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 very 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. ‘But don’t let that hold you back from visiting friends and family further afield or planning holidays and adventures,’ says our Consumer Editor, Heidi Scrimgeour. ‘Lightweight buggies are amazing feats of engineering and design, and can make travelling with a baby so much easier, whether you’re flying long-haul or hopping on and off trains and buses closer to home.’
Whether you’re looking for a lightweight buggy strictly for holiday use only or want a nippier set of wheels to take to the shops, on the school run, or to the park, we’ve identified the best travel strollers and lightweight pushchairs for your needs.
The best travel strollers 2022
1. Silver Cross Clic Stroller
The best travel stroller overall – light, compact and suitable from birth to four years
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 6kg | Age: Birth 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 can pop it up with one hand in a literal second and it folds just as easily. It’s super compact and has a handy shoulder strap which Floss found especially useful as she navigated the London Underground with a 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 for comfy snoozes on the go – Floss found the recline feature smooth and ‘really easy’ to operate.
That comfort extends to the person pushing it too – manoeuvering seems almost effortless. The wheels offer a smooth ride and are less flimsy than other designs in the travel strollers category. However, Floss doesn’t think the wheels would be practical – especially with a younger baby – for off-roading. Meanwhile, the basket is roomy and easily fits a pack of nappies.
The Silver Cross Clic has the added benefit of being suitable right from birth all the way up to four years old. This means you won’t have to invest in an expensive pram as well for the first six months of your baby’s life – the Clic can cope with it all.
And while it might not be as plush or luxurious as a traditional pram with a lie-flat bassinet, the Silver Cross Clic has more ‘versatility and a wide age range’ compared to traditional prams. That means it offers better flexibility and longevity. For this reason, and because of its competitive price point, we’ve named the Silver Cross Clic the best travel stroller of those we tested.
2. Joolz Aer
The best premium travel stroller – a smart and stylish pushchair that prioritises baby’s comfort
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 6kg | Age: Newborn to 3 years
✅ Easy to fold with one hand
✅ Compact design
✅ Lots of useful 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 that 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 own travel system,’ explains Charlotte. ‘It was a bit of a revelation that pushchairs could be this compact.’
When upright, it’s light and smooth to push with relatively sturdy front wheels that swivel 360 degrees. ‘I could easily push my toddler in this with one hand,’ adds Charlotte. Additionally, there’s lots of padding in the seating 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.
The storage options on the Joolz Aer are particularly 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. But if you can stretch to it, Charlotte feels it’s money well spent. ‘If you are planning to use the Aer regularly or for several children, you’ll appreciate the extras,’ she says. ‘So it’s definitely worth the price tag.’
With very few flaws and a truly luxurious feel, the Joolz Aer is our pick of the best travel stroller in the premium category.
3. Red Kite Baby Push Me 2U
Our best budget travel stroller – an affordable, lightweight buggy that gets the basics right
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 5.6kg | Age: 6 months to 3 years
✅ Very affordable
✅ Light enough to carry
✅ Easy to fold down
| ❌Unsuitable for overhead lockers
❌Small shopping basket
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 in 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.
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 they can tackle bumps and uneven surfaces,’ explains Darryl. Her daughters (aged 11 months and 2.5 years) tested this stroller and both seemed comfortable so it can be comfortably 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 Baby Tourist Signature Pushchair
Our best travel pushchair for taking on a plane – smart, light, and easy-to-fold
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 5.92kg | Age: Newborn to 3 years
✅ One-handed folding
✅ Light to carry
✅ Adjustable handle
❌Seat a little basic
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!’ says 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. You’d need a footmuff if it was cold and an additional sunshade in direct sunlight. Overall, Hollie thinks the Joie Tourist is a good option as a mid-range travel buggy. She would particularly recommend it to busy parents who want a light, easy-to-use buggy for holidays or daily use.
5. Chicco Cheerio Pushchair
Our best travel stroller for a compact fold – an exceptionally lightweight, mid-range buggy
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 5.6kg | Age: Newborn to 3 years
✅ One-handed fold
✅ Extremely lightweight
✅ Compact design
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’s 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 likely 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 also really small. ‘It’s remarkably compact (about half the size) compared to my last pram and slots neatly into a gap in my hallway,’ says Amelia. ‘That’s a relief, after two years of negotiating my way past a bigger pram and trying to squeeze it into a small 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 solve that.’
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 manoeuvrability – mid-range, stylish, and oh-so-easy to push
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 5.9kg | Age: Six months to 4 years
✅ One-handed fold
✅ Compact design
✅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 lightweight frame It offers a smooth ride, especially on pavements and shiny airport floors. Our tester Emma found it a great companion for her 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 can.’
It’s extremely small when folded, and you can do it with one hand. 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 heavier 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 travel strollers’, she says. However, she considers it a solid mid-range buggy that’s ideal for travel use. 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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 5.9kg | Age: 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 narrow shop aisles and cafés. It handled both grass and smooth pavements well.
