Under My Umbrella-ella-ella

We are traveling across the country (to Tucson!) in April, and I want to buy an umbrella stroller to take with us. (The BOB doesn’t really seem all that airplane friendly Smile )


But I’m so overwhelmed by the choices and prices! Since we’re using this for travel and car use only, I don’t want to spent too much, but I also don’t want to go pick out the cheapest stroller on the market since we need it to be functional and reliable when we are using it. This will eventually be our car stroller when he outgrows the snap-and-go too.

It needs to be lightweight and have good storage capacity, both of which are going to be really important for travel. Durability is also up there. Based on some preliminary research, this lot seems to be some of the top choices for under $150 (not sure I want to go any higher). The $40 First Year’s Jet seems to be a great steal, but then I wonder what the UPPABaby G-Lite has that costs $100 more!? I’d love your feedback and advice from traveling with a baby to the airport to your favorite umbrella stroller.

1) Contours Lite $58

Contours Lite 58

One-hand fold. Snack tray for older baby. BIG basket! 16 pounds. Looks a little bulky. Bigger canopy.

2) The First Year’s Jet $40


Number one on Amazon. Great price! 11 pounds. Good reviews. Console storage built in. Basket looks kind of small..

3) Chicco C6 $80


Good reviews. 11 pounds. Basket looks small. Comes with a carry bag!

4) Inglesina Swift $120

Inglesina Swift

Expensive. Touts a carry handle and big basket. Locks into a compact block for easy carrying. 13 pounds.

5) Chicco Capri $70


11 pounds. Carry bag included. Carry strap too.

6) Maclaren Volo $130


Carry strap. Rain cover. One hand breakdown. Big basket. Water resistant hood. Only 8 pounds!

7) UPPABaby G-Lite $140


SPF big canopy. Basket looks roomy. 8 pounds. Stands when folded.

8) The First Year’s Ignite $60


Parent console. 14 pounds. Larger wheels.

9) Baby Cargo $109


Interior side pockets. Rain cover. Roomy basket. 16 pounds. Shoulder strap.

Which would you buy?

Do you guys have one of these for checking at the gate? It’s $12.


I also stumbled upon this accessory – I always need more space for my phone, water, etc!


117 thoughts on “Under My Umbrella-ella-ella”

  1. We have the MacClaren and it’s been great for an umbrella stroller. The only thing I do not like and this will be an issue with most is the sun shade. My daughter is so used to the awesome full pull down sun shade on the Bob and none of these do a great job of blocking unless the sun is overhead. Be prepared with hats, sunglasses, blanket, etc to block the sun. As a carrier when we gate check the stroller we use a storage bag we already have for a fold up camping chair. If you have any of those portable chairs that come in a back you can re-use it with these kind of strollers. Good luck!

    1. The Kiddopotamus Ray Shade is good for this. We’ve always found that no stroller sun shade ever fully does the job; so we just add a Ray Shade and we’re set (-: $15 or so, I think?

    1. I agree. From your list, I would pick number two. It is the best priced, provides storage reclines and you can’t beat the one-hand fold. That was a lifesaver for me.

      Maybe go to BRU or TRU and try them out to see how Mazen fits, etc.

  2. We have the The First Years Jet. Can’t beat the price. Works fine. I bought a strap to attach. Console is great. Baby likes the ride. Basket is small. Easy fold up and light weight.

  3. Quick question– did you give some thought to taking your infant car seat and snap & go? You can use that through the airport, then break it down and gate check both, and then you have a car seat at your destination.

    Whatever you do, spend the money on the gate check bag! I bought one for my stroller base AND my car seat when I traveled. They were a little expensive– 17.99 and 19.99 but worth EVERY PENNY! They were scuffed up when I got them back– my stroller/ car seat would have taken those scuffs without the gate check bag. Also, it was raining when we arrived at our destination. The bag came in wet, but the stroller and car seat were both dry, thanks to the gate check bags.

    1. I think someone told me you can’t check car seats at the gate?? Please correct me if I’m wrong! We also wanted something a little more comfortable for him at our destination for walks there, but of course this could be a good short term solution

      1. You can check carseats at the gate. We just travelled with an infant car seat, snap n go, plus umbrella stroller for the toddler and checked all 3 at the gate. This was February 2013.

      2. Yes, you can gate check car seats and strollers. The only issue would be weather – that stuff sits on the tarmac and if it rains (not a problem for Tucson!) stuff will get wet.

      3. yes you can check car seats at the gate. We’ve flown with baby 3 times and have done it without incident each time!

        We have the Chicco lightway. It was about $100. I use it only in my car and for travel as well. So far so good!

      4. Please do not rent or borrow a car seat! I made the mistake of renting one along with the car, and it was so old and dangerous! It was my worst travel experience ever. Go with what you know; there is enough stress in traveling with a young one. Yes, you can check your car seat at the gate or at baggage. I was nervous checking our Britax, but remember that they’re made to withstand car crashes! Plus if you check it at ticketing, that’s one less piece of luggage to worry about. I use this for our trips: http://amzn.com/B0009RNXNA. That red bag doesn’t have great reviews on Amazon, FYI.

        Have fun in Tucson! I grew up in Rio Rico (near Nogales) and love and yearn for the southwest. Be sure to check out the Sonoran Desert Museum and drive down to Tubac if you can!

