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10 best cabin-approved strollers for easy travel

Looking for a lightweight, cabin-approved stroller? After rigorous, in-depth testing and feedback from real parents, we’re confident that our pick of the best compact plane-approved strollers are fit to fly.

By Tammy Jacks | Last updated Jan 3, 2024

Best cabin-approved strollers

While taking family trips and spending time with loved ones is always exciting, the planning, packing and organising beforehand can be daunting, especially when it comes to navigating busy airports and flights with little ones in tow.

For a more seamless and stress-free journey, it’s always a good idea to have a lightweight, cabin-approved stroller with you for those long walks to the boarding gate and/or luggage pick-up area. But juggling the needs of both you and your children when travelling is tricky enough without the added concern of whether your trusty stroller will meet airline requirements. 

The good news? We've taken the guesswork out of the equation. Through meticulous research, we've compiled a list of the best cabin-approved strollers that can be taken on a plane as hand luggage

Compact, narrow and lightweight, these nifty strollers are designed with the jet-setting family in mind. Their ability to effortlessly fold into a compact size makes them a practical choice for navigating busy airports and cramped aeroplane spaces. Imagine the convenience of strolling through security, knowing that your cabin-approved companion is ready to be stored overhead, leaving you with one less travel worry.

How we tested the best cabin-approved strollers

To select the best cabin-approved strollers, we took a multifaceted approach. 

  • First, we tapped into the wealth of wisdom shared by parents on the Mumsnet forums, seeking genuine product recommendations from those who have hands-on experience with cabin-approved strollers.

  • We also prioritise real-world testing, so the cabin-approved strollers on our list have been rigorously tried and tested by real parents who put them through their paces in various travel settings.  

  • We consulted trusted organisations like Which? for their lab test results, relying on their expertise to evaluate the strollers' performance under controlled conditions and spent hours scouring countless online customer reviews from top retail sites. 

  • We even chatted with parents at parks and school pick-ups to understand their preferences and priorities when it comes to selecting a cabin-approved stroller.

  • Lastly, we checked the baggage allowance requirements of all major airlines and consulted the International Air Transport Association's passenger baggage rules to ensure that the cabin-approved strollers on our list met the necessary criteria for hassle-free air travel.

For more information, be sure to check out our guide to travelling with a pushchair or lightweight stroller.

Here are the best cabin-approved strollers for 2024.

Best cabin-approved strollers at a glance 

  • Best overall cabin-approved stroller: Babyzen Yoyo² | Buy now

  • Best budget cabin-approved stroller: Joie Pact Pushchair | Buy now

  • Best cabin-approved stroller for newborns: Ergobaby Metro+ Deluxe | Buy now

  • Best quick-fold cabin-approved stroller: Didofy Aster 2 | Buy now

  • Best stylish cabin-approved stroller: Cybex Coya | Buy now

  • Best all-terrain cabin-approved stroller: Micralite ProFold | Buy now

  • Best pull-along cabin-approved stroller: Silver Cross Jet 3 | Buy now

  • Best cabin-approved stroller for toddlers: Joolz Aer+ | Buy now

  • Best lightweight cabin-approved stroller: Cybex Libelle | Buy now

  • Best cabin-approved stroller for storage: Bugaboo Butterfly | Buy now

Best overall cabin-approved stroller
What we like
  • Cabin-approved on most airlines

  • Turns and ​manoeuvres easily

  • Ultra-light and comfortable

  • Can purchase a newborn kit to be used from birth

What we don't like
  • Assembly is tricky

  • Storage basket is too small for a baby changing bag  

  • Handlebar doesn’t extend

Key specs

Price: £450 | Age range: Birth (with newborn pack) to four years | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 6.2kg | Parent-facing option: Yes, with the newborn pack, otherwise it’s world-facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes | Folded size: 52 x 44 x 18cm

What Mumsnet users say
Caneparrot · Tried & Tested
We have a Babyzen Yoyo and it’s super easy to travel with. Cabin staff wave you through when they see what you have - at security last week I counted six other Yoyos coming through at the same time as us!
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BoxOfShapes · Recommended
I highly recommend it. Mine's still going strong as my everyday pushchair two years on. Its narrowness is such an asset. You might even find you can leave it up in your hallway and still have space to get around it, and if not then it's easy to fold up.
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Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet: Read the full Babyzen Yoyo review

The Babyzen Yoyo² with its newborn pack, which includes a comfortable 2.5 cm mattress that lies completely flat, head support, a foot cover and a pop-up canopy with two different opening positions, is a game-changer for travel as it has a remarkably compact fold that can be stored in the overhead locker.

