Are you looking for a 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 travel stroller will change your life in 2020 — and here’s why.
Maybe you’re the type of mom who believes all strollers should be small and inconspicuous, no exceptions. Or you’re going on a trip and need a plane-friendly pram — but refuse to spend a small fortune. Or maybe you plan to push your kids around until they’re past preschool and want to invest in a super smooth, smallish ride that can go anywhere *and* last through all your childrearing years.
There is one solution to *all* these scenarios and it’s called… drumroll please… the compact stroller.
You may already know her as the umbrella stroller. The travel pram. The lightweight buggy. They’re all the same thing, and they’re all an essential element of every parent’s arsenal looking for a convenient ride option for their kid. It’ll save you time (just grab and go!), it’ll save your achy muscles (no hauling around a 40-pound behemoth) and it’ll save you space (whether that’s when carrying on a plane, stashing in your coat closet or navigating narrow city sidewalks).
So how do you pick the right compact stroller for your life? We chatted with 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. “Look for two things: durability and ease,” says Luisana. “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.”
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.
THE BEST COMPACT STROLLERS OF 2020: UNDER $100
BEST FOR… STROLLER EMERGENCIES
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.
BEST FOR… MOMS ON A BUDGET
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.
BEST FOR… TALL PARENTS WHO TRAVEL
WEIGHT: 12 lbs
In what is probably one of the least relatable Amazon stroller reviews — but one that is still very telling — a mom critiques this ride in the context of her vacation to Lake Como, Italy. “The streets and terrain in Lake Como are far from ideal for a stroller, but this held up amazingly well over cobblestone streets, up and down stone stairs, through grass and dirt roads. I could not be happier with its performance,” she writes. “The handles are nicely cushioned and ergonomically placed at a good height for me and my husband (I’m 5’7 and he is 6’0).” It also has all those comfort features you won’t find in the flimsier umbrella strollers: a cozy recline option for your snoozy little jet-setter, a sun visor for blocking bright rays, and a large basket for your travel souvenirs, naturally. “I almost hate to admit that I might like this convenient stroller better than my $500 jogging stroller…I would recommend this product to anyone!”
BEST FOR… MULTI-TASKING MAMAS
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 fangirling 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 4 plane trips and everything else we threw at it.”
THE BEST COMPACT STROLLERS OF 2020: UNDER $200
BEST FOR… SIBLING ON DIFFERENT NAP SCHEDULES
WEIGHT: 25.4 lbs
To invest in two single strollers or one double stroller? That is the million dollar question. Busy parents can officially breathe an immense sigh of relief. The Evenflo Minno Twin Double Stroller makes having two rugrats—dare we say—half the struggle. Whether you’re going on a leisurely park stroll (as the kids would say… Weeeeeeeee!) or are brave enough to tackle an afternoon at an amusement park, you may find that having a double has its perks. At just 27” wide, this baby can comfortably fit through most doorways. The front-wheel suspension makes for a smooth, comfortable ride—something to think about when your kids are trying to nap. Speaking of squeezing in those precious Zzzzs, multi-position reclining seats make it possible for one kid to nap while the other reads. Mind. Blown. Other Supermom-approved add-ons include an oversized canopy, a storage basket, and comfort-angled handles.
BEST FOR… STROLLING IN THE RAIN
WEIGHT: 11 lbs.
Giving new meaning to the term “umbrella stroller,” this ride features a massive 4-panel canopy 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 plenty 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.
BEST FOR… LAID-BACK KIDDOS (LITERALLY)
WEIGHT: 13.6 lbs
Light, stylish and sturdy, this travel stroller boasts an extra-large waterproof canopy with UV 50+ sun protection factor and lots of air vents. The backrest angle ranges from 110° to 152°, which makes it great for babes who like to lounge. (Although, just FYI, some parents say they wish the seat had a more upright option for kids who want to sit extra straight.) “Overall, highly recommended for parents who want a lightweight stroller but don’t want to compromise with the quality,” writes one mom on Amazon. Don’t forget to locate the secret pocket that’s perfect for stashing small valuables out of sight.
