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Dadsnet reviews 6 of the UK’s best pushchairs in 2018

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By Al Ferguson

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dadsnet.

Published on 19/09/2018

Pushchairs, strollers, prams and buggies usually sit right at the top of the ‘to buy’ list when you’re having a baby. But choosing the best pushchair to keep your little one safe, secure and comfy can be a big task.

With quite literally hundreds to choose from, all offering slightly different aspects, you need to read plenty of reviews and get all the advice you can. 

Making your choice will come down to a few questions you need to answer: 

  1. How old will the baby/child be?
  2. Where will you be using the pushchair – what kind of terrain? 
  3. Will you be folding the pushchair up a lot for storing or putting it in the boot regularly? 
  4. How much budget have you got available? 
  5. And of course, what’s your favourite colour…? 

With these questions in mind, you’ll be wanting to look at a few various components and elements more prominently than others. The wheels, the fold, the weight, how robust it feels, size, cost and design; it all adds up to which pushchair you’ll end up with. 

So to help you on your way, we’ve tested out 6 of the best pushchairs available on the UK market and we’ll take you through each one covering the key elements, the pros and cons and we will give our final verdict.

1. Mamas & Papas Occaro Travel System

Highlights: Puncture proof tyres with decent sized wheels for various terrains. Beautiful design, large basket space and sturdy chassis.

The new Ocarro pushchair from Mamas and Papas is suitable from birth up to 15kg and comes in at £699 for the whole chebang; chassis, pushchair seat, carrycot, car seat adapters & cup holder.

It’s clear from the very first time you see the Ocarro that it’s a stylish pushchair that’s had a lot of thought put into the design and overall finish. The design alone certainly makes you feel as though your pushing a high-end, luxury pushchair.

The USP  from Mamas & Papas is that this pushchair is designed for maximum comfort. It has plenty of padding and cushioning to support the baby’s head and has ample padding around the harness straps.

It comes with a generously sized seat with 3 recline positions, including a lie-flat option; something we used a lot! The seat can rear-face or forward-face which is so important to help bond with your baby and your baby’s development. Making the switch is easy and simple by just releasing a button and turning it around.

The Ocarro is easy to push and can be steered with 1 hand. The front wheels have a lockable option and when you consider the large wheels and puncture proof tyres, you’ll struggle to find better wheels on a pushchair. 

The suspension, however, isn’t quite as good as it could be. On pavements with small but frequent bumps, they didn’t absorb as much as I would have liked. This could be a possible area for development.

The Ocarro pushchair weighs in at 13.5kg making it fairly light and easy enough for most people to lift in and out of the boot. Folding it down is easy and simple with 2 hands, but tricky with just 1. You can fold it with the seat in place; very handy when you’re in a rush. Folded up, it’s compact and measures 37 X 59 X 76cm.

The shopping basket is a really good size and you should never underestimate how valuable this asset is! 

At £699 for the whole package, the Mamas and Papas Ocarro pushchair is great value for money. It will last you from newborn until the point you no longer need a pushchair. It is excellently made and has some stunning features that even the high-end, luxury brands would be proud of.

We’re giving the Mamas and Papas Ocarro pushchair a Dadsnet rating of: 

2. Maxi-Cosi Zelia

Highlights: Easy fold, large basket, 2 in 1 carrycot and seat and lightweight. 

The Maxi-Cosi Zelia is an urban, 2-in-1 stroller designed to be from used from birth. Retailing at £260 we’re moving to the other end of the spectrum where budgets are concerned.

The Zelia comes with minimal assembly required making it quick and easy to use straight out the box; simply pop the wheels on and off you go. The chassis has to be one of the lightest on the market weighing in at a mere 6.2kg. Add the seat and you’re still only at 9.6kg making it an extremely light option for parents who use public transport a lot or having to lug it up and down steps frequently. This light weight does mean that the chassis doesn’t feel as sturdy as some of the others in the test, but you have to balance it out somewhere. 

It’s a consideration that the Zelia is a fairly wide pushchair; some narrower doors we found challenging but once you get used to it, I’m sure it wouldn’t be an issue. And whilst we’re thinking about features that might need considering, the handlebar only adjusts 5cm from 98cm to 103cm which doesn’t give a great amount to play with if you’re especially tall. 

Decent size wheels, complete with suspension give a pretty smooth ride for your baby and the front wheels can be locked into place if required. 

The shopping basket didn’t seem quite as big as others we reviewed, but was still significantly large enough to hold a good amount of baby paraphernalia. It’s also a deep basket meaning you won’t be losing the shopping en route home.

