Compact Strollers Explained

What makes a compact stroller?


Compact strollers take up very little space when folded, typically with the seat on which is perfect if you're tight on space, have a small car boot or planning to do lots of travelling. Most have many of the same high-end features as traditional pushchairs but all rolled into a compact, portable size.

It is important to pick a compact stroller to suit your lifestyle so that it will help make life easier and tick all the boxes for what you are going to use it for. One important feature of a compact stroller is the ease of fold, which can vary from stroller-to-stroller. So, let's take a closer look at what different types of folds there are to help you decide which stroller is right for you.

Umbrella fold

Lightweight

Umbrella-fold buggies are so unsurprisingly called this due to folding up like an umbrella. This means you flip a switch at the back of the buggy and it collapses in on itself.

Great for getting on and off public transport or in and out the back of a car, models with this type of folding mechanism are usually pretty lightweight, too. Some compact fold strollers aren’t suitable from birth, so be sure to check if an umbrella-fold buggy is suitable from birth. One thing to note when folded, they are still usually the same length – just flatter – so you would need a spacious,long car boot. The Silver Cross Reflex is an example of this fold.

Fold in half

Storage

Folding forwards simply frrom the handle, the seat unit typcially folds in half - exposing a handle or strap to carry from, similar to suitcase.

This is a quick and easy way to fold. However, the folded buggy is still just as wide as it was before, so is usually better for storing in the car boot more so than taking on and off buses. The Cybex Mios is an example of this fold.

Collapse into chassis

Ease of use

At the flick of a switch, or press of a button, the top section of the buggy collapses, face-up, onto the wheels. The wheels either stay where they are, or the front one tucks underneath. The footprint of these compact strollers remains the same, so it can be slightly larger than most compact folds when folded although it’s a very easy folding style. The Bugaboo Bee6 is an example of this fold.

Bunch fold

Portability

This fold has a few contortions, firstly the handles fold towards the front wheels, then the width of the buggy is reduced by the frame folding inwards, so the wheels come together and meet in the middle. The advantage of buggies with a bunch fold is that they’re very small and portable when folded. It usually requires both hands and you do need to completely empty the shopping basket first, otherwise it will not fold up properly. The Babyzen YOYO2 and Joolz Aer is an example of this fold.

3D fold

Ultra-compact

This fold involves folding both lengthways and sideways. Typically starting at the handle, the fold collapses down with the seat attached and usually from a press of a button on the handle.

The seat then reveals a handle or strap to carry. Folding into an ultra-compact size, perfect for overhead lockers on aircrafts.

Some strollers go one step further, by folding inwards at the sides too. The Cybex Libelle is an example of this fold.

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