Notably, airlines like Virgin Atlantic recognise its efficiency, listing it as an acceptable hand luggage option. In fact, out of all the cabin-approved strollers on our list, the Yoyo² comes out tops for the smallest compact fold (along with the Cybex Coya which has the same dimensions). 

The sturdy canopy, while not extending as far forward as some competitors, still offers enough protection and is made from durable materials along with the rest of the stroller. Although the seat reclines with ease, it needs two hands and maintains a slight angle in the upright position. Nevertheless, the soft, cushy seat and padded harness straps prioritise your child's comfort and safety. Despite its limited recline, parents find their little ones nap soundly, attributing it to the ample cushioning.

Ease of use is a highlight, evident in the Yoyo²’s user-friendly brake system and upgraded features. The leatherette handlebar replaces the original version’s foam one, providing a luxurious touch, and a safety strap adds an extra layer of security during walks. The Yoyo²'s buckle system simplifies operation with a single push button.

Furthermore, the stroller's enhanced suspension system across all four rubber wheels ensures a smoother ride for your child. However, the undeniable standout feature remains its nearly flat fold, making it the most straightforward choice for hand luggage among all the strollers we tested. However, if you choose the Babyzen Yoyo² with bassinet, bear in mind that the bassinet is a harder shell and doesn’t fold down with the stroller like the newborn pack does, but needs to be unclipped when folding down the stroller.

Read next: The best lightweight buggies

Best budget cabin-approved stroller
What we like
  • Good value for money

  • Super lightweight (only 6kg)

  • Glides over uneven terrain

  • Easy to unfold with one hand (in six seconds or less)

  • Storage basket is large enough to fit a backpack

What we don't like
  • The seat maintains a notable angle even in the upright position

Key specs

Price: £136 | Age range: Birth to three years or 15kg | Max weight: 15kg | Weight: 6kg | Parent-facing option: World-facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes | Folded size: 56.5cm x 52.5 x 24cm

What Mumsnet users say
ForeverTired89 · Tried & Tested
I have the Joie Pact - I like how quick it is to fold and how compact it is folded up. I haven’t used it too much yet though, only for quick trips to the shops, but it’s done the job (my DD is 2y8m).
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verabarbleen · Recommended
If you want a budget one then the Joie Pact is great. Comes with a bag and is about £160.
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Our verdict

The Joie Pact stroller stands out as a budget-friendly yet feature-rich cabin-approved stroller for parents. Its lightweight design ensures agility in tight spaces, and it comes with a custom carry strap and bag, which is ideal for travel. The all-weather canopy, with UPF 50+ sun protection and water resistance, offers ample protection in various weather conditions.

Noteworthy for its lie-flat position and multi-position recline, the Joie Pact prioritises child comfort. The peekaboo window, removable bumper bar and adjustable calf support all contribute to ease of use.

Designed for diverse terrain, this lightweight, cabin-approved stroller features locking swivel wheels and four-wheel suspension for a smooth ride, even on bumpy surfaces. The single-step brake ensures quick stops in busy areas. 

In essence, the Joie Pact balances affordability with functionality, making it an attractive option if you’re looking for a versatile, well-equipped stroller to take on holiday.

However, keep in mind that although it folds in seconds, it doesn’t fold completely flat and may feel a little clumsy to carry without the bag. The footrest is also quite small, so although this stroller is suitable for children up to the age of three, your little one’s legs may dangle off the edge of the stroller a little as they grow taller. 

