Compare prams & strollers from Baby Jogger, Mountain Buggy, Bugaboo, Mother’s Choice, Steelcraft, Valco Baby, Kmart and Target on handling & steering, design/style, value for money, ease of folding, flexibility/versatility, storage compartments and overall parent satisfaction.
To get from A to B with your newborn, not in terms of learning the alphabet but rather getting to your destination, a pram or stroller is a must. However, picking the right one isn’t as simple or as cheap as it used to be, with new models boasting high-class designs to make the journey for both parents and bubs a breeze. A pram or stroller can be a massive financial outlay and new parents might be shocked at just how much they can cost. Parents who have been around the block before and are preparing for another arrival may also be shocked at the cost of upgrading to a new model. Whatever your parental experience, you’ll want a pram or stroller that lives up to the hype – and there’s a lot of hype!
To help you decide which pram brand is best, Canstar Blue has surveyed more than 800 parents to seek their feedback on the prams and strollers they have recently purchased and used, and their opinions are reflected by the star ratings you see above. The idea is to share the experiences of parents just like you, to help you make an informed purchase decision about what will likely be one of your biggest financial expenses before or shortly after welcoming your little one into the world.
For the third successive year, Baby Jogger has taken out top spot in our parent ratings for new prams & strollers, achieving five stars for overall satisfaction, as well as ease of folding. It also earned a solid four stars across all other categories, except for storage compartments where it scored a three. Leading the ratings for three years in a row is a fantastic result for Baby Jogger. If you’re shopping around for a new stroller, you’ll surely have heard the name – and now you know exactly how it lives up to its reputation in the eyes of Aussie parents. But it’s not the only brand worth considering. Read on for further details.
Our 2018 pram & stroller review saw eight brands compared, rated by parents in the following order for overall satisfaction:
Mountain Buggy, Bugaboo, Mother’s Choice, Steelcraft and Valco Baