Best Strollers for Europe (Lightweight Strollers for European Travel)
Family vacation abroad? Don’t want to carry your heavy, bulky stroller? Check out my list of the best strollers for Europe, featuring lightweight single and double strollers perfect for travel.
Planning a family trip overseas is both exciting and overwhelming. There are so many decisions: where to go, what sights to see, which flights to take. One thing you’ve probably already decided? You don’t want to take your giant daily -use stroller to Europe.
Choosing the best stroller for European travel isn’t a simple task. There are lots of factors to consider. Does the stroller fold quickly and easily? Can it fit in the airplane’s overhead bin? How will it roll on rough European streets?
In this post, I’ve assembled my picks for the best strollers for Europe. I’ve included recommendations for the best single and double strollers to take on a European vacation, with a winner and runner up in each category. I’ve also included a few tips at the end to make the best use of your stroller during your trip.
Best Strollers for European Travel
|Ergobaby 2020 Metro City Compact Stroller||14.9 lbs||20.8″L x 17.0″W x 9.0″H||34″L x 17.0″W x 38.0″H||Compact single stroller with large back wheels and great suspension|
|UPPAbaby MINU||14.8 lbs||11.5″L x 20.5″W x 23″H||11.5″L x 20.5″W x 41.0″H||Study, durable, easy folding single stroller with all-wheel suspension|
|Zoe XL+1 Tandem||22 lbs||9″L x 17.5″W x 22.5″H||43.0″L x 20.5″W x 40.25″H||Versatile, lightweight stroller that goes from single to double in seconds|
|Zoe XL2 Twin+||19 lbs||28.0″L x 29.0″W x 9.0″H||33.0″L x 29.0″W x 40.25″H||Lightweight side-by-side double stroller with reclining seats, large canopies and nice parent extras|
Best Strollers for Europe Ranking Factors
Size and Weight
When choosing a travel stroller for Europe, size and weight should be your primary concerns. You want a lightweight, compact stroller that doesn’t skimp on room and comfort for your little one.
Spaces in Europe tend to be smaller (sometimes much smaller) than in the United States. In larger European cities, hotel rooms are generally small by US standards. You want a stroller that isn’t going to take up a lot of floor space, especially if you have other baby gear and luggage to store.
Similarly, tables in restaurants are often much closer together in Europe than in the States. There may not be room to put a large stroller next to your table when dining out. A compact stroller that can be stored under the table is ideal.
Finally, elevators in Europe, especially in older buildings, can be tiny. I’ve been in European elevators that barely fit one person and a medium suitcase. Also, lots of older buildings in Europe lack elevators entirely. Be prepared to fold your stroller and carry it up several flights of stairs.
For these reasons, size and weight are of utmost importance when choosing a stroller to take to Europe. I limited the choices on my list to single strollers weighing less than 15 pounds and double strollers weighing less than 30 pounds.
Ease of Fold
From going through TSA screening to hopping on public transit, you’ll be folding your stroller a lot during your trip. So, ease of fold is another top consideration when buying a travel stroller for Europe.
As mentioned, European elevators can be small, so you may need to fold your stroller before entering. In other cases, there may not be an elevator, so you’ll have to fold your stroller and carry it upstairs.
If you plan to take public transit, you may need to fold your stroller before entering the bus or subway. And if you plan to travel across Europe by train, you’ll need store your folded stroller in either the luggage area at the back of the car or on the overhead rack.
Finally, if you take a taxi or ride share, you’ll be required to fold your stroller and put it in the trunk. Likewise for a rental car.
When buying a stroller for Europe, look for one that folds easily. A one hand fold process is ideal. For this list, I specifically looked for easy fold strollers, but keep in mind that one hand folding is rare in double strollers.
Another important consideration when choosing the best stroller for traveling in Europe is suspension.
European roads and sidewalks can be rough, especially in older areas of cities. Many parks have gravel paths instead of paved walkways. You’ll likely take your stroller over many types of terrain, so good suspension is a must to prevent bumpy, uncomfortable rides for baby.
Cobblestones along the Seine River in Paris – not meant for wimpy strollers.
