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If you’re shopping around for the best travel strollers, you’ll be spoilt for choice. To help you make the right decision, we’ve tried and tested the latest lightweight buggies suitable for holiday use.
Travelling with children can be daunting, especially if you have a lockdown baby who isn’t used to seeing very much of the world yet, says our Consumer Editor, Heidi Scrimgeour. ‘But don’t let that hold you back from visiting friends and family further afield or planning holidays and adventures. Lightweight buggies are amazing feats of engineering and design these days, and can make travelling with a baby easier, whether you’re flying long-haul or just hopping on and off trains and buses closer to home.’
Some parents only use lightweight buggies for trips away. Others rely on them more regularly, preferring them to heavier prams and pushchairs for taking to the shops, on the school run, or to the park. Whichever camp you fall into (or if you fall somewhere in the middle), these are our pick of the best travel strollers and lightweight pushchairs.
Our Consumer Editor looked at the latest travel stroller offering from the market-leading brands, and we assigned each shortlisted pushchair to a reliable parent reviewer who roadtested each one for at least ten days with their babies. Jump down to read expert advice on what to look for when buying a travel stroller or for more information on how we tested these products:
1. Silver Cross Clic
Our best travel stroller overall – a light, compact stroller suitable from birth to four years
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 6kg | Age Range: Newborn to 4 years
✅ Suitable from birth to four years
✅ Reclining seat
✅ Easy to fold
❌Impractical for off-road
Tested by: Floss Guppy and her eight-week-old daughter, Josie
Every detail on the Silver Cross Clic has been cleverly thought through. You pop it up with a one-second, one-handed fold mechanism. It’s compact and has a handy shoulder strap. Floss found that especially useful as she navigated the London Underground with her newborn.
The Clic is especially practical for parents who frequently use public transport or airline travel. It will also appeal to those who wish to combine babywearing with using a pushchair. The seat is comfortable, even for very little ones, and it reclines. Floss found the recline feature smooth and ‘really easy’ to operate.
That comfort extends to the person pushing it too – it involves very little effort. The wheels are smooth to manoeuvre and less flimsy than many of the designs in the travel buggy category. However, Floss didn’t think the wheels would be practical – especially with a younger baby – for off-road use. Meanwhile, the basket is roomy and easily fits a pack of nappies.
The Silver Cross Clic has the added benefit of being suitable from birth to four years old. This means you won’t have to invest in an expensive pram as well as a travel pushchair. Floss did flag that this may be less comfortable than a traditional pram with a lie-flat bassinet.
However, she says the Clic has more ‘versatility and a wide age range’ than traditional prams so it would get much more use. For this reason, and its competitive price point, we’ve named the Silver Cross Clic the best travel stroller of those we tested.
2. Joolz Aer
Our best premium travel stroller – a smart and stylish pushchair that prioritises baby’s comfort
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 6kg | Age Range: Newborn to 3 years
✅ One-handed fold
✅ Lots of extras
|❌Pricey but an investment buy|
Tested by: Charlotte Clarke and her 22-month-old daughter Adelaide
Nothing has been forgotten when it comes to the Joolz Aer. It has a smooth, one-handed folding mechanism. This involves pressing two buttons on the handle and watching it collapse concertina-style into itself.
‘My minor gripe is sometimes the buttons don’t engage on the first go,’ says our tester Charlotte. ‘However, I think you’d get the knack with regular use.’ The result, when folded down, is flat and tiny with a useful carry handle. This means you can hoist it up and carry it over your shoulder like a handbag.
‘When collapsed, the Aer is about a third of the size of my travel system,’ explains Charlotte. ‘That was a bit of a revelation.’ When upright, it’s light and smooth to push with relatively sturdy front wheels that swivel 360 degrees. ‘I could easily push my toddler one-handed,’ she adds. Additionally, there’s lots of padding in the seat area and multiple recline positions for naps on the go.
‘When Adelaide snoozed, I simply unzipped the back and gently lay her down. There was no fiddling with straps,’ continues Charlotte. Furthermore, the storage on the Joolz Aer is very impressive. It has a deep shopping basket, a bag hook on the handle, and an extra storage pocket at the back for personal items and valuables. ‘Stroller manufacturers often overlook how important storage is so I’m pleased it’s been given proper thought.’
The main issue with the Joolz Aer is the price. At £399, it’s a premium buggy and significantly more expensive than many other travel strollers. ‘This is probably a personal choice in terms of what you can afford,’ concludes Charlotte. ‘But if you are planning to use the Aer regularly or with several children, you’ll appreciate the extras. So it’s worth the price tag.’ As it had very few flaws and a truly luxurious feel, we’ve named the Joolz Aer our best travel stroller in the premium category.