Best cabin-approved stroller for newborns
What we like
  • Has an adjustable handlebar

  • Newborn nest mode option for 0-6 months

  • Large wheels make for a comfortable ride

  • Mesh windows for added airflow

What we don't like
  • Heavier than other strollers in this category

  • Some reviewers say it’s hard to access the brake when the seat is fully reclined

  • Fiddly to fold and unfold

Key specs

Price: £370 | Age range: From six months to four years or 22kg | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 8.3kg | Parent-facing option: No, world-facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with the car seat adapter | Folded size: 54 x 44 x 25cm 

What Mumsnet users say
EisforElephants · Tried & Tested
100% vote for the Metro+! We love ours - it's actually the only stroller we use now because I just don't need another one. It folds easily, goes in the overhead bins, fully reclines (you can use it for newborns and toddlers) [...] and has a big hood and plenty of storage for us.
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Our verdict

Approved by all airlines, the Ergo Metro+ Deluxe may not be the lightest cabin-approved stroller on the market, but its thoughtful design and comfortable features make it a top choice if you’re looking for both functionality and comfort when you’re travelling. Whilst it’s not the quickest to fold and unfold because it involves a few steps, it’s still very compact and easy to carry once folded, which makes it a good choice for holidays.

One standout feature that sets the Ergobaby Metro+ Deluxe Stroller apart is the adjustable handlebar with numerous height settings to suit your preferences. Plus, it’s wider than many other stroller handlebars, ensuring a better grip on longer walks.

Distinguishing the Ergobaby Metro+ Deluxe from its standard counterpart, the Deluxe version comes equipped with a durable wind and rain cover, along with a conveniently foldable cup holder – although keep in mind that larger cups and water bottles may fall out. 

Enhanced comfort features include upgraded ergonomic, machine-washable padding on the seat and more durable fabric on the canopy, with 22% more space in the storage basket below, as well as a large storage pocket at the back. It’s also made with plenty of mesh windows for added ventilation. The addition of a sturdy bumper bar finished with vegan leather adds a touch of luxury, although some users have noted that it's tricky to remove.

This cabin-approved stroller’s three-point harness is simple to click and unclick and its adjustable footrest is sturdy, with the newborn nest mode feature integrated into the side panels, which allows for easy lifting and securing with clip buttons. This stroller also offers a full flat recline and nest mode, making it suitable for infants aged 0–6 months. To use the newborn nest mode, simply remove the newborn nest side panels from the Velcro pouches on the sides of the footrest, then lift the footrest and clip the side panels to the stroller, creating a secure space, which resembles a bassinet for your little one.    

However, a notable downside is that you have to remove the canopy, bumper bar and seat to make space for a car seat if you decide to take one, which might be cumbersome and/or time-consuming when travelling.

Read next: The best umbrella strollers and pushchairs

Best quick-fold cabin-approved stroller
What we like
  • Folds and unfolds in seconds

  • Canopy extends further than other strollers

  • Has a large adjustable foot rest

  • Lie-flat feature from birth

  • Comes with a large storage basket

  • Easy to manoeuvre

What we don't like
  • Bumper bar doesn’t swivel

  • Five-point harness can be fiddly to adjust in a hurry

Key specs

Price: £199 | Age range: From birth to four years or 22kg | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 6.2kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 55 x 47 x 27cm

What Mumsnet users say
Beccy, Mumsnet tester · Tried & Tested
If I had known about the Aster 2 before our first child, I would have bypassed our bulky travel system and opted for this ultra-compact pushchair instead.
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Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet: Read our full Didofy Aster 2 review

This award-winning, British-designed cabin-approved stroller is another favourite amongst families who love to travel. Weighing in at 6.2kg with the carry handle and shoulder strap, the Didofy Aster 2 is not just travel-friendly but incredibly convenient, and it’s accepted as hand luggage by most airlines.

