The 5 Best Travel Strollers for Your Next Vacation, Parent-Tested and Approved

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Navigating an already crowded New York City subway with a full-sized stroller—or any airport monorail, for that matter—will make you vow to teach your baby to walk at six months. At least that was the case for me, prompting many a late-night search for “What’s the best travel stroller?” and “compact stroller that’s not flimsy and won’t hurt back.”

As much as I trust our search engine overlords to understand my fragmented queries (isn’t that the power of AI?), all the options meshed into a general…sameness. Steel-framed, plastic-wheeled baby-holders that promise to fold with one hand and kinda, maybe fit into an overhead bin, ranging in price from $100-ish to the down payment on a used car. But which one should I buy?! And do I really need to spend $400 or more on one?! So, I did what anyone with the luxury of working at a product-reviewing lifestyle site would do: I called on parents to help test the top-reviewed and up-and-coming brands on the market, vetting them to bring you the Best Travel Strollers on the Market.

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The Best Travel Strollers at a Glance

How I Chose the Best Travel Strollers

Beyond scouring reviews, I interviewed parents for their recommendations, then put the top models in my research to the test. I asked a team of seven parents to spend at least one week using their stroller(s), paying close attention to:

The 5 Best Travel Strollers, Tested by PureWow Parents

1. Bugaboo Butterfly Stroller


As soon as I mentioned “travel strollers” to anyone who owned a Bugaboo Butterfly, their voice would drop to a conspiratorial whisper as they gushed about it. Sorry, friends, but I’m leaking your best-kept secret. Our reviewer struggled to find fault with it. “I've replaced my full-size stroller with this one, and I never want to go back,” says Rachel Gulmi, PureWow Operations Director of Branded Content and mom of one. “I also love the extendable canopy. It's huge and blocks so much sunlight, which is great for hot summer days or on-the-go naps.” (This is worth noting, since most compact strollers feature little more than a visor on top, which is kind of a joke on a cloudless day.)

Gulmi also attested to the brand’s promise of a “one-second fold,” adding that she’s been able to easily fold and unfold it while holding her toddler or carrying things, and that it collapses to a carry-on size, so there’s no need to gate-check it.

$449 at Bugaboo

$449 at Neiman Marcus

The Bugaboo Butterfly, open and closed / Photos: Rachel Gulmi

2. Babyzen YoYo Connect Stroller


Just as popular as the Bugaboo Butterfly is the YoYo. For international travel, where you’re likely to be hauling gear on planes, trains and automobiles, the YoYo reigns supreme. It feels as sturdy as the Bugaboo Butterfly and features a decent-sized canopy to shade kids, yet it’s 3 pounds lighter and features a shoulder strap for easy toting. Plus, if you’re worried about gate-checking, it folds up small enough to qualify as a carry-on.

“It’s just so lightweight and easy to fold,” says PureWow Executive Editor and mom-of-two Alexia Dellner, who “100 percent” recommends this model. “You do NOT need more things weighing you down when you travel so a lightweight stroller is a must. There isn't a ton of under storage space but there’s room for a small kids bag or tote bag’s worth of items, and the back pouch is handy for all those must-have items you want nearby (wipes, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc.).”

$379 at Stokke

$449 (FOR BUNDLE) at Bloomingdale’s

Testing the Babyzen YoYo. / Photos: Alexia Dellner

3. Delta Clutch Stroller

delta children

“Clutch” is an apt name for this relatively affordable stroller—with its hand strap, it resembles an oversized clutch when folded. It’s the most compact stroller out of the ones tested, making it a great pick if you already have a full-size stroller and are just looking for something to take on road trips or flights. This small stroller got me through six months living in Florida during the pandemic, and while the wheels are a bit small and rickety for off-road terrain, it maneuvers nicely along crowded streets and walkways. It’s also well within Disney stroller requirements, making it theme park-friendly.

At 5-foot-11, I tend to hunch a bit while pushing this stroller, but my petite friends had no issues using it. You’ll have no problem squeezing onto subway cars, and you can use it as a carry-on to skip the gate-check (though, to be honest, I have no issues gate-checking gear—unless it’s raining and I forgot a cover).

$130 at Amazon

$120 at Delta Children

Testing the Delta Clutch stroller in NY. / Photos: Candace Davison

4. Guava Roam Crossover Stroller


The one challenge of most jogging strollers is that you need a serious SUV—that isn’t full of other luggage—to haul them around. Not so with the Guava Roam, which folds up to be 50 percent smaller than the typical jogger, according to the brand. (And in testing, I can confirm it’s much smaller than the Bob jogger I borrowed from a friend.) Its wheels are massive, so they can handle all kinds of terrain, and the independent suspension provides a smooth ride, so your kid isn’t jostled about too much. The wheel lock on the handlebar is nice too, so you can easily secure the wheel as you get ready to run. I loved how smoothly it glides down the street, compared to other models tested, and how the adjustable handlebars—which pivot in height from 34” to 45”—allowed any of my friends and family to take it for a spin comfortably, regardless of height.

