8 cheap prams that are actually really good prams

Cheap prams

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You don't have to spend a small fortune to get a good pram. These prams may not have the same branding or aren’t quite as stylish, but they don’t compromise on functionality. Some of them are bargains for what you get.

Introduction

Picture this: A newly expecting couple walks into a baby store looking for a pram.

Seasoned sales people immediately crane their heads towards the door and spot the doe-eyed look of fresh fodder wandering to their slaughter. Their glassy-eyed, overwhelmed gazes scan the aisles of products whose purposes they can only imagine, mental budgets whirring into overdrive as they pile up the list of required baby purchases.

Just how much does that pram cost?

The sales people circle until one steps forward.

“Can I help you with anything?”

Help they will, except the likelihood that the parents will wheel out a pram that is pricier than they imagined.

Stop! You don’t have to be the prey.

It is possible to save money on prams, you just need to dig a little deeper to find them. Look beyond the brand and there is great value out there.

That’s what we’ve done: we have collated 8 of the best prams that will let you have your pram and…erm…push it.

Summary: The Best Cheap (and good) pram

Valco baby Snap 4 Black Beauty

Light and fully-featured pram for a low price

+ Light
+ Newborn ready
– Polyester

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BetterBuying.co Best Cheap (and good) Pram

Super easy one-handed fold city runabout

+ Compact one-handed fold
+ Newborn to 22kg
– Small basket

Steelcraft Agile 4

Function over style

+ Easy to fold/unfold
+ Large canopy
– No frills styling

Mountain Buggy Mini Buggy

Good for keen walkers

+ Large wheels, good for walking
+ Small turning circle
– Reports of quality issues

Easy to push all-rounder but heavy

+ Easy to fold
+ Easy to push
– Surprisingly heavy

Mothers Choice Flux Active Stroller

Affordable all-terrain 3-wheeler

+ Smooth ride
+ Great price
– Heavy

Light and affordable, good for travel

+ Very light
+ Compact
– Small storage

Mothers Choice Haven Stroller

Fully-featured pram on a budget

+ Well-appointed
+ Bassinet included
– Reports of quality issues

What to look for in a pram

While some of these prams may not have the most recognisable brand names in the market, they don’t necessarily skimp on quality or features. These will give you a solid pram for years to come and your baby might not know the difference, either. 

Lay flat

Newborns aren’t strong enough yet to hold their head up to sit up, so any time you take your little one out they will need to lay flat. They also sleep a lot. Prams generally come with a bassinet or the seat can recline fully flat. 

Folded size

The pram will need to be folded and placed in your boot when you are driving around. Take note how large the folded size is. A large folded pram may not be able to fit in your boot or leave room for much else. If you have to upgrade your car to fit your pram, it’s going to be an expensive pram.

Large storage

Don’t underestimate the volume of accessories you might find yourself carrying on the pram either: nappy bag, change of clothes, water bottles, toys, wipes and food, and that’s just to leave the house. Having a large basket will let you carry all of this and the shopping on the way home.

Expandable to carry two children

If the time comes to have another one, you may like to know if you can expand your pram too. Some prams can be expanded to hold two children, with 2 bassinets, 2 chairs, or bassinet & chair configuration. Some have side by side ‘double’ configurations. Some even have ‘skateboards’ for older children to ride on.

How 'all-terrain' it is

While a pram is no SUV, you may like to know that you can take your pram ‘off-pathing’ and not get stuck on rocks or tree roots. How all-terrain the pram is depends primarily on the size of the wheels and whether it has suspension or not.

Compatibility with car capsules

Known as travel systems, car capsules are a saviour for when you need to take your sleeping baby from the cafe to the car, and remain sleeping. But you will need to ensure that your pram is compatible with your capsule. Most prams need adapters – follow our guide to make sure you get the right one.

