Looking for a Small Travel or Cabin Sized Stroller?- Read This

If you buy through our links we may receive a commission at no expense to you. Please see our Ethics page.

Travel strollers have come so far in the past few years. One handed folds and collapsing to the size of a handbag (nearly) are all possible with travel strollers. However before you spend hundreds on a stroller for your week in the sun don’t get drawn in by the gimmicks, smallest and lightest isn’t necessarily best! You want to be able to push your chair with some comfort over uneven terrain and your baby has to be comfortable. Also wouldn’t it be great if you could still use it next year and its not broken and bent into bits? Before you buy Read this.

Best Strollers For Travel | What are their Pros & Cons For Flying?

Best Value all round BabyJogger City Tour 2

Best cabin sized from Birth Ergobaby Metro+ and ErgobabyMetro Plus Deluxe

Best Super mini cabin sized Joolz Aer +

Best for The environment Joolz Aer +

Best everyday cabin sized Inglesina Quid 2

Flight Cabin Sized Strollers- are they necessary?

No. But they are really really helpful, here’s why;

Airlines vary as to what size and weight they allow on as cabin luggage, 55cmx40cmx 25cm including all straps and any carry bag is a general guide for what most airlines allow. It’s important to check with your Airline before you travel as this can vary quite significantly. Whether a carry on stroller is a priority or not for you might depend on a few things:

Are you travelling solo? Do you have a second child? Do you need to fit a lot in your car boot? Are you traveling in lots of public transport?- If so, definitely get a good travel stroller. Does it need to be cabin sized? not necessarily, but it’s important that its a compact stroller but not at the expense of maneuverability, ease of folding and infant comfort.

Also Read: ErgoMetro+ stroller review

Should I gate check my stroller?

Will you airline allow you to gate check a stroller. For travel newbies this is when you say at check in “I need to gate check this stroller” they will then allow you to use the stroller until you are boarding the plane ( actually entering the plane) you then need to fold it put it in its bag ( highly recommended)- label it and the bag with your special Gate Check label and hand it to the air steward. You then carry your baby to the seat. EASY!

Air line rules on gate checking

At this point you are wondering “what’s the point of a carry on?” Wait….

…You get to your destination everybody is getting up you have a tired baby, you have hand luggage and wipes and baby toys and snacks, pullovers a stray baby sock and all the other bits you might have used on a flight you have a baby on your hip your bag on your shoulder and a hundred people behind you,all trying to get off a flight. You then have to carry your baby and wait to collect your stroller from the bag carousel. With my first child, travelling solo from the UK to a tiny French airport solo, this was no issue. I had my Baby Bjorn skipped her in I skipped off that plane popped up my single handed fold up and down City jogger (older version) and wheeled her to a taxi with my lightweight travel car seat and a back back almost singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” and feeling very smug.

There is a saying “Pride comes before a fall!” That fall came with baby number 2. Oh my! He was so much bigger and heavier and was never still, those chunky thighs bounced and kicked incessantly, he was not keen on air travel and liked to let everybody know! Not only this but number 1 still wanted the stroller and was still quite small so we needed to check in a double stroller but the small carry on was really helpful whilst getting from the plane to the luggage carousel and then waiting and waiting and waiting for luggage (including our double stroller) that when in did arrive arrived looking like it had been thrown from the plane!. Without that travel stroller and the Baby Bjorn we would have been lost. We actually survived on that holiday fine with the Baby Bjorn and the light weight stroller.

I learnt some Important lessons on this trip:

1. A  good Baby Carrier is an essential item

2. Travelling Lightweight reduces stress

3. Always put a stroller into a travel bag if Gate checking it.

4. What works for one baby won't necessarily work for all.

5.. NEVER EVER assume your toddler is in the pushchair you are holding onto ( luggage carousels look like lots of fun!) But that's another story

In summary – flight cabin sized strollers are great if flying, not essential but yes they do make life so much easier. However, if you are going on a trip where there will be lots of walking on old possibly cobbled streets or uneven terrain you may want a stroller with a good strong chassi, better suspension and bigger wheels.You could consider hiring a larger stroller for the week if this is you. For Infants under 1 in most circumstances a good travel stroller and a Baby Carrier will be all you need.

