Yes, such things do exist, and they are everything you would expect to make travel through an airport much easier with kids! I will go into detail of all the carry on strollers that fit into the overhead bin, but first, be aware, the final decision always rests with the airline, even if the stroller does meet their carry on requirements.
When you are flying with a baby or todddler, one of the times you really need a travel stroller is at the airport – particularly for that long walk to baggage reclaim and the usual snaking queue at immigration. Whilst some airlines do their best to help by providing you with courtesy strollers as you disembark, this is sadly not the norm.
This guide will help you decide on which is the best cabin sized stroller for you which can fit in the overhead bin on an airplane. A carry on stroller can make things a lot easier for you, especially if you are in long queues and have a sleeping baby or toddler who, if like mine, fall asleep just before landing!
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What kind of stroller can I take on a plane?
The best option is to know your airlines cabin baggage regulations and maximise them to the hilt by bringing a compact cabin sized stroller as your permittable carry on.
This may mean you will have to for go bringing another travel bag depending on whether there is a lap infant baggage allowance for a diaper/nappy bag or similar. (For flying with a lap infant tips, see here)
With research on over 20 airlines lap infant carry on allowance and the adult cabin baggage allowance done for you, you can work out which is the best stroller for air travel and which travel stroller could be used as a cabin size stroller. This will mean you would have to sacrifice your normal cabin bag to bring this on. However, if you have a potentially long wait in an immigration queue or a transit stop where you can’t access your stroller, then this could be well worth the trade off.
Jumping on the popularity of trend setters BabyZen Yoyo and the GB Pockit, travel pushchairs and strollers are evolving all the time – with new compact pushchairs all vying to be the lightest and smallest and marketing themselves as a stroller that fits into a overhead bin.
For 2023, here are the latest options, including the Bugaboo Butterfly which meets most airline cabin baggage guidelines. (The guide below this will show what size cabin baggage airlines allow and which strollers meet this criteria.)
6 Cabin Size Strollers Perfect For Plane Travel which Fit in Most Overhead Bins
Pockit All Terrain
The Pockit All Terrain is one of the lightest travel strollers.
The GB Pockit + All Terrain is an upgrade from the original GB Pockit and tweaks have it made it stronger, more robust, and even more practical for travel.
This newer version benefits from a recline function, a UV50 sun canopy whilst still folding up incredibly compactly, making it a fully collapsible stroller
It folds down in 2 simple steps and can be carried via the attached handle. It is considerably heavier at 12.3lbs/5.6kgs than its predecessor, but it is still a very lightweight travel stroller, which can be moved with one hand.
Although there is no travel bag or straps with the compact stroller, some people have bought backpack straps and carabiners to attach to the stroller and wear it as a backpack, as it is so lightweight.
The adjustable recline feature makes it possible for older babies and toddlers to sleep in but it does not go completely flat.
Included are adapters to click onto a CYBEX infant car seat.
- Really compact, perfect for immigration queues or day trips with a baby
- It may be hard at times on cobblestones in Europe
- Canopy could be better
What other readers of Flying With A Baby Say:
“So useful for plane travel. We can fit it in our backpack as carryon”
Dimensions when folded: 11.8 in x 7.1 in x 13.8 in
Storage Basket: Yes
Travel Bag: No
Sun Canopy: Yes,
Max Weight Capacity: 55lbs
Age: 6 months up to approx. 4 years
Compatible with Infant Car Seat: Yes – gb and CYBEX
Pockit + All City travel system
Made for city life, crowded restaurants, small spaces on trains, buses and planes, the Pockit + All City stroller is designed for smoother surfaces, (so not ideal for cobbled streets).
It’s compatible with the gb and Cybex car seat and has a much better sun-hood than the original Pockit, it reclines and is an upgrade on the Pockit Plus 2018 model.
- Weight 12.5lbs/5.7kgs
- Folded L19 xW 33 x H48cm (7.5 x 13 x19″)
- Age suitable for: 9 – 17 kg/From 6 months up to approx. 4 years.
- For more information and latest prices see here.
Pocket Silver Cross Jet Ultra Compact
The Silver Cross Jet Ultra Compact is new for 2020. It boasts a coordinating, fully-extendable UPF 50+ hood with an air-flow ventilation system, rear wheel brakes, front wheel suspension and is very light thanks to the aluminium frame. The fully extendable UPF50+ hood has an air-flow ventilation system with pop-out sun visor.
Best of all, it folds small enough to fit in most cabin space on an airplane and can even be wheeled like a small suitcase! Surely a contender for the best travel stroller that fits in overhead bin?
Whilst it won’t fit on Qatar or Etihad, it will fit on easyjet, American Airlines, BA, Delta and many more as cabin baggage. (See chart below)
- Weight:13 pounds/6kg
- Folded: D7″ W11.8″ x H21.65″ (D18cm W30cm H55cm)
- Age suitable for: Birth up to 40lbs in USA/15kgs in UK
- (Read more about it from John Lewis UK or Amazon worldwide here.
