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Ideas for pushchair improvements

(21 Posts)
oli1324 Wed 28-Sep-16 11:23:27

Hi everyone,
My name is Oli and I'm a Masters Student doing Engineering at the University of Manchester.
I am currently undertaking a project intended to design & manufacture a prototype of a pushchair.
My team and I were hoping that you would be able to assist us and any help would be massively appreciated.

So, we just want some ideas on the current features of pushchairs which annoy/frustrate you and what sorts of functions you would love to see on a pushchair.

Once again, thanks for any help.


MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 28-Sep-16 11:26:50

One that automatically buckles the child in as soon as it's backside hits the fabric would be good.

The hell of trying to hold a child down and fasten straps is still seared in to my brain and DS is now 12.....

On a more serious note - rain covers were a nightmare.

eatingforonemore Wed 28-Sep-16 23:49:52

Having a one piece fold, high seat and huge basket would be great as well as a very very extendable handlebar.

MrsA2015 Thu 29-Sep-16 00:04:57

To have the seat attatched on some sort of mechanism that carries on the motion after you've stopped so that they stay asleep instead of waking up as soon as you've stopped!

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Thu 29-Sep-16 22:34:12

Oh my .. what a great project! I look at pushchairs and every single bloody one I think 'that is poor design' for at least a few features. Right...

Go look at the babyjogger city mini four wheeler. See that folding mechanism? That is brilliant _ you need something you can fold and unfold one handed. Lots say they can, but most can't. One handed means 'holding a baby in one arm.' It's got to fold down to a compact size and flat and be free standing when folded.

It's got to be light but sturdy - roughly 7-9kg seems to be the sweet spot. The frame needs to be rigid enough to have no wobble. Make sure it doesn't tip back if bags are hung on the handlebar. The hooks on the easywalker mosey handlebar are fantastic,

Single handlebar. Good steering. The handlebar should rise/fall/pivot to allow a short and a tall person to use it. Push it and stride - feet hit the back axle? You don't want that.

Reversible seat - big challenge to get that with the good fold. That's probably your biggest challenge tbh.

Decent sized basket that is accessible.

Decent sized hood with peekaboo window. Decent, easy to use rain hood.

Narrow enough to get down a bus aisle (54cm or less.)

Detachable, interchangeable wheels so you can have a true off roader or a city pram. Suspension has to be ok.

Another good bit of design to look at is the easywalker mosey. Almost, almost perfect. But.,, the fold isn't one handed. The suspension is poor. No window in the hood, the fold isn't compact enough (handle juts out) and the handlebar should slide further into the frame AND pivot.

Easy harness and buckle. No one wants to fanny around trying to buckle a toddler in. Easywalker mosey buckle is great.

Seat has to lie flat (not the bucket seats where their knees are in the air!) and sit bolt upright with a few positions in between. Seat has to be comfy, and fit all sizes. Detachable bumper bar is good.

Marzipants Fri 30-Sep-16 09:03:27

A cover that could easily come off so you could chuck it in the washing machine would be great.

And hoods that come right over (like the extra bit on Maclaren XT), to protect your baby from the sun.

Artandco Fri 30-Sep-16 09:05:09

Small fold with option to swap small wheels for large ones to use over cobbles, terrain and snow

AliceMum09 Sun 02-Oct-16 23:02:11

If you could persuade Maclaren to go back to putting the viewing window on the top of the hood that would be fantastic! The current idea of having the window on the back of the hood gives you a great view of the shopping basket when the seat is upright! Slightly better view of the child when the seat is reclined, but still not as good as a window on the top of the hood!

PonderingLikeAPond Sun 02-Oct-16 23:05:29

I really like my current pushchair and it has many of the features I need:-
Decent basket
One handle
One handed fold
Carry handle
Lay flat
Large hood
Very comfy seat pad
Large viewing window in the hood
Swivel wheels which lock.

Sadly the features it is lacking below would make it perfect:-
To be able to reverse the seat to parent face
To be able to add different wheels for different terrains
A taller seat height
A pocket on the back for my crap

freelancegirl Sun 02-Oct-16 23:12:02

I think about this all the time and am on my 8th pushchair. Currently I'm looking for what seems impossible. I need it to:

Have good wheels (Phil & Teds/Mountain Buggy are good) for many terrains and long walks
Be light and foldable in one piece (shame that bugaboos only one piece fold is the Bee) for travelling
To be able to use a buggy board and be able to walk properly, without having to shorten stride or walk to the side. This means having a handle that extends to a decent length. It's a real struggle to accommodate two kids properly.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Thu 06-Oct-16 18:55:12

Yeah while you're at it, make a handlebar extender. I can't find one for love nor money. Only one on the market is chuffing huge...

But basically, make a four wheeled Babyjogger city mini with a reversible, non bucket seat. And an extendable handlebar and changeable wheels.

We can put men on the moon. Sort this, would you?

