Road test: new strollers

By Wednesday, November 4, 2015 1 No tags Permalink

I love prams. When pregnant with my first baby 5 years ago I spent months researching prams online and in store. My best friend told me that outside of choosing a name, choosing a pram was the hardest decision you had to make when pregnant. And I think she was right! In fact, I think I put more effort into researching a pram before I purchased one than I did choosing a name!

At the Tini Trader Pop Up Market recently there were more than 20 prams on display to test drive. Literally. There was a ‘test track’ set up with simulated steps, rocks, sand and other obstacles that parents meet every day with prams. A great idea, it was the ideal way to test the agility, handling, weight and comfort of the prams with your own child.

Finding the right pram is so important, not only for the comfort and safety of your baby, but it’s a piece of baby equipment you will likely use every day for a long time – years even. It’s a big investment too, with some prams worth thousands of dollars, and with everything else you have to buy for a new baby, you need to make the right choice.

Making the right choice means you’ll only have to buy one pram – you may even use it for more than one baby. At the TiniTrader Pop-Up I test drove as many of the newest prams on the market as I could and made some great discoveries. My gorgeous darling baby Marnie was so patient and happy to sit (and lay) in all the prams. I even tried out some double prams with my 3 1/2 year old too.

Here are some of the stand outs:

Greentom Upp

I was pretty keen to try out Greentom as it’s the “greenest pram on the planet”. Impressively, every part of the pram is made from recycled products, but it looks so good. Surprisingly, it’s great quality, and very sturdy. Having a test run with this pram was fun because it looks so stylish and different, (as you’d expect from those stylish Dutch) and handles very well – easily maneuverable but still sturdy enough to feel like my baby was secure.

Three different designs for different stages of baby’s life: the pink Greentom Upp Classic that Marnie had a ride in faces forwards only and is recommended from 6 months to 4 years. The seat was very comfortable, made from soft fabric and their range of colours is huge! There was plenty of room in the storage basket and it folded down easily. It’s so lightweight at only 7kg I could pick it up with one hand – and every mum knows how often you only have one hand free!

The Greentom Upp Carrycot – the bassinet version for newborns upwards, and the Greentom Upp Reversible Push Chair prams were there too. The Reversible was my favourite because I like to have my baby facing me, then when she’s older she can face forwards. It was a great looking pram, and very lightweight but sturdy frame and a really cool, Euro-style design.

Footmuff, car adaptor and rain cover all sold separately. Lifetime warranty.

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Marnie in the Greentom Upp Classic

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The Greentom Upp Carrycot

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The Greentom Upp Reversible and Carrycot prams

Bumbleride Indie Twin
RRP $999

You don’t have to have twins to buy a double pram. It’s a great investment if you plan on having your children close together, save you buying two prams. The Bumbleride is a new addition to the market and is lightweight and easily maneuverable. It only weighs 15.5kg which is pretty light for a double pram, and for a side-by-side is quite slimline in width, so fits through standard doorways easily.

The seats fully recline for sleeping, and the footrest is adjustable too so the pram seat becomes a little cocoon – great for sleeping. The canopy reclines down further than most double prams too.

It was really easy to handle; lifting and turning was done with ease, and it folds down quite flat for a pram of this size. There’s loads of storage in the bottom carry basket, and a mobile phone holder on the top canopy is handy too. It comes with a cup holder, wrist strap and single car seat adapter, and fits various brands of car seats.

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The Bumbleride Indie Twin

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Marnie and Sasha sat comfortably in the Bumbleride

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Fully reclining seats and adjustable footrest – very handy for sleeping

Bugaboo Runner
RRP $990

Launched this year, the Bugaboo Runner is as impressive as you would expect from the Bugaboo range. A niche market, the Runner is a jogging pram for the active parent, but looks so great, you could just use it for an everyday, busy, active life. The seats and accessories are compatible with other Bugaboo strollers, so it could easily be a second pram for running errands, or keeping up with toddlers and older children.

The seat is reversible (which is great if you’re running so you can protect baby from the wind, sun and bugs!) the handlebar is fully adjustable and it comes with an air pump and rain cover too. It was SO comfortable to push, really lightweight and turned easily and with little effort. Definitely on my wish list for my next pram so I can keep up with my older daughters!

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Marnie in the Bugaboo Runner

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The Bugaboo Runner, designed for the active parent

Baby Jogger City Select
RRP $700 (second seat or capsule sold separately)

Probably the most versatile pram there, the City Select has 16 different configurations. It comes as a single, but you can purchase a second seat or capsule, and configure it how you like. Whether you have a newborn, a baby, a newborn and a toddler, a baby and a toddler, twins, or even 3 little ones, the City Select is designed to meet the growing family’s needs. Which it definitely does, to a point.

My middle daughter Sasha often gets too tired to walk long distances, so I’m often using a double pram, but this wouldn’t be the ideal double pram for us. It would be great for children under 2.5 to 3 years, but at 3.5 years Sasha was a little too tall for this pram.

With all those possible configurations it’s definitely versatile, but I found it to be a little too heavy for me to push regularly. It’s a very sturdy pram, and great quality, with loads of accessories and a travel system that’s handy for transferring a sleeping baby from the car to the pram. There’s a huge storage basket at the bottom which I love, and the wheels pivoted really easily for turning. But with a baby, a toddler and a nappy bag it was quite heavy for me to push, which it needs to be for all the configurations of seats it’s designed for.

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Marnie facing me in the City Select

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Sasha at 3 1/2 is too big for the City Select

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The City Select has 16 different configurations

ABC Adventure Buggy Triple Pram
Around $1200, seats sold separately

If you have your children close together, twins, triplets or even quadruplets, then the Adventure Buggy is worthwhile checking out for it’s range of Double, Triple and Quad Buggys. Made in New Zealand for over 20 years, it is such a fabulous design that allows parents of larger families to get out and about – in style!

I found it to be a great quality stroller that was surprisingly easy to push and turn considering it’s size. You can use it as a double, add a top seat for three, or two top seats for four children. There are toddler seats, or fully reclining baby seats available. It felt incredibly stable too, which is crucial for carrying that many babies and toddlers, and even with just one child in it, it didn’t tip sideways or feel unsteady.

It’s only 79cm wide which is great for pushing through doorways and supermarket aisles. And the top seats can hold up to 19kg each (about an average 3 year old) which is plenty enough capacity until your child is ready to walk.

The only downside was that at only 5’6″ in height I had trouble seeing over the top (without a child) so it would be more suited for a taller person to push it.

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Ava looking at the Adventure Buggy Co. Triple

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Add a fully reclining baby seat, or static toddler seat

I have two prams, a Bugaboo Bee I bought in 2010 when my first baby was born, and a Mountain Buggy Duet I bought when my second daughter was born a year later. We live in the city and walk everywhere, and I still use them all the time. I really can’t recommend enough how important it is to research strollers and prams and buy one that suits you, your budget and your lifestyle. It’s well worth it.

Good luck. x

1 Comment
  • Laura T. Entwistle
    September 14, 2016

    The best collapsible carriage for the price. It provides your little with all the comforts and has a bottom basket for storage. Easy to maneuver.

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