The best cheap (but good) prams

Valco baby Snap 4 Black Beauty

RRP $349
Width: 52cm
Folded size: L 77 x W 52  x H 36 cm
Weight: 6.6kg
Storage: 5kg

The Snap 4 is Valco baby’s entry level full size stroller, and it gives away nothing in features.

A large canopy, easy fold, nearly flat recline tick the boxes for a suitable pram for your newborn.

It is also a bonus is that it is really light – 6.6kg.

Where it saves on cost is the material: it is polyester, which is not machine washable, but is easy to wipe down. A great option if you want a fully functional stroller for a whole lot less money.

Pros

+ Large canopy
+ Easy fold, locks auto
+ Light
+ Seat reclines almost to flat

Cons

– Polyester and not machine washable
– Velcro peekabo closure is noisy

Who this is for:

You want a fully featured and agile pram at a very attractive price.

RRP: $549
Width: 65cm
Folded size: L 77 x W 65 x H 28 cm
Weight: 8.5kg
Storage: 5kg

When Babyjogger released the update to the City Mini they were polishing what was already a very competent full sized pram.

22kg weight capacity, near flat recline and Babyjogger’s characteristic one handed compact fold make it a favourite for many mothers.

It does give up some space in the storage basket with only 5kg capacity and the handlebar height is only really good if you like it ‘medium’ height.

Pros

+ One handed compact fold
+ 22kg capacity
+ Near-flat recline
+ Travel system compatible 

Cons

– Smaller basket: 5kg
– Handlebar not adjustable

Who this is for:

You love one handed folds and don’t mind having a smaller basket. 

What is the new in the City Mini 2 over the City Mini?

  • Updated looks
  • Includes the city go/graco car seat adapters
  • Adjustable calf support
Steelcraft Agile 4

RRP: $299
Width: 58cm
Folded size: L 74 x W 58 x H 30 cm
Weight: 7.5kg
Storage: 4kg (basket) 1kg (canopy pocket) 

Lightweight, functional and good value is why the Steelcraft Agile 4 is popular as a pram.

At 7.5kg, it is light enough to be lifted in and out of your car and up stairs easily.

It’s large enough to carry your child until 22kg and has a large canopy.

It is even compatible as a travel system with the Steelcraft Baby Capsule.

At this price point though you won’t be winning any style awards and you won’t have an adjustable height handlebar. But if you don’t care about that, then this pram fits the bill and saves you a pretty penny.

Pros

+ 22kg weight capacity
+ Easy to fold / unfold
+ Large canopy
+ Peekaboo with magnet 

Cons

– Smaller basket
– No frills styling
– non-adjustable handlebar 

Who this is for:

You want a functional pram and don’t care about a stylish pram. 

Mountain Buggy Mini Buggy

RRP: $449
Width: 58cm
Folded size: L 72 x W 58 x H 25.5 cm
Weight: 7.6kg
Storage: 5kg

The Mountain Buggy Mini Buggy is a lightweight and slim pram for every day trips.

Large wheels and a small turning circle make it easy get around with, and it has an easy one-handed fold. 

The best feature is that it is like a good 4×4: equally comfortable on the paved surfaces as well as offroad

But it is let down by unforgiving plastic wheels, a small basket and reports of quality issues with the front wheel and things falling apart after 1-2 years of use.

Pros

+ Large wheels, good for walking
+ Small turning circle
+ Easy one handed fold 

Cons

– Plastic wheels are bumpy
– Small basket
– Reports of quality issues

Who this is for:

You want to go off the beaten path but stay on a budget.

RRP: $499
Width: 57cm
Folded size: L 83 x W 57 x H 30 cm
Weight: 11kg
Storage: 10kg

Did you know New Zealand has not one, not two, but three prams brands? Who would have thought.

Phil & Teds is one of them. (I’ll leave you to guess which are the others.)

The Smart Buggy is Phil & Teds compact single seat pram. Small, compact and zippy, it is easy to maneuver and easy to fold.

