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10 of the best lightweight, folding buggies you can take on a plane as hand luggage

These pushchairs are fit to fly! They will fit in a baggage locker and do not have to be checked in when travelling, making them the ideal strollers when travelling on an airplane

Most parents, when stepping off a plane with a sleeping baby or irritable toddler, would love the convenience of being able to slip their child straight into a buggy for the walk through airport security. Knowing that you have your trusty pushchair with you is bound to give you peace of mind during the journey. The good news is that there are lots of buggies on the market now that fold up small enough to be taken into the plane cabin as hand luggage.

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Parents beware though: pushchairs described as “cabin-friendly” on manufacturer’s websites usually have a disclaimer that reminds customers to check this with their airline. To save you the legwork, we have tested different types of pushchairs with compact folds and asked eight major airlines for their carry-on size requirements for travel buggies. We then compiled a list of the ten best travel buggies that can be stored in the overhead lockers of plane cabins.

Best carry-on hand luggage travel buggies at a glance

  • Best for a tiny fold: GB Pockit+ All-Terrain, from £189.95
  • Best for sleek design: Cybex Libelle, £259.95
  • Best bargain buy: Roma Capsule 2, £149
  • Best pull-along stroller: Silver Cross Jet, £345
  • Best for newborns: Babyzen YoYo 2, £419
  • Best for a simple fold: Micralite ProFold, £195
  • Best for accessories: Ickle Bubba Globe Prime, £249
  • Best for sustainability: Joolz Aer, £419
  • Best for storage: Bugaboo Butterfly, £395
  • Best for comfort: Ergobaby Metro+, £270

What to look for when buying a travel buggy

Fold type – A major feature of all travel buggies is a compact fold, but each will fold in a slightly different way. A number of models now have special gravity-assisted 'magic' folds that can be done with just a flick of the wrist. However, these buggies don't tend to fold quite as small as those with two-handed or multi-step folds.

Comfort for child – Travel buggies may have limited padding so they can fold up small, so look at the fabric on seats and straps, and decide if you need leg rests or calf supports before you buy, as this may limit your options.

Ease of steering/pushing – A small fold means small wheels, which can struggle on tougher terrains like sand dunes or cobblestones, but most will be fine through airports, along pavements and on grass. Look for front wheel suspension for the smoothest ride.

Handlebar height – Many travel buggies have fixed height handlebars, which are designed to work for most heights, but may be more uncomfortable for taller or shorter parents. It's important to try before you buy if you're tall or petite.

Durability – Due to their lightweight nature, these buggies won't feel as solid as a traditional pram or travel system as the frame is designed to easy to pick up and fold. The more budget lightweight buggies might not be able to handle as many knocks as heavier, bulkier models or more premium designs.

Age suitability – Many lightweight strollers are designed for use from 6 months, and even those that offer a lie-flat seat that's suitable from birth may be world-facing only. If you're looking for a buggy to use from birth, look for one that offers the ability to convert the seat or add a carrycot. On the other end of the scale, some lack the leg rest that older children may need, or have a 15kg weight limit which could significantly reduce their longevity.

Hood coverage – Some travel buggies have shorter, non-extendable hoods with minimal fabric. They're designed not to add weight or get in the way of the compact fold, but you may want full coverage during hot weather or at nap time. Look for deeper UPF 50+ hoods, or consider buying a buggy cover or parasol for extra protection.

Storage – Travel buggies often only have room for small baskets, so you won't be able to keep as much in one of these as in a larger pushchair. Look out for extra zip pockets and detachable bags for more space.

Weight – When choosing a portable buggy it is important that it is light to carry, and it should weigh less than 10kg for cabin use. We've listed the weights of all the buggies on our list.

Carry-on hand luggage size limits by airline

The International Air Transport Association’s guide to carry-on size requirements says that carry-on baggage should have a maximum length of 56 cm, a width of 45 cm and a depth of 25 cm, so a buggy must fold to within these limits to be "cabin approved". However, not all airlines follow the IATA guidelines exactly, so we spoke to them to find out the exact rules.

