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29 Jul 2019

What are the must-have pushchair features?

Reversible seat, good suspension or a compatible car seat? Find out what matters most to parents when buying a pushchair
pushchair features

We surveyed 3,286 parents with a child under the age of 12 to find out what pushchair features they think are essential and help make life easier when juggling a baby or toddler.

Read on to discover the five most essential pushchair features and which pushchairs you'll find them on.

Alternatively, head straight to our best pushchairs round up.

1. From birth seat

A pushchair with a from birth seat means your newborn can be placed in the pushchair and he or she will be able to lie almost flat to sleep.

This is important as newborns can't support their own weight, so need to be in a flatter position whenever possible.

Not all pushchairs offer a lie-flat position, but those with a seat that reclines with an angle between the seat and backrest of 150 degrees or more, such as the Mamas & Papas Flip XT3, is deemed to be 'lie-flat'.

This will mean you won't need a separate carrycot if you don't wish.

Our testing checks whether a manufacturer's claim of having a 'lie-flat' seat is really true.

Two more pushchairs with a from birth seat:
Joie Tourist
Mamas & Papas Armadillo City 2

2. Good suspension

Nobody wants their toddler to be juddering around in the buggy each time you go over rough ground, especially if they're in the middle of that all-important afternoon nap.

Some pushchairs come with suspension in the wheels to absorb any bumps if you're pushing your child over grass, gravel or woodchips.

The Bugaboo Fox has both rear wheel suspension and central joint suspension on the chassis to keep your ride smooth. See our Bugaboo Fox review.

Two more pushchairs with good suspension:
iCandy Orange
ABC Design Salsa 4

3. Reversible seat unit

Face-to-face contact is vital when your little one is young, as it improves bonding between your baby and you. That's why a pushchair that has a reversible seat unit is so useful.

The Cybex Priam (2019) is just one of many models of pushchair that offer the option of switching the direction that your baby is sitting in. When they're young, the seat can be parent-facing, when they're older and want to see what's going on, you lift up the seat and turn it to be world-facing.

Most pushchairs have this feature nowadays, but it's less common on strollers.

Our testing checks which pushchairs have reversible seat units, how easy they are to remove and whether you can fold the pushchair with the seat in either direction.

Two more pushchairs with a reversible seat:
Nuna Demi Grow
Babystyle Egg Quail

4. Compatible car seat

Choosing a pushchair that you can attach a car seat onto - either via car seat adaptors or directly onto the chassis - means you can transfer your baby from car to pushchair. This means you're not disturbing them by lifting them out of the car seat and strapping them into the pushchair.

Just remember that we don't recommend you keep your newborn baby (four weeks or younger) in a car seat for longer than 30 minutes.

Babies over that age can stay in their car seat for up to two hours maximum.

The Quinny Hubb Mono is a 3-in-1 single to double travel system that is compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus car seat. You can also purchase the from-birth seat cocoon or Hux carrycot. Read the full review of the Quinny Hubb Mono to see how it scored.

Two more pushchairs compatible with a car seat:
Silver Cross Coast
Cbx Leotie Lux

5. Pushchair folds with seat on

Whether you're folding your pushchair to fit it into your car boot, or you need to collapse it to fit onto public transport, parents admit that being able to do this without first removing the seat unit is essential.

However, some models of pushchair still require you to take the seat off before you can fold it, meaning you're left with two parts of a pushchair that need moving or carrying.

The Joolz Hub pushchair can be folded with the seat facing in either position (parent or world-facing), and although you'll need two hands to fold it, it can stand upright when folded and has a manual clip to hold it together.

Read the full review of the Joolz Hub to find out if it's also easy to push and comfortable for your baby.

Two other pushchairs that can be folded with the seat attached:
Babystyle Oyster 3
Cosatto Woosh