What does the perfect travel stroller look like?
Strollers are bulky, heavy and difficult to transport. Not all parents want and can carry their child all the time – and a good stroller also has many advantages on vacation. What you should pay attention to when buying a pushchair or buggy suitable for travel.
A child carrier or a sling are practical, no question. The child is always safe with you on your back or stomach and the stretcher takes up much less space than the smallest stroller. But especially when traveling, a cozy stroller or a buggy that can be folded up quickly has several advantages:
- The baby bath is also the baby’s travel cot in the hotel.
- The stroller offers space for a little nap in the restaurant, in the museum, in the department store …
- Carrying a tired or lazy two-year-old for hours on end is much more strenuous than pushing it in a small travel buggy.
- You have your back free for a backpack if you have to carry your luggage yourself.
- Children are well protected from heavy rain, sunlight and insects in appropriately covered strollers.
- Additional luggage can be transported in the stroller.
- A sports car or buggy functions as a safe seat on public transport – here the child is buckled up.
Stroller or buggy?
There is no question that a stroller is more comfortable and is mandatory for babies whose skeleton is still sensitive. Larger children who are already running get along well with a buggy on short distances.
If the car is mainly used for the “now and then” transport of larger children in cities and public transport, you should have a light, robust one buggy take with you, which can be folded up as small and quickly as possible. If you want to use the trolley for transport on a permanent basis or hike with it, this is a comfortable, stable one Sports stroller or a stroller with a fixed Baby bath of your choice. Of course, it should still be stable and light enough that you can easily lift it into the trunk or hand it over to the plane. In addition to the folding size, make sure that the wheels can be removed individually with one click; this means that even wider models fit in small car trunk areas. Folding talents with great comfort are, for example, the Quinny Buzz, which can be opened and closed with one hand, or which looks a little more classic, very light and works very narrow Hartan VIP.
Criteria to choose best stroller for travel
Light: The most important criterion for a stroller, which you often have to lift and carry in trunk, train compartments or over stairs, is its weight. Good strollers are made of aluminum and weigh no more than 12 kg. The absolute record holders in this regard are Kiddy Click’n Move (Weight with baby bath 10.4 kg, with pushchair attachment 10 kg) or the Bugaboo Cameleon (with 9 kg bed). A buggy should be much lighter so that you can also carry a buggy and child in an emergency. The Chicco Ct 0.6 Light weighs less than 5 kg! So choosing the lightweight stroller for travel is a good idea!
Small: The dimensions are just as important, both when unfolded and when packed. A good travel stroller must fit through train and restaurant doors, must not take up too much space in the full bus and, when folded, should fit in every trunk. The buggy wins here, of course, but combi prams don’t have to be more than 60 cm wide. Since most doors (including train doors!) Are at least 80 cm wide, you should be able to get through the holiday well.
One of the narrowest strollers is the Bugaboo bee – unfolded just 50 cm wide. The Concord Neo with an extremely agile Y-axis is advertised as “one of the most compact buggies in the world”, its seat part can even be clicked on as a high seat at the restaurant table (this buggy is definitely not suitable for outdoor use).
Sprung: Strollers with which you go hiking should be as spring-loaded as possible, not only on the rear wheels. The smaller the child in the car, the more important the suspension is for his spine! Air chamber wheels made of foamed plastic combine the advantages of lighter, but unsprung (and clattering on cobblestones) hard rubber wheels and softer, but heavier and plate-prone pneumatic tires.
The Bugaboo Cameleon has a beach and deep snow option! Simply remove the front axle and pull the car like a cart on two wheels.
Comfortable: The longer you are driving and the smaller the child, the more important comfort is. So pay attention to height-adjustable sliders if dad and mom are very different in size, and choose a swivel slider (with which the child sometimes looks in the direction of travel, sometimes towards you) in order to be able to react quickly to wind or sun. A well-ventilated, upholstered seat, which can be continuously adjusted to the lying position, offers comfort on long journeys (Warning: in many sports cars and buggies, the backrest can be moved despite the description Not horizontal!). For older children in particular, an adjustable, adjustable footrest is important, with which they can get on and off alone.
Already in 2009, the Stiftung Warentest complained that most combination strollers are much too small and small for larger children, and the soft bags and baby baths rarely offer space for larger babies – you have to test drive here! Quinny, Teutonia and Emmaljunga at least offer seat reducers as additional equipment, so that even the little ones can comfortably set up their feet.
Frosted: With wide, profiled tires you can get comfortably and safely over forest paths, through sand and mud and over high curbs; Small, 360 ° swiveling shopping trolley wheels take you around the smallest corners in narrow streets and shops and help you maneuver around the city. (Expert tip from city mothers: Dog poo… is much easier to remove from slick tires!)
