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Baby & child.

29 June 2021

Buggy, travel system or all-terrain pushchair?

Use our expert pushchair guide to find out which type of pushchair is best for you, your baby and your budget.
Which? Team
Woman pushing all terrain pushchair in park

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, we explain the differences between a standard buggy, an all-terrain (off-road) buggy and a travel system in the gallery below. Explore the features of each type of pushchair by clicking on the information spots. 

Once you've decided on the type of pushchair you need, find out which models we've rated as the best pushchairs

Which pushchair is best for you?

If you're still undecided on which type of pushchair to buy, let us take you through the pros and cons, and the more in-depth features you can expect from buggies, travel systems and all terrain (off-road) pushchairs.

Should you buy a standard buggy?

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

Should you buy a travel system?

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. For more information, read our guide to car seat weight groups.

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.

For more information, read our guide on how to choose the best travel system.

Should you buy an all-terrain (off-road) pushchair?

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.