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best pushchairs for living in London

(22 Posts)
Honor78 Fri 12-Nov-10 18:55:20

Please could any Londoners offer advice for which is the best pram suitable for a newborn for a first-time mum? I have a specific list of criteria and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I want the baby to face me; something relatively cheap; something lightweight that I can cart down to the Tube; something with good manoeuvrability that means I can get on the bus frequently; and something that turns into a buggy once the baby can sit up. Thanks in advance for any help.

MilkNoSugarPlease Sat 13-Nov-10 00:10:03

Bugaboo bee is the best buggy I've used (I'm a nanny so there been ALOT!) in Central London

is fab!

MonkeysPunk Sat 13-Nov-10 14:03:55

bugaboo bee plus for long term. And get hood and footmuff from www.snunkie.co.uk i recommend their boxed footmuff as it is capable of unzipping from foot end for toddler feet to poke out as their legs grow. It's really smart and represents great value for money. Just buy the bee plus base. It comes with hood rods. Like i said it works out cheaper to get hood and footmuff made bespoke from snunkie but allow about eight weeks for the items to be sewn for you.

SickOnMyShoulder Sat 13-Nov-10 18:32:38

bee plus or if you want a lovely carrycot and don't mind only forward facing the baby jogger city mini.

cupcake75 Sat 13-Nov-10 18:36:24

Bee Plus as well. It fits great on buses. It is so annoying when the prams with the enormous wide wheels or frames get on.

tethersend Sat 13-Nov-10 18:39:46

Buy one second hand on ebay- still a much better investment than buying anything else cheaper new IMO.

You can buy the fabrics new.

I love the Bugaboo Cam- although it's bigger, it's a dream to push; I have a bad back and find the back wheels ideal for bumping up and down tube stairs.

onimolap Sat 13-Nov-10 18:43:53

Get the cheapest pram you can bear to live with, then get a MacLaren.

All the Bugaboos take up too much space on buses - you can fit 3 Mclarens (or Gracos) into the available space on a bus and only 1 or 2 Bugaboos. Also, if the driver asks you to fold or wait, you can fold.

MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 14-Nov-10 11:51:24

Bugaboo bee Is tiny on buses!I had to wedge the Maclaren XT on and the bee just slipped in!

MonkeysPunk Sun 14-Nov-10 15:31:45

bugaboo bee takes up similar if not smaller space on bus as handlebar can retract giving more space. Now you can't do that with a Maclaren!

MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 14-Nov-10 17:00:04

No you can't! <eyes crappy maclaren, then kicks it >

Honor78 Tue 16-Nov-10 19:27:41

Thanks everyone for your comments - most helpful,though it seems Bugaboo is the outright winner.

onimolap Wed 17-Nov-10 22:11:16

Check the specs: a typical Maclaren (Quest) is 4.5cms narrower than a Bugaboo Bee.

The Maclaren umbrella type fold is - for most people - much easier one-handed than any other fold. I suggest you try it in the shop when you ahve a massive bag swinging from one shoulder and the baby under that arm. Pretend it's raining, and the driver will only let you on the bus if you fold.

London buses have different layouts, but it is possible to fit in 3 Maclarens/Gracos side-by-side (tight fit, mind you, and requires co-operative parents/carers!). I have never seen this achieved with even one Bugaboo in the mix. Those extra two inches make tight fit into impossible fit (and as that potentially doesn't allow another pushchair on, I know I wouldn't feel comfortable).

SickOnMyShoulder Thu 18-Nov-10 07:39:46

but you can't use a Quest for a newborn, so the OP would need an XT, or if she needs it travel system compatible, an XLR, which is much wider than a bee.

onimolap Thu 18-Nov-10 21:13:44

That's why I suggested v cheap pram to start with (second hand, perhaps). Using a sling until the baby is 6mths or so woiuld remove the need for a pram at all.

The Maclaren XT is also 48.5 cms wide - nearly 2 inches narrower than the B.Bee.

The XLR is 53 cms, same as B.Bee, but the OP did not require travel system compatibility.

Honor78 you really do need to go to a shop and try out the fold mechanism; check the relative weight and see how well you can lug about when folded; and find out how easy they are to manoeuvre.

