Essentials vs optional extras in prams and strollers

fancy pramResearch shows 30% of Australians think you need a good pram to be a good parent. And 34% of men surveyed said they wanted to buy a better pram their family and friends.

Looking at what’s available, you might feel overwhelmed by the array of features for you to choose from. From jogging prams to umbrella strollers, 4WD strollers to bike buggies, combo pram-strollers and twin-child strollers, colourful to black-and-white, there are a lot of options out there.

So what makes a good pram, and what makes a great pram? Let’s take a look at some essentials vs. optional extras.

Essential features


At minimum, your pram or stroller is required by law to have a harness, a parking brake, a tether strap, safe head coverings, moving parts out of child’s reach, and safety warning labels. Read our other articles to find out more about the Australian safety standards for prams and strollers.


You need to be able to manoeuvre this thing through many tight spaces and dodge all kinds of moving obstacles, from other shoppers in the supermarket to dogs in the park. You also need to be able to comfortably tip the whole pram back to mount the curb.

Height-adjustable handles

This one may sound like an optional extra but trust us, if you’re a 6’4″ man trying to push a stroller designed for your 5’7″ partner, you’ll thank us for telling you to look for extendable handles.


Any time you need to get the stroller packed away in the car boot, or the closet, or the overhead plane compartment, you need to be able to quickly and confidently fold it shut and snap it back open again later.


This one depends on whether your child likes to look at the world around them or not, or whether they’re perfectly happy just looking up at you. Often you won’t know before you buy the pram what will best suit your child, so it’s easiest to buy a model with a reversible seat capsule or a reversible handle. Thankfully, this is a pretty standard feature in prams, although it’s not really available in strollers because they serve a different function.

Shade or shelter canopy

Another non-negotiable when travelling under our blazing Australian sun.


Pick a budget and stick to it. Whichever pram you pick, you need to be able to afford to buy it and still buy baby food.


It needs to suit your lifestyle. You don’t need a big, expensive jogging pram if you’re mainly looking for something you can fit in a very small car boot.

Optional extras

Storage space

Imagine carrying the baby bag filled with food and nappies and supplies to survive the apocalypse, and some bags of grocery, and your morning coffee, and your baby … or pick a pram with a spacious storage compartment under the baby capsule. Winner.

Jogging prams or strollers

Lots of models have 4WD wheels to tackle all terrains and higher speeds. They even have suspension for tackling bumps in the road, although this adds to the weight of the pram.

Travelling baby models

These are the ones where the stroller seat transforms into a child car seat or a car baby capsule. Even just having a removable seat is helpful, as it means you can move and carry your baby without having to wake them up as you’re lifting them out of the stroller.

Umbrella strollers

This is a lightweight option if you do a lot of going up and down the stairs to your apartment, travelling on public transport, or you just need something to get around with at the supermarket. But they’re only recommended for toddlers, not young babies, because of their lighter frames.

All age models

If you want to buy just one pram to last your child from their earliest days to about 3 to 4 years old, then it needs to be able to transform. We don’t mean like Transformers transform. The pram needs to be able to go from your baby lying flat and horizontal to your toddler sitting up stroller-style.

Additional seating

Don’t bother buying a twin-seater stroller, just add another seat, if you have an adjustable model.

Detachable front bar

This gives your child sometime to hold onto while they’re sitting up and looking around them. These can be bought separately and often come with mobiles or teething toys attached to them.

And even more!
  • Hand-operated pump for inflating tyres
  • Detachable leg covering for cold weather
  • Mosquito net
  • Removable liner for added comfort
  • Matching nappy bag included
  • Machine-washable parts and liners
  • Cup holders
  • One-handed folding capability
  • Bicycle trailer prams

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