The standout feature? It unfolds and folds itself in seconds with a simple click of a button (also known as the MagicFold feature), which is perfect for navigating busy airports or assembling the buggy on the fly. In her review of the Didofy Aster 2, Mumsnet editor and mum of two Rebecca says, “The one-handed MagicFold is a breeze to use, and not only does it take up less space than our existing pram, the Aster 2 is also incredibly easy to manoeuvre outdoors and in shops, restaurants and crowds.” However, if you’re planning park walks on slightly muddy ground, this stroller’s wheels aren’t large enough to roll over that type of terrain or tufts of grass. 

The UPF 50+ waterproof canopy provides excellent sun protection, while the easily released bumper bar adds to its user-friendly design.

Designed with practicality in mind, the compact Didofy Aster 2 boasts a flip-flop-friendly brake and puncture-free tyres for all terrain, plus a large storage basket that’s easy to access. Remarkably good value for money, it includes premium-quality fabric. Plus, it comes with a rain cover and a durable footmuff that clips on effortlessly. We also like the sturdy five-point harness that ensures your little one's safety with easy adjustments. The lie-flat recline feature is also a bonus, however it’s worth noting that it’s a bit tricky to toggle and needs both hands to recline. 

For added versatility, the carrycot adapters are easy to attach (carrycot sold separately), and won’t interfere with the quick fold or ability to store this stroller in the cabin. Overall, this compact stroller strikes the perfect balance between premium features and affordability, so you can enjoy all the features of a cabin-approved stroller without breaking the bank.

Best stylish cabin-approved stroller
What we like
  • Super compact and lightweight

  • Stylish frame and fabric

  • Comes with raincover

What we don't like
  • Pricey

  • No flap to cover the mesh panel on the canopy once extended

  • The upright seating position is a little too reclined

  • The leg rest is short

Key specs

Price: £540 | Age range: From birth to four years or 22kg | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 6.6kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 52 x 44 x 18cm

What Mumsnet users say
Laura, Mumsnet tester · Tried & Tested
After testing it out with my now 18-month-old toddler, I’ve been impressed with the versatility of the Cybex Coya, both as a reliable buggy for day-to-day use and as a travel stroller to take on trips.
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Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet: Read our full Cybex Coya review

The Cybex Coya is a cabin-approved compact stroller that’s accepted on all airlines and effortlessly blends flair with functionality. Honoured with the German Design Award Special for 2023, this sleek ride ensures your little one travels in both comfort and style.

Much like its counterparts on our list, the Cybex Coya boasts a quick-fold frame for on-the-go ease, though you should note that it may require both hands and unlike the Yoyo2, which folds with the seat inwards, the Cybex Coya folds with the seat facing outwards. While this doesn’t affect the overall compactness of the fold, the seat could get scuffed easily when lifting and storing in the overhead locker or when taking it in and out of the boot. The sturdy carry strap is a bonus though as it ensures compactness, with an integrated fold lock for added security. 

When it comes to the look of this stroller, you’re spoilt for choice. The frame is available in rose gold, matt black or chrome, and it can be personalised further with machine-washable fabric covers in various shades including Pale Blush, Nude Beige, Jewels of Nature and Spring Blossom Light. You also have the option of choosing exclusive design collaborations like Rockstar, Wings, We The Best or One Love.

Enhancing both style and functionality, the stroller features a wide and sturdy leatherette handlebar with chic stitching, providing optimal grip. The generous storage basket underneath can carry up to 5kg, while a mesh window behind the seat back ensures ventilation on warmer days.

Like their innovative car seats, the Cybex Coya has a one-pull harness system, to ensure your little one is secure on the move and, although it doesn’t come with a four-wheel suspension, the Cybex frame absorbs most ground forces, promising a relatively smooth ride.

