There are people, who manage to pack their two-week holiday luggage for a family of five into a tiny handbag. There are people who travel with babies in a carrier only. But if you are not one of those people, but a simple mortal, you probably will take a pushchair/buggy with you on your trip. This post will help you in choosing just the best travel stroller for your trip. Child-less people and (lucky) people with children, who can walk more than 3 miles without needing a rest, please scroll!
A Short Intermezzo
As some of you know, I usually travel with my toddler Mark. The buggy I got was not the lightest and not the most comfortable one. It works fine, when we go to the park together with my husband, but I struggle a bit with it, when I am travelling with Mark on my own. As some of you also know, I suck at research, but luckily I have a supportive family, which often comes handy when writing a blog.
My cousin Liya had her daughter Sasha 11 months later than I did, and she made a tremendous research about all the baby stuff, which can make your life (and travelling) easier and more enjoyable. She also looked at the most popular baby strollers, looking for the best travel stroller. She also travelled from London to Philippines and around the islands, while her baby was only four months old, so she also had a chance to test her findings.
I also asked to put her research in writing, which she did. And when I saw the amount of information she put together, I decided to divide it into two parts: buggies and the rest. And now, I give the imaginary floor to my cousin Liya.
So which one is the best travel stroller for me?
I looked into travel pushchairs and chose a few pushchairs that looked light, small and functional. The idea was to find out what is better for us, more comfortable for Sasha and also looks pretty and I have spent a lot of time researching and going through the reviews. I see the pushchair the way I see my bag: it needs to be pretty and functional at the same time, especially as this now-travel pushchair will probably become my main pushchair, when my Sasha will turn one.
Ickle Bubba Aurora
This is very a stylish and small buggy with a big basket. It was a serious contender for us as it was also one of the cheapest. It comes with its own bag, where you can keep it while folded. We got to try it out at the Baby Show, and the only issue we had was the folding. It is a little bit weird, and you definitely need two hands for the buggy to fold. Having a little baby, who is not yet able to sit up by herself, we decided that it would be too difficult for me to fold it, if I was with her by myself.
GB Pockit Stroller
GB is the company behind the famous GB Pockit stroller – the smallest stroller that can go into overhead locker on the plane. This is probably the best stroller to fly with and great for travelling with an active toddler, as it is light and folds so well. For us Pocket would not work as it does not recline. Although when I was talking to GB representatives at the Baby Show, they said that they are looking at making new Pockit stroller that will recline. So maybe in the future there will be an even smaller reclining travel stroller.
GB Qbit Plus
Spoiler alert: this is the stroller we ended up getting, so I guess for us this one is the best travel stroller. Unlike Pockit, Qbit Plus reclines, which makes it suitable from birth. (Note: GB also produces Qbit stroller, which looks the same as Qbit Plus, but does not recline, making it suitable from 6 months old). This is a very stylish stroller. I absolutely love the hood. It is also easy to fold, and I can do it one-handed while holding my now 7 months old. Qbit Plus is compact when folded and has nice sturdy wheels, which makes it easy to push on a rough surface. It is heavier than others, being 7.8 kg, but I found it well-functioning and well-thought through comfort-wise. We also got car seat adapters and a matching car seat (since the one we got originally turned out to be pretty bad). So technically it becomes a lightweight travel system stroller.
One more stroller that we were considering is Quinny Yezz. I think if we would have started travelling first as our baby got 6 months old, I would have gone with this one, as it is probably the most compact stroller for toddler. It is pretty and the lightest stroller on our list at just 5,6 kg, easy to fold one-handed and you can carry it on your shoulder. It is a sort of lightweight reclining umbrella stroller, but not as long when folded. One very specific reason we liked it is the wheels. They are like scooter wheels, which makes them easily replaceable.
Another good for travel and good for everyday life pushchair. I believe the company is already on the 5th version of this pushchair. Bugaboo Bee is one of the most popular small strollers for newborns. The seat fully reclines, although most people prefer to buy a carrycot accessory as well. It is also easily foldable with one hand.
For this fifth version the front wheels were improved by putting extra suspension. This made the buggy better for rougher surfaces. In my babysitting god-motherly duties I have used Bugaboo Bee for many years travelling around London. It is sturdy enough yet small enough to fit into small place and easy to lift, which makes it probably the best everyday stroller. My friend has this buggy for five years now and it is still surviving her third child. So yes, it is on the pricey side, but it is very good quality, long lasting pushchair, if you want style, comfort and convenience.Bugaboo Bee is very stylish, and you can personalise it, chosing different fabric for the seat and the sun canopy. It is a great buggy for small cars.
Babyzen YOYO+ Stroller
Babyzen Yoyo+ stroller is probably one of the most visible strollers in London. It is the best travel stroller for many moms I know and can be used from birth provided you will buy the carrycot with it. It is easy to fold one-handed and is perfect if you are looking for a foldable stroller for plane. Yoyo+ comes with the strap to put the stroller on your shoulder and with its own carry bag, as it folds so small that it fits into overhead locker on the plane. It has a big basket underneath, so you can store a lot of things in it.
Considering that you can use this buggy as your main buggy, if you live in a town with good pavements and at only 6.2 to 6.6 kg (depends whether you are using seat or carrycot), it is a super lightweight stroller and a great investment for someone who is planning to travel loads and only wants to buy one buggy. Yoyo+ is also an easy to carry stroller – good choice for someone, who lives in a place without a lift and is in constant need of carrying buggy up the stairs. As we already had our buggy, this was a bit too much for us to spend. Also I have dodgy back, and it was a bit too low for me to bend all the time, but for what it is providing, it is decently priced and definitely not as expensive as some buggies I have seen.
Buggy Protector Bag
To be honest, it is a much better idea to get a stroller travel bag, instead of wrapping your strollers into plastic bags. There are several of those bags on Amazon, and you can chose one, which suits both your taste and your budget. Do not repeat our mistake. When we went to the Philippines, we did not have a buggy bag yet. Our beautiful stroller got black marks on it and ripped in one place.
As we got GB Qbit and it is new-ish company, they did not make specific bags for their travel strollers yet. We decided to get the Venture Car Seat Travel Bag Protector. My husband found this bag, while we were looking for something to protect our car seat during the trip. However, the dimensions actually fit GB Qbit stroller quite well. It is a little too big for the Qbit, but still a great bag to take with you, if you want to protect the stroller from getting damaged by airport staff and other luggage.
So, I hope it was useful for you. Do you have any other lightweight and comfortable travel stroller or maybe cheap travel stroller recommendations? Or have you maybe tried one of these? I (and Liya) are curious and would gladly hear your thoughts on this!