The 7 Best Baby Strollers you can Buy
When it comes to buying a mode of transport for baby, one thing that has always confused me is the number of terms used to describe it; pram, pushchair, travel system, buggy and stroller – what do they all mean?!
I once found a useful breakdown of all the descriptors so I thought I’d start my stroller review by doing the same! You may find you landed on here but were actually looking for something entirely different – look at my best baby travel system review for other ideas – or maybe even my ‘best prams for twins’ section too!
This varies depending on what you read! It also varies depending on where you are – what we call strollers may be referred to as a buggy in the USA, and what some people call a buggy, others will call a pushchair or a pram – the terms have become quite interchangeable.
- Pram – usually a 4-wheeled ‘vehicle’ designed to carry a baby in a lying down position. Generally a sturdy construction, may not be foldable completely flat. Suitable from newborn. Most ‘prams’ these days are usually adaptable to enable it to be used for a longer time and therefore be better value for money. When I think of a traditional pram, the Silver Cross Balmoral always comes to mind!
- Pushchair – Sturdier than a stroller but designed also with older children in mind so has a seat rather than a cot, but some may have fully reclinable seats also suitable for newborns. Often the seat can be switched from parent facing to outward facing.
- Travel system – basically a pushchair which can also be adapted to carry a car seat. Usually travel systems are designed to meet all baby’s needs from birth until they no longer require a set of wheels…so a bit like a pram and pushchair combined, with the addition of a car seat option. Usually quite sturdy and chunkier chassis like prams and pushchairs.
- Stroller – a lightweight pushchair which can be fully collapsible, such as ‘umbrella fold’ strollers which fold up neatly and compactly, strollers are useful for older babies and toddlers. They don’t usually have as much comfy padding in the seat units and tend not to be used for newborns although you will find some strollers marketed as suitable from birth because they lie fully flat.
- Buggy – often a term used interchangeably for all of the above! Moreoften used to describe the lightweight pushchairs or strollers.
I tend to use the descriptor ‘pram’ for all of our baby wheels! There are of course other categories of prams too, such as twin or tandem prams, or all terrain/jogging prams.
In this article I’m reviewing strollers. Therefore I’m only looking at lightweight pushchairs, which collapse fully and compactly, and generally have a fixed outward-facing seat which may or may not lie fully flat. A feature I often see nowadays in relation to strollers is whether they are lightweight and compact enough to be accepted as carry-on baggage on a plane. If travelling with a baby or toddler is something you want or need to do then there are plenty of really good options.
The market for strollers is huge. Narrowing down my favourite picks comes from my own experience with the pram or brand, recommendations from others like childminders and mums/grandma’s, and plenty of research.
1. Silver Cross Zest
Weight: 5.8kg. Lie flat seat: Yes. Compact enough for carry on baggage: No. Suitable age/weight: Newborn to 25kg Travel system: No
Silver cross prams are universally known, they have been making prams for over 140 years with the reputation to boot. Our first pram was a Silver Cross wayfarer, and I loved its simple but entirely practical design. The Silver cross Zest stroller is a high quality, stylish and robust yet lightweight stroller. It’s what I think of when I imagine a stroller, the typical compact ‘umberella’ fold albeit easy enough to do one handed. It features a 5 point safety harness, small basket underneath, and full UPF50+ sun hood which comes down further than some stroller hoods and provides a better level of shade.
I like the more comfy seat padding and its extras like this which set the zest apart from other more basic types of stroller. For convenience it has a handy carry strap for carrying on your shoulder, and comes with a raincover.
The Zest does have a lie flat seat although personally I wouldn’t use a stroller of this design earlier than about 6 months old, there just isn’t that nice cosy cocoon of a carrycot to keep baby bundled up and secure.
Not the cheapest stroller on the market, pushing over the £100 mark but if you’re looking for a lightweight, but higher spec stroller it’s a nice option. The zest comes in a range of stylish colours too.
2. Babyzen Yoyo2
Weight: 6.2kg. Lie flat seat: No. Compact enough for carry on baggage: Yes. Suitable age/weight: Newborn (with separate newborn cocoon) to approx 3 years/22kg. Travel system: Yes
The Babyzen Yoyo caught my eye several years ago when I was looking for a new compact pushchair/stroller for the boot of our 7-seater car (when the rear seats were up there was almost no space for luggage!). The Babyzen was unique at the time being the first stroller which folded compact enough to fit in overhead luggage on a plane. This would be a bonus to any frequent travellers out there, or in any situation where space is limited. It is definitely a stroller for a more urban type environment, with small wheels it isn’t really suited to more rugged terrain. However this isn’t particularly unusual for a stroller – if you’re looking for a pram to enjoy the countryside in, you’ll likely need a more robust pushchair with larger rubber or air filled tyres and plenty of suspension.