Would it be nice if it folded up even smaller? Yes. Did I have to consult the instructions, which were printed as images on the stroller itself, the first six times I used it? Yes. But all that said, it’s still the sleekest jogging stroller I’ve tried.

$549 at Babylist

$649; $549 at Guava Family

Testing the Guava Roam in New York. / Photos: Candace Davison

5. Thule Spring Stroller


If you want one stroller to do it all—sturdy and spacious enough to carry a kid up to 64 pounds, yet more compact than a full-size model—the Thule Spring is for you. It’s heavy duty and durable, but our reviewer, PureWow freelance editor and mom-of-one Rebecca Shapiro, noted that at 23 pounds, it may be too heavy to haul alongside luggage and a squirmy toddler in tow.  “I would be hesitant to use it on trips that I needed to carry the stroller for any significant amount of time,” she admits. However, “the one-handed fold and small footprint are amazing, and it's great to combine those conveniences with some of the things that we love about our larger, everyday stroller—unlike most travel strollers, it is smooth for both parent and child, and has some storage.”

$400 at Neiman Marcus

$400 at Bloomingdale’s

Testing the Thule Spring in NYC. / Photos: Rebecca Shapiro

The Top 3 Runners Up (In Case You Want More Options)

6. Nuna TRVL LX


Nuna car seats have their own following, and fans of the brand will love its compact stroller as an alternative to a full-size stroller. Your baby can use it from birth, if you pair it with the Nuna Pipa series car seat (sold separately; no adapter needed), up until they reach 50 pounds. Plus, it features some of the bells and whistles other reviewers said they missed, like a removable and adjustable armbar, a wide canopy and adjustable leg rest for little ones. “The stroller glides very smoothly and feels lightweight without being rickety,” says PureWow Senior Food Editor and mom-of-one Katherine Gillen. “My daughter seemed very happy in it, aside from when I tried to adjust the seat recline with her in it and it jolted back—definitely made her cry with that move.” All in all, she felt it was a bit bulky for airline travel, but it makes for a solid full-size stroller alternative for families who live in crowded cities and/or small apartments, where space is at a premium.

$550 at Pottery Barn Kids

$550 at Bloomingdale’s

Testing the Nuna TRVL LX throughout NYC. / Photos: Katherine Gillen

7. Silver Cross Jet 4

silver cross

It’s a rare thing for a stroller to be so compact and yet, when unfurled, look so sleek. The Silver Cross Jet 4 features vegan leather details and anti-crease fabrics made from recycled water bottles, which contribute to its streamlined look. Each detail is designed for an on-the-go vacation lifestyle, from a brake that was created to be used with flip-flops (so you don’t jam your toes to lock it in place) to a wide, UPF50+ mesh canopy.

Our reviewer, Philadelphia mom Abby Plesser, raved about its compact size and how comfortable it was to steer around, though she noted that the small wheels could be tough for uneven terrain. “I got stuck several times on our city sidewalks with cracks, large gaps and uneven pavement. My son seems to love it—it's easy to clip him in and out, and the seat has nice padding for him,” Plesser says. “It would be great for airplane travel. I could also see it as a good option for people who live in walk-up apartments/homes and need something lighter than a traditional stroller to go up and down stairs.”

$470 at Silver Cross

Testing the Silver Cross Jet 4 / Photos: Abby Plesser

8. Cybex Coya Stroller


Most travel strollers come in very limited colorways—three to four options is considered quite a range—but Cybex offers 25 color and frame combinations (from quiet luxury neutrals to a bold, “We the Best” tropical print collab with DJ Khaled). At 14.6 pounds, it’s relatively lightweight, and our tester had no trouble carrying it in one arm while tending to her four-month-old. (She did note that it got heavy once you attached the infant car seat.) “For such a lightweight stroller that has smaller wheels, it's surprisingly smooth on outdoor terrain,” PureWow Commerce Editor and mom-of-one Olivia Dubyak says. “I took it on a walk at a nearby park and felt that it did a very solid job at handling bumps, quick turns to avoid dips and puddles, all while riding smoothly and not seeing every bump in my child's jiggling cheeks.”

She also tested it with her 18-month-old nephew and said he was “super comfortable” and “secure” as they went on walks together. She did note, however, that he missed having a snack tray or place to hold his sippy cup.

From $500 at Cybex

$550 at Bloomingdale’s

Testing the Cybex Coya on sidewalks and park trails. / Photos: Olivia Dubyak

What to Look for in a Travel Stroller

As you vet options, consider:

The 15 Best Pregnancy Must-Haves, According to Moms

Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.