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15 Best Strollers for Airplane Travel

The number of different compact travel strollers to consider can be overwhelming, but finding the best stroller for airplane travel will make flying with a baby or toddler just a little easier. So what makes strollers good for airplane travel?

To find the best stroller for traveling by plane, we recommend looking for a travel stroller that is fast and easy to fold, lightweight (14 lbs or under), or fits in overhead bin on the airplane. Not just any compact stroller will do, it still needs to be durable enough to withstand carrying gear and traveling over cobblestone streets.

Other “nice to haves” when choosing the best stroller for airplane travel is one that is compatible with infant car seats and has a backpack travel bag.

Best Strollers for Traveling on Airplane

Hesitant about traveling with a stroller all together? Read our post on travel with a stroller vs carrier to help you decide.

This post contains compensated links.

How to Chose the Best Stroller to Fly With

For decades parents have been flying with strollers, typically choosing the best lightweight umbrella stroller for air travel. Umbrella strollers are great because aside from being fairly light, they fold up small and can be easily gate checked.

Now we have pocket strollers: strollers that have a tri-fold so compact they can fit in the overhead bin on the airplane. Many of them are durable enough to withstand the abuse from toddlers getting in and out, cobblestone streets and much more.

Parents now have a choice on whether they want to have a pocket stroller that they bring on to the airplane or are content gate checking the travel stroller

Flying with a Stroller

There are three options when it comes to flying with a stroller: check it with your luggage, gate checking the stroller or bringing it onto the airplane.

Flying with baby and toddler

Parents who travel light can check their stroller with the luggage without worrying about how they’ll get everything to the plane. A baby carrier for travel is an effective way to carry your baby or toddler through the airport. We recommend a good travel bag for your stroller in this instance.

Gate checking your stroller lets you take it right to the plane, and in most instances (not all), get it back at the gate on the other side.

Finally, bringing a stroller that fits in the overhead bin on the plane ensures that you’ll have it safely with you the entire time.

Both of the second options are especially good if you are traveling with a car seat or to carry your other baby travel essentials. It’s also a good option for parents who aren’t baby wearing or baby prefers to be in the stroller. It’s especially useful for toddlers who like to bolt in the airport!

What to Look for in the Best Strollers for Plane Travel

We can safely assume that if you’re reading this post, you are most interested in using a stroller that you can either check at the gate or store in the overhead bin.

For checking a stroller with luggage, simple check your airplanes size policies for strollers.

Otherwise, things to consider when looking for strollers to gate check or strollers that fit in overhead bin:

  1. Size of the stroller

What is the size of the stroller both open and folded. Will the folded dimensions meet the size requirements for storing the stroller in the overhead compartment on the airplane.

In the US, the standard domestic size for carry-on luggage is 22” x 14” x 9” where some might differ by an inch or two, like southwest airlines at 24” x 16” x 10”.

International airlines carry-on luggage sizes aren’t all that different:

Lufthansa: 21.7” x 15.7” x 9”

KLM: 21.5” x 13.5” x 10”

Air Canada: 21.7” x 15.7” x 9”

From Lufthansa “You can take so-called “pocket buggies” on board as part of your permitted carry-on baggage allowance if they have been suitably packed up to no longer look like a pushchair.”

From the Iata: “carry-on baggage should have maximum length of 22 in (56 cm), width of 18 in (45 cm) and depth of 10 in (25 cm).

2. Weight of the stroller

Whether you plan to gate check your stroller or bring it on the plane, it should be lightweight enough that you can easily carry it along with all your other belongings and your baby.

3. Ease Folding the stroller

Your travel stroller should be easy to fold and unfold. A one-hand fold is best, since you can fold your stroller and hold your baby at the same time. We recognize that often two parents are traveling together, but this isn’t always the case.

4. Price

Price is always a factor. It’s best to know your budget before starting to shop for travel strollers, especially since compact strollers for air travel often end up being the second or third stroller purchase.

5. Durability

Especially for gate checking your stroller, you don’t want one so flimsy that it falls apart if it gets tossed around. Further to that, you want a travel stroller that can withstand everything your travel throws at it: cobblestone streets, multiple folding and unfolding, uneven terrain, etc.

It should also be durable enough to last from the baby stage right through the toddler stage. We recommend getting a travel stroller with a high max weight capacity for this reason.

6. Maneuverability

There’s no point in getting a lightweight stroller for airplane travel that’s hard to push. You want a stroller that will work well in the airport but that will still glide effortlessly as you explore new cities.

7. Storage

If you don’t pack lightly (which mom does?) having plenty of storage is useful for storing all your toddler travel essentials. Some of the basic airplane travel strollers don’t have much for storage, but we have recommendations at the end for travel accessories that are worth considering.

8. Safety

Last but by no means least is the safety of the stroller. Your travel stroller should have a 5 point harness and brakes on the wheels. It should be easy to fold and not come unfolded while carrying. Purchase the best travel stroller from a reputable company and choose one that gets good reviews without any safety concerns.

Best Travel Strollers for Air Travel

The best stroller for plane travel for your family will have all the features you need in a budget that works for you. In order to make that search easier, these are all highly rated strollers for airplane travel that are at or below 14 pounds and have compact fold. There are options in every price range.

Our recommendations for the Best Stroller for Air Travel:

Best OverallBabyzen YoYo2 is compact, has a one-hand fold and can be used as a travel system making it work from newborn through the toddler stage.

2nd Runner UpMountain Buggy Nano has many of the same great features and a higher max capacity of 44 pounds but the compact fold is a two step process.

Best for BudgetsJeep North Star Umbrella Travel Stroller

Most CompactBABY JOY Lightweight Travel Stroller

Optional Travel Stroller Accessories

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find the perfect travel stroller that has all the features you want. However, there are plenty of great add on accessories for travel strollers that may fix some common issues:

  1. Sunshade for Travel Strollers
    Many of the pocket travel strollers above don’t have the greatest sunshade, but that’s an easy fix with a stroller sunshade like this one.

    We also recommend a CoziGo stroller cover, which can be used for both flying and for strollers.

  2. Backpack Diaper Bag
    You won’t need to worry about how much storage your stroller has with this highly rated and popular backpack diaper bag.

  3. Cup Holders for Travel Strollers
    Universal cup holders are a great add-on for any travel stroller. For parents, get one with a phone pocket.

  4. Universal Organizers for Travel Strollers
    As traveling parents we always have plenty to carry. Keep it organized using a universal organizer like this one or this one.

  5. Stroller Hooks
    If a backpack diaper bag isn’t your style, stroller hooks will help attach your diaper bag to the stroller.

  6. Stroller Travel Bag
    Protect your stroller when you flying with a stroller gate check bag or this one for umbrella strollers.

    Some of the strollers that fit in the overhead bin have travel bags, making it easier to carry or store them on the plane. If the stroller doesn’t already come with one, other options are:

    Zoe Stroller Travel Backpack
    Ergobaby Metro Travel Backpack
    Travel Backpack compatible with gb Pockit
    Babyzen YoYo+ Travel Bag

  7. Universal Rain Cover
    One stroller accessory we ALWAYS recommend is a rain cover. It’s not only for rain but will help keep your little one warm in wind and cold weather.

Looking for something else? Check out these best stroller lists:

Best Travel Strollers Under $100

Best Double Travel Strollers

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