Best compact strollers for travel: Lightweight pushchairs to take on holiday

·10-min read
 (Inglesina)
(Inglesina)

When you first place your little one in their newborn carrycot or pram, it’s hard to believe they’ll ever grow out of it. But, as with much of the paraphernalia that comes with the territory, it doesn’t last forever, especially once your sprog is walking, talking and well on their way to being a toddler.

A transition that many parents find useful to make is that of travel system (carrycot, pram etc) to a lightweight stroller – particularly if a holiday or travel is on the cards. Typically, lightweight strollers weigh considerably less than prams designed for newborns, and take up far less storage in the boot of your car and home.

They can often be put up and down single-handedly too which, as anyone with a wriggling toddler can attest, is a life-saver. Many lightweight strollers also come with the added bonus of being able to compact down into cabin-friendly size luggage: ideal if you’re planning to head on a plane or a train in coming weeks.

While owning a travel system designed from birth and then additionally buying a lightweight stroller may not be an option for everyone, especially when it comes to storage space and budget, the good news is that many models on the market do come with lie-flat capabilities or are travel system compatible, meaning they can quite equally be used from birth if you just want to stick to just one pram.

Overall, we were looking for models that were lightweight, portable, compact and foldable – transporting a toddler from A to B can be hard work enough as it is, so we were looking for strollers that would make the task in hand easier on all accounts.

BABYZEN YOYO2

The BABYZEN YOYO2 has been sweeping up awards and accolades across the board and given how lightweight, compact and easy to manoeuvre it is, we can easily see why.

With it’s easy one-hand fold and lightweight steering, it’s a seriously stylish and nifty piece of kit which would be ideal for city-dwelling parents. This compact unit (fold size of 52 x 44 x 18cm), really comes into its own when it comes to pushing your little one along pavements, hopping on public transport, or stowing away in the overhead locker of a plane.

Aside from acting as a stroller, there’s a number of ‘packs’ you can buy to turn it into a newborn lie-flat model, as well as the option to purchase accessories such as rain covers, mosquito nets, parasols and a car seat. There’s also a buggy board in the range, meaning it can grow with your family, too.

We love the colours in the range, too. With shades including taupe, red, peppermint, ginger and toffee, it certainly feels like one of the most modern and stylish prams on the market, offering style as well as substance. While it may not be suitable for those who are looking to explore more uneven terrains, it’s a fantastic option for urban living.

 (YOYO2)
(YOYO2)

£399 | Mamas & Papas

Mamas & Papas Airo Pushchair, Grapefruit

This recently-launched model from retailer Mamas & Papas ticks all of the boxes when it comes to being a lightweight stroller, but it’s also a lot more robust than some models we tested, with wheels that can withhold bumpier terrains compared to others.

Thanks to its lie-flat capabilities, it has the added bonus of being suitable for newborns (there are packs with a carrycot can also be purchased separately) and also compatible with car seats (with the use of Airo car seat adaptors).

The Airo can be easily put up and collapsed with one hand, and also comes with a built in strap so it can be carried like a rucksack when folded.

The fabric is high quality and soft to touch, and the footrest, handle height and straps can all be adjusted easily. There’s also a lie-back option, which is great for nap times. The colourways are all so nice one of the hardest decisions you make will be choosing which colour you want out of Mint, Grapefruit, Black, Grey and a special edition Rose Gold Dusk.

 (Mamas & Papas)
(Mamas & Papas)

£399 | Mamas & Papas

Cybex Libelle

If it’s a compact stroller you’re after, this does exactly what it says on the tin. Weighing just 5.9kg and measuring L32 x W20 x h48cm, the Cybex Libelle can fit into overhead compartments when collapsed as well as under train seats and restaurant tables.

Opening the pram is so straightforward it barely requires more than a flick of the wrist.

Handily, you can hang bags and shopping off the handlebars too, and also hold the handlebars in different places thanks to the bar running between the two handles.

While it’s not suitable for newborns, it can be used from six months and there’s an adjustable strap at the back of the pram if your little one wants to lie flat/have a snooze. We particularly rate the fact that the fabric covers are machine washable at 30°c and the bright and bold colourways which include Magnolia Pink and River Blue.

 (Cybex)
(Cybex)

£199 | Boots

Didofy Aster

It’s easy to tell that this is a stroller that has been designed by parents. It’s a well-thought-out, high quality model that takes all of the hard work out of transporting your little one.

Its MagicFold capabilities live up to its impressive name: it’s easy to fold and unfold with just the press of a button. It also comes with a generous storage basket – one of the roomiest out of the models we tested – making it ideal for stowing away coats, bags, snacks and all of the paraphernalia that comes with having a toddler. It also comes with the added bonus of being able to be used from birth up until 25kg.

