Do you have plans for some summer travel? Check out my review of one of the Best Compact Strollers for Travel by plane or simple holidays by car. You don’t have to be travel obsessed like us to need a travel stroller, whether it be a family vacation, a weekend away or a simple day trip you will find that you no longer want to use the big and bulky stroller that you started with for your newborn. You are ready to graduate to the best lightweight stroller that acts as a rolling home for toddlers that allow them to sit, nap, or simply chill and take in the view. Look no further than the The SmarTrike Minimi!
Parents understand that there are lots of options on the market for umbrella strollers or travel strollers which can make it challenging to figure out which one to buy, what is considered a good value and what features each stroller includes. Here at Little Miss Kate, we provide you with our honest review of the good, and the bad or products that we have personally tried. This review will guide you on the features and pros and cons for the best stroller for travel: The SmarTrike Minimi!
Do You Need a Travel Stroller?
Some families continue to use their traditional stroller for everything even after their baby is past 1 and no longer using some of the features. For myself I found that the traditional stroller that I was gifted from my mother in law is an amazing stroller but with my past back injuries was just too heavy for me to lift all the time. As summer approached and I knew I would be home with my daughter Thumper everyday I started thinking about the pros and cons of using different types of strollers for both travel and everyday use:
Here are some of the pros and cons of using different types of strollers for travel:
- Traditional stroller: This is often the stroller you first buy for baby when they arrive and most parents tend to buy the stroller with all the bells and whistles especially for first babies, as I chatted with colleagues once and someone walking by the conversation may have thought we were comparing cars but in actuality we were comparing all of the features that full size strollers come with. Traditional strollers come with features such as storage space in baskets under the stroller, cup holders or storage bags, trays, and sunshades, and the ability to click car seats right into the stroller. Traditional strollers have varying wheel sizes depending if you are using in an urban city environment or if you require wheels that are more all-terrain. These strollers can be very heavy as mine weighed almost twenty pounds and while it did fold it was still very big to travel with when we went to Vancouver with Thumper when she was 4 months. I also find these heavy strollers require to hands to steer in narrow spaces.
- Travel stroller: A lighter stroller that is more compact and easier to travel with as it folds down smaller and takes less storage space when collapsed. Many still include traditional features like storage baskets and sun canopies but you need to find out exactly what each compact stroller includes. The best stroller for travel makes traveling down narrow city sidewalks easier, and are great for public transportation and are lighter for grandparents to use. A downside to travel strollers are that most cannot be used until 6 months or when a child is able to sit unassisted. These strollers are often umbrella strollers with more advance features.
You may also be interested in Our Favourite FAA Approved Travel Car Seat: Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat Review
Features to Look for When Purchasing a A Foldable Stroller for Travel:
Weight: If you’re looking to purchase the best stroller for air travel, it’s because you are tired of the heavy weight of the everyday stroller and you are interested in finding a more compact and lightweight option that is still durable and sturdy for everyday use.
Comfort: For me it was important to find a lightweight compact stroller that my daughter is comfortable sitting in and enjoys sitting in for a long period of time as for example on a day trip to a museum which requires a lot of walking she will spend the majority of our visit in the stroller. You want a compact umbrella stroller that will keep your child happy during long days of sightseeing and exploring. You want to consider things like amount of recline, safety bar material, size and comfort of the seat, and size of canopy and amount of sun coverage.
Extra Features: You can choose very simple and cheap travel strollers but at the lower price point you may be giving up features such as cup holders, or baskets under the stroller for storage. So consider your needs before making a decision on a cheap lightweight stroller.
What size travel can I take on the plane?
The best airplane stroller is one that is lightweight, compact and folds up easily into a travel bag. Some of the best strollers for airplane travel can become compact enough that they can be taken right onto the plane and stored in an overhead bin which is very convenient if travelling with a baby or toddler. In order to be allowed to store in an overhead bin it must meet the standards of a cabin size stroller. In Canada, a carry on stroller specifications will depend on the airline as Air Canada requirements are 23 x 40 x 55cm with a maximum weight of 22 pounds, while West Jet is 23 x 38 x 53 cm including handles and wheels. Many strollers designed for air travel exceed these Canadian dimensions however the SmarTrike Minimi stroller is a great folding stroller for travel as it is ultra compact at 28 x 25 x 55cm so you likely will not be hassled about carrying it on.
However the best lightweight stroller for travel does not need to fit into the overhead bin as gate checking a stroller is simple and easy and almost as convenient as keeping the stroller with you. In my experience I simply tagged my stroller with the provided tag, folded it down and then left it at the end of the ramp and everything else was taken care of for me, as the airport staff placed it in the cargo hold and returned it to me at the exit of the plane in my final destination. A reminder that unfortunately baggage staff are not very gentle with travel stroller bags so I tip I learned was to place an extra items such as diapers into the bag to cushion the stroller. Remember when choosing a lightweight stroller that you don’t want to give up important features like recline just to fit it into the overhead bin as I promise you will want the stroller to recline for naps on a long travel day.
