3 or 4-wheeler buggies - which should you choose?

With a new swathe of 3-wheeler buggies coming onto the market, is the number of wheels you choose a question of taste or a case of less being more?

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  • Battle of the buggies...

    When 3-wheelers first started appearing a decade or so ago, they were aimed at the more adventurous of us, who wanted to tackle tough terrain with our buggies. 

    After an initial boom in sales, by 2010 sales of 3-wheelers had slumped, leading one broadsheet newspaper to call for all 3-wheelers to be abandoned on a scrap heap. However, with design innovations, they have become increasingly popular once more.

    Now every pushchair maker has a 3-wheeled buggy in its collection, and most are made for city pavements and shopping centres, not high, sticky-out tree roots.

    Case in point; at this year’s Kind + Jugend nursery trade fair in Cologne, Germany, we saw a new wave of jogging buggies - from hybrid to green to cycling-style. Plus some manufacturers are producing 3-wheeled versions of their 4-wheeled best-sellers.

    And this got us to thinking (well debating), what’s better, a 3 or 4-wheeled buggy?

    Nowadays, it's less about lifestyle needs and more about personal style and preference. We've picked some of the most exciting new 3-wheelers and put them up against the coolest new 4-wheelers. Click through and let us know what you think in the comments below...

  • 3 wheels - Orbit Baby O2 jogger, £630

    The distinctive G3 buggy from US brand Orbit Baby is a favourite in Hollywood.  The original 4-wheeler G3 has been the buggy of choice for Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Alba and Megan Fox. We wonder if they used the “Paparazzi Shield” that comes as standard? That’s the sunshade extension to you and me. 

    Now Orbit has launched the O2 jogger. The really smart part is that the O2 offers two seat positions - City mode for a high view for your baby and Performance mode, which allows you to jog with your 6 month+ baby. So it's a hybrid jogger, and with two 16” air-filled rear wheels and a 12” air-filled front wheel with added suspension, it's good for a run in the park or a nifty dash around town.  

    Available: Now

  • 3 wheels - iCandy Peach 3, £960

    Stealing the show at the iCandy stall this year was the Peach 3 all-terrain.

    This 3-wheeler pushchair is a cross-country version of the much-loved, but still fairly new 4-wheeled Peach 3 Blossom, and is probably one of the most stylish 3-wheelers out there.

    Suitable from birth with the carrycot, up to a very respectable 22kg, it has air-filled tyres, 3 recline positions, and a quick one-hand fold. To be fair, you might spend more time being buggy proud than panting along a particularly rough terrain, but you’ll look so good doing it...

    Available: Now

  • 3 wheels - Greentom Upp XL and Greentom Go, from £295

    The company that brought us the world’s first “100% green” 4-wheeled stroller is now launching two all-terrain 3-wheelers: the Upp XL and Go.

    Like the original Upp 4-wheeler both the Upp XL and Go are made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles and recycled polypropene and bioplastic. 

    Where they differ is of course, the fact they have 3 wheels. The XL has 16” air-filled tyres, while the Go has 3 slightly smaller 14” wheels. So now you can be a green parent, sport enthusiast and on-trend mum all in one walk! 

    Available: Summer 2016

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  • 3 wheels - Quinny Jogger, £TBC (around £550)

    Known for its 3-wheelers, Quinny has always built robust products for urban living since its launch back in 2004.

    But now the brand is bringing out a true jogging buggy in the form of the Jogger. The wheels on the pushchair are of the Schwalbe Kojak variety, a professional bike tyre, particularly suited to all terrains and all weather conditions. 

    Featuring a bike-style hand brake on the handle, and foot brake for added stability and flexibility, the Jogger has been made for runners.

    Available: Summer 2016

  • 4-wheels - GB Maris, £TBC (around £600)

    The Maris was probably the one of the biggest launches at the Kind + Jugend trade fair. It's a brand new travel system from new parenting brand GB - a (non-GB) combination of Chinese manufacturer Goodbaby and German baby brand Cybex.

    The frame of the eye-catching 4-wheeler is for the most part pewter black aluminum, but it has also been given touches of burnished silver aluminium all over. That coupled with the shimmery, jacquard black fabric gives it a clean, futuristic look.

    It features a quick, one-hand fold, rear and forward-facing seat unit and the wheel base of the buggy is a slim 54cm wide - that’s only 2cm wider than the very compact Babyzen Yoyo stroller.  

    Available:  Summer 2016

  • 4-wheels - Maxi Cosi Stella, £370

    Best known for its car seats, Maxi-Cosi makes relatively few pushchairs compared to its car seat collection.  

    So it's time for it to launch Stella, a new all-terrain 3-in-1 travel system, which apparently “follows you as an extension of yourself”. 

    We’re not quite sure what that means - let's face it, it doesn't change nappies, cook meals or do bathtime - but the Stella has impressed us with its slim 53cm wide frame, puncture-proof tyres and on-trend limited edition fabric designed by Amsterdam designer Edward van Vliet. 

    What caught our eye straight away is the T-style bumper bar design. Much like the Quinny Mood, the Stella has a bumper bar that’s T-shaped and sits in the middle of the seat unit, so it doesn’t go all the way across the frame.

    And while there's a debate about how useful bumper bars really are (they're a bit Marmite), it certainly looks interesting. Full review, and bumper bar test coming soon.

    Available: Winter 2015

  • 4-wheels - Recaro Citylife, £315

    This 4-wheeler is a new travel system from another company known for its car seats, Recaro. The Citylife is only the second buggy in the brand’s collection (after the much-loved lightweight buggy the Easylife) and is light, compact and suitable from birth.

    Designed for city living (yes, we got it in the name), the travel system has 4 wheels that are puncture resistant, according to Recaro. 

    It also features a ‘Push-Push' brake, meaning you simply have to push the pedal at the bottom of the buggy wheel base to put the brakes on and push again to remove them. Flip-flop and shellac toe nail varnish friendly, we think so.

    Available: Winter 2015

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  • 4-wheels - Joie Evalite Duo, £350

    Joie currently offers a large collection of buggies and car seats, but the Evalite Duo is actually Joie’s first UK tandem buggy. 

    A lightweight two-seater with 4 wheels, the tandem buggy weighs 11.8kg, which is quite dainty when you consider that it’s a double buggy. 

    It's also really quite spacious for both baby and toddler or even two toddlers. The only drawback, which faces most tandems, is that it has a long frame - and you'll be clearing a wide space in front of you as you push. 

    Available: Summer 2016

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