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Pram experts - please help me choose!

(23 Posts)
LoveInAColdClimate Sun 11-Sep-11 19:35:35

Wow, there are a lot of prams in the world. I am lost in a sea of unfamiliarity and confusion. We like the idea of a travel system as it seems advantageous to be able to transfer a sleeping baby out of the car and onto the pram without having to unclip them, scoop them up, put them down, clip them in and presumably wake them. I plan to do a lot of semi-off road walking (eg in a park with rough rather than concrete paths) and some real off-road walking across fields and, importantly, beaches. But unlikely to be taking it up mountains IYKWIM. However, I also want to be able to take it around the supermarket and into cafes. Does this pram exist? DH has fallen in love with the Bugaboo Cameleon but I am a bit worried by the mixed reviews. We have also looked at the iCandy Peach and Apple and the Quinny Buzz. I am currently looking online at the Babystyle Oyster as it gets such good reviews on here, but it doesn't sound like it would be that good off-road?

Boot space not too much of an issue as likely to be buying a big estate shortly.

Please help, am so confused!

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 11-Sep-11 19:37:07

Oh, it will need to go on the bus occasionally but we are lucky here in that they are frequent and rarely too busy to be able to take it on unfolded.

Tiggywunkle Sun 11-Sep-11 19:52:33

I don't think you would go far wrong with either a Chameleon or Peach. Both are fantastic pushchairs. The Chameleon is possibly better off road because you can switch the wheel direction, but the Peach handles everyday surfaces eg grass, gravel, hard sand better than the front wheels of the Chameleon did. You can also upgrade the Peach for two if you ever need to! For more serious offroading there is the new Peach Jogger.

pramsgalore Sun 11-Sep-11 19:55:36

i would get a second hand mountain buggy for beach, off road and a bugaboo cam or mima xari for the rest, mima xari beats the bugaboo cam hands down though, carrycot and seat both higher up on the xari, basket easier to get to in carrycot mode on the xari, on the cam it is really difficult to get to when using carrycot, the xari is a dream to push, the bugaboo is also easy though

aswellasyou Sun 11-Sep-11 19:59:45

Pretty much all pushchairs are compatible with a carseat these days so don't worry about that.
Have you looked at the iCandy Peach Jogger and Apple Jogger? I assume they'd be better for off-roading than the normal versions but I've never tried any of them so I can't say for sure. The normal Peach is supposed to be a fantastic pushchair though.
Don't get the Buzz under any circumstances! grin I'm not sure the Oyster would be the right one although it's a decent pushchair.
The UppaBaby Vista, Mima Xari, Mima Kobi and Joolz Day are all nice to push too. The Cameleon does seem to have slightly mixed reviews. I've got the Gecko which is a basic version of the Cameleon and it's lovely to push, but it seems that the Cameleon is worse to push despite having better suspension supposedly. hmm

Some questions to help narrow down:
Are you sure you wouldn't want a seperate proper off-roader? I wouldn't want to ruin the fabric getting it caught on thorns/bushes/etc. and getting mud all over it so having to wash it all the time. You could get a Mountain Buggy or similar on eBay for that.
What's your budget?
Do you want a carrycot?
Do you want the baby to face you once they want to sit up?
Will you be taking it in and out of the car a lot?
What sort of size boot do you have?
Do you want something eye catching?
What colours would you prefer?
Do you want to be able to convert it so it can carry two children in the future?

aswellasyou Sun 11-Sep-11 20:01:06

I am far too slow at typing!grin

Also, do you want to be able to pile it up with shopping?

tiokiko Sun 11-Sep-11 20:05:16

I think the Cameleon is super-easy to push, whether one- or two-handed.

It steers really well, good on pavement/grass/rough paths and as others have said it's really easy to change wheel direction if you are on uneven ground or sand.

We got ours out of storage today to set up for our imminent new baby and I remembered again how great it was. Very good quality, looks good as new and will have excellent resale value once we're finished with it.

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 11-Sep-11 20:13:42

Wow, this is all so helpful, thank you.

To answer further questions:

What's your budget? definitely not over a grand, ideally under £700
Do you want a carrycot? Yes
Do you want the baby to face you once they want to sit up? Yes
Will you be taking it in and out of the car a lot? Not sure. DH is convinced I'll use the car loads, I think I'll walk more
What sort of size boot do you have? getting a big estate so, um, big, but not sure which yet
Do you want something eye catching? not too fussed
What colours would you prefer? not red or pink and ideally not black
Do you want to be able to convert it so it can carry two children in the future? would be useful but not crucial
Also, do you want to be able to pile it up with shopping? oooh, hadn't considered that. Would like to be able to carry a few bags back from supermarket, definitely.

