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Seriously good off-road pushchair needed!

(34 Posts)

I walk miles a week with a pushchair (I'm talking serious miles - 30 to 50) for exercise and relaxation at a fairly brisk pace and very occasional light brief jogging (e.g. if I'm late to pick up my oldest from school!!)

I recently moved to a much more rural area from London, and am having to come to terms with crappy pavements and kerbs but by far my toughest issue is the footpaths riddled with stones, mud and tree roots, and stiles. Plus the odd set of unavoidable steps especially at our local station when I want to travel further afield. And other such country obstacles!

I have a Phil & Teds Sport double right now, but it's bulky and prone to punctures and the front wheel keeps sticking (twists 90 degrees) on tree roots and rocks and so on. I'm not easily able to lift it either partly due to the shape rather than lack of strength although that is a factor too.

The intended passenger is my almost two year old son. Yes, he's old enough to walk, but he isn't going to be doing 12 miles at a brisk pace any time soon in the next few years!

I have been out of the pushchair market for YEARS. I know nothing these days. No particular budget in mind as I know you have to pay for decent quality.

Must haves:

- Really good at off-road, and I mean really good. Better than Phil & Ted's.
- Lightweight enough for me to carry it over stiles etc if necessary
- Robust and reliable

I've probably already ruled out every pushchair on the market with those three requirements but just in case, here's my "nice to haves":

- Tyres that don't puncture
- Facility to turn it into a double/twin P&T style
- Suitable for jogging with
- Not too wide
- Reasonable sized basket for carrying my clutter
- Foldable in one piece

If anyone thinks there might be something out there that would be a noticeable improvement on my (several years old, somewhat battered, a few thousand miles on the clock) Phil and Teds I'd love to hear about it!

Similarly if I may as well stick with the P&T, just say so too. I do have a Maclaren XT which is great for pavements etc but hopeless of course off-road. If only there was an off-road version of that at the same weight!

Thank you very much for your thoughts flowers

I should add lest I've unintentionally offended anyone that I love the countryside and those tree-root riddled paths are one of the main reasons we moved here! I just wish there was a way to make life easier to explore it all with a pushchair..

hellonewworld Tue 23-Apr-13 18:49:26

Mountain buggy? Not sure if there is an attachment to convert it into a double though.

DorsetLass Tue 23-Apr-13 18:53:30

Out and about nipper - got single and double and can't fault them at all. Walk for miles with dog, on and off road, run with it on country tracks (lock front wheel first). Really easy to fold, reasonably priced and not too many fancy gadgets to go wrong. Really easy to steer - only problem for you may be fact it doesn't convert to double - so I just bough the double version second hand. I don't like children 'stacked' when they spend as much time out as we do - too many arguments!

SizzleSazz Tue 23-Apr-13 18:54:44

I had a Mountain Buggy Terrain double and there is nothing it couldn't deal with underfoot wise. However it was quite bulky but didn't seem as heavy as friends P&T. But it has inflatable tyres.

If you are out West you can have my old Mothercare one which is indestructible as well, but also has inflatable tyres and not a double (although both my kids would pile in it together grin)

SizzleSazz Tue 23-Apr-13 18:55:49

Both of mine had a fixed front wheel which IMO works WAY better than a lockable front wheel on rough terrain

fishybits Tue 23-Apr-13 18:55:59

^^

It's great. Mine is a fixed wheel which is better on rough terrain. You'll find a few for sale on eBay, they hold value.

fishybits Tue 23-Apr-13 18:57:21

Posted too soon. Mine's an Out and About Nipper single.

SilkySocksSinkShips Tue 23-Apr-13 18:57:26

The pushchair we got was a travel system but the sole reason we bought it was because it was a 3 wheeler that was more adept at countryside than inner city. Its not pretty I know. And its Mothercare.

this We have it in grey.