Another uniqe point about the babyzen Yoyo2 is that it comes as a complete travel system, so with an additional newborn pack and car seat you can use this stroller from newborn. The downside of the baby nest is that it isn’t easily detachable from the chassis like many other prams, and can’t be used for overnight sleeping. It isn’t quite the fully robust newborn carry cot you’d get with a pram, but it is a lie flat option and a cosy one complete with footmuff.
You can even get a Yoyo buggyboard, making it a flexible option if you have an older child, though all these optional extras do add up making it a more high budget option for a compact stroller. It is however a premium product in its niche and it has both style and substance. A range of trendy colours, heaps of optional extras, the babyzen really has thought of everything.
3. Maclaren Atom
Weight: 5.4kg. Lie flat seat: yes. Compact enough for carry on baggage: Yes. Suitable age/weight: Newborn to 25kg. Travel system: Yes
The Atom is Maclaren’s version of the Babyzen yoyo. Created with travellers in mind, this is Maclaren’s lightweight, compact folding stroller small enough to fit in overhead lockers of planes. It is compatible with the Maclaren carrycot and also several makes of car seat with separate adapters. This makes the stroller suitable from birth to 25kg, so potentially will last your child for even longer than the Babyzen. The leg rest is extandable and the seat has a 4-position recline.
It is the lightest stroller of its type at only 5.4kg and with travelling in mind, Maclaren include a lightweight storage bag with carry strap. Perhaps even handier (though only available separetly) is the Jet Pack which enables you to carry the stroller on your back. It does only have small EVA wheels though, and it probably isn’t the pushchair you’d buy for heavy every day use and certainly not on offroad terrain.
The hood on the stroller is extendable, waterproof and UPF 50+ with a built in sun visor and peek-a-boo window. The seat liner is removable, reversible and washable as well as adding extra comfort for your little one. I like the extra padded shoulder and jockey pads for attaching to the straps, it elevates the stroller in terms of overall comfort. It also comes with a raincover.
Maclaren pride themselves on their ‘Global safety standard’ which means their products meet the highest safety standards anywhere in the world. They also provide a sovereign lifetime guarantee (if you register the product within 60 days of purchase). Maclaren strollers are very durable, high quality, constructed for years of use. Their reputation and quality make for a stroller which isn’t the cheapest on the market but it is a great product for travelling with your little explorers.
4. Ickle Bubba Globe
Weight: 6.4kg. Lie flat seat: yes. Compact enough for carry on baggage: Yes. Suitable age/weight: Newborn to 15kg. Travel system: Yes
The Ickle Bubba Globe is similar to the two strollers above in that it also folds up compact enough to be used as carry on baggage for air travel, and is travel system compatible with 1-click car seat attachment. The stroller itself is suitable for newborns with a lie flat seat, however as I always say with lie flat strollers, you may find comfort-wise that it is more suited to babies from about 6 months old unless you attach the car seat.
The Ickle Bubba Globe is a very trendy, stylish looking stroller which has an extendable UPF50+ hood, luxury footmuff, cupholder and raincover as standard. The seat liner is soft and quilted and certainly has the look of a comfier ride than more basic strollers on the market.
Although Ickle Bubba say that with 4 wheel suspension the pram can handle all terrains, it is again a stroller with small EVA wheels, a compromise that has to be made to keep these travel friendly strollers compact and lightweight. It definitely has the look of a luxury urban stroller, with tan leatherette handles and the underneath storage basket is roomier than some which makes it handy for out and about.
The Globe Max stroller is a step up from the standard Globe as it includes the quilted seat liner, footmuff, cupholder and raincover. If you want an extra buggy organiser and storage bag you can upgrade to the Globe Prime.
At around £170-200 (look aorund for offers, at the time of writing the Globe max was £169 on Amazon), you’ll pay less than the Baby Zen or Maclaren Atom but still have a compact folding, car seat compatible stroller. The downsides are the heavier weight – a kilo more than the Atom, and the weight limit of 15kg making it less suitable for older toddlers.
5. Joie Nitro
Weight: 7.52kg. Lie flat seat: yes. Compact enough for carry on baggage: No. Suitable age/weight: Newborn to 15kg. Travel system: No
I love the Joie brand for car seats and have ummed and aahed over several of their pushchair options for some time (until we had the twins at which point I didn’t have the option of a single pushchair any more!). If you’re looking for a slim umberella fold, easily portable, throw it in your boot for trips out kind of stroller, then the Joie Nitro is well suited to the job. Without paying a premium price for an all singing all dancing compact folding airline ready stroller, you’ll get a product which still folds neatly, is convenient to carry with a handle, and is reasonably lightweight.
The Nitro does recline fully flat and therefore is marketed as suitable from birth. It does have comfy padded soft touch fabrics, with padded straps on the 5 point harness. The leg rest can also be positioned two ways.
The sun canopy is UPF40+, the hood is removable and adjustable. For whoever is pushing, the handles are soft and comfortable, and the storage basket is a useful size. The wheels are larger and more robust than those on the ultra compact strollers, and front wheels lock in place which is handy on rough ground.