For this list, I tried to find strollers with all-wheel suspension. Unfortunately, that doesn’t come standard on even some expensive strollers. It’s rare in double strollers, regardless of price. If you can’t get a travel stroller with all-wheel suspension, look for one with larger tires. These will hold up better to rough terrain than small, plastic wheels.
Once you’ve looked at size, weight, fold and suspension, you should evaluate comfort features in each stroller.
Comfort features include things like storage. Does the stroller have enough storage to carry your little one’s daily essentials? Is there storage for parent essentials? Are there cup holders? Those are all things you’ll want when strolling around Europe.
Other comfort features include seat recline and sun protection. Does the stroller’s seat or backrest recline far enough for peaceful napping? Is the canopy large enough to provide adequate sun coverage? Are there ventilation windows in the canopy or seat back to help keep baby cool?
Stroller comfort features can have a big impact on how much you and your baby enjoy your vacation. While size, weight and other factors are of primary importance, don’t sacrifice too many comfort features when choosing a stroller for your trip.
Now that we’ve looked at the ranking factors, let’s see which strollers made it onto the list of best lightweight strollers for European travel.
Best Strollers for Europe: Single Strollers
Winner: Ergobaby 2020 Metro Compact City Stroller
Ergobaby’s 2020 Metro Compact City Stroller is my choice for the best lightweight stroller for travel in Europe.
Built on a lightweight aluminum frame, the Metro Compact has more seat padding than some full size strollers. That, along with a padded, reclining backrest and adjustable leg rest, provides baby with a super comfy ride.
Size and weight
The Metro Compact weighs 14.9 pounds and, true to it’s name, has an incredibly compact fold. With a fold depth of just 9″, this stroller fits in the overhead bin of most airplanes and takes up minimal storage space. It’s small size is why I consider the Ergobaby Metro to be the best compact stroller for Europe, too.
Ease of fold
This stroller has a true one hand fold, though the process may take some practice. You can see the Ergobaby Metro Stroller fold process in action here.
Great suspension is one of the main reasons the The Metro Compact City Stroller won top place overall all in my list of the best travel strollers for Europe.
This amazing little stroller has spring action suspension in the frame and large back wheels. The wheels help the stroller glide smoothly over rough surfaces, while the spring action suspension means shocks are distributed through the stroller frame, rather than up through the seat.
The Ergobaby Metro Compact stroller has a large four panel, UVF-50+ sun canopy. The canopy won’t provide complete protection in full sunlight, but is a generous size for a fairly small stroller.
The back of the stroller has a mesh window that can improve ventilation, especially if used in combination with a stroller fan.
There’s an under seat basket to hold baby’s daily essentials. The basket is small, with a weight limit of just 10 pounds, but that’s typical in lightweight travel strollers.
The Metro Compact has a five point safety harness and is suitable for children ages 3+ months and up to 50 pounds. The stroller comes in several colors, including a lovely blue and a pretty plum.
Unfortunately, the base price of the Metro Compact doesn’t include any accessories. You can purchase a bumper bar, rain shield and transport bag custom fit for the stroller. Be aware the transport bag isn’t meant to be used as a gate check bag. If you think you might have to gate check your stroller, invest in a quality padded stroller bag instead.
Runner up: UPPAbaby MINU
This was a very close contest. I rated the Ergobaby Metro Compact tops because it has a smaller fold than the UPPAbaby MINU. But, the MINU has some features not found on the Metro and they make the MINU a great travel stroller for Europe.
Size and weight
The MINU weighs 14.8 pounds and has a fold depth of 23 inches. This is a much larger fold depth than the Ergobaby Metro, making the MINU sound bulky by comparison. However, the Metro has a fold length of nearly 21″, while the MINU fold length is around 12 inches.
The two strollers have different fold processes. Basically, the Metro folds out and downward, while the MINU folds in and downward. In the end, the MINU actually doesn’t take up much more space than the Metro when folded. You can see the MINU’s fold process in this manufacturer’s video.
