Need a lightweight, compact stroller for travel, or even just normal daily life? If yes, how smart of you. And if not … then you *should* be. A lightweight baby stroller (aka, an umbrella stroller) is as essential as a car seat or a diaper bag. Trust us, it’ll change your life, whether you’re taking a spin around the neighborhood or headed on a family trip to Disney (fingers crossed). But there are so many options to choose from — double and travel options, the futuristic car seat hybrid — it can be difficult to know which is best for your lifestyle.
Need help narrowing it down? We chatted with experts Sylvana Ward-Durrett and Luisana Mendoza de Roccia, co-founders of Maisonette, a digital marketplace that curates your favorite children’s brands and indie boutiques in one stylish and convenient place.
How To Choose The Best Compact Stroller For Your Needs
Luisana suggests starting with the basics. “Look for two things: durability and ease,” she says. “How easily the compact stroller folds up is key.”
Next, make a list of what matters most to you. “There are many options on the market for compact strollers, and some prioritize different sets of features than others,” says Sylvana. “So it’s all about finding what works best with your lifestyle and what features you want to prioritize.”
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Some key things to consider when browsing the best compact strollers of 2020…
- Can you snap your carseat in it? (Some offer this standard, some with an adapter, others not at all.)
- If your babe is younger, what’s the minimum weight that the compact stroller can carry? Does it accommodate a newborn, or would you need to purchase an additional infant kit?
- If your babe is older, when will their weight hit the maximum limit?
- How easy is the compact stroller to clean? Can the cover be removed and thrown in the washer, or will you be spot-treating every single spill?
- What kind of terrain will you be riding on? (Generally, the bigger the wheel, the smoother the ride.)
- Where will you be storing it? Will it fit easily in your car? Your closet?
- How much storage on the compact stroller is essential to you? (Some compact strollers now offer double-decker storage and extra hidden pockets.)
- How easy is it to carry? How much does it weigh? (To make things easy for you, we provided weights of all our picks for the best compact travel strollers of 2020 below.) Does it come with a carrying case or strap?
- Do you like the general look and feel? (You’ll be spending a lot of time attached to this thing.)
Once you decide on the features you’re looking for, scroll down to check out our picks for the best compact strollers.
Best Compact Strollers
WEIGHT: 14.3 lbs
If quality and portability are your top two priorities, then your compact stroller search stops here. The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is especially designed for travel with its lightweight feel and ultra-compact size. In fact, it even comes with its own carrying case, making it ideal for road trips or packing on planes. Adding to its travel-friendliness is its smooth maneuverability, large built-in storage basket, and multi-position reclining seat that allows for naps on the go. While it can accommodate toddlers up to 45 pounds, its also compatible with the Baby Jogger Infant Carseat if you’re hitting the road with a newborn (and all the luck to you).
If you want to look like a million bucks without spending a fortune, this stylish stroller is so chic. The leather-wrapped handlebar and brown-and-navy color combo are totally classic (there’s a red version, too), but modern features like one-handed folding and rear or front-facing capabilities mean you and BB can have the best of both worlds. Other features you and your little will love include a spacious storage bin, a five-point safety harness, an adjustable footrest, and more.
“This stroller has been a life saver since I’ve been quarantined at home,” a reviewer says. “Since purchasing this stroller, we have been going for daily morning walks, it feels great to get outside. If we do encounter anyone, the canopy expands with a zipper and shields my daughter completely. The stroller is lightweight and easy to assemble. It has a smooth ride which is nice for going on brisk walks.”
WEIGHT: 15 lbs
Being a mom-on-the-go can best be described as a balancing act of sorts — all the more reason to have a stroller that can do ALL the things. We’re partial to the easy-to-use push bar that can be maneuvered with one hand. The lovely Graco NimbleLite Stroller has a reclining seat and two cup holders (yes, TWO… one for baby’s sippy cup and one for your steaming cup of coffee that, fingers crossed, you’ll actually be able to drink at a decent temp). Next up: We’re fan-girling over the storage basket that’s roomy enough to stow away a sand bucket, a box of animal crackers, and maybe a board book or two. Last but not least, this bad boy folds up easily making travel and public transportation a breeze.
One Amazon customer raves: “This is a fantastic travel stroller. We used this on a family trip to Glacier National Park and this held up through four plane trips and everything else we threw at it.”
Best Easy Compact Strollers
WEIGHT: 15.4 lbs
It’s a car seat … it’s a stroller … it’s both! Aka the Doona, this futuristic-looking hybrid is possibly *the* most travel-friendly option out there. While it’s pricey and only suitable for babies up to 35 lbs, if you take your L.O. from car to street (or plane, or train) A LOT, or you want something extremely portable for a trip, this genius contraption is a total lifesaver.
“This is probably one of the coolest pieces of baby gear I’ve ever purchased,” says a reviewer. Coming from [having] the the lightest on the market at the time, it was still heavy and awkward to carry, the way that all infant seats are. The Doona takes all of that heavy lifting out of the equation, no more stiff arms! The smoothness of its opening and closing transition is amazing, I expected it to be more clunky, but it opens and closes with the push of a button (and a push of the back wheels for closing). I also expected it to be bigger for some reason, but it’s right on par with any other infant seat, except it has wheels.”
