Top 9 Travel Strollers in 2021 (all under 16 pounds!)

by | Oct 8, 2021 | packing and products | 0 comments

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Ok, I know what you’re thinking. ANOTHER stroller? But you already have your big, fancy, expensive one! Why would you need another one?

I thought this same thing. But mamas and papas, let me tell you. Once you go with a travel stroller, you never go back. They are light, they are easy to fold, and (most) even fit in the overhead storage of the plane! 

So, do you really need a travel stroller?

I’ll break it down like this. If you just need a smaller stroller to get through the airport, then go to your local big box store and get a cheapy, no frills umbrella stroller and call it a day. It’ll get you through the airport just fine. 

BUT… if you travel a lot, prefer to walk the majority of the time when you’re on vacation, and are just sick of lugging your big stroller around and struggling to fit it in the trunk of your rental cars, then get a travel stroller.

What are the important features of a travel stroller?

There are 11 features that I think are musts when deciding on the right travel stroller. 

Price: since this is most likely going to be an additional stroller to the big, fancy, expensive one you have at home, I didn’t spend too much time looking at strollers that were over $500. In this post, there are only two that are over $400 and that’s really for the travelers that need to make the investment on a high-quality travel stroller to keep up with all their travels, or someone that wants to make one of these their primary stroller. 

Weight: the lighter, the better. You’ll be lifting this up to put in the overhead storage or up and down stairs, so you’ll want something that doesn’t break your back. All the strollers on my list are under 16 pounds.

Canopy: cover that sensitive skin up! If you’re out all day with the sun beaming down, a canopy is a must. And if you want your kid to sleep in his car seat, a canopy makes that nap much easier to take. 

Reclines: make nap time extra comfy and lay that seat down! Some strollers only provide a half- way recline (some none at all!), but the ones on my list all recline to a nappable position.

Easy fold: a push or a pull of a button or two will collapse the stroller and some will even allow you to do it while baby is in your other arm. You cannot beat that convenience.

Storage: you need somewhere to put the diaper bag, extra clothes, beach toys, or all the crap that your kid doesn’t want to hold anymore. 

Weight limit: to make the stroller last longer, you’ll want the weight limit to be pretty high. All of the strollers on my list are 45 pounds or higher. Depending on how big your kid is, that could last you for years.

Fits in overhead storage: this is huge! Some of the strollers are small enough that you can stroll right to your seats on the plane and pop it up in the storage above. When the flight is over you don’t have to wait for it in the jet bridge or at baggage claim.

Carry strap / bag: so much easier to lug even a light stroller around when it comes with an easy way to carry it. 

Car seat adaptors: you’ll get a huge bang for your buck if you can attach your car seat to your stroller to be able to use it way sooner.

Sibling addition: If you have a bigger kid, you can add a ride-on board so they can hop on when they’re tired of walking. Note that while there are universal type ride-on boards that can be attached to many different strollers, I prefer to get these accessories from the same brand so I know the quality is the same.

My recommendations

I am in multiple travel groups and questions about travel strollers get asked a LOT. The same 10-15 strollers get recommended over and over. After researching those and looking into a few other strollers with super high reviews, I went to the store and tested them out. I took off a few that didn’t hit at least 9/11 desired features. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find on this list.

The top contenders

Each of the strollers weigh under 16 pounds, have a canopy, a recline, an easy fold, and a storage basket. Some have extra features like adjustable footrest or added accessories. I’ll point out the differentiating factors for each below.

The strollers fit into three groups—budget (under $100), mid-range (under $100-300), and high-end ($300+).