This table shows the specific restrictions for each major airline we spoke to, and the number of buggies in our list that should therefore be guaranteed to be accepted in the cabin. In reality, you may find friendly cabin crew will turn a blind eye to a buggy that is a few centimetres larger, but it can't be guaranteed.

The buggies in our list below are ordered from smallest fold to largest, so if you're considering one of the airlines with tighter restrictions, it would be safest to choose one of the buggies towards the beginning of the list.

AirlineCarry-on max sizeBuggies on our list that fit restrictions
EmiratesAny size allowed10
Easyjet56 x 45 x 25cm (large bag)10
British Airways56 x 45 x 25cm10
Ryanair55 x 40 x 20cm3
Tui55 x 40 x 20cm3
Qantas (international)56 x 36 x 23cm3
Virgin AtlanticOnly accepts 4 named products3
Jet 2No buggies accepted in cabin0

For a further in-depth look at each airline's specific requirements, including quotes from the representatives we spoke to, keep scrolling to the end of the article.

Here are the 10 best carry-on hand luggage travel buggies for 2022

1. GB Pockit+ All-Terrain, from £189.95

– Best for a tiny fold

GB Pockit+ All-Terrain Pushchair

Age suitability: From 6 months to 22kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H 42cm x W 34cm x H 20cm | Weight: 5.6kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

The latest GB travel buggy has the most compact fold of the pushchairs in our list, with a three-step fold that condenses down to an amazing 42cm x 34cm x 20 cm, small enough to slide into a shoulder bag or a rucksack. It's also extremely lightweight: at 5.6kg it's the joint lightest pushchair on our list, so it should be fairly painless to carry around.

By virtue of its tiny fold and lightweight frame, it's one of 3 buggies that should be accepted (locker space permitting) by 7 out of the 8 airlines that we surveyed (all bar Jet2, who told us they will not accept buggies in the hold at all). It even fits within the measurements for EasyJet’s small-size cabin bag (45 x 36 x 20cm), which means it can be brought into the cabin for free.

The fold is quick but not the quickest, as the back wheels must be bent back individually first to achieve the smallest fold, but when you're not flying there's an easier fold that's only slightly larger which doesn't require this extra step.

You do sacrifice stability and some of your child’s comfort to achieve the tiny fold size, as the buggy is not the most solid, there is no foot rest, and the top of the seat has open sides when reclined, which could affect naps on the go.

Don't let the "all-terrain" name fool you, either. Although the double wheels will go some way to keeping the ride smooth and tackling tricker bumps in the road, this is still a very lightweight buggy with little suspension, and as such it won't perform well on very uneven or muddy ground.

Pros: Very lightweight, two fold options including the most compact one on our list
Cons: Canopy not fully enclosed, lack of suspension, no foot rest

Available from: Amazon and UK Baby Centre

2. Cybex Libelle, £259.95

– Best for sleek design

Cybex libelle pushchair folded

Age suitability: From 6 months to 22kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H 48cm x W 32cm x H 20cm | Weight: 5.9kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

This buggy, which is very similar to the GB Pockit+ range, looks chic and has a clever, compact fold that helped it win a Red Dot product design award for its compact construction.

MFM reviewer Sarah said it was “perfectly suited to travel and staycations, but could improve on some design features, such as basket size and carry strap.” It also has a limited recline for naps, and no useful additions like a foot rest or peephole in the hood. She said the buggy is competitively priced and stylish with a “top class design and feel.” Sarah reported, however, that the wheels “don’t cope too well going up hills or very rough terrain, and are very much designed for a city run-around rather than an off-road, nature trip.”

The pushchair is very lightweight, weighing just 5.9kg. “It is not a one-handed fold, as you need to fold it in on itself with both hands,” said Sarah, “but it does fold very quickly and rather dynamically.” This results in a compact box measuring only 48 x 32cm x 20cm. The folded buggy fits within the cabin bag size requirements for six of the eight airlines in our survey. It is sadly not included on Virgin Atlantic’s list of accepted buggies.