But the best thing about the Zelia is the 2 in 1 carry cot and seat. In just a few clicks you can make the switch. This design is perfect for parents with limited storage at home for an extra carrycot once their baby no longer needs to lie flat. 

The slight downside to the design is that, whilst the carrycot is very spacious and comfortable, the seat is a little on the small side at just 31cm wide. 

The 5-point harness is easy to use and well padded and the gate-opening bumper bar makes it easy to get the baby in and out. Every parent knows how messy the material can get, but the Maxi-Cosi Zelia has durable material and easy to clean. 

The seat reclines, but you need 2 hands to do it; not ideal but you can turn the seat round to rear-face if you wish which is a great feature as we’ve mentioned before. 

The fold is simple and easy and of course, when you need to pick it up, it’s pretty lightweight! 

There are a few considerations with the Zelia but the bottom line is that it’s an affordable pushchair to almost every new parent. It caters for babies from birth and has a clever 2 in 1 design and is great for a lightweight pushchair. 

We’re giving the Maxi-Cosi Zelia a Dadsnet rating of: 

3. Joie Chrome DLX

Highlights: Excellent value for money and folds up really small. 

The brand new Joie Chrome DLX, suitable from birth to 19kg, is a rear & forward facing pushchair, coming in at a similar lightweight to the Zelia. It’s also one of the most competitively priced at just £349.

It folds really easily and quickly and once folded down, is very compact: 80.8cm x 56.5cm x 26cm. Some parents have even said that they would have no issue taking his pushchair on a flight with them! 

The manoeuvrability isn’t as good as some of the others, but certainly holds it’s own when you’re battling the school run. This is because the wheels are larger than you’d typically find on an urban pushchair. BUT… this does mean that it tackles more diverse terrain better. Again, you have to weigh it all up as to what meets your needs.

The front wheels can be locked if required. Overall, the ride isn’t too bumpy for your baby but it could be slightly smoother.

The seat is comfortable with good padding and numerous recline positions, including lie flat for those afternoon naps when out and about. It feels very secure with easy, quick release. When testing, our toddler felt very secure in a good upright position. An excellent sized hood keeps the sun at bay too.

Another nice aspect is that it’s completely compatible with all the Joie car seats, which are often very highly rated. If you’re looking at Joie car seats, this pushchair is certainly worth considering. 

We really liked the Chrome, performing better than many of its competitors, especially with its affordable price tag. It loses points for its maneuverability but being so compact for easy storage and being lightweight, it comes into its own.

We’re giving the Joie Chrome DLX a Dadsnet rating of: 

4. Stokke Xplory

Highlights: High seat to push up against restaurant tables, stylish & very well-made. 

The Norwegian brand, Stokke, pride themselves on making smart & sustainable products that promote bonding with your baby and healthy development. Their pushchairs follow their philosophy of ‘higher is better’ making them often stand out from the crowd. 

The Stokke Xplory sits at the high-end of the budget coming in at £899 for the basic configuration but you certainly get what you pay for; especially when design, style and functionality are concerned.

The key USP of the Stokke Xplory is the height variations. It’s easily adjustable and has 19 settings. Yes, 19!!! We really liked the extra height the Stokke Xplory offers – it felt refreshing and really will help when engaging with your baby. 

That being said, we also like the fact you can switch the seat round to face forward very easily allowing your child to see the world in front of them too.

The big consideration with the Stokke Xplory is the lack of a shopping basket. Instead, it comes with a bag that sits on the base plate. This may not be everyone’s preference. The bag is waterproof and tucks away nicely.

This pushchair does not come with suspension. Personally, I don’t think that’s much of an issue unless you live in the great British countryside. It pushes smoothly and has great maneuverability. Even on grass, we didn’t find it too difficult to push.

The bucket seat has 3 different reclining positions and can also be switched over to the carrycot (at an additional £170).

Another slight drawback is the size of the pushchair when folded. It does not fold down terribly small, so if you have limited boot space, this may not be the pushchair for you.

The materials used throughout the whole product are top notch. You can feel the quality in the build and the materials used. This shows you where your money goes.

Perhaps one of the best advantages of this pushchair is the height of the seat. As it’s high up, it makes it possible to simply push your little one up to the table in a coffee shop or restaurant to join you at the table whilst still being in the pushchair. This is a great aspect for those who eat out regularly. 

The Stokke Xplory won’t suit everyone, nor everyone’s budget, but it does what it’s designed for very well. 

We’re giving the Stokke Xplory a Dadsnet rating of: 

5. Joie MyTrax

Highlights: Easy, 1-handed fold and folds up small, good wheels & tyres. 

