Pram Shopping – Our Choice

February 19, 2016

I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that hubby and I went to Kiddicare on Tuesday primarily to try to narrow down our choice of pushchair, as we didn’t really know what we wanted. I’ve blogged before about advice we’d been given as to what to look for in a pram/travel system, but to be honest we still didn’t know how any of this would work in practice and were feeling pretty overwhelmed.

Kiddicare have a huge range of travel systems to choose from. Great! I thought, this will be the place to find and compare the different brands and features. However, we were disappointed that Kiddicare don’t stock Bugaboo, Stokke or Joolz, which were all brands we had been interested in. Undeterred, we decided to see what was on offer and had a look around. To be fair to Kiddicare, they do have a huge range of brands on offer, including (off the top of my head): Jané, iCandy, Uppababy, Quinny, Cosatto, Chicco, Graco, Oyster, Egg and others.

The masses of pushchairs on display in Kiddicare – this photo doesn’t do it justice. 

To be honest, most brands we discounted just because we didn’t like the look of them (we are both aesthetically picky!)/they felt ‘cheap’/we thought the wheels looked flimsy/they didn’t push smoothly enough for our liking! We started to feel really despondent until we realised that it was actually a good thing that we had discounted so many – at least we wouldn’t have too tough a time choosing!

The pram that stood out for us was the Uppababy Vista. It looked good, came in navy (important for us!), felt sturdy with good wheels and pushed really nicely. It also has the biggest basket I’ve ever seen on a pushchair and can be made into a double in future (no reason not to think ahead!).

Before visiting Kiddicare, the Bugaboo Chameleon3 had been my favourite. I’d pushed one around in our local branch of John Lewis and really liked it. However, when we went into Peterborough for our lunch on Tuesday, we decided to pop into Mothercare where they had a Bugaboo Chameleon3 on display. We had a good push (lovely) and asked the saleswoman if she could show us how to collapse it etc. This is where our Bugaboo dreams fell apart. When you collapse the Chameleon3 you have to pick it up a certain way as it doesn’t lock closed. It also felt really heavy to me (I am a weakling!) and at this point I decided that the Bugaboo wasn’t for us. It is a lovely looking pushchair but is at the high end of the price spectrum and for that I’d expect perfection and it didn’t deliver for me.

We went back to Kiddicare and had a closer look at the Uppababy Vista, asking for a demonstration. The sales lady was really helpful and even took it outside for us so we could see how it fitted in our boot. Unfortunately, both hubby and I own Fiestas and the Vista won’t fit in the boot without removing the rear wheels. However, this was really easy to do – you just press a button in the centre of the wheel and pull it off. This is like much about the Vista – it’s really easy to take bits off (like the seat unit) and put them back on again without any fuss. It also has a clip that holds the frame together when folded – a big tick for me. Although it didn’t feel much lighter than the Bugaboo Chameleon3 (I think I just need to do some weights!), the Uppababy Vista felt less cumbersome to handle.

The Uppababy Vista. 

We still didn’t want to make a final decision until we’d looked at the Stokke and Joolz systems. So, while we were in pushchair mode, we stopped into our local branch of Mothercare on the way home as we knew they stocked Stokke. We didn’t spend much time looking as again, Stokke are right at the top end of the price spectrum and they just seemed a bit unnecessarily bulky to us.

That just left the Joolz. So on Wednesday we popped in to a local independent retailer who appear to be the only place in Norfolk and Suffolk to stock Joolz! While the Joolz is a very pretty system, I think our hearts were already set on the Uppababy Vista. But I think it’s worth mentioning some of the Joolz Geo‘s features. Like the Vista, it has a decent size basket (although not quite as big), locks closed when folded and can be made into a double in future. However, I didn’t feel it pushed quite as nicely and still has to have a wheel removed in order to fit it into our boot. The wheel doesn’t go back on quite as easily as with the Vista though. It has clever suspension (which some might see as a plus) but this means that you have to line up the wheel before you lock it back on. A level of faff that to be honest I wasn’t prepared to accept when I secretly preferred the Vista anyway! Fortunately hubby had been thinking the same thing (although we both agreed that aesthetically the Joolz Geo is the more attractive system!).

Now it’s just a case of shopping around to find the best price! And of course choose the car seat and IsoFix base to go with it!

What’s your favoured brand of travel system? Which pram did you choose and why? Let me know in the comments!

Best pushchair

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to include any of the brands in this post; this is my honest opinion of the brands we have seen. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

18 responses to “Pram Shopping – Our Choice”

  1. Becky Lyons says:

    We took a trip to Kiddicare a couple of weeks ago and were also surprised that some brands didn’t feature I. The pram selection. We loved the Uppababy Vista but for us a small, lightweight and easy fold pram was important as A. I’m very small and joy so strong and B. I have a Fiesta and hubby has a Kia Rio so boot space is at a premium! We went for the Mamas and Papas Armadillo Flip XT in the end as it was the most practical for us, while still being stylish. If you haven’t looked at this yet I would recommend having a little peek before you finally choose. Only downside is it can’t be made into a double in the future, but that didn’t seem an issue now!

