The beginner's guide to buying a three-wheel/all-terrain pushchair

So you're considering a three-wheeler then? When these first appeared a few years ago we thought they just might be a fad - for starters, how many new mothers are together enough to be able to even locate their trainers, let alone manage running in them?

But it soon transpired these agricultural-looking vehicles made light of uneven pavements, muddy fields and sandy beaches alike and what's more their pneumatic tyres and state of the art suspension ensured a ride fit for, well, fit for a baby. And they look really cool, too (if that matters).

But before you plump for a three-wheeler, examine your lifestyle. They're not for everyone. If you regularly use public transport or live up or down stairs, weight and portability will probably be key for you - and although some three-wheelers are a lot lighter than others, they can't really compete with an umbrella-style pushchair for portability.

On the other hand if you never use public transport and have few or no steps, your baby will be in the height of comfort in a three-wheeler and you'll love pushing one around - you really can do it one-handed. Or if you're an outdoor type, forever visiting countryside and beach, with a large car boot and lots of storage space, then one is probably right up your street.

If you're a keen shopper and are planning on cruising the high street with baby in tow, super-suspension and swivel wheels actually make some models a very good bet. Look out though for stingy shopping baskets and warnings about width - some three wheelers will struggle on narrow pavements and doorways. If you need a pushchair that fits in the boot of your car, be aware that some brands are more compact than others.

Many models are suitable from birth. Those that aren't, as well as some that are, have optional carrycots and many too can take a car seat. So for a bit of extra outlay you can have a full-blown travel system. And do bear in mind that some models throw in many more extras than others - e.g. a cosytoes, changing bag and raincover all in the price.

And lastly, if you're the type who looks ahead, then look for one with a second child seat: "a great choice if you are planning on having two kids within two years." And just think how smug you'll be when number two appears!

Last updated: about 3 years ago