Some lightweight strollers prioritize size over anything else. Some of the lightest strollers have problems with durability goes out the window as does comfort. In making the stroller as small as possible the frame as many additional folding parts that mean it is more susceptible to warping and bending. Similarly one conderation with almost all strollers that are intended for cabin sized carry ons it the the size of wheel becomes a compromise, which can make them uncomfortable to push and mover over uneven terrain.

The Uppa Baby Minu is one of the only brands that is just small enough for cabin regulations that I would recommend for daily use after your holiday, due to its high levels of suspension and strong chassis.

The Inglesina Quid 2 Is another. Its very very light at less that 6kg. While its is larger that some other brands this offers ut longevity, maneuverability and comfort for you and baby and it will fit in the overhead of most airplane cabins.

Can you take any stroller on a plane?

You can take any sized stroller on holiday but larger strollers will need to be check it as hold luggage with your larger bags and may count towards your baggage limit, so it’s worth checking with your airline.

  • maximum length of 22 in (56 cm), width of 18 in (45 cm) and depth of 10 in (25 cm)

What size stroller can I take on a plane?

There are limits on the size of stroller that can be gate checked onto a plane. These are:

  • Maximum dimension size including wheels when fully folded:
    Height 38cm/15 in
    Length 117cm /46 in
    Depth 38cm/15 in

If a stroller is larger than this or heavier than 50 lbs it will need to go in as hold luggage and will be classed in most airlines as part of your luggage allowance.

We recommended getting a good bag for your stroller to protect it if it being checked in as either gate or hold luggage.

What stroller can be taken on as cabin baggage?

Inglesina Quid (most), Babyzen Yoyo, Joolz Aer+, Bugaboo Butterfly, Silver Cross Jet 3, BabyJogger City Mini (with wheels off), Ergobaby Metro+.

Also Read ErgoBabyMetro+ Review here

Can you put a stroller in an overhead bin?

If it is folded and fits within your airline’s hand luggage guidelines.

Does it cost to take a stroller on a plane?

If it is within the gate check in guidelines or less it is normally free. Check with your airline.

Do you have to fold the stroller in airport security?

Often yes- This is one major reason why I don’t recommend travelling with your regular all terrain or larger stroller/ pram.

The weight limits to take a stroller on a plane as cabin luggage vary between airlines

American airlines

British Airways

City Breaks and Car travel

For a City break travelling on a train, size remains and important feature, being able to store a stroller on a train, in front of you or in the often overloaded luggage section or similarly into the boot of a car or taxi will all the other bags means that it’s an important feature. However maneuverability and folding mechanism becomes equally important. For train travel a single handed fold becomes more important as you have the added difficulty of getting on and off the train. For baby’s 4 months and up the Inglesina Quid is a great option as it is slimline, strong and durable, robust for multi terrain and has one handed fold and unfold for ease when solo traveling for whilst carrying baby, bags and other children. Unlike its more expensive competitors it also has a raincover included. What’s also really lovely about this stroller is that it has a longer than average sunshade, which is really useful for hot weather.


Carryable is anything under 20lbs is carryable for most people, but most airlines won’t allow carry on luggage over 10kg and this can vary between 7-11kg dependent on which airline you are travelling with. Some may not queck the weight of your carry on at all if its the right size. If weight is the only thing you care about and you are only going to using your stroller for really short periods around an airport or train station the Joolz Aer.

Quick fold

Travelling solo, baby on hip, bag over arm you NEED to be able to fold a stroller one handed and fold it out quickly too. The Joolz Aer and BabyJogger City Tour 2, Silver Cross Jet and Nuna TRVL can all genuinely be folded with one hand.