Read next: The best toddler car seats

Best all-terrain cabin-approved stroller

Micralite ProFold By Silver Cross

What we like
  • Good value for money

  • Easy one-hand fold  

  • Stands upright on its own once folded

  • Handles most terrain well

  • Has a good size storage basket

  • Extra-large extendable canopy that offers full coverage

What we don't like
  • Some reviewers say the brake is difficult to access

  • Low handlebar can’t be adjusted

  • No instructions on how to put the raincover on

Key specs

Price: £165 | Age range: From birth to around three years or 15kg | Max weight: 15kg | Weight: 7kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 51.5 x 44 x 24 cm

What Mumsnet users say
Monstamio · Recommended
Have a look at the Micralite ProFold. Ticks all of those boxes, I think. And much cheaper than the Yoyo.
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Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet: Read our full Micralite ProFold review

The Micralite ProFold is a small, agile cabin-approved stroller that meets cabin baggage allowances for British Airways, Jet2 and EasyJet. Its versatility extends to car boots and train storage, ensuring convenience on the go whatever your mode of transport. Suitable from birth, it boasts a near-flat recline and one-pull seat adjuster for personalised comfort.

The lockable front wheels and a superior suspension system with spring coils allow for easy navigation on various terrain. In fact, this stroller has one of the best suspensions out of all the strollers we’ve tested. Day-to-day, our parent tester, Adele, noted that the ProFold “Pushed easily one-handed, managing dips in the road and pavements with no issue, and taking hills and uneven grassy surfaces in its stride.”

This nimble stroller is also packed with plenty of features including a convenient back pocket for your phone, keys and purse, extendable canopy with a mesh panel and a removable bumper bar. Plus, it comes with an adjustable footrest that can be moved down for older children- but it’s worth noting that it can feel a little stiff to adjust and takes two hands. The storage basket is on the smaller side too, so not ideal for carrying a large backpack, or heavy groceries. 

The standout feature of the Micralite ProFold, however, is the built-in bamboo fabric bassinet system that resembles a footmuff, although it comes with the stroller. It works by expanding over the footrest and secured with Velcro straps for additional warmth and storage for things like blankets. It’s also a handy little feature for older children as it stops your child’s feet from getting in the way of objects as you walk. 

Best pull-along cabin-approved stroller
What we like
  • Cabin-approved for most airlines

  • Can be pulled along like a mini suitcase

  • Made with sustainable, crease-free fabric

  • Folds incredibly small

  • Comes with a dust cover and raincover

What we don't like
  • Some say it’s a little flimsy and may topple when hanging heavy bags on it

  • Has a small storage basket underneath

Key specs

Price: £280 | Age range: From birth to around three years or 15kg | Max weight: 15kg | Weight: 6.2kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 55 x 30 x 20cm

What Mumsnet users say
helloimnew123 · Tried & Tested
We used our Silver Cross Jet to travel around the world for three months. Used it every day and on about 15 flights. It looks brand new - very sturdy. I use it now for day to day. It folds so small and fits in the footwell of the car.
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Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet: Read our full Silver Cross Jet review

An upgrade from the 2020 model, the Silver Cross Jet 3, which was launched in 2022, is a sleek and stylish cabin-approved stroller that features jet black fabric and leatherette detailing.

Two notable improvements on this latest model include a faster folding mechanism and a genius magnetic buckle system, a unique feature among compact strollers. Folding flat in seconds with upgraded one-motion fold technology, the Jet 3 unfolds effortlessly by flicking the unlock lever and pulling the handlebar sides.

In terms of performance, the Silver Cross Jet 3 delivers a smooth push and a comfortable seat, ensuring an enjoyable travel experience for both parent and child. The exclusive magnetic buckle system truly sets the Silver Cross Jet 3 apart, as it’s so easy to open and close without making any adjustments, and seamlessly locks in place.

We also like that this lightweight stroller has a full lie-flat recline for newborns, with an adjustable footrest for added comfort. The built-in newborn nest also offers a safe and enclosed space, although its cover is smaller compared to some competitors. Notably, the Silver Cross Jet 3 is compatible with various car seat brands, adding to its versatility as a travel system.

The extra-large UPF50+ canopy is made with an extra flip-out visor for added protection. And if you’re looking for a stroller with plenty of airflow, this one is it with a back flap with a magnetic piece for adjustable ventilation and large peekaboo window with a magnetic flap to close.

