SAN ANTONIO – Traveling with a baby or toddler is challenging enough, but having the right gear can make life a little easier for parents.
A safe stroller is priority No. 1. But when Consumer Reports tested strollers, they also looked at how easy they are to use.
“We test strollers for how you'll use them in the real world. Like, for example, is it easy to get in and out of the trunk? And when you're at the gate check, you don’t want to be holding up the line, so does it fold quickly and simply?” said Joan Muratore, with Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports found some features that can make navigating the airport a little easier.
“Maneuverability is key when you're traveling. The wheels should be fluid and responsive, and a single handle makes it easier to push if you just have one hand free,” Muratore said.
The Chicco Bravo Trio travel system is a Consumer Reports best buy. The stroller folds and maneuvers easily. The infant car seat can pop right into it, or it can be used as a stroller for children 6 months or older, who are able to sit up on their own.
“Another good option for travel is an umbrella stroller. They’re small and they're light and they’re great for getting around crowded places, like amusement parks or museums,” Muratore said.
The Summer Infant 3D Lite is compact and lightweight, with a reclining seat and carry strap. At $80, it’s also a Consumer Reports best buy.
The Quinny Yezz doesn’t recline, but it’s compact and light. It has a handy carrying strap and it turns on a dime.
Most airlines will let parents gate-check their stroller for free, so they don’t have to worry about fitting it into the overhead compartment. The same goes a child’s car seat, if it won’t be used on the plane.