A stroller expert helps
Ask Eli
a stroller expert answers:

A travel stroller for a 3yo that features a telescopic bar to be pulled like a piece of luggage

Alia • 10 Feb 2022

Hi Eli,

My child is 3+ years old and we are planning a trip in which we will need a stroller to use whether in airports or during our walks when my toddler needs to rest or even have a possible short nap.

Therefore, I am looking at strollers that can be easily folded, and have a handle bar to be pulled like a suitcase/trolley. While there might many options for the carry strollers, I have found only very limited options for the ones that have handle bars to be pulled.

I have checked both the Chicco Trolley Me and the Cam Compass. I am not sure if they both can handle my child's age (3+), and which is really the better option.

Can you please assist?

Thanks for your help

Eli • 10 Feb 2022

Hello, Alia,

Your priority, the telescoping handle by which you can pull a stroller is actually quite a rare thing, and that is why you find it hard to find the right stroller. It narrows down your choice of strollers to LITERALLY a few, meaning you won't be able to choose much in terms of quality, design, and most importantly, seat spaciousness, which is crucial with a three-year-old toddler (meaning quite a large one already).

Do you know why there are only a few strollers with such a thing? It is, actually, good on paper, but almost nobody uses it. It is only practical at the airport where the surface is absolutely smooth - everywhere else, it is quite uncomfortable as well as often short, so the person pulling the stroller as a piece of luggage is often slumping. Most people - and I truly mean the majority of parents/stroller users - prefer to carry the folded stroller on their arms like a handbag, meaning a carry strap instead of a pull handle.

I don't want to contradict you if you feel you absolutely need a bar to pull your buggy with, but I am trying to make you open your eyes and maybe give the other option chance as it is the most practical one even outside of an airport. Also, a carry bag for a travel buggy is a very popular option allowing you to carry your pushchair either on the arm or like a backpack (my favorite ^_^).

Enough of my rant, no worries. From your two choices, I would ABSOLUTELY NOT want the Trolley Me from Chicco as it is rattly and with a short-is backrest. It is simply not a stroller comfortable for a 3yo. The Cam Compass is a bit more roomy, meaning it is a better option, but really take it if you only need an occasional travel stroller as it is simple and not heavily padded, so I wouldn't use it as an everyday pram.

The Junior Jones J-Tourer and the Chicco Goody (full Chicco Goody/Goody Plus stroller review here) can be pulled behind you when you use the bumper bar as a handle. Both are actually quite fine, just the Junior Jones is not available everywhere and is not very budget-friendly. The Kinderkraft Pilot is VERY affordable, but super duper small in the seat so not ok for a 3yo (you could pull it behind you thanks to the long strap, I am thinking, but it is not a nice choice of a stroller for an older toddler). I quite like the quality of the ABC Design Ping (Two) which can also be pulled thanks to the long strap (and carried, too ;-)). Last stroller that comes to mind featuring a handle to pull it by is probably the Looping Squizz 3, but it feels cheap in my opinion, so I am not sure what more to recommend...

My own choice for an ultra-compact stroller for a taller toddler would be a Joolz Aer with the travel bag. It has the most important thing In such a case, at least from my point of view: a tall seat back. For a 3-year-old, that matters most, otherwise, he'll be squeezed in and bumping the canopy with his head.

You can also inspire yourself here in our top 2021 ultracompacts guide.

Your -very berry- Eli.

Now, this is your place to ask. I'm listening.