We are regularly exhibiting at baby expos with our Bumbleride strollers and it is obvious that new parents-to-be often find it really hard to know what to look for in a pram. To the untrained eyes the many models look more or less the same and in many regards, they are! They all have seats, brakes, hoods etc. BUT they do not have the same wheels! And when you are outside on a track through the park, it is all about the wheels.
Some prams have 3 wheels, some have 4. Some have double wheels. Some have air tyres, some have hard foam tyres. How are you meant to know the difference? Well, here is a simple guide: The harder and smaller the wheels are, the harder the pram is to push. On the other hand, air tyres can go anywhere but can puncture if you are unlucky. Keep this guide in mind while investigating your choices and note that all prams are easy to push on the smooth shop floor with no weight in them!
It is also important to think about your lifestyle and what you would like to do as a parent and match the features of the pram to that. If you want to be outdoors on trails and on the beach, you will regret if your pram has wheels suitable only for an urban terrain with smooth footpaths and roads. However, the other way around is fine: large air-filled tyres are as good in the city as in the bush.
Another thing to look for in a pram is the size of the seat and foot well. Although a smaller frame may offer a more compact fold and possibly a lighter unit, it is absolutely no good if the size of seat has been reduced. Your child will grow bigger very quickly and no matter how many other good features the pram has, it may be too small when your child is under 2 years old and you will have to buy a new one! Look for a tall back rest, a good depth seat with support for the thighs and a descent foot well. If the foot rest is adjustable, that is a real bonus. With these pointers in mind you will be able to narrow down the choice.
Last but not least I encourage you to discuss the features that you deem important with other parents. You see, what you think is crucial, such as one-handed fold or capsule attachment, may not be as important as you thought in your actual situation. There is also the discussion of 4 wheels versus 3. We often hear “4 wheels is safer” but the truth is that every pram has to pass the same stringent Australian standard no matter how many wheels it has and you actually get much greater manoeuvrability with 3 wheels as well as a jogging option.
Finally, maybe also consider the ethics of the brand in regards to the environment – the production of prams is dirty business – and some brands are doing more than others in this regards.
Google is a great friend and you will find helpful reviews online on the various models that you are comparing. Mums know best.
Good luck and I hope you get the right pram for you the first time.