Budget options:

Budget

Summer 3D Lite

Price: $99

Weight: 13 pounds

Weight limit: 50 pounds

Canopy: Small sunshade

Storage: Under carriage storage basket, storage pocket on handlebar

Carrying strap: Included strap

Fits in overhead storage: No

Attaches to car seat: No

Sibling addition: Not available

Cons:

  • Not the highest quality
  • Footrest is just a plastic band, breaks easily
  • Can be difficult to maneuver in uneven settings
  • Assembly is quick but it’s easy to attach the wheels incorrectly, and it’s difficult to remove to put back on

Bottle line:

If you want a stroller with more features than a cheapy umbrella stroller, and need it only for occasional travel, the 3D Lite will get the job done. Just know that it’s not a high-quality stroller and you’ll need to pay extra attention when assembling it.

Budget

Graco Nimblelite

Price: $99

Weight: 12 pounds

Weight limit: 50 pounds

Canopy: Full canopy with peek-a-boo window

Storage: Under carriage storage basket and parent cup holder/tray

Carrying strap: No

Fits in overhead storage: No

Attaches to car seat: Secures to all Graco car seats

Sibling addition: Accepts a ride-on board attachment

Additional features: Comes with belly bar with a snack cup for child

Cons:

  • Small undercarriage storage
  • Parents tray is fairly shallow
  • Handlebar is higher than most and close to the stroller
  • Possibly need to remove belly bar to put child in stroller

Bottom line:

The Nimblelite is an ultra-light, full featured stroller that’s a step up from a cheapy umbrella stroller, great for occasional travel, but also has the addition of attaching to all Graco car seats making it a full travel system. The biggest downfall is that it’s still a budget option, so you won’t get the highest quality stroller.

Mid-range options:

mid-range

Zoe Traveler

Price: $179

Weight: 11 pounds

Weight limit: 45 pounds

Canopy: 4 panel expandable canopy

Storage: Under carriage storage basket

Carrying strap: Backpack straps sold separately

Fits in overhead storage: Yes

Attaches to car seat: No

Sibling addition: Not available

Additional features: The lightest travel stroller on the market, adjustable footrest, rear wheel suspension for smoother rides. 

Cons:

  • Only sold online so you can’t test it out at a store
  • All accessories are sold separately
  • Shorter handlebar
  • Short footrest
  • Folding and unfolding can occasionally take a few times to work 

Bottom line:

A step up from the budget options, the Traveler has all the features needed, plus it’s the lightest stroller on the market, with a simple one hand fold. The biggest bummer is that you’ll have to purchase all the accessories you want separately.

mid-range

Mountain Buggy nano

Price: $199

Weight: 13 pounds

Weight limit: 45 pounds

Canopy: Small canopy, no peek-a-boo window

Storage: Under carriage storage basket

Carrying strap: Travel bag and carrying strap

Fits in overhead storage: Yes

Attaches to car seat: Yes (with universal car seat adaptor sold separately)

Sibling addition: Not available

Additional feature: Infant carrycot attachment (sold separately)

Cons:

  • No parent tray or cup holders
  • Folding process can be difficult and requires two hands and adjusting certain aspects beforehand to have it fold correctly
  • When up, sunshade covers handlebar
  • A bar across the top of the storage basket limits how big of an item you can put in

Bottom line:

The nano is a solid full featured, mid-range option with impressive maneuverability and a compact fold. It has a few small inconveniences, but the biggest downfall is that the fold can take some time to get used to.

mid-range

Colugo Compact

Price: $285

Weight: 16 pounds

Weight limit: 55 pounds

Canopy: Expandable canopy with peek-a-boo window

Storage: Under carriage storage and parent cup holder

Carrying strap: Carry strap and backpack

Fits in overhead storage: Most

Attaches to car seat: No

Sibling addition: Not available

Additional feature: Comes with rain cover, larger under carriage storage than other strollers, no assembly required, stands upright when folded, included organizer can double as a fanny pack. 

Cons:

  • Flimsy straps and buckling
  • Handle height is high and close to stroller

Bottom line:

Many steps up from a standard umbrella stroller, the Compact offers a very comfy, smooth ride with many features and included accessories to offer you everything you’ll need. The biggest downfall is that you can’t attach a car seat to it to make it a full travel system.