THE BEST COMPACT STROLLERS OF 2020: UNDER $300
BEST FOR… GROWING WITH THE FAMILY
WEIGHT: 15.2 lbs
If this stroller looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen that UPPAbaby logo everywhere — the brand is really having a moment right now. And with good reason: The strollers are extremely stylish, very well-made and excessively adaptable. (Seriously, check out the accessories available for the full-size strollers. A kick board? Of course! The ability to go double? Yep. A stroller bassinet that turns into a home bassinet with help from a special stand that turns into a laundry hamper? Yes, really.) The G-Lite compresses the UPPAbaby quality into a mini but mighty version featuring shock-absorbing four-wheel suspension, tall and ergonomic handles and a lightweight aluminum frame that can easily be picked up with one hand. Bonus: The seat fabric can be removed for a machine wash —because raise your hand if you’re sick of spot cleaning. (Thought so!)
BEST FOR… LITTLE BABES WITH BIG STYLE
WEIGHT: 14 lbs.
Moms love this “elevated umbrella stroller,” as one writes on Amazon, for its double-decker storage spaces, easy maneuvering abilities, super lightweight and overall chic style. Many agree that the seat size and limited recline options (either leaning back for a nap or sitting straight up) make it best for smaller kiddos, though, so keep that in mind when considering. “I’d recommend it for any child under 18 months,” says mom reviewer Karen.
BEST FOR… JETSETTING IN STYLE
WEIGHT: 14 lbs.
It’s the little things that make this extremely smooth ride so special: a slim silhouette with front wheel suspension, a height-adjustable safety harness for the perfect fit on your passenger, and a height-adjustable handlebar and ultra luxe accents (like that rich velvety fabric, swoon). As one mom who traveled internationally with the Pockit+ explains, you’ll find it on almost every list of best compact strollers (including this one) because it checks two of the most important boxes on the list: small and stylish. “We couldn’t keep track of the amount of comments and compliments we got. It’s so easy to fold and very lightweight to carry. Fit in the overhead compartment easily. It was actually the smallest carry-on item we had.”
PERFECT FOR… COORDINATING WITH YOUR KID
WEIGHT: 16 lbs
Colugo is a cool brand for cool parents — especially if you’re the kind of parent who prioritizes stylish, well-made gear at an extremely reasonable price point. (The goal of this new DTC brand is to disrupt the market by providing a premium product at a lower cost.) Colugo’s range includes the full-size Complete Stroller and the very travel-friendly Compact Stroller, which turns moms’ heads everywhere thanks to adorable, interchangeable “comfort sets” that allow you to switch up the look of your stroller in seconds. Now you can rotate between classic colors (basic black, traditional navy, a “Cool Gray” that’s perfect for summer temps with more ventilation, etc.). Or, get a little wild with leopard print, petite florals, camo…even limited-edition options like sparkly denim. (You didn’t know you needed to match your stroller to your outfit, did you? But you do. You know you do. And now you can.)
PERFECT FOR… MOMS WHO WANT FRENCH DESIGN, BUT NO FUSS
WEIGHT: 14 lbs
For the mom who yearns for a trendier European-metro inspired stroller, the Ergobaby Metro is practically the crème de la crème of such extravagances. The sleeker metropolitan look is coupled with a lightweight frame (just 14 pounds) that will make it SUPER easy to carry around. Heck, you could even store it in the overhead compartment on a train or airline without having to ask for any assistance. Nap-worthy extras include a padded seat, deep reclining, and a generous leg rest—anything to keep the baby happy as you galavant through Europe. Did we mention there’s a UV sun canopy? Oh yes. One savvy Amazon traveler says, “We needed a travel buggy that folds easily and is not a hassle to carry around when running around London and is also air travel-friendly. Ergobaby wins, hands down. Main reasons for this are the one-hand fold (pretty essential when you’re juggling holding your little one and folding the buggy at a busy tube station).”
THE BEST COMPACT STROLLERS OF 2020: UNDER $500
PERFECT FOR… THE INNER PRINCESS IN ALL OF US
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.
Now that you’re strolling in style with the best compact strollers of 2020, check out other essential baby gear.