The best stroller alternatives for families with babies or toddlers, and the best double stroller alternatives for families with more than one child.
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There are many reasons why you may be looking for stroller alternatives.
Perhaps you are traveling with your baby and don’t want to lug your big stroller around. Maybe your toddler just refuses to ride in the stroller some days and throws a tantrum for the first 32 minutes of your 45-minute walk… or is that just me? 😉
Whatever your reason may be, I’ve got you covered!
We travel often with our baby and toddler and have personally tried the majority of these stroller alternatives (both at home and while traveling).
I will share what has worked well for us, but will also share all of the options with you so you can decide what will be best for your family!
This article will cover the best stroller alternatives for babies, the best stroller alternatives for toddlers, and the best double stroller alternatives for families with more than one child.
Best Stroller Alternatives for Babies
1. Baby Wrap
I personally never enjoyed using them because I thought they were too complicated. Yes, I probably could have watched a YouTube tutorial video and figured it out, but it just seemed like one more thing I didn’t want to deal with while learning how to care for a newborn.
However, I do like the Boppy Hybrid Carrier Wrap because it has the feel of a wrap carrier with the ease of use of a structured carrier.
2. Structured Baby Carrier
I have tried a lotttt of baby carriers – upwards of 10 to 12. Out of all of the carriers I have tested out, the Ergobaby brand is my favorite. They are the most comfortable carriers in my opinion.
I love the Ergobaby Adapt Carrier for everyday use during the newborn days because it is soft and comfortable and keeps baby close. However, it doesn’t have the option for the baby to face outwards.
The Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Carrier is the best baby carrier option overall, in my opinion, because the baby can face in or out, and it can be used as a hip or back carrier as well. It is nice to have all of those carrying options, as it allows the carrier to grow with you as your child gets older.
I’ll let you in on a little secret… All of the baby carriers we own were bought secondhand! If you can find baby gear at consignment stores, garage sales, or on Facebook Marketplace, it’s a great way to save money and try out different things without feeling bad about it if you don’t like them. Most baby carriers and wraps can be put in the washing machine, so they are easy to clean. And a lot of times you can find products that are like new and have hardly been used!
3. Hip Carrier
A hip carrier is a nice option if you have a baby or toddler who is mobile and will want to walk around, but may tire out easily or need to be carried at times.
Put on the hip carrier, and your baby or toddler just sits right on the padded seat. It is a way to carry your kid around while taking some of the strain off of your back and arms.
Typically hip seats don’t “strap” the child in, so they aren’t a great choice if you need to be hands-free or if you will be carrying your child a long distance.
Hip seat carriers are great for things like going to the grocery store/running errands, walking around a city, in the airport, or for short hikes where your child will want to do some walking.
Best Stoller Alternatives for Toddlers & Kids
4. Hiking Carrier
If you are planning to hit the trails with your little one, a framed hiking carrier is hard to beat, especially for older children.
Hiking child carriers have a supportive design that keeps both the carrier and the child comfortable and secure. Once your child gets to a certain weight, using a regular baby carrier isn’t comfortable anymore, especially if you carry the child over a long distance. A framed hiking carrier just offers a lot more support IMO.
Of course, these carriers are great for hiking, but we sometimes use ours for walks around our neighborhood as well. It probably looks a little funny, but it’s a good solution for us when our toddler is refusing to sit in his stroller.
Full disclosure, our hiking carrier is a discontinued Eddie Bauer carrier that was hand-me-down from a relative. But once we are to the point where we will need 2 hiking carriers for our 2 kids, I plan on buying the Deuter Kid Comfort Hiking Carrier. I have done a lot of research, and it seems to be the consensus that Deuter Kid Comfort and the Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier are the two best child carriers currently on the market.
5. Piggyback Rider Standing Carrier
A piggyback rider is similar to a hiking carrier, but it is a lot less bulky and more compact. It is approved for children up to 50 pounds.
It could be a good option if your child will be doing a lot of walking, but may need a break. They can hop onto the platform that is strapped onto your back and catch a ride.
A piggyback rider would be easier to transport than a framed hiking carrier would be, but it is a less comfortable alternative.
6. Ride On Push Car
A ride-on push car could be a fun way to get your toddler to go for a walk. You can steer and push the car using the handle behind, but your toddler will feel like he is driving and in control.
Our son has a little Mercedes Benz push car, and he loves getting pushed around in it and putting things in the little storage compartment. It is not as comfortable to push as our stroller is, but it is a great single stroller alternative for walks around the neighborhood – and it’s super cute!
7. Mini Scooter
Mini scooters are a great option for an older toddler or a young child. The scooter will help keep them moving and grooving alongside you. A great way to burn off some energy, and get some exercise and fresh air.
Our 2-year-old loves his Radio Flyer Scooter, but he is still getting the hang of it, so he only rides it around our house. But it could be a good stroller alternative for big kids.
This convertible 3-wheel scooter is really neat because it has an attachment to make a seated rider that is great for a child as young as 1, and it also doubles as a scooter with an adjustable handle, growing with your child until up to 10 years old.
8. Handle Tricycle
A tricycle with a handle is a similar concept to the ride-on push car. Your toddler gets a fun ride while you push and steer.
