The best lightweight buggies and strollers for 2021

best lightweight buggy

After six months of in-depth research and parent-led testing, we reveal the UK's best lightweight buggies and strollers to buy right now.

Last updated: 1st February 2021.

Looking for the right buggy can be a tricky business, especially when there are a whole host of different features to consider. Umbrella or concertina fold? Four wheels or three? A travel stroller fit for a newborn or suitable for a toddler?

While this type of pushchair may not be an immediate choice for many parents with a child under the age of two, buggies (otherwise known as strollers) are great alternatives to traditional travel systems. They're compact, easy to manoeuvre and ideal on public transport, which makes getting around big cities or urban areas a breeze.

But which lightweight buggy is best? Mumsnet Reviews aims to combine the wisdom of the forums with expert advice and real-life testing, so we spent time researching the top buggies on the market (read more below) and comparatively testing them with a busy family of five over a period of six months.

And the results are in. Here are the best lightweight buggies and strollers for 2021.

1. Best value lightweight buggy: Micralite ProFold

“Grass and hills aren’t a difficulty. In fact, I find this performs particularly well on grass and uneven terrain. I think the larger wheels really help.”

1. Best value lightweight buggy: Micralite ProFold

Whether you’re taking it on the school run, an overseas holiday or a long walk, the Micralite ProFold stands out as a high-performing all-rounder. As such, we think it's the best lightweight buggy for most families.

Where many travel strollers can be rickety or present a compromise in functionality, the Micralite ProFold stands out as a genuine everyday option.

While we'd recommend this lightweight buggy from six months onwards, it is, in fact, suitable from birth. We love its intuitive design, the ease with which it folds and unfolds, and its high-quality materials.

Pros

  • Folds and unfolds one-handed
  • High performance on all terrain
  • Comfortably high handlebar for tall and short parents

Cons

  • No parent-facing option for newborns
  • Some movement in the frame

Specs

  • Age range: Birth to 15kg (around four years)
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Orientation: Forward-facing
  • Car seat compatible: No

Read the full Micralite ProFold review

2. Best lightweight buggy for newborns: Cybex Mios

“The Cybex Mios is a great option. For someone who is always folding their pushchair, I can't imagine anything better than those compact ones.”

2. Best lightweight buggy for newborns: Cybex Mios

The Cybex Mios straddles two pushchair categories as a fully-functioning travel system with the nimbleness and foldability of a lightweight pushchair. We were particularly impressed by how easily it switches between parent- and world-facing.

Even without adding a carrycot, the Mios offers a cosy fit for newborns with the leg support lifting to create an enclosed pram of sorts. At the same time, it also manages to be roomy enough for a three-year-old with lots of space to grow.

Despite being on the heavier side, this buggy is still a big performer across the age range.

Pros

  • Genuinely suitable from birth (some buggies better from six months)
  • Manages well on all types of terrain
  • One-handed fold and recline
  • Adjustable handlebar
  • Lots of accessories available including footmuffs, cup holders and changing bags

Cons

  • On the heavier side for a lightweight buggy
  • Hefty price tag (carrycot also sold separately)

Specs

  • Age range: Birth to 22kg (around five years)
  • Weight: 9.9kg
  • Orientation: Parent- and forward-facing
  • Car seat compatible: Yes

Read the full Cybex Mios review

3. Best luxury lightweight buggy: Joolz Aer

“It’s a dream to fold and unfold. Incredibly simple and intuitive. Absolutely one-handed.”

3. Best luxury lightweight buggy: Joolz Aer

Folding doesn’t get easier than on the Joolz Aer. Throw in a stylish design and a generous storage capacity and this buggy is a must-have for anyone looking to downsize at six months plus.

We also loved the Aer’s padding and extra-long seat. This is a comfortable ride across the age range, ideal for reluctant walkers (although not suitable to use from birth), and it manages to achieve all of this while also folding up surprisingly small.

Our tester found the Joolz Aer to be the most convenient to fold out of all the lightweight strollers she tested.

Pros

  • Impressive storage
  • Superb one-handed fold and unfold
  • Airy design for hot weather
  • Extra long seat – ideal for taller children

Cons

  • Not suitable from birth
  • Recline mechanism is a bit awkward

Specs

  • Age range: Six months to 18kg (around four years)
  • Weight: 6kg
  • Orientation: World-facing only
  • Car seat compatible: No

Read the full Joolz Aer review

4. Best lightweight buggy for travel: gb Qbit Plus All-Terrain

“We bought a gb Qbit+ All-Terrain for holidays and it's honestly been a best buy for us. It folds easily and the seat comes off to wash. It's so light that, when I got stuck at the top of three flights of stairs on my own because the lift broke, I was able to carry it and our toddler down on my own.”