It is also travel system compatible which is handy as a runabout pram.

Suprisingly for a compact pram it is heavy (10.7kg) and some owners have reported brake issues.

Solid but perhaps not spectacular for the price.

Pros

+ Easy to fold
+ Large storage
+ Easy to push

Cons

– Heavy
– Travel system compatible
– Velcro on peekaboo means a noisy check-in

Who this is for:

You want a easy to push travel system pram and don’t mind the weight.

Mother's Choice Flux Active Stroller F34

RRP: $249
Width: 60cm
Folded size: L 90 x W 60 x H 45 cm
Weight: 11kg
Storage: 5kg

Exclusive to Big W, the Mother’s Choice Flux Active Stroller is for mummies who love to go outdoors and off-road.

With 12.5 inch front wheels and 16 inch rear wheels it will definitely ride over any obstacle or kerb smoothly.

It has an extra large canopy so your little one remains protected from the sun as you venture outdoors.

With the ruggedness comes a catch: at 11kg it is not a featherweight. 

But at $249 you won’t be complaining as it is great value.

Pros

+ Big wheels make a smooth ride
+ Extra large canopy
+ Full layback
+ Included bumper bar
+ Affordable price

Cons

– Heavy
– Air-filled tyres can go flat  

Who this is for:

You want a great value go everywhere pram for the outdoors

RRP: $399
Width: 56cm
Folded size: L 51.5 x W 56 x H 30 cm
Weight: 5.9kg
Storage: 5kg

One of the most popular travel prams around, the Mountain buggy nano is good enough to double as an affordable every day pram in its own right.

As you would expect for a travel pram it is very light and folds up like a magician’s handkerchief.

It pushes well over rough terrain for a small pram too.

But if you plan to use it every day, some have reported issues with the build quality and the basket is a bit small.

If you use a combination of a baby carrier and a pram this one may suit you well, and for a good price.

Pros

+ Very light
+ Folds compactly
+ Maneuverable
+ Good over bumps

Cons

– Can be challenging to fold
– Small basket
– Some report quality issues

Who this is for:

You want a light and affordable runabout pram that you can also travel with.

Mothers Choice Haven Stroller

RRP: $299 at Big W only
Width: 49.5cm
Folded size: L 56 x W 47 x H 101 cm 
Weight: 9.5kg
Storage: 5kg

The Haven is the pram that allegedly has mothers comparing it to $2000 Bugaboos. While it isn’t quite in the same league, it is quite a lot of pram for a very good price.

Feature wise, it covers a lot of bases: an included bassinet means it is suitable from birth. It can flip from parent-facing to world-facing. It also has a height-adjustable handlebar.

But it may be a case of ‘you get what you pay for’: some mothers have reported ‘chunks missing from the tyres’ after a couple of weeks, parts snapping, and a wobbly frame.

For a fraction of the price, it may suit what you are after, but ask yourself: “what do you really want for your baby?”

Pros

+ Great price
+ Well-featured
+ Bassinet included

Cons

– Reports of quality issues just weeks after purchase

Who this is for:

You want a pram with the features without the price, and are willing to deal with potential issues

The Cheap (but good) Pram Hierarchy

Price rangeModelRRP
High-end $400+Baby Jogger City Mini 2$549
Phil & Teds Smart Buggy$499
Mountain Buggy Mini Buggy$449
Mid-range $300-$400Baby Jogger City Tour 2$499
Mountain Buggy nano$399
Valco baby Snap 4 🥇$349
Budget: less than $300Steelcraft Agile 4$299
Mother's Choice Haven$299
Mother's Choice Flux Active Stroller$249

Conclusion

Pram buying need not be difficult nor hugely expensive. These 8 prams show that you can have a fully functional and quality pram at a fraction of the price of some of the more famous brand names.

But if you weren’t looking for the brand, then did it matter anyway?

What do you think about buying a cheaper pram? Comment below!

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