stroller in the park

Ultralight Strollers for Cities and Travel

A baby’s first set of wheels!  The decision is a complicated one, and parents often spend hours agonizing over the fleets of strollers on the market.  When choosing a stroller, the selection should be centered around making your and your baby’s lives simpler and easier.  There are many factors to consider, outlined in the stroller buying guide, but your comfort and your baby’s needs should be prioritized.   Enter the ultralight stroller.

Parents who have to maneuver down narrow sidewalks or into shopping aisles, constantly unloading and reloading strollers, find themselves in dire need of ultralight strollers.  This stroller category also is best for petite mothers around the world and parents who need to fly with strollers.  For day to day use in a city where transport revolves around both public and private transportation, finding an ultralight stroller is the most straightforward solution.

What Is An Ultralight Stroller

As it implies, an ultralight stroller refers to a pushchair (or pram) that is light in weight- often any stroller under the 13-18lb (6-8kg) mark. These “buggies” are perfect for use on holiday or nipping to the shops. While these strollers boast of their compactness, they are also comfortable, easy to fold, store, and steer; unlike the bulkier options, they do not break your back.

In the market for light strollers, parents focus on either umbrella strollers or ultra-lightweight strollers.  Often lighter than full-size strollers, the ultralight stroller offers more convenience and comfort than the umbrella-style stroller, which is relatively flimsy and folds up like an umbrella. Many of these strollers (ultralight) come with large canopies, under seat storage bins, adjustable leg rests, reclining back pads, and cup holders. They can be often be used as the only stroller in a household,  offering a lightweight design, compact fold, and better portability than their “heavyweight” cousins.

Benefits of Ultra-lightweight Strollers

  • Easy to bring for travel
  • Travel systems for public transportation or taxi
  • Reclining positions allowing baby to nap
  • Storage for parents

How To Choose A Stroller

  • Age/Weight of Baby - These go hand in hand, but the age of your baby is usually a good indicator of whether the baby can sit up and hold his/her neck up properly enough to sit up in a stroller seat.  At 6 months most babies typically can sit up on their own.

From newborn until about 6 months, babies should lay reclined or flat, especially for longer periods of time. Strollers that have some sort of bassinet attachment (ie flat laying pod) are most useful during this time.  Travel systems where a carseat is attached to a stroller can also be a valuable solution.

Strollers are often divided into a newborn 0+ category or 6m+ category.  6m+ category strollers are generally built for the sturdier and heavy baby, often not allowing infants to lay flat.  Do you really need to buy another stroller when babies sit up? In the interest of buying as little baby gear necessary as possible, hopefully not!  

The older and bigger the baby the more watching that stroller weight limit becomes important.  Strollers can often double as shopping carts or storage for mommy and baby items, so it might also be necessary to factor in any extra baggage into the ultimate weight limit.  

  • One Handed Fold vs 2 Handed -  Simple rule of thumb is that anything that can done with as few hands as possible is best.  Carrying a baby in one hand and trying to open a stroller with 2 hands is a bit challenging.
  • Stand when folded - Some strollers aren’t built to stand on their own when folded, and if the stroller will merely be taken from car to home, this may not be an issue.  When traveling and needing to constantly set down the stroller this may be more of an annoyance. Not to mention a little bit of a hazard with mobile little children running around.
  • Seat Recline - Being able to recline the seat as close to flat allows a sleeping baby or toddler to get rest on the go.  This is clearly more crucial for the younger babies, who nap more often. Toddlers may be able sleep without a full recline, but comfortable sleep will require as much of an incline as possible.
  • Stroller size - Stroller dimensions will determine its portability.  When trying to navigate narrow sidewalks the width of the stroller is also important.  Having the right trade off between size and function is crucial when traveling or going around an urban environment.
  • Maneuverability - Strollers often come in the 3 or 4 wheel variety.  For example jogging strollers often have a front wheel that locks for better stability.  Taking strollers for a test drive with weight in it can help to determine ease of use.  While on the move you'll need to tackle the occasional curb easily, so the suspension must be stable as well.
  • Accessories - Having a storage basket is quite handy, but having a tray or cup holder may be useful as well.  Canopies also come in handy for sunny or rainy weather, or just when your baby wants to play peekaboo.
ultralight strollers for cities and travel
  • Affordable Option
  • 12 pound frame
  • 4 position recline
  • May not be the most durable
  • Stroller can't stand on its own when folded

Price $

Check Pricing

Heavy on features and light on price, parents who desire an affordable everyday use stroller can look no further than the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller.  The 12 pound aluminum frame is incredibly light, even while boasting a large undercarriage storage bin, cup holder, rear storage pocket and sun canopy.  Apart from its weight, the ability to be extremely compact when folded also makes the summer infant 3D stroller more portable. A shoulder strap also enhances its portability.