The only downside of this compact stroller is its small storage basket, which can only hold contents of up to 5kg and can only be accessed from the front. Not ideal if you need to carry a lot on the go.

Read next: Best baby carrier backpacks for travel

Best cabin-approved stroller for older children
What we like
  • Ultra-lightweight frame

  • Extendable sun canopy

  • Roomy seat for older children

What we don't like
  • Doesn’t recline fully

  • Pricey

  • Only suitable from six months

  • Bumper bar sold separately

Key specs

Price: £429 | Age range: From six months (unless used with separate carrycot) to around five years old or 22kg | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 6kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 53.5 x 45 x 21.5cm

What Mumsnet users say
bettynutkins · Tried & Tested
I have the Joolz Aer+ and I can't rate it enough. I absolutely love it and my husband does too. We use it day to day - it's just really great. The Joolz Aer+ has two recline positions - one fully flat and another half reclined. It's enough for us.
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Lijay · Recommended
I have the Joolz Aer+. It's super lightweight and folds really small. I don't even need to use the boot - I can put it in the passenger footwell. DS naps very well in it. The extendable canopy makes it dark for naps which is good. I find the recline fine for laying them down but it's impossible to put them back upright again without kneeling on the floor. Fine if it's dry but not so good if it's raining. To be honest, that's it's only flaw.
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Our verdict

Tested by parents: Read our full Joolz Aer+ review

Boasting a larger, more plush seat than the original Joolz Aer, the Joolz Aer+ caters well to babies aged six months and above. The enhanced storage basket now supports extended weight capacity, ensuring ample space for all your essentials. The wheel design has undergone improvements, promising a smoother and more enjoyable pushing experience.

Without a doubt, this compact stroller’s standout feature is its remarkably quick, one-handed, one-second fold, which means you're ready to roll in minutes. Neatly folding without protruding fabric adds to the overall sleek design. With this stroller, you also get a carry strap and travel bag, which makes the Aer+ a great portable option that’s approved by all airlines.

The extended canopy, complete with a mesh window, offers excellent protection and a cosy spot for on-the-go naps. Impressively, the Joolz Aer+ features one of the tallest backrests among strollers, making it an ideal choice for older children seeking a comfortable ride.

We also love that there’s easy access to the storage basket underneath and a user-friendly foot brake that locks both rear tyres securely. For families on the move, the option to attach a footboard ride-along accessory offers additional flexibility.

While the Joolz Aer+ shines in many aspects, note that additional purchases, such as the carrycot or car seat adaptors, are necessary for newborn suitability. Overall, the Joolz Aer+ presents a winning combination of style, comfort and practicality, ensuring a delightful strolling experience for both parents and children alike.

Best lightweight cabin-approved stroller
What we like
  • Ultra-lightweight (the lightest stroller on our list)

  • Simple two-step fold

  • Good-quality design

What we don't like
  • Only reclines at a 30- to 40-degree angle

  • Canopy doesn’t extend

  • Wheels are a small for rougher terrain

Key specs

Price: £225 | Age range: From six months to around four years old or 22kg | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 5.9kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 20 x 32 x 48cm

What Mumsnet users say
Cdoc · Tried & Tested
The Cybex Libelle is definitely in the size limits for a TUI flight as we took it on the plane in the overhead this morning and no one told us we couldn’t! They actually encouraged us to so that we had it ready on the other side.
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Our verdict

The Cybex Libelle earns its spot as the lightest cabin-approved stroller, accepted by most airlines on our list, tipping the scales at a mere 5.9kg. It boasts one of the most compact folds in the market, achieved effortlessly by pushing in two buttons on the handlebars.

The stroller itself is remarkably streamlined, with a spacious seat – but it only reclines to 30 to 40 degrees, making it less desirable for longer naps. Nevertheless, the wide padded straps ensure extra comfort during use and we like the convenient one-pull harness for secure and quick fastening. While the small umbrella-style adjustable leg rest adds a touch of flexibility, the lack of a dedicated footrest may be a drawback for some users.

