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Stroller Airplane Bag: Needed or Not?

Flying all over the world, including before and after births as my kids were born abroad, made us test quite a few stroller bags for airplanes. Some flights made us question whether we needed a stroller bag at all, and most importantly: learned a few hacks for flying with a stroller (and a travel bag bag).

Let’s start with important…

Do you need a stroller airplane bag?

Is a travel bag for stroller needed? In short, no, you can still gate check your stroller at the gate or even check it at the desk without a bag. There are pros and cons of having a strolle bag, especially if you’re also traveling with a car seat.

When it comes to car seats I will always tell you that a car seat travel bag is very much needed even for gate checking, because the seat is undeniably exposed and when the weather is bad it can arrive wet or nasty.

On the other hand, strollers can close in a way that a seat is semi-protected, so it can totally be checked without a bag. However… having one can allow you to store some extra lightweight items like diapers, swim floats, and other equipment that didn’t fit in regular luggage.

You absolutely don’t need a travel bag for a stroller that fits in the overhead compartment. We’ve never even considered putting any of our strollers in a bag and I don’t know anyone (or even saw anyone at any airport ever) doing it.

We always used it for larger strollers or stroller wagons.

stroller airplane bag

Pros of Having a Stroller Airplane Bag

  • guarantee that your stroller will arrive dry and clean
  • less possibility for scratches
  • some bags offer a warranty for their brand
  • option of storing extra items in the bag

Cons of Having a Stroller Bag

1. You have to carry a car seat through the airport or roll it (if you buy an extra piece), so a bag with backpack straps might come in handy. If you’re bringing a stroller for a trip chances are that your child is actively using it and therefore you will be rolling it.

These days not every airline and most importantly airport is boarding families with small children first, so your time having to fold down the stroller and keep moving might be limited.

2. If your stroller is more than one piece a bag must be tightly fit in order not to break the inside.

3. Various branded stroller bags that come with a warranty aren’t good. We had the Uppababy bag rip easily (and I heard from other families the same), and in the end, it wasn’t worth the $200+, and we ended up switching to an Amazon brand instead.

Major airlines are responsible for reimbursing you for breaking your stroller, which happened twice to us, anyway so a bag with a warranty isn’t giving you anything extra (but costs more!) unless you’re flying budget airlines.

car seat travel bags
A stroller and car seat stored in travel bags ready to travel.

Best Stroller Bag for Airplane

I can personally attest to three great models that we’ve used on various trips:

J.L. Childress Gate Check Bag

A simple travel stroller bag that can fit a stroller, or even a stroller AND small car seat like a booster as well. It can be dragged around without ripping. It saved us from things getting wet as it’s water resistant enough to keep things dry.

Reperkid Stroller Airplane Bag

My husband’s favorite bag. It can even fit a Radio Flyer wagon, which is convenient because wagons cannot be gate checked on some airlines (eg. on American Airlines). This bag is spacious and durable enough.

Zohzo Stroller Travel Bag

 The bag is still going strong without rips or holes and the handle is quite mighty as well. Unlike the other two bags this one offers zippers.

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