A First Time Mom’s Guide to Buying the Perfect Travel Stroller

As a first time mom, I did not realize how much our lifestyle should be a major consideration in our decision to buy a stroller. I thought all strollers were created the same. They are just for transporting babies.

Knowing nothing about strollers, my husband and I were smooth talked by a salesman to buy a full-size, travel system that had all the features that we would ever need.

I thought he knew better so we paid a couple of hundred dollars and took it home. Fast forward to 6 months, nobody in the family wanted to bring the bulky and heavy stroller. We realized that it was an expensive rolling piece of mistake.

When we flew to Hong Kong days before my daughter turned 2, we hurriedly bought a cheap umbrella stroller and we never looked back ever since.

I don’t want you to make the same mistake, so if you love to travel, here are some tips to help you narrow down your options. I encourage you to look at the figures and features closely so you can get the most out of your money.

Here’s a Checklist to Help you Search For the Perfect Travel Stroller

1) Is it Small and Lightweight?

Lightweight is a term that is used loosely these days. One of the lightest ones as of this writing is the GB Pockit which is less than 12 lbs. To spare your back and shoulders from carrying a supposedly lightweight-but-otherwise-heavy stroller, consider buying one that is about 12-15 lbs only.

 

gb Pockit Plus 2018 Laguna Blue
gb Pockit Plus 2018 Laguna Blue
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

If you are a frequent flyer and you are looking for a stroller that can roll with your globetrotting lifestyle, it’s best to get a stroller that folds small so you can hand carry it inside the airplane. Again, GB Pockit has the tiniest fold of all with a size of 11.8 x 7 x 13.7 inches. There are other strollers that are also small enough to fit inside airplane overhead bins. You can consider them too, just try to limit your choices to the ones that are more or less 20 inches in length and height and less than 11 inches in width. A smaller fold gives your stroller a bigger chance to be approved as a carry-on luggage in most airplanes.

2) Is it travel-system ready?

Buying a travel system is different from buying a travel-system ready stroller. A travel system is a stroller set that comes with its own infant car seat and base. Most of these travel systems are loaded with features, such as a snack tray, a parent tray, a cup holder, a leg rest, a foot rest etc. Those things make it heavy and huge and that’s the last thing you want to bring when you are traveling.

Babyzen Yoyo Plus
Babyzen Yoyo Plus

I recommend that you buy a travel-system ready stroller instead. Travel-system ready strollers are designed to accommodate a

bassinet and an infant car seat that you only have to buy when you need to. If you like to add the features that I mentioned earlier, most of them can be bought online as attachable accessories.

If you intend to buy a bassinet for your newborn, know that bassinets cannot be used interchangeably with other stroller brands, at least for now. For example, if you buy a Mountain Buggy stroller, the bassinet must also come from the same brand.

You have more freedom to choose infant car seats because many travel-system ready strollers are compatible with most car seat brands. The Mountain Buggy Nano is one good example because of its universal adapter that comes with the stroller. You just have to choose which car seat you like, know if it is compatible with the stroller and check if it requires additional adapters to be installed.

I always advise first-time parents to not settle when it comes to buying a stroller. After all, the bassinet and the infant car seat will only be used for a few months but the stroller is what’s going to be stuck with you for the long haul.

3) Does it Have a High Weight Limit?

This is very important in determining how long you will be able to use your stroller. A stroller with a higher weight limit is perceived to be stronger and more durable. Ideally, you should look for a stroller that can carry a maximum weight limit of at least 40 lbs or higher. A good example of this is the Uppababy Minu, which has a weight capacity of 50 lbs.

 

 

4) Is it Portable and Easy to Fold?

Fold is one of the first things i look for in a stroller. If a stroller’s fold is too complicated, I usually do not recommend it. There are many options in the market that have folds that require less learning curve and less handwork too. I go for strollers that have a one-hand fold feature like the Uppababy Minu, and the Baby Jogger City Tour 2.

 

Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Stroller - 2019 | Compact Travel Stroller | Lightweight Baby Stroller with Carry Bag, Perfect for Travel, Slate
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Stroller - 2019 | Compact Travel Stroller | Lightweight ...
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

These features are so convenient to use especially when you’re rushing in an airport or just trying to make a grab of your active toddler.

5) Is it an All-Terrain Stroller?

Exploring different places with your baby calls for a stroller that is adaptable to all terrains. Unlike jogging strollers, most  all-terrain strollers have front swivel wheels that make them agile. However, small strollers usually comes with a small set of wheels that are about 5 inches or less. The problem with small wheels is that they tend to be shakier on rough surfaces while bigger wheels drive steadier on rough surfaces.

Some manufacturers make up for the small wheels by installing built-in suspensions on the wheels to absorb mild shocks. To ensure that your baby enjoys a steadier ride, I recommend that you go for a stroller with front or rear-wheel suspensions. Even better if it has suspension on all 4 wheels. As a general rule, the more suspensions there are, the steadier the ride will be. The best option in terms or maneuverability in my opinion is the Babyzen Yoyo Plus.

 

6. Is it Comfortable for the Baby?

Sometimes even the most exciting sights won’t be enough to keep your baby awake during your trips. A stroller with a low-recline that is about 140 degrees to a near-flat position will give your little one a comfortable sleep while you proceed with your itinerary. An adjustable leg rest like the one in Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is also a bonus.

