Best pushchairs and travel systems
We put the UK’s top pushchairs and travel systems through their paces, and after weeks of exhaustive testing have narrowed them down to our five best picks. Here are our reviews of our favourite pushchairs currently on the market.
Best Pushchair 2018
A travel system is a pushchair to which you can attach a baby car seat. With a travel system you can easily transfer your child from the pram to a car and vice versa without the hassle of taking them out of the car seat (and potentially waking them up). Many pushchairs come with additional components such as a carrycot, which you can also attach to the chassis (travel systems with carrycots are known as 3-in-1).
Whilst they can be wonderfully helpful, they're not for everyone and before you invest, it's worth considering the other options. Read our round up of the best pushchairs for newborns to see which travel systems, lightweight pushchairs and double buggies are rated by our testers.
Lots of parents choose not to shell out for an all-singing, all-dancing pushchair and instead, find that a baby carrier is the best way to transport their newborn. Once their baby is around six months old, they start using a lightweight buggy which takes up less space and is considerably cheaper than a travel system. But it really depends on your own lifestyle, many city dwellers rave about small buggies, but often those who live in the countryside prefer the sturdiness of a larger pushchair. Read our Buyer's Guide to find out more about pushchairs, and what to consider before purchasing one.
After months of testing, we found the Bugaboo Cameleon3 to be the best pushchair for most families. With a lightweight aluminium frame, large wheels and adjustable suspension, it was the smoothest ride for parents and babies.
- Suitable from birth to three years old
- Very easy to switch seat from parent facing to world facing
- Three position recline
- Relatively lightweight weight (9.1kg)
- Three wheel set ups for a smooth ride in the city and in the countryside
- Car seat adaptors sold separately (£34.99)
- Seat fabric is usually sold separately from base unit (£94.95)
Bugaboo pride themselves in offering parents a completely customisable product, which is great if you have the time and inclination to scroll through the bugaboo website and build your pram. But, if you're new to the world of travel systems it's incredibly confusing. Most bigger retailers will sell a Cameleon3 package with everything you need (apart from the car seat adaptors!) for one price. Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy the parts separately. At the time of writing you can buy the base unit and carrycot, standard seat fabric and car seat adaptors for £793.95 from John Lewis.
How we tested
After consulting mumsnetters and scouring bestseller lists we chose 11 of the best pushchairs to put through our testing process. In testing we made sure to cover a variety of terrains (pavement, dry bumpy grassland, soft, wet ground and up a steep incline) over at least 80km each. In total, that's about the distance from London to Leicester, so they all had a good outing.
We made sure to test how easy it was to change the attachments, and how useful and effective each carrycot, seat, and baby car seat adaptor was.
We also put them through their paces for ease of lifting up and down stairs, manoeuvrability in doorways and narrow spaces, turning circle and the speed with which they can be collapsed and opened.
We tested the storage baskets for both volume and capacity, seeing if they would take a bulky rain cover and change bag as well as a bag of supermarket groceries. On that note, we also carried out a topple test, hanging a full bag of shopping on the handles to test how likely the pushchairs are to overbalance.
We analysed the materials used for durability as well as looks, studying everything from the chassis to the hood, and we thoroughly checked out the safety features of each, looking for five-point harnesses that couldn’t be clicked open by small fingers and sturdy straps no tiny Houdini could wriggle out of.
Last, but by no means least, we carried out a ‘comfort and joy’ test – asking how comfortable were the children in the pram? How much did they love it (or not), and how could each model make parents’ lives easier?
Having scored the travel systems on the above criteria, we then added into the equation their price, resale value and how long they would last (the maximum age or weight) to work out which model was the best of the best and which others deserved ‘honourable mentions’.
After putting each pram through their paces the Bugaboo Cameleon3 was a clear winner which is why we awarded it Mumsnet Best Pushchair 2018.Read full review »
More Mumsnet Best Travel systems
Best Pushchair for City Living 2018
If you live in a city, or spend most of your time in town, you'll be looking for a pushchair which is compact, lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.
Enter the Bugaboo Bee5. Built more like a lightweight buggy than a travel system, the Bee5 nips around tight corners and down narrow bus lanes with ease, and folds with the seat attached, fitting into even the smallest of car boots.
- Easy to switch between parent and world facing
- Weighs 8.9kg
- Great on public transport
Best Tandem Double Buggy 2019
Verdict in 10 seconds
- A versatile and convertible tandem pushchair and travel system with a whopping 30 seat combinations
- Ideal for a growing family – offers good longevity, but is a bit bulky
iCandy advertise this pushchair as “future-proof” and it's a claim that definitely holds up – this pushchair is suitable from birth to 25kg, which is approximately a child's weight aged four to five.
The iCandy Orange (£750 from Uber Kids) scored highly in all testing categories, with versatile seating (30 possible combinations in total!), a three-position recline and a large storage basket to hold a changing bag and groceries. The frame itself is sturdy and the folding mechanism is both smooth and simple. Job done.
- Configurations includes parent-facing, forward-facing and ‘cinema seating’
- Carrycot (included) is designed for overnight sleeping – saves on buying a newborn bed
- Spacious 64-litre storage basket
- Eye-catching design
- Quite wide and seats may need to be removed for storage and when transporting in the car boot
- Less adept on rough terrain
- A bit pricey
While this model may sit at the higher end of the market, its flexibility and longevity make the investment more than worthwhile.Read more »
Best Budget Pushchair 2018
Joie Chrome DLX
This pushchair is sturdy. So sturdy, it would probably stay upright in a hurricane (disclaimer: we did not test it in a hurricane). After piling bags and a child onto this pushchair it remained as unshakable as ever, which is great news if you like to take a lot with you. But this doesn't mean it's clunky; in fact, we found the Chrome DLX fine to manoeuvre and it performed particularly well on rough terrain thanks to the full suspension and large tyres.
For under £300 (£490 with the carrycot and car seat), the Chrome DLX is a steal. It's not the flashiest of designs, but for under £500 it's pretty damn good.Read more »
Best All-Terrain Pushchair2018
Mountain Buggy Swift
With its lightweight frame, spacious, comfortable seat, and 25cm air filled tyres, the Mountain Buggy Swift turns rough fields and beaches into a smooth and gentle ride. We also found the Swift great in the city, with its short footprint and an easy fold that our tester loved. And for the journey between the two, this pushchair folds down small and has the option of detaching all three wheels, so you can rest assured that it will fit into any car boot.
If you love the great outdoors – or even if you don't but you need a pushchair that does – an all-terrain travel system will be the gift that keeps on givingRead more »
First Look Review
The Bugaboo Fox pushchair's big claim is the intelligence of its design. Like its namesake, it's intended to be versatile and smart, fitting seamlessly into any lifestyle and helping parents adapt to their new role without sacrificing the activities they love.Read more »
First Look (Sponsored by Thule)
Thule Urban Glide 2
Thule has long been leaders in creating buggies for jogging, and the Thule Urban Glide 2 marks the start of its expansion into more varied products. On either side are the Thule Glide 2 (for running), and the Thule Sleek (for the city – coming soon!) — so how does the Thule Urban Glide 2 fare as a mixture of the two?Read more »
How we test
After lots of research, we handpicked 11 of the top travel systems on the market, collating the models most frequently searched for and most highly rated both on Mumsnet and across the webRead more »