Pushchair

Pushchairs: Buggy, travel system or all-terrain?

  • Find out the benefits of each type of pushchair
  • Discover which pushchair might best suit your lifestyle
  • Learn more about pushchair features and what to look out for when shopping for a pushchair

Which pushchair is best for you?

Our interactive guide, below, can help you decide what type of buggy will best suit you. Click on 'Standard buggy', 'Travel system' or 'All-terrain buggy' in the bar below to get started, then click on the 'i' icons to find out more about the features of each. 

Once you've decided what type you need, head to our pushchair reviews to find out which buggies are Best Buys. If you decide to buy a travel system, our reviews will tell you which ones are compatible with a Best Buy child car seat, for maximum safety.

You can unlock our full reviews and find great prices online with a £1 trial subscription to Which?

The benefits of each pushchair type explained

What type of pushchair do you need?

This tool will help you decide. Click on one of the three links above, to find out:

  • what features different types of pushchairs offer
  • which features might be particularly useful to you
  • what you need to consider when buying a travel system

Once you know what you're looking for, visit our pushchair reviews to find out which pushchairs are Best Buys.

Standard buggy

Buggies - also known as strollers - come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the lightest, most basic buggy to more robust models with lots of added features. As a result, they suit a wide variety of people. However, some strollers are not suitable for babies under six months old as the backrest doesn't recline far enough or they don't have enough padding. Once you know what you're looking for, visit our pushchair reviews to find out which pushchairs are Best Buys.

Handles

Some pushchairs come with height-adjustable handles - these are worth paying more for if you are particularly tall, or small, or if people of very different heights will be using the pushchair. You can search for pushchairs with height-adjustable handles using our compare pushchairs tool. Hard plastic handle grips can become uncomfortable after a while, so look for a pushchair with a softer rubber or foam grip.

Reclining backrests

Not all strollers have a reclining backrest, and some have a much smoother recline mechanism than others. If you want your child to be able to recline, look for a pushchair with a mechanism that makes it easy to lower the backrest with your child in the seat. If your child is under six months old, make sure the seat reclines more than 120 degrees because a baby under this age can't support their head properly when upright. A seat recline of 150 degrees is even better. Our compare pushchairs tool tells you which are suitable from birth.

Reversible seat

Many parents like to maintain eye contact with their newborn baby. If this sounds like you then look for a pushchair that has a reversible seat unit. This allows you to have your baby facing toward or away from you.

Suspension

Pushchairs with suspension generally give a more comfortable ride, but the level of padding and seat design will also influence comfort. If you walk a lot, getting a sturdy pushchair with good suspension may be important to you, but if your pushchair will only ever see the inside of a shopping centre or well-finished pavements, you don't really need to pay more for suspension.

Leg rests

Some pushchairs come with an adjustable leg rest, which adds to the length of the seat and provides calf support for toddlers. This prevents them ending up with their lower legs dangling off the pushchair in mid-air. Adjustable leg rest usually have between two and six positions. Some are simply yanked into position, while others have a push-button or lever mechanism to release before you can raise or lower them.

Wheels

Many strollers aren't ideal for bumpy ground, as they have hard plastic wheels and no suspension. Also, the wheelbase (the distance between the front and back wheels) is usually short. Some strollers have swivel wheels, which rotate to move in any direction, making them easy to manoeuvre on normal ground. However, these are less suitable for rougher ground, where the swivel wheels can easily be knocked off course by bumps and dips. For the best of both worlds, look for a stroller with swivel wheels that can be locked for extra stability. If you need a pushchair that works on rough ground, look at three-wheel all-terrain models.

Brake pedals

Good pushchairs should have brake pedals that are easy to put on and off. Some pushchairs have one button that clicks the brakes on and another one to click them off - this feature has been popular with our pushchair testers. Watch out for brake pedals that project beyond the pushchair's wheels, as these can catch on stairs and engage the brakes accidentally. Also, watch out for pushchairs where a bar connects the rear brakes, as this can obstruct your feet.

Storage basket

If you plan to walk a lot with your buggy, you'll want a pushchair with plenty of storage space to accommodate changing and shopping bags. Not all pushchairs come with shopping baskets, and the sizes vary significantly, so look out for this feature. We rate the pushchairs we test for storage space, so if it's important to you, make sure you use our compare pushchairs tool to find one that rates well.

Folding mechanism

Finding a pushchair with a good folding mechanism can make your life a lot easier, so look out for strollers that are easy to fold, and that preferably don't require you to detach accessories first. You can search for pushchairs that rate well for ease of folding using our compare pushchairs tool. Many pushchair manufacturers claim their pushchairs can be folded with one hand, but it's always worth checking this out by trying it yourself before you buy.

Travel system with car seat

Travel systems with child car seats are aimed at people who use their car a lot. They will suit people who want to be able to transfer their child between car, pushchair and home without disturbing them too much. Travel systems are versatile, but they can be pricey, and it's important to remember that babies should not spend long periods of time in a child car seat. Our pushchair reviews will tell you which pushchairs are compatible with a Best Buy car seat, for maximum safety. Click on the picture to find out more about the different parts of a travel system with car seat. Once you know what you're looking for, visit our pushchair reviews to find out which pushchairs are Best Buys.

Handlebar

Some pushchairs come with height-adjustable handles - these are worth paying more for if you are particularly tall, or small, or if people of very different heights will be using the pushchair. You can search for pushchairs with height-adjustable handles using our compare pushchairs tool. Hard plastic handle grips can become uncomfortable after a while, so look for a pushchair with a softer rubber or foam grip.

Reclining backrests

Not all travel systems have a reclining backrest, and some have a much smoother recline mechanism than others. If you want your child to be able to recline, look for a pushchair with a mechanism that makes it easy to lower the backrest with your child in the seat. If your child is under six months old, make sure the seat reclines more than 120 degrees because a baby under this age can't support their head properly when upright. A seat recline of 150 degrees is even better. Our compare pushchairs tool tells you which are suitable from birth.

Reversible seat

Many parents like to maintain eye contact with their newborn baby. If this sounds like you then look for a pushchair that has a reversible seat unit. This allows you to have your baby facing toward or away from you.

Suspension

Pushchairs with suspension generally give a more comfortable ride, but the level of padding and seat design will also influence comfort. If you walk a lot, getting a sturdy pushchair with good suspension may be important to you, but if your pushchair will only ever see the inside of a shopping centre or well-finished pavements, you don't really need to pay more for suspension.

Leg rests

Some pushchairs come with an adjustable leg rest, which adds to the length of the seat and provides calf support for toddlers. This prevents them ending up with their lower legs dangling off the pushchair in mid-air. Adjustable leg rest usually have between two and six positions. Some are simply yanked into position, while others have a push-button or lever mechanism to release before you can raise or lower them.

Wheels

Travel systems may come with plastic wheels, foam-filled wheels or wheels with pneumatic tyres. Some pushchairs have swivel wheels, which rotate to move in any direction with little pushing and pulling, making them easy to manoeuvre on normal ground. However, these pushchairs are less suitable for rougher ground, where the swivel wheel can easily be knocked off course by bumps and dips. for the best of both worlds, you should look for a stroller that has swivel wheels that can be locked for extra stability.

Brake pedals

Good pushchairs should have brake pedals that are easy to put on and off. Some pushchairs have one button that clicks the brakes on and another one to click them off - this feature has been popular with our pushchair testers. Watch out for brake pedals that project beyond the pushchair's wheels, as these can catch on stairs and engage the brakes accidentally. Also, watch out for pushchairs where a bar connects the rear brakes, as this can obstruct your feet.

Folding mechanism

Finding a pushchair with a good folding mechanism can make your life a lot easier, so look out for strollers that are easy to fold, and that preferably don't require you to detach accessories first. You can search for pushchairs that rate well for ease of folding using our compare pushchairs tool. Many pushchair manufacturers claim their pushchairs can be folded with one hand, but it's always worth checking this out by trying it yourself before you buy.

Travel system with car seat

Travel systems with child car seats are aimed at people who use their car a lot. They will suit people who want to be able to transfer their child between car, pushchair and home without disturbing them too much. Travel systems are versatile, but they can be pricey, and it's important to remember that babies should not spend long periods of time in a child car seat. Our pushchair reviews will tell you which pushchairs are compatible with a Best Buy car seat, for maximum safety. Click on the picture to find out more about the different parts of a travel system with car seat. Once you know what you're looking for, visit our pushchair reviews to find out which pushchairs are Best Buys.

Car seat

The main benefit of a travel system is that you can transfer your child between car, pushchair and home without disturbing them too much. Some car seats slide onto the chassis in place of the normal seat, while others clip on or are fastened on with Velvro over the normal seat. In our testing we've found that some car seats are more difficult to fix to the pushchair chassis than others - so try this out in the shop with your chosen car seat to make sure you are able to attach it easily. Sometimes the car seat is included in the price of the travel system, but often you have to purchase it separately. You can find out which pushchairs are car-seat compatible using our compare pushchairs tool.

Storage basket

If you plan to walk a lot with your buggy, you'll want a pushchair with plenty of storage space to accommodate changing and shopping bags. Not all pushchairs come with shopping baskets, and the sizes vary significantly, so look out for this feature. We rate the pushchairs we test for storage space, so if it's important to you, make sure you use our compare pushchairs tool to find one that rates well.

All-terrain buggy

All-terrain buggies suit parents who spend their free time in the countryside or parks, or who live in areas where the pavements are poor. They provide a smooth ride for your child and cope well with rough ground. However, they are often too large to use easily on public transport, or in crowded places such as supermarkets. Plus you'll need a big boot to transport then in the car, and a large storage space at home. Click on the picture to find out more about the different parts of an all-terrain buggy. Once you know what you're looking for, visit our pushchair reviews to find out which pushchairs are Best Buys.

Handlebar

Some pushchairs come with height-adjustable handles - these are worth paying more for if you are particularly tall, or small, or if people of very different heights will be using the pushchair. You can search for pushchairs with height-adjustable handles using our compare pushchairs tool. Hard plastic handle grips can become uncomfortable after a while, so look for a pushchair with a softer rubber or foam grip.

Reclining backrests

Not all pushchairs have a reclining backrest, and some have a much smoother recline mechanism than others. If you want your child to be able to recline, look for a pushchair with a mechanism that makes it easy to lower the backrest with your child in the seat. If your child is under six months old, make sure the seat reclines more than 120 degrees because a baby under this age can't support their head properly when upright. A seat recline of 150 degrees is even better. Our compare pushchairs tool tells you which are suitable from birth.

Reversible seat

Many parents like to maintain eye contact with their newborn baby. If this sounds like you then look for a pushchair that has a reversible seat unit. This allows you to have your baby facing toward or away from you.

Suspension

All-terrain pushchairs often have added suspension to give a more comfortable ride on rough ground. However, the level of padding and seat design will also influence comfort.

Leg rests

Some pushchairs come with an adjustable leg rest, which adds to the length of the seat and provides calf support for toddlers. This prevents them ending up with their lower legs dangling off the pushchair in mid-air. Adjustable leg rest usually have between two and six positions. Some are simply yanked into position, while others have a push-button or lever mechanism to release before you can raise or lower them.

Wheels

All-terrain buggies generally have three wheels, which makes them easier to steer on rough terrain. They often have a swivel wheel at the front, making them easy to manoeuvre on smooth surfaces, but the wheel can generally also be locked so it doesn't twist. This gives it the strength to cope with rougher ground. However, all-terrain pushchairs usually have long wheelbases (the distance between front and back wheels), so they can be difficult to turn in tight spaces.

Brake pedals

Good pushchairs should have brake pedals that are easy to put on and off. Some pushchairs have one button that clicks the brakes on and another one to click them off - this feature has been popular with our pushchair testers. Watch out for brake pedals that project beyond the pushchair's wheels, as these can catch on stairs and engage the brakes accidentally. Also, watch out for pushchairs where a bar connects the rear brakes, as this can obstruct your feet.

Storage basket

If you plan to walk a lot with your buggy, you'll want a pushchair with plenty of storage space to accommodate changing and shopping bags. Not all pushchairs come with shopping baskets, and the sizes vary significantly, so look out for this feature. We rate the pushchairs we test for storage space, so if it's important to you, make sure you use our compare pushchairs tool to find one that rates well.

Tyres

All-terrain pushchairs have large, chunky pneumatic tyres (the same as on a bicycle) which make them ideal for crossing bumpy, rough terrain or loose surfaces such as sand or gravel. However, the tyres arrive flat so need pumping up (which you can do with a bicycle pump), and you'll need to keep a repair kit on hand in case you get a puncture.

Folding mechanism

Finding a pushchair with a good folding mechanism can make your life a lot easier, so look out for strollers that are easy to fold, and that preferably don't require you to detach accessories first. You can search for pushchairs that rate well for ease of folding using our compare pushchairs tool. Many pushchair manufacturers claim their pushchairs can be folded with one hand, but it's always worth checking this out by trying it yourself before you buy.

 

Top tips on choosing a pushchair

Try before you buy

Finding a pushchair that suits your size and shape is vital, so once you have found a couple of suitable all-terrain buggies using our compare pushchairs tool, you should always visit a shop and give them a test drive.

Check what’s included 

When buying a pushchair be sure to check what’s included in the price, so you can make a meaningful price comparison. For example, check whether you will have to pay more for extras such as raincovers, footmuffs, accessories bags and bumper bars. With travel systems, the price rarely includes the child car seat.

Think about storage

If storage space is an issue, either in your home or in your car boot, make sure you choose a compact pushchair that won’t take up too much space. Pushchairs that stand upright independently when folded, or are easy to lock folded, are easier to store.

If you mostly walk

You should look for a pushchair that’s easy to push on variety of surfaces and can negotiate curbs and stairs with ease. Good suspension and large wheels will result in a smoother ride, but if you’ll be walking on rough ground you might want to consider an all-terrain pushchair. Protection from wind, rain and sun is also important and if you have to negotiate stairs or lift the pushchair frequently, you should choose a lightweight one.

If you mostly take public transport

You should look for a pushchair that is lightweight and quick and easy to fold. Check our pushchair reviews to see how different pushchairs rate for use on public transport.

If you mostly drive

You’ll need to check whether a folded pushchair and accessories will fit in your boot, before you buy. You might consider buying a travel system, ie a pushchair that can be fitted with a car seat.

Once you've decided which type is best for you, visit our Best Buy pushchair reviews.

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