What Makes a Stroller Right for Travel?
The whole point of having a stroller is to make it easier to get from one point to another while having children with you. Based on this, you might think that all strollers are suited to travel—is that not their purpose, after all?
Well, strollers that are suited to travel can be used as your everyday stroller, but not all everyday strollers are good for taking on the road. Strollers suited to travel are generally lighter, fold up to be more compact, are easier to steer, and offer other features that make both road and airline travel easier for moms and dads and more comfortable for the kids.
As for what these strollers look like, that all depends on your needs. In essence, any stroller that travels well and can be brought through security when flying is a double stroller for travel.
Is a Travel Stroller an Essential Item?
For parents who already own a stroller that works well for them, the idea of purchasing another just for travel may be overwhelming. Do you really need to make a special purchase just to enjoy family vacations?
That all depends on the stroller you already own and what type of travel you intend to do as a family. Below are some signs that you might need to purchase a double stroller for travel.
- You only have a single stroller but are adding to your family; purchasing a stroller suited to both travel and everyday use makes good sense
- You plan to be traveling by air and want a stroller you can take past security to make getting through the airport more manageable for you. Airlines operating in the U.S. cannot allow strollers weighing more than 20 pounds to go behind secure lines.
- You plan to travel by car and need as much space as possible for other items, such as baggage and other baby gear.
- You are traveling to a new area and you are not sure how easy the roads and sidewalks will be to navigate with a standard stroller, making a lightweight choice best.
- You plan to eat at establishments where highchairs may not be available and will need to fit the stroller into tight spaces to accommodate your children.
- Your hotel room is going to be small and you do not want a large stroller taking up too much of your limited space.
You may find that having a stroller suited to travel isn’t vital to your family. But in most cases, if you intend to travel with multiple children, a double stroller for travel will be a lifesaver.
Understanding Double Strollers for Travel
Many people think that double strollers come in one of two configurations: two seats of the same design side by side, or two seats of the same design, one behind the other. In truth, there are numerous configurations you can choose from based on the ages of the children using the stroller and their individual needs. Here are some possibilities:
- Standard Side by Side: Two identical seats are next to each other.
- Infant and Toddler Combo: Two seats, one designed to accommodate an older child and one designed to accommodate a baby.
- Tandem: Two seats of the same or similar style, one behind the other, both facing the same direction.
- Front and Back Tandem: Two seats of the same or similar style, with one facing forwards and one facing backwards, either one behind the other or side to side.
- Double Infant: Two spaces either for attaching car seats or with basinet-style seating; in the case of bassinet-style seating, one may be stacked on top of the other.
- Sit and Stand: One seat is included and then a board for an older child to stand on while a parent wheels the stroller around.
Beyond the configuration, there are other considerations to keep in mind. For example, you may be looking for a specific type of fold. Double strollers for travel come in three different types of folding actions:
- Umbrella Strollers: Lightweight strollers that fold in on themselves in an accordion style.
- Square-Fold Strollers: Midweight strollers that collapse in half to fold, taking up more room than an umbrella stroller.
- Tri-Fold Strollers: Lightweight strollers that fold in on themselves multiple times to form a very compact shape.
In addition to considering the configuration and type of fold, there are three other key aspects to keep in mind as you select a double stroller for travel.
- Weight: Especially if you intend to travel by air, you need a stroller that comes in at under 20 pounds despite its ability to cart around multiple children.
- Weight Limit: Your stroller needs to be able to accommodate both children it is meant for over the course of several years.
- Special Features: These are any features that matter to you. Some common special features parents want are storage baskets, cup holders, and sun visors.
So, with these important elements in mind, what double strollers for travel do we recommend?