Ease of fold
As shown in the video above, the MINU has an easy one hand fold process. The MINU doesn’t include a carrying handle, but does have an over-the-shoulder carrying strap. This may be more convenient, since you can carry the stroller and keep your hands free.
Unlike the Metro, the MINU comes with a drawstring carrying bag. This is good for storing your strolling and for transporting it short distances, but it isn’t an airplane safe bag. UPPAbaby does make an airplane safe travel bag for the MINU that you can purchase separately.
One big advantage the MINU has over the Metro is all-wheel suspension. All-wheel suspension is rare on lightweight strollers and a real asset on the MINU.
One downside, though, is that the front swivel wheels on the MINU aren’t lockable. The swivel wheels are great for turning and general maneuverability, but locking the front wheels would help the stroller glide better on uneven surfaces.
The MINU seat is well-padded, but doesn’t have as much cushion as the Ergobaby Metro. Like the Metro, the seat reclines about 145 degrees, allowing baby to nap comfortably. The leg rest on the MINU doesn’t adjust, which is a feature on the Metro.
The MINU has a large canopy with a hidden pop out visor in the front panel, providing good sun protection. The canopy has a peek-a-boo window up top that can be left open to help with ventilation.
The storage basket under the seat has a 20 pound weight limit, twice the limit of the Metro and most other lightweight strollers. There’s also a storage pocket on back to hold parent essentials like a phone or keys.
The MINU has more storage than the Metro, but similarly, doesn’t come with many extras. UPPAbaby does have a full line of accessories for the MINU, including a bumper bar, snack tray, cup holder, parent organizer, rain shield and travel bag.
The following table summarizes the pros and cons of the MINU. If you’re considering buying this lightweight stroller for European travel, you should check out my full review of the UPPAbaby MINU.
Best Strollers for Europe: Double Strollers
If you’re traveling to Europe with two young children, you need to decide whether to take two single strollers or one double stroller.
The advantage of two strollers is that you can pair off and divide up more easily (assuming you have at least as many adults as kids). The disadvantage, obviously, is you’ll have buy two strollers, then pack and haul both of them around.
If you decide to take one stroller on your trip, I think the Zoe XL+1 Tandem is the best double stroller for Europe. It’s lightweight, versatile and should meet the needs of many families.
Total honesty: the best double stroller for Europe is actually Peg Perego’s Duette Piroet. It’s made in Italy and is designed for urban living. It has all-wheel suspension, two independently functioning seats with adjustable footrests, and lots of storage on a frame that weighs less than 30 pounds. It also retails for $700+. That will put a huge dent in your crumpet and croissant budget, so I chose a more affordable option here.
Winner: Zoe XL+1 Tandem
I picked a tandem stroller tops in this category because I think tandems are a better option for getting around Europe than traditional side-by-side double strollers.
First, sidewalks in Europe can be narrow, much narrower than sidewalks in the US. Second, doorways in Europe can also be narrower than those in the US, making it hard to maneuver a traditional double stroller through some entrances and exits.
Tandem strollers are longer and therefore harder to turn than side-by-side double strollers. Still, l think tandems are a better option for travel in Europe.
European sidewalks can be narrow, so a tandem double stroller is best.
The Zoe XL+1 Tandem stroller is Zoe’s popular Tour travel stroller with an add-on seat in front. The seat can be snapped on and off, so the stroller can easily convert from single to double and back again.
Each seat on the Zoe tandem stroller can carry a child up to 45 pounds. This makes the XL+1 great for families who have children close in age, since many tandem strollers often have vastly different weight limits for each seat.
The Zoe is also great for families who have an infant and a toddler. The add-on seat is a bit smaller, with a seat back height of 16″, so is best for the younger child.
And, because the add-on seat can be easily removed, the Zoe XL+1 is good for families with a toddler and older child. On shorter trips, the older child can walk, while the younger one rides in the stroller. For that day-long trip to Disneyland Paris? Snap on the additional seat and let the older child hitch a ride when they get tired.
