The pram buying journey
“I wasn’t staring at your child ma’am, I just was checking out your pram!”
Buying a pram isn’t easy.
Like most new parents-to-be, when I found out we were having our first, I was like this:
And then when I started looking at which pram to buy, I was like this:
After doing hours and hours of research:
Then I decided to go into a store and ask a few questions. 20 minutes later, I was out again and I like this:
There are sooooo many prams to choose from. I reviewed them all.
What I realised is there is no one pram to rule them all.
Different prams suit different families.
If you sit down and think a bit about your lifestyle and family plans you can help narrow it down. This guide will help you with that journey.
The Best Prams Available today
Bugaboo Donkey2 Twin
The one pram for everything, including your two children
+ Flexibility for your growing family
+ Maneuverable for its size
BetterBuying.co Best Side-by-Side Pram
Solid and highly configurable for all combinations
+ Quality build
+ Highly configurable
– Expensive and accessories extra
BetterBuying.co Best Pram for Newborns
BetterBuying.co Best Tandem Pram
Babyzen YoYo Plus
The best travel pram available, where money is no object
+ Well-designed, easy to fold
+ Airline friendly
BetterBuying.co Best Travel Pram
Valco Baby Snap 4
Light and fully-featured pram for a low price
+ Newborn ready
BetterBuying.co Best Cheap (and good) Pram
What sort of pram do you need, anyway?
You can figure out a lot about what sort of pram is best for you by asking yourself what you might need it for.
Which of these best describes your situation?
The first one is on the way (hurray!)
Your little one is on the way and you are preparing for her arrival. You know you need a pram. Which one is right?
What you will need is a pram with a layflat option or a bassinet to let your newborn sleep peacefully while you stroll.
Current or future plans involve more than one...
While you may just be getting your head around what you need for your first child, it may be worthwhile thinking about future plans. Like how you might carry your second.
Or maybe you have twins.
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.
This may save you a lot of money down the track in buying another pram.
I want a lightweight pram to travel with the little one
Prams come in many sizes.
Some prams are also lighter and easier to fold than others, making it simpler for you to fold and pack away your pram while wrangling your baby in one arm.
These come in the category of travel strollers.
The best travel strollers are also designed to fit in an overhead locker on the plane, meaning you can leave your main pram at home and still push your baby around the airport. Very handy!
I want a nice pram but have a limited budget
Not all prams need cost a fortune. These prams will still let your baby ride safely and comfortably but for a fraction of the price of the top models.
I want a pram compatible with my car capsule
A car capsule is a portable bassinet that can clip into your car seat. This means you don’t need to physically lift your baby out of your pram into the car seat.
They can be great for your newborn to move seamlessly (and sleepfully) between the car and the pram. So good.
The catch is that most capsules only let you carry an infant up to 6 months old, so you may have to invest in another car seat not long after.
Find out which capsules work with which prams.
What should you look for in a pram?
How heavy is it?
Consider that not only will you have to push the pram, sometimes up hills, but you may have to lift the pram into your car, over stairs, or just need to keep it under control.
Therefore you’ll want something that is lighter rather than heavier as it’ll make your life that much easier.
How much can you carry?
There are times where you may need to carry a lot in your pram. Nappies, toys, blankets, spare set of clothes, food, drink bottles, more toys, your bags, and then you’ve only just left the house.
Then you might want to carry additional shopping on the way back.
Oh and of course your baby.
So in these times you’ll want to make sure your pram can carry all of these things comfortably without straining.
And the more you can carry on the pram, the less you need to haul around on your shoulders!
A pram manufacturer will specify how much it is rated to carry in litres (L) or kilograms (kg). More is better!
A pram rated for a higher storage capacity will be safer for you and your baby if you carry things on the pram as it will be less likely to topple over or break.
How maneuverable is it?
Considering you’ll be pushing your pram through all sorts of corridors and aisles wide and narrow, you’ll want to make sure your pram is easy to maneuver.
This will be a function of:
- the width of the pram, and,
- the distance between front and wheels
The trade off is that you may not have the same carrying capacity.
How stable is it over rough ground, a.k.a. how 'all-terrain' is it?
This may be an important feature if you are planning to walk your little one off the pavement and not jolt him awake.
Typically, the larger the wheel, the less impacted it will be by bumps underfoot.
But larger wheels may be less maneuverable, or may be too large or heavy to carry.
Can it carry a newborn?
Babies less than six months old will typically need to lay flat as they learn to hold themselves up.
Not all prams have a lay flat capability. Therefore you’ll need a pram that can either lay flat itself or have a bassinet option, which typically costs extra.
How easy it is to fold and pack away?
If you are using your pram a lot to get out and about (yay) you will be folding your pram a lot (boo)
An easy to fold pram will make your life much better, especially as you may need to do it one-handed.
Also the folded size of the pram becomes important when you need to put it in your car. If you need to upgrade your car to fit your pram, then it becomes a very expensive pram.
Can you double up?
Planning more than one child? Some prams let you carry more than one baby, either side-by-side or in tandem. If you have twins then you might like to check out our Best Double Pram Guide.
Is the pram compatible with a capsule?
Sometimes when your little one is asleep in the pram and you want to ensure that the car ride home is equally peaceful, a capsule can be a life saver.
Capsules clip directly into the pram and car seat, meaning you don’t need to disturb your baby moving them around.
There is a catch though.
Typically capsules are only good for babies up to a certain age, typically 6 or 12 months. You may need to purchase an additional adapter to make your capsule fit with your car seat.
See our guide on travel seat compatibility.
How stylish is it?
I did leave this until last, but let’s face it, it may be the most important thing for you. In some ways your pram may also represent who you are. Or it may not.
Whether it does or doesn’t, you will want to make sure you feel good about whichever pram you do own, stylish or not.
After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What are the alternatives to having a pram?
While a pram may be a popular and convenient way to carry your baby, it’s definitely not the only way.
A baby carrier
It looks like a backpack for your baby and feels like one too. But it lets you walk around freely, up and down steps, and lets you use both hands.
Also known as an umbrella stroller, these are useful when you want something portable but your little one still needs to sit.
These are typically padded lightly but can be folded up very small, which makes it useful for travelling on airplanes.
It may look like a large piece of cloth but this is the traditional way mothers carried their children. Done right, it is comfortable for mama and baby and it promotes all the benefits of close bonding.
Questions we get asked:
Apart from the obvious answer of ‘one wheel’, a 3-wheeler is usually easier to push around and is more maneuverable, but can be prone to tipping especially when turning a corner. They are also often wider than four-wheelers. Jogging specific prams are also all 3-wheelers…but not all 3-wheelers are [jogging prams – link]
- A parking device
- A tether strap
- Passed performance testing, relating to requirements for impact, strength, load, durability and stability
The best pram for you depends on your needs. No one pram fits everyone, there are prams good for if you have a newborn, prams which can be expanded to fit more than one, jogging prams, and affordable prams.
Our guides will be able to help you work out which one is best for your needs and your budget.
Most popular on BetterBuying.co:
We review the best convertible car seats from Britax, Maxi-Cosi, Mother’s Choice, Infasecure, Safe-n-Sound and Babylove.
These Booster Seats will keep your child safely secured all the way up to 8 years old.