      5. We brought our carseat and BOB when we traveled in Dec 2012 and checked both at the gate. We used this bag http://www.amazon.com/Jeep-Car-Seat-Travel-Bag/dp/B001CWVYMI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1362661489&sr=8-3&keywords=jeep+stroller+bag for the carseat to keep it clean but mostly for easy carrying. It was great!! It was made of extremely durable material and is worth the price. It fit the carseat AND the base (since we had a snap and go carseat at the time) and still had room for other things like the boppy (which I highly recommend bringing if you plan to nurse while on the plane. It made it soooo comfortable for me and Jax and it was a great thing to put in the middle seat so Jackson could sit there for a bit and play).

        1. We just traveled with our 5 month old, and we brought our bucket car seat and the BOB stroller as well, and checked both at the gate. I had to fly alone, and it would have been impossible to hold my baby and take my shoes off, put the diaper bag, and my carry on, etc all at once. With the bucket, you just leave the baby in the car seat, put all your stuff on the conveyor, then take the baby out and put the car seat on the conveyor. Also I was worried about the BOB not fitting on the conveyor, but it’s no big deal, they just take it aside and manually check it. It’s all really easy, and I was super worried about it, but no biggie. I didn’t even have a bag for either my stroller or the car seat, and both turned out fine when I checked them at the gate. Also, I live in AZ — Phoenix — and there are a TON of awesome hikes in Tucson. I recommend bringing the BOB, and using it!

      6. You can check your stroller at the gate so you can take Mazen through security with you in your current stroller (they will hand check the stroller so you’ll have to carry him through) but you’ll have a stroller to keep him in until you get on the plane. Also, you can check your carseat for free. I bought a bag (Jeep brand) to keep ours in so it didn’t get too gross if it was sitting somewhere. It was so nice to have our own carseat and stroller on a trip. But FYI, the carseat will be with oversized luggage! Don’t wait for it to come out with your suitcases!

        1. Our little one is just a few weeks older than your guy. We just flew with him and our three other children and used the snap and go and car seat. On two of the four flights there ended up being a spot on the plane for it to come on with us and he slept great in it. We also brought the go pod which was awesome for a two hour delay we had on one leg of the flight. I can email you more tips on travel, etc if you want. It went incredibly smoothly and was not stressful at all, even with two four year olds and a six year old in tow!

  4. Love my Maclaren Volo but it’s an older model (hand me down). It doesn’t have any recline, which for a younger baby I’d think would be a really good thing to have. The fold is not as easy as it seems, but it could just be the age on mine. It’s super lightweight though. Get to Babys R Us and check out the ones you can.

    I love that storage thing. Too bad they don’t sell it on Diapers.com – I don’t shop at Amazon anymore.

  5. 1,3,5,and 6 are all great strollers that are Rommie and light weight. A bonus would be if it comes with a carry bag, easy to fold up with one hand, and has storage. It is also good of you are not using it all the time to have a carry bag. The Maclaren are also breathable some have the fabric part that rolls up to expose a mesh panel to keep baby cool. However the one with the snack tray is great because that can hold toys, drinks, and snacks. I like the infantino bag too because you will need a place to store all your stuff. The basket on the stroller might not be big enough for a diaper bag and purse. Hope this helps. Let us know in a post which one you decide on.

  6. I hit up Babies R Us and tried them all out. Different strollers appeal to different people. I went with the Chicco Capri because it best suited my needs. I think the gate check bag is only necessary if the stroller doesn’t have a lock to keep it folded up, or if the lock is unreliable. I found it cumbersome to shove it into the bag.

    On another travel note, if you can afford a seat for Mazen, buy it. You can strap in his infant car seat with the lap belt and its a great place for him to be if he falls asleep. Flying with a baby in your lap can be challenging. Good luck!

    1. If you’re traveling at an off season the great thing about having a baby with you is that if there are empty seats on the plane you’ll postly likely get it since people tend to avoid the babies 😉 We actually traveled 2 weeks before Christmas this past year and both flights we scored the whole row to ourselves so Jax got his own seat. You’ll save money winging it but I do agree that having the extra seat made a world of difference. It worked as a changing station, toy holder and play seat for our little one.

  7. For this trip, I would bring the car seat & snap & go. Most airlines should let you gate-check both, or if you’re buying Mazen a seat, he should travel in his car seat anyway for safety. Here’s Delta’s FAQ, but you should check your airline:


    Renting a car seat at your destination is also an option, but is often pretty expensive, especially if you do it through a car rental company. $10-15 per day adds up really fast! If you are borrowing a car seat from a friend/relative, then the umbrella stroller would make more sense.

    One tip for the umbrella stroller – make sure you AND Matt test it. I’m not tall (5’4″) and my husband is tall (6’1″) and he really didn’t like our umbrella stroller because the handle height was not adjustable. If we had thought of that first, we would have bought a different model that we both could “drive” comfortably.

    1. I second this. Height of mom and dad are very important. We have the MacLaren and like it a lot. It was a hand-me-down and still works just fine! We have checked our carseat at the gate with no problem on 3 different airlines. And FYI, the diaper bag usually is not considered a carry on so it’s a freebie. You might laugh but if you have a carseat base, my trick was bungie cording it to the stroller handles of my travel system. Then I could take it off easily to run it through the belt alone but not have another piece to carry. I just was careful about the seesaw effect. Also, usually it is free to check carseats and strollers at the check-in desk before security if you want to just use your Ergo. Depends on the age of the baby and the airline but we have needed the birth certificate for my daughter. And last thing, my sister once had to wait for hours for carseat with the car rental agency. eek!

  8. I really wanted the Uppa Baby G-Luxe, but ended up with a Maclaren Triumph and I’m not 100% happy with it. The bucket is insanely small, the sunshade doesn’t really block anything, and the wheels (when folded) get the inside of the umbrella super dirty. Plusses are the carrying strap, super light, super easy to fold one handed.