The Nuna TRVL wins above all other strollers on its self folding mechanism. Yes is folds itself, you just press a button, and stands on its own, its really light at 13LBS /6KG, fits in the storage compartments or most airlines. It is only suitable from 6 months old as it doesn’t have a flat recline, but it is compatible with a Nuna travel system and the Nuna Pippa lite Infant car seat, which if you are using it in conjunction with a baby carrier would be fine for shorter trips. (Remember that your baby shouldn’t be in a car seat for longer than two hours). If your Baby is older than 6 months this is a brilliant option. You can buy this stroller from Magic Beans in the US and from John Lewis in UK.

Stands folded

Nuna TRVL, Inglesina Quid 2 and Silver Cross 2 and Ergobaby Metro+ all stand folded without getting the fabrics on the ground.

if you are holding a baby you don’t want to have to hold the thing up, you want to be able to fold it and it to stand independently without getting the fabrics dirty.

Easy to carry

Some have stiff handles that are designed to sling over your shoulder and others have straps. Personally at 5ft 2 I like the ones with straps best, if i’m having to carry it far.

If you are on a beach holiday is also really hand to be able to quickly fold up a stroller and carry it onto a beach.


You will want to purchase a travel bag for your stroller if you are putting it on a plane to protect it, especially if you are gate checking it

One of the issues with really lightweight strollers/pushchairs is that the focus on light weight and small means that they have a lot of additional moving parts which can buckel and twist. They also have very small wheels and lack suspension so are only really suitable for inside surfaces or very even city surfaces. Take these on a holiday where you are pushing it on uneven terrain and many will have a short life span as a result and are not easily repairable.

I would prioritise chassis strength over having the lightest on the market it needs to be functional for its purpose not gimmicky


Some super lightweight brands compromise on being lightweight over your baby’s comfort which is going to annoy you if your baby is fussy and uncomfortable. Having a good size sun canopy and the ability to have additional features such as a cup holder or extra storage can make travelling a lot easier. If you are on a hot holiday for example a tiny sun canopy is going to make naps in the stoller really hard work.

Some lightweight strollers have handles or carry straps whilst others have shoulder straps. Some shoulder straps can make for a awkward walking position which may not be good fir you if you have back pain or need to additionally carry your baby.

Lightweight travel strollers often have small wheels. This can lead to discomfort in pushing the stroller and discomfort for your baby on rough terrain. Consider the suspension and wheel size of your stroller to get a good balance between compact design and the potential to fit into small storage spaces and overhead lockers in public transportation, and having a comfortable ride. This is particularly relevant for some of the lightest travel strollers.

A deep recline is a very important feature for an infant travel stroller as newborn babies need to be laid flat until four months of age to prevent suffocation, due to an inability to open airways correctly when sitting up. However it is still important when considering a stroller for toddlers as getting a toddler to nap in a stroller is much easier if they are laid flat in a stroller and securely strapped in with a 5 point harness. The Ergobaby Metro+ is a great option for longevity offering a good sized seat that could last you until your child is four years old which is very useful for holiday stroller.

Whereas there is no such thing as the perfect stroller the ErgoBaby Metro+ get very close with with its only drawback being that the seat does not parent face which is a lovely feature to have when considering a stroller for toddlers as it allows you to chat to your child. However it does tick every other box on the must have option making it my top recommendation.

Car seat Compatible

Most strollers can be adapted to fit an infant car seat but some work best with certain brands. We have listed these for you.

What’s the difference between a stroller a pushchair and a pram?

Strollers are usually lighter weight and do not always lay flat which means most are not suitable without additional attachments from birth. Pushchairs and Strollers are two words for the same thing and a Pram is an shortening of an old fashioned Perambulator referring to a four wheeled bassinet to aid a mother in Perambulating meaning to stroll around with pleasure. Prams in stroller/pushchair terms today are normally larger than strollers/pushchairs and certainly have a lay flat option or an attachable bassinet suitable for a newborn baby. However, in recent years many parents are ditching the larger pram style stroller and spending more money on a regularly stroller that might have a newborn attachment. Some compact travel strollers such as Ergobaby Metro+ offer both compact travel stroller and cosy pram features making them a great choice fir a regular stroller for everyday and a travel stroller.

Storage space can be an important deciding feature when considering a stroller. Traditional prams or larger expensive strollers tend to have a lot of storage space which is obviously a downside to a stroller with a compact fold.

