A travel system pushchair is a sensible choice if you plan to travel regularly in the car with your baby in tow and want to avoid disturbing them whilst they sleep.
While some travel system-compatible pushchairs tend to be bulkier than strollers, there are some models that have all the features and benefits of a travel system pushchair, but in a compact package. Essential if you happen to have a car with a small boot.
Read on to find out about some compact travel systems that are good for small cars, or head straight to our travel system pushchair reviews to discover the best ones we’ve tested.
What is a travel system pushchair?
Technically, a travel system pushchair is one where you can attach an infant carrier car seat to the chassis, either on top or in place of the standard seat unit.
Many travel system pushchairs can also take a carrycot or newborn nest attachment to turn it into a pram, but for it to be a travel system, it has to be ‘travel compatible’ by taking a car seat.
The car seat can usually be clicked straight onto the chassis of the pushchair or attached using car seat adaptors, so your baby can remain in the car seat without being disturbed.
The travel system may come as a pushchair and car seat package, or the manufacturer will advise which car seats the pushchair is compatible with, so you can purchase one separately.
Prioritise choosing your car seat before you buy your travel system so you’re confident you’re making the best choice for transporting your baby safely.
We crash test every car seat we test multiple times – combining this with expert ease of use and comfort assessments, so you can choose the best car seat for protection and a comfortable ride.
Will your travel system pushchair fit in your car boot?
If you have a smaller car, measure the usable size of your boot in centimetres and check against the folded size of the travel system in our reviews to make sure it will comfortably fit.
Part of our test involves experts loading each pushchair into the boot of a typical family car to check how easy a process it is – and whether there’s any room remaining for other baby essentials or shopping.
Below are images from our testing to demonstrate how much the size of a folded down pushchair can vary.
The above image shows how a folded pushchair can leave you with very little room in your car boot, particularly if you use the parcel shelf. The image below shows how a compact pushchair allows for other items alongside it.
One of the most compact travel systems we recently tested has a folded volume of 40 litres. One of the largest we have recently tested comes in at 367.2 litres.
When cross-referencing this with popular small car models and their usable boot volume up to the parcel shelf – it averaged at 227 litres. A Mini Hatch (2014 – to present) has a volume of 145 litres, a Toyota Aygo (2014 – present) 170 litres and a Fiat 500 (2008 – present) has a usable storage volume of 185 litres.
So, it’s essential you consider the measurements of any travel system you have your eye on before making a purchase, especially if you have a small car boot.
Compact travel systems pushchairs that fit into a car boot
Here are some of the most compact travel system pushchairs we’ve recently tested.
Cybex Libelle Travel System
The Cybex Libelle is a lightweight buggy, suitable from birth if you add a compatible Cybex car seat.
It’s light enough to comfortably lift into your car boot and compact enough that it scores well in our tests for not taking up too much space. When folded, it measures H23 x W36 x D49cm, so ideal for families regularly on the move.
Read the full Cybex Libelle Travel System review to discover what it’s like to use as a travel system pushchair.
Phil and Teds Go (2020+) Travel System
The Phil and Teds Go (2020+) is a light and compact travel system that’s suitable from birth and is easy to fold and unfold.
It’s compatible with the Phil and Teds Alpha Infant car seat which can sit on an ISOfix base in your car. The pushchair weighs just 5.9kg (our heaviest tested pushchair comes in at 18.3kg) and measures H21 x W44 x D57cm.
Read the full Phil and Teds Go (2020+) Travel System review to find out if it’s also a comfortable ride for your baby.
Babyzen Yoyo 2 Travel System
The Babyzen Yoyo 2 is lightweight and has a compact fold, measuring H23 x W46 x D53cm, making it ideal for small cars, public transport or going abroad. It’s suitable for newborns if used with their Baybzen 0+ Newborn pack.
Read the full Babyzen Yoyo 2 Travel System review to see if it copes well over bumpy or rough ground.
Ergobaby Metro+ Compact City Stroller Travel System
The Ergo Metro+ Compact City Stroller is suitable from birth when used with the supplied Ergobaby newborn nest. It’s compact and lightweight, so suitable for small cars and nifty at manoeuvring around obstacles.
Read the full Ergobaby Metro+ Compact City Stroller Travel System review to see what our panel of parent testers thought of it when they took it round our assault course.
Maxi-Cosi Lara2 Travel System
The Maxi-Cosi Lara2 is a budget-friendly, compact travel system that is suitable from birth as the seat fully reclines.
It’s compatible with Maxi-Cosi car seats and comes with adaptors. It measures H29 x W50 x D54cm, so would comfortably fit in a compact boot.
Read the full Maxi-Cosi Lara2 Travel System review. to see if the seat is well-padded and comfortable for your baby.
Not so compact travel systems
At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve also tested some pretty sizeable travel systems that wouldn’t be suitable for a compact car boot.
Cosatto Wow Continental Travel System
The Cosatto Wow Continental is easy to fold but hefty to haul into a car boot. Measuring H50 x W59 x D101cm, it’s bulky, and a bit no for compact car boots.
It’s compatible with Cosatto’s own Port i-Size car seat and adaptors.
Read the full Cosatto Wow Continental Travel System review to see if our panel of experts rated the features this pushchair offers.
Bugaboo Lynx Travel System
The Bugaboo Lynx is bulky when folded down, measuring H64 x W60 x D87cm, so better suited to medium-sized cars.
Read the full Bugaboo Lynx Travel System review. to find out how our user panel rated other features such as the storage basket and hood coverage.
Other things to consider when buying a travel system pushchair
Not only should you consider whether the travel system will fit into your car, you may also want to also consider how heavy the compatible car seat is and whether it’s straightforward to fit into your car.
We always recommend you get your car seat professionally fitted and then practise over and over to make sure you can do it yourself.
You’ll also want to see how easy the travel system is to fold. You don’t want to be struggling to collapse the chair every time you get it out of the boot or take it on public transport.
You’ll discover all this information by reading our full reviews, and checking out the star ratings in our Test Results section.
Read more of our advice on how to choose the best travel system.