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Pushchairs/strollers - what features would you like to see?

(36 Posts)
chriscarter Mon 20-Oct-08 23:16:48

Hi all,

My name's Chris and I'm a recent university graduate looking for a design job. I've just been short-listed for a vacancy at a company that sells nursery products such as high chairs, pushchairs and car seats.

As part of the application process I have been asked to re-design one of their products: the MyChild Ultra Spacer.

http://www.jusonne.co.uk/my-child-ultra-spacer-pushchairbuggy-718-p.asp

If you have a spare moment I'd be very appreciative if you could suggest the sort of features you'd like to see on a push chair like this, or more specifically your ideal pushchair for your child.

All comments are much appreciated and I've got until the end of the month to come up with a suitable product.

MrsSplat Mon 20-Oct-08 23:26:13

I live in a hilly area and pushing mine downhill can be a bit scary. I'd love to see more wrist-straps on pushchairs and it would be neat if someone could design a brake which was on the handles (like bike brakes on handlebars) to slow it down, when needed, for an extra bit of security. Although I suspect the latter would be quite niche. Those who pram-jog might like it though?

The other thing I've seen and liked is a double-ended velcro strap/loops which attaches to the front area and you can attach toys/rattles etc, so they don't get thrown out.

shopaholicDIVA Mon 20-Oct-08 23:40:59

auto drive grin
i love mountain buggy, can someone make it smaller compact. its soo heavenly to push.
ask pram addicts they all ended up with MBs.

BananaFruitBat Mon 20-Oct-08 23:56:03

Easy to fold.

Somewhere to put things (eg purse) securely, but easy to reach.

2 bottle/cup holders (so both pusher and pushed can have drinks!).

Agree with MrsSplat, it would be nice to be able to put brake on using something on handle.

I didn't look properly - has it got a clear panel in the hood? So you can still see child even when the hood's up. I wish mine had had that.

HTH

Let us know how you get on.

stretchmarkSCREAM Tue 21-Oct-08 00:04:04

Something to hold an umbrella on while pushing. I HATE getting wet!!grin

Pawslikepaddington Tue 21-Oct-08 00:45:15

Somewhere to put your cup of coffee/water/whatever-it is impossible to push one handed with big child! And a footbrake that stays on on hills!

saskia71 Tue 21-Oct-08 07:37:54

A carbon fibre chassis - provides a very good weight/strength ratio. The cost would obviously place it in a niche market (I think there are two models currently available).

mamadiva Tue 21-Oct-08 08:01:05

Ooh Does anyone else want one of these now LOL?

I like it but I think it would be nicer with-

-A clear peek a boo window on the hood

-Air/gel filled tyres instead of the rickety plastic ones much comfier ride for mum and baby

-Again for the hand brake thing as well as footbrake

-Can you get like a built in raincover that kind of zips away into the back of the hood or something so it just rolls out and over that,d be fab save carting it about.

-A decent storage pocket somewhere on back of seat or hood maybe so mum can store purse, phonekeys securely

-Velcro ties for toys so they are not flung away

-A decent sized basket

With all my blardy requests the pram would cost about £300 LOL

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 21-Oct-08 08:09:09

I like the 3 wheel ones because they are much easier to push/control. A small all terrain one would be good too. I would love an all terrain but they are too big.

chriscarter Tue 21-Oct-08 08:43:53

Thanks everyone who has posted so far... keep the suggestions coming!

One of the main issues I've noticed seem to be with being able to see the child (either through a see-through hood or rear facing seat). Also, umbrella holders seem a big need. Does anyone have a pushchair/stroller with one of these already built in?

AnarchyAunt Tue 21-Oct-08 08:47:31

- Rear facing option without being unwieldy and hard to get on and off public transport

- Shopping basket that things don't fall out of

- Better brakes

- Umbrella holder is a fantastic idea!

2point4kids Tue 21-Oct-08 09:11:46

A brilliant thing that I have only ever seen on the Maclaren Techno before is the hood that unzips so that it comes down further than usual. Perfect for when baby is sleepy or there is bright sun. I'd love this feature on other buggies.
Umbrella holder is a good idea. have heard of ones you can buy and fit on, but not an integrated one (would need to consider that it might have to be big enough tpo go over the Mum plus a child on a buggy board etc)
Rear facing or window to see the child is important.
Perhaps a pocket built in to the back of the pram to contain the raincover so you dont ahve to keep it in the basket (and have no room in basket then for your shopping!)
Must fold up in one piece. Easy to fold and maybe a clip to keep it folded once you have done it so it doesnt try and open up while you are trying to lug it into the car boot!

You can see I have thought about this! I found it hard to find the perfect pram when I was looking (nearest I found is the bugaboo bee in case you are interested!)

savoycabbage Tue 21-Oct-08 09:18:50

I like a pushchair with two handles as opposed to a bar across like that one as you can't hang your shopping bags on the bar handle ones. There is never enough space in the net at the bottom for your changing bag.

I wouldn't have bought a pushchair for a new baby that was forward facing as I would want my baby to see me. I bought a buggy when my daughter was older that was forward facing though. One of the reasons I did buy my 'travel system' was that it could face either way.

I wouldn't buy one with hard plastic wheels as they are too bumpy when you push them and make your hands numb.

I wouldn't be bothered about having an umbrella holder as I could hang it on the handles. grin I would have quite liked a rain cover that you can fold away and store in a easy way - like with some poppers on or something as mine is quite bulky and so I don't put it in the basket as there will be less room for wine milk and then I end up not taking it with me. I keep mine in the boot of the car at the moment.

My maclaren has a pocket in the hood that is invaluable for shoving things in. It fastens with velcro so you feel as if you can put your keys in.