3. Red Kite Baby Push Me 2U
Our best budget travel stroller – an affordable, lightweight pram that gets the basics right
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 5.6kg | Age range: 6 months to 3 years
✅ Easy to fold down
| ❌Unsuitable for overhead lockers
Tested by: Darryl Baker and her two children, aged 11 months and 33 months
The Red Kite Baby Push Me 2U stroller doesn’t come packed with innovations but it does have all the essentials that you need from a solid, reasonably priced travel pushchair. Our tester Darryl found the Push Me 2U a ‘lightweight, foldable stroller, perfect for taking out about and especially good for travel’.
This buggy is easy to fold and unfold, although Darryl thinks it’s quite long when collapsed and thus probably wouldn’t be allowed in the cabin on a flight. The stroller weighs 5.6kg and feels light and easy to steer.
Additionally, Darryl was impressed that the wheels are of good quality and seem robust and sturdy – especially for a travel stroller. ‘These are chunkier than others I have seen, so it can tackle bumps and uneven surfaces,’ she explains. Darryl’s daughters (aged 11 months and 2.5 years) tested this stroller and both seemed comfortable so it can be used by babies and toddlers alike.
There aren’t many travel strollers that come in under £50 but that’s one of the Push Me 2U’s big selling points. It’s also why we’ve named it the best travel stroller in our budget buy category. ‘It’s simple and effective and doesn’t cost the earth,’ says Darryl, who feels it offers good value for its price tag. She’d recommend this to friends who are after function over good looks (she isn’t a fan of the plum colour), and whose children no longer need to be cocooned in a heavy-duty pram.
4. Joie Tourist Stroller
Our best travel pushchair for taking on a plane – smart, light, and easy-to-fold
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 5.92kg | Age Range: Newborn to 3 years
✅ One-handed folding
✅ Adjustable handle
❌Seat a little uncomfortable
Tested by: Hollie Bond and her one-year-old Margot
The Joie Tourist gets all the essentials spot on. It’s lightweight, weighing just 6kg, and folds down so compactly that you can fit it in an overhead locker. Folding up and down is done with the simple press of a button, so you can do this one-handed while juggling a toddler. ‘It’s a breath of fresh air to have a pushchair that folds so beautifully and doesn’t make you huff and puff every time you get it out!’ said our tester Hollie.
As well as being easy to get up and down, it’s nice to drive, with an adjustable handle and lockable wheels. ‘As it’s so lightweight it does feel a little flimsy at times, but then it’s so light that you couldn’t expect anything else,’ adds Hollie. Where she did have a few gripes was with the comfort of the seat. ‘It’s quite hard and doesn’t have particularly deep sides to it, so isn’t the cosiest option,’ she explains.
The Joie Tourist also has multiple recline positions. This meant Hollie’s daughter could lie completely flat for naps. However, she had trouble putting it up straight and found that Margot leaned forwards in order to look out.
Also, Hollie felt this stroller might need some adapting for extreme weather. For example, you’d need a footmuff if it was cold and an additional sunshade in direct sunshine. Overall, Hollie thinks the Joie Tourist is a good option as a mid-range travel buggy. She would recommend it to busy parents who want a light, easy-to-use buggy for holidays or daily use.
5. Chicco Cheerio Stroller
Our best travel stroller for a compact fold – an exceptionally lightweight, mid-range buggy
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 5.6kg | Age Range: Newborn to 3 years | Price: £179.99
✅ One-handed folding
✅ Extremely lightweight
Tested by: Amelia Jean Jones and her two-year-old daughter Olga
Even for a travel stroller, the Chicco Cheerio is light. At 5.6kg, it’ss easy to lift in and out of a car boot, even if you’re pregnant like our tester Amelia. While she found it ‘so lightweight it can feel a bit out of control on rougher surfaces,’ she did appreciate that this was a trade-off and a sturdier stroller would come with added pounds.
Another highlight of the Cheerio is that it’s ‘seriously easy to fold up and down’. There’s a one-handed mechanism and it takes mere seconds to put up and down. When it is collapsed, it’s really small. ‘It’s remarkably compact (about half the size) compared to my last pram and slots neatly into a gap in the hallway,’ says Amelia. ‘That’s a relief, after two years of negotiating my way past a bigger pram and trying to squeeze it into the car boot.’
While the basics are good, Amelia had some issues with the extras: at 5ft 2in tall, she still found the handle too low and the rain cover was fiddly to attach. ‘The basket at the bottom is also really small with a metal bar that runs across it, meaning it’s difficult to fit my child’s nursery backpack in there,’ she says. ‘Buying a bag clip for the handlebars might be useful.’
Overall, Amelia would recommend this as one of the best travel strollers you can buy if you’re looking for something very lightweight and incredibly compact for either occasional or travel use. ‘It’s pretty simple but what it does it does well,’ she adds.