Understanding Double Strollers for Travel—Comparison table
|Stroller and Rank||Configuration||Fold||Weight||Weight Limit||Special Features|
|#1 Delta Children LX Side by Side Tandem Umbrella Stroller||Side by Side|| |
|18.3 pounds||35 pounds per seat, 70 pounds total||A cup holder for mom and dad|
|#2 Kolcraft Cloud Side-by-Side Double Umbrella Stroller||Side by Side||Umbrella||21 pounds||35 pounds per seat, 70 pounds total||Reclining seats|
|#3 ZOE XL1 BEST v2 TANDEM||Tandem||Umbrella||17 pounds||35 pounds per seat, 70 pounds total||Roomy storage basket|
|#4 Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite Stroller||Sit and Stand||Square Fold||22 pounds||45 pounds per seat, 90 pounds total||Universal car seat adapter|
|#5 guzzie + Guss Hitch Ride-On Stroller Board||Stroller add-on for older children||N/A||5 pounds||62 pounds||Turns single strollers into double strollers|
Understanding Double Strollers for Travel—Reviews
If your goal is to travel by air, there are few strollers that can beat the Delta Children XL Side by Side Tandem Umbrella Stroller. It is a very simple stroller, which means you are sacrificing the bells and whistles you might enjoy, but it does everything it needs to. And unlike the majority of double strollers—even those designed for travel—it is light enough that you can gate check it when flying.
This stroller can accommodate children up to 35 pounds with a maximum weight limit of 70 pounds total. It features a five-point harness for extra security and handlebars that are a good length for average height parents. The storage basket is pretty solid as well, given this is an umbrella stroller. Ultimately, it is designed to make airline travel easy for everyone involved.
Compared to the Delta, the Kolcraft Cloud Side-by-Side Double Umbrella Stoller comes in a pretty close second. The primary disadvantage of this stroller is that its weight means it is not supposed to be able to be gate checked. However, it looks small enough that you may not be asked to weigh it at check in, and since it is just one pound over the weight limit, there is always the chance that the scale will read a little low.
If gate checking is not a priority, you might even rate it above the Delta. The seats recline, the canopies are larger, and it is easier to steer even as the children approach the weight limit of the stroller. However, the lack of a storage basket may mean making some sacrifices as you are out and about, so keep that in mind.
The ZOE XL1 BEST v2 TANDEM is the only double stroller besides the Delta that is allowed to be gate checked on U.S. airlines. It comes in at just 17 pounds but includes significant amenities—more so than the Delta—and it can be folded using just one hand. So why is this one not in first place?
While it is light enough to be gate checked, it is not compact enough to get through the x-ray machines at airports. This means that additional screening processes are needed, which can make travel more of a hassle than parents want it to be. There is also the possibility that some airports will refuse to allow it through and the parents will need to go back to the check-in desk.
If you are traveling with a younger child as well as one who is preschool aged, selecting a stroller can be hard. The littler one needs to be secured, while the older one needs and craves freedom and choice. The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite Stroller makes it possible to accommodate both.
The stroller is designed with its center of gravity low to the ground, allowing it to remain upright no matter how much the kids are wiggling around. The seat for the younger child is highly secure and comfortable, while the space for the older child accommodate both sitting and standing. The space for the older child can even recline a bit, making it more versatile than many sit and stand options on the market. However, it will not make it through airline security and must be checked with your bags.
Finally, we have an option that is not a stroller itself, but that turns standard strollers into double strollers—to a degree. The guzzie + Guss Hitch Ride-On Stroller Board is designed to attach to standard strollers as a way of accommodating older children who can securely stand while the stroller is in motion. This option is universal in design, so there are few strollers it will not work with. However, the sturdier the stroller, the better it is.
Because it detaches from the stroller, it makes airline travel easy. The board itself weighs just 5 pounds and can be brought through security. All you need to do is select a single-child stroller that is light and compact enough to go through security as well, and you will be on your way. Just keep in mind that younger children who are not good with their balance should never ride using a stroller board.
Making Your Purchase
The right double stroller for travel for your family will depend on many factors, from the ages of the children to how you plan to travel. But no matter what you need from such a stroller, there is a great option out there for you. So make your purchase and then make the most of your vacations with your family.