Ask Shelly: Best reclining travel stroller for round-the-world trip with baby?

Quinny Zapp X-tra

Could you? Should you? Would you take this travel stroller around the world?

Here is a great question–oh, the itinerary!–originally posted to the Travels with Baby Facebook page that I knew many of you would appreciate seeing here in the blog–especially those of you wanting to chime in with your own recommendations for this mom (your comments are most welcome here!), and those scratching your head also trying to figure out the best lightweight travel stroller for an upcoming trip of your own. Emily of Christchurch, NZ writes:

Hi Guys,
Which is the best stroller for travel that reclines? Not too worried about price. Was looking at a Maclaren or the Uppababy G-Luxe but I don’t think they fully recline. I currently use a mountain buggy in Christchurch New Zealand which I LOVE and have taken it to Australia, Bali and Rarotonga but everyone suggests I take a lightweight stroller on my travels this time as we will be away for a few months? Thoughts?

My baby is 10 months old- we leave in 8 weeks’ time and fly directly to LA. We are staying a few days in Santa Monica, a few days in San Fransisco, a few days in Nappa Valley to checkout your gorgeous wineries! Then we fly to New York for 4 days, from NY we fly to Halifax Canada to send about 10 days with a friend before flying to the UK. We start off near London for a wedding and we will base ourselves there fr a week whilst we day trip o London. After that we only have loose plans. My fiancé is from England however his family all live in Scotland so we will maybe send anther week or so around England beore we head to St Andrews in Scotland for about a month to hang out with family. Hoping to do some Euroean trips from the UK….maybe Paris and the south of France but we did Europe last year so we can’t afford to do too much this time but I am keen to see Paris as an adult (I was 20 when I saw it the first time).

From the UK/Europe we fly home via Dubai for a few days and then Thailand for a month before we ead back to reality. All together we are planning to be away for about 3 months. I have an Ergo baby which I love and a phil and teds traveller porta cot and I am buying the radian car seat as my baby is just about out of her capsule. So I think it’s just the stroller I need to sort?

Maclaren Triumph

Maclaren Triumph

In my experience, the Maclaren Triumph has enough recline (it was originally rated for 3+ months, but with the same degree of recline it’s been re-marketed as 6+ months to comply with global standards). The UPPAbaby G-Luxe also has this near-full recline and similarly compact umbrella fold, so it may also be a good choice.

However, you might prefer going with the Maclaren Quest Sport, for example, which also has the extension foot rest or Maclaren Techno XT (I’m thinking it has slightly larger, better wheels for the cobblestones, etc.), which both have a full recline.However, the Quinny Zapp X-tra offers all of that, with an even more compact fold when desired (seat slips off and folds in two), and offers the very cool advantage of reversing the seat to face the parent. Anyone reading this with an infant (or bun-in-oven) should note the Zapp X-tra can also be used with the Maxi-Cosi infant car seat (and purchased together as a travel system in some cases).

Uppababy G-luxe stroller

Uppababy G-luxe

If you haven’t my travel stroller recommendations here yet, check out http://www.travelswithbaby.com/gear/strollers_single.htm for more suggestions.

Another thought is that if you’re waiting until LA for your purchase, you could also RENT the model you think you want there before buying it just to be sure (see California baby gear rentals listed here). But if you know someone selling a Triumph close to home, perhaps you could try the used model first? And maybe save some loot for other souvenirs? 

Britax B-Nimble

Britax B-Nimble

A couple of other Facebook fans shared these comments:

Diane – We travel with the Britax B-Nimble stroller. It has almost a full recline, is light weight and durable.

Bernadine – Got a (Maclaren) Globetrotter but was disappointed with the recline.

How about you?

Which travel strollers are you considering? Do you have a favorite stroller you’d recommend to this mom and others?  Do you have a different question for me (start here)?

Thanks, to everyone contributing their thoughts and experiences to this post, and thanks to everyone clicking through this site as they shop to help keep Travels with Baby content flourishing–and for your shares and likes to help others find this information, too. YOUR HELP MAKES A DIFFERENCE! ;-)

Related posts and pages:

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby

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15 Comments

  1. Jenny

    We took a Cybex Onyx to Spain and it was great. It has a near-flat recline, possibly the most impressive sun shade on the market, and a one-hand fold. It’s new to the US market, but I absolutely love it. I hear they have a universal carseat adapter too, but I have no experience with it. Baby Gizmo has a good video review of it if you want to see it in action. My only complaint is the small basket, but that’s true of any umbrella stroller….

