Having a cabin-approved stroller with you when travelling offers so much ease and convenience compared with putting your buggy in the hold. Being able to slip your sleeping baby or irritable baby straight into your trusty lightweight pushchair, is bound to give you peace of mind during the journey.

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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.

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We then compiled a list of the ten best travel buggies that can be stored in the overhead lockers of plane cabins. Looking for a great deal? We've found the best Prime Day baby deals and Prime Day toy deals for you.

Jump to our list of the best cabin approved strollers

Best carry-on hand luggage travel buggies at a glance

  • Best for a tiny fold: GB Pockit+ All-Terrain, from £176.75 £149.99
  • Best for sleek design: Cybex Libelle, £259.95
  • Best pull-along stroller: Silver Cross Jet 3, £345
  • Best bargain buy: My Babiie MBX5 Billie Faiers Pink Ultra Compact Stroller, £149.99 £119.99
  • Best for newborns: Babyzen YoYo 2, £319
  • Best luxury cabin-approved stroller: Cybex Coya, £539.95 £499.95
  • Best for sustainability: Joolz Aer+, £429
  • Best for storage: Bugaboo Butterfly, £419 £398
  • Best for comfort: Ergobaby Metro+, £319 £249
  • Best for accessories: Ickle Bubba Globe Prime, £249

You can jump straight down to see our list of the best travel prams for planes below, or if you want to know more about what to look for when buying a travel buggy and more information about the major airlines and their policies, you'll find everything you need at the bottom of our list.

Jump to what to look for when buying a travel buggy
Jump to carry-on hand luggage size limits by airline
Jump to do all airlines allow buggies as hand luggage — a breakdown of each major airline

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Here are the best cabin approved strollers for 2024

1. GB Pockit+ All-Terrain, £176.75 £149.99

– 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

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

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.

Available from: Amazon

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

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Fits into a bag,
  • Stylish
  • Fast and intuitive fold

Cons:

  • Only a shallow recline
  • No foot rest
  • Short canopy

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 6 of the 8 airlines in our survey. It is sadly not included on Virgin Atlantic’s list of accepted buggies.

Read the full MadeForMums Cybex Libelle review

Available from: Natural Baby Shower and Boots

3. Silver Cross Jet 3, £345

– Best pull-along stroller

Silver Cross Jet 3 tester picture

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

Pros:

  • Can be wheeled when folded
  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to store

Cons:

  • Complicated fold
  • No bounce to the wheels
  • 15kg weight limit

The chic Silver Cross Jet 3 would be allowed into the cabins of 7 of our 8 surveyed airlines, thanks to its compact fold size of 20cm x 30cm x 55cm. 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. MFM reviewer Charlotte said that this is one of her favourite features of the pushchair, telling us that it's "very practical and saves your shoulders." As well as being a great travel buggy, this also makes it great for storage elsewhere too. Charlotte said "it takes up very little space — ideal in our small, busy house or in the boot of our VW Golf. This transportability is perfect for travel or day trips."

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. Reviewer Charlotte also raised some issues with unfolding it, particularly as it isn't one-handed: "it does require 2 hands to unfold — you can't just shake it out like the Babyzen Yoyo2. That is quite a big drawback for me when wanting to get out of the house in a rush."

She also said that it's great for city-dwellers and for travelling, but cautions that "the buggy feels a little flimsy and it's hard to see the front wheels, which I find tricky when manoeuvring." 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.

Read the full MadeForMums Silver Cross Jet 3 stroller review

Available from: Amazon and Boots

4. My Babiie MBX5 Ultra Compact Stroller, £149.99 £119.99

– Best bargain buy

My Babiie MBX5 stroller tester picture and product shots

Age suitability: From 6 months to 15kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H 54.5cm x W 35.5cm x L 19cm | Weight: 5.5kg | Car seat compatible: No | Awards: Bronze – Compact-fold pushchair under £150, MadeForMums Awards 2024

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Great value
  • Carry handle
  • Comes with travel bag

Cons:

  • Doesn't recline
  • Only suspension in the front wheels

Retailing from £140, this buggy from My Babiie has the cheapest pricetag on our list. It's also the lightest — weighing in at an impressively light 5.5kg — and shares a number of features with the GB Pockit+ All Terrain, not least those double wheels.

