Our primary stroller is the Uppababy Vista. It gives a smooth ride for the stroller pusher and the baby, it can hold a whole lot of groceries in the base, and it comes with a bassinet, which we found to be extremely useful for the first few months of Zachary’s life. On the flipside, it’s heavy and it doesn’t fold up to be very small. We have taken it on a plane before, and there’s a nice Uppababy travel bag for checking the stroller, but when we made plans to take our 5 month old to Hong Kong, Seoul, and Hawaii, we knew that it would be too unwieldy for such a journey.
Katy suggested that we get a travel stroller, and she put me on the hunt to do as much research as possible. She initially wanted an “umbrella stroller.” If you’re not familiar with that style of stroller, it folds up long and skinny, kind of like an umbrella. These are apparently great for travel. That being said, you still have to check them on an airplane. You can roll them down the jet bridge, but at the end of jet bridge, your stroller is at the mercy of baggage handlers. I was like, “Wait… we spent nearly a thousand dollars on our last stroller, which was supposed to be some amazing gift to all baby havers, and now we need to buy a ‘travel stroller,’ but this travel stroller still needs to be checked?” There must be something better! I didn’t want to buy ANOTHER stroller if it wouldn’t be able to come on the plane with us.
As it turns out, there are a select few travel strollers that fold up small enough to fit in an overhead bin! I did a lot of research, and we settled on the 2016 Mountain Buggy Nano. My detailed report follows, and you can check out my video review below as well.
If you read stroller reviews on the internet, you’ll find that most of them are on mommy blogs. There’s nothing wrong with those sites, but with the exception of one site that I’m a particularly big fan of, most of those reviewers aren’t road warriors. This site’s readers are, though, and that’s why this review comes after not only a 3 week trip across the world, but also after over six months of sustained use. How do I like our Mountain Buggy Nano? I’ll skip to the point. I love it.
I guess I should start with it in its closed position. It comes with a form fitting cloth cover. It’s not going to protect your stroller if you throw it around, but it does keep everything nice and compact. Although, in mentioning throwing the bag around, I think I hinted at one of the strollers main benefits. It’s LIGHT. At just 13 lbs, you could absolutely throw this little compact bundle across the room. There’s no way I could throw our 27.5 pound Uppababy Vista across the room. When it’s in its case, it measures to be approximately 20″ x 12″ x 22″. This is super small. It fits in overhead bins on planes! When we were crammed into small hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Hong Kong, we were able to put it under the table while we ate. We had Zachary in his fast chair, which clips onto a table, and we were happy that the chair fit in the storage area of the stroller. Taking the bag off is pretty easy. Undo a piece of velcro and pull it off. Opening it is simple as well. There’s a piece of velcro that holds the canopy down. Undo that, lift the handle, and watch the magic unfold in front of you.
I find the opened stroller to look very handsome, and it comes in a few colors. We went with red. The seat for the baby has four straps – two on the side and two over the shoulder – to keep the baby in. I actually find the harness system more secure than that of our Uppababy Vista. With just one button press in the middle, all four snaps release. The canopy that covers the baby’s head seemed more than adequate to us, even if it doesn’t extend quite as far as those of the larger strollers. One thing I was really impressed with was the recline, both in terms of ease of adjustment as well as how far it reclined. We did a lot of site-seeing on our trip, and our son would often fall asleep. If he did, we would just slowly loosen the straps to let the seat recline, and then we would cover the stroller with a thin, muslin blanket to block light / commotion from Zachary.
In terms of using it around the city, it’s certainly noticeable that the wheels are smaller than a full size stroller. If you’re on cobblestone streets or something like that, both you and the baby will feel it more, but we really found it to be more than acceptable. If you’re in a more modern city or in the suburbs with smooth roads, it’s just as good as a larger stroller. The baby was totally comfortable and never had any issue transitioning from his larger stroller to this one. In fact, his seat seemed quite roomy, but considering that he’s still not even a year old, most strollers will seem roomy for this little man!
The storage basket of the stroller is surprisingly large as well! It’s nowhere near as large as a full size stroller’s basket, but we were able to easily fit Zachary’s folded up chair, a couple jackets, and some souvenirs. We also hung a stroller caddy off the back to hold water bottles, phones, and maps. Actually this is another great thing about the stroller. If you have a caddy on the back, you can still fold the stroller up without removing it. This is very useful. It would have been an extra hassle if we had to constantly take that thing off when we folded the stroller up.
Also, this stroller has stood up to some pretty good wear and tear. It’s been taken across the world on multiple flights, it’s been used on old cobblestone streets, it’s been used to stroll 5+ miles per day for around 10 out of 15 days in a row, it’s been splashed on poolside, etc. Honestly it still looks fantastic.
Even when not vacationing, we end up using this stroller a fair amount in our day to day life. If we’re going to go for a stroll to the park or to the store, we’ll use our standard, larger stroller. If we’re going to drive someplace and we’re not sure if we’ll need a stroller or not, we avoid the hassle of having to pack up the giant Vista. Instead, we just toss this in the car, and if we don’t end up using it, we don’t feel stupid for putting something large in the car.
Oh and I started this review by saying that one of my favorite features of this stroller is that it supposedly fits in overhead bins. I was nervous the first time I tried…. All data pointed to it not being an issue, but I was just a bit nervous when I first lifted it up to go overhead. It turns out I had nothing to be nervous about. It fits like a glove! While it’s slightly wider than a rollaboard suitcase, it’s not as tall / deep. It’s a very easy fit.
What are the negatives of this stroller? Well, I suppose one negative is that you have to buy it. While that may sound like I’m joking, many families only buy a single stroller… The idea of spending a $249 on a second stroller may not be very appealing. That being said, parents know that you’ll spend a little extra money to make your life easier, and this device certainly does that.
All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend this stroller. If you have any questions, just leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer them!