Top ultra-compact travel strollers 2023: the best cabin-sized buggies you can buy this year
2023 is well on the way, and you may think about which ultra-compact stroller will suit you and your little one the best during holidays, vacations, trips, or just for shipping. You know the drill - the large system is simply the comfort, but when you need something super small, it is always a compromise. Which lightweight travel strollers compromise in the best way? These are our picks from what the market has to offer.
Don't forget, though - no stroller has it all, and the smaller the strollers get, the fewer features they have, and it is truly important to pick one to two stroller priorities - not everything is possible or combinable- or affordable.
Joolz Aer: the sturdy little workhorse
The Joolz Aer simply has to start this countdown as it is simply truly well made. Really compact, with a tall seat back, and often used as a daily stroller (not the best use though, as it is made for traveling, but well), it is best used for toddlers as it doesn't lie flat. It does, however, accept a carrycot as well as a car seat (both with adapters), so you can use it from birth with an almost stroller system comfort. An expensive model, unfortunately, as many accessories are great (like the leg rest) but need to be purchased separately.
Stroller weight: 6.1 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 105.5 cm x 45 cm x 83 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 53.5 cm x 45 cm x 21.5 cm
Bugaboo Butterfly: the high seatback-ed looker
The Bugaboo Butterfly still rules in multiple aspects - a super tall backrest, a super nice design, and IATA approved airlines-accepted cabin dimensions after folding. No lie-flat recline, so not the best for super small babies, but it is compatible with a Maxi-Cosi/Cybex-style car seat, which makes it baby friendly anyway.
Stroller weight: 7.3 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 102.4 cm x 45 cm x 92.5 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 54 cm x 45 cm x 23 cm
Emmaljunga Kite: the spacious buggy with the large wheels option
The Emmaljunga Kite needs to be mentioned as it is not only unique, design-wise, but also features a high backrest along with the rugged, more all-terrain wheels option. With the smaller wheels, it is - like the BGB Butterfly - IATA approved and suitable for pretty much all airlines cabin space, and we should not forget about the cool, high basket design, too. The Kite also boasts a more upright seat, however don't expect a 90-degree angle which is not possible with ultra-compacts. Also, it goes only up to an almost-full recline, and doesn't (yet) accept a car seat nor a carrycot.
Stroller weight: 7.9 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 113 cm x 48 cm x 88 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 56 cm x 48 cm x 25 cm
Recaro Lexa - another tall-seatback with a lower price tag
The Recaro Lexa ultra-compact came out in 2022 and is a but under-estimated, however with a bit lower price than a Butterfly or an Aer, it also offers enough seat space and even a side vents in the seat. And there's even a "brither" stroller to it, featuring a reversible seat-design - the Recaro Lexa Elite (which is, however, a tad larger after folding).
Stroller weight: 6.4 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 104 cm x 47 cm x 80 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 58 cm x 47 cm x 27 cm
Joie Parcel - the upgraded, more stylish Pact
The Joie Parcel has a design that evolved from the budget Joie Pact but with the Signature, higher-quality fabrics and much more features. Apart from the lie-flat seat and enough padding, it accepts adapters for a car seat as well as a carrycot, so as a travel stroller, it is suitable right from birth. Definitely check your airline's requirements before buying, as this is not the smallest out of the list, but without the bumper bar, it is quite small and reasonably handy. And it is not crazy expensive (if you don't count the bassinet or the car seat price into it).
Stroller weight: 6.9 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 106 cm x 47.1 cm x 83.1 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 58.5 cm x 47.1 cm x 28.8 cmn w/o bumper bar
Cybex Libelle 2: the smallest from the list
The Cybex Libelle 2 is pretty much the Cybex Libelle with new, cooler colors and updated fabrics all over. It is a simple, not crazily sturdy buggy with umbrella stroller-inspired handles; however, it folds truly small, and you'll have no problem at any airport. If you don't need something fancy, features-wise, and only need a buggy for an already-sitting-by-itself kid, this one won't take much space and will look quite flashy for such occasional use.
Stroller weight: 5.9 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 102 cm x 52 cm x 71 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 48 cm x 32 cm x 20 cm
Ergobaby Metro+: the comfort for the baby
The Ergobaby Metro Plus simply has to have its place in this year's top ultra-compacts again, and the reason for that is that it has a superb price-performance ratio. With an awkward but larger-than-most hood, and superb padding, plus a sturdy frame, it can be used for smaller babies too, and even in a bassinet kind of setup. And it is not super small nor super slanted in the seat, so it is accepted well with most kids.
Stroller weight: 7.8 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 105 cm x 44 cm x 97
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 54 cm x 44 cm x 25 cm
Uppababy Minu V2 - larger but sturdier
The Uppababy Minu 2 is larger and not complying with the requirements of many airlines; however, if you'd check your stroller or just go with it as baby's luggage - or just need something sturdy for the car, you're gonna be happy about it. It is somewhere between a buggy and a real pushchair and will handle a larger child's weight just fine without getting loose too soon.
Stroller weight: 7.66 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 104 cm x 51.6 cm x 90 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 58.4 cm x 51.6 cm x 29.2 cm
Mountain Buggy Nano: the simple & effective & not too expensive
The latest Mountain Buggy Nano is out for a few years, but still holds on to its unique, simple-ish design because it works. It is small enough, sturdy enough for the size, and lies flat enough for your babies. It also comes with a practical, long shoulder strap and also a travel bag, and there's an optional cocoon or a full carrycot for newborns to feel safe and protected. I like that this stroller doesn't play better than it is, and that it works and pushes well - for a price that is more affordable than many others.
Stroller weight: 5.9 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 100 cm x 54 cm x 104 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 54 cm x 51 cm x 30 cm
Babyzen Yoyo - the original travel buggy
The Babyzen Yoyo 2 has to close the top 10 list simply because size-wise, it is one of the best choices out there. I personally am not a fan of the short seatback and the price-performance ratio, but the stroller can last well, and as an occasional stroller (for the price, hmmm), it is a practical choice for the parent. I have to warn against its use for small babies, though, they grow out of the newborn set quickly (at about 4 months), and parents tend to use it with a kid that doesn't sit independently yet, which leads to babies with their neck and head in a horribly bad position (please don't do that, please).
Stroller weight: 6.2 kg
Unfolded dimensions (h×w×l): 106 cm x 44 cm x 86 cm
Folded dimensions (h×w×l): 52 cm x 44 cm x 18 cm
Honorable mention goes to leclerc Influencer, which seems to get a lot of attention also because of their quite strong marketing. It does its job well and folds automatically (you just need to throw the handle forward), so it deserves to be featured. I feel like its design is a bit too similar to other auto-fold stroller models, and it is very confusing that the brand has three models with literally the same functionality but different fabrics = 3 different names for the models; however, if you want something with a lovely color and an easy folding, it is certainly a nice option. AND it does offer a full carrycot as well as XL wheels if you'd need your small stroller to be a bit more rugged.
I will also mention the Anex Air Z, which is not available everywhere, but, similar to the Yoyo, it offers a kind of reversed position of the seat if the canopy is pulled over. It is quite an interesting newborn option without compromising on the seat space too much.
I hope you found the travel buggy you needed or at least have a clearer image of what is out there. Be sure to pick that one, max. two priorities, and if the price is important, count on other downsides. If possible, try your choice before buying, as you will see how your child fits in and how he/she looks inside. I hope you'll be happy with what you pick and - have a great 2023 - especially the summer! ^-^