The front wheels come equipped with suspension in the forks, contributing to a smoother ride, particularly suitable for city walks and theme parks like Disney World or Disneyland Paris. However, due to its smaller wheels, the stroller may feel a bit flimsy on rougher, undulating terrain. The storage basket is also a bit of a letdown only capable of carrying up to 4kg but is wide enough to hold some basic essentials.

A bonus, however, is that this compact stroller comes with a cleverly designed weatherproof travel bag and sturdy shoulder strap that sits comfortably without being cumbersome. We think this thoughtful addition enhances the stroller's portability and convenience.

Read next: Best car sunshades for babies

Best cabin-approved stroller for storage
What we like
  • Has a rigid, sturdy frame

  • Folds quickly and easily with two buttons

  • Comes with detachable and washable seat covers

  • Storage basket can hold up to 8kg

What we don't like
  • Slightly heavier than other compact strollers

  • Handlebar isn’t height adjustable

  • Carry strap is a little short for taller people, sitting just underneath the armpit

Key specs

Price: £419 | Age range: From six months to around five years or 22kg | Max weight: 22kg | Weight: 7.3kg | Parent-facing option: No, world facing only | Travel system/car seat compatible: Yes, with car seat adapters | Folded size: 45 x 23 x 54cm

What Mumsnet users say
Neverwakeasleepingbaby · Tried & Tested
It's fantastic in general - would recommend as a great travel stroller. We use it for nursery where they will store fold-up buggies during the day.
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Our verdict

Tested by Mumsnet: Read our full Bugaboo Butterfly review

Launched in 2022, the Bugaboo Butterfly seamlessly combines convenience and functionality. With a simple one-handed fold, this compact stroller is a breeze to use, as it simply clicks into place when folded with the seat inwards. Unlike the Bugaboo Dragonfly, this stroller meets IATA requirements, which means the folded dimensions are compatible with the requirements for carry-on luggage and is accepted by EasyJet, British Airways and Emirates.  

Surprisingly spacious for such a compact stroller, the seat provides ample room despite its tiny fold. The ride itself is comfy for kids as the seats recline has a locking lever, which is great to keep it in place as your little one naps.

Designed for durability, the wheels feature a raised middle rim, effectively slowing down wear and tear on the tyres and reducing the drag factor as you push the stroller. Plus, this stroller boasts four-wheel suspension, ensuring a smooth journey on all terrain.

While the footrest serves a dual purpose as a carrying handle, it's worth noting that its width may not be as accommodating as a dedicated footrest.  But for parents, the extra-spacious storage basket is a standout feature, with an extended spring-loaded lip that facilitates easy access to your belongings. Impressively, it can hold up to 8kg, accommodating baby changing bags, travel backpacks and loose baby essentials

Versatility is a key feature, as the Bugaboo Butterfly is compatible with a variety of baby car seats. It also comes equipped with a four-panel, waterproof canopy featuring an extra-large mesh window for enhanced ventilation.

Read next: The best car seats to take on the plane

What is a cabin-approved stroller?

For a stroller to be ‘cabin approved, where it’s allowed to be placed in the overhead lockers as hand luggage, it needs to neatly fold within the dimensions specified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA): 56cm in length, 45cm in width and 25cm in depth. Plus, it must be fully collapsible and weigh less than 10kg. However, since airline rules may vary, it’s a good idea to double check with the airline you’re travelling with before your trip.

If your pushchair fails to meet carry-on restrictions, it will be labelled and placed in the aircraft's hold for the duration of the flight.

What are the typical features of a cabin-approved stroller?

Airlines often have specific dimensions and weight limits for items that can be brought into the cabin (more on this below), including strollers. But typically, strollers that have the following features should be allowed to be brought on the plane as hand luggage:

  • Compact: Effortlessly folds into a compact size to fit within carry-on limits.

  • Lightweight: Manufactured with lightweight materials for easy handling, ensuring you travel without the bulk.

  • Easy foldability: Should have a simple one-handed fold and unfold feature.