Pros: lightweight, fits into a bag, stylish, fast and intuitive fold
Cons: No carry strap, only a shallow recline, no foot rest, short canopy

Read the full MFM Cybex Libelle review

Available from: UK Baby Centre and Direct4Baby

3. Roma Capsule 2, £149

– Best bargain buy

Roma Capsule 2 pushchair

Age suitability: From birth to 15kg | One-handed fold: Yes | Folded dimensions: H 50cm x W 28cm x H 25cm | Weight: 5.6kg | Car seat compatible: No | Awards: Silver - Compact-fold pushchair under £250, MadeForMums Awards 2022

Retailing from £149, this is the cheapest buggy on our list. It is also the joint lightest at only 5.6kg, and it shares a number of features with the GB Pockit+ All-Terrain, not least those double wheels. “I will be definitely using my Roma on holiday abroad,” said parent tester Jasmin. “The light weight frame makes it easy to push up onto curbs and the swivel front legs make it easy to manoeuvre around.”

The compact fold of the Roma Capsule2 – 50 x 28 x 25cm – means it should be accepted into the cabin of at least three of the eight airlines surveyed - EasyJet, BA and Emirates. “Once I knew how to, folding and unfolding was very easy,” said parent tester Sophie, “it can be done with one hand and is so simple.” She added: “the bumper bar doubles up as a handle to use to carry it, as well as the handles on the bag which can be used like a rucksack.” It also comes with its own storage bag, which can also be worn on your back.

Commenting on the sturdiness of the frame Sophie said: “The stroller does feel very flimsy, but it is actually strong and well made.” She did have some concerns about her child’s comfort over time, though, adding, “I feel as though the seat area isn't deep enough, I felt my child was sitting on the edge of the pram and sitting at a slanted angle.”

Pros: Very lightweight, easy fold, affordable, carry handle, comes with travel bag, affordable
Cons: flimsy feel, small basket, some concerns about comfort for child

Available from: Pramworld

4. Silver Cross Jet, £345

– Best pull-along stroller

Silver Cross Jet stroller tested with a toddler

Age suitability: From birth to 15kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H 55cm x W 30cm x H 20cm | Weight: 5.9kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

The Silver Cross Jet would be allowed into the cabins of seven of our eight surveyed airlines, thanks to its compact fold size of 55cm x 30cm x 20cm. Uniquely, it folds so that it can be pulled along behind you, like a suitcase. There is also a protective cover attached that protects the buggy once it has been folded. As well as being good for travel, this also makes it great for storage elsewhere too. "In the house, it tucked neatly under our stairs and self-stands," said MFM reviewer Carla, who tested this with her 18 month old daughter (pictured).

The downside is that this semi-umbrella style buggy requires a more cumbersome fold, first folding inwards at the handle bar and then upwards from the bottom of the buggy. “The fold is overly complicated,” said Carla, “initially, instructions were definitely needed. Unfolding it was a bit easier but, again, took some practice.”

She also said that: “the wheels look on the flimsy side and have no bounce as they’re made of plastic.” This is very normal for a lightweight buggy but may be a bit of a surprise if you're used to something more sturdy and versatile.

The buggy is marketed as being suitable for newborns, but parents might not be comfortable with this and our reviewer noted that the seat doesn't lie completely flat. You can add a car seat using adapters, though.

The Jet is lightweight, weighing just 5.9kg, but it is worth noting that it can only carry children up to 15kg. If your child is in the higher percentiles, this means they could outgrow the buggy as early as 2 and a half.