Its positives:
It is fantastic for bumpy, uneven paths.
The wheels have never punctured.
Easy to navigate.
I can jog with it.
It folds in half so no taking it apart.
Most bits are detachable so you can make it as unfussy as you like.

Its negatives:
It's pretty big. Takes up my whole boot.
Isn't the prettiest pushchair.
As a travel system, it does come with a car seat.
Because it folds in half, the middle of the handle will get pretty beat up.

I know it's probably not what you really want but it's been fantastic, had no trouble pushing it anywhere

DorsetLass Tue 23-Apr-13 19:19:57

You can also green slime inflatable tyres so not to worry re punctures

Great, thank you everyone! Several pushchairs to think about (I did do a Google but just couldn't narrow it down, there seems to be thousands..)

We did pop slime in the wheels but still got punctures. But then that was when we lived in SE London and there was a lot more broken glass everywhere. I hardly see it now!

The doubles thing isn't absolutely essential. Some days DC2 (who is 4) is out with me and although she can cover miles and miles, it's not at a pace I like and is often filled with whining if I try, so it's nice for her to pop into the pushchair especially if we're running late. But she starts school in September and is at nursery some days anyway. Also there's the small possibility of maybe DC4 one day.

Interesting about the fixed wheel on rough terrain. The P&T had an issue a while back (fixed with grease) where the wheel kept popping into the fixed position and I actually found it harder! But then it wasn't properly fixed as it kept popping in and out - maybe it works better if it really can't move.

The Out and About looks like one of the top contenders so far.. but how is it for lifting? As in up and down steps or potentially over stiles? That's one of my biggest issues with the P&T, especially as we're new to the area and there is nothing worse than walking a mile down a lovely track only to be presented with an impassable stile or worse one of those stupid gates that lets people through but not much else.

SilkySocks - How heavy is the Mothercare one?

Has anyone been able to compare the Mountain Buggy and the P&T and if so, was the Mountain Buggy significantly better? How is it for lifting?

Thanks all!!

I have a single nipper that's been through a fair few children and hills. Nippers are the blinking Nissan micras of the pushchair world, they just don't die. I have a Phil and Teds and would say the Nipper is best at being able to be lifted. I'd take your child out first though. I've jogged with it as well, not that I recommend it. But I did it and it was fine.

My childminder has a nipper and she would pop tired children on the footplate over the front wheel. I've seen this done by others, so it's an option in a pinch.

fishybits Tue 23-Apr-13 21:04:50

I lift my Nipper in and out of a Defender 110 without issue. I found it heavy to start with but got used to it very quickly. Any decent off road buggy is heavy.

Oh and the suspension on the nipper is fab as well, it does take a bouncy path well.

gruber Tue 23-Apr-13 21:08:20

Definitely Nipper. Really easy to lift (I could 1 handed a few weeks after giving birth!). 1 piece fold. Indestructible. Lock the front wheel and it will go anywhere.

Wallace Tue 23-Apr-13 21:08:30

I have an ancient Baby Jogger that ticks most of your boxes. Can't convert to a double but could probably squeeze a 4 year old in with the 2 year old if you had to.

Never had a puncture and I've had it for almost 6 years (it is 14 years old...)

The Nipper does sound tempting. Has anyone used the Nipper and the P&T before, and which one was better over rough ground? As obviously I need to justify it to DH (space being an issue!) so it needs to be a significant improvement rather than just a bit nicer if you see what I mean..

