Stroller Reviews: What Are Their Pros And Cons For Flying?
All reviews have been carried out either by myself or fellow mummies who have flown recently, using their own items.
The Bugaboo Cameleon
Review by me.
We’ve all seen the Cameleon out and about on the streets, but how is it for travelling? The 2nd generation, can be tricky to put away, and it is impossible to dismantle one handed, with a baby trying to crawl on top of you or it. However, it does pack away very neatly in the especially designed Bugaboo travel bag. The carry handles and/ or wheels (depending on which edition of the bag you have), make it very convenient. You’ll find you will need a few practise goes beforehand, so as to minimise any stress whilst at the airport. (Unless you check it in straight away). Dismantling it means removing the 4 wheels, removing the bumper bar and folding the frame, taking the carry cot /chair seat off and packing them flat. ( So if you are using the bassinet, you’ll need to remove the black plastic strips, and all the Velcro fastenings). There seems to be only one way to pack the bag. My only issue is because the bag has a specific shape, it really does leave no room for error. It can take 5 minutes. (More if stressed!)
However, once arriving at our many overseas destinations, it was well worth the effort for us and it’s come with us on every flight so far. Not only was she used to her pram, and when smaller, she slept in it when we were out in the evening and throughout the night, but it also provided adequate shelter from the elements, whether sun, rain or wind. ( The free mosquito net came in handy too). It seems to be a myth that you can’t take your regular stroller or travel system with you on the plane. You can, but to minimise any possibility of damage, I choose to use a bag to minimalize damage from any over- zealous baggage handlers.
- Packs away very neatly.
- Easy to transport once in bag.
- Great to have regular pram at destination.
- Saves buying a new pram for travelling.
- Can use the bassinet as cot if baby is small.
- If using the bag, you can pack extra things inside.
- No room for error as it only packs one way in the bag .
- Can be time consuming to dismantle.
- Need two hands to fold away.
Babyjogger City Mini
(Review by Charlotte Fletcher, mum of a now 1 year old and 4 year old).
I know a buggy is an incredibly personal choice but I really have great things to say about the Babyjogger City Mini when flying with a baby. We bought a McClaren run around when we started travelling with our son but when that broke we replaced it with the Babyjogger and three years and another little one down the line and it’s still going strong, in spite of all sorts of rough treatment from the baggage handlers. It’s just as travel-friendly – folds down super easily, is nippy and light – but feels much more solid and comfortable for the little ones. It feels more like a flight-friendly regular buggy than a buggy you buy specifically for flights.
- Can fold with one hand.
- Easy to manoeuvre.
- Seat tilts back to flat for nap time on the go.
- I can’t think of any!
Maclaren Techno XT
(Review by Lucy Bruce, mum of 3 children, including an 11 week old.)
As a mother of 3 small children that travel a lot, I have to been 100% sure that I pack the right type of baby paraphernalia to help me on my way. Over the years I have learnt that although your baby may be traveling in complete style and comfort, it can be a total mission (and workout) to get these items from A to B. One of the most essential baby items (and most cumbersome to carry) is the baby stroller.
During my less experienced days I would transport my top of the range Bugaboo along with accessories and matching travel bag leaving me with an extremely heavy and large piece of oversized baggage on arrival. I soon learnt that the good old foldable buggy is the way forward for me, but I still had to navigate my way around the baby showrooms who displayed what seemed to be hundreds of brightly coloured push-a-longs, all claiming to be better than the next. I opted for the Maclaren Techno XT and here are my findings.
The Maclaren Techo XT specifies that it suitable for children from birth. Although it is meant to fully recline, it is not completely flat, but it is near enough horizontal and certainly comfortable enough for the baby to sleep for many hours. There is also an extendable foot rest for older babies which allows their legs to be fully elevated. The clasp to secure the straps can be a little fiddly as to unlock as you have to squeeze the buttons on the front and back at the same time making it difficult if you have long nails or weak fingers. The straps do not adjust properly for newborns as they rub against their ears, the strap covers are definitely required but at an extra cost and for complete comfort you would need a headrest.
The XT is easy to fold away and open, and the handle at the side makes it easy to lift onto a trolley or put into the back of a car. The XT is the heaviest of the Maclarens but it’s benefits outweigh the extra two kgs that have to be lugged. It is compact enough that on many occasions the Purser/CSD of the flight has allowed me to bring it on board to be stored in a cupboard. It can be a little heavy to push, but the swivel wheels to help it to easily glide around corners and manoeuvre through complicated spaces. The Maclaren comes with a rain cover, which is great if you are travelling to tropical countries but investing in a mosquito net that fits securely is a must.
The hood has a handy clear window so you can see your child even when it is open but you will need a blanket draped over it if you want to completely block out the sun. The seat cover does get very dirty on the baggage belt and my hood did get slightly damaged on one occasion so do invest in a canvas cover if you want to keep the buggy is pristine condition.
The pockets at the back of the XT are really handy for keeping water, sun cream and at hat at the ready and the storage beneath the buggy is ample for a few bags of shopping if the seat is not reclined. One thing which always catches me by surprise is how the pushchair will topple over once to take the baby out if you have shopping bags on the handles, the buggy can also topple over when the baby is in the seat if there is too much weight on the handles.
At the end of your trip the seat cover can be removed and washed in the washing machine though refitting it can take time and is a little complicated. In general, I have been pleased with the Maclaren Techno XT and four and a half years later it is still going strong. I am now using it for my 11 week old baby and although it is a little worn and torn, the functions work just as well as they did when I purchased it. I would recommend the Maclaren Techno XT to any travelling family and can assure you that the Maclaren brand has lived up to its long trusted name.
- Lighter than a travel system.
- Has handy pockets.
- Suitable from birth.
- Need to buy extra pieces for complete comfort.
- Can tip over if shopping bags are on the handle, with or without baby inside