High-end options:

high-end

Uppababy Minu

Price: $399

Weight: 15 pounds

Weight limit: 50 pounds

Canopy: Large canopy with pull out visor and peek-a-boo window

Storage: Under carriage storage that can be accessed from front and back, handlebar pocket

Carrying strap: Carry strap and storage bag

Fits in overhead storage: No

Attaches to car seat: Yes

Sibling addition: Not available

Additional features: Stands upright when folded, plastic foam-filled wheels.

Cons:

  • Only stroller in this price point that doesn’t fit in overhead storage
  • No accessories are included

Bottom line:

Parents rave about the Minu and its easy ride, one-hand fold, and compact size. The biggest downfalls are it doesn’t fit in the overhead storage, and you’ll need to purchase all the accessories you want that usually come standard.

high-end

Silver Cross Jet Super Compact

Price: $399

Weight: 14 pounds

Weight limit: 55 pounds

Canopy: Ventilated, UBF50+ canopy with peek-a-boo window

Storage: Under carriage storage basket

Carrying strap: Travel cover bag, pull-along bumper bar

Fits in overhead storage: Most

Attaches to car seat: Yes

Sibling addition: Accepts ride-on board attachment

Additional feature: Comes with rain cover, adjustable footrest, stands upright when folded, seat reclines fully

Cons:

  • Bar in front of under carriage storage limits what you can put in
  • Many accessories not available 

Bottom line: 

A high-end stroller that can even double as your primary stroller, it’s a breeze to push and comes with all the added features you could want with a classy look. The only cons are that it doesn’t have a one hand fold and it doesn’t come with a few simple accessories, like a cup holder.

high-end

Joolz Aer

Price: $429

Weight: 14 pounds

Weight limit: 50 pounds

Canopy: Four panel, UPF 50+ canopy with peek-a-boo window

Storage: Under carriage storage basket and seatback pocket

Carrying strap: Carry strap and stroller bag

Fits in overhead storage: Yes

Attaches to car seat: Yes

Sibling addition: Accepts ride-on board attachment

Additional features: Comes with rain cover, has a bassinet attachment (sold separately), lifetime warranty, sits upright when folded, stationary footrest and adjustable/extended attachment (sold separately).

Cons:

  • Many accessories need to be purchased separately even at this price point
  • Recline isn’t flat and takes time to get used to how to recline it.
     

Bottom line:

A luxury stroller with a patented extra comfy, tall and wide seat, the Aer has the easiest one hand fold and is perfect for every travel experience. It’s hard to find a negative aspect to the Aer, but one is that many accessories aren’t included.

high-end

Babyzen YOYO

Price: $499

Weight: 14 pounds

Weight limit: 48 pounds

Canopy: Anti-UV, SPF50 canopy

Storage: Under carriage storage, parent handle pocket

Carrying strap: Carrying strap, handlebar, travel bag

Fits in overhead storage: Yes

Attaches to car seat: Yes

Sibling addition: Accepts ride-on board attachment

Additional features: Stroller has two options; bassinet or forward facing making it a full travel system.

Cons:

  • Canopy doesn’t extend far enough
  • Recline is mid-level
  • Many accessories, like cup holder, are not included
  • No footrest

Bottom line:

The ultimate luxury travel stroller, parents rave about the sturdy handling, one hand fold, and how easy it is to maneuver. The biggest drawback is all of the additional pieces you need to purchase to make it complete since it’s already so expensive.

Do you have any on the list above? Let us know what you think of it in the comments!

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MEET BESA

Mama & Traveler

Hi! I’m Besa. I’ve always been a travel-loving beach bum… and then I had kids. Two boys, born 19 months apart. But I didn’t let that stop me. I still travel, even with a couple baby boys in tow – and I want to help other parents do the same.

I’ll be sharing all my travel tips, tricks for scoring deals, and guides for some of my favorite family vacation spots.