BabyZen YOYO 2
The BabyZen YoYo 2 is another stroller, and arguably the best known – which meets most airlines cabin baggage allowances.
It weighs in at a very light 13lbs/6.2kg but with a lot more functions.
It is consistently rated highly as a contender for the best lightweight travel stroller.
The YOYO comes with a storage bag and a shoulder strap so you can easily carry the BabyZen on board a plane.
It’s narrow enough to fit in most airplane aisles and will easily fit into the hat rack and meet many airlines cabin luggage requirements.
This compact travel stroller feels sturdy and is often used as a daily stroller because of all its features; including multi recline, a sun canopy, rain cover and generous under seat storage.
It is on the pricey end of the market but if it is used daily and used for travel, then it may save you from buying a separate travel buggy.
These compact pushchairs are quite popular in Europe because they fit through narrow doorways. The YOYO, is on the pricier end, but saying that, it does have a lot more functions and could easily be an everyday stroller, not just for travel.
I also have a full review of the earlier model BabyZen YOYO Plus here.
YOYO² protects your child up to a weight of 22 kg (48.5 lbs)*.
• Lightweight: 6.2 kg (13.6 lbs) in the 6+ version, 6.6 kg (14.5 lbs) with the newborn pack or 8.1 kg (17.8 lbs) with the bassinet.
• Folded dimensions. 20.5” x 17.3” x 7.1”
• Carry on the shoulder with its padded shoulder strap.
• Hytrel® elastomer suspension, unique technology.
• Handlebar in soft faux leather and tether strap.
• Supplied with a carrying bag.
• Basket supports up to 5 kg (11 lbs).
The new Baby Joy is a great option if you are looking for a cabin size stroller and comes with a sturdy bag for convenient carrying, making it a backpack pushchair. It doesn’t recline but comes at a 115 degree tilt and a 13″ width seat.
The Baby Joy is so small in measurements that it meets most airline cabin baggage rules when folded.
- Weight: 14 lbs/6.3kg
- Folded 31cm x 31cm x 16.5 cm (12.5″ x 12.5″ x 6.5″)
- Age suitable for: 50 lbs/22.6kg
The stroller has an easy one handed fold using two buttons pressed together and it can be done with one hand. As you flick it open it often goes straight into place, but other times I have to push the back of the seat to click it all into place (I can use my knee so still one handed).
Folding it down is also done with the same two buttons pressed together and pushing down on the handle.
It doesn’t lie flat and therefore is only suitable from 6 months but it lies back enough to look comfortable for longer sleeps (111°-145°). There are two positions, upright and reclined and it can be changed one handed between the two. The seat is only forward facing.
This Bugaboo stroller is designed for children up to 22kg/around 4 years which is bigger than most in the travel stroller category. My petite 6 year old (21.5kg) has ridden in it on some longer days and it is still easy to push and tall enough in the seat to handle her. At 5 foot 9, I often struggle with stroller’s that don’t have a height adjustable bar, but I find the Butterfly is still comfortable to push.
The basket is a reasonable size and I can fit our changing bag under there.
Once folded, the stroller is a very compact 45 x 23 x 54 cm which means it fits in most car boots (we have a Ford S Max 7 seater and with all 7 seats up I could fit in several folded Butterflys).
It is also approved as cabin luggage and can slide into the overhead lockers easily..
We have tried it so far on Air India, British Airways and Vietnam Airlines and it was a comfortable fit in the lockers – something that made a stopover much more comfortable for all of us! It is unusual to be given your pushchair or stroller back for stopovers as you will usually collect any stroller at your final destination. Being able to use a super compact foldable stroller in-between connecting flights was incredibly useful! Read more on the Bugaboo Butterfly here.
- Weight: 7.3 kg
- Dimensions when folded: 45 x 23 x 54 cm
- Recline: Yes
- Storage Basket: Yes
- Travel Bag?: No
- Sun Canopy: Yes
- Max Weight Capacity: 22kg
- Age suitable for: 6 months – 4 years
- Compatible with Infant Car Seat: Yes – with adaptors available separately. Compatible with Bugaboo Turtle One and Air by Nuna & other Maxi-Cosi® infant car seats.
- Dimensions unfolded 92.5 x 45 x 102.4 cm
INFANT BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE GUIDE TRICK
The guide below shows what many airlines will allow as carry on for a standard economy seat if you are flying with an infant. (Infant/child hold baggage is also included) However, by looking at the adult hand baggage allowance and measurements, you can see if you can bring your foldable stroller in place of your bag cabin allowance, meaning you can have your stroller with you for the walk to baggage reclaim and passport control. Just click on the image to enlarge.
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