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How to buy the right pushchair

Buggy, travel system or all-terrain pushchair?

By Lisa Galliers

Article 1 of 5

Use our interactive pushchair chooser tool to find out which type of pushchair is best for you, your baby and your budget.

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A simple buggy or stroller is very different from a travel-system pram or an all-terrain pushchair, both in terms of price and features.

If you’re unsure which one you need, try our chooser tool below. To get started, select a buggy, travel system or off-road pushchair in the tool. Then explore the features by clicking on the information spots attached to parts of the pushchair.  

Once you've decided which type you need, find which we've rated as the best pushchairs


 

Which pushchair is best for you?

Buggies

Also known as strollers, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most popular are lightweight buggies, as they’re easy to carry and compact when folded.

Some are suitable from birth, while others are only suitable for babies over six months old, as the back rest doesn't recline far enough or they don't have enough padding.

Basic buggies are ideal for nipping around town, and they’re the go-to for many parents who regularly use public transport or live in large towns or cities. They’re also handy for holidays, as they’re much more convenient to carry around with you.

Previously it was rare to see a buggy that’s also travel-system compatible, but in recent years there’s been an explosion of strollers that you can use with an infant car seat and/or a carrycot. These are more expensive than standard buggies, but they're much more versatile.

Traditionally buggies are forward-facing only, but many travel-system strollers have a reversible seat, so you can choose whether your baby faces you or looks out at the world.

Don't miss our round-up of popular lightweight strollers and buggies

Travel systems

A large number of pushchairs and prams (as well as buggies and strollers) are travel-system compatible, giving you multiple options in terms of transporting your baby.

These pushchairs are suitable to use from birth, as you can use them with a Group 0/0+ car seat. Some also come with a carrycot or a seat unit that converts to a pram, so you can still use them from birth and swap to the seat unit once your baby is ready.

You’ll usually pay more for this functionality, but it’s worth investing in a travel-system pushchair if you use your car often, as it will make it much easier to transfer your baby from car to pushchair without disturbing them too much.

Bear in mind that long periods sleeping in infant car seats may be dangerous for young babies, as it can restrict airflow to the baby’s lungs and can put a strain on their developing spine.

It’s recommended not to keep a baby in a car seat – whether it’s in a car or attached to a pushchair – for longer than two hours at a time. This doesn’t apply if it’s a lie-flat car seat, though.

Discover our recommended top 10 best travel systems.

All-terrain (off-road) pushchairs

If you plan to venture off the beaten track with your baby, then you might want to opt for an all-terrain or off-road pushchair with large tyres and all-wheel suspension for tackling the rugged outdoors.  

These can be four-wheelers or three-wheelers, although three-wheel pushchairs are also commonly known as running or jogging buggies.

Although all-terrain pushchairs are a practical choice for outdoorsy and active parents, they’re often longer, and can be too large to use on public transport or in crowded places such as supermarkets.

Because of their size you'll need a big car boot to transport them, and enough space to store your off-road pushchair at home.

See our top pushchair picks for different activities.

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