4. Best lightweight buggy for travel: gb Qbit Plus All-Terrain

The gb Qbit Plus All-Terrain is an impressively small buggy with the functionality of a full-sized travel system.

Whether you're off on holiday or moving on and off public transport, this buggy makes sure your child has a smooth ride as well as somewhere cool and comfortable to nap.

While we do wish it had a slightly deeper storage basket, the double wheels and all-wheel suspension help to solidify the Qbit Plus as a great travel option.

Travelling often calls for high performance across a range of scenarios and the Qbit Plus All-Terrain certainly fits the bill.

Pros

  • Can convert to 3-in-1 travel system with a carrycot and baby car seat
  • Extremely easy to fold
  • All-wheel suspension
  • Main seat unit has a lie-flat recline position

Cons

  • Handlebar not adjustable
  • Shallow shopping basket
  • Slightly awkward brake pedal

Specs

  • Age range: Birth to 15kg
  • Weight: 7.7kg
  • Orientation: World-facing only unless used with a carrycot or car seat
  • Car seat compatible: Yes

Read the full gb Qbit Plus review

5. Best lightweight buggy for city life: Silver Cross Jet

“We have the Silver Cross Jet and it’s amazing!”

5. Best lightweight buggy for city life: Silver Cross Jet

The Silver Cross Jet is a highly innovative lightweight buggy that packs a punch for its size.

It folds both downwards and inwards, which means it hardly takes up any space at all. As light and compact as it is, we think it’s a perfect fit for apartment living, zipping around shops and popping on and off public transport. Be aware though that the shopping basket is a little on the small side.

The Jet also doubles as a great travel stroller, meeting the carry-on criteria of most airlines. The bumper bar converts into a handlebar when the buggy is folded so you can drag it along if needed. It’s also a dream to carry up stairs, whether at home or abroad.

Pros

  • Folds up incredibly small
  • Seat reclines to lie fully flat
  • Good handlebar height
  • Can be pulled along like a small carry-on suitcase and fits the overhead locker on most airlines

Cons

  • Two hands needed to collapse
  • Small storage basket
  • Wipe-clean only

Specs

  • Age range: Birth to 15kg
  • Weight: 5.9kg
  • Orientation: World-facing only, unless used with a compatible infant car seat
  • Car seat compatible: Yes

Read the full Silver Cross Jet review

6. Recommended buy: Babyzen YOYO²

“I can't rate the YOYO highly enough. The main benefit is that I was able to get DS out of the seat and then collapse the whole thing one-handed. Spectacular.”

6. Recommended buy: Babyzen YOYO²

The Babyzen YOYO² is another excellent travel companion that can be used all the way from birth with Babyzen's newborn pack.

An upgrade to the ever-popular Babyzen YOYO+, the Babyzen YOYO² boasts improved suspension, a higher weight limit, a new faux leather handlebar and compatibility with even more car seats than its predecessor.

It’s lightweight and ultra compact with great adaptability. Better yet, the higher-than-average upper weight limits means that you could score long years of use from this hard-working buggy.

All in all, it's a good alternative to a travel system for parents looking for a compact solution right from the get-go. Just don't forget to buy a rain cover.

Pros

  • Well-cushioned and roomy
  • Generous storage basket
  • Easy to collapse and carry (cover bag and carry strap included)
  • Meets the cabin luggage dimensions of most airlines

Cons

  •  White wheels show up dirt easily
  • Rain cover sold separately
  • Requires some assembly

Specs

  •  Age range: Birth (with newborn pack) to 25kg
  •  Weight: 6.2kg
  •  Orientation: World-facing, but parent-facing with the newborn pack
  •  Car seat compatible: Yes

Related: Watch last year's winner the Cosatto Woosh in action

7. Recommended buy: Baby Jogger City Tour 2

“The definite pro with this stroller? It folds up really small. Not only can it fit easily in the boot of a car, but it fits easily in a footwell too.”

7. Recommended buy: Baby Jogger City Tour 2

Often touted as a great travel option, the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 works equally well as a day-to-day buggy. But don’t be fooled by the name. We think it’s a brilliant push wherever you live.

We were impressed with the size of this buggy, considering how light it is. With a weight limit that makes it suitable up to around five years, you could get quite a lot of use out of it both on your travels and day-to-day.

Good news too – it's an upgrade on the original Baby Jogger City Tour, which means it's now compatible with a carrycot and baby car seat.

