Which prams are best?
Although the terms “pram” and “stroller” are often used interchangeably, prams — also known as baby carriages — have bassinet-like carriers designed for babies to lie flat, while strollers allow babies and toddlers to sit upright.
Prams aren’t hugely popular in the U.S., so you may find your options limited, but there are some excellent models out there if you know where to look. If you want a high-end pram that can convert into a stroller as your baby grows, UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a pram
Fixed vs. convertible
When buying a pram, it’s important to differentiate between fixed and convertible prams. Fixed prams, or baby carriages, feature a fixed bassinet-style basket for babies to lie down in. Once your baby has grown out of them, that’s it, so they aren’t all that practical and don’t offer the best value for money unless you’re planning a large family. Due to these reasons, fixed prams are mostly a thing of the past. Instead, most prams on the market today are convertible prams. They have a lie-flat bassinet for babies to use for the first few months of their life, but this can easily be removed and replaced with an included stroller seat once your baby outgrows the bassinet. This offers better value for money and is generally a more practical design. These are essentially strollers with a bassinet attachment included.
Babies require a lot of paraphernalia when out and about — diapers, wipes, bottles, food and spare clothing, to name just a few items. Therefore, you can’t have too much storage space in a pram. Look out for models that have large storage baskets above the wheels, at a minimum. Some models also feature storage caddies on the handle that can hold phones or other essentials you might need easy access to. It’s also nice to have dual drink holders — one for your drink and the other for a bottle.
Prams with built-in suspension systems roll more smoothly and absorb shock from bumps in the road, giving babies a smoother ride. This can help keep sleeping babies from waking when tackling rough terrain. Suspension isn’t essential but it’s nice to have, especially if you plan to go on walks on unpaved trails.
What to look for in a quality pram
Some prams allow users to adjust the height of the handle, the angle of the handle or both. Height-adjustable handles are ideal for anyone taller or shorter than average and allow parents of different heights to easily switch to a more comfortable position for them. Angle-adjustable handles are ideal if you find standard handle positions uncomfortable.
While fixed prams don’t fold, convertible prams should allow you to remove the carrier portion and fold down the frame. This still makes them fairly bulky to store or fit in car trunks, but it’s better than not folding at all.
Most prams have simple foot brakes to keep them from rolling if you stop on a sloped surface. A quality brake will be easy to engage and disengage and work reliably, even on steep inclines.
Since babies lie flat in prams, they don’t need safety harnesses, but if the pram converts into a stroller, a quality safety harness on the stroller seat is a must. Five-point harnesses are ideal but well-designed three-point harnesses are acceptable. If it’s removable, the pram carrier should lock securely onto the frame and it should be breathable to avoid overheating.
A good pram will have a UV-resistant canopy to shade your baby while they’re lying inside. Not only will this offer sun protection, but it will also keep off light rain and offer some protection from breezes or drafts.
How much you can expect to spend on a pram
You can find basic prams starting at around $150-$200, while convertible prams from high-end brands cost as much as $1,000.
When do babies outgrow prams?
A. Prams are suitable for babies until they can sit up independently. In most cases, this is at around 6 months old. Babies outgrow prams relatively quickly, which is perhaps why they’re less popular than strollers. However, prams that can convert into strollers are a great compromise.
Should babies sleep flat or inclined?
A. For safety reasons, babies should sleep on completely flat surfaces, which is why prams are great for transporting babies.
What are the best prams to buy?
What you need to know: This is a high-end convertible pram/stroller that will see your newborn through to toddlerhood.
What you’ll love: It comes with a pram-style lie-flat carriage and a stroller seat, so it will last your infant years rather than just 6 months. It’s extremely durable and well-made with an extended canopy, ample storage and suspension for a smooth ride.
What you should consider: Although it’s worth the investment, this stroller is expensive.
Top pram for the money
What you need to know: This affordable pram converts into a stroller for continued use.
What you’ll love: The footwell storage is plentiful and the cup holder and matching diaper bag are nice touches. You can select from three colors. The included foot cover keeps little feet warm.
What you should consider: It’s good for the price, but it could be more durable and give a smoother ride.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: With a bassinet attachment and standard stroller seat, this pram will grow with your child.
What you’ll love: The stylish appearance and quality features, like spring action wheels and a UV 50+ canopy, give you high-end quality at a reasonable price. Parents and caregivers appreciate the adjustable handlebar and extra-large storage basket.
What you should consider: It’s fairly large when folded, which isn’t ideal if you have a compact car.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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