6. Cybex Libelle stroller
Our best travel stroller for manouevrability – mid-range, stylish, and oh-so-easy to push
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 5.9kg | Age Range: Six months to 4 years
✅ One-handed fold
✅Manoeuvrable in small spaces
|❌Not suitable from birth|
Tested by: Emma Winterschladen and her seven-month-old daughter Elphie
The Cybex Libelle is a nifty stroller with manoeuverable wheels and a light chassis. It offers a smooth ride, especially on pavements and shiny airport floors. Our tester Emma found it a great companion for journeys into town. ‘It proved an excellent addition to coffee mornings in small cafes,’ she says. ‘It can squeeze past tables far better than my normal stroller.’
It can be folded with one hand and goes down extremely small. Specifically, it’s compact enough for the overhead lockers on planes – which is the ultimate test for the best travel strollers. It is comfortable for both baby and pushee, with padded straps and a reclining seat, although this doesn’t go completely flat. It also has a two-option footrest to support tired little legs.
Emma didn’t think the Libelle would be suitable for off-road journeys. She also found the shopping basket a little on the small side. However, both of these factors contribute to the stroller’s extremely low weight. She also queried the fact that the stroller can be used from six months to the age of four. ‘It feels like it may be a little big for a six-month-old and perhaps wouldn’t be quite robust enough for a heavy toddler,’ she says.
In terms of value for money, Emma says she wouldn’t put this in the budget category. ‘It’s about £100 more than the cheapest strollers’, she says. However, she considers it a solid mid-range travel buggy. Emma has already recommended it to friends, primarily because of its compact size when folded.
7. Inglesina Quid2 stroller
Our best travel stroller for longevity – super-light, easy to fold and suitable from birth
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 5.9kg | Age Range: Birth to 4 years
✅ One-handed fold
✅Wide age range
Tested by: Grace Holliday and her seven-month-old daughter
Grace took the Inglesina Quid2 away with her on holiday to Devon. She used it as a travel alternative to her usual pram. ‘It comes in at just 5.9kgs,’ she says. ‘This is half the weight of our pram, and we can really tell the difference.’ She found it easy to steer, even in tricky places like shops and cafés. It handled both grass and smooth pavements well.
The Inglesina Quid2 boasts a one-handed folding and unfolding mechanism. Grace appreciates this feature but found it took practice to perfect. There are lots of elements of this travel stroller that Grace likes. In particular, she highlighted the reclining seat which you adjust with a toggle. She also commented on the extendable hood, which has a mesh window so you can keep an eye on your baby easily.
Grace would like the option to have her daughter facing her. However, she acknowledged that the stroller’s compactness and lightness would probably have to be compromised to make this possible. ‘The basket underneath is quite small but that also aids its compact design,’ she adds, noting that it does at least fit her baby’s change bag.
One of the big selling points of the Inglesina Quid2 is its wide age range. It’s suitable from birth to four years. Grace thinks its price (at the higher end of the mid-range bracket) is justified because you can use it for such a lengthy period. She has even recommended it to a friend who went straight out and bought it.
8. Didofy Aster 2
Our best travel stroller for tougher terrain – a robust and reliable lightweight all-rounder
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Stroller weight: 6.2kg | Age Range: Birth to 4 years
✅ Good value
✅ Lots of extras
✅ Wide age range
|❌ Not as compact as others|
Tested by: Charlotte Clarke and her 22-month-old daughter Adelaide
The Didofy Aster 2 travel stroller is ‘a great little run-around’, according to our tester. While you can get lighter, more stylish, and more compact travel strollers, the Aster 2 boasts a sturdy chassis that is as happy on bumpy country lanes as it is on smooth city streets. ‘It’s not the most compact buggy,’ says Charlotte. ‘But this means its wheels are larger than most and it can cope with a few bumps on a journey. As we live in the country, this is a huge bonus.’ The Aster 2 folds down with a simple, sliding motion on the handle. It concertinas down and then up again for assembly.
In terms of comfort, there are padded straps and a nicely padded seat, plus the ability to recline your baby. ‘I found the toggle to recline the seat a bit stiff, and I couldn’t manage to pull it enough, so Adelaide was sitting upright,’ adds Charlotte. This meant she had to lean forward a little to look out.’
This travel stroller has been designed for newborns through to four-year-olds, something that Charlotte thinks is fantastic: ‘If you can get away without having to buy a cumbersome travel system, that’s amazing.’
Included are lots of extras, and a footmuff, coffee cup holder, rain cover, and extendable hood all come as standard. ‘My standout feeling about this buggy is that, with all the extras and the wide age range, it does offer good value for money if you want a lightweight and easy-to-manoeuvre stroller for regular, everyday use,’ Charlotte concludes.
How to choose the best travel stroller for you
There are lots of things you need to consider when choosing the right lightweight pushchair. But remember that what suits your lifestyle or budget might not work for someone else.