Pros: can be wheeled when folded, very lightweight, easy to store
Cons: complicated fold, no bounce to the wheels, 15kg weight limit

Read the full MFM Silver Cross Jet review

Available from: Silver Cross

5. Babyzen Yoyo 2, £419

– Best for newborns

Babyzen Yoyo2 tested with a toddler

Age suitability: From birth to 22kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H 52cm x W 44cm x H 18cm | Weight: 6.1kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

The original travel buggy, the Babyzen Yoyo2 is a small, nimble pushchair that is suitable for newborns when using a special newborn pack or a nicely padded bassinet (both sold separately). Once folded, it comes with a carry strap for easy transportation, and also has one of the larger storage baskets on the list, as well as a surprisingly roomy pocket on the back.

Some of the other buggies mentioned here recline flat to accommodate newborns, but many parents would rather newborns face them and have the extra support a carrycot or bassinet offers. With this pushchair there are 2 options. The bassinet is more solid, but it must be removed before folding, so is less useful for air travel. The newborn pack, will fold on the frame just like the 6+ month seat unit, to the same compact size of 52 x 44 x 18 cm.

This buggy is approved for Virgin Atlantic cabins, meaning the Babyzen Yoyo2 is suitable for four of the eight airline cabins on our list. It doesn't quite meet Ryanair and TUI's size restrictions, but parents have reported to us that they have successfully taken this buggy onto both of these airlines. As ever, check before you fly just to be sure.

The Yoyo 2 has a “small, curved frame with an eye-catching design,” according to MFM reviewer Natalie. “Because of the reinforced, premium materials, the frame doesn’t feel flimsy despite being so light,” she said, “it actually feels strong and unlikely to dent easily.” This is a favourite with a lot of parents because of its luxury feel, smart design details and accessories, and small fold. However it doesn't recline as far as many competitors, and the fold is complicated compared to some newer models.

This buggy does have front wheel suspension which helps to give a slightly smoother ride. Natalie said, “the pushchair wheeled fairly easily over grass but muddier ground was an issue." However, she also said that "slightly raised paving slabs sometimes cause the pram to jolt.”

Pros: stylish, lightweight, suitable for newborns with carrycot, front wheel suspension, shoulder strap
Cons: no flat recline, small wheels can’t cope with rough terrain, expensive with accessories

Read the full MFM Babyzen Yoyo2 review

Available from: Mamas & Papas, Boots and John Lewis

6. Micralite ProFold, £195

– Best for a simple fold

Micralite profold buggy folded

Age suitability: From birth to 15kg | One-handed fold: Yes | Folded dimensions: H 51.5cm x W 44cm x H 24cm | Weight: 7kg | Car seat compatible: No

As its name suggests, the fold on the Micralite ProFold is fast and takes little effort, using gravity to fold as if by magic. “The ProFold is truly one-handed and not at all complicated,” said MFM reviewer Rykesha. “I actually folded it down for the first time without even looking at the manual.” Once folded, EasyJet, BA and Emirates should accept this buggy in their cabins.

The buggy is suitable from birth thanks to its lie-flat seat, so long as you are comfortable with it being world-facing. Our reviewer felt it was a bit too exposed, and would recommend it for use from 6 months. She also felt it was a bit flimsy for daily use, something home tester Anna backed up, calling this "an amazing pushchair for travelling and for light use."

Notable features include the extendable mesh hood which our reviewer felt was strong and well-made though, and the storage basket and pocket, which were a hit with all our testers. The seat is also fairly well padded and made with premium-looking materials, and it's one of only a few buggies on this list to have a bumper bar. On the downside, our reviewer felt the brake wasn't in the most logical place, as she kept stepping on it while walking.

Pros: Good storage, one handed freestanding fold, foot rest and calf support, big extendable canopy
Cons: small wheels, disappointing brake, flimsy for daily use

Read the full MFM Micralite ProFold review

Available from: Micralite

7. Ickle Bubba Globe Prime, £249

– Best for accessories

Ickle bubba globe prime

Age suitability: From newborn (with cocoon) to 13kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H55cm x W45cm x H25cm | Weight: 6.4kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

This glamorous travel buggy wins points for being stylish and strong, although the dimensions of its fold are the maximum that EasyJet and British Airways say they will accept as hand luggage. This just means you must be sure to fold the buggy properly at the boarding gate for it to be accepted by those two airlines, along with Emirates.

