If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my Stories yesterday where I divulged a personal story about *purposely* leaving the stroller behind at home for a day trip to Denver. And well, the only thing I’ve ever regretted more was marrying my first husband, okay? Catastrophic mistake. I will never again completely ignore my maternal instinct to bring the stroller! My lack of foresight will be your gain as I dive deep into our two travel strollers to tell you what we love (and what we don’t). Strap in, buckle up, and let’s get started!
P.S. I posted videos of each stroller to my Instagram Stories. You can check the Highlight Reel “Strollers” to catch up on all the info!
gb Pockit Stroller
I’m starting with the Pockit in particular because hands down, this one is my favorite. We’ve gotten lots of use of it so far and it’s holding up like a champ! While it lacks certain modern amenities of a “regular” stroller, I love the simplicity of this product. No frills but huuuuge convenience factor. Every time I fold it for TSA screening, I see jaws drop. People can’t believe their eyes when they see me fold it down!
- Compact and lightweight. This folds small enough to fit underneath the seat of small regional jets (the EMB-145 being the smallest we’ve tried so far) and weighs 10.5 pounds. By comparison, traditional strollers have to be gate-checked due to their size and tend to weigh at least double the Pockit. Another bonus is the quick screening process at TSA. Since it’s so compact, the stroller can be screened through the regular X-Ray machine without requiring additional screening. I also get peace of mind knowing that my stroller won’t get damaged in transit. Add in that I can make shorter connections even easier because I’m not waiting in the jet bridge for a gate-checked stroller.
- The price is right. Brand new, you can expect to spend about $160. If you’re thrifty like me, you can find them used on sites like eBay for less than $100. If you travel frequently, or you have a daily commute involving trains, subways, taxis, etc., this fits the ticket for price, convenience, and compactness. We received this stroller as a gift three years ago and it’s still practically brand new aside from one “sticky” handle that needs an extra little push when I’m folding it down.
- Handle height is adjustable. This is a great feature for my son. He enjoys pushing his toys around when we’re on a layover, so it’s like having an extra toy that doubles as a practical piece of gear. FYI I’m almost 6′ and the stroller is just right for my height when fully extended.
- The fabric is removable. Rejoice because spills and stains be gone! The fabric unbottons/unsnaps/unvelcros so you can wash the fabric in time for your next trip.
- The basket is small. This makes sense, as the stroller itself is so compact. Not a dealbreaker for me, but something to keep in mind if you like to stow any extras.
- No cupholder. I usually travel with twist-top drink lids so I’m not risking spills in-flight, but once I’m at my destination, it would be nice to have a spot for a beverage.
- No seat recline. The back is a comfortable recline for everyday use and is sufficient for the occasional stroller nap. In my opinion, not having a recline option wasn’t a huge deal once my son a bit older and able to control his body movements more.
- The canopy isn’t great. I suppose the canopy is better than nothing at all, but a far cry from being practical. We drape a Baby Tula blanket over the canopy to make it more efficient.
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
Recommended for ages 6 months and up to 55 pounds
Weighs less than 12 pounds (*note: it’s approximately 10.5 pounds)
The model I have is the “basic” model, which means it’s the most basic option they have available. The gb team has designed five other lightweight, compact strollers that are versatile enough for everyday use, plus super-convenient for commuters and travelers. I highly recommend visiting their website and watching a few of their videos to find the right stroller for you!
Summer Infant 3D Lite Stroller
This is the original travel stroller I picked out for myself due to the advertised lightweight and ease of use. Think of it like a platinum version of a basic umbrella stroller and you won’t be disappointed. As you read this quick-list, you may notice that some of the pros double as cons, so take those into consideration if you’re in the market for a new travel stroller.
- The price is way right. This puppy goes for less than $100 brand new.
- Large basket. This basket is at least double the size of the Pockit basket. Just don’t fill it too full, as this will inhibit your ability to recline the seat.
- Four recline positions. If your child falls asleep taking in the views, no worries at all. Simply press two buttons (one for each side) and your child can sleep in blissful comfort.
- One-handed fold. Folding this is a total cinch by simply pressing a lever with your foot and pulling a tab with your hand. Unfolding is just as simple with a single latch release.
- Cupholder is included. The cupholder itself is small but better than nothing.
- Includes a Velcro pouch for quick access items. Think about going through the airport and needing things like your ID, cellphone, or a pacifier in a hurry. The velcro pocket is a generous size and yet still discreet.
- Must be gate-checked. This means I will have to wait in the jet bridge at both my connection city and final destination city, as the stroller is too large to bring onboard the aircraft. This also means there’s a risk in the stroller being damaged in the cargo hold.
- The cupholder is small and removable. So small that it barely holds a sippy cup, but it’s a good size for baby bottles or slim cups/water bottles. Also, be sure to remove the cupholder before you gate check the stroller so you don’t risk losing it in the cargo hold. Removing is simple, just a quick pull.
- The canopy is just okay. We use a Baby Tula blanket with this stroller as well.
- Don’t overfill the large basket. If you fill the basket too full, you’ll be sacrificing your reclining positions.
- Travel only, please. I don’t recommend this one for daily use or commuting, but more so reserving it strictly for travel.
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
Recommended for ages 6 months and up to 50 pounds
Weighs 13 pounds
Visit their website for reviews and other information
So which one is right for me?
For my family, the compact and lightweight features of the Pockit are a home run every time. I can make do without a cupholder, fancy canopy, and big storage basket.
In picking a travel stroller, you have to think about the most important factors for you and your family. What works for us may not work for you, and that is totally okay. Here are some things to consider:
- What developmental stage is your child? When my son was younger, I preferred the 3D Lite because I could recline him to a more comfortable position when he was still wobbly and top-heavy. I sacrificed the convenience of the Pockit because it meant my son was more secure and comfortable. But once my son gained full-body control, I definitely preferred the Pockit.
- How often will you be traveling, and do you consider a travel stroller a necessity for that frequency? Travel strollers are great for frequent fliers and city dwellers, but also a good investment for people who don’t want to bring a full-size stroller on their annual family trip. Do what makes you feel comfortable and prepared for your trip. Durability wise, the Pockit has been the better investment. Maybe that’s because we don’t have to check it as luggage so it’s not being tossed around the cargo bin, or it could be that the wheels are made of a sturdier material, I can’t say for sure. Being that the 3D Lite was so affordable, I knew I had to at least try it out.
- What type of traveler are you? Do you like having more bells and whistles, or do you just want your stroller to get you from A to B seamlessly? I’m a less-is-more traveler (despite what my husband might say!).
- Where do you live, and where will you be visiting? Many city dwellers prefer the Pockit simply because it’s so easy to take on commutes, up and down stairways for the train, and it fits into a taxi in a jiffy. When planning your trip, consider the same scenarios and the best way to maneuver through your sightseeing.
- What’s your budget? A regular umbrella stroller for $15 will do the same job as the $700 stroller: your child will sit in it and be chauffeured around the airport and a destination. Try not to overcomplicate the travel stroller with fancy “extras” and instead be realistic with what your budget allows and the amenities that you actually need.