The lightweight frame of a travel stroller is made for easy manoeuvrability, so you can quickly nip through bustling airports and crowded places. They’re designed to deal with all the hiccups that can make city life with a standard pushchair tricky, from navigating public transport to tackling uneven pavements, for instance. The best travel strollers are also light enough to carry up steps and compact enough to fit neatly beside you in a busy café.
Here’s what to look out for when you’re shopping for a travel stroller or lightweight pushchair:
The lighter a pushchair, the easier it is to transport – but very lightweight buggies might skimp on things like seat padding or have smaller wheels which can be difficult to manoeuvre on anything more challenging than smooth pavements.
If you’re planning on using travel strollers for a large proportion of time, you need to consider comfort for both you and your baby. Choose something that they’re comfortable enough to sleep in (especially if they are a light sleeper) and that has at least one recline position.
Many travel strollers can be used from birth – including some of those featured in this buying guide. However, some are not suitable until babies are around six months old. Therefore, it’s important to check and adhere to the age limits specified by the manufacturer. The NHS advises that strollers are only suitable for young babies if they have fully reclining seats so your baby can lie flat.
If you are planning on using your pushchair for trips home and abroad, how small it folds is a very important factor. When it comes to fitting it into the boot of your car or the overhead locker on a plane, the smaller the better. However, very compact travel strollers are often more expensive. So factor this in to your thinking if you are only planning to use them for tootling around the shops. Do you really want to pay more for a compact fold if you don’t need it?
To keep their weight and size down, travel pushchairs tend to have smaller wheels that work better on concrete than on grass. So look for strollers with bigger and thicker wheels if you think you need something more robust for off-road use.
Most travel strollers have world-facing seats. But a few have the option of both (at an extra cost). Toddlers generally like to look out at where they are going. However, if you have a younger baby, you might like the option of letting them look at you. Parent-facing stollers make it easy to interact with your baby and can encourage bonding and promote eye contact and language development skills as you engage face-to-face. You can also keep a close eye on your baby more easily with a parent-facing pushchair. This is handy when it comes to knowing if they need more sun cream or are getting too hot or cold.
If you are planning on using your travel pushchair frequently, make sure you look at what extras it comes with. Check if you need to pay extra for those. Accessories such as a rain cover and a full hood for protection from the sun are essentials for frequent use. However, these are a little less important if you are just going on a week’s holiday. Other extras such as roomy shopping baskets (space for all those holiday essentials) and coffee cup holders are ‘nice to haves’.
FAQ: What travel strollers are allowed on planes?
Children’s strollers and car seats are not counted in the standard baggage allowance. These can be checked in free of charge. You should check an airline’s specific criteria. But, as a general rule, as long as a pushchair or pram is fully collapsible, it is permitted on board an aircraft. It is usually checked in at the gate, stored in the hold, and then given to you at the aircraft door at the end of your flight. Some airlines will allow you to take a travel stroller on board if it fits in the overhead locker and there is space on the flight.
‘Every airline has different rules so always check with your specific airline before you fly,’ says Tiffany Norris, founder of The Mummy Concierge. ‘British Airways states that pushchairs that fold down into a carry bag, and are within the maximum hand baggage dimensions, can be taken on board in place of, but not in addition to, your larger cabin bag. It means the second you get off a plane you have a pram, rather than having to wait for it to arrive at baggage reclaim.’
FAQ: What’s the best travel stroller to take abroad?
If you’re planning on travelling abroad with your stroller, there are several things you need to consider. Firstly, you need a pushchair that is lightweight and folds compactly. Secondly, it should be easy to lift and carry. Finally, a design that can be collapsed and reassembled quickly and easily is an advantage.
The best travel stroller for you will depend on your destination and whether it’s hot or cold. If you’re going somewhere warm, a pushchair with mesh fabric for breathability so your child can stay cool is an advantage, for instance. In addition, make sure it comes with a sunshade to help prevent sunburn.
Alternatively, if you are going somewhere colder, take a rain cover. If this isn’t included with the pushchair, buy the cover designed by the brand for your pushchair’s model. Generic covers are available and usually cheaper to buy. But the fit will not be as good. This means there’s a higher chance that it will let water in, for instance.
The best travel strollers 2022 overall
Best travel stroller overall: Silver Cross Clic – John Lewis | £225.00
Best premium travel stroller: Joolz Aer – Amazon | £399.00
Best budget travel stroller: Red Kite Baby Push Baby 2U – Amazon | £44.99
Best for taking on a plane: Joie Tourist – John Lewis | £200.00
Best for compact folding: Chicco Cheerio – Very | £179.99
Best for manouevrability: Cybex Libelle – Amazon | £179.00
Best for longevity: Inglesina Quid 2 – Amazon | £279.39
Best for rougher terrain: Didofy Aster 2 – Baby Planet | £299.00
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