We have the Radio Flyer Pedal & Push Trike. It is made for ages 1-5 and can grow along with your child. When our son was younger, we kept the little foot decks on so that he was just riding while we pushed him along.
Now that he is older, he can practice pedaling, but we can still use the handle to help him move forward and steer. Once the kid is old enough, you can remove the handle and it becomes a regular tricycle.
Just a fair warning though, the child can steer with the handlebars even when the adult handle is attached, so it can be a bit of a challenge to keep the bike moving straight! It may also be uncomfortable for taller parents to push one of these around.
9. Balance Bike
My 3-year-old is obsessed with his balance bike. He loves riding outside but also enjoys riding laps around our living room and kitchen during the cold winter months. 😝
My son learned how to ride his balance bike a couple of months before he turned 3, and he has gotten good at it. He can easily keep up with me when I am walking at a brisk pace.
10. Car Seat Roller
A car seat roller is an awesome airport stroller alternative for toddlers. You won’t need to lug around a heavy stroller, but will still be able to easily stroll through the airport with your toddler in tow.
When it is time to take your seat on the plane, you can quickly and easily fold up the car seat roller and place it in the overhead bin or under your seat.
Buckle your toddler into the car seat for the flight. This is a great way to keep your toddler in his/her own seat for the duration of the flight.
Best Double Stroller Alternatives for Multiple Kids
A wagon is the most similar alternative to a stroller. It can be a great option for older kids because it can give them more space and help them feel less contained.
Wagons can also hold a lot and can double as a way to transport all of the things to sports practices and other activities when your kids get older.
I highly recommend getting a wagon with a stroller-like push bar vs. a traditional pull handle because it makes the wagon much more comfortable to push and easier to maneuver.
Some wagons have attachments for infant car seats. Without an attachment, a wagon isn’t a good option for young babies and newborns, as most are designed for babies 6 months+.
The Baby Trend Expedition Stroller Wagon is an affordable option that has both a push bar and a pull handle, and it also has a universal car seat attachment for newborns. I have a couple of friends who have this wagon and love it.
If you have 3 or 4 young kids to haul around, the Keenz Stroller Wagon is a great option. It can seat up to 4 children, has a lot of storage, and can be pushed or pulled.
12. Bike Trailer
Biking and using a bike trailer is a great way to get some exercise while spending time with your family. It can also be a fun way to explore the outdoors.
If you have kiddos who refuse the stroller, maybe they will be more enthusiastic about riding if they are moving faster in a bike trailer. Most bike trailers hold 1-2 kids.
If you’re looking for a versatile transportation solution to fit your different needs, consider a 2-in-1 bike trailer/stroller combo.
13. Ride On Stroller Board
A ride-on stroller board attaches to your stroller and serves as a platform for your child to stand on while you push the stroller.
It is a good alternative for families with more than one child, especially if you have an older toddler or child who wants to walk. If they get tired, they can easily hop on the stroller board for a ride.
Some stroller boards are universal, but certain stroller brands have their own compatible buggy board.
14. Seated Ride-On Stroller Board
A very similar alternative to the previous option – a seated ride-on stroller board is the same concept as a standing stroller board except that kids can hop on and sit down if they need a break from walking.
Once again, there are some universal seated stroller boards, but others are made for specific stroller models.
15. Sit-and-Stand Strollers
A sit-and-stand stroller is an excellent choice because it grows with your children and can be used for a baby or toddler, in addition to an older sibling.
Sit-and-stand strollers are versatile and offer multiple seating arrangement options, which is nice because they can change to accommodate your growing/changing family over time.
Of course, this is probably not the best option for you if you already have a stroller and do not want to purchase another one.
We have the Joovy Caboose Too Ultralight Stroller. It is light and compact, making it easy to take places. I use it on walks around the neighborhood, in stores, in the airport, and when we go on trips.
It has a sit/stand option in the back. You can also put a second seat in the back to make it a regular double stroller.
There is an attachment to put a car seat on the front of the stroller, but that didn’t work very well for us because my toddler likes to sit in the front so he can look around more. So I wedged our infant car seat into the back part of the stroller and it was very secure and well worked for us!
The Baby Trend Sit-And-Stand Stroller is another versatile and affordable sit-and-stand option.
16. Double Ride-On Car
Similar to a single-push car, but I found a little SUV that fits two kids AND has a push bar (similar to a stroller) rather than the single handle, so it is much more comfortable/easy to push.
This little car is so cute, and my kids love riding in it. It has 4 different cup holders, including 2 for the kids near their feet, which is nice.
The only problem we have is that my boys often end up fighting and hitting each other while they are riding in close quarters in their car together. 🤦♀️
17. Motorized Ride-On
As long as you make sure the battery is charged, a motorized ride-on car would be a fun alternative for walks around the neighborhood.
If your mini driver(s) is little, try to find a motorized car with a parent remote so you can help with the steering and navigating.
Bonus: Combine any of the ideas listed above!
If you have more than one child, another option for hauling around your crew is to combine any of the previously listed ideas. For example, use a baby carrier while pushing your toddler on a handled tricycle. Or use a baby wrap while your toddler rides his scooter. Have one child in the back hiking carrier and another in a push car. You get the idea. 🙂
That rounds out our list of stroller alternatives! I hope you find a great alternative to a traditional stroller that works well for your family. Happy travels!