The Globe is a good choice for parents who might want to stand out with a rose gold chassis, say, or by customising the buggy with the wide range of accessories on offer, which include a footmuff, buggy organiser, parasol and cup holder.

MFM reviewer Gabrielle praised the buggy’s manoeuvrability saying it was "incredibly easy to push – on smooth surfaces indoors and outside – with just one hand. It was a pleasure to push this buggy through the hotel we stayed in on holiday at as it glided over marble tiles."

She liked the fold less as it requires two hands and three steps. She said the fold was “fairly straightforward in theory but in practice it was fiddly. The buttons on the inside of the handles aren’t easy to locate through the fabric and keeping them pressed in while simultaneously lowering the handlebar involves some dexterity.”

The Globe Prime is suitable from birth thanks to its lie-flat seat, but as with others on this list the seat is is world-facing only.

Pros: easy to push, fashionable, lots of accessories, adjustable leg rest
Cons: difficult fold, short hood extension, small basket

Read the full MFM Ickle Bubba Globe Prime review

Available from: Amazon and Ickle Bubba

8. Joolz Aer, £419

– Best for sustainability

Joolz Aer pushchair folded

Age suitability: From birth to 22kg | One-handed fold: Yes | Folded dimensions: H 53.5cm x W 45cm x H 21.5cm | Weight: 6kg | Car seat compatible: Yes | Awards: Bronze - Lightweight stroller over £250, MadeForMums Awards 2022

This sleek buggy has streamlined fabric and is sturdy, with a reinforced frame that makes it good for everyday use as well as for travel. “I could tell this was a premium buggy,” said MFM reviewer Donna. “It oozed quality and looked stylish.” She also said that she “keeps raving to friends about the (one-handed) fold system, which is quick, easy, smooth and intuitive.”

This buggy should be accepted by EasyJet, BA and Emirates with the 6+ months seat on. The additional Aer Cot (£210) can be added to make it suitable from birth, and it will folds down on the frame, however this will make the buggy too large to be stored on a plane, so you may find you're asked to leave it at the plane door if you're travelling with a newborn.

Our reviewer also liked the click button harness, which would be easy to use with a wriggly toddler and said the buggy was responsive and easy to push. The seat fabric is eco-friendly and made from recycled plastic bottles, making it a more sustainable choice.

Parent tester Catherine praised the “great shopping basket - lovely size and feels sturdy, won’t collapse.” She also said that the big hood will give good shade from the sun. She thought the recline was a bit tricky as it "involved unzipping at the back and it doesn’t go back that far."

Pros: smooth one-handed fold, shoulder strap, extendable canopy, folding carrycot option, sustainably made
Con: fiddly recline with zip and drawstring, no bumper bar, expensive (especially from birth)

Read the full MFM Joolz Aer review

Available from: Boots, Direct 4 Baby and Natural Baby Shower

9. Bugaboo Butterfly, £395

– Best for storage

Bugaboo butterfly pushchair tested by a toddler

Age suitability: From 6 months to 22kg | One-handed fold: Yes | Folded dimensions: H54cm x W45cm x H23cm | Weight: 7.3kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

Bugaboo’s pushchairs have a reputation for being well designed and, although the Butterfly has only just launched, it's already making waves thanks to the fact it folds down into a slender package and boasts a range of smart features.

The Butterfly offers Bugaboo’s smallest fold, collapsing to 54 x 45 x 23cm, meaning it should be accepted into the cabin by three airlines on this list - BA, EasyJet and Emirates. It appears to follow the trend among newer travel buggies to feature a well-cushioned but minimal seat and hood, so there is no excess fabric to deal with when folding up small.