  2. Steve

    I would pick either Maclaren or Quinny.

    Maclaren strollers have been around since 1965 and the Maclaren Company is probably responsible for more stroller design breakthroughs than any other manufacturer. Maclarens are also stylish and trendy, and over the years they have developed an almost cult following among upwardly-mobile working mothers. The Company’s Founder Owen Maclaren actually invented the umbrella stroller.

    The Quinny Company is more than 60 years old, having been established in the Netherlands in 1950, by Nicholas Quint. In the years following its founding three of Mr. Quint’s sons joined the business, and in 1989 the Company manufactured its first strollers. In 2001 Quinny was acquired by Dorel Industries, based in Montreal, Canada, which bills itself as “the world’s largest manufacturer of juvenile products in its categories,” one of which is strollers. If you are a bicycle enthusiast, Dorel also owns Cannondale, one of bicycling’s premier brand names.

  3. crys

    i used Quinny xtra zapp many times for long or short trip, well, it is a good stroller but one problem must remind all of you, the adapter for the seat is VERY easy to be losen during travel in the flight……and i finally lost one and i noticed after a few days arrived home, buy it online costed me 30€………

  4. crys

    i used Quinny xtra zapp many times for long or short trip, well, it is a good stroller but one problem but remind all of you, the adapter for the seat is VERY easy to be losen during travel in the flight……and i finally lost one and i noticed after a few days arrived home, buy it online costed me 30€………

  5. Paige Conner Totaro

    Wow. This is one of the things that kept us from traveling with our twins when they were that little. Did you come across any double strollers in your research? Don’t answer that. That time is well behind us, thankfully!

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      Hahaha… but of course! We’ve traveled with a double at times ourselves (two under 2 years apart, then a third, makes for way too many jetlagged travelers to carry through the airport at midnight! For anyone who IS still looking, I keep recommendations for double / twin travel strollers here: http://www.travelswithbaby.com/gear/strollers_double.htm

  6. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

    Hawaii could be a good move – hopefully you’ll be able to get a break on airfare at that time, too. (Or is this just a change to a RTW ticket?!)

  7. Emily Millsteed

    Thanks for all the info! It has helped me so much! Not 100% sure which stroller I am going to go for yet but it’s definitely down to a couple that Shelley has recommended! I am thinking maybe a Maclaren or the Quinny Zapp xtra with folding seat. It seems like there are so many good ones to choose from. Anyway I am soooo excited!!! Will keep you posted! Have discovered Americas Cup is on when we are in San Francisco so to avoid the crowds and inflated accommodation prices I think we might go to Hawaii in stead of San Francisco. Thanks so much Shelley and ladies 🙂

  8. wanderingeducators

    Great tips. We never used a stroller, so it’s interesting to see what people love the most!

  9. Travelogged

    I have the Maclaren Quest (Sport, I think?) and it’s been good to us. It honestly doesn’t seem like the recline is that great but my son has napped in it many times without complaint.

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      I’ve found as long as they stay in motion, they’ll sleep when they need to. 😉 Stuck in the car seat or on the airplane, however… Maybe we need plane strollers!? 😉

  10. Ann

    Yes, I forgot that’s also why I went with an UB umbrella stroller. Made in the USA!

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      And some of the better wheels you’ll find. SO many crummy wheels on lightweight strollers today. ;-(

  11. Ann

    I have the Uppa Baby G-Luxe and I like it. I never noticed that it didn’t recline all the way back, but I only used it after my kids were 6 months. The reason I went with this one is because it has bigger wheels than a similar Maclaren and I had read that bigger wheels are important for cobblestones and such. Since I live in Germany, this was important to me.

    It’s lasted me through many trips with my son and now with my daughter. My only complaints are that the brake is easy to push if you’re even remotely tall. That really annoys my husband. Also, the Maclaren has a nice leg warmer that (the last I checked) the G-Luxe doesn’t have.

    Having said all this, I bought my UB in the US and I’ve never seen another one in Europe. I think the Maclaren is the most popular umbrella stroller I’ve seen here, so it must be good. Starting to notice more Quinny’s too.

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      Ann – UPPAbaby strollers are made in the U.S. (woot!) and I’m not sure how widely distributed they are at this time. A lie-flat option isn’t that important once your infant has some neck control – even car seats for newborns are installed at a 45-degree angle, but we all know a little side support (rolled blanket or any of the various gadgets on the market for this) can help avoid a total side slump.

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