    Just something to note, as your baby gets bigger, he is going to want to sit more upright. I’ve heard from many mothers (and most recently on Daily Garnish post) that babies want to start to see out and not be so reclined, so may I suggest the stroller that seems most upright AND one tha thas a tray — my baby loves being able to onto something.

  9. I can’t decide, I have used number 6 and they are great and light. A little more pricey but they hold up well. It is also easy to fold up. It does have a good size basket too. Also number 1 I haven’t used but a big canopy to keep the sun off and a snack tray are an added bonus. My suggestion is look at your needs now and in the future. They make kid friendly snack holders now so you may not need the snack tray and they also make attachments to go on strollers for cups and things. I would chose number 6 as first choice because its portable, light, and a great brand and number 1 as a second choice. If you have a baby store near you it might be a good idea to go and test some strollers out. So first choice #6 second choice #1. Hope this was a little more helpful than the last commenting the comment of taking it on the plane, I think that when I went to Turks with the family I nannied for took theirs and just got a luggage tag and was able to carry it to the terminal down the ramp to the plane door and the flight attendants stowed it on the plane for them. It might just be because it was an international flight though.

  10. I’ve had that Countours stroller in my Amazon basket for like a YEAR. I might just pull the trigger soon. Tell us what you think if you get it! It has such good reviews.

  11. Look at The Aprica Presto Flat stroller. It’s on sale for $100 at Albee Baby. We just bought it for a trip, and while it’s not the lightest weight umbrella stroller, it’s the same weight as some of those you listed. I looked at all of yours listed and more. What I like about the Aprica one is that it inclines almost flat, has a larger sun shade than most, and the coolest part is that it operates like a snap n go too! Even though we have a Chico carseat, which doesn’t actually snap in, it sits it it exactly as it does our snap n go. Wish I would have known about it before buying that! Also this umbrella stroller is higher up than most, so easy to put kid in and out of, and it has a 70 lb weight limit (so can last a long time)!

    We got the gate check bag too, and it’s well worth it for travel. Note: the earlier model of the Aprica stroller (the non “flat” one) doesn’t work with carseats, for what it’s worth.

  12. We got the cheapo Amazon one and I’ve been really happy with it (since it’s not our main stroller by any stretch). I can definitely see how it wouldn’t be terribly comfortable for a very tall person to push, as the handles are a little low, but once the child is big/strong enough to sit in the umbrella, you want it to be as compact and light as possible for travel.

    I also figured if it’s our “travel” stroller, it’s going to get banged around. If some airline broke my $150 Uppa, I’d be pissed! Whereas if something happened to our $35 First Years stroller, it’s not a huge deal. That said, we’ve taken it on tons of flights and never had an issue.

    I haven’t used a bag for the stroller either… but I do recommend a (padded, if possible) travel bag if you are checking your car seat (either at the gate or at check-in) — much more precious cargo and fabric to get dirty/scratched.

  13. Keep in mind most umbrella strollers are made for very short individuals. I am 5’7 and I feel slumped over most of them. I am not sure how tall you and your husband are, but they can be a pain.

  14. We are in the same boat minus the trip to AZ. I have had a number of people suggest the chicco capri. I think we are leaning in that direction.

  15. We have #2 as our 2nd stroller when the big one is cumbersome. Its been great! You are right, though, the basket is tiny. It hasnt bothered us yet, since most things are carried in a diaper bag/backpack.

  16. We have the Uppababy G-luxe and love it, use it all the time even instead of our Vista sometimes (which we used instead of the snap and go and now just use). You should go and push them around bc. that was our deciding factor. Even if a stroller is really light it might be hard to push/crappy wheels and the G-lite is just the G-Luxe from 6 months and up instead of the 3 months. Only downside is the basket is a bit hard to get stuff into but roomy once stuff is inside. You can order it off of a website like pokkadots or something with a coupon code to get the price down.

  17. We have the Chicco Capri. We really like it. But taller people complain that their feet often kick the bar at the bottom when you walk. But my 9 month old really likes it and it’s super light weight and easy to maneuver. The sunshade is pretty nice and firm too. And we like the color. It’s a great middle of the road umbrella stroller.

  18. I have the Chicco Capri and used it for a year, but hated every minute of its use. I am 5’5″ and my husband is 6’2″ and it is too short for either of us. Also, the maneuverability is very stiff making it difficult to turn/move with a 20+ lb child in it. The basket is tiny and I have never been able to fit a regulr sized purse in it, let alone a diaper bag. I also felt the stroller was too light to hang my bag safely from the handle. I recently found a Baby Jogger City Micro on clearance at Target for $50 and snatched it up. It is much better for car/travel.

    When Matthew was under 1 year we traveled to LA and NYC. We bought a padded backpack from Amazon for our carseat and a travel bag for our City Select stroller. My husband wore the carseat or we put the carseat in the stroller in the airport and through security. When we got to our gate we put everything in their bags and the baby went into the Ergo. Then we boarded the plane and gate checked the stroller and carseat. It wa so nice to have the big stroller because it was super comfy for baby and we were able to use the large basket to carry everything across the airport and when walking everywhere once we were at our destination.

  19. We have and love the Inglesina swift. My daughter is 19 mos and we have been using this stroller for travel and daily use (since the bob is a little awkward to haul in and out of the car.) I bought it because of the extra large sun shade, the 3 reclining positions, and the large basket. I’d buy it again!

  20. An umbrella stroller is definitely a must-have, but make sure you can test it out first. We bought a fairly cheap one and it is so uncomfortable to push because of how low the handle is. I love that caddy you found too – I’m going to have to find one of those!

