When it comes to key purchases when welcoming a new baby, there are few that are as important as a pushchair, pram or buggy. Pick the perfect one, and it could see your child from their first days right through to the toddler years. But choosing the right pushchair for your family requires research.
The many options can be overwhelming, so here are 6 key features to look out for and help you decide.
Adaptability – how does the pushchair adapt and change for different uses?
A great all-round pushchair is one that’s designed to adapt and grow with your baby, offering options straight from birth that can be changed and adjusted for a comfortable ride through to the toddler years.
A travel system such as the Cybex Priam will give you the most flexibility, with the option to add a carrycot, seat unit or car seat to the chassis. The Lux carrycot is a cosy and safe space for newborns with a breathable mattress and ventilation and viewing panels, however the seat unit of the Priam is also suitable from birth (great if you have limited storage space at home).
Once your child is more eager to see the world around them, sit them up and switch to world-facing mode. The Priam is also supplied with car seat adapters that allow you to attach the Cybex Cloud Z rotating lie-flat infant carrier for easy transfer to and from the car. The adapters also work with a number of other car seats too.
Longevity – how will the pushchair grow with your family?
Although we can never predict what life is going to throw at us, many parents look to futureproof their pushchair purchase by opting for one that can be adapted to transport more than one child.
A single-to-double pushchair such as the Cybex Gazelle S offers the best of both worlds: it starts out as a single buggy, but with the unique adapters built into the gazelle frame you can convert it into a tandem pushchair with countless configurations using additional carrycots, seat units, or car seats.
In fact, there are over 20 different configurations in total so there’s bound to be one to suit your growing family. The kid board adds even more opportunity for growth with the option to transport a third child, and you can also purchase a kid board for the Priam, too.
Lifestyle – how does the pushchair suit your family life?
A pushchair will be your most-used accessory for years on end, so it’s understandable that many parents want something they feel proud to push around the streets, parks and shops. Looks may not be top of your wish list, but they definitely play a part in that final decision.
The Cybex Priam offers some great customisable visual elements: choose your preferred frame finish (from matte black to rose gold) then pick a seat pack from a range of colours, prints and designs. The result is a pushchair that suits your style but also delivers when it comes to function and innovation. It has wheels that handle multiple terrains, a seat unit that’s suitable from birth, and compatibility with the Cybex Cloud Z i-size, one of the only lie-flat car seats on the market.
Storage – how will it handle all those day-to-day essentials?
Whether you’re planning to use your pushchair for trips to the supermarket, or just out on a day trip with all the family in tow, ample storage is important for stashing your changing bag, toys, snacks and shopping.
You’ll want to pay close attention to the size and capacity of the basket that sits below the seat, but with the Cybex Gazelle S, there’s an exciting additional storage solution on offer. As well as its roomy lower shopping basket (which holds up to 13kg), the seat unit can be used in conjunction with a shopping basket that adds an addition 10kg capacity in single mode. It makes it a great choice for urban families who do their shopping on foot, or just for those who’ve never really learned to travel light!
Fold – how does the pushchair fold for transport and storage?
There’s no getting around the fact that a pushchair is large, especially those designed to perform multiple functions for a growing family. Inevitably, there will be times when you need to fold it down, whether that’s to get it in the car, tuck it away in a busy restaurant, or store it safely at home. Look out for multiple fold options to suit these different situations.
The Cybex Priam has a quick one-handed self-standing fold with the seat on, but it can also be laid down and folded flat. Folding it with seat on and locking the front wheels down will make it the perfect shape for most car boots, but for even smaller spaces you can easily remove the seat unit and wheels to make it more compact.
The Cybex Gazelle S has a similar customisable fold (and can even be folded with two seat units in place) but you’ll need two hands for that one.
Comfort – how does your child feel in the pushchair?
While it’s easy to get excited about cool colourways and innovative storage solutions, let’s be honest: the most important thing about any pushchair is your child’s comfort. As well as testing out the suspension to ensure a smooth ride, look out for design elements that will ensure safety and comfort at all ages. Consider the hood or canopy on the carrycot or seat unit:
Cybex models such as the Priam and Gazelle S use UPF50+ fabrics, with mesh panels for ventilation and a hood that comes down low to block out glare. A lie flat seat unit isn’t just useful as an economical alternative to a carrycot, it also provides a better nap position for older children. Accessories such as fleece-lined footmuffs provide extra protection and comfort during colder weather, and padded straps make 5-point harnesses feel a little more luxurious.
Whatever pushchair you end up choosing, remember to set it up and test it out before you put your baby in it for the first time, and be sure to practise the fold a few times too. It’s much easier to learn at home than on the go, and it’ll ensure your first trip out as a family as as smooth and enjoyable as possible.