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Umbrella folding pushchair

  • Suitable from birth depending on the model
  • The cheapest models are generally only suitable for 6 months onwards

An umbrella folding pushchair is a type of lightweight pushchair, so called because it folds up into a long thin shape rather like an umbrella. Those that automatically lock as they close and are freestanding when folded are the most convenient. The folding ability of umbrella folding pushchairs means that they are brilliant for loading into the back of the car, getting on the bus or train, nipping in and out of shops, going for short walks and taking on holiday.

Maclaren Volo PushchairThe Maclaren Volo pushchair is one of the simplest and lightest umbrella folding pushchairs, being quick and compact to fold, even one-handed. Some umbrella folding pushchairs are suitable for newborn babies, however this is only the case if the pushchair has the facility to fully recline into a lie-flat position. There must also be a range of accessories available to make a snug, cosy cocoon for your baby.

Whilst umbrella folding pushchairs are the most economical option, the cheapest models are generally only suitable for babies from 6 months. Additionally the minimal suspension, lack of support and small wheels, particularly in the most basic models, can give a bumpy and uncomfortable ride, which makes them unsuitable for young babies.

Umbrella folding pushchairs come in a lot of different styles and may include the facility to carry some shopping. However, they are not designed to carry heavy loads, and those with shopping baskets will only take a few things at a time. Hanging bags over the handles is also unwise as it may cause the pushchair to tip over, harming your baby or resulting in damage to the pushchair.

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Pushchairs suitable for town

If you are going to be using your pushchair around town, for popping in and out of shops or on public transport then it is important that you buy a suitable pushchair. A pushchair that is easy to manoeuvre, lightweight and compact enough to fit through shop doors is essential for moving through busy crowds and coping with town life. The Britax B-Agile pushchair Baby Jogger City Mini Pushchairis a good option, as weighing just 7.5kgs and with locking swivel front wheels, it is easy to whiz around town.

The Quinny Zapp Xtra 3 wheeler pushchair is an ultra light 3 wheeler, with a quick and simple collapsing mechanism meaning that it is perfect for busy town life. The Baby Jogger City Mini pushchair is another ultra compact and lightweight option, and has the added benefit of being able to attach the BeSafe Izi Go car seat.

All-terrain pushchairs

  • Suitable from around 3 months to 3 years

An all-terrain pushchair typically comprises of an aluminium-folding frame with large pneumatic tyres. All-terrain pushchairs are designed primarily for off-road use, such as cross-country walks, along the beach, or even for use when jogging. All-terrain pushchairs are great for people who enjoy walking, as they are very manoeuvrable and designed to cope with all kinds of terrain.

However, even with weatherproofing accessories, all-terrain pushchairs are not as solid or as snug as a normal pushchair. An all-terrain pushchair is also often heavier, and not as quick to fold or as compact. Whilst all-terrain pushchairs function just as well walking around town and in and out of the shops as they do on harsher terrains, it is worth noting that they are not designed to carry a lot of items.

Baby Jogger Summit XC pushchairIf you are looking for a pushchair that can carry a small amount of shopping as well as other items such as a changing bag, this is perhaps not the most suitable pushchair for you. All-terrain pushchairs are also quite expensive, particularly as they are likely to be bought in addition to an everyday pushchair.

The Baby Jogger Summit XC pushchair is a good example of an all-terrain pushchair, with handbrake-operated drumbrakes making it ideal for hill and all-terrain walking. The lockable 360° front wheel makes the pushchair highly manoeuvrable, and also suitable for a more compact city walk.

The Out n About Nipper Sport pushchair is another example, being a supremely sturdy and lightweight pushchair that can handle any terrain whilst keeping your baby comfy.You can also go jogging with this pushchair due to it's aluminium chassi, fixed front wheel and wheels and rubber tyres

3 Wheeler pushchairs

  • Suitable from birth or from three months (if they only partly recline)

Most three wheelers have soft tyres, rather than gel-filled or solid tyres meaning that they provide better suspension, with certain models being suitable for country walks and even jogging. However softer tyres are more likely to puncture, so it is important that you know where or how to get the puncture sorted.

If you are planning on using your three-wheeler pushchair on public transport, it is advisable that you check the width of the back wheel, as some are too wide to fit through the inner doors in train carriages.

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  • Suitable from birth
  • Adjustable forward or rear facing seat positions

A pramette is essentially a 2-in-1 pushchair, Britax B-smart 4 pushchairgiving you the comfort of a pram and the convenience of a pushchair in one item. The Britax B-Smart 4 pushchair is a good example of a pramette, with the pushchair converting simply into a pram for those early days when your newborn baby needs to lie flat and face you. As your baby grows, the seat unit can face forwards and be placed in a more upright position, leaving a pushchair suitable for children up to approximately 4 years old (15kg).

Other popular manufacturers, such as Graco and Silvercross also produce pramettes.

Coach built pram

A coach built pram is a traditionally styled, large, hard-bodied pram with large spoke wheels and a shopping tray. Coach built prams offer superb comfort and generally have excellent suspension, allowing you to walk a sleeping baby for miles undisturbed. They are also large and sturdy enough to use for toddlers.

However, the downside of coach built prams is that they cannot be carried in the car, or be taken on public transport due to their weight. They are also very difficult to manoeuvre up and down steps, and will not fit through many shop doors. Coach built prams are an expensive buy, considering that you will definitely need to purchase a pushchair later on.


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Quinny Zapp Xtra PushchairRecaro BabyZen Pushchair and Yoga CarrycotBaby Jogger City Mini Pushchair - Purple