  21. Not on your list, but we have a Chicco Liteway. We LOVE IT. So easy to travel with…it even fits in the small double cab of my husband’s truck. It is not that expensive, either.

    1. Yes! We have a 4 year old and a 7 month old and went through lots of strollers with #1 (Bob, Maclaren, $20 umbrella from BRU, snap and go) and bought a Liteway with the second kid because our Maclaren was so banged up and bent from years of heavy airplane travel. The Liteway cost $100 at Buy Buy Baby and I used a 20% coupon, so less than that and I think it’s my favorite stroller we’ve ever had. Great storage (with under seat basket that is removable and turns into a backpack), very easy fold, very easy harness. One thing I hated about our Maclaren was that the clasp on the harness was very difficult to open, even for me who used it often and was used to it. Our parents could *never* do it. The Chicco is very easy, seems comfy for the baby, and reclines ALL the way flat if you want. It lives in our car and takes up very little space. I have to say that I think for the price and what you get it is a GREAT value.

  22. For what it is worth, I have the Chicco Capri and the BOB Revolution SE and have flown with both when traveling alone with baby and also when traveling with baby + helpful husband…I actually prefer the BOB because although it is much heavier, it is SO much easier to walk (or run if you’re late!) with it. The Chicco always feels flimsy and hard to maneuver, especially when you’re also carrying carseat, bags, etc (maybe I’m just spoiled by the awesomeness of the BOB?). You can load the BOB up all that stuff and keep your hands free! Our BOB has gotten some dings from checking it at the jetbridge so I do wish I had invested in the bag but those are just minor aesthetic issues. It may sound crazy but I’m suggesting you give it a try once before you rule it out (and I know from experience that the SE fits into the trunk of rental economy cars, if that matters).

    In addition, no one has ever complained about the size of the BOB either at security or on the jetbridge – in fact, it always gets unloaded first because it is such a beast! The BOB can’t go through the scanner but TSA is always nice about handchecking (the Keyfit 30 carseat does fit through, however) – I try to allow a little extra time for this but every time I’ve flown, I always get bumped to the head of the security line and get through in 5 minutes!

    all of that to say, as crazy as it sounds, you might think about flying with the BOB – plus, it is so nice to have it with you on vacation! An umbrella stroller is not the same. Yes, the BOB is awkward to take in and out of the car but if you are used to it anyway, it is just Business As Usual!

    1. I have to totally agree with this. We have used the BOB and umbrella stroller while travelling and the BOB makes for easy travel! I make sure to have everything out of the storage compartments for the BOB before checking it at the gate, then pop off the carseat and good to go. I also personally suggest not rushing off the plane while everyone else is. Most people cannot seem to wait to get up and grab their luggage to stand and wait and wait. For us it was easier to wait for everyone in a rush to get off while we kept our kids happy, then you can easily get everything situated with the BOB without people pushing passed you as you try to get your child situated. That is if you have the time 🙂

    2. Last comment, I swear! SORRY! We actually bought the stroller bag with the intention of traveling with it and the BOB last Dec and as a warning, it will not fit. The BOB is HUGE and doesn’t fit in any of the travel bags we bought. Also, we had to fold our to put it through the scanner at security but with the wheels up, it fit just fine (it justtttttttttttt fit but it fit 🙂 )

  23. We bought and absolutely loved our Chicco Capri! We are both tall, so they fit was perfect. We still use it and our daughter will be 4 in a couple of weeks. Very durable and worth the money.

  24. We have the first years Ignite (which is a fancier Jet) and we got it because it’s very tall and great for tall people. My husband and i are both unable to push a regular umbrella stroller due to our heights. I know you are short, but is Matt taller? If so that might be the one for you. It’s a great stroller and has a high weight limit on it unlike a lot of umbrella strollers. We have been really happy with ours.

    1. I also think you can buy an extender for the sunshade, we are in Seattle so we use ours for rain and it works great but any place sunny might need the extender. The storage basket is big enough for us we just use it for diaper bag & to store the boba.

  25. I have the Maclaren Volo and it has been great. I love how light it is. One thing, though: it definitely takes 2 hands to close it. I never thought it to be a big deal!

  26. I got a Maclaren when I had my daughter 7 1/2 years ago and it’s still in great condition. They’re pricey, but they last!

  27. We have the UppaBaby G-Lite stroller and LOVE it. My daughter is 2 and at this point it’s the only one we use, we’ve been through a few strollers since her birth. We also have a $20 umbrella stroller from ToysRUS, but when you need sun protection and storage space it’s not very useful. The G-Lite has good storage and canopy, maneuvers like a dream and best of all collapses extremely easily, can stand on its own when folded and has a carry strap. We also have the red Gate Check bag and I highly recommend it. It’s useful to protect from stains (though can’t protect from damage but we’ve flown many times already and haven’t haven’t had damage issues) and also if you want to get rid of anything you are carrying when you are at the gate, you can stuff it in the bag with the stroller. Remember to get your gate check tags before boarding!

  28. Have you looked into the Combi Cosmo? It’s been a few years since my boys were in strollers but we ditched our Peg Perego Aria Twin and Maclaren Twin for two of them – and it looks like they’re still as highly rated now as they were then. They were so much easier to open / fold on the fly during our trips to WDW, even with two.

  29. We own two of the First Years ignite and we really like it. It’s super easy to break down, it fits in small spaces, and it’s light year. The only down side is the small pouch underneath. We find ourselves hanging the diaper bag over the back instead of stashing it underneath.

