If you’re in the market for a pram in 2016, it may seem like your choices are endless. With so many different options available and so many different things to consider, things may seem very overwhelming. I hope to provide you with the ultimate guide
Hauck Viper Trio
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Zeta Citi Stroller
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Graco Trekko Duo
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Fulfilling your needs
You may be thinking mainly of your child when making a buying decision for your new pram, but I would argue that the first thing you need to consider is yourself. That might sound very selfish, but you have to realise that most prams are already designed to be accommodating for your baby. There are all sorts of small nuanced differences which you may want to consider with your baby in mind (I will come onto those later) but you really want to consider how a pram will fit into your own lifestyle as this tends to be the bigger factor in what type of pram suits you.
Transportation and Storage
Before purchasing a pram, you should carefully consider how often you feel you will be carrying your pram in the car.
If you do plan on transporting your pram in the car, you really want to be very vigilant when looking at the dimensions of your pram when folded. This may not be so much of a problem if you own a big people carrier, but small car owners should pay extra attention to this as you want to look at ones that fold to small dimensions.
If you plan on driving your baby around a lot, you may consider an all in one system, many of which allow you to detach the seat of the pram to use as a car seat. This is super handy and can save time and money for those who would have needed to buy a separate car seat anyway!
If you know that the everyday use of your pram will involve public transport, you want to be looking at those of the lightweight variety, and compact when in use. Some prams can be very heavy, especially with your little one sitting in it, so you want something which you won’t have any problems lifting up and moving around. All of these details are also super important if you live in a flat and need to carry your pram up and down stairs on a regular basis.
Full swivel wheels are really great for moving around in tight spaces on public transport and you might want to consider a three wheel pram which offers the greatest amount of mobility. Lockable wheels will also help keep the pram still on buses and trains.
Comfort and Convenience
Consider how often you will use your pram, and where it will be used. If you’re planning on using the pram mostly on flat pavements in the city centre, you might not have too much to worry about, but if you’re going to be walking with your baby along bumpy country roads, it’s important that you buy a pram which can handle that terrain to make things comfortable for you (and your baby). Large rubber tire-style wheel tend to handle this sort of terrain the best, whereas you can get away with smaller wheels on city centre pavements.
You also want to think a lot about the handles on your pram. Most well designed prams allow you to adjust the height of the handles but this is not always the case. This is very important if you are much larger or smaller than average height.
If you plan on passing the pram on to your next baby in the future, or are looking for a pram which will last for a number of years, it is wise to invest a little more. Also all in one systems may cost a little more than a standalone pram, but will serve more purposes and may work out cheaper than buying everything separately.
Fulfilling your baby’s needs
There are also some considerations your should have in mind for your baby when picking a pram. This is important, not only for the baby’s comfort, but also for safety reasons.
Newborn babies need to lie back to aid their developing spine, and it can be potentially dangerous to allow them to sleep sitting up for an extended period of time. For this reason, most prams will allow you to choose a recline position which suits your baby’s needs. Most good prams have multiple recline positions which allow you to select from a number of different positions to find the most comfortable one for your baby. Also, note that many forward facing prams do not lie completely flat, if you want a pram which lies flat and also has the option of being seated in a forward facing position, some of the all in one system’s allow you to switch between flat carry cot and forward facing seat.
Your baby’s comfort is very important. Beyond measures such as seat and strap padding, you should look at measures which help make your baby comfortable in harsher weather conditions. Many prams come with a rain cover, sun canopy/umbrella and a foot muff. Please note that some prams do not include these features and you might need to look into buying these as add-ons for some options.
It’s worth noting that you should look for prams with five point safety harnesses to ensure the safety of your baby while seated in the pram. Most prams have this feature.
Look for a pram which is suitable for the age of your child. Most pushchairs on the market typically serve children between 6 months to 3 years of age, and many these days are designed to cater to multiple stages of your child’s development. Bare this in mind when budgeting for your pram, as a slightly more expensive pram which will last longer may be a better option than a cheaper pram which will need to be replaced quickly.