Size and weight
The Zoe XL+1 Tandem weighs 22 pounds, very lightweight for a double stroller. You have to separate the seats to fold the stroller, but each seat has a compact fold. That said, you’ll probably need to gate check the stroller, as most airlines won’t allow a double stroller, even separated, in overhead bins.
Ease of fold
The Zoe XL+1 folds easily. You just separate the seats, then pull the handle located under each seat cushion to fold the seat in half. The video above shows the folding process for the Zoe tandem stroller.
Unfortunately, the Zoe XL+1 doesn’t have suspension. That’s a rare feature in double strollers, especially lightweight ones. However, you have the option to upgrade to ball bearing wheels. This makes the stroller glide more smoothly and turn more easily than the standard EVA foam plastic wheels.
The Zoe XL+1 really excels when it comes to comfort features. You’ll find features here that aren’t typical for double strollers in this price range.
Both seats on the Zoe tandem stroller recline. The back seat reclines to 165 degrees, while the front seat has a shallower recline of 125 degrees. In addition, both seats have an adjustable leg rest.
Each seat also features an oversize sun canopy with two main panels and a third hidden zip out panel. There’s also a hidden pop out panel in the front. When fully extended, the canopy reaches the stroller’s bumper bar, providing near full sun protection. The top of each canopy also has a peek-a-boo window so you can keep an eye on the little ones.
Each seat on the tandem also has an under seat storage basket. You’ll also get the bumper bar, one parent cup holder, one child cup holder and one child snack cup with your purchase of the Zoe XL+1 tandem stroller.
Insider tip: If you decide to buy a Zoe XL+1 tandem stroller for your European trip, order from the official Zoe website to make sure you get the right size. The base stroller comes in two seat back heights, 15″ and 18.” Unfortunately, some online retailers aren’t reliable in reporting the product size, so to get the correct size, buy directly from the company.
Runner up: Zoe XL2 Twin+ Double Stroller
While I really like the Zoe tandem stroller, your kiddos may not. If they usually ride in a side-by-side double stroller, they may not take well to a tandem (read: lots of fights over who sits in back).
Fortunately, Zoe also makes a great side-by-side double stroller, the XL2 Twin+. The Twin+ is lightweight and narrow enough to fit through standard doorways in the US. The stroller should fit through most European doorways as well, but be prepared to encounter some smaller than typical entryways in Europe.
Size and weight
The Zoe XL2 Twin+ weighs 19 pounds and is 29″ wide. Unlike the Zoe tandem stroller, you can’t separate the seats when folding the XL2 Twin+. So, the XL2 has a fairly bulky fold. You’ll definitely need to gate check the stroller before boarding an airplane. It will also take up quite a bit of floor space in your hotel room.
Ease of fold
While the XL2 Twin+ isn’t compact, it is easy to fold. You simply lift up on the handles located beneath the seat cushions to fold the stroller in half. However, since this is a double stroller, folding will require two hands, which isn’t convenient for a single adult with two children in tow. Just something to keep in mind if you’re considering this stroller.
The Zoe XL2 Twin+ doesn’t come with suspension, but as with other Zoe strollers, you have the option to upgrade from plastic wheels to ball bearing wheels. This makes the stroller easier to maneuver, allowing it to glide and turn more easily.
The XL2+ features independently reclining seats – you can recline one seat while leaving the other upright, which is ideal if you have children on different nap schedules. Each seat also has an adjustable leg rest.
The seats on the Zoe XL2 each have an independent canopy. These are the four panel canopies typical on Zoe strollers: two main panels, with a hidden zip out panel in back and a hidden pop out panel up front. Each panel also has a peek-a-boo window.
The Zoe XL2 has a large under seat storage basket, and there is a parent storage pocket on the back of each seat. The stroller also comes with a parent cup holder, two child cup holders and one child snack cup.
While not as versatile as the Zoe XL+1 tandem stroller, the Zoe XL2 is a great side-by-side double stroller. While there are drawbacks to this kind of stroller for European travel, if you (or the kids) are set on a side-by-side, you can’t go wrong with the Zoe. To learn more, you can read my detailed review of the Zoe XL2 Twin+ double stroller.