  30. I have traveled 3 times with my guy who is a week younger than Mazen, and honestly it is so much easier to just babywear with them. If you have a soft carrier you can walk right through security with him on your body and they just test your hands with a pad, no need to wake him up or move him. If you have them in a stroller, you have to take him out, pack up the stroller, put it through the scanner and then put everything back together again.

    1. We’ll want the stroller on the other side though – but I suppose if we can check it for free then wearing him makes sense

  31. We got the G-Luxe and my mom got the G-Lite based on rave reviews from everyone we know (our baby is due next month, so can’t give any first hand advice yet!). The main difference between the 2 is that you can use the G-Luxe starting at 3 mths bc it fully reclines, so the G-Lite would work for you, since Mazen is older.

  32. first of all, Congrats for your new addition, Mazen. I read your blog everyday and I love it!
    my due date was september 2 nd, 2012 but he wanted to out early so he was born in August 23rd, 2012. It is really fun and good to see how other kids grow up… stuff..
    I have a same stroller that you have.. bob revolution.. I love it(more likely my husband love it)
    we went to vegas when my boy was 5 month old. I thought about light weight stroller but my husband didn’t agree with me so I just bought a bob revolution travel bag which cost about $100.
    that bag is so large and bulky so we have to check in but I really liked it. also i bought that gate check in red bag in Amazon but like people said, it turns out mass right after they came out of luggage claim..baby stuff like carseat, stroller they didn’t charge at all..
    good luck!

  33. We have the First Years Ignite, and like it. It’s quite sturdy and has held up through at least 12 flights and various trips (we have a Bob normally but it’s too big for travel). I will say the basket isn’t terribly easy to access, but that’s probably my main complaint.

    Also, you don’t really need a gate check bag for the stroller. It really doesn’t go too far from where you drop it off at the gate to the airplane. We’ve never had any damage and we travel all the time. I would recommend the (JCole, I think?) carseat bag if you check your carseat. It’s been very helpful!

  34. We got the First Years Jet for a recent vacation and really like it. It’s a great stroller for the price. I didn’t buy the red gate check bag – I’ve never had problems gate checking a stroller.

  35. Curious if your trip is business or pleasure? I’m also traveling to Tucson to visit family and will be buying a cheaper stroller for the trip. As others said airlines allow one stroller and one carseat per baby. I’m hoping to befriend the gate attendants and bring our carseat on board if the flight is not full. I just hate the idea of checking it – I’ve seen how they throw things around! Also, are you bringing the carseat base? The baby gear is so necessary but a hassle!

    1. Both! Great Harvest Convention. We’re thinking of just bringing the top and buckling that in. We’re taking a cab not renting a car

      1. Awesome! Sounds like you’ll probably be in one of the resorts up in the foothills then. It’s gorgeous and sooo different from our lush green NC/VA landscape. You’ll love it! I’m sure Gina will you give you the inside scoop but do not miss a walk in Sabino Canyon! Keep us posted on your stroller choice. On looks alone #2 looks like it has a good shade and basket.

      2. I’m not sure that buckling him in with the infant seat is an option – the seat is not designed to work without the base. You’ll need the base to strap him in with the seatbelt on the plane and to strap him in in the taxis as well.

        1. No, you can definitely do it without the base, but it’s much harder to get in and out because it has to be totally secured with the seat belt each time. Impractical for daily use but fine on a one-way travel thing

          1. Yep, we always took our Graco Snugride but not the base when we traveled. Takes a few seconds longer to get them in and out each time but it’s one less thing to travel with.

  36. We have the UPPAbaby G-Luxe and love it! For us the main thing was that it fully reclines and has a sun shade which we loved for when we vacationed at the beach. It also stands when folded and has a large basket. It was also easy for me to fold up when I traveled alone with my 8 month old through security, etc.. Given how many years it will last it was worth the money in my opinion.

  37. We have the uppa baby G lite and the carrying case/bag. Most airlines let you check baby items for free when you check in. You don’t need to carry it too the gate. But you can. We also have a bag for the car seat. I would not travel without it. The carseat bag keeps the carseat protected and is a good bag to stuff jackets and blankets and other stuff in.

  38. We got a fancier umbrella stroller to use for travel on Craigslist. It’s a MacLaren knockoff by some brand that doesn’t exista anymore, so the specific name won’t help you. My friend got a MacLaren in great condition at a consignment store, too. For a travel stroller that you aren’t expecting to put tons of miles on, used can be a great way to get a fancier one for the price of the cheap ones.

    For getting through the airport, I suggest taking both the stroller and a baby carrier – both have their uses. If he’s happy in the stroller, that can be helpful for a while, and if he’s fussy and wants to be worn, you might end up putting your backpack/carryon in the stroller and wearing him part of the time. (I’ve taken 7 different trips by plane with my now-22 month old, and have had a stroller for every one except the first one – we were borrowing one on the other end on that trip, and she was only 4 months so I just wore her in a sling in the airport. I’ve never regretting having the stroller there, and up until the last two trips in the last couple months we’ve always used our Beco carrier at some point in the airport, too – now she’s more interested in walking.)

  39. Ahhh! This is so timely! We are taking our baby on a trip from SE Asia to the US next month, and I was thinking of leaving our Big A stroller here and travelling without one on the way over, then having one of these umbrella models sitting at our destination (will order online ahead if time) to use and then travelling back here with it. Would it be crazy to make a 30 hr trip with 20 hr of flight time without the stroller on the way over? We only have two flights…

    1. I’ve traveled from Singapore to LA (transiting through Tokyo) with my now 22-month-old 3 times now (at 4 months, 10 months, and 17 months) and will do it again on Monday. We’ve never taken our stroller because we just borrow one from family when we arrive. I’ve always just used my Ergo and I’ve never had any issues. And I’m doing these flights alone with the baby.