These products are really great if you’re looking for something which will provide you with versatility and solutions for all of your needs. Typically these travel systems or three in one systems will include the stroller, cary-cot and car seat, and will allow you to convert the one product into all three very easily. They might be a little pricier than other options, but it means that you do not have to buy the other products separately, and the price can be justified if you have a need for all of the products.
- Pushchair, cary cot and carseat combination
- Reversible seat which can be parent facing or forward facing
- Coordinating accessories
My top pick in this category has to go to the Hauck Viper Trio set. You can read the full review here, but the main advantages of this product are:
- The price is great value compared to it’s competitors which are either much more expensive, or much cheaper but lacking in features
- It is very versatile, featuring big wheels which make it usable on all terrain and multiple seat positions to suit your needs
- Has adjustable handle height
- Is suitable from birth until the child weighs approximately 13kg
The product pretty much fulfils everything you would like it to when it comes to what we have already spoken about above; transportation and storage, mobility, comfort, seat position, safety, and age. The only potential downside is that the price, while cheap relative to it’s competition is still expensive if you’re doing things on a really tight budget.
Regular 4 wheel pushchairs
These models will typically lack the versatility and robustness of other options, but are great if you're just looking for something quite casual for the odd road trip you might go on where you might need a pram when you arrive. They’re also great for every day use as long as you’re just using it on the pavements. The typical features you can expect from a 4 wheel pushchair:
- More traditional in appearance
- Typically front facing and do not always feature full recline seat positions so are perhaps more suitable for slightly older children rather than newborns
- Typically very lightweight and foldable to a much smaller size than other options
Our top pick in this category is the Zeta Citi stroller because it’s such a great product for its price. You can read the full review here but the main advantages of this product are:
- Excellent value for money. Do not let the price fool you as this is a really great option, and the fact that it is so cheap makes it even better
- The stroller is really simple and lightweight. You can carry it up and down the stairs without any issues
- The pram folds away nice and small so you won’t have any problems fitting it into the boot of a really small car unlike with other prams
- The pram comes already fully assembled so you don’t have to worry about putting it together
The only bad thing about this pram is that the handles can be a bit uncomfortable, so you might want to look at other options if you’re looking for a pram which you can use for long periods of the day. A more expensive options would be the Chico Ecco Stroller.
Three wheelers are typically a more ‘modern’ take on four wheel pushchairs and are more suited to conditions where robustness is required. Typical features of three wheel pushchairs include:
- They have a more stylish and sporty look
- Typically will have bigger wheels which resemble tyres on a bicycle
- Are able to handle bumpier terrain than your standard four wheel pram
- Perfect for walking your baby along country paths, beaches, or through woods where you know the path will not necessarily be smooth
My top pick for this category is the Graco Trekko Duo Pushchair. You can read the full review of it here but the main advantages of this product are:
- It has a really stylish design
- It has a second removable seat which is great if you’ve got a couple of children
- You can buy the car seat as an add-on which turns this product into a full travel system
- The wheels are padded which gives you the extra assurances that you are protected against getting flat tyres when you’re out and about
The main disadvantage of this product is that it is quite expensive for what it is, you can get full travel systems for around the same price. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives which you can look into, though.
My conclusion to this buyers guide is that you should really look at what option is going to be best for you based on your circumstances. What suits one persons needs may not suit another so it is really difficult to make a suggestion which fits everyone.
We have a number of reviews on this website in addition to what is mentioned in this buyers guide so I really encourage you to take a look around and have a look at the many options available to you. Links to the reviews are on the right hand side of this page and are categorised by the type of pram they are.
My own personal recommendation is definitely the Hauck Viper Trio set. While it is expensive and may stretch the budget for some, it keeps you covered for everything you might need, and will be suitable for your child through multiple age ranges.
If you’re looking for a cheap option, the Zeta Citi Stroller is great, but you may end up spending more money in the long run if you’re also buying car seats, cary cots, and having to upgrade your stroller as your child gets older.