The Joie Mytrax pushchair is front-facing, suitable from birth to 15kg and can be turned into a travel system. Out the box, it’s simple to piece the few components together, and away you go.

The seat is well designed with numerous recline positions, including lie-flat. It comes with a 5-point harness and good padding. 

Canopies can get over-looked when thinking about choosing a pushchair, but this one has UPF 50+ to keep potentially harmful sun rays at bay. There is a hidden extension too, making it a great size to keep the light out when it comes to napping. 

Joie has a great range of car seats, and if you go for a Joie car seat, then this would be a sensible and compatible choice. 

We loved the wheels on this pushchair. They aren’t huge but having air-filled tyres and suspension, it makes for a very smooth ride. Lockable front wheels also help with keeping the ride smooth. 

Folding is very easy and can be done with 1 hand; the holy grail and deciding factor for some parents. There’s a hidden strap in the centre of the seat that you simply pull upwards to fold. Once collapses down, it’s small and relatively light-weight compared to some others. It’s free standing too! 

The Joie Mytrax is a solid pushchair that does what you need it to do. Its design isn’t going to rival that of some of the higher end models and you can get better quality parts but for an entry-level, accessible to all pushchair, it’s spot on. 

We’re giving the Joie Mytrax a Dadsnet rating of: 

6. iCandy Orange

Highlights: Can be a single or double pushchair, integrated buggy board, large shopping basket and has 30 different configurations.

As well as being sleek, stylish and extremely practical, the modular extension system means that it can be set up in over 30 configurations ranging from a single carrycot, to double seats, to a seat and a buggy board for a toddler and more.

What’s more, the iCandy Orange seems to elegantly bridge two classes of pram – small and practical city prams that make certain compromises on comfort and smoothness, and larger luxury prams that, whilst comfortable and smooth sacrifice maneuverability. The iCandy Orange offers a spacious and comfortable ride to a child, and a smooth and easy driving experience to parents whilst feeling much more nimble than it has any right to be!

The Orange has a folded size of 85 x 61 x 30cm, can take children up to 25kg in single mode and up to 15kg per seat in double mode, and starts at £875 for the single version. The exciting vital statistics for the Orange, however, are the 6kg minimum liftable weight (i.e., frame only), 12.5kg with-seat weight and the expansive 64l basket, capable of carrying 10kg of miscellaneous stuff. That’s big enough for a changing bag, a backpack of all the stuff a dad needs for a trip out the house AND a good week worth of shopping.

An important aspect of any pushchair design is the folding mechanism and, once again, the Orange doesn’t disappoint. The fold requires the user to pull up on two catches on either side of the handlebar, and push downward. This triggers the pram to collapse in the middle, folding neatly into a small package.

It’s actually quite impressive to see that expansive basket disappear into the folded pram! The downside of this mechanism is that it requires both hands to fold the pram – so no holding the baby on one arm and folding the pram with the other!

The combination of suspension, large wheels and thick rubber tyres lead to a very smooth ride for the baby. The wheels also have extremely smooth bearings and spread the weight of the pram very very well. Pushing the Orange takes very little effort, and it is extremely nimble and manoeuvrable, feeling like a pram much smaller than it actually is.

The hood is huge and extends so far over the seat/carrycot as to exclude almost all sun, and also feature a zippable mesh window that allows the parent to see the child even when the hood is all the way down. These mesh windows also allow a bit of ventilation – a great feature.

This has been an ideal pushchair for our first little one, but the big appeal of the Orange is that it is expandable to accommodate more children. With the purchase of a set of extenders, the pushchair can take a second carrycot or seat in combination with the original AND has a built-in buggy-board that can take a toddler weighing up to 20kg on it. That means that it is the ideal pushchair if you think that there is any chance of the family expanding in the future!

If you are looking for a smooth, stylish and durable pushchair that will adapt to almost anything the future of your family will throw at it and aren’t worried about a slightly larger than average size then the iCandy Orange will be a strong contender for you!

We’re giving the iCandy Orange pushchair a Dadsnet rating of:

The Dadsnet product reviews are always honest and independent. We’re never paid to review products but sometimes include affiliate links to buy products; this never influences our thoughts and opinions, though. 

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  1. Duncan

    I can only speak for the Joie Chrome dlx. We have had it from newborn (a year and a bit ago) and it is still going strong. We must have been lucky and got it for less than £200 and got the chrome carry cot for £1 (a mistake by the retailer). We also used an igemm car seat with it. Really can’t fault it other than we found it quite large in our car boot. Great reviews

  2. Chris

    The Stokke reminds me of the dolly that Hannibal Lecter gets wheeled around on!

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