      To Kath, I’ve taken my daughter to 8 countries in her less than two years and I’ve never gate checked a stroller or car seat. It’s more hassle than it’s worth. Just check them at the counter (it should be free but always check with your airline prior to departure). Especially because Mazen is so used to being in the carrier. You won’t even have to take him off to go through security. Also, we have the Maclaren Triumph and the few times I’ve traveled with it I regretted not taking the BOB, especially on days we did a lot of walking. We have the BOB travel bag and it is so worth the money!

      Sorry this was so long!

  40. I have a nearly 3 year old and a newborn. I had the G-lite and used it with my first child from approx 6 months on…until it broke. It still technically works but the problems with it make is somewhat unsafe to use (I’m talking potential for finger amputation). I had a terrible time with their customer service because the stroller was a gift so I had some trouble with documentation (plus, they were very, very rude) and was really put off by my experience so much that it really soured me to the popular company. That said, I have considered getting the G-luxe to use for baby #2 because the recline feature would be useful for stroller naps but I am not sure about their warranty policy and would hate to ever have to deal with their customer service again. If I can only get over my bad blood…

  41. I can’t give you much feedback but would you believe we traveled with one of those cheap $10 ones all the way to Italy?! It was okay at first but it quickly went downhill..one of the wheels wouldn’t turn! Just imagine that running around an airport (and we had FOUR connections!!). I think to a certain extent, everyone has their own preference. I searched reviews for our large Chicco stroller which everyone seemed to LOVE…and we HATE it! ;-( Good luck!

  42. My son is just a few weeks older than yours but when he was 3.5 months old we traveled across the country (from DC to TX) for Christmas with my in-laws. We have the BOB Revolution SE that we use for everything. Naturally, we brought it with us and I have to say it was the best decision. We used it as a normal stroller in the airport and it easily held all our carry on baggage and carseat, boppy, etc. I carried Jackson in the Ergo on myself which was also a great decision! I had my hands free to do everything else, he was comfy and cozy and nodded off when he needed to and they never asked me to remove him for security (as they would had he been in his stroller)—instead they just swipe you with a handheld metal detector and swab your hands to make sure you’re not going to explode. When we got to our plane I took Jax and my husband folded the stroller and left it in by the plane door for “gate check”. We took our seats, enjoyed our flight, came out and there it was again at our destination. Easy peasy. And we had the convenience of a storage area and a ROLLING one at that for all of our stuff. I can’t stress enough what a great decision that was and it’s how we’d travel in the future if need be.

    As for the gate check bag above, I’d pass on it. It’s made of incredibly cheap plastic and breaks easily. If you feel you need a bag I recommend this one: http://www.amazon.com/Childress-Padded-Umbrella-Stroller-Travel/dp/B000E16658/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1362661257&sr=8-10&keywords=jeep+stroller+bag

    We used a bag for our carseat when we traveled (it had a strap which made it really convenient and kept it clean) but not for our stroller (since the BOB really doesn’t fit into any).

    If you’re set on getting another stroller for the trip though I’d go with the 2nd. The price is great and it’s a fun, neutral color.

  43. Looking into umbrellas myself! My husband and I are thinking of a full-featured umbrella as our main stroller, so I’ve been investigating a bunch of these. If you want to try out Inglesina and UppaBaby, go to Weebs World in Richmond, right near Short Pump. The people there are very helpful, and there are different surfaces (bricks, grass, stones, etc) in the store so you can see what it’s like to push around the strollers on something other than a smooth floor.

  44. We have the Chicco Liteway Plus because it works with our Chicco car seat up through 40 pound toddlers. (Supposedly.) We liked how well it folds up too! With one hand and it doesn’t take up a ton of space in our sedan trunks! Chicco also makes the Liteway that doesn’t work with the car seat and is a lot cheaper. I saw them on sale at Babies R Us.

  45. I have flown by myself with my son when he was 3 months and again at 8 months. I used our BOB both times and it was absolutely fine. (I gate checked it.) It wouldn’t fit in the gate check bag with the wheels on, and I was not about to hold up the line taking wheels off my ginormous stroller. I was nervous, but both times the BOB held up without a single tarnish or tear.

    I definitely recommend taking an ERGO or other baby carrier. We were delayed 4.5 hours and my boy napped very easily when I walked around with him in the ERGO. Also, you can strap Mazen in the carrier to go thru security so you’ll have both hands free. They will just wipe your hands and scan your body with a wand instead of walking you thru normal security.

  46. How long are you staying? I would recommend renting a car here in Tucson. It’s very spread out. I live in Tucson so let me know if you have any questions or need recommendations on places to see and eat.

      1. If you are staying at Ventana or La Palmoa, try to get to Sabino Canyon for a hike. There is a paved path that you can easily take the stroller on and it’s gorgeous! Have fun!

        1. I second Sabino Canyon, and definitely don’t recommend trying to rely on cabs in Tucson. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen one there….

          1. We’re going to be staying at the resort the whole time – not taking cabs around. Just a cab to the resort. We’ll be busy with convention!

  47. I would buy a 12 stroller from buy buy baby. Seriously you will barely use an umbrella in everyday life. No storage low to the ground not as comfy etc. when you have 2 kids you will definitely want some sort of double stroller and they are spendy. Save your money and buy a cheap stroller. In about 4 months he will hate the stroller anyway and now you have a zillion strollers hanging out in the garage.