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. The Inglesina Quid2 boasts a one-handed folding and unfolding mechanism, which Grace found took practice to perfect.
Grace would prefer a buggy with 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 also 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 – 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. Would she recommend it to a friend? She already has – and they 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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 6.2kg | Age: 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 a bumpy country lane 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 easy storage and re-assembly.
In terms of comfort, there are padded straps and a well-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 – a design feature that Charlotte thinks is fantastic. ‘If you can get away without having to buy a cumbersome travel system for use from birth, that’s amazing,’ she says.
Included are lots of extras and a footmuff, coffee cup holder, rain cover, and extendable hood all come as standard. ‘With all the extras and the wide age range, this represents good value for money if you want a lightweight and easy-to-manoeuvre stroller for regular, everyday use,’ Charlotte concludes.
Best travel strollers: how to choose the right one for you
There’s a lot to consider when shopping for the right lightweight pushchair. But remember that what suits your lifestyle or budget might not work for someone else. Above all, choose a travel stroller with a lightweight frame and wheels made for easy manoeuvrability, so that you can quickly nip through bustling airports and navigated your way round crowded destinations. Travel strollers are designed to deal with all the hiccups that can make city life with a standard pushchair a little tricky, from navigating public transport to tackling uneven pavements. The best travel strollers are also light enough to carry up train station steps and compact enough to fit neatly beside you in a busy café – or even in the overhead locker of a train or plane.
Here’s what else to look out for when you’re shopping for a travel stroller:
The lighter a pushchair, the easier it is to carry, lift and steer – but factor in that 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.
Comfort for both you and your baby is paramount when it comes to a travel stroller. Choose one with a spacious seat they’ll be happy to nap in (especially if they are a light sleeper) and make sure it 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. 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 that your baby can lie flat when sleeping.
How small a travel stroller folds is a very important factor. When it comes to fitting it into the boot of your car alongside luggage or squeezing it into the overhead locker on a plane, the smaller the better. However, very compact travel strollers are typically expensive so factor this into your thinking if you’re only planning to use it for tootling around the shops. It’s well worth paying more for a compact fold if it’s going to make travelling with a baby less stressful.
To keep their weight and size down, travel pushchairs tend to have smaller wheels that work better on concrete than on grass. If you need something more robust for off-road use or plan to drag it across the beach, look for a travel stroller designed with this in mind – bigger and thicker wheels are a must.
Most travel strollers have world-facing seats, meaning the child is facing the direction of travel rather than looking at the parent. Toddlers generally like to look out at where they are going but if you have a younger baby, you might like the option of letting them look at you. Parent-facing strollers 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.
Whether you’re planning on using your pushchair frequently or just for holiday use, make sure you check which extras it comes with. Do you need to pay more for accessories such as a rain cover and a full hood for protection from the sun? These are essentials for a travel stroller. Other accessories =such as a roomy shopping basket (space for all those holiday essentials) and a coffee cup holder are nice extras.
Which 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 but you should always check an airline’s specific criteria before you travel. As a general rule, as long as a pushchair or pram is fully collapsible, it is permitted on board an aircraft. You can check it in at the gate and store it in the hold, and then it’ll be 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 of The Mmmy 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. That means the second you get off a plane you have a pram, rather than having to wait for it to arrive at baggage reclaim.’
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. 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.
How we tested these travel strollers
Our Consumer Editor came up with the shortlist of the products featured in this roundup based on her product knowledge and industry research. (As a mum of three and a parenting journalist for 15 years, what she doesn’t know about baby products isn’t worth knowing.) She looked at the latest travel stroller offering from the market-leading brands. Then, she selected the product line-up on the basis that they weigh less than 7kg), fold compactly, and cover a broad range of price points to appeal to all budgets.
Next, we called on our pool of reliable parent testers and assigned each of them a travel stroller to review with their baby. They tested the product rigorously for at least ten days, in a variety of weather conditions and on different types of terrain. After this, they gave each product a rating out of five for overall performance. Also, they provided comprehensive feedback on key factors including design appeal, manouevrability, functionality (how easy is it to assemble and to fold / unfold), portability (how compact it is when folded) and value for money.
Best travel strollers 2022 at a glance:
Best travel stroller overall: Silver Cross Clic – John Lewis | £200.00
Best premium travel stroller: Joolz Aer – Amazon | £419.00
Best budget travel stroller: Red Kite Baby Push Baby 2U – Argos | £50
Best travel stroller for airline travel: Joie Tourist – John Lewis | £200.00
Best travel stroller for a compact fold: Chicco Cheerio – Very | £179.99
Best travel stroller for easy manouevrability: Cybex Libelle – Argos | £200
Best travel stroller for longevity: Inglesina Quid 2 – Amazon | £276.27
Best travel stroller for tougher terrain: Didofy Aster 2 – Baby Planet | £299.00
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