WEIGHT: 15.8 lbs
Kate Middleton pushed a Bugaboo. (Hilary Duff, Victoria Beckham and Elton John did, too.) If you want your little one to ride like royalty — or if you’re after gorgeous design and high-quality craftsmanship —this little bitty Bugaboo is a beautiful option that’ll last through multiple babes. (Pssst: It also happens to have a super high resale value whenever you’re finally ready to say a bittersweet goodbye to it.) The Ant does everything you’d want/expect in an ultra comfortable stroller with a seriously smooth ride, but somehow still folds into a teensy, travel-friendly size despite the *two* roomy baskets (rear and under-seat) for storage. And best of all? It boasts a reversible seat option so your kiddo can either face forward or toward you—an extremely rare feature in compact strollers.
“I have been wanting the Bugaboo Ant for some time now and I really wish I had bought it sooner!” one customer says. “The first thing I was really impressed by was their use of all recyclable packaging materials. The stroller is lightweight, but very sturdy. All of the materials feel premium and it is a really sleek looking stroller that I am excited to travel with. I have two children, a 10-month-old and a 3.5-year-old, and it is very easy to accommodate both of them with the easily-adjustable seat height and super smooth push.”
WEIGHT: 26.4 lbs
While the Baby Jogger City Select isn’t the most lightweight stroller on this list, it is the most versatile for growing families. The brand’s new-and-improved model has luxe design features like chic earth-toned colors, leatherette accents, and performance fabrics that help regulate little ones’ temperatures in the heat or cold. But the City Select’s most enviable trait is that it’s modular, making it a smart investment for parents who have babies on the brain. With add-ons like second seats, compatible car seats, and glider boards, this stroller can be converted into an impressive 16 configurations, accommodating children up to 45 pounds per seat. All this, plus its easy-fold, compact design (which is 20% smaller than the leading compact stroller), make it a top choice for active families, especially if they’ve got (or will soon have) multiple kids.
Best Lightweight Compact Strollers
WEIGHT: 13 lbs
This #1 Amazon Best Seller is definitely mom-approved, according to its 4.5 average star rating with over 4,500 reviews. Sturdy but lightweight, it features four recline positions for your kiddo’s optimal comfort, plus anti-shock front wheels make for a smooth ride. You can snag the 3Dlite in neutral black or can’t-miss hues like hot pink, lime green, and sky blue. This model also features lots of storage in the netted basket below, because — let’s face it — the big bonus of hauling a stroller everywhere you go is having a place to store all your sh*t. (Which is also ideal for touring the parks.)
“We had a bigger, bulkier stroller before this one, and after using this stroller, it has made our lives so much easier,” says one Amazon reviewer. “First thing, is it’s so much move maneuverable, we brought this to the museum, which was packed, and we were able to move it around with ease. Second, the stroller is so much lighter than the previous stroller we were using. We used to hate bringing our son out to places because we would need to drag along his heavy stroller, but this stroller is so much lighter that we don’t mind bringing him out anymore. This stroller is easy to collapse and doesn’t required much trunk space, very travel friendly.”
WEIGHT: 11 lbs.
At only 11 pounds and made in a dozen eye-catching colors, this ride features a massive four-panel canopy with UPF 50+ that blocks out rain, wind, sun and passerby. With plenty of luxe features for your discerning babe, like a padded leg rest and seat, deep recline, belly bar, cup and snack holder, plus lots of convenience factors — it fits in a backpack *and* has the capability to grow from a single to a double with an add-on, this is an extremely solid option for parents looking for one stroller that can do it all. Can you say “Disney-friendly?”
Says one reviewer, “This stroller is AWESOME! The assembly took all of 2 minutes, the most of that time was spent taking everything out of the plastic wrapping. The canopy unzips and extends pretty far down, the locking function is right by your feet on each back wheel, the cargo net underneath is good size, and the stroller is just the right size for my son. I also loved the fact that I could buy this in lime green so our stroller will stick out in the parks in a sea of black, blue, and red strollers!”
Best Budget-Friendly Compact Strollers
WEIGHT: 7.72 lbs
Wondering what 20 bucks will get you in the stroller department? If you find yourself in a pinch and need some wheeled transportation for your L.O., the classic Cosco is the closest thing you’ll find to an actual umbrella. It weighs less than a gallon of water and easily collapses to a size that’ll fit just about anywhere. While it’s probably not the sturdiest or comfiest option for frequent use (this little guy lacks standard features like storage, a cup holder and sun shade), it’s an easy and affordable option for quick trips when you need to travel light.
“This Cosco Umbrella Stroller is great!” says a Walmart reviewer. “You have to attach 2 wheels to the frame when it arrives but that was simple. It is super lightweight. I’m able to pick it up with one hand put it in the car or take it out. It folds up to where it barely takes up any room in the trunk of my car or foyer of the house. I am only 5’3″ and I can just about stand up straight while pushing it.”
WEIGHT: 13.4 lbs
Get many of the most must-have comfort features — like a storage basket, feeding tray, canopy with skylight and the option for your kid to fully recline — at a budget-friendly cost. “[It has] all the features of the high-cost models, it’s just not as sturdy,” one parent explains. The good news? When your kid eventually destroys it — as she does to most things she uses frequently — you won’t feel the need to deduct funds from her college savings account.
Notes a Walmart customer, “Honestly, wow. Price is so fair for what it comes with. It’s so light, which make it so easy on-the-go. It’s so easy to assemble, fold, and store. Basket is much needed. Baby can sleep and be very comfortable in it. It comes with cup holder on top and tray for Baby (in my other stroller just those two parts cost $100). All of my errands seems to be so fast since I start using it.”