    1. I have to (politely) disagree with this…although, I know everyone is different in how we use baby gear. I have four kids 7 and under, so I’ve used different strollers for different stages, but my umbrella stroller is the only one that gets regular use b/c I’ve always felt like other strollers were more cumbersome. I have the Chicco Capri, and love it. I bought it 6 years ago, and it is still being used 3 kids later. I did see another post saying it was difficult to maneuver. I don’t think so at all, but maybe the quality has changed over the last few years?

  48. We have the chicco capri, we bought it specifically for our summer vacation (airplane) and it was great and lightweight. You don’t need the gate check bag, the capri has a kinda lock thing that once you fold it up, it sort of locks, or you can always just tie something around it. or just use the bag it comes with, (something we forgot to bring to the airport, ugh!!) Also, since you live down south (heat) and AZ, stick with a light colored stroller, no blacks or other dark colors, the heat will be even hard on the little one.

  49. It’s kind of in-between an umbrella stroller and a regular one, but we have the Chicco Liteway and love it. It’s been a good stroller for us for almost 3 years now! It’s maybe $130ish but cheaper if you get it with a 20% BRU coupon. LIghtweight-ish, storage space is decent, it reclines, has an attaching cupholder and built-in sunshade.

    We always do the Kiddopotamus Ray Shade w/ any stroller, though. The built in sunshades never seem to provide enough protection. Ray Shade from BRU to the rescue!

  50. Our little guy is still too small for an umbrella, but all of my friends suggested to invest in one. Many f them have bought cheaply, only to have to replace them.
    Most of them have really loved the inglesina swift! Good luck! We just flew with our 2-month old with our infant seat and snap n go, and it was perfect. Best advice I can give is to nurse him on takeoff and landing, it will help his ears! We did use that gate check bag and it worked well to just protect everything a bit.

  51. LOVE my uppababy g-luxe. So worth the extra cost. I use it alllll the time. So light and small when folded. Reclines. Big sun shade. Just awesome.

    We got a gate check bag like that for our stroller and it busted very quickly, after 2 trips. We didn’t cover it on the last trip which admittedly is a little gross. Might want to consider paying for a slightly nicer bag.

  52. Speaking of strollers, I’ve been meaning to ask you this, Kath. Mazen seems like he tolerates being in his car seat SO WELL (or is he just in the stroller, now?). Do you have any tips? Do you bring toys for him, or make sure to take him out just after naps? Do you struggle at all with overheating?

    1. He’s just in the stroller part now.I can only chalk it up to doing so much walking from an early age or luck

  53. Great post, can’t wait to see which stroller you pick, as we are beginning to think about an umbrella stroller too. Also, Tucson, how exciting! I lived there for four years during college. I will say Tucson is very spread out so cabs will be fairly expensive. If you have time check out a great sandwich shop called Bison Witches; their sandwiches and bread bowls are amazing!!!

  54. The Maclaren hands down!!!! I loved ours for travel! Roomy, comfy, lightweight and held my girls until they were over 50 lbs!!! I can’t recommend it enough!

  55. I agree with all the other Uppababy G Luxe users. Love it. Love the sunshade. We’ve had it for a year and now use it as our primary stroller for our 2 year old.

    I am pretty tall, 5′ 10″ and so bought it basically because it has the longest handles of any of the umbrella strollers and both my husband and I like it. We’ve traveled with it twice, no gate check back and it was fine.

  56. We have the Uppababy Gluxe (sorry to add one to your list, but I see others have said the same!), and we love it. It pushes really nicely, and we got it as a travel-friendly alternative to our Bob, so we were thinking along the same lines as you. I will say, it is slightly large for an umbrella stroller, but it makes up for it in its smooth ride (plus, it stands up on its own so we can just stick it in a corner). My son loves sitting straight up in it (vs the Bob). The only issues are that the basket is sometimes hard to access (probably the same as any umbrella) and there is no tray attachment available for snacks etc. The sunshade is wonderful, though, and steering is a dream. He would sit in this stroller all day long, he loves being able to sit up and see everything. We used a 20% off coupon at BuyBuyBaby..

  57. Not sure if this is at all practical for you, but have you considered “renting” a stroller when you arrive?
    My husband and I traveled with our 9 mo old recently, and decided we really didn’t need ANOTHER stroller.. It was actually really great- they dropped off the stroller at the place we were staying (plus a high chair and a pac n’ play) and then picked up a couple hours before check out. I used our carrier while we were in the airport which also worked out well! It does cost a bit extra I suppose, but I would probably do it again just to save my sanity! 🙂

  58. We have the First Years umbrella stroller. We’ve used it once so far for an errand run and I loved it. I hate the giant bulky infant strollers! We’re planning on taking the First Years one with us on a trip in May when baby will be about 7 months.

    The small basket doesn’t bother me, but I’m not one to bring a huge diaper bag of stuff with me everywhere.

  59. Someone may have already said these things, but I didn’t take a chance to read all the comments so I apologize if I am repetitive. I ALMOST bought those red gate check bags…so glad I didn’t because the airline will wrap them in heavy plastic for you. You don’t even have to ask, they just do it (at least Alaska did, anyway). So that basically did the job! Also, they said to bring all the baby stuff you may need because they do not charge anything to check baby items 🙂 I was thrilled to hear that and wish I would have known because we would have brought our BOB stroller in addition to our snap-n-go. You can also carry on baby items (free of charge)…but if I can check it and I dont need it until I land…why not check? Good luck!

