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Let me start by setting the scene: I live in Brooklyn, New York. In a brownstone that’s a walk-up—which means I have to lug a stroller up half a flight of stairs while gripping my squirmy toddler in my free arm just to get in the door. (Mom strength is a real and very special skill, for the record.)

At this point, I’m used to it—but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. And that’s where the Bugaboo Ant comes in. Yes, it’s primarily an uber-compact, chic and lightweight travel stroller, but when it comes to getting around the city (and up and down stairs) without destroying my back, it’s been a game changer. Let me explain.

It folds up to the size of the smallest-ever carry-on bag. Not kidding, it’s just about 22 inches tall when you close it up, with a depth of nine inches. That means that I can easily one-hand it up and down my apartment steps—not to mention squeeze it into the overhead luggage compartment on most airlines—a win when the last thing you want to do is gate check. (For the record, Bugaboo does provide a protective bag to help keep your Ant safe.) 

It’s also narrow enough that you can zip through crowded areas. Honestly, the stroller has become my go-to for tooling around Brooklyn. I can easily zig and zag around people on the sidewalk and maneuver through the supermarket without fear of toppling an endcap display. There’s enough room under the seat to store at least one grocery bag (or full-sized diaper bag), and the five-point harness makes it easy to quickly and safely strap my toddler in place. You also won’t have to buy a separate stroller as your child gets bigger—the seat's reversible and can accommodate a child from birth through toddlerhood.

I Road-Tested the Bugaboo Ant Stroller, and It Makes Traveling with a Toddler (Almost) Bearable
Bugaboo

 

As for my toddler’s reaction to it? I actually think he behaves better in it. He’s a bit lower to the ground, given that it’s more compact, which seems to make him feel more engaged in the world around him. It’s like he zones out and forgets about me the second he’s in it—a parenting win.

The only caveat: There’s a bit of a learning curve at first. I definitely had to watch the official directional video a few times and follow along step by step to really master how to quickly fold this guy. That said, now that I've figured it out, I am obsessed with how seamless it is to set up and break down. I can basically do all that one-handed too.

Would I take it on my next flight? For sure. We’ve taken it on road trips already, and it takes up zero space in the car. Will I continue to use it to hit up the local playground and dash to music class or the grocery store with my toddler in tow? Absolutely. I love my full-size stroller the most, but the Ant is an actual weight lifted.

And by weight lifted, I mean all that back-breaking upper-body effort I used to exert just to get up my stairs. Talk about relief.

$549 at Amazon

RELATED: It’s Official: Here’s What Your Stroller Brand Says About You As a Human

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