You have to know for yourself whether you are traveling long distances on uneven ground or especially strolling and looking around – and buy your travel stroller appropriately. The Mutsy Urban Rider avoids the problematic decision with its swiveling (and lockable) front axle – simply ingenious if you have got used to it. At Hartans Quad wheel system you can swap the front axle with the swiveling shopping trolley wheels with a click for a thru axle with two large wheels – you’re done for the forest march!
For sure: If you hike with the stroller and go up and down, you need a handbrake in addition to the parking brake. It is best to test the handbrake before buying it, it must be operated with one hand and brake absolutely reliably!
Caution: The Stiftung Warentest complained in 2009 at Bugaboo Cameleon and at Teutonia Mistralthat the handbrake snaps back when released and you can then pinch your fingers!
Steerable with one hand: If a bigger sibling is traveling with you, it is always advantageous if it can be held by the hand when pushing the trolley. Good if your stroller runs so stable that you have a hand free for other things. Swiveling front wheels should therefore be lockable with a handle. Incidentally, the two-part push handles of many buggies are not very suitable for one-handed driving and steering!
A three-wheeled stroller steers more comfortably on level ground, but four wheels have a clear advantage in off-road and heavy loads.
Airworthy: When flying, the car is treated as an additional piece of luggage that can be carried freely and can simply be handed in at check-in. You can also have a foldable buggy with a sticker at check-in and then take it to the door of the aircraft, which can be very practical before departure or during longer stopovers. (Attention: At the security checkpoint you have to fold up the buggy and push it through the X-ray machine – so don’t pack it too full!) When you get out you will either get it back directly or it will be waiting for you at the baggage claim.
It depends on the airport and the airline whether you have to check in your pram with a baby bath, sports car and double-seated stroller separately. It is best to pack the stroller in a sturdy bag or at least a garbage bag to avoid damage (tip: at many airports, luggage can be wrapped in “cling film”!). Stokke offers the padded to safely pack his Xplory (and many other strollers) PramPack.
If you are flying with a baby, you can transport it in a stretcher or in a child’s car seat after checking in the stroller – it can also be on board (except for Ryanair).
The smartest way to fly is with buggies like this Quinny Zapp, which weighs just 6 kg and is only 30 cm wide (and deep) when folded. It is even smaller, considerably cheaper, but without a soft top and suspension is only suitable as an emergency means of transport for walking children Hauck Run 6 with the packed size of an umbrella – if you really want to, you can actually take it with you into the cabin as hand luggage.
Fixed carrycot: It is more stable, safer and offers babies more space and good ventilation if they are spun around for a long time. Because you often take the tub out of the rack when traveling and may need to carry a piece of it, it should be as light as possible and have comfortable handles. At the Mutsy Urban Rider the carrycot has a handle on the top of the hood so that you can carry the carrycot more comfortably.
Removable luggage bag: Many things quickly accumulate in the mesh pocket on the handlebars and in the large pocket above the wheels that you don’t want to leave unattended in public. A luggage net that can be removed with a handle or a removable basket also serves as a practical addition to your luggage.
Sun protection: The soft top and the covering are often out and about when traveling, so they should be both colourfast and protect against UV radiation. Ideally, the highest possible SPF (which protects the fabric from remaining) and an UVP 50 according to the Australian standard. The convertible top must also be large enough so that your child is completely protected from the sun. With a pushchair with swivel slide you react even more flexibly to sun, wind, etc .; the compulsory clip-on parasol, which twists with the first gust of wind, is no longer necessary.
Rain protection: Good if the convertible top is so big that it keeps a light shower. The best way to check this is by a test drive. The additional rain cover should of course be waterproof (no, this is not a matter of course, as the Stiftung Warentest determined in 2009). Some buggies have a rain cover that is attached with a zipper and rolled down; this is much more practical than a bulky plastic hood that first has to be untangled.
Other accessories: Especially now in autumn and soon in winter you have to pack children well in the car when you are out with them for several hours. In extreme cold, you can pack an emergency blanket or some newspapers under the mattress of the stroller to isolate your baby from the cold from below; a cozy lambskin fits in the carrycot and also in sports cars and buggies. If the child gets out every now and then, a fully zip-up footmuff is important, which doesn’t care about dirty shoes. A roller board, which is hung on the front axle of the car, is a practical thing for lazy big siblings and prevents nagging on vacation. If you want to let the child sleep in the baby bath or in the car in warmer countries, an insect net can be valuable.
Which stroller do you use when traveling – the same as in everyday life or a more robust “vacation model”?
Thanks KidsAway for the info!