Best Travel Strollers From Consumer Reports' Tests
For summer travel with young kids, pack light and stroll according to your destination
Squirmy toddlers and clunky strollers can test your patience on summer vacation. And while you don’t get to choose your kids, you can score a handy travel stroller that gets you on the road, stress-free.
Your daily stroller isn’t always practical for travel. On vacation, you’ll want to roll light with a stroller that easily navigates crowded Disney parks, bumpy beach boardwalks, rugged national parks, or even city sidewalks—wherever your destination. Travel strollers can range from a 7-pound umbrella stroller to a 15-pound car seat carrier to a 23-pound double baby jogger if you have multiple kiddos. Most can carry kids up to 50 pounds. But if you have an infant, you’ll need a car seat and a stroller that reclines for those inevitable naps.
First, consider how you typically travel: Headed by plane to Disney World? An umbrella stroller might lighten your load. Visiting the beach or your big-city relatives? Pack your walking shoes and a sturdy-wheel stroller (perhaps a lightweight jogger). Day tripping to SeaWorld? No problem—a travel system can help you cruise highways, dodge splashes, and rock-a-bye baby to sleep on the return trip. Travel systems feature a matching stroller, infant car seat, and car seat base. Models in our ratings include both a stroller performance score and a car seat performance score.
CR’s stroller ratings highlight the best (and worst) strollers, carriers, and travel systems for infants and toddlers. We rate them based on ease of use, maneuverability, and, of course, safety. We’ve tested strollers from brands including Chicco, Graco, Mountain Buggy, Peg Perego, and Uppababy.
Below are a few top-rated strollers for your safe travels.
Traveling With an Infant
CR’s take: One of our top-rated car-seat carrier strollers, the lightweight Chicco KeyFit Caddy is compatible with two highly rated infant car seats: the Chicco KeyFit and the Chicco KeyFit 30. (The seat “clicks” into the frame in the same way you attach a car seat to the base in your back seat.) That means you can transfer a sleeping infant from car to stroller with ease. This stroller earns Excellent ratings for safety and ease of use, and a Very Good score for maneuverability.
CR’s take: This lightweight and compact Baby Trend universal car-seat carrier is compatible with a number of infant car-seat brands. In spite of its name, the car seat doesn’t “snap” in; it rests on two strap supports and is secured by another strap. Still, it’s a well-priced, convenient option for parents of infants. It stands when folded. It also has an accessible large basket, two cup holders, and a parent tray with a small covered compartment.
Traveling With a Toddler
CR’s take: A traditional all-purpose stroller, the Peg Perego Booklet works on big city sidewalks, on paved streets, in parks, and on trails. This sturdy stroller is the only one in its category to earn an Excellent rating in all our tests: safety, maneuverability, and ease of use. The stroller seat reclines to a nearly flat position. Car-seat adapters are built in, making it easy to attach the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 infant car seat. The stroller stands on its own when folded and has generous storage space. The trade-off? It’s a bit bulky, weighing in at 20 pounds.
CR’s take: The Nano is a great choice for travel. This compact, 13-pound stroller comes with its own carrying bag and reportedly fits in an overhead compartment for air travel. It’s car-seat-compatible, too. There’s limited storage, but that might be a worth-it sacrifice for the convenience. One thing to note: The instruction manual is largely pictorial, and we found it a bit hard to decipher. We found instructional videos on Mountain Buggy’s website to be much clearer and more helpful.
CR’s take: Just 12 pounds, this safe, compact Summer Infant umbrella stroller is a CR Best Buy. It’s a top-notch choice for air travel with a child 6 months or older and up to 50 pounds. The seat reclines, which is great for on-the-go naps. Our testers found it easy to fold, unfold, and carry (thanks to its convenient shoulder strap). It comes with a cup holder, extra-large undercarriage storage, and a small seat back pocket.
Traveling With an Infant, Then a Toddler
CR’s take: The Chicco Bravo Trio transports newborns, infants, or toddlers. A CR Best Buy, it’s one of only two travel systems to earn top ratings for stroller and car-seat performance. The Chicco Bravo stroller weighs 23 pounds, is easy to use, is fairly easy to maneuver, and garners an Excellent rating in our safety tests. The Chicco KeyFit30 car seat earns Excellent ratings across the board. It’s one of the easiest to install using a vehicle’s LATCH system or its safety belts, increasing your odds of getting a secure fit. Like all the car seats highlighted here, it earns a Better designation for crash protection (that means it provides added safety beyond models that score Basic but less than those scoring Best). The car seat maxes out when your child reaches 30 pounds or 30 inches tall.