Stroller Tips for European Travel
Buy Your Stroller for Europe Early
If you buy a new stroller for your European travels, be sure to order it several months before you leave.
You should test out the stroller and learn how it handles. If you typically use a heavy, full size stroller, it may take a while to get used to the handling of a smaller, lighter stroller. Make sure you feel comfortable pushing and turning the stroller before you leave for your trip.
You should also practice folding and unfolding the stroller. Between transporting the stroller to the airport, going through security, and possibly gate checking the stroller, you could fold and unfold it three times before you even get on the plane. Since you’ll be performing this action a lot, practice folding and unfolding until feels easy and natural.
Buying or ordering your stroller early also gives your little one time to adapt to the stroller. Take them for several rides and see how they adjust to the new stroller. Traveling abroad may be a bit scary for your baby, with so many unfamiliar sights and sounds. Don’t overwhelm them by adding a brand new stroller to the mix. Give them time to adjust long before you leave for Europe.
Tip: some European airports, including London Heathrow, don’t allow strollers to be gate checked. To learn more, check out my guide to flying with a stroller.
Buy Your Stroller Accessories, Too
Buying your stroller early also gives you time to figure out which accessories you may need. I think a handlebar parent organizer is essential, but you may decide you don’t need one.
You should also think about the weather. Several years ago, I visited Paris for two weeks in May. It rained every single day, often heavy downpours that lasted hours. If you’re planning to visit anywhere in Europe during the spring, I highly recommend buying a rain cover for your stroller.
During that trip, I also spent time along the Mediterranean coast. No rain, but it was incredibly hot and I got a bad sunburn. If you’ll be visiting warmer regions, buy a stroller with good sun protection. Also consider taking a small, battery operated stroller fan. If you’ll be outdoors a lot, a bug cover might come in handy, too.
Finally, don’t forget about a stroller travel bag. You might be able to take the stroller on the plane with you, but you should always be prepared to gate check your stroller just in case. It’s worth spending extra money for a padded stroller bag to protect your stroller in transit.
The beautiful, hot Mediterranean Coast requires a stroller with good sun protection.
Do you need a stroller lock in Europe?
Baby strollers lined up outside a restaurant or museum is a typical sight in Europe, but seems strange to most North Americans. Due to limited space and lack of elevators, you may be asked to leave your stroller outside when entering a tourist attraction or restaurant.
You might’ve heard stories about stroller theft in Europe, but this is actually rare. Practice normal precautions and don’t leave valuables with your stroller if you must park it outside.
If you’re really concerned you can buy a stroller lock. These are small, inexpensive and can give you peace of mind if you must leave your stroller out of sight. Just know that not all businesses will allow you to lock your stroller, especially if doing so impedes the flow of customers or staff.
Take Baby’s Favorite Items to Europe
I love seeing families travel together and think traveling overseas can be a great experience for kids. But, it can also be overwhelming, especially for younger babies.
To help with overwhelm, be sure to pack some of your baby’s favorite items. Maybe they have a favorite stroller toy or blanket. Having that can comfort them if they start to get fussy.
Also, many strollers have pockets to hold baby’s sippy cup. If your baby has a favorite cup, take it to Europe with you. And pack a few familiar snacks. While trying new foods is part of the travel experience, even for little ones, their favorite snacks may not be available in Europe. Giving them a familiar taste and texture can help calm them, too.
I hope my list of the best strollers for Europe has been helpful. I think these are all great strollers for European travel, due to their size and other features.
When choosing a stroller for Europe – from this list or not – prioritize the most important features for you and your family. For example, if you’ll be staying in Europe for several weeks or months, you may decide that a larger stroller with more comfort features is a better option.
You have to weigh the pros and cons of each stroller against things like your budget and your travel style. If you’re traveling mostly by train or rental car, then a larger stroller may make sense. But, if you’ll often be traveling by plane, including small regional airlines, then a compact stroller is a better bet.
Also, try not to stress too much about choosing the best stroller for Europe. No stroller is perfect. Choose a stroller that will work for your needs, then turn your attention to the really important stuff: spending time together and making great memories.