 

Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Stroller - 2019 | Compact Travel Stroller | Lightweight Baby Stroller with Carry Bag, Perfect for Travel, Slate
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Stroller - 2019 | Compact Travel Stroller | Lightweight ...
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

Check if the stroller also has an adequately-sized canopy. This is important if you intend to stroll for long hours outdoors. You may also want to get a stroller with a canopy which is made of UPF50 fabric. That would give your little one extra protection from the sun’s UV rays. Additional accessories like parasols or other canopy extensions can also be bought online.

 

2018 UPPAbaby MINU Stroller - Jordan (Charcoal Melange/Silver/Black Leather)
2018 UPPAbaby MINU Stroller - Jordan (Charcoal Melange/Silver/Black Leather)
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

 

Strollers vary in seat padding. Some are thick and cushiony, which are great when you are traveling to cold places like Europe, Canada or the US. Some strollers have thinner and more breathable padding that is perfect for travel in Asia and other countries with warmer climates. Depending on your location and where you will mostly travel, it’s really up to you to decide which will best suit your baby’s needs.

With that checklist in mind, know that you may or may not find all those things in one stroller. No stroller is perfect but determining your priorities and non-negotiables will help you find the stroller that’s perfect for you.

14 thoughts on “A First Time Mom’s Guide to Buying the Perfect Travel Stroller

  • March 22, 2019 at 1:18 am
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    Well, I’m not a mom personally but I know my girlfriend wants to be one bad lol. It’ll be after we get married but I’m trying to do my due diligence and researching everything we may need when that day comes. I’ve looked at cribs, carseats… the things that just stood out to me but for some odd reason, I overlooked the stroller. After reading your post, I feel like I have a better idea of what I’ll be looking for when that day does come. I had no clue so now I at least have a good idea 🙂

    Reply
    • March 23, 2019 at 1:24 am
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      Hi, Corey! Thanks for visiting my site. I understand that strollers usually appeal to moms more than dads. Since you will be a dad in the future, I want you to know that there is a Maclaren-BMW collab stroller. It’s a handsome stroller that might spark your interest if you are into cars.  🙂 

      Reply
  • March 23, 2019 at 1:23 am
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    Hello Sheila,

    Your frustration at buying a stroller that doesn’t fit your needs resonates with me. As a new-to-be dad, I’ve been scouring the internet, in search of items my daughter will need. 

    It’s very necessary I get the right fit for my daughter, because we are trying to be economical, and can’t afford purchasing a stroller that we wouldn’t need. 

    Thanks for the tip, absolutely helpful.

    Reply
    • March 25, 2019 at 1:55 am
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      Thanks, Louis! Congratulations! Glad to help.:)

      Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 11:23 am
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    This is good information for first time parents. A baby makes traveling difficult because of all the gear you usually have to consider. Any decision you can make that will “lighten” the load is a good one. Traveling wasn’t too bad with my oldest daughter, but it became a real challenge when we had twins. Do you have some recommendations for parents who have multiples? Finding good equipment for those situations are more difficult and yet they are seem to be more frequent.

    Reply
    • March 25, 2019 at 1:39 am
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      Hi, Lee! I only have 1 child yet I feel that my hands are full already.  I could imagine how extra challenging it is to travel with twins especially as soon as they reach the terrific twos. I have actually tried out the Uppababy Vista recently and I believe that it has the versatility you need to push your 3 kids all at the same time. You can drive it with 2 stroller seats and a scooter board that you can attach at the back for your older kid to hitch a ride on. You can know more about it here —Uppababy Vista 🙂 

      Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:28 am
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    Thanks for sharing this article. Many of us are not lucky to get buying some things right at first time. I am an intending parent to be and buying a travel stroller is essential in preparation for the incoming of our beautiful baby. I agree to all the checklist in buying a proper travel stroller especially being light weight and easy to fold. I will surely duly follow this to ensure I get a perfect travel stroller. Thanks for sharing this article. 

    Reply
    • March 25, 2019 at 1:51 am
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      ‘HI Olalekan! I agree, a lot of us learned the hard way the first time. Haha! Thanks for stopping by and congratulations in advance. 

      Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:29 am
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    Hi, this is an amazing piece of information. Nobody likes travelling with bulky gadgets or equipment. Salesmen are known for their smooth talk and can make one to part with his money buying things ordinarily he wouldn’t have bought.

    The tips you gave for choosing baby stroller for travelling purposes is great. Especially the number one tip, it really needs to be small and lightweight, ie portability feature, so that one can easily take it along.

    The stroller you bought in HK looks great, how much did you pay for it? Thanks for your time.

    Reply
    • March 25, 2019 at 1:46 am
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      Hi, Gracen! Thanks for visiting! Totally agree with –salesman wouldn’t even bother buying those things he sell. LOL! I actually bought the stroller for $100 USD. It’s not really one that I would recommend. There’s so many features that I wished it had but for that trip it served its purpose well. 🙂

      Reply
  • March 25, 2019 at 1:36 am
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    Wonderful and in-depth article! Really great advice on looking for a stroller, it might not have occured to me to check the weight limit or look for all-terrain features! I agree that a one-hand fold down is THE way to go. Thank you for such a comprehensive guide for new moms!

    Reply
    • March 25, 2019 at 2:00 am
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      Hi, Sara! It’s my pleasure to share. Thanks for stopping by. God bless you. 🙂

      Reply

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