Maximum weight capacity for the child is 50lbs, and the stroller comfortable wide seating, a 5-point safety harness, and almost flat 4-position recline.  The seat recline, allowing baby and parent to have a rest, is likely the most important feature setting the stroller apart from ultralight umbrella strollers.  Officially this stroller can be used from birth, however buying a headrest may be helpful for newborns who have difficulty sitting up straight and holding their heads up.

A few considerations to take note of - The stroller can’t stand on its own when folded, and the folding/unfolding process takes some time to get used to.  It is not carseat adaptable.
Even though this stroller is billed as suitable from birth to 50lbs, you probably will need some kind of infant head support.  Some parents may not be comfortable putting a newborn who can't sit up in this stroller.

Mountain Buggy Nano -  "The Carryon And Travel System Option"

  • Travel System ready
  • 12 pound frame
  • Meets airline carryon requirements
  • Offers softshell cocoon for newborns (sold separately)
  • Unstrapping a sleeping baby can wake them.

Price $$​

Check Pricing

A perfect stroller for the adventurous, the Mountain Buggy Nano was introduced about 23 years ago. Its introduction followed the need for a perfect all-terrain pushchair by a Dad in New Zealand. This was as a result of numerous mountain trails that New Zealand parents hope to bring their kids on. Thus, Mountain Buggy has leapt into the world of travel strollers as the company now targets the urban parents.

At 22"x12"x20" (56*31*51cm) when folded , the Nano has extremely compact dimensions designed to fit within airplane carryon regulations.  Carrying the stroller on the plane minimizes the chance for potential damage to the stroller, which airlines do not take responsibility for.  There's also  the added benefit of avoiding the wait time to pickup strollers at the gate after a flight, all while holding a cranky baby.  Its 13lb weight (6kg) makes it easy to carry around, and an exposed carry handle simultaneously works as handle and a shoulder strap.  A travel bag is included.

The canopy unfortunately doesn’t offer much sun protection as it is on the smaller side. A lightweight pop-up sun visor would have been better. The large mesh window has no cover, thus exposing the baby to the sun or wind. Although it might be an ideal stroller in a hot summer day, there will be more drafts during  cold and windy periods.

The Mountain Buggy Nano is extremely adapatable, as it is newborn ready with a softshell cocoon purchased separately.  It is also carseat ready and can be turned into a travel system (car seat and stroller pair) easily.  The stroller has been designed for the "curb pop", ie popping curb hopping in cities.   The comfort of the full featured, multi-position recline,  adjustable leg rest, and easy maneuverability make this a sturdy and reliable choice for city dwellers.

Doona - "The Hybrid Car Seat/Stroller Option"

  • First of its kind hybrid car seat/ stroller
  • 12 pound frame
  • One handed fold
  • Unstrapping a sleeping baby can wake them.

Price $$​$$

Check Pricing

Out of the need to provide a travel solution to traveling parents, the simple parenting company aims to develop a safe, yet tactical highly-designed products to make life simpler and easier for both experienced and new parents. The Doona (shortened from a daughter’s name Danielle) was launched in 2014 and has been tipped to be the next generation car seat. It can be secured with the car seat belt or with a car seat base for easier installation.

 The Doona boasts the title of being the first hybrid stroller and car seat in the market, and its features of anti-rebound handle and an adjustable wall structure won many awards. Its integrated wheels enable the car seat to become a pushchair at a single touch of a button.

When compared to other infant car seats, the Doona is heavier as it weighs 15.4 lb(7kg). Your baby is highly secured as the Doona is sturdy and possesses double walls which allow the wheels to be easily fold into the body of the car seat.

One of the cons of the Doona is its lack of storage.  It is a great solution for smaller babies, able to accomodate babies as small as 4lbs and going up to 35 lbs.  The maximum height is 32", which limits the lifespan of this travel seat, but is a a massive relief to the city dweller who has to agonize of whether or not to carry a car seat around taxis.

Babyzen Yoyo2 - "The Carryon Option"

  • Narrow carriage ideal for cramped city streets
  • Airplane carry-on eligible
  • Smaller storage basket

Price $$​$

Check Pricing

A premium stroller, the Babyzen Yoyo offers a one-handed folding compact solution that can be seen as the luxury stroller of choice in Hong Kong. The Babyzen Yoyo2 is an exciting stroller given its smallest weight and design; even more compact than the  Mountain Buggy Nano.

One of its defining features is a design that perfectly fits into the overhead luggage compartment. The stroller only weighs 13.6 lbs which makes it easy to be carried over the shoulder. The frame is produced from high-quality aluminum which is durable and light at the same time.

When folded, dimensions are 20.5"x17.3"x7.1"

The yoyo has a deep recline that makes it suitable for babies from 6 months and up, but can be purchased with a flat “newborn nest” (attached to the base of the stroller), usable right from birth. The maneuverability is unique with its small “5” wheels, though it may become a bit stickier on rougher surfaces over time. Overall, the Yoyo is lighter and easy to operate, and navigation through the busy streets and narrow stores becomes easy. It's certified for up to 40lbs and designed in France.