Thank you all so much.

pramsgalore Sun 11-Sep-11 20:19:21

bugaboo cam and second hand mountain buggy, if bought both second hand would keep you below £700 easy

aswellasyou Sun 11-Sep-11 20:26:34

There's also the Bugaboo Donkey-although it's quite expensive-and the iCandy Strawberry out this year.

My initial instinct is the iCandy Peach (not Jogger) if you decide to get one that can become a double one day. Otherwise I'd say all of these are good options. Have a look at bestbuggy.co.uk for ideas too.

aswellasyou Sun 11-Sep-11 20:31:18

I was about to add that the Cameleon probably isn't the best. The fold is really confusing-you get used to it but it's still complicated when other people need to put it up or down. The recline is a bit annoying-you have to squeeze two bits of plastic together underneath the seat. I don't know if it's different on the Cameleon, but the Gecko doesn't have a height adjustable harness so you end up with a smallish baby with straps against their ears.

Tiggywunkle Sun 11-Sep-11 20:38:37

It's nigh impossible to put bags under the Chameleon in carrycot mode.

Tidypidy Sun 11-Sep-11 20:40:37

know it's not one you've mentioned but phil and ted classic is fantastic, great around town, lovely soft carry cot type thing, can fix car seat to buggy, and best of all when baby number 2 comes along then bung a double seat on the back and off you go!

good luck

pramsgalore Sun 11-Sep-11 20:46:59

the cam is easy to recline its two large round buttons on either side of the seat, the fold all be it a 2 piece fold is very easy to do

pramsgalore Sun 11-Sep-11 20:50:28

the phil and teds don't parent face, but are great as doubles, i have the verve and would highly recommend it as a double

chocoroo Sun 11-Sep-11 21:06:35

I love my Oyster but it doesn't sound like it the pram for you. The wheels can feel flimsy off-road in our local park. It's a great buggy for me though as I spend all my time shopping in the city.

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 11-Sep-11 21:08:55

Thanks, everyone! Lots of options to consider here, many thanks.

2to3 Sun 11-Sep-11 21:12:48

The Out n-about Nipper 360 is fantastic and you can use it with the Phil & Teds cocoon in the early days Spend £200 on that and save the other £500 for something else. I have 3 children and wish I hadn't wasted so much cash on products the first time around. The Nipper isn't flash, but it's a bloody good, sturdy and light pram for most uses. Friends recommended it to us second time round and we've been so happy with it we've since recommended it to two other couples who both love it. Much cheaper than a P&T and just as good IMHO.

MayDayChild Sun 11-Sep-11 21:26:12

I am in love with baby jogger
The only thing it can't do is rear facing and it's not a carry cot but if you got one of these, you won't need to buy a stroller in 6-8 months time
Which you will and everyone does!
Either Citi mini due out with 4 wheels soon or Select are my fave
Excellent high quality well thought out buggies
Steer clear of mamas & papas
You can't really go wrong with cameleon
I bought a proper 3 wheel off road for just that - off road £60 eBay.
But I also had a bee and I swear no terrain except the ice last year was too tough. Anyway no buggy not even my off road would be safe out in that extreme weather

Enjoy! Try to see all the buggies in action, John Lewis hold the better quality ones. Mothercare stock jackshite
I didn't like the oyster, too squeaky and wobbly compared to the bee.
Have a surreptitious measure of the bus aisle next time you're on it. You'd be surprised how narrow it is, whilst most buggies do fit, it's a wiggle, usually down on floor by wheels. I use London buses all the time with my now Citi mini which I have to wiggle. Not my bee though!
My bee managed excellently.
Don't discount it!

suzie38 Sun 11-Sep-11 21:56:12

Cameleons, you can get all terrain wheels for the front which work great especially in the snow...Bee Plus is useless off road...Donkey has 4 nice big wheels.

fairimum Mon 12-Sep-11 07:56:03

Uppababy vista does most of what you want fantastically, we have tried so many buggies in the last few years but the vista is perfect! Cheaper than others too as baby birds website was £525 for buggy and carrycot and maxi cosi adaptors. We have found for real off road you need a proper off road buggy, ie mountain buggy etc when baby is a bit bigger, there is no perfect solution for day to day and off road! So we have decided 2nd off road buggy is the way forward here, as then not so much of an issue if gets covered in mud!

fairimum Mon 12-Sep-11 07:57:26

We really didn't get on with the chameleon off road, with the big front wheels, just made it seem really clumsy....

Nicplus2 Tue 13-Sep-11 21:15:03

Hi i have the babystyle oyster plush which has the air filled tyers.
Britax babysafe carseat fits streight onto chassis without the need for adaptors.

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