What is a lightweight buggy?
A lightweight buggy is a pushchair that’s low in weight – generally anything under the 7kg mark.
Often called ‘strollers’, lightweight buggies are perfect for nipping to the shops and taking on holiday. They should be easy to steer, fold and store and not break your back like the bulkier options. Compactness is also a big feature.
Do you need one suitable from birth?
Many lightweight buggies are only suitable from 6 months because they don’t have seats that can recline to a lie-flat position. However, there are now options designed for use from birth, either because the seat fully reclines, or a detachable carrycot can be paired with it.
If you’re worried about buying a lightweight buggy because it might not have all the features and benefits of a standard buggy, think again. They are some options that boast fully reclining seats, side protection, head huggers, raincovers, sun canopies and cosy toes, just like heavier buggies. However, these extras do add to the cost and may bulk up the buggy, taking away from the lightness or compactness that originally drew you to it.
Do you want to attach a car seat?
Some lightweight buggies can have a car seat attached to a create travel system. A travel system is especially useful in the early months, when you want to transfer your sleeping baby from car to buggy in their car seat, but travel systems can be heavy and bulky. A travel system based on a lightweight buggy however means you cut down on the weight and you’ve got a nippy option to use once your baby’s older.
Just remember your newborn shouldn’t spend too much time in a car seat and make sure the seat has enough padding to be comfortable on days out.
Also take into account the added weight of the car seat when attached to the lightweight buggy – it can mean it’s no longer such an easy-to-push option.
If a buggy and car seat combo interests you, our buyer’s guide to travel systems will take you step by step through finding the right one.
How will you be using it?
How you plan to use your buggy will dictate what features you should look for.
If you’ll be using it everyday, you’ll want a light yet sturdy buggy that can handle constant use. Using it to get round the shops? Good manoeuverability will make nipping down aisles easier, and a decent shopping basket is a handy extra.
For occasional use, perhaps for a holiday, cheap and light are the key features. Don’t waste too much on an item that won’t get a lot of use or that could be lost/damaged.
If it’s to be a spare for grandma or the childminder to have at their place, it’ll need to be compact when folded so it’s easily stowed, and simple enough for the grandparents to work out.
If you’re going to be using it to transport two children, you’ll need a double option. Double buggies do weigh more, but there are still lighter models around.
Our buyer’s guide to double buggies will help you find the right one for your needs.
Where will you be using it?
There’s no point buying a £400 state-of-the-art lightweight buggy for your holiday if you’re going to weep when it comes off the plane dirty and dented. Cheap, with a compact folded size, will be good features if you’re using it abroad. Here are more features to look for in holiday buggies.
If you’re hiking across fields, cobbled streets or along sandy beaches, you need to pay attention to the type of wheels. The cheapest models often have teeny plastic wheels, which are hard to steer over uneven ground and give a bumpy ride – not great for your baby or your hands and wrists. Pick one with larger pneumatic (air-filled) wheels, suspension and perhaps a padded handle for your comfort.
If you’re using it around town, smaller wheels will be fine, but you’ll want something quick and easy to fold if you’re always hopping in and out of your car, or on and off public transport.
Where do you start?
To take the guesswork out of buying a lightweight buggy, we’ve got in-depth reviews of lightweight buggies, and have also rounded-up the top-performers to get you started: