15 BEST Compact Folding Strollers for Airplane Travel in 2024

Author: Celine Brewer

Last Updated:

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 the best travel stroller for flying?

Based on my many years of traveling with babies, to find the best travel stroller for airplane trips, I recommend looking for a travel stroller that is fast and easy to fold, lightweight (14 lbs or under), or fits in the overhead bin on the airplane.

An Inglesina Quid airplane stroller
a lightweight travel stroller that easily fits in  the overhead bin.
An Inglesina Quid travel stroller fits easily in the overhead bin.

This post contains compensated links.

Best Travel Strollers for Flying

Every parent wants to find the best airplane stroller to fly with. The best stroller for plane travel for your family will have all the features you need in a budget that works for you.

The best features to look for in strollers for air travel are how lightweight and easy to fold is it. If the your stroller fits in the overhead bin, that’s a huge bonus. From there, the best strollers for air travel have other features like a good recline, adjustable footrest, cup holders and a travel bag.

Baby Can Travel Facebook Group

Come Join Us!

We love answering questions in our Baby Can Travel Facebook group. Come ask all your baby travel related questions and share advice with other traveling parents!

Join our Facebook Group

In order to make your travel stroller search easier, I have share all of the highly rated strollers for airplane travel that are at or below 17 pounds (many are below 14 lbs) and have a good, compact fold.

In this list of the best airplane strollers, I include options in every price range!

1. Babyzen YOYO2 Stroller

BabyZen YOYO2 Compact travel stroller.
The Babyzen Yoyo2 – my top pick for the best stroller for airplane travel.

In my opinion, the Babyzen YOYO2 is the best travel stroller for flying. The easy one-hand fold brings this 13.6 pound travel stroller down to folded dimensions of 20.5 x 17.3 x 7.1 inches.

The Babyzen YOYO2 stroller may be one of the most expensive airplane strollers on my list, but it is quite versatile. You can use the Babyzen YOYO2 0+ set that’s ideal for newborns, and then transition to the 6+ color pack for babies from 6 months + up to 40 pounds. Alternatively, it can also accommodate an infant car seat with the car seat adapters to turn it into a travel system.

Babyzen YOYO2 stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Multi position recline.
  • Storage – Large under-seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – 3 tier panel canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13.6 lbs & folds to 20.5” x 17.3” x 7.1”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 40 lbs (or 48.5 lbs in Europe).
  • Easy Fold – One hand fold.

PROS

  • It has a super easy one-hand fold.
  • It weighs only 13.6 lbs.
  • Will fit in most overhead compartments on the airplane with folded dimensions of 20.5” x 17.3” x 7.1”
  • You can use it for infants with the newborn pack.

CONS

  • It’s only rated up to 40 lbs in the USA.
  • The price of this travel stroller isn’t in everyone’s budget.

2. Mountain Buggy Nano V3 Stroller

Mountain Buggy Nano Travel Stroller.
Mountain Buggy Nano Travel Stroller.

I’ve been recommending the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller for travel for years. It’s a highly rated travel stroller with plenty of good features at an affordable price.

This Mountain Buggy Nano V3 travel stroller is a good travel stroller for newborns and up to 44 pounds. This top travel stroller has a full flat recline for newborns but is still travel system ready with a universal car seat adapter (included) or paired with the newborn cocoon accessory.

It comes at the same lightweight size of 13 pounds and 12 x 22 x 20 folded dimensions as the original Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller. It also has a decent two-tier canopy with a flip out sun visor.

Baby in Mountain Buggy nano stroller at the airport.
A Baby Can Travel reader shared this picture of her Mountain Buggy stroller in action at the airport.

The wheels may need to be popped off to fit in overhead bin and a travel bag is included. My runner-up for the best travel stroller for flying, the Mountain Buggy Nano makes an excellent choice for your family trip with baby.

Mountain Buggy Nano V3 stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large basket under seat.
  • Sun Protection – Two tier canopy with flip out sun visor.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13 lbs & folds to 22” x 20” x 12”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 44 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Two step compact fold.

PROS

  • Lightweight at only 13 lbs yet sturdy.
  • Easy to navigate even on rougher terrains (From New Orleans streets to European cobblestones and Guatemalan markets!).
  • Lie-flat perfect for on-the-go naps.
  • Fits in most overhead compartments on the airplane.
  • Very easy to use with most any infant car seat!

CONS

  • Can only be used up to 44 lbs.
  • Our reviewer had issues with holes in the storage basket within one year of use.

3. Inglesina Quid Stroller

toddler sitting in an Inglesina Quid travel stroller while on a family trip.
Another reader shares a picture of her happy child enjoying their Inglesina Quid travel stroller.

The Inglesina Quid compact travel stroller can be used for children starting from 3 months and up to 50 pounds, giving parents a lot of use out of it. It has a built-in carry handle on the side to make transport easy and folded dimensions that will allow it to fit in the overhead bin on some airlines.

The canopy has a zippered section to make it further extendable and offer your baby shade on sunny days.

While ideal for travel, the Inglesina Quid travel stroller doesn’t have many additional features given its high price tag. In fact, it’s very similar to the Ergo Metro+ Stroller which has a slightly more compact size when folded.

Inglesina Quid stroller that folds into a bag held by mother at airplane.
One of our readers prepares to board a flight with her Inglesina airplane stroller.

Inglesina Quid stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large under-seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – 3 tier panel canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13 lbs & folds to 22.8” x 18.3” x 6.8”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 50 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Easy open and fold.

Read my full review of the Inglesina Quid compact travel stroller here!

PROS

  • Easy fold.
  • Lightweight at only 13 lbs and still easy to maneuver.
  • Will fit in most overhead compartments and comes with travel bag.
  • Can be used up to 50 lbs.
  • Has an adjustable footrest.

CONS

  • Missing cup holders.

4. Silver Cross Jet 3 Full Size Infant & Toddler Stroller

Silver Cross Jet 3 Super Compact Stroller

The Silver Cross Jet 3 compact stroller has all the features you’d look for in a high-end travel stroller, but be aware it comes with a price to match!

What I really like about the Silver Cross Jet 3 travel stroller is that it is suitable for newborns all the way through to the toddler stage (up to 55 lbs). At only 13.6 lbs, you’ll have no issues packing it up and fitting this carry-on stroller in the overhead bin on the airplane!

This compact airplane stroller has two unique features: 1. the belly bar can be removed and used as a handle to pull the folded stroller; 2. the storage basket can be accessed from the front and back! On top of all that, the Silver Cross Jet 3 is compatible with car seats (with an adapter). It’s definitely worth a look!

Silver Cross Jet 3 travel stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Multi-positioning recline.
  • Storage – Storage back with access from front and back.
  • Sun Protection – 2 panel extendable with sun visor.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – Not adjustable.
  • Size/Weight – 13.6 lbs & folds to 23” x 13” x 10”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 55 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – One-hand fold.

PROS

  • Suitable from birth to 55 lbs.
  • Weighs only 13.6 lbs.
  • Compact fold that should fit most overhead compartments.
  • Compatible with car seats.
  • Belly bar can be use as handle to pull stroller.

CONS

  • Price tag may be out of many people’s budget.
  • While it’s mostly full feature, it does not have cup holders.

5. Summer 3Dlite Convenience Stroller

Summer 3D lite Convenience Travel Stroller.
Baby Can Travel reader photo – Summer 3Dlite Convenience Stroller.

With an extra-large storage basket plus a side pocket and a cup holder, you’ll be able to carry everything you need using the Summer 3Dlite Convenience compact travel stroller.

This affordable umbrella stroller for airplane travel weighs only 13 pounds, has an umbrella style fold with a carry strap. While you won’t be able to store this stroller in the overhead bin, you can bring it right to the gate of the airplane and easily fold it up.

Child in Summer 3D Lite convenience stroller.
Reader photo – Summer 3D Lite Convenience stroller.

With 4 recline positions to nearly flat, you’ll have no trouble getting your baby to sleep on vacation. The Summer 3D Lite Convenience Stroller is recommended for babies 6 months + and up to 50lbs.

Summer 3D Lite Convenience Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – 4 position recline to nearly flat.
  • Storage – Extra large storage basket.
  • Sun Protection – Adjustable and removable canopy with sun visor.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight –13 lbs & folds to compact umbrella style fold.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 50 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – 3 step umbrella style fold.

PROS

  • Super lightweight travel stroller.
  • Sizeable storage, both under the seat and in the pocket behind the backrest.
  • Reclines almost flat for naps.
  • Compact and slim – fits nicely even in a small SUV.
  • Convenient for travel vs. full size stroller.
  • Price is definitely cheaper than some of the other travel strollers.

CONS

  • Our reviewer mentioned the sun shade didn’t provide as much coverage for their small child who sits lower in the seat.
  • The carrying strap felt very tight against my stroller (not enough slack to use comfortably).
  • Some reviewers find that it folds up easily and I found it to be challenging to fold. It might take practice to get it right.

6. Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Baby Stroller

ErgoBaby Metro+ Stroller for travel.
Another reader photo – Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Travel Stroller.

Similar to the Inglesina Quid in many ways, the Ergobaby Metro+ compact baby stroller can be used from 3 months and up to 50 pounds, giving parents a lot of use out of it. It can also be used from birth with use of adapters to make it compatible with car seats.

The Ergobaby Metro+ stroller is 16.9 pounds and has folded dimensions that will fit the overhead bin on most airlines, making it a good stroller for airplane travel.

ErgoBaby Metro+ Stroller in overhead bin on airplane.
The Ergobaby Metro+ stroller sits comfortably in the overhead bin.

It even has an adjustable handlebar, making it a great stroller for tall parents!

With a deep recline and adjustable footrest your baby will be comfortable snoozing while you take in the sights.

Ergobaby Metro+ Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes – full flat recline.
  • Storage – Large under-seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – 3 tier panel canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – Yes.
  • Size/Weight – 16.9 lbs & folds to 21” x 17” x 9”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 50 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Easy one hand fold.

PROS

  • Has an adjustable handlebar and footrest.
  • Compatible with car seats to be used from birth.
  • Can be used from 3 months to 50 lbs.

CONS

  • Weighs more than other comparable strollers for flying at 16.9 lbs.

7. Mompush Lithe Lightweight Stroller

Mompush Lithe airplane stroller.

You’ll get excellent value with this compact one-hand fold travel stroller. The Mompush Lithe travel stroller has a reclining seat, a large four panel canopy plus all the best stroller accessories included.

While it’s slightly heavier than some of my favorite travel strollers for flying at 15 lbs, The Mompush Lithe is worth it for the competitive price and features. It also has a adjustable leg rest, all-terrain wheels, a pull-along handle and an integrated self-stand. With folded dimensions of 23″ x 21.7″ x 9.8″ it will fit in some overhead bins.

Included stroller accessories: rain cover, travel bag and parent cup holder! This is one airplane travel stroller that’s worth a look!

Mompush Lithe top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large under-seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – 4 panel extendable canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 15 lbs & folds to 23″ x 21.7″ x 9.8″.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 40 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – One hand fold.

PROS

  • Still lightweight at 15 lbs.
  • Comes with a rain cover, stroller bag and parent cupholders.
  • The price of this stroller makes it work a good look!

CONS

  • Maximum weight capacity is low at 40 lbs.
  • Larger folded dimensions means it will only fit in some overhead bins.

Did you know that you may not even need to bring a travel stroller on your family trip? I often left the stroller at home and used a baby carrier instead. My post on travel with a stroller vs. carrier will help you decide what is right for your family trip.

8. Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Ultra-Compact Travel Stroller

baby jogger City Tour 2 travel stroller.

I love a compact travel stroller that can go from infant to toddler without skipping a beat! The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is compatible with infant car seats (with an adapter) and it has a compact folded size that should meet most airline size requirements for the overhead compartment.

The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 has a near flat recline and an large canopy to protect from the sun.

At only 14.3 lbs and folded dimensions of 23 x 19.4 x 7, this lightweight airplane stroller also comes with a travel bag.

It can be used from birth (with an infant car seat and adapter) up to children weighing 45 pounds. Without the use of an infant car seat, this stroller for plane travel is recommended for babies 6 months and older.

Baby Jogger City Tour 2 top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large under-seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – Extendable 4 panel canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 14.3 lbs & folds to 23” x 19.4” x 7”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 45 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Compact fold.

PROS

  • Weighs only 14 lbs.
  • Compatible with car seats.

CONS

  • Larger folded dimensions, so will only fit in some overhead bins.
  • Maximum weight capacity is 45 lbs.

9. CYBEX Libelle Stroller

Cybex Libelle Compact Stroller for flying.

Hand luggage compliant on most airlines, the CYBEX Libelle travel stroller is another good compact stroller for plane travel. It has both a reclining seat and an adjustable footrest to help your little one nap on the go.

Recommended for babies who are sitting up unassisted around 6 months and up to 48.5 pounds. Alternatively, the CYBEX is compatible with CYBEX or gb infant car seats with an adapter.

CYBEX Libelle Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large under seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – 2 panel canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13.7 lbs & folds to 18.9” x 12.6” x 7.9”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 48.5 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – One hand fold.

PROS

  • Great compact fold with dimensions of 18.9” x 12.6” x 7.9” compared to standard carry-on size of 22” x 14” x 9”.
  • Weighs only 13.7 lbs.

CONS

  • Only compatible with CYBEX or gb car seats.
  • The canopy isn’t the greatest.

10. gb Pockit Air All Terrain Ultra Compact Lightweight Travel Stroller

gb pockit air all-terrain compact stroller for travel.

The gb Pockit Air All Terrain travel is one of the most compact travel strollers on the market. This lightweight compact stroller can be collapsed in seconds and will fit in the overhead bin on the airplane.

At only 10 lbs, the gb Pockit Air All Terrain compact stroller is easy to fold, lift and maneuver. However, what you get in compactness you sacrifice in features. This stroller doesn’t recline and the sunshade is going to offer very little protection.

Rated up to 55 lbs, the Pockit Air All Terrain stroller is best for anyone who needs one of the best strollers for air travel without all the extra features. Recommended age for this travel stroller is from 6 months up to 55 lbs.

Pockit Air All Terrain Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – No.
  • Storage – Limited.
  • Sun Protection – Small sun visor.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 10.4 lbs & folds to 13.8” x 11.8” x 7.1”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 55 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Yes.

PROS

  • Most compact at just over 10 lbs.
  • Can be used up to 55 lbs.

CONS

  • No recline.
  • Canopy won’t provide any protection.

11. Delta Children Clutch Ultra Compact Lightweight Travel Stroller

Front view of a Delta Clutch stroller for travel.
Reader photo: Delta Clutch stroller for airplane travel.

The Delta Children Clutch is an ultra compact travel stroller. This lightweight & compact stroller is one of the best strollers for airplane travel. It folds up to an impressively small size of 15 x 19.7 x 5.9 inches and weighs only 12 pounds, easily fitting in the overhead compartment on the airplane. It even has a built in carry strap.

compact fold of Delta Clutch stroller.
You can see how small the Delta Clutch stroller folds down.

For children who weigh up to 50 pounds and meeting Disney size requirements, you’ll get plenty of use out of this travel stroller. This stroller does not recline and the sun visor isn’t very big, so it’s really a better travel stroller for toddlers who will be in and out of the stroller (and don’t need a recline to nap).

The best part is when your toddler decides to walk, you can pack the Delta Children Clutch stroller up into a bag and carry it.

Delta Children Clutch Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – No.
  • Storage –Storage basket under seat.
  • Sun Protection – Small sun visor.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight –12 lbs & folds to 15″ x 19.7″ x 5″.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 50 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Ultra compact fold.

Read my full review of the Delta Children Clutch Stroller here!

PROS

  • Super compact fold.
  • Lightweight at only 12 lbs.
  • Can be used for toddlers up to 50 lbs and 40 inches tall.

CONS

  • No recline so not great for naps
  • The canopy offers very little protection.
  • Pricey given it doesn’t have a lot of features.

12. gb Pockit+ All-Terrain Stroller

gb pockit+ all-terrain airplane stroller.

The gb Pockit+ All Terrain travel stroller for airplanes is comparable to the the gb Pockit+ All City in that it’s compatible with infant car seats and reclines. Where it differs is with its double all terrain wheels, lower weight at 12.3 pounds and smaller folded dimensions.

This compact travel stroller will fit in the overhead bin on an airplane and given that it can be converted to a travel system makes it an ideal stroller for traveling by plane. Without infant car seats, the stroller is recommended for babies who can sit up unassisted around 6 months+ and up to 55 pounds.

gb Pockit+ All Terrain Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large pocket under seat.
  • Sun Protection – Larger canopy compared to other pocket strollers.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 12.3 lbs & folds to 16.5” x 13.4” x 7.9”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 55 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Ultra compact two step fold.

PROS

  • Better wheels than the other gp Pockit strollers.
  • Reclines and compatible for car seats.

CONS

  • Two-step fold.
  • Small canopy that won’t offer much sun protection.

13. gb Pockit+ All City Stroller

gb pockit+ all-city travel stroller for airplane travel.

This gb Pockit+ All City compact travel stroller will not only fit in the overhead compartment on the airplane but can be turned into a travel system with any CYBEX infant car seat with the included adapter.

The gb Pockit+ All City stroller is an improvement over the original gb Pockit with a seat that reclines and a larger canopy that most other pocket strollers.

At 13.2 pounds and a compact folded size, there should be no issues taking this stroller on the airplane. Similar to other gb Pockit strollers it has a weight capacity of 55 pounds meaning you can use it for a long time.

gb Pockit+ All City Stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Multiple recline positions.
  • Storage – Under seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – Larger Canopy compared to other pocket strollers.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13.2 lbs & folds to 18.9” x 12.6” x 7.9”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 55 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Ultra compact two step fold.

PROS

  • Will fit in the overhead bin on airplanes.
  • Is compatible with car seats (CYBEX)
  • Reclines.

CONS

  • The canopy is better but still doesn’t compare to other strollers for flying in this list.

14. Joolz AER travel stroller

Joolz AER travel stroller for flying.

At 13.4 pounds and with a weight capacity of 50 pounds the Joolz AER stroller is an excellent lightweight stroller for airplane travel. Top that with a carry strap, it will be easy to take this compact travel stroller anywhere!

The Joolz AER compact stroller for airplane travel also comes with a travel bag and a rain cover. I also love that you get several color options when purchasing this stroller.

Joolz AER stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large basket under seat.
  • Sun Protection – 3 panel canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13.4 lbs & folds to 21” x 17.7” x 8.5”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 50 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – Easy one-hand compact fold.

PROS

  • Weighs only 13.4 lbs
  • Folded dimensions will fit in most overhead compartments.
  • Comes with travel bag & rain cover.
  • Maximum weight capacity is 50 lbs.

CONS

  • Price tag won’t be within everyone’s budget.

15. The Zoe Traveler Stroller

Zoe Strollers - The Traveler

The Zoe Traveler is a lightweight airplane travel stroller at only 13 lbs and the max capacity is lower at 45 lbs. The seat reclines to 148 degrees and it should also fit in most overhead bins (folded dimensions are 22” x 19” x 10”)! Plus it will stand on its own – perfect for tucking away in the corner in a small Paris cafe!

With a large extendable canopy, reclining seat and a parent cup holder, the Zoe Traveler had to make my list of best airplane travel strollers.

Zoe Traveler stroller top features and specs:

  • Recline – Yes.
  • Storage – Large under-seat basket.
  • Sun Protection – 4 panel extendable canopy.
  • Height Adjustable Handles – No.
  • Size/Weight – 13 lbs & folds to 22” x 19” x 10”.
  • Max Weight Capacity – 45 lbs.
  • Easy Fold – One hand fold.

PROS

  • Lightweight at only 13 lbs.
  • Compact fold should fit in most overhead bins on the airplane.

CONS

  • Only has a maximum weight capacity of 45 lbs.

My Top Picks for Airplane Travel Strollers

I know how busy it is being a parent and that you don’t always have time to read the full article! So here are my top picks for the best travel strollers for flying:

Best Overall Stroller for Airplane Travel:

Babyzen YoYo2 – The BabyZen 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. Plus it has a compact fold that fits most overhead compartments while still offering tons of great features.

Next Best Airplane Travel Stroller:

Mountain Buggy Nano V3 – The Mountain Buggy Nano V3 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 Airplane Travel Stroller for Budgets:

Summer 3D Lite Convenience – The Summer 3D Lite may not fit in the overhead bin on the airplane, but it can easily be gate checked. Plus, you really can’t beat the value considering the features you get for the price of this stroller.

Best Stroller for Airplane Travel for Tall Parents:

ErgoBaby Metro+ – The ErgoBaby Metro+ is lightweight, compact and is one of the only strollers on this list that has adjustable handles. It’s perfect for tall parents! Use BFMETRO100 for $100 off as part of their holiday deal!

Most Compact Airplane Stroller:

gb Pockit Air All Terrain Lightweight Stroller – You won’t have any trouble fitting this stroller in the overhead bin on the airplane, but what you get in compactness you will lose in other features.

How to Choose the Best Travel Stroller for Flying

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.

Today 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 other various travel wear and tear.

Parents now have a choice on whether they want to have a pocket stroller which they bring on to the airplane, a larger travel stroller which they can gate check.

Three Options for 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.
A father walks with his toddler while pushing his baby in a travel stroller in an airport before a family vacation.
My husband and our kids getting ready for another family flight.

Checking Your Travel Stroller with your Luggage

Parents who prefer to travel light when flying with a baby, can check their stroller with their 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. I recommend a good travel bag for your stroller in this instance.

Gate Checking Your Airplane Stroller

The advantage of gate checking your stroller is that you get to keep your stroller in-between check-in and boarding. You can keep your stroller right until you are about to board the plane, and in most instances (not all), get it back at the gate on the other side.

Bringing Your Airplane Stroller on the Plane

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. This is especially useful for flying with a toddler that you want to keep in the stroller in the airport!

The last two options are especially good if you are traveling with a car seat or to carry your other baby travel gear. It’s also a good option for parents who aren’t baby wearing or baby prefers to be in the stroller.

Finally, it’s especially useful for toddlers who like to bolt in the airport! Don’t laugh – I see toddlers running for freedom in airports all the time! A good stroller for airplane travel will keep your little runner safely where you can see them.

What to Look for in the Best Strollers for Airplane Travel

I 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, simply check your airlines 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

Know the the size of your travel 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, for example:

  • 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).

ErgoBaby Metro+ Stroller for airplane travel folded.
An ErgoBaby Metro+ Stroller folded up and ready for airplane travel.

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.

I recognize that often two parents are traveling together, but this isn’t always the case.

Demonstrating one hand open of the ErgoBaby Metro+ Stroller.
One of our readers demonstrates the one hand open of the ErgoBaby Metro+ Travel Stroller.

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. I 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 I 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.

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.

I 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 (or any of my recommended backpack diaper bags for travel).

holding toddlers hand while wearing diaper bag backpack
Me, my kids and my backpack diaper bag in Oslo, Norway.

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, so a universal stroller organizer is a great purchase! Keep everything 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 (also available to purchase direct from Ergobaby here)
Travel Backpack compatible with gb Pockit
Babyzen YoYo+ Travel Bag

7. Universal Rain Cover

One stroller accessory I 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.

Best strollers for air travel

This post was written & edited by:

info@babycantravel.com | Website | + posts

Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.

Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.

Read more about Celine Brewer.

Leave a Comment