Baby Carrier vs Compact Stroller for Travel

To stroll or to carry? Is one better than the other? Or is the best way to use both? Let’s dive in! 

Why You Need a Compact Stroller 

Compact strollers, sometimes referred to as umbrella strollers, are exactly what its name claims—compact. It’s compact when it’s folded and when it’s in use. It’s small enough so you can walk up and down store aisles and hallways or push in and out of elevators without taking up the entire space. Plus, being so lightweight and portable, there’s no hassle taking one traveling. 

 Benefits of a Compact Stroller: 

  • Lightweight, or umbrella, or compact strollers typically weigh under 15 lbs. 
  • They are built to fold quickly and compactly 
  • Easy to travel with or take with you on-the-go 

Our Metro+ Strollers take compact comfort to the next level. And while they do boast of compact features, they also offer some of the benefits of full-size strollers like car-seat adaptability, newborn to toddler ready, spacious storage and more! 

SHOP metro+ strollers

  • Ultra-compact and lightweight  
  • One-hand fold — Hold your newborn or a wild toddler all while folding up the stroller. And unlike many compact travel strollers, you don’t have to reach underneath the stroller to fold it up. 
  • Smooth ride suspension — With its spring suspension and large back tires, your baby won’t wake up when you walk over curbs, sidewalk cracks, or bumpy trails. 
  • Ergonomic comfort — Like our baby carriers, your baby will experience ergonomic comfort in this stroller. The cushy padded seat supports your baby’s head, neck, back, bottom, and legs, while the deep recline and adjustable leg rest help your child kick back and relax into a long snooze. 
  • Spacious storage spaces — You don’t just get a large storage basket under the stroller; you also get a hidden seatback pocket to hold everything you and baby need on your day-to-day adventures. 
  • Removable seat pad — We know how messy life with kids gets. That’s why we made our seat pad removable, so you can throw it in your washing machine after every spilled milk, smashed crackers, and blowout fiasco. 
  • All-season accessories — The stroller’s materials and large UV-50 sun canopy with a peek-a-boo window allow you to use it through every season. It’s also compatible with our Weather Shield for a rainy or windy day. 
  • Ready from day one — Start using from the day your baby is born up until he’s 40 pounds with newborn nest mode or car seat adaptors. 

For families who are often on the go whether it’s around town or traveling, Metro+ is a must. It’s even backed by science. 

Wherever you need to go, the Metro+ Stroller can go with you. It’s perfect for city use on sidewalks and bumpy streets. You can also take it on buses, subways, trains, and airplanes, as well as fit it into compact cars. Running errands? Running for your daily exercise? Grocery store or mall runs? No problem. This lightweight compact stroller also lets you go out to eat without blocking walkways. It folds and fits underneath most restaurant tables. 

The Metro+ Stroller won’t hold you back from going to the store, exercising, brunching with friends, or rewarding yourself with frozen yogurt after another busy but successful day of parenting. It’s easy to see why it’s the best stroller for getting out and about, all while keeping baby comfy. 

Why You Need a Baby Carrier

types of carriers and how to wear them

When traveling near or far, a baby carrier is a great way to keep your little ones close and safe. Whether they are too little to walk and need a place to nap, or their little legs are getting tired and need mom or dad to carry them, carriers are one of the most practical essentials for a life on the go. 

But having a baby carrier is about so much more than being hands free. 

We carry our babies for almost a year while pregnant. And while in utero they’re warm and safe, our breaths and heartbeat their constant companions. But when baby is born, it’s a whole new world for them (and us too!).  

Babywearing gives both of us that closeness again, while also providing baby with numerous benefits to development, both physically and emotionally. We call the first few months after birth the fourth trimester,” and for good reason. Our little ones need us more than ever as they make the transition into this new, big world. And as an added bonus, our partners or caregivers can babywear too, allowing them to bond with baby in a new way, building a stronger bond between your child and the people who love her. 

And really, a carried baby is a happy baby…and doesn’t that make parents happy? The closeness stimulates a beneficial hormone production (Oxytocin), resulting in a more intimate parental bond. Babywearing also adds a whole new level of convenience to your day — simply place your little one in the baby carrier and go! 

At Ergobaby, we believe babywearing is one of the single best things you can do for your family- and the best part is that it can be done anywhere, at anytime. It’s amazing to know that we have the ability to positively impact so many areas in development through doing something that brings so much joy to everyone involved. Babywearing is a family affair, and having your partner wear your little one aids in developing a close relationship and deep bond between the two of them, as well.