Pros

  • Longer age range than most lightweight strollers and it's more than affordable considering its longevity
  • Folds up small one-handed
  • Reclines fully
  • Carry bag included

Cons

  •  Fiddly harness
  • Bit of a bumpy ride
  • Rain cover not included

Specs

  •  Age range: Birth to 22kg
  •  Weight: 6.5kg
  •  Orientation: Forward-facing only, unless used with a car seat or carrycot
  •  Car seat compatible: Yes

8. Recommended buy: Joie Pact

“We bought a Joie Pact for travelling and it's survived seven check-ins so far. And it takes a decent amount of stuff in its basket. It's technically too large for hand baggage, but occasionally they've let us take it on as it's pretty close.”

8. Recommended buy: Joie Pact

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly lightweight buggy for zipping around town, leaving in car boot or taking on a variety of trips, the Joie Pact deserves a look-in.

Remarkably easy folding and high durability will have many parents hooked. The Pact also gets extra points for ease of use and for being a brilliantly compact stroller, although we marked it down for its performance on grassy surfaces.

Generally though, we’re hard pressed to think of what kind of life this buggy wouldn’t fit with.

Pros

  •  Folds up incredibly small
  • Strong build
  • Multi-position reclining seat, including a lie-flat position
  • Smooth steering

Cons

  •  Basket seems a little flimsy
  • Struggles a bit on grassier surfaces

Specs

  •  Age range: Birth to 15kg
  •  Weight: 6kg
  •  Orientation: Forward-facing only
  •  Car seat compatible: No

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lightweight stroller

What is a buggy?

A buggy is a style of pushchair that's lightweight, compact and typically used with older babies or toddlers.

Easy to transport and to store, types range from the simplest of umbrella strollers to sturdier, more luxurious models.

Lightweight buggies often take up less room than full-sized travel systems or more traditional prams and, unlike the latter options, don’t always have fully-reclining, newborn-friendly seats.

Genuine birth to toddler options are increasingly hitting the market though (complete with a full recline and parent-facing seat), aimed at parents looking for a compact travel solution as soon as their baby is born. We’ve included some options like these in our testing.

Why use a lightweight buggy?

Parents often look to strollers when they're ready to move on from bulkier travel systems, seeking a less complicated solution for grandparents or something less fussy to take on holiday.

Buggies can also be useful for public transport if you live in the city, ideal for holidays when you’re trying to minimise luggage, and a lifesaver for those moments when your toddler just wants to rest their tired legs.

How long can lightweight buggies be used for?

Usually, lightweight strollers are suitable from six months and can extend to either three-and-a-half years (15kg) or even four or five (25kg).

However, some models extend even beyond this age limit, accommodating children as old as six. Always check the weight limit on the buggy you’re considering before you buy.

What’s the difference between a lightweight buggy and a travel system?

A travel system, sometimes called a pram, is the more traditional and bulky method of transporting a baby around.

Travel systems tend to be the go-to for parents of newborn babies because they're compatible with carrycots and baby car seats – the latter of which allows parents to transfer their baby from car to pushchair and vice versa with minimum hassle.

Unlike travel systems, lightweight buggies aren't always compatible with carrycots or car seats, and smaller wheels might rule out off-roading. However, they tend to be lighter, more compact and a whole lot cheaper than travel systems, which can actually make them a more attractive option to parents once their baby is a bit older.

How much do lightweight buggies cost?

Prices vary from as little as £30 to over £500, so there really are options to suit every budget.

How much you choose to spend may depend on how often and where you plan to use it. Solid options can be found on either end of the spectrum though, so a lot will come down to personal preference.

If you're planning to use your stroller every day, investing in one with decent suspension and a good-sized storage basket will be well worth the pennies. On the other hand, if you think you'll only use it occasionally or as a spare, a budget-friendly option might be the way to go.

Many affordable buggies do a surprisingly good job and should come with the essential rain cover and shopping basket too.

What to consider before you buy a lightweight buggy

A few different factors will determine which stroller is the right fit for you. Be sure to clarify your criteria before you start looking to avoid being overwhelmed by choice or railroaded into buying something that won’t meet your needs.

Where will you use it?

For a start, where are you most likely to use it? Will you be taking it on city pavements, hopping on and off buses, or do you need something that will fold up small into your car boot or potentially be taken into a muddy field?

Many parents reach for a lightweight buggy when preparing to go on holiday so you may be looking for something that can fit inside the locker of a plane as hand luggage. If purchasing in-store, be sure to mention where your buggy will be getting most of its use.

What age range is it suitable for?