  • Airline-approved assurance: Should be thoughtfully designed to meet airline size and weight criteria.

  • Fully collapsible: Should collapse easily, allowing you to tuck it away effortlessly when not in use.

  • Weight limit: Must weigh less than 10kg, aligning with airline guidelines.

  • Swift manoeuvres: Engineered for smooth navigation in tight spaces, ensuring comfort for both you and your little one. 

Read next: The best 360 spin car seats

What should I look for when buying a cabin-approved stroller?

When buying a cabin-approved stroller, consider the following factors to ensure it meets your travel needs:

  • Size and foldability: Look for a stroller that’s compact and easily foldable. It should meet the dimensions specified by airlines for carry-on luggage.

  • Weight: A lighter stroller makes transportation and handling more convenient.

  • Age bracket: For little ones from birth to six months, the stroller should be stable, robust and supportive with a fully reclining seat or bassinet as the lie-flat position is the most ergonomic position for newborns. The bassinet must be able to fold down with the stroller to make it suitable for cabin luggage. If you’re looking for a compact stroller for your older child, consider the age and weight limit, plus the overall size of the stroller and footrest. 

  • One-handed fold/unfold: Opt for a stroller with a one-handed fold and unfold feature for added convenience, especially when you have your hands full.

  • Airline compliance: Check that the stroller complies with the carry-on regulations of the specific airlines you frequently travel with. As we’ve mentioned, airline restrictions vary.

  • Durability and quality: Invest in a stroller made from durable materials to withstand the rigours of travel. Quality construction ensures longevity.

  • Manoeuvrability: Consider the stroller's manoeuvrability, especially in crowded spaces like airports. Swivel wheels and easy steering enhance ease of use.

  • Comfort features: Look for a stroller with features that provide comfort for your child, such as adjustable recline, a sunshade and adequate padding.

  • Handlebar height: Some strollers come with a fixed handlebar height, but if you’re particularly short or tall, it might be worth considering a stroller with adjustable handlebars.

  • Storage space: Check for storage compartments or baskets to accommodate essentials like nappies, snacks, and small items you may need during your travels.

  • Additional travel features: Some strollers come with travel-specific features like a travel bag or cover, which can be beneficial for protecting the stroller during transit.

What are the carry-on, hand luggage size limits by airline?

Some of the most popular airlines carry-on hand luggage restrictions are:

  • Qantas (international): 56 x 36 x 23cm (strollers need to weigh less than 7kg to be allowed on board)

  • easyJet: 56 x 45 x 25cm (strollers fit in the large bag category)

  • Emirates: Any size allowed (stroller needs to be fully collapsible)

  • Jet2: No strollers in the cabin, only in the hold

  • Virgin Atlantic: Allows GB Pocket+, Silver CrossJet and BabyZen YoYo as hand luggage

  • British Airways: No strollers in the cabin, only in the hold

  • Tui: No strollers in the cabin, only in the hold

  • Ryanair: 55 x 40 x 20cm (fully collapsible strollers are allowed on board)

However, it's important to note that airline specifications vary and they may undergo changes. Therefore, it's crucial to check the hand luggage rules specific to your airline before you fly.

About the author

Tammy Jacks has 15+ years' experience in the publishing industry, enjoying a long and fruitful career as Managing Editor and Health & Beauty Editor for Woman & Home magazine in South Africa. She later went on to become Assistant Editor of the popular South African parenting title Living and Loving, and has written for numerous lifestyle publications including Oprah Mag SA, Health Intelligence, Your Family Magazine, Longevity, and pharmaceutical company Clicks Clubcard Magazine, as well as edited books for popular fitness influencers and health professionals.

Tammy is a distinguished researcher and writer in the field of child safety, with a notable focus on the critical domain of travel systems including car seats and strollers. Her extensive expertise and commitment to child safety have made her a trusted authority in providing comprehensive insights and guidance to parents and caregivers looking for the right stroller for their children. As a mum to an eight-year-old, Tammy has personally tried and tested numerous buggies and strollers over the years, across all age categories.

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