  60. Such a timely post! I’m also in the market for a stroller that’s easy to travel with. I have a City Mini GT and absolutely love it, but it’s a little heavy for travel. It does fold super easy, but the baby jogger travel bag would require to take off the wheels for travel. I’m nearly ready to buy the Uppa Baby G Luxe (I like the recline option over the G-Lite), but I’m hesitant to buy another expensive stroller, and the Uppa Baby travel bag also requires removing wheels to get in the bag. By the way, both bags costs about $50 each. So, I’m still undecided. I just looked online and I found a really cool stroller….the quicksmart easy fold stroller. Have you heard anything about this? It is 15 pounds, so not the lightest, but folds up incredibly compact, comes with a storage bag, and requires no assembly. I’m looking around online for reviews. It seems amazing, just haven’t heard much about it so I’m hesitant! I’ll be interested to see what you decide to purchase! Please review once you do!!

  61. Most strollers also have travel bags that you can purchase. I bought the travel bag for the uppababy vista and was perfect for gate check. If anything happens to the stroller while in the bag the company will replace the stroller. It was great for having in the airport because the seat fully reclines. Also the Bjorn (or any baby carrier) was a must at the airport and on the plane. She loved being in the carrier sitting on my lap facing out so she could look at everything going on.
    We have the Uppababy G-Lite but wished we got the Luxe because of the bigger sun shade and fully reclining seat.

  62. Ok, I already commented above but have since done some more research since I’m also in the market for a second stroller. The cheaper ones are tempting but all the reviews complain of wobbly wheels which is one of the reasons we splurged on the BOB in the first place – for a smooth ride! So based on the specs and reviews I’ve added the Inglesina Trip to my wish list. I can’t find a good direct comparison between the Swift and the Trip but the Trip comes with a rain shield and cupholder which easily makes up for the price difference. When i think to future trips – Disney, street fairs, etc the rain shield seems like a smart accessory to have. The Maclarens were tempting and seem durable but the Volo doesn’t recline!! My baby loves to nap in the stroller so recline is a must. The amazon listing for the Trip also has great pictures which illustrate the recline and lso the ability to adjust the canopy when the seat is reclined. If there were similar pictures for the Swift I would seriously consider buying that one but I can’t get a good idea about the recline and canopy features. I know you were gifted a lot of your bigger baby items (as was I) so with that in mind I don’t feel too bad about spending $169 for a purchase that will hopefully last years. Ok, no more comments from me 🙂

  63. i know i’m late on this but we have the uppababy g-luxe and LOVE it!! i know it isn’t on your list but since the g-lite is, i thought it might help if you’re still trying to decide.

  64. We have traveled with both the First Years and actually, our full Chicco stroller. The full Chicco was way less hassle that I had expected (we gate-checked it – Southwest doesn’t limit the weight of strollers as some airlines do) and we needed a good stroller for our destination (DC) to walk around, so it worked out. Most times though, we fly with the First Year. I am sure that you will pick a great stroller.

    Please (please) don’t rent a car seat. The first time we flew with our now 20 month old (he was 8 months at the time), we rented a seat from National. It was a horrible seat – old, plasticy. My poor husband went from car to car in 100+ degree heat seeing if the car seat would latch better in other cars. It was a miserable experience. I held the car seat the whole time (more mental than anything else!).

    After that, we bought the J.L. Chlidress car seat bag –


    It is awesome, and the best part is that you can add extra stuff to the bag (diapers, etc.). My husband carries it on his back, so no hands are needed. We just toss our Britax in there and go. We have a huge family and have flown w/our 20 month old about eight or nine times….the bag is easily one of THE best travel purchases we’ve made.

    Good luck!!!

  65. Surprised I didn’t t see the combi stroller listed. That is what we have and it is awesome! It folds in and then folds in again has a strap. You can carry it like a travel chair. Super light but durable and it has a tray and bottom net. I think it was $100 but well worth it!

  66. My husband flies with the baby at least once a month (I live 1200 miles away for the time being). He originally used a Grace MetroLite stroller. It’s nice because the back can be lowered to different angles so if he got delayed he could lay it all the way down so our son could take a nap. He also used it in that position to change his diaper several times – finding a changing table in the mens bathroom isn’t always the easiest! Around the time my son hit a year old we switched to a super cheap lightweight no frills umbrella stroller because it is so easy to maneuver in the airport. The downside is you can’t lay the back down – but my son is too easily distracted to nap in the airport now anyways unless he is super tired.
    We have never used a cover for the stroller – my husband husband his his hands full already and it is just another thing to worry about. I definitely would not use an expensive stroller at the airport. You are going to have to check it at the gate and we have had a few (relatively) minor mishaps – the wheel axle got bent (we were able to bend it back), the clip to hold the basket up was broke off, etc.

  67. Not sure if anyone mentioned this but you can check the car seat and stroller either at check in or at the gate. You can also wear your baby through security in a carrier. (Just did this last week) They just swab your hands after you go through. It’s so much easier… only problem was getting my shoes off and into the bin to go through. He napped on me all the way until we sat down for take off.

    I’ll be reading through everyone’s reviews soon since we have a BOB and will be traveling to see my husbands family soon (Seattle and Canada).

  68. When I click on your link for the #2, The First Year’s Jet, it says it’s $69. Am I doing something wrong? $40 seems like an awesome deal!!!

  69. Chicco strollers are known for making strolling convenient for parents and comfortable for babies. Artsana, the Company that makes Chicco strollers, was founded on the shores of legendary Lake Como in Italy in 1946, making the Company 67 years old. Its Founder was Pietro Catelli. Pietro’s son Enrico joined the Company when he came of age, and Enrico’s nickname was Chicco (
    pronounced Kee-ko).

    Maclaren strollers have been around since 1965 and the Maclaren Company is probably responsible for more stroller design breakthroughs than any other manufacturer. The Company’s Founder Owen Maclaren invented the umbrella stroller.

    I would buy either a Chicco or a Maclaren

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