Its clever fold is very similar to the Cybex Libelle's and the compact fold of this stroller — 54.5cm x 35.5cm x 19cm — means that it should be accepted into the cabin of at least 6 of the 8 airlines surveyed — all except Virgin Atlantic and Jet2 (which doesn't allow any buggies in the cabin). Parent tester Amber, who tested the buggy with her 2-year-old daughter Remi (pictured) said that the stroller is "perfect for travelling as it's lightweight, compact and fits into a backpack type bag which makes it perfect for taking through an airport." Other travel-ready features include a flip-flop friendly break, a carry handle and a padded travel bag.

It has front-wheel suspension which provides a relatively smooth ride, parent tester Amber said that "the stroller is fine on flat surfaces, pushes fine on grass and it's quite easy to manoeuvre up and down tight kerbs and turn tight corners. However, I found it difficult to push one-handed and it's not great on gravel." The seat should be comfortable for your child due to its padded seat unit and leg rest. However, do bear in mind that you can't recline the buggy should your child want to have a nap or lie down — it only has one, upright position.

Available from: Argos, Kiddies Kingdom and Amazon

5. Babyzen Yoyo 2, £319

– 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 L 18cm | Weight: 6.1kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for newborns with carrycot/newborn pack
  • Front wheel suspension
  • Shoulder strap

Cons:

  • No flat recline
  • Small wheels can’t cope with rough terrain
  • Expensive with accessories

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."

Read the full MadeForMums Babyzen Yoyo2 review

Available from: John Lewis and Mamas&Papas

6. Cybex Coya, £539.95 £499.95

– Best luxury cabin-approved stroller

Cybex Coya product shots

Age suitability: From birth to 22kg | One-handed fold: Yes | Folded dimensions: H 52cm x W 44cm x L 18cm | Weight: 6.6kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

Pros:

  • Good storage
  • One-handed freestanding fold
  • Carry strap included
  • Front wheel suspension
  • Stylish

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No bumper bar

For families seeking a luxurious and stylish travel buggy, the Coya ticks these boxes in abundance. Not only are there over 20 fashionable designs to choose from — from a sleek all-black to a Rockstar design collaboration — the Coya has also very much been designed with travel in mind. It has a quick and easy one-handed fold and there's an integrated carry strap for easy transportation once it's folded. It should be accepted in the cabin by Emirates, EasyJet and British Airways.

The buggy has a removable padded comfort inlay which provides extra comfort for your baby and, once removed, it reveals a breathable mesh that allow a breeze to circulate through the backrest, keeping your child cool. There's also a mesh window in the UPF50+ sun hood for extra ventilation.

The buggy can be used from birth thanks to its one-handed ergonomic lie-flat recline (but it is world facing only, like most of the buggies on this list), and there's an integrated leg rest to provide extra comfort for your child. Other notable features include a one-pull harness, a 5kg basket and suspension in the front wheels to help navigate bumpier surfaces. You can also attach a Cybex baby car seat to the Coya with the car seat adaptors (available separately for £44.95).

On the downside, it is the most expensive option on our list and it doesn't include accessories such as a bumper bar or rain cover.