HerRoyalFattyness Thu 06-Oct-16 19:06:55

Definitely a higher seat. And easy to push one handed. Folds small, and easy access to basket. Sturdy, and able to take the weight of heavier children. A wide carrycot would have been nice when DS2 was a baby. He was a very large baby. Also make sure the seat isn't too narrow.
One handed fold. Decent wheels.
I know I'm asking a lot. grin

PuraVida Thu 06-Oct-16 19:26:50

I'd Like one that was a Maclaren but with big off roading wheels

I don't like a high seat. I like the child to be able to climb in and out without fear of them braining themselves

SnugglySnerd Thu 06-Oct-16 19:35:28

One that doesn't tip over if you take the child out with the changing bag hanging on the handle bars would be good!
Straps like on car seats that are quick and easy to extend to get the child in/out then can be shortened just by pulling a strap to stop them from escaping. Also the little magnetic bits on the sides that car seats have to hold the buckles/straps out of the way while putting the child in. Otherwise they end up sitting on them.
Wheels that don't get clogged up with wet leaves in the autumn would also be good.
I have a toddler and am expecting twins so one that folds/unfolds itself automatically would be amazing. I don't know how that would work, maybe a battery and a button to press?! I realise I might be in the realms of fantasy with that one!

KP86 Thu 06-Oct-16 19:44:07

Agree the 4 wheeler city mini is almost perfect. My issues with it are the handle bar is too narrow across the top for me and ends up giving DH strain in his forearms; it's not height adjustable; and the recline set up is a bit of a pain to use.

My additions to the list:
- An adjustable recline which works on a clip/lever rather than a belt-type thing which you slide through a clamp (city mini is the second type and the belt bit is always getting twisted)
- definitely not a bucket seat, and lie flat recline
- food/drink tray as standard
- proper leg rest
- ability to hold kids up to 25kg
- ability to hang bags off the back (lets be honest, everyone does it)
- large shopping basket that's easily accessible, even when seat is reclined
- three piece buckle, none of this five piece slot everything into place before it finally clicks in
- ability to carry a toddler would be a big plus. City mini doesn't allow that really due to handle position
- removable cover that can be machine washed (city mini is fab for this)
- foot muff which fits for older children might be nice but not a deal breaker

Agree about changeable wheels
Agree about decent suspension
Agree about sizing to fit on public transport
Agree about striding out to see if the handle is correctly positioned. Have kicked/flicked off toe nails more times than I can count

Will come back if I think of more.

KP86 Thu 06-Oct-16 19:48:40

Snuggly, there is a pram that folds and unfolds by itself called Origami by 4moms, but it's only a single and costs a lot!

Whitelisbon Thu 06-Oct-16 19:49:27

As lots of others:-
Easy, one handed fold
Decent sturdy seat that lies flat
Easily adjustable straps
Single handle
Decent sized hood with a window
Easy to push and turn
Pocket on the back for all of my crap
Large shopping basket
Cup holders are always handy (for me)
Adjustable handle
Decent suspension
Reversible seat
My triple pram has a tray that is attached to the handlebar, it's got a deep cup holder, a coin holder with a screw top, and a couple of smallish trays which are great for dumping keys etc in. It's got a clippy bit on it too, which is ideal for shopping lists. All prams should have one.

Fitzsimmons Thu 06-Oct-16 19:52:00

I have an outnabout nipper and I always wish it had a handbrake on the handle when I'm coming down the fell to stop it going so fast and pulling me down with it.

EdithWeston Thu 06-Oct-16 19:54:05

Sizing for public transport - so many of the popular models just aren't and struggling down a bus aisle when you don't really fit is hellish.

A properly-fitting, secure buggy-board. That you can walk behind without bruising and without changing your gait (extendable handlebars might be part of the answer to this - I'm not bothered about single handle, having manoeuvred MacLarens with, dare a I say it, flair).

Easy fold - like a MacLaren or a Graco (are they still around? they were by far the best forward fold pushchairs for city dwellers)

Hoods that never fracture if you collapse the pushchair without them being fully back (a MacLaren fault).

Better rain covers (supply two, and sell replacements cheaply - everybody rips or loses at least one)

Some sort of weight gadget for front wheels to cut likelihood of tipping back when you sling a few bags over the handlebars (we all do it, so better to make it work than keep saying we shouldn't)

HerRoyalFattyness Thu 06-Oct-16 20:10:47

edith I have a graco symbio, which I love, but I'm at the point now where a smaller umbrella fold buggy is going to be bought very soon. The pram is big and takes up a lot of space, which with 3 dc I need a lot of!

oli1324 Wed 12-Oct-16 19:35:15

Hi all,
Wow, some absolutely fantastic feedback on here. My team and I really do appreciate you all taking time to provide your opinions.
There seem to be some complaints/ideas which are very common and no doubt we will be looking into them in some depth.
Thanks again for all the help!
Kind regards,
Oli (and the rest of the team)

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