What should I look for in an umbrella or travel stroller? Gear You Didn't Know You Needed

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up-close shot of baby's feet in stroller.
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Once baby is a bit bigger, you may find yourself in the market for a smaller, lighter-weight umbrella stroller (think a fabric sling in a frame) that's perfect for your bigger kid or a travel stroller (which is lightweight and compact-fold). Here's what you should bear in mind while shopping for one of these strollers, according to experts and moms.

Make Sure It Folds Easily & With One Hand

"The first thing to look for in an umbrella or travel stroller is something that folds easily and ideally with one hand. When you are on the go and are likely to be holding on to things such as luggage, you want to be able to easily fold up your stroller and put it out of the way. These strollers have come a long way in recent years and you may even be able to choose some special features that not too long ago weren't an option. These include a carry handle, full recline, or even a fold...

"The first thing to look for in an umbrella or travel stroller is something that folds easily and ideally with one hand. When you are on the go and are likely to be holding on to things such as luggage, you want to be able to easily fold up your stroller and put it out of the way. These strollers have come a long way in recent years and you may even be able to choose some special features that not too long ago weren't an option. These include a carry handle, full recline, or even a fold small enough to fit into an overhead bin on the plane." -- Julie McCaffrey, chief baby planner and owner at BabyNav Baby Planners

Compare Weights, Foldability, Size & Color

"Umbrella and travel strollers tend to be bare-bones. They don't have much padding or structure in the seat, and the wheels are small and not built for shock absorption, so the ride can be bumpy for your baby. Still, they're a great way to get around when you're traveling, because umbrella and travel strollers are lightweight and many fold to fit in the overhead compartment. (There's even one that folds down to the size of a hand bag.) When you're shopping for an umbrella stroller, compare...

"Umbrella and travel strollers tend to be bare-bones. They don't have much padding or structure in the seat, and the wheels are small and not built for shock absorption, so the ride can be bumpy for your baby. Still, they're a great way to get around when you're traveling, because umbrella and travel strollers are lightweight and many fold to fit in the overhead compartment. (There's even one that folds down to the size of a hand bag.) When you're shopping for an umbrella stroller, compare weights, foldability, and size. If your baby is still in an infant car seat, look for an umbrella stroller that's compatible with your baby's infant seat. (GB Orbit Plus, for example, is compatible with CYBEX infant car seats.) If you can wear your travel stroller as a backpack, all the better. If your travel/umbrella stroller will be covering a lot of ground, get one in black. It's the best color to hide stains!" -- Sandra Gordon,

founder of BabyProductsMom.com

Don't Skimp

"When it comes to umbrella or travel strollers, it may be tempting to stop at your local drugstore and pick one up, but you want to go for quality. Remember, most of the time, you're going to be using your umbrella or travel stroller in new places, and on roads you don't necessarily know, so the last thing you're going to want is for the stroller to break on you!" -- Olivia Howell, baby registry expert with baby registry site Gugu Guru

Remember It's a Quick Fix

"You just want them to be light and easy to fold. Don't worry about any bells and whistles, because they're just supposed to be a quick fix when you need to push your toddler.”

Make Sure It's Sturdy & Has Storage

"An umbrella or travel stroller should be lightweight, easy to carry, and have a comfy seat, because a lot of them are cheap and tend to be uncomfy, yet, on vacation, your child will be in it a lot, so make sure it's sturdy. Also, try to find one with storage at the bottom, because you'll want that regardless.”

You May Not Need One at All

"Instead of an umbrella stroller, we picked a full-sized stroller that folded in half with one hand. The best thing about it was the all-terrain wheels. Strolling around bumpy sidewalks and through grass at parks and fairs and soccer practices felt so easy. It was worth the extra investment."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.