MonkeysPunk Fri 19-Nov-10 11:44:44

also worth checking the length of the buggy front to back. The bugaboo bee can shrink quite well front to back by retracting the handlebar and saving space! It's also very comfortable for your child compared to a Maclaren as the seat is nicer, well padded and more ergonomic. It has a lot of the features of a luxury stroller in a compact stroller. Such as one handed push bar. Parent facing option, adjustable handlebar height. Full layback. Generous hood. Excellent suspension. Much larger and more accessible shopping basket than an umbrella fold has too. Personally I've used my bee plus on buses and trains with no problems. I love the option of being able to have my child facing me. As it's suitable from birth there's no need to get a very cheap pram for x amount of months then an umbrella fold subsequently although this is what a lot of people do. I guess you have to weigh up what your needs are. As a full time mum who doesn't drive i chose the bee because my child will be spending a lot of time using the buggy. Had i gone back to work full time and my child spent most of his time in a nursery setting and not so much time out with me in his buggy i would have probably chosen differently. If I'd had a car and again the baby Would've been driven around rather than in the buggy going by public transport i would have chosen differently too. If I'd been planning another child in close succession i Would've chosen differently again.

mrsgordonfreeman Sat 20-Nov-10 00:16:06

Just to chuck a spanner in the works, I have a Stokke Xplory and it takes up less room on the bus than a Bugaboo (the height is deceptive).

It is also cooler than a Bugaboo grin

I have a M&P Luna Mix that I use when taking the Tube as I can bump that up and down steps without having to wait for someone to help me. I recommend trying the pram out on some steps before buying.

SickOnMyShoulder Sun 21-Nov-10 11:23:00

My old and crappy mamas and papas p3 frame broke when DD was 4 months old and DH had the car at work. I had a whole day out planned and couldn't cancel so ended up wearing DD in a sling for 6 hours, including lunch- not fun! You need either a carrycot or a lie-flat pram like the bee or BJCM for the first few months as well as later, just a sling simply doesn't cut it for busy mums.

notcitrus Sun 21-Nov-10 12:02:04

You can use a Maclaren XT from birth and now they come in funky colours. Definitely the most popular model down my way. It's a bit hard to get it in the grandparents' boot though.

A big factor for me was the weight with baby for carting up and down stairs at Clapham Junction. They now have lifts at half the platforms I use and the rest will be in place soon. Some prams are much harder to pick up if you're by yourself.

Crazycatlady Tue 23-Nov-10 10:08:48

Bugaboo Bee is the only buggy to have in London IMO.

- you can carry it up and down stairs without help. It only weighs 7kg.
- the handlebar is adjustable so comfortable for both v tall and short parents and you can push the handlebar right down to make it smaller for crowded bus/tube
- it turns on a sixpence so easiest to maneovre in tight spaces on buses/in shops/busy high st
- you can push it with one finger, even with a toddler in it as it has a bar not two separate handles and it stays on course. Mclarens don't seem to be able to go in a straight line
- the suspension and build make it far more comfortable and smooth to push than a Maclaren
- you can fold it with one hand on the push of a button
- it's only 60cm wide. Tiny.
- it has a proper hood that comes right up over like a pram hood as well as lying completely flat so is great for napping newborns
- you can have it rear facing then turn it round when they're old enough to cope with facing away from you and not get totally overstimulated by the world
- the hood is removable and you can swap it for a mesh one for very hot summer days
- and (more trivial) it is attractive to look at (Mclarens look like a mess IMO), plus you can get a cupholder attachment for your bottle of water
- Bugaboo Bee has excellent resale value. Mclaren does not.
- you can attach a car seat to it if you want to
- the Baby Nest attachment is the snuggest thing I've ever seen, and so safe, as the straps fit through the back of it to hold it in place
- It is appropriate for all stages - my almost 2yr old is still very happy and comfortable in her Bee. No risk of outgrowing it for a good while yet. Even after very heavy daily usage in London we'll use it again for DC2 due in Feb as it's still in such good condition and such a joy to use.

The Bee is easily the best thing we bought when we were expecting DD. The biggest financial outlay, but easily the best value for money in terms of happy, easy usage per pound spent.

autodidact Tue 23-Nov-10 11:32:47

Agree with onimolap- cheap ebay pram then an umbrella fold like MacClaren. Mac quest is slimmer, cheaper, lighter, easier to fold, (better looking in a retro 70s chic way imo tho I concede that is a matter of opinion!) and definitely superior once the baby is morphing into a walking climbing toddler who wants to get in and out of the buggy by themselves and doesn't care which way they face. My fab butchers stripe Mac is also far less ubiquitous than the bee. Bees are everywhere in my part of London.

Crazycatlady Tue 23-Nov-10 13:27:36

The Maclaren has a carry handle, which is useful if you need to sling your buggy over your shoulder. Have never needed to mind.

The Bee is 52cm wide, not 60 as per my above post. That'll be my ridiculously narrow hallway that's 60cm wide...

Personally I don't see the point of buying a cheap pram to start with then a Maclaren. The cheap pram will probably be a crap one, and won't be foldable on busses/tubes, which you'll still need if you're going out and about round town, even when they're tiny.

Or you could use a sling. I used a Kari Me with DD quite a bit. But no good for a whole day out as then you're stuck with a child attached to your chest all day which may be a bit of a pain at times.

david132 Wed 14-Sep-16 16:03:07

You will definitely like the Mutsy Evo and Mutsy Igo prams.
They are very good. Check them on Bebemoda .

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