Is it suitable from birth? If it is, it will need to fully recline and you may want to make sure it's padded and sturdy enough to seem comfortable for a tiny baby while holding any bags you’ll be taking along.

Whether a buggy fully reclines or not can also be a dealbreaker with older babies and toddlers, especially if it'll be a safe place for your child to sleep when out and about.

Additionally, what’s the upper end of the age range like? Do you want a buggy that'll last beyond early toddlerhood?

How comfortable is it likely to be for the parent?

You’ll also want to consider the height of the handlebars, particularly if you’re tall or if the buggy will be shared by adults of varying heights.

Are the handlebars long enough? Is there potential to adjust the handlebars if not? This could have a huge impact on your comfort, which you may not realise until the damage to your back has been done.

How lightweight is it?

Weight can vary wildly between strollers, with some even coming with handles for carrying around while others require a lot more effort. Whether you’re lifting it into a car boot or taking it up a flight of stairs, you’ll want to be sure that your model is an easily manageable weight for you.

How does it fold?

Buggies conventionally fold in half with the activation of a switch at the back. However, many models now fold to an even more compact shape and size. You’ll want to consider the size of your boot or anywhere else the buggy is likely to be stored as well as how easy is it to fold. Can it be folded one-handed when on public transport, for instance?

What’s the storage like?

Strollers generally have smaller storage baskets than travel system pushchairs, but the size of the basket can vary from model to model.

You’ll want to consider how much room there is in the basket, how accessible it is with a child sitting in the chair and how stable the stroller is if a bag were to be hung on the handles – this sometimes goes against manufacturers’ instructions, but is a criteria that many parents consider.

What added extras does it come with and is it good value for money?

The accessories a lightweight stroller comes with can also vary. While most come with a rain cover, shopping basket and sun canopy, you’ll want to look at how generous these are and keep an eye for any extras. Are there pockets? Can the wheels be upgraded? Are any other accessories available for purchase? And does it offer good value for money overall?

Read next: Lightweight buggies buyer's guide

lightweight buggy

How we chose the products to test

Dedicated to finding the best lightweight strollers on the market, we commissioned writer, blogger and mum of three Adele Jarrett-Kerr to research, test and write about lightweight buggies.

Adele has used lightweight strollers with all three of her children from the toddler stage and, with an eight-year-old, six-year-old and three-year-old in the house, has extensive experience using a variety of baby equipment.

As her three-year-old was still quite happy to spend time in a pushchair, she was able to test each product toward the mid to upper end of the age range, giving a feel for the buggies’ potential longevity.

Adele spent 11 hours researching different lightweight buggies, noting best buys on review sites such as Which?, trawling through recommendations on the Mumsnet forums and speaking with other parents in real-life. She took note of products that kept coming up again and again, as well new offerings from well-established brands.

She also spoke with Emma Redding of BuggyFit who regularly fields questions about the right buggy for child and parent, and was able to advise on what most parents are looking for when choosing a stroller. Information from the Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) further rounded out her research.

Finally, she shortlisted 12 strollers from an initial longlist of 50, selecting from varying price points and styles.

How real-life comparative testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique

Over the course of six months, with over 200 hours of road time, Adele pushed each stroller to the limit.

She tested each lightweight buggy with her three-year-old daughter, covering over 50 miles across at least seven days in varying terrain, weather and scenarios. In total, that's about the distance from Glasgow to Edinburgh, so they all had a good outing.

Each model hit the pavement, crossed grassy fields, went out in the rain, made it up hefty hills and took in both the car boot and on public transport. She also performed a number of targeted tests to see how each product fared. These tests included a topple test, a hill brake test and a storage basket test.

Tests assessed safety and stability, assembly, day-to-day usage, cleanliness, aesthetics and value for money by covering toppling, storage, speed of use and varying accessories amongst other challenges.

We put each product to the test with the same child and parent to achieve consistent like-for-like comparison, as we do with all our reviews.

Adele took notes on each lightweight buggy during the test period and scored each one at the end to find five Mumsnet Best winners and a further three that each earned an honourable mention.

Why you should trust our reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to be featured in our articles or win a Mumsnet Best award.

We spend hours researching, speaking to parents, analysing data and listening to experts before we test out the products on our shortlist.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the one's we'd recommend to our own friends and family.

If you choose to buy a product we recommend, we sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles, which help us to fund more helpful and independent reviews like this one. But if you return the product because you're not happy it, we don't earn anything. So there's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or in our testing process.

There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents lives' easier.

Read next: How we tested lightweight buggies

All prices on this page correct at time of writing