It weighs 6.2kg, and is recognised as hand luggage on a number of airlines too – we love the handy shoulder strap which means it can be carried like a bag when folded up. The break operates with a lightweight tap of the foot

While the colourways available aren’t as bright and eye-catching as other models on the market, they are sleek and stylish nonetheless – think muted olive and grey tones. All in all, it’s a seriously good-looking pram.

 (Didofy)
(Didofy)

£233.75 | Amazon

Inglesina Quid2

One of the lightest models we tested, the Italian-designed Inglesina Quid2 weighs in at just 5.9kg. On top of being extremely portable, lightweight and compact, this nifty pushchair has bags of style.

Despite being nimble and lightweight, it comes with a roomy and spacious seat for little ones – one of the largest out of the models we tested.

It’s small enough to fit in the luggage compartment on a plane (and comes with an optional carrier bag) and offers one-hand fold for ease. Impressively, it holds its own with an older toddler on board thanks to its front wheel suspension, and is suitable from birth to 17kg, making it a worthwhile investment.

We particularly rate the look and feel of the Italian fabrics used, and the fact that the shopping basket has reflective piping – especially useful for evening strolls. The stroller’s hood is made of anti-UV treated UPF 50+ fabric too, making a great stroller for holidays.

 (QUID2)
(QUID2)

£259 | Diffusion Kids

Ickle Bubba Globe Travel Stroller

Weighing in at just 6.4kg, this nifty model can also compact down one-handed and fit into the overhead locker on most planes, making it a great contender for trips abroad. In spite of being light and compact, it has a sturdy and robust frame. Thanks to its front and back suspension, steering it couldn’t be easier – even when it’s transporting a toddler and a basket full of shopping.

Suitable from birth to three years, this is a great option if you’re looking to buy one model to see you through from newborn to toddler stage. Handily, it’s also travel seat adaptable, but you will need to buy separate adapters for that.

Thoughtful touches include a storage pouch on the back of the pram, so you can have items such as snacks – or even your passport – to hand, and when compacted down. It also comes with a carry strap so you can hold it on your shoulder, plus a leather one which makes transporting it comfortable.

The Globe Stroller comes with the pushchair itself and a rain cover, but there’s also the option of buying additional extras such as a cup holder, seat liner, footmuff, buggy organiser and storage bag.

There’s a choice of a rose gold or silver chassis, plus a number of seat colourways including denim, khaki and black – all of which look sleek and stylish. We particularly rate the wipe-clean leatherette handles so you can keep the pram looking as good as when you unboxed it.

 (Ickle Bubba)
(Ickle Bubba)

£199 | Ickle Bubba

Nuna Triv

Boasting a plethora of celebrity fans from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Kylie Jenner, Nuna has established itself as a favourite amongst the stars since being set up by a father-of-two in Amsterdam in 2007.

The Nuna Triv is thoughtfully designed, and Nuna’s most lightweight model. Available in Ebony, Frost and Mocha, this stroller is compact and sleek and can be folded with one hand, and also stand on its own once folded.

At 8.8kg, it weighs more than some of the strollers we tested, but it’s still lightweight enough to be suitable for travel, and its compact fold is impressive – although you’ll want to check airline guidelines as this one is most likely too big to stow away in overhead luggage.

We like its versatility in particular; while it’s lightweight and compact, the seat can be both front and rear-facing, and it can fold down facing either direction. It’s also travel system compatible, so it can be used from birth, and Nuna PIPA series car seats can be attached to its adaptors.

Its spring suspension and rubber tyres also mean it can tackle uneven payments better than some of the more lightweight models we tested.

 (Nuna)
(Nuna)

£500 | Boots

Micralite ProFold

Suitable from birth and up to 15kg, the Micralite ProFold stroller is a nippy, efficient and affordable model. Available in Graphite and Carbon, it’s also one for style-conscious parents.

Airplane cabin approved (check individual guidelines), this nifty model folds down small enough to fit into cabin overhead lockers, and comes with a handy carry strap, too. While it’s not the lightest model on the market, at just 7kg it’s lightweight enough that it’s not too cumbersome to carry.

It’s easy to fold one-handed, and comes with a generous basket underneath, too. We were also impressed with the quality of the fabrics used, from the cushioned handle made from vegan leather to the soft, textured seat liner (which happens to be reversible, and washable too). There’s also a storage pouch on the back of the stroller’s hood for storing essentials.

The Micralite ProFold’s shock-absorbing suspension also means it can tackle kerbs with ease, which is impressive for a model of its size and weight.

 (MICRALITE)
(MICRALITE)

£195 | Micralite

Verdict

For its portability, comfortability, compact fold and range of accessories, it’s hard to beat the BABYZEN YOYO. The Ickle Bubba Globe Stroller also deserves a mention for its affordability, ease of use and good looks.

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