I like my things to look nice too! I don't ask for much do I? I really loved that LuLu Guiness polka dot pushchair that mothercare had a few years ago.

newer one here. I would be interested on this on the basis of looks alone!

stretchmarkSCREAM Tue 21-Oct-08 09:27:27

I meant something to hold an open umbrella with while I push it, savoy!!grin I have to walk about 1.5 miles to and from school, so I the rain I get very wet!! I think you can buy umbrellas with a clip or something, but it would be good to have a clip already on the buggy. IYSWIM??

Ooooh, another thing!! I like my pushchairs to last a while hmm, and all the nice ones seem to have that horrible foam stuff on the handles which wears through quite quuickly. So I'd like a more durable fabic/material on the handles!!

grin

stretchmarkSCREAM Tue 21-Oct-08 09:28:25

Of course I meant in the rain, and quickly! blush

nicolamumof3 Tue 21-Oct-08 09:33:25

I like solid bar handle great for one handed pushing with toddler to hold onto! would like reversible seat option on a lightweight chassis would be fab.
Viewing window, one handed recline, zip/clip on raincover so not too bulky, storage pockets, bumper bar, v.easy to fold and compact too.

i love pushchairs and could talk all day about them!!! wink

NBheebieGeebies Tue 21-Oct-08 09:38:37

I think having the option to have the seat forward or rear facing is a huge deal for mums. Particularly first time mums.
Having said that I wanted a rear facing seat with all 3 of mine.

Also an option to fit a car seat? Maybe like a universal fitting on the pushchair somehow.

Definately a holder for an umberella.

Take off tray at the front for the baby/toddler. Very good for when they can eat on their own.
Its horrible getting Sausage roll pastry all over the seats wink

Full recline on the seat for when they flatly refuse to go to sleep.

Drinks holder for whoever is pushing the pushchair.

Handles like on this pushchair

Huge shopping basket is a must and possible hooks for bags?

A decent raincover that doesn't have lots of fiddly bits of velcro.

Not much really grin

Pawslikepaddington Tue 21-Oct-08 09:46:50

Oooh, also a non-jerky recline. The ones I have used have always been on a clip or bars at the sides, and they suddenly shoot back, occassionally waking the baby you have spent an hour and a half getting to sleep!

PixelHerder Tue 21-Oct-08 10:13:20

Agree with most of the comments on here!

The MyChild pram in your link looks nice but I wouldn't buy it as it looks too bulky for urban use in tight shopping aisles etc. (I have learned the hard way with the likes of Quinny Buzz etc!)

Assuming you can't change much about the basic concept of it, I'd maybe look at 'compacting' it - the main problem with those types of pram is their bulkiness.

Generally, assuming that a pram will be used in urban/semi-urban settings, I think the following are crucial features:

- wheel base narrower than 50cm, so it can fit down shop aisles, even tight corner shops / post offices

- easy handling and 'on a sixpence' turning

- adjustable pushing handles, which go high enough so even a tall person doesn't have to stoop to push

- 2 handles so that you can hang extra bags on them (no basket will ever be big enough!). Or if that's not possible, then some sort of bag hook system.

- good brakes

Other things which help greatly:

- rain cover that folds neatly into a pocket and can be kept with pram at all times

- rain cover slips on easily with no excessive stretching - knobs are better than velcro (Maclaren Techno's is the best I've used)

- hood which folds RIGHT down over the child to protect from sun etc - it is amazing how many pushchairs have only very poxy 'decorative' hoods. Again, the Maclaren Techno's is the best I've seen. The hood on the MyChild looks too small.

- adjustable seat so child can lie down, with an EASY mechanism

Features I LOVE - but are difficult to fit into a compact pushchair:

- air tyres
- rear facing option
- folds in one piece
- generous basket

My favourites have been:

Maclaren Techno - almost perfectly functional, just slightly boring and lacking rear facing / air tyre pazazz

Mountain Buggy Terrain - simple but almost perfectly functional for all-terrain walks (rather than urban use, it's much too big for that).

Ones which I haven't owned but look interesting are the Micralite and the Bugaboo Bee. Micralite not rear facing though, and the Bee, although delightfully compact, looks a bit small in the seat for a toddler, and has no air tyres.

Can you tell I spend FAR too much time thinking about these things blush

PixelHerder Tue 21-Oct-08 11:33:56

re umbrella holders (which would hold the umbrella over the person pushing) - it's a nice idea but I can't see it working in practice very easily. It would make the pram very 'bulky' on the pavement and possibly a bit top heavy?

Rear-facing (or at least a viewing window) is definitely important, especially for younger babies.

stretchmarkSCREAM Tue 21-Oct-08 11:40:19

Why would it?? It only has to be a clip that would attach to the handles that you could insert your umbrella into??? People put bags of stuff on handles so don't see what one clip would do?

stretchmarkSCREAM Tue 21-Oct-08 11:40:44

Ooooh, that sounded narky, sorry!! grin

babyjjbaby Tue 21-Oct-08 11:41:39

i want a small folding buggy bout the size of maclaren quets must lie flat have legrest be one hand fold and rear facing

Dalrymps Tue 21-Oct-08 11:45:32

Good tyres gel/air filled
Rear and front facing
Clear window in hood to see baby
Large and easily accessable basket
Bright colours - eg: not just pink or blue
Option to convert to double buggy?

PixelHerder Tue 21-Oct-08 11:47:55

hmm, still not sure - the stuff in bags hangs down so has a much lower centre of gravity than an upright umbrella.

My main concern though would be how you'd get along a crowded pavement with an umbrella/pushchair combo taking up space in all directions. I think it would have to be one of those things that would need practical experimentation before you decided whether it was worth the hassle! Or I guess you could maybe only use the umbrella in wide-open spaces.

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