Check out Magic Beans for a useful Infant Car Seat compatibility chart

When can I use a stroller instead of a pram?

This depends of the model some strollers are compatible without any additional attachments from birth such as the ErgoBabyMetro+ and ErgoBabyMetro+ Dulux which is basically a posher version of the cheaper model. Some Strollers companies will tell you that a stroller is suitable from birth with an attachable infant car seat, which is a useful addition, however it’s highly unlikely that if you are travelling that your infant is going to be in the infant car seat for less than 2 hours which is the maximum recommended time for an infant in a cra seat. Therefore if your are travelling with an infant under 6 months its worth buying a baby carrier which makes travelling a lot easier and consider a stroller that either has a bassinet attachment or is suitable from birth. We have compared one of our favourites the ErgoBabyMetro+ and ErgoBabyMetro+ Dulux with other top sellers that are cabin sized and suitable from birth. Follow the link below for more detail.

Top Tip: Make sure you know how to fit your infant car seat without the base properly before you travel.

Travel Pram for planes

Stroller ModelWhat’s in the boxSizeweightfoldStands when foldedcomfortnewborn approvedParent Echo RatingSustainabilityProsCons
Inglesina Quid 2Wheels bumper bar , raincover‎30 x 18.3 x 40.6 inches
‎13 pounds
One hand fold, two hand open44 monthsBest All Round stroller
Babyzen YoYostroller, canopy, zip pocket‎19 x 16 x 5 inches
‎9.9 lbs
2 handed fold, one handed open4yes With carry cotBest longstandingvery light and small, comes with rain cover and bag, good fold only for occasional use on smooth terrain
Silver Cross Jet 3stoller, bagL55cm W30cm H20cm
Baby Jogger City Tour 2Stroller, wheels, carry bag37.75 x 19.6 x 39.5 inches14.3 lbs3Best Valueflat recline,
easy to push
needs wheels removing to be cabin sized
BugaBoo ButterflyStroller and canopy34.25 x 17.32 x 37.8 inches16.7 lbs with seat3
Joolz Aer PlusJoolz Aer +, raincover, travel bag53,5cm x
45cm x
6 kg/13LBs4Comes with rain cover and travel bag, great warranty, small when folded, newborn approved with carrycot, folds with carry cot, strong chassisdifficult recline
Ergo Metro +
Stroller, Sunshade, Weather shield
54cm x 25cm x 44cm7.8kgOne hand to fold and pick up, second hand needed to secureyes5yes, without additional
Best cabin sized from birthVery comfortable, padded seat, near flat recline suitable for newborns, comes, also seat size is larger and longer than most meaning it will be useful for older children (up to around 4) or toddlers.
strong chassis, adjustable handle
smaller than average sun shade, larger than some, small wheels so its not great on gravel/ broken pavement

If you are travelling with a baby under 6 months you need the stroller to be suitable from birth- not with a car seat attachment but on its own.

Best travel strollers for flying

Uppababy Minu, Inglesina Quid, , joolz aer plus, BugaBoo Butterfly, BabyJogger City Tour 2, Babyzen YoYo, ErgoBabyMetro+

By definition prams are suitable from birth and have a fully flat recline.

Baby Jogger City Tour 2, suitable with carry cot

Babyzen YoYo

Babyzen Yoyo or Baby Jogger City Tour 2 the two most highly recommended cabin sized approved strollers. with the Joolz Aer + and Ergo Baby Metro being close runners up

Joolz Aer Plus suitable form birth with carrycot

Ergobaby Metro+

If you have a baby under 6 months and are concerned about airline cabin size compatibility, all these 4 brands either have accessorize that will make flat seat into a pramette or have a separate carrycot to make them suitable for newborn.

Some reviews, stores and manufacturers will tell you that a 6 month plus stroller can be acceptable for a newborn with an infant car seat. Your infant is not safe to be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours which is unlikely if this is your only option whilst travelling on holiday.