For big siblings, a YOYO Board attachment is available for sit or stand.

Pockit Lightweight Stroller- "The Smallest Folding Option"

  • Guinness World Record holder for most compact stroller
  • Ultra - portability
  • Requires unfolding with 2 hands
  • Does not recline

Price $$​

Check Pricing

Though this actually fits more in the umbrella stroller category, we would be remiss not to include it for older toddlers and kids who travel.  Sporting the 2014 Guiness World Record for most compact stroller, the Pockit stroller folds down to 11.8" x 7" x 13.8" at a weight of 9.5 pounds.  Once it folds it can actually fit in a backpack.  Children up to 55 lbs can fit, plus an additional 11 lbs of weight in the storage basket (yes there's still a basket!).

There's unfortunately no reclining function, but some extra sleepy toddlers have been known to nap in it anyway.  This stroller is definitely not for babies who cannot sit up by themselves yet, and it has to be unfolded with 2 hands.

Baby Jogger City Tour- "Compact Travel Stroller"

  • Ultra-compact system that folds with one hand
  • Weighs 14 pounds
  • Padded seat with a variety of recline positions
  • Buckles can be challenging to use
  • Compatible with a limit number of car seats

Price $$​

Check Pricing

The Baby Jogger City Tour stroller was made for parents who are on the move.  Launched in the 1980s, the Baby Jogger brand is known for its premium jogging and travel strollers.  The City Tour stroller features a lightweight frame that can be opened and shut with one hand. With its compact design, the stroller fits nicely in the trunk of your car and may even meet airline carry-on luggage regulations.

Despite its light weight, the Baby Jogger City Tour stroller feels solid and durable. The stroller has a comfortable handle that is easy to grip and steer with one hand. While the 5” tires may seem small, they can take on bumpy pavement and curbs without missing a beat.

Your baby stays comfortable in the City Tour stroller with its well-padded seat and multiple reclining positions.  Adjustable staff support makes this buggy a good fit for infants and children up to five years old. To protect your baby from the sun, the buggy is equipped with a durable fabric hood that offers 50+ SPF protection.  And you can keep an eye on your baby while on the move with its peekaboo mesh window.  The City Stroller has a large under-seat storage basket that can hold up to 15 pounds.

While the City Tour is known for its one-step fold design, the stroller can be difficult to close unless you use of both hands. In addition, latches and buckles can be cumbersome to open and close.  Another drawback is that the City Tour stroller is compatible with only a few car seats.

Joolz AER- "Where Lightweight Meets Luxury"

  • Sleek, compact design
  • One-touch push button open and close
  • Comfortable seat
  • Seat buckle is difficult to close
  • Doesn’t fully recline

Price $$​$

Check Pricing

The Joolz AER is a premium travel stroller that is both sturdy and comfortable. The leather grip on the handlebar is easy to grasp and wipe down if it gets dirty. Equipped with 5” hard rubber wheels in the front and 6” rubber wheels in the back, the buggy moves smoothly when pushed across uneven pavement and curbs.

The stroller features a padded seat with memory-foam type comfort.  With a backrest of 21.6 inches, the AER keeps taller toddlers well supported. The buggy has a durable three-panel canopy to keep your toddler protected from the sun. The cover expands even further to reveal a hidden mesh panel. Not only can you keep an eye on your toddler, but the mesh helps improve the air circulation in the buggy.  There is plenty of room for a diaper bag or purse in its deep storage basket.  You can even fit a few items in the pocket behind the seat.

Perhaps the best feature of the Joolz AER buggy is how easy it is to open and close.  Just touch the button on the handle to close the stroller with just one hand.  Weighing 13.4 pounds, this compact stroller is easy to carry on your shoulder with the included travel bag or place in an overhead bin on an airplane.  

The Joolz AER makes a good travel stroller for children ranging from 6 months to 50 pounds.  Since the seat doesn’t fully recline, the Joolz AER isn’t a great fit for an infant unless you buy the added bassinet or car seat adapter.

One glaring drawback is the seat buckle. Feeding four different parts into the buckle to close the belt can be cumbersome. On the flip side, the wide button design in the middle of the harness makes it easy for a toddler to unlock the belt.  In addition, the Joolz AER is one of the pricier travel strollers on the market.


Ultralight strollers offer a higher quality mix of features ultra portability for the well traveled parent.   They are also the best strollers full stop for any tiny or petite mom who has suddenly found herself overloaded with baggage ranging from diaper bags to extra baby gear.  You're not going to be jogging with these.  In frenzied cities where having just one mode of transport is not an option, the ultralight stroller offers unparalleled convenience and a safe environment for your baby.

ultralight strollers for cities and travel
ultralight strollers for cities and travel

Ultralight strollers for cities and travel

ultralight strollers for cities and travel
ultralight strollers for cities and travel

ultra light stroller

ultralight strollers

Ultralight strollers

ultralight strollers for cities and travel

ultralight strollers for cities and travel

Sharing is caring!