For the first nine months of my son’s life, we exclusively wore him in a baby carrier when we traveled. It just seemed easier, but the first time that we took him to the airport in a travel stroller, I couldn’t believe we had waited so long to give our backs a break!
Traveling with the right stroller has been the best thing ever. We have a place to put our son now, we can feed him in the stroller, he can sleep in the stroller, and best of all, we aren’t in pain from carrying him anymore. Plus, he loves the view from the stroller. We all win.
Before settling on the perfect travel stroller, I did loads of research. I knew from chatting with friends that we definitely wanted a stroller that could fit in the overhead compartment in order to avoid waiting during tight connections or having the stroller getting broken.
There could be no better option than the smallest possible stroller, right? This is me to looking into the GB Pockit stroller, the world’s smallest folding stroller.
Comparing the GB Pockit Strollers
When I looked into it more, I realized that there was not just one GB Pockit stroller, but THREE with different functions, sizes, and weights. Although they all fit into the overhead bin, are narrow and easy to maneuver, and are on the more affordable end of the travel stroller spectrum, there are several key differences to consider:
GB Pockit Air
The smallest and cheapest of the GB Pockit lineup, the Pockit Air folds down to 11.8 in x 7.1 in x 13.8 inches and weighs only 10.4 lbs. It’s impressive, and currently holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the world’s most compact stroller. It comes with car seat adapters that connect to any CYBEX car seat and its double wheels are meant to aid in maneuverability. It’s also affordable at only $199.
That said, you lost some functionality by going that small. There’s no handle bar, which I could live without, but what I can’t live without is a decent sun shade and recline ability, neither of which this stroller has. The only sun protection is a flat visor at the top that doesn’t provide much coverage, and without being able to recline, it’s not ideal for naps, which is part of why we like having a stroller.
GB Pockit+ All Terrain
The All Terrain is the next ‘level up’ from the Pockit Air in terms of functionality and features. Although it’s slightly larger at 13.4 in x 7.9 in x 16.5 inches folded and 12.3 lbs, it’s still within overhead bin limits and is still quite compact and lightweight.
Unlike the Air, the All Terrain has a full SPF 50+ sun canopy, can recline the most out of the GB line (though is not completely flat), and has a larger under-seat basket with an 11lb capacity. It also has an adjustable footrest and double wheels. To fold it up, you’ll have to push in the back two wheels first, which isn’t a huge deal, but means you’ll need both hands to do so and it’s not able to fold down in seconds like some competitors, which we’ll talk about below. It comes in at $279.99.
GB Pockit + All City
Though similar to the Pockit+ All Terrain, the All City has a few differing features. Instead of the double wheels, it has single wheels, but the suspension is better. It also has sturdier lower construction using aluminum rather than plastic.
The sun canopy is also reinforced with metal wiring as opposed to the plastic on the All Terrain. It’s also completely sealed around your child even in full recline while the All Terrain has some large gaps around their head. Overall, it feels much sturdier and more stable than the All Terrain and Air.
It also has a larger basket. Despite all of the added features, it’s still not that much larger than the all-terrain at 12.6 in x 7.9 in x 18.9 inches and 13.2 lbs. It is, however, pricier at $329. or $299 for this velvet black version.
If I were to pick a Pockit, I would have gone with the All City. That said, we actually ended up with the Qbit. Heres why:
GB QBit All City
Why did we end up with the QBit All City after I was so sold on the Pockit line? Honestly, I got so confused by all of the different kinds that I bought it on accident. That said, it’s a happy accident now that we put it to the test in New England and Portugal for 2 straight weeks.
This is the only stroller out of all of them that can be folded with one hand while holding your baby with the other. We don’t have to fold the wheels in like we would with the Pockit Air and All Terrain, and it can stand on its own unlike the latter two. That said, I find the buttons take some grip strength and it’s harder for me to close than it is for my partner.
This all becomes a big deal when having to quickly fold and unfold when going through security, putting the stroller in an overhead bin, or quickly folding and unfolding if you are taking a tiny plane and have to gate check. I love the ease of the QBit.
The QBit also offers four-wheel suspension, a mesh back opening for ventilation, decent recline, mostly aluminum construction, a sturdy sun canopy, adjustable footrest, and a lap bar. The handle bar is also a nicer grip. Overall, this feels like a sturdier stroller and the maneuverability is great.
My biggest concern was since it is slightly larger than most overhead bin regulations at 19 in x 21 in x 13 inches and 17 lbs, we wouldn’t be able to board with it. I’m pleased to say that with the exception of smaller prop planes, we have had no problem bringing the stroller on with us and putting it in the overhead bin. If the flight attendants ask us about it, they usually are fine with it if we tell them it folds up small enough for the bin.
It’s also the most expensive at $379.99, but still comes in cheaper than its competitors (discussed below).
My Honest Thoughts After Testing GB
I love this stroller for the airport. It’s narrow, lightweight, easy to use, and I love that we can carry it on with us. It can easily fit through the x-ray machine at TSA, and having a stroller that was so small was key for our Europe trip where we had one small car trunk to work with. Our trunk at home isn’t that big, either, and our Nuna Mixx takes up almost the whole thing.
Although the GB QBit is sturdier than the Pockit series and has all-wheel suspension, it’s still not anywhere near as good as our true all-terrain Guava Roam, which I love for use at home and on road trips. I’m sure that the cobblestones were a bumpy ride for Felix, which would have been much less the case with our Guava Roam. That said, it cannot fit in the overhead bin and we would have really struggled with fitting everything in our European car rental with a bigger stroller. I would also prefer a smaller stroller for public transportation.
I also wasn’t impressed with the amount of storage space, but I also didn’t expect much a smaller stroller like this.
Although I think the GB is good, I’m curious if there’s something better, and will be testing the Ergobaby Metro next.
Alternatives to the GB
What else is worth getting? These are the other strollers we considered:
This is the one that I’ve been hunting for on the secondhand market so that I can test it and measure it up against the GB. People seem to love this stroller, which is compatible with a wider range of car seats (with the right adapters). It also folds with one hand, is mostly constructed with aluminum, weighs 13.6 lbs, and folds up to 20.5 x 17.3 x 7.1 Inches.
The color canopies come in a wider range of colors, and you can also switch it out for the bassinet kit for smaller babies. It’s a day-to-day stroller that also happens to be a great travel stroller. That said, the wheels look pretty unimpressive to me, and for the stroller plus cushion and canopy, it’s $474, or with the bassinet kit, $629. It also has a surprisingly smaller carrying capacity at a max of 48.5 lbs vs. 55 lbs for the GB.
When I asked on my Instagram stories, the Bugaboo Butterfly was another stroller that came highly recommended. It has over 16lbs of basket storage, a 5-way adjustable footrest, a one-second fold, and a large canopy. it also has a max capacity of 48.5 lbs, folds up to 17.72 x 9.06 x 21.26 in, and weights 16 lbs.
However, out of all of the strollers I looked at, the bugaboo seemed to have the worst recline, and it costs $449.
The Joolz Aer was also highly recommended by my Instagram community. It also has a simple, one hand fold, is made out of 100% recycled fabrics, and folds up to 21 x 17.7 x 8.5 inches and weighs 13.4 lbs.
However, it still doesn’t recline as well as the GB Pockit+ All Terrain or the QBit and also costs $449.
Overall, I’m glad that I was able to test the GB and although not the Pockit, the very similar QBit that I think is worth springing for. Still, I’m left wanting a few more features, and a bit more sturdiness, so my search is not over. There are many overhead bin compliant strollers out there, and I plan to try out more!