SHOP ergobaby carriers

Here are some of the benefits of babywearing: 

  • Strengthens the bond between parent and baby, as you maintain a closeness throughout your day, especially during the “4th trimester.” 
  • Happy Babies!  Carried babies cry less. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours. 
  • May help alleviate postpartum depressionMothers providing daily skin-to-skin contact to their newborn had significantly lower scores on the depression scales. 
  • Aids in baby’s development, both physically and emotionally. And did you know that a carried baby is generally calmer thanks to all of her primal/survival needs being met? 
  • Helps mothers respond to their babies. In a recent study, mothers who primarily choose babywearing for transporting their baby were shown to be more responsive to their babies, even when not wearing their babies. 
  • Helps mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.  In a recent study, it was demonstrated that providing infant carriers to pregnant parents significantly improved breastfeeding outcomes at six months postpartum. 
  • Decreases risk of SIDS and flat-head syndrome, while promoting neural development, respiratory and gastrointestinal health, and aiding in balance. 
  • Helps’ build parents confidence.  A large part of feeling confident as a parent is the ability to read our babies’ cues successfully. By carrying our babies close, we are more attuned to baby and able to meet their needs.  This in turn empowers parents to feel more competent and secure. 
  • Allows parents or caregivers to be “hands-free,” while baby is in the carrier, and promotes exploring, discovering and navigating safely and easily without having to maneuver a stroller. 
  • Improves overall maternal physical health (decreased sleep disturbances by 18% and gastrointestinal problems by 26%)* 
  • Improves breastfeeding rates (a large correlation between breastfeeding length and number of weeks using infant carriers, r=.42)* 
  • Increases the likelihood of reaching breastfeeding milestones (Odds of breastfeeding at 6 months were 1.08 times higher for each week the mother used the infant carrier)* 
  • Allows breastfeeding to be done on the go, and discreetly too, if you want to be covered up. And as an added bonus, breastmilk production is boosted with close contact with baby. 
  • Promotes early language development. Babies learn by watching faces, and babywearing puts your little one at conversational height- “the best seat in the house.” 
  • Allows parents to see more of the world through baby’s eyes. And your babies get to discover their new world from the safety and comfort of your body. 
  • Fosters a closeness through toddlerhood. Toddlers can be worn too, reminding them of their “home base,” and allowing that bond to continue as they grow.

SHOP ergobaby carriers

When to Use a Stroller Vs. When to Use a Baby Carrier 

In our opinion, this is going to be up to each individual and also depends on where you are going.  

If you’re camping, for example, having a compact stroller might not be realistic when you’re on the trails. A baby carrier will be the way to go.  

However, in most cases, we use both on all our travels.  


Most airports will allow you to wear your baby through security and this is super helpful when you’re trying to get luggage onto the conveyor belt, take your shoes off, and do all the security things. 

Once you get through security, your carrier is also a nice option to keep your little one close and off the dirty floor. Once you’re on the airplane you won’t be able to wear your baby during take off or landing, but you can throw the carrier back on during the flight to soothe them, let them take a nap, or to walk around the cabin for a change of scenery.  

The Metro+ Strollers are compact enough to fit on overhead bins if you’re looking to put your little one in the stroller right when you get off the plane. They can also go through security if you choose to have your little one (plus some of your bags) on the stroller through the airport. 

Trains / Subways 

If you’re traveling via train or subway, both the carrier and Metro+ strollers are great options. Both the carriers and strollers are easy to get on and off as they are lightweight.  


Both baby carriers and Metro+ strollers are great for taking naps. Our Omni carriers and Aerloom are the best options for longer carriers (through the airport, hiking, walking, exploring the town you’re visiting etc…) as they offer the best lumbar and back support for you and baby. If you’re concerned about carrying your little one for longer periods of time or want the option for them to get down and explore, consider the Alta Hip Seat for easy ups and downs or opt for the stroller.  

**Note that your little ones should never nap in a forward facing or back carry.  

Traveling with Multiple Kids 

When traveling with multiples, you’ll want both a carrier and a stroller. You can keep the younger one in the carrier while the bigger sibling can be safe and secure in the stroller!


Whatever you choose, we’re here to help!  

Get free fit checks from our babywearing educators and travel with confidence knowing your carriers and strollers are backed by the ErgoPromise! 

More from Ergobaby… 

What types of baby strollers are there? 

How a compact stroller will help your everyday routine. 

Top 25 Products for Traveling with a Baby 

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with an Infant 

Does a stroller count as a carry on? 

Vittoria Allen

Vittoria is a writer based in San Diego. A lover of good food, slow living, and a good novel, she shares her life with her husband and two daughters trying to squeeze out the beauty in every moment.

April 6, 2023