Available from: Natural Baby Shower, Mamas&Papas and John Lewis

7. Joolz Aer+, £429

– Best for sustainability

Joolz Aer+ tester picture and product shot

Age suitability: From birth to 22kg | One-handed fold: Yes | Folded dimensions: H 53.5cm x W 45cm x L 21.5cm | Weight: 6kg | Car seat compatible: Yes | Awards: Gold — Lightweight stroller over £200, MadeForMums Awards 2024

Pros:

  • Smooth one-handed fold
  • Shoulder strap
  • Extendable canopy
  • Folding carrycot option
  • Sustainably made
  • Car seat compatible

Con:

  • Fiddly recline with zip and drawstring
  • No bumper bar
  • Expensive

This sleek buggy has streamlined fabrics and is sturdy, with a reinforced frame that makes it good for everyday use as well as for travel. It has a neat, smooth one-handed fold and due to its compact fold, it should be accepted by EasyJet, BA and Emirates.

Unlike its predecessor (the Joolz Aer) the Aer+ has a reclinable, lie-flat seat and an updated harness, meaning that it is now suitable from birth without needing the additional carrycot. An infant carrier or the additional Aer+ carrycot (£229) can be added if you prefer and the carrycot impressively folds down on the frame. However, if you do choose to add the carrycot, this will make it too large to be stored on a plane, so you may find you're asked to leave it at the plane door.

It comes with some great travel-ready features too, such as a handy carry strap, a generous 17L basket and an SPF50 extendable hood with a peek-a-boo window. MFM reviewer Emily, who tested the Aer+ with her 6-month-old daughter (pictured above), loved how versatile the Aer+ is for both travel abroad and daily use, saying "not only is it great for travellers, it's durable enough for everyday use around the city."

The stroller is also a great eco-friendly option, the seat fabric is made from recycled PET bottles and it comes in recyclable and reusable packaging, making it a more sustainable choice. Plus, Joolz offers an impressive 10-year transferrable warranty, meaning it can be transferred to another family if you decide to pass the buggy on.

Read the full MadeForMums Joolz Aer+ review

Available from: Mamas&Papas

8. Bugaboo Butterfly, £419 £398

– 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 L23cm | Weight: 7.3kg | Car seat compatible: Yes | Awards: Gold — Compact-fold Pushchair over £300, MadeForMums Awards 2024

Pros:

  • One-handed fold
  • Strong
  • Shoulder strap
  • Large basket

Cons:

  • Not the lightest
  • Expensive

Bugaboo’s pushchairs have a reputation for being well designed and the Butterfly is no exception. 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 prams 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 lightweight so I can carry (a not small) 18 month old and pram together easily." MFM reviewer Cher also commented that "I can honestly say that the Butterfly is one of the easiest strollers to fold."

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. MadeForMums reviewer Cher was pleasantly surprised with "how sturdy it is compared with other strollers" and loves how the Butterfly handled "various types of tough terrain really well."

Read the full MadeForMums Bugaboo Butterfly review

Available from: John Lewis, Argos and Mamas&Papas

9. Ergobaby Metro+, £319 £249

– Best for comfort

ergobaby metro plus

Age suitability: From newborn to 22kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H54cm x W44cm x L25cm | Weight: 6.4kg | Car seat compatible: Yes | Awards: Silver – Compact-fold pushchair over £200, MadeForMums Awards 2024

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Adjustable handle
  • Full recline
  • Comfy seat

Cons:

  • No shoulder strap
  • Newborn flaps don’t offer much support

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."

Read the full MadeForMums Ergobaby Metro+ Stroller review

Available from: Natural Baby Shower and Kiddies Kingdom

10. Ickle Bubba Globe Prime, £249

– Best for accessories

Ickle bubba globe prime

Age suitability: From newborn (with cocoon) to 15kg | One-handed fold: No | Folded dimensions: H55cm x W45cm x L25cm | Weight: 6.4kg | Car seat compatible: Yes

Pros:

  • Easy to push
  • Fashionable
  • Lots of accessories
  • Adjustable leg rest

Cons:

  • Difficult fold
  • Short hood extension
  • Small basket

This glamorous travel pram 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.

Read the full MadeForMums Ickle Bubba Globe Prime review

Available from: Amazon and Boots

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.

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.

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Authors

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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