So if you’re looking for a traditional style stroller but with added comfort in mind for well under £100 a Joie stroller might be just the ticket.
6. Baby Jogger City Mini 2 Pushchair | Lightweight, Foldable & Compact 3-Wheel Stroller | Jet (Black)
Weight: 9.4kg. Lie flat seat: Near lie-flat. Compact enough for carry on baggage: No. Suitable age/weight: Newborn to 22kg. Travel system: Yes
The Baby Jogger City Mini is probably what I’d call a pushchair rather than a stroller. However the reason I think it deserves its place in my top 7 strollers list is that it is a really handy compact folding chair that is comfortable, nippy and does the same job as a stroller but with a bit more robustness and comfort. It isn’t as lightweight; at 9.4kg it is far in excess of the Maclaren Atom. However you may want a smaller pram for different reasons – something handy to keep in the car maybe? I very nearly bought one for this exact reason, it was a toss up between this and a Mamas and Papas Armadillo. The Armadillo got the job, but only because it was all I could find second hand and local.
So what is it that I like about the Baby Jogger? Well, it’s the only 3-wheeled option i’ve included, making it really maneuverable and nippy. It’s also a travel system, with carrycot and car seat adapters sold separately. This makes it suitable right from newborn to around 22kg and the seat is nice and roomy.
The Baby Jogger signature one hand fold really is a plus point. There are plenty of prams advertising as one hand fold but are found to be too fiddly. The Baby Jogger really is easy enough – just lift the straps and the pushchair folds itself and an auto-lock secures it in place.
The pushchair seat has a multi-position recline and adjustable leg support. The front wheels have a swivel lock and suspension good for walks off road. Wheels on the City Mini are EVA – it isn’t Baby Joggers off road pushchair option (they do have pushchairs for all occasions including rubber and air filled tyres if you need something sporty).
The Baby Jogger is closer to the high end of what you might be looking to pay for a stroller. But I feel it lies somewhere between handy stroller and lightweight but robust pushchair/travel system. It ticks many boxes for versatility and for around £300 you are getting what you pay for. Be aware though, that some additions found as standard on other pushchairs are only available at extra cost on the Baby Jogger – raincover and belly-bar for example which I’d consider a must. Still, it is far less expensive than some travel systems on the market for which you can expect to pay well over £1000 and I wish I’d known about it as a first time mum.
7.Chicco New Ohlala Stroller Black Night
Weight: 3.8kg. Lie flat seat: Yes. Compact enough for carry on baggage: No. Suitable age/weight: Newborn to 15kg. Travel system: No
This is the lightest stroller I have included in my review. Chicco tell us we can lift their OhLala stroller with one finger! A stroller designed for use from birth as it can lie flat, the Ohlala has a padded backrest and straps for comfort, and for the parents convenience and comfort it features a roomy underneath storage basket and a single joined handlebar which makes the pram maneuverable with just one hand. I have to agree I prefer pushchairs with a joined up handlebar rather than those with two.
The Ohlala stroller can be folded with one hand and is ‘self-standing’ once folded which adds to its convenience for storage and transportation. The stroller comes with a raincover and sun canopy, however I think the slight downside is the lack of shade coverage provided by the hood as it doesn’t extend as low as some others. In all honesty I’ve found shade a problem with almost every pram I’ve had – a parasol or product like the Snoozeshade may be required.
The OhLala definitily wins points for being super light weight and easy to fold and transport about. Despite being so light it still has a practical and comfortable seat, and is a great choice of stroller for urban streets, taking on public transport, or keeping in the car for a quick trip to the shops. Shop around and it can be found for under the £100 RRP.
What to look for in a Stroller
There are several features I’d look out for when buying a stroller specifically:
- Weight – strollers ideally are lightweight and easy to transport. They should be practical for travel, throwing in the car boot for a quick trip to the shops, so you don’t want something too heavy.
- Age range/weight limit – the liklihood is you’re not looking for a newborn pram, however plenty of strollers are marketed as suitable from birth simply because they have a lie-flat seat. I’d probably not use a stroller until about 6 months old, but more importantly I’d want to know how long it will last – on occasions I’d still want something a very tall and rather heavy 3 year old can take a nap in.
- Rain and sun protection – most, but not all strollers will come with a raincover as standard. No doubt you’ll need one! Have a good luck at the hood of the stroller – how far does it come down? Does it give plenty of shade? Does it protect against harmful UV rays? You may need a hood extender, parasol or alternative product like Snoozeshade to protect baby from the sun.
That’s a wrap! My 7 Best Strollers 2020, and I think I’ve chosen some great products. They cover a range of uses, are super versatile, often very lightweight and suit a range of budgets. My list is definitely not exhaustive. There are literally hundreds of choices of stroller, as with all parenting products these days. As always I choose products based on my experience as a mum as well as recommendations and research. If you have a stroller you think should be on the list – please let me know! I like to keep up to date with the latest and best products available.