Similarly, it’s really important that newborns can lay flat in their stroller due to the risk of asphyxiation, therefore please don’t be mislead into thinking you can use your stroller against the manufacturer’s guidelines and out your infant in a stroller that isn’t certified for use for their age. There is and increased risk of SIDS.

What is the Best Cabin Approved Stroller?

Babyzen YoYo

If your baby is 3/4 months old The Inglesina Quid 2. If your baby is over 6 months for me it would be a difficult choice between the Inglesina Quid 2 and the Nuna TRVL and UppaBaby Minu. Which will give you an everyday stroller that suitable for all types of travel.

The Nuna Trvl™ has a really unique self folding mechanism and it folds into a standing position making it really easy for travel. It has larger wheels than some of the other models making it really easy to push on uneven terrain. It also is compatible with Nuna’s excellent car seats without the need for adaptors which can get in the way of folding mechanisms on other strollers. Although not certified as a newborn stroller your baby will be comfortable in this stroller from around 3/4 months as it has a near flat recline.

Does Uppababy make a lightweight stroller?

UppaBaby Minu Is a great option from premium brand UppaBaby that is a good addition if you have another UppaBaby V2 or Vista travel system the Minu is compatible with the carrycot and infant car seat in this range. It is on the larger and heavier side of compact strollers, and might not be cabin approved by some airlines.

The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is a great affordable all round stroller. Its larger wheels give it better maneuverability and durability for use on most terrains over smaller more expensive options. Its is on the larger side and needs its wheels removing to be cabin sized approved. This was my choice and I didn’t regret it. whereas it lack the softer textiles of more expensive brands it’s still a great option for an everyday stroller that can cope with all types of city terrain and with fold small enough to go in a overhead compartment. I didn’t need to remove the wheels for the airline I was on and found this to be one of the easiest strollers I have used on uneven terrain.

Babyzen Yoyo with pram pack -Yoyo is a long standing great travel stroller for light terrain for a full review read here. The pram pack is really cosy yet its downside is its makes it hard to attach an infant car seat without removing it, and it’s bulkier to to fold with the pram attachment in. Which means with a newborn you would have to gate check the bassinet attachment or lug it around as an additional piece of hand luggage. This stroller is a really good choice despite for travel being one of the smallest and lightest on the market as well as lasting the test of time. We wouldn’t recommend it for daily use if you have to deal with anything other than city streets.

For a more affordable option the BabyJogger City Tour 2 is suitable from birth, has a great one hand fold and a stable solid build that can cope with some uneven terrain, although it has limited suspension meaning its probably a from the car to the shops, and around town. Also, downsides are that it and a small canopy, lacks padding on the seat and is on the larger side.

Cabin sized Strollers for Newborns to toddlers

Baby Jogger City Tour 2

Uppababy Minu

Joolz Aer +

BabyZen YoYo

All these models are suitable from newborn, with the additional of a compatible carrycot or newborn pack. The Joolz Aer + and Babyzen Yoyo with their newborn pack with the newborn pack attached. The Joolz Aer + might be above cabin size fro some airlines with its carrycot attached whereas the BabyZen Yoyo will still we cabin size approved.

This doesn’t make it better however, as the Joolz Aer + offers an easier fold that will be useful for steps and public transport travel.

Bugaboo Butterfly

Currently there is no newborn pack for the Bugaboo Butterfly. IMHO somewhat irresponsibly the company state the the stroller can be compatible for a newborn if combined with the car seat. Yet If you are travelling with a newborn and in need of a cabin approved stroller you are likely to be using it for more than 2 hours which is beyond what is safe for a newborn in a car seat. For the prize the Bugaboo Butterfly does offer a strong chassis and a good fold but does it beat the Baby Zen YoYo, Joolz Aer+ or Baby Jogger, when all things are considered? NO

What’s the best small travel stroller?

Despite some popular new models coming to the market in 2023 from Silver Cross and BugaBoo The Joolz Aer + and Babyzen YoYo are top of the pile, with ErgobabyMetro+, ErgobabyMetro+ Dulux and BabyJogger City Tour 2, being very good more affordable options.

Leave a Comment