StrawberryMonkey Wed 24-Apr-13 13:34:20

Nipper is a significantly better push than a p&t IMO!
Other pushchairs you might consider would be the baby jogger summit x3 (due out mid may), especially for the jogging/extreme off road activity.
Also the Bob revolution SE.

cathpip Wed 24-Apr-13 13:50:02

I have the single and double pre 2010 model mountain buggy terrain, (you can find them on ebay now) I live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and with my running and having to exercise 2 cocker spaniels, this is the only buggy that I have found capable of fields, bridleways, tracks and cattle grids. There is a company called Charriots all terrain were you can get hold of industrial inner tubes, tyres etc. They did used to stock the mountain buggy but since P and T took over the manufacture they have not (new version is not as robust as the old!) I will not use any other buggy, but a friend does have the baby jogger and swears by it.

cathpip Wed 24-Apr-13 13:56:29

My 4 year old sits in the double mountain buggy for morning runs (still on stabilisers so not very quick!) The double is heavyish, but I can lift it into a boot, the single is fairly light (easily fit a 4 year old on the footrest) have hoofed it over a 5 bar gate before, and with the thick inner tubes have only ever had 5 punctures in 4.5 years, they also both have fixed front wheels, you just tilt onto the back wheels and it spins round on a coin.

drinkyourmilk Wed 24-Apr-13 13:58:43

I'm a nanny of 15 years, so had many many pushchairs.
I'd go for a mountain buggy over the Phil and teds. It is a heavy frame, but seems more weight balanced and is easily pushed and steered with one hand.
I'd get the wheels foam filled- then you never need worry about them.
Re double, have you considered an ergo carrier? Even your 4 yr old will sit in at on your back and its pretty comfortable.
I used to take my 6 year old charge out in it when her sister was born instead of in her wheelchair to the zoo etc and didn't have a problem.

DorsetLass Wed 24-Apr-13 14:19:46

Worth bearing in mind some of the old nippers have fixe front wheels - so if ou are considering buying a second hand one make sure it is the newer version with swivel front wheel.

My neice has p and t - I find nipper much easier to collapse and lift in/out/over things (but maybe as I'm just used to it) nipper def much lighter. We change to nipper from Jane slalom pro (which I hated - huge, heavy and everything broke) and my DH who is very unimpressed by any child related purchase even admitted it was a vast imporovent. Good luck!

twintwo Wed 24-Apr-13 14:38:08

Another vote for the nipper. I had a double for my twins, my 3 year old used to ride on the footplate if tired. It is incredibly easy to push (even when the twins were 4yrs old) and could cope with all manner of hills, woods and beaches. It wasn't too heavy to lift I can remember picking it up to carry over stiles on my own, also up and down stairs on a couple of trips on the London Underground.

gruber Wed 24-Apr-13 15:35:12

Having had both P&Teds (several versions) and Nipper, the Nipper wins hands down. 1 family I know have had their Nipper for 6 years, 3 children, multiple holidays, regular dog/forest walks & it's Still in great condition. I haven't had a puncture in mine yet...

Thank you again everyone!

My main concern about the Mountain Buggy is the weight, for when I have to lift it over stiles or other obstacles like those stupid "person only" kissing gates that keep out bikes. Now admittedly this happens very, very rarely and once I get to know the area I'll start to learn where they are, but with the Maclaren for instance I can just about lift the lot over the top. I certainly can't with the Phil and Teds. And there's the whole stairs/steps issue for going up at least even if I can bounce down.

I went to try out a Nipper today - it seemed fine, but of course there's no real way to know on a showroom floor what it is like with tree roots and stones on a steep bridleway! A little bit heavier than I was expecting but still lighter than the P&T. It seemed easier to steer though, and I much preferred the brake, and the suspension at the rear.

cathpip - I'm impressed you managed to get a buggy over a five bar gate! Respect!! I had a look on eBay but could only find one. I'm assuming the newer ones are not as good?

drinkyourmilk - I am actually a sling user (I have a babyhawk and a pattapum, so no Baby Bjorns here!) but I have a bad neck after whiplash from an accident nearly ten years ago now, so once they hit around a year I end up in a lot of pain the next day when I use a sling so that puts an end to it sadly. Or it would be an easy solution. PS - the foam - what is the brand of the stuff, do you know?

gruber - It's good to hear about the durability. These things matter a lot to me, I put my buggies through one heck of a lot so I need to know they'll handle it!

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