    • Jules says:

      Thanks for the advice, Becky! Unfortunately we don’t have a Mamas&Papas in our area but we’re off the the Baby Show today so will keep an eye out to see if we can spot the Armadillo Flip XT as it sounds like you have similar boot issues to us! I have contacted our car salesperson though to research getting a bigger car. Need to see if the sums add up though! x

      • Becky Lyons says:

        Enjoy the baby show! Definitely check it out if you can find it at the show. We originally wanted to look at getting a bigger car but decided financially it wasn’t an option for us so the small easy fold was perfect. We really enjoyed choosing the pram as it felt like a real baby prep milestone. Look forward to seeing what you go for

  2. Uppa baby vista over the chameleon any day, because, as you mentioned, it can be used as a double one day, and it folds with seat unit attached.

    I’ve had a chameleon for my first two babies but I’d choose uppa baby if we were buying now. Kind of want one for baby number three!

  3. Kate says:

    Good choice! I really liked the Vista and it made it to our top 3.

    We ended up going for the Silvercross Wayfarer. We were looking at that, the Vista and the Bugaboo Bee3. Personally I found the Vista bulkier than the Wayfarer but as long as you feel comfortable folding it down on your own then that’s the most important as I found some “lighter” buggies were a pain to fold which defeated the purpose of them being so light!

    I liked the Bee3 because it was easy to
    fold and super small/light but I ended up preferring the sturdiness of the Wayfarer and it was also quite a bit cheaper as we got it on sale online at Boots of all places! As you say, if you’re paying Bugaboo prices you want it to be perfect.

    Let us know how you get on!

    • Jules says:

      Thanks. I will definitely write more about whatever we choose, once we’ve used it and discovered the pros and cons!

  4. There are so many options today, it’s really overwhelming! I really wanted a vintage pram and I managed to get a really lovely 1960s pram for £90. We use that one for going to the park and stuff, then I bought a Hauck pushchair that lays back for everyday use. x #KCACOLS

  5. The Pramshed says:

    We have the Cameleon 3, I really wanted this as I love the orange. I must admit it does have it’s faults – difficult to collapse but I never have to put into the car, and difficult to access the basket when using it with the pram set-up. But I love it, so easy to push and feels very sturdy. I know a lot of friends who have the Uppa Baby Vista, they love it, and I’m so jealous of the huge shopping basket. Claire x #KCACOLS

  6. I am probably the wrong person to be answering. I bought a second hand Graco travel system. 4 reasons
    1. It was chunky – therefore hard to break (I am pretty heavy handed)
    2. It collapsed easily
    3. It had a travel system
    4. It was £50
    Price won me over in the end – plus it was the pram that was left at the grandparents so it was hardly used. My theory was that if I hated it then I had only wasted £50. And by then, at least I would know what I didn’t like, so that I could go out and filter the choice down. Good luck choosing #KCACOLS

  7. Life as Mum says:

    I am currently looking for a pram for baby #3! I am stuck on what kind of pram I want. I really want one with a nice carry cot as I was unable to get a carry cot one with my other two. I love Bebecar make.

  8. We had a maxi-cosi system, but I can’t remember the name of it and it was 6 years ago now *sad face*. However, I wanted to comment to say I am green with envy that you had some great places to go and have a look and test lots of brands. The pram we bought in the end was off the internet as there was nowhere we could get to that had it to test, so we took a gamble and read as many reviews as possible. Luckily it worked and we loved it. Only problem was, we didn’t factor any decision based on the possibility of needing a double buggy, so we weren’t able to use it when our second came along. After trying it with a buggy board, we finally realised our toddler was just too young to rely completely on a board to stand on, so we bought a Phil and Teds. Which I loved. You are right to consider the double-buggy conversion option!! 🙂 Kathy x #KCACOLS

  9. The Speed Bump says:

    Wow! There’s so much choice! I get so confused by pushchairs and travel systems – we just picked the cheapest travel system we could find in the Argos catalogue haha! Great post #KCACOLS

  10. Silly Mummy says:

    It is a bit confusing going through all the options for buggies. I found that the independent baby shops actually tended to be best for the fullest range of brands. The vista was one we looked at too. I think we ultimately chose right, but we were assuming as we intended to have two kids quite close together that we needed one that would be good as a tandem, so we went with what had the most comfortable space for two kids, as the tandem arrangement of some of the systems is a bit of an afterthought and wouldn’t actually give much space to one child if using as a tandem regularly. That turned out to be a good choice for us as actually had two MUCH closer together than we intended! I think that is the best thing to do – just determine a couple of things that are your biggest priorities and then go with what you like best of the ones that fit those. They’re probably all much of a muchness when it really comes down to it! 😀 Oh & how much space they take folded, esp if car is not very big (or you have limited space to store at home) – travel systems can entirely fill the boot of a smallish car! We had a lot of problems before getting a bigger car! Good luck with your bargain hunting! #KCACOLS

  11. We bought the Bugaboo Bee for Sienna but we used it until she was 15 months then we changed it for the McClaren Triumph which is smaller and very practical as it is the umbrella style. I think it all depends on your space, where do you live and if you need 2 kids in one pushchair. If you live in London I think the bugaboo is the best option but if you live in the country side you can get bigger prams. Also depends how much space do you have in your car. Good luck with the hunting of a new pram!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

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