Testing the SmarTrike Minimi Travel Stroller:
The smarTrike Minimi is designed for travel – focusing on being lightweight and portable which is super important when traveling and packing. The smarTrike Minimi is super compact and lightweight as it weighs only 11 lbs which made it perfect for me to use for travelling and day trips this summer. I love that I can pick it up so easily and put it into my car rather than struggling with my traditional stroller which is 10 pounds heavier. The stroller is ultra compact as it folds down to 28x25x55 cm which makes it the perfect size to be considered carry on luggage when traveling on a flight which is amazing as when the flight deplanes you can put your child right into the stroller on the ramp and off you go to baggage claim or your destination rather than waiting around for your toddler stroller. I also appreciate that the stroller does not have to go below the plane as I have seen how baggage workers handle luggage. The stroller is sleek and compact and takes up very little room in my trunk which is helpful when traveling as we seem to always overpack. The stroller is strong and durable yet lightweight as it’s manufactured from aluminum.
The SmarTrike Minimi Stroller comes with a large padded seat that offers my daughter a comfy place to sit on long day trips which is important as we are a family who is always on the move. My daughter loves that there is a built-in foot rest as she often rests her feet on the footrest or padded safety bar in order to rest her feet instead of having them dangle in a traditional stroller which I would think can become uncomfortable over time.
The reclining umbrella stroller can be used from 6 months to 3 years making it a long lasting stroller, as the stroller fully reclines it makes it perfect for infants as well as toddlers. I appreciate that the stroller fully reclines as this allows my daughter to have a nap while we are out exploring, which is an important feature for our family to have as we often spend long days out of the house so having somewhere for her to nap is essential. The best umbrella stroller for travel easily reclines by simply loosening or tightening the strap behind the seat making it easy to adjust as needed. Another highlight as that since the stroller reclines all the way you can use it as a travel change table if you find yourself in a location without one which I have encountered a number of times, by simply using a travel change pad.
The stroller features a large extended canopy for maximum UV protection which is important to me as I like to have my daughter covered and protected from the sun on hot summer days like today where the sun was so hot that I didn’t want he to be outside. The sun canopy protected her for our short walk to an indoor activity for the day and kept her cooler as the canopy created full shade.
For me when purchasing any baby product I have safety in mind, the Minimi delivers safety in a variety of ways as it includes safety features such as kid’s soft-padded safety bar, 5-pint harness, soft-comfort nubby shoulders pads, 4 quality swivel wheels – 2 in the front that are lockable as an option, and 2 at the back with simultaneously linked brake. I love that I can feel comfortable knowing that my daughter (precious cargo) is safe in her toddler stroller even it accidentally tips she will be protected as best as possible. This stroller is safe enough that it can be used as an infant travel stroller as long as the baby can sit unassisted (around 6 months).
The best foldable stroller, SmarTrike Minimi has a medium sized under stroller basket that is perfect for a few items or a small backpack. This is the one feature that I would change as I could use a bigger basket but instead I often just bring a backpack I can carry to solve this problem as I love everything else about the stroller.
The stroller comes with a travel bag that is easy to fit the stroller into and has carrying straps so you can turn it into a backpack. I think this is a great feature as sometimes with a toddler they want to start the day off walking but get easily tired so this way you can carry the umbrella stroller for toddlers with you and pull it out when needed. It’s the ultimate choice for parents on-the-go! Another great feature is that it is compact and fits into the overhead compartment on a plane making it great for travel.
Ease of Folding:
Often as a parent you are trying to juggle your kid, a diaper bag and the baby travel stroller so this stroller comes in handy as you can open the stroller with one hand by using the soft touch hand rest protector as the stroller opens from either side. The small foldable stroller for travel simply clicks into place and basically opens on its own. Having an easy to open stroller is important and convenient allowing you to carry your baby in your opposite arm. Only negative I have is that sometimes the locking mechanism is tight so you just need to ensure that it is straight and it clicks right into place.
Overall Verdict of the SmarTrike Minimi Stroller:
I loved the portable stroller for travelling as it is lightweight, easy to travel with, and takes very little packing room and my favourite feature is that the 4 super quality swivel wheels allow easy maneuvering so you can steer with just one hand. I hope this guides you to understand why you should purchase the SmarTrike Minimi Stroller! This lightweight stroller for toddlers and babies is best used for City trips, Shopping,Travel, and Walking adventures. This is the best lightweight stroller for travelling in my opinion as it is sturdy, durable and navigates well even in tight spaces and busy environments as we put it to the test on a Saturday morning in a busy market. Available for Sale at Toys R US.
Disclosure: We were provided with a SmarTrike Minimi stroller in exchange for our review, however my opinions remain my own.
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