Gabrielle, a member of our Top Testers Club, preordered the pushchair and was one of the first to put it to the test (pictured). She said, "Bugaboo say it is a one second fold and I think they are about right. It is easily folded & put up one handed and is incredibly light weight so I can carry (a not small) 18 month old and pram together easily."

What stands out is the huge amount of storage promised in comparison to other buggies with a compact fold. Bugaboo says the basket will hold 8kg of shopping - twice the amount of Bugaboo's popular Bee pushchair. Gabrielle confirmed, "the basket is actually bigger than our Bee 5!" The Butterfly is slightly heavier than some other buggies here, at 7.3kg, but by virtue of that it is also one of the more robust in this list.

Pros: one-handed fold, strong, shoulder strap, large basket
Cons: not the lightest, expensive

Available from: Bugaboo

10. Ergobaby Metro +, £270

– Best for comfort

Ergobaby Metro+

Age suitability: From newborn to 13kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H54cm x W44cm x H25cm | Weight: 6.4kg | Car seat compatible: Yes | Awards: Gold – Compact-fold pushchair over £250, MadeForMums Awards 2022

This buggy offers comfort for baby via an ergonomic soft padded seat, and for parents too, as it's the only buggy in our list that has a height-adjustable handlebar. Children will appreciate the adjustable leg rest too, and it's impressive that Ergobaby has been able to factor in adjustable details like this while still keeping the buggy under 7kg.

The compact fold is quick to put down but takes two steps. Once folded, the buggy should be suitable to go in the overhead compartment of EasyJet, BA and Emirates cabins.

Some reviewers liked that the folded buggy can be carried with one hand, but MFM Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy said the small strap, which is attached to the seat, “was a very tight fit for my hand and rubbed on my skin.” Reviewers also found the buttons a bit stiff. It is suitable from birth with a lie-flat seat, and there are built-in flaps designed to keep a newborn secure, but it is world-facing only.

Parent tester Bianca concluded: “A lot of cheaper, more lightweight prams don't hold their own across bumpy terrain so people end up having to buy a sturdier model as well. The Ergobaby Metro+ Stroller is, however, a does-it-all pram that holds its own on country walks, as well as on quick trips in the city.”

Pros: Sturdy, adjustable handle, full recline, comfy seat
Con: no shoulder strap, newborn flaps don’t offer much support

Available from: John Lewis and Kiddies Kingdom

Do all airlines allow buggies as hand luggage?

The International Air Transport Association’s general guide to carry-on size requirements is used by hundreds of airlines around the world. It suggests that carry-on baggage should have a maximum length of 56 cm, a width of 45 cm and a depth of 25 cm. These dimensions include wheels, handles and side pockets. However, this guidance is voluntary and individual airlines still have their own policies and size restrictions. We spoke to eight major airlines to find out what their specific policies are.

Please do bear in mind that things can change at the gate and on busy flights passengers may be asked to put larger items of hand luggage into the hold, including buggies. Similarly, we've heard anecdotal evidence that some of the airlines listed below may accept slightly larger folding buggies in some circumstances.

Below, we've included a more in-depth look at the different guidelines for each airline.

Emirates

Emirates is the most easygoing of the airlines we spoke to about travel buggies, perhaps because they fly larger, modern planes. A spokesperson said they would accept any size of folding travel buggy into the cabin, as long as there was space. “Customers are permitted to carry only one fully collapsible stroller/pushchair or infant’s carrycot in the aircraft cabin free of charge, subject to space availability,” we were told. If there is no available space, the stroller will be checked in as hold luggage.

They even went as far as to say that “A stroller with a car seat can be taken on-board for stowage provided sufficient space is available on-board.”

“Emirates does not recommend a particular pushchair but it should be fully collapsible,” they added. “Some brands even offer a zipped travel bag which the stroller neatly fits into.”

Easyjet

Though policies can change, EasyJet currently has two cabin bag sizes, a smaller one that is free and a larger, paid-for, size that must weigh less than 10kg.

“As long as the buggy fits within the dimensions of our cabin bag allowances they would be permitted in the cabin,” a spokesperson for the airline told us.

When folded, a couple of the more compact buggies we tested fit the smaller size of 45 x 36 x 20 cm. Both these buggies and all the remaining pushchairs on our list fit within the larger, paid for, cabin bag size of 56 x 45 x 25 cm. Both sizes have a maximum weight of 15kg.

British Airways

British Airways’ cabin bag size is currently the same as EasyJet’s larger, paid-for cabin bag size, with a maximum size of 56 x 45 x 25 cm. With BA – though rules can change – it is generally free to have one cabin bag this size, and it can weigh up to 23kg. A spokesperson for BA told us that travel buggies of this size will be accepted in place of your hand luggage.

The website also states however that: “As with all larger cabin bags, this is not guaranteed to travel in the cabin, but our staff will make every effort to accommodate if space is available.”

It is worth noting that BA’s website suggests that most umbrella-style buggies can wait for you at the aircraft door at both ends of your flight at “most” airports. However the compact fold of the travel buggies on this list is wider than a typical umbrella fold (BA’s size limit for this option is 117 x 38 x 38cm) so – read strictly – travel buggies with a compact fold would need to be taken into the cabin where they meet the requirements.

Jet 2

In contrast to the positive responses from the other airlines, Jet2 told us that no travel buggies of any size would be allowed into cabins on its flights, with “all infant-related luggage” needing to go into the hold.

We asked why this was but were given no further answer.

TUI

At 55 x 40 x 20cm, TUI’s hand luggage size is smaller than EasyJet and BA’s but the same size as Ryanair’s. A TUI spokesman told us that its hand luggage policy applied to both bags and travel buggies that meet the size requirements.

The TUI website states: “Customers can take 1 piece of hand luggage per person (excluding infants) weighing up to 10kg and with maximum dimensions of 55 x 40 x 20cm on a TUI Airways flight.” We have, however, heard from members of our Top Testers Club that they have successfully taken slightly larger folding strollers such as the Silver Cross Clic onto TUI flights, so you may get lucky if you encounter crew members who're willing to be flexible.

Ryanair

Ryanair told us that if a foldable pushchair meets the size requirements of a 10kg cabin bag, at 55 x 40 x 20cm, and if – importantly – there is adequate capacity in the cabin, passengers are allowed to carry their foldable pushchair onboard free of charge.

As with any of these low-cost airlines, overhead lockers on busy flights fill up fast, so capacity may well be lacking. Still, it is worth asking.

Qantas

The Australian airline confirmed to MadeForMums that a fold up buggy that fits within its hand luggage restrictions can be carried in the cabin and stored in the overhead locker. On international flights the maximum cabin bag size is 56 x 36 x 23cm, which is slightly narrower than other airlines.

Virgin Atlantic

“We only accept a certain list of pushchairs that meet the size and weight limitations of our hand baggage policy to ensure there is enough space onboard for all our customers and their luggage,” a Virgin Atlantic spokesman said.

This list is very specific and includes only four branded buggies: the GB Pockit, Britax Holiday, Silver Cross Jet and Babyzen Yoyo.

“In cases where pushchairs do not meet carry-on restrictions,” the spokesman continued, “they are tagged and placed in the hold for the flight. For the majority of Virgin Atlantic destinations, they are brought to the aircraft door upon arrival to assist customers through the airport.”

How we chose and tested these pushchairs

Our key priority when creating this list was fold size, along with the guidance we were specifically given by the airlines we spoke to. Beyond this, we then considered comfort for both child and parent, weight, wheel type, fabrications, longevity, acessories and value for money. 

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

This list is not ranked 1-10, but it is ordered from smallest fold to largest. All the pushchairs in the list fold to within the IATA recommended cabin baggage size limits.

About the author

Natalie Paris is an experienced journalist who writes for a number of national publications. She has two young children, aged 6 and 2.

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