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28 Mar 2020

Top six pushchair trends for spring 2020

From carrycot alternatives to bigger baskets, here's what to expect in pushchairs if you're expecting this year

Looking to buy a new pushchair, stroller or pram this year? Every year, buggy manufacturers launch new models, as well as updating popular existing models.

From green credentials through to more storage space underneath, here are six of the biggest pushchair features and trends that will be all the rage in 2020.

Compare the best pushchairs our testing has found.

1. Sustainable pushchairs and accessories

If 2020 is the year you've pledged to make more sustainable purchases, you won't have to look very far when on the hunt for pushchairs.

Pushchair manufacturers are bringing out ranges focusing on everything from the materials used through to stocking spare parts to give their products a longer life.

Bugaboo is using recycled materials in its newer pushchairs. For example, the fabric used in the production of the Bugaboo Fox (pictured above) is made with recycled PET bottles. This year, Bugaboo has also reduced its packaging, ensuring that all pushchairs arrive in just one box.

Joolz is another brand very much focusing on environmental issues by using sustainable fabrics made from recycled plastic for its buggies, as well as 100% organic cotton in its blankets.

Our expert says:

'Being able to repair rather than dispose of a broken pushchair saves money and it also helps parents do their bit for the planet,' says Which? pushchair expert Alison Potter.

'All the major pushchair brands offer guarantees. Bugaboo offers two years, Silver Cross three years and iCandy five years, while Joolz and Maxi Cosi offer 'lifetime warranties'. This means you can get it fixed for free if something goes wrong, rather than consigning it to the tip.

'For warranties, to qualify you need to ensure your pushchair was bought from new and you have to register it within three months of ownership to qualify.'

2. Carrycot alternatives

Babies under six months old need to lie flat to support their developing spine and allow them to breathe easily.

Many pushchairs now offer from-birth seats that recline to at least 150 degrees, but these don't offer much protection for vulnerable newborns, and a baby car seat with a travel system is only suitable for short bouts of use.

Using a carrycot with a travel system pushchair is the best way to transport babies under six months, but a conventional rigid-sided carrycot can take up a lot of space at home.

The Uppababy Cruz V2 (pictured above), which is coming out this spring, can still be used with a carrycot. But this updated popular pushchair also has the option of an insert - a soft cocoon half way between a carry cot and a seat - to make the seat unit suitable from birth.

We've also tested the Cybex Priam which has the option of the Lux carrycot or the Lite Cot - a lightweight mobile travel attachment - and the iCandy Peach 2019 which has a seat that converts into a carrycot.

Our expert says:

'Consider how often you'd be using your pushchair with your newborn so that you can think about what the best solution for your needs will be,' says Alison.

'Our reviews reveal all the different newborn accessory options available and our parent testers get hands-on and tell us whether they are fiddly or time-consuming to attach, so you can find the right setup for you and your baby.'

3. Black is the new black

We saw it on the catwalk at London Fashion Week for spring/summer 2020 and now we're seeing it in pushchairs too. This year monochrome is making a comeback - black is most definitely the new black!

The bestselling Mamas & Papas Ocarro (pictured above), which launched in January 2017, is sporting a new black fashion edition for 2020 in the form of the Raven, which pairs a high-gloss black chassis with black suedette fabric, while the BabyStyle Oyster 3 Noire combines a satin black chassis with tinted chrome wheels and caviar black herringbone fabric.

The Silver Cross Surf has a new colour option coming soon in the form of Eclipse - a black palette complemented by equally trendy rose gold highlights on its metal badges (pictured below). The Silver Cross Jet has also just been relaunched in black.

Muted colours continue to be popular with parents this year, whether your preference is grey, navy, mocha or sable. The Baby Jogger City Mini 2 comes in slate or carbon as well as jet, and the iCandy Lime in onyx, slate or stone.

If you're after a high-end feel, go with the shiny chassis trend, available in gold, rose gold or a smoky nickel finish (like the new Ocarro in Onyx, with textured herringbone fabric shot through with metallic pewter thread), and leather or leather-look detailing, such as with the Maxi Cosi Nova 4 Wheels or the Quinny VNC.

Our expert says:

Alison says: 'It's great to see black getting a makeover to make it more interesting, particularly as it's an easier colour to keep looking smart.

'It also has the benefit of appealing to those parents who might be reluctant to push a brightly coloured motif-heavy stroller down the high street.'

4. 2020 updates to existing models

Manufacturers have been busy making updates to existing popular pushchairs, adding in new features, suspension improvements, ventilation panels and bigger wheels.

Following the launch of the Maxi Cosi Lila CP (pictured above), which came out earlier this year, and the recent launch of the more compact Lila SP, there have also been updates to the original Lila, including an adjustable handlebar and larger wheels.

Bugaboo is bringing out the Fox 2 and Donkey 3 (pictured below).

The third iteration of Donkey claims to be easier than to convert from the mono (single) to duo (twin) setting, and the weight capacity has been increased so you can use it with older and heavier children.

Donkey updates include a larger hood and new handlebar grips, as well as a lighter wheel design, which will hopefully mean it's lighter to push and transport when folded than its predecessor.

According to Bugaboo, updates to the Fox 2 include lighter wheels, a more intuitive folding button and large peek-a-boo panels so you can see your child and to provide additional ventilation.

There's also updated handlebar grips and extra pockets on the carrycot for additional storage.

We can also expect updates to some firm Uppababy favourites, including the Cruz 2 and Vista V2. Both will have a longer legrest and a taller backrest, while the Cruz 2 will also have slightly larger wheels and improved suspension.

Our expert says:

'Increasingly, pushchair brands are making modifications and improvements to their bestsellers, based on feedback from parents and from our own Which? testing,' explains Alison.

'Although it's tempting to get the newest model, you could grab yourself a bargain by opting for an earlier version.'

5. Bigger baskets

You can never have too much storage space on a pushchair, whether it's for shopping or simply for all the paraphernalia and accessories that babies seem to require.

Last October, Silver Cross launched the Pacific travel system (pictured above) which has the biggest shopping basket in its range to date. Read our Silver Cross Pacific pram review to see what our parent testers made of it.

Other manufacturers are following suit. This summer the Joolz Day+ is replacing the Joolz Day3 and one of the updates will include an enlarged shopping basket.

The Maxi Cosi Gia, an urban stroller is coming out this spring and it's another pushchair offering a super-sized basket and giving parents more under-seat storage than ever before.

Our expert says:

'We've already seen some pushchairs with a 10kg basket. For example, the iCandy Lime and Quinny Hubb have sizeable baskets,' says Alison.

'The average basket is 5kg, especially for travel systems, so a 10kg basket is generous and relatively rare.'

But size isn't everything. It's really important to check whether the shopping basket is easy to access, even when the seat is reclined, and if items could potentially fall out when going up and down kerbs.'

6. Bigger babies

Lots of manufacturers are increasing their pushchairs' weight capacity to accommodate for larger babies and toddlers.

Although the average birth weight in the UK is 7lb 8oz for boys and 7lb 4oz for girls, this has been steadily rising in the past few decades.

If you're looking for a pushchair for a bigger than average baby, the new Uppababy Vista V2 (pictured above) now takes 22kg (roughly five years old) where it originally accommodated a baby up to 15kg (approximately three years old).

Similarly, the Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double 2, which is coming out soon, can be used for a baby up to 22kg rather than 15kg. We've just tested Baby Jogger City Mini GT 2, which also has a 22kg weight limit.

Look out also for Cybex's new Eezy S 2, which will be updating to 22kg from 17kg in 2020.

Our expert says:

Alison says: 'Pushchairs typically used to have a seat weight limit of 15kg, but now 22kg seems to be the new normal.

'We've also tested a number that have a 25kg weight limit, for example the Silver Cross Spark, Hauck Apollo and Cosatto Woosh 2. This is handy for parents with larger children or those who want a stroller to take on holiday.