The Ultimate Pram Buying Guide for New Parents

Buying your first pram doesn’t need to be daunting. If you do your research and follow this checklist you could still be in love with your pram in 5 years time after multiple children.

First Things First

The key to finding the right pram is to understand and prioritise the features that are going to be most important to you.

There’s just one thing we need to make clear; there is no such thing as “the perfect pram”!

We recommend you read as many reviews as you can but keep in mind that what’s perfect for some will be a nightmare for others.

Types of Prams & Strollers

Things to Consider Before you Shop

Pram Features

Materials

Most frames are made from aluminum or steel. You can get ultra lightweight plastic frames that are cheaper and great for the beach (won’t rust) however they’re not designed to last.

Seats, bassinets and canopies are typically made using a combination of plastic and fabrics. Fabric type can vary greatly. Most pram and stroller fabrics clean up quite well with a damp cloth. It helps to be able to at least remove parts for easy cleaning if they’re not machine washable. Look for fabrics that feel sturdy. Separate fabric packs allow you to refresh your look and extend life of your pram. Other parts such as handles, latches and buttons will be made from rubber or plastic.

Size & weight

As a rough guide, most prams and strollers will fit into these weight brackets:

  • Lightweight strollers: 3 – 8kg
  • 3 or 4 wheel mid – large pram/strollers: 7.5 – 15kg
  • Double pram/strollers: 10 – 20kg

Depending on how you plan to use it will determine how important the weight is.

Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Will it fit through doors or checkouts?
  • How important is it that it’s simple to collapse and set it up in a hurry?
  • When collapsed is it easy for you to carry?
  • And light enough to lift into your car?
  • Will the pram fit into the boot of your car?
  • Can the handle bar be adjusted to a comfortable height for both parents to use?

The Bassinet

  • Experts recommend the use of bassinets for babies less than 6 months old as the safest travel option for their development and safety. Lying flat ensures your baby’s airways remain clear, reducing the risk ofSUID(Sudden Unexpected Infant Death – formerly called SIDS).

    A flat, firm surface also allows newborns to stretch out and move freely which is important for both muscle and spinal development (your baby is developing rapidly during this period). 

More to think about:

  • Is it parent facing? (important for development)
  • Does the base of the bassinet have “feet” so that the fabric doesn’t get dirty on the ground?
  • Does the bassinet have a carry handle?
  • Is it easily removed from the pram frame?
  • The Seat

  • Does it recline fully flat for sleeping?
  • Does it sit fully upright for inquisitive toddlers?
  • Can the seat or handle be reversed so that the seat can face forwards or backwards?
  • Will your child’s feet be far enough away from the ground or front wheels?
  • Are the harness straps fully adjustable?
  • Does the seat have a bumper bar? Great for kids to hang onto, attach toys to and an added safety feature.
  • Does the seat have a washable seat liner?
  • Does the canopy have a “peekaboo” flap so you can keep an eye on your little one if they’re not facing you?
  • The seat weight limit should be at least 15kg

Wheels, brakes and maneuverability

Solid EVA: light, puncture free wheels made from a rubbery like, plastic. Best suited to even-paved surfaces and indoor floors. Perfect for urban living.

Foam filled: offer a smoother ride than EVA, do not require maintenance but are heavier than EVA and usually more expensive.

Air tyres: Air-filled tyres offer additional cushioning for a more comfortable ride especially on rough terrain and are great for outdoor exercise. Like bike tyres, they will require the occasional pump-up and may need to have the tube replaced if punctured.

More to Consider:

  • Does the pram or stroller have front swivel wheels to make maneuvering easier? It’s useful if they can be locked when travelling at higher speeds or over rough terrain to avoid what’s known an “wheel shudder”.
  • Large rear wheels tend to be better on kerbs.
  • Is the rear brake easily accessible and easy to use? Linked brakes allow both wheels to brake with a single action rather than individually.
  • Front brakes are particularly handy with a reversible handle so you have a brake on both sides.
  • Hand brakes will be convenient for jogging prams.

Storage

  • Adequate storage space for your needs? Look for additional pockets or handle bar organisers.
  • Are these storage spaces easily accessible?

Safety features

  • Always look for strollers and prams certified to the Australian standard, AS/NZS 2088 and look at the date at the end of that number (most current is 2013).
  • The mechanism that activates the brake is red.
  • A tether strap is attached to the handlebar that allows the pusher of the pram to be tethered to it whilst in use.
  • Seats which recline more than 150° require a head barrier of some sort.
  • Does the canopy offer a reasonable amount of shade?

Accessories

What’s important to you?

  • Removable seat liner
  • Food tray
  • Toddler buggy board / skateboard
  • Second seat attachment
  • Rain cover
  • Mosquito net
  • Sleeping bag or foot muff
  • Drink holders

Other important aspects to look into are:

  • Shipping costs (if online)
  • Return policy
  • Warranty period
  • After sales support