hear you loud and clear! And I’m here to share this fantastic news: this stroller weighs about 11 pounds. Yup, 11 pounds. Your diaper bag probably weighs more than that!
Great for Older Babies/Toddlers
I will say that this is not a good stroller option for newborns or very small babies. That’s because the seat is a toddler seat for babies and toddlers who can hold themselves up, and there’s no option for attaching an infant car seat.
But if you’re looking for travel strollers to accommodate your older baby or young child, this umbrella stroller is an excellent pick. It comes with a comfortable padded seat, and the padded seat reclines to accommodate naptimes. Finished with a five-point safety harness, kiddos stay safe and sound while on the go.
Lots of Storage
When you think of an umbrella stroller, you don’t think of storage. But this compact stroller actually has quite a bit of storage. The storage basket underneath is surprisingly large – I have never had a problem getting all of my goodies in this spot. Not only that but there’s an attached storage bin with a cup holder on each side. Awesome!
I love all the features of this lightweight, compact stroller. The biggest disappointment is the sun canopy. It’s not very large so you won’t get a whole lot of sun protection. Also, the handlebars are a little bit too low for my liking. Besides that, this is an awesome everyday stroller that’s durable, lightweight, and compact enough for traveling by plane.
#5: Joovy Kooper RS2 Double Stroller (Best for Two Kids)
Recommended Age: 6 months+
Stroller Weight: 31 pounds
Child weight limit: 50 pounds (each)
Fits in overhead bin: No
If you have more than one child, you might not think you can bring a stroller with you while you travel by plane. Think again! The Joovy Kooper RS2 is specifically designed to accommodate two kiddos (up to 50 pounds each) in a way that’s simple, sleek, and airline-approved. Here’s why you need it.
Carries Up to Two Kiddos
The biggest reason why someone would choose this stroller is if they needed to carry two kiddos at once. Well, the Joovy Kooper RS2 comes with two comfortable seats for kids up to 50 pounds. The seats come with an extended backrest and footrest for premier comfort from start to end.
Parents, I have used many double strollers, and let me tell you, nine times out of ten they’re a huge pain – especially when it comes time to fold it up. The Joovy Kooper RS2 is different.
This incredible double travel stroller uses a one-handed folding mechanism that makes it a breeze to fold up or unfold, and it’s entirely self-standing. Talk about convenience, especially when traveling by plane! (Not even some of the smaller strollers on this list can do that!)
The second biggest hassle with double strollers? They’re notoriously difficult to manuever; but not the Joovy Kooper RS2. Built with three all-terrain wheels, this double travel stroller is OKper easy to maneuver just about anywhere. Oh, and you’ll be able to say “Hello!” to your babies while traveling thanks to the peek-a-boo windows strategically placed in the impressively large sun canopies.
This stroller has it all, from lots of storage to XL sun canopies and attachable cup holders and snack trays. Where it lacks is the ease of adjusting the harness for the kids. It can be a little tricky, especially in the beginning. It also requires you to recline the seats to get the smallest fold, but that’s not a huge hassle.
How I Determined the Best Strollers for Airplane Travel
You’re probably wondering how I came up with this comprehensive list of the best travel strollers for airplane travel. Well, no, as much as I wish I were this person with unlimited knowledge, I’m not.
Honestly, I paired real-life experience with extensive research. If I didn’t personally use the stroller, I looked through real and honest reviews to make sure I was picking the travel strollers that parents liked best. I also took into consideration the features and price tag of each product to ensure I chose only the best for my readers.
What Should You Look for in a Stroller for Airplane Travel?
Struggling to decide which travel stroller is right for you? You’re not alone – it’s a pretty big purchase, and you want to make sure you buy the right one. Well, I’ve narrowed down the top seven things to look for when choosing an airplane travel stroller. Let’s check it out, parents and guardians!
1. Overhead Bin Approval
If you don’t have to worry about checking your travel stroller (and I”m going to guess you don’t want to), then you need to look for travel strollers that have overhead bin cabin approval. Luckily, most of the strollers on this list are approved, so that takes a lot of the guesswork out of things. However, always double-check the rules of the airline you’re using, as every airline has a different set of rules.
2. Size and Weight
Secondly, consider the size and weight of the thing. OK, but hold on – let’s be honest. If it’s approved to go in the overhead bin, there’s a good chance it’ll be relatively lightweight and not too big. However, if you’re looking at strollers without overhead cabin approval, double-check that you’re comfortable with the size and weight.
3. Safety Features
Are you a stickler for safety? Of course, you are. You’re a parent! While all of these strollers are safe for your baby or child, some come with added features, such as a five-point safety harness rather than a three-point. Look for added features such as these.
4. Convenient Features
Now that the important things are out of the way, we can focus on you and your convenience. After all, I love a stroller that’s handy and easy to use – not those that are difficult and complex. So, some of the “convenience” I’d look for include: easy to fold (one-hand fold or two-handed fold), adjustable handlebars, adjustable leg rest, extendable sun canopy, and a decent storage basket underneath.
Oh, and one more thing that’s super handy: an included travel bag with a carry strap. A few strollers come with this top-notch accessory that makes transporting the equipment 100 times easier. (If the stroller doesn’t come with these extras, don’t worry, you can purchase them separately).
Tip: If you’re traveling with an infant car seat, make sure that the stroller you purchase is compatible with infant car seats – not all of them are.
Last but not least, look at the price tag, parents! I know that having kids isn’t cheap, so you want to purchase a travel stroller that fits your budget. If you have the option to splurge, I encourage you to do so. At the least, find a stroller you’re satisfied with and will be comfortable traveling by plane with.
Pros and Cons Of Flying With a Stroller
If you’re looking at all of your carry-on luggage, items for the overhead bin, and all of the stuff you have to do before the big flight, you might wonder – is having a travel stroller for airplane travel even necessary? For some, it might seem like an additional hassle they don’t want to mess with. To help you decide, here are the pros and cons.
Pro: Have a Stroller Wherever You Land
The biggest perk of bringing your own travel stroller is that you’ll have it wherever you go. So, whether you land in California or France, your stroller will be ready to tote your baby around. Now that’s convenient!
Pro: Won’t Have to Learn a New Stroller
Buying a new stroller means two things: an awesome new gadget for transporting your baby and learning a whole new tool. Obviously, having a top-notch new stroller is super exciting. However, learning a new stroller is a huge nuisance. Sometimes, strollers can be super tricky, and the last thing you want to do is fuss with a learning curve while on the go.
Well, that brings us to pro number two. When you bring your own stroller, you don’t have to worry about learning a new one. It’s smooth sailing, folks!
Pro: It’s Likely Free
Did you know that bringing your stroller (and infant car seat) along for the ride is typically free? Again, every airline is different, but the rule applies to most airlines. So – go ahead and bring your stroller and car seat along for the ride; it won’t cost a dime!
Con: If Checked, Less Storage
Really, most of the cons come with checking your stroller rather than bringing it on board in the overhead compartment. One of the most significant downsides to checking is that you will no longer have the added storage space found underneath the storage. Without this storage basket (and cup holders), you’ll be left with full hands.
Con: If Checked, Must Hold Baby
Another drawback to checking your stroller? You’ll have to hold your baby the whole time (or deal with a rambunctious and potentially sleepy toddler). That doesn’t sound too fun.
Con: More Stuff to Bring to the Flight
When you’re going to travel by airplane, you have to bring a lot of stuff. Adding a stroller to the mix can be annoying, let alone cumbersome – even if you go with the most lightweight stroller on this list. While it’s 100% worth it, there’s no doubt that it adds another nuisance for you short-term.
Frequently Asked Questions
At this point, you basically know everything there is to know about travel strollers for flying in an airplane. But before you “take off,” check out these frequently asked questions – you might learn a thing or two.
What kind of stroller can I take on a plane?
There isn’t any steadfast rule on which strollers are and are not allowed. The biggest thing to consider is whether or not the stroller will need to be checked or can be brought onto the airplane in the overhead bin.
Every airline has a different set of rules. A general rule of thumb is this: the smaller, the better. Not only will you have the benefit of (potentially) placing the stroller in the overhead compartment, but a smaller and more lightweight stroller will be infinitely easier to transport.
Can I take a stroller on a plane as a carry-on?
If your stroller meets the requirements, then yes, you can bring your stroller on the plane as a carry-on. Most airlines will not count it toward your carry-on allowance. However, it’s always best to double-check with the airline you’re using, as each airline has a different set of rules.
Do strollers fly free?
Most (if not all) airlines will allow one stroller and one infant car seat free of charge. If you’re planning to bring other strollers or infant car seats, you’ll need to check for fees with the airline you’re using.
Do I need a travel stroller bag?
You don’t necessarily need a stroller travel bag, but it is highly recommended. A travel bag will make it much easier to transport from place to place, especially if it comes with a shoulder strap. It will also add a barrier of protection for your stroller, which is always beneficial.
Which stroller is best at the airport?
While all of these strollers are premium picks for airline travel, the gb pockit+ is our number one selection. It is impressively lightweight and can fold down very small, making it a cinch to travel. It’s also equipped with premier wheels to handle various terrain with ease, which is not something you find on umbrella strollers (typically).
For more information, see my article on flying with a stroller (link will be here).
Stroller Accessories for Airline Travel
Here are some of my top-notch picks for airplane stroller accessories:
A travel bag will make your life that much easier, plus keep your stroller safe and sound while you travel by plane. If your stroller doesn’t come with a travel bag, I highly recommend investing in one!
It can get hot in those airports, especially during the summer months. An attachable fan will ensure your baby stays nice and cool while waiting to board.
The smaller the stroller, the less storage you’ll have. To make sure you have plenty of storage on the go, consider an attachable organizer.
Don’t forget about these nifty stroller hooks! These will ensure that all of your essential items are safe and sound, reducing the risk of lost equipment along the way. This is imperative while traveling!
Tips for easier and safer airplane travel with a stroller
Want to ensure you have the easiest and safest experience while traveling by plane with a stroller? Then check out my top five tips for a smooth ride:
- Use a travel bag. While a travel bag is not a requirement, it will make life simpler. The handy straps will make it a breeze to transport across the airport, and it will also ensure it stays nice and clean. Get a padded bag for added protection.
- Double-check rules. Every airline has a different set of rules for strollers. Always check with the airport, especially if you want to bring the stroller onboard.
- Know the ins and outs of checking your stroller. You need to know everything about checking your stroller (if you’re not bringing your stroller onboard).
- Photograph your stroller before taking off. If something happens to your stroller, it will be much easier to file for a damage claim if you have photographic evidence.
- If gate checking, consider purchasing a baby sling. If you’re not taking your stroller onboard, you will want something convenient to carry your baby around the airport. Consider a baby sling!
Verdict: Your Best Stroller for Airplane Travel
OK, moms and dads! I know that there is a lot of info in this article. If you just want to skip ahead to the good stuff, I’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a quick breakdown of the best travel strollers and all the features to help you make a decision.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Mountain Buggy Nano V3 Stroller. This small stroller easily folds down to fit inside the overhead compartment. It comes with a handy carrying strap and is travel system ready if desired.
Those that don’t mind spending a little extra for additional features should consider the gb Pockit+. It is the most lightweight stroller on the list that folds down in self-standing mode. With an impressive set of wheels and a comfortable seat, it offers the smoothest ride imaginable from an umbrella-style stroller.
If you want an all-terrain stroller that can handle any pathway, consider the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2. This awe-inspiring stroller offers the smoothest ride possible and has four different modes to handle any age group. It also comes with a handy adjustable handlebar and the most extensive sun canopy for top-of-the-line sun protection.
On a budget and want to spend less than $100? Then the Summer Infant 3D Mini Convenience Stroller is a must. Although this stroller is lightweight and small, it offers an impressive amount of storage space. Best for older babies and toddlers who desire a reclining seat and parents who want a super simple stroller to tote around.
If you have two kids and want an ultra-convenient, easy-to-use double-travel stroller, consider the Joovy Kooper RS2 Double Stroller. This double stroller has all of the “wow” factors you could want, from a one-handed folding mechanism to lots of storage for parents and kids.
There you have it, parents – the very best travel strollers on the market. And while you really can’t go wrong with any of these top-notch strollers, make sure you’re buying the one that fits your wants and needs. For instance, make sure your stroller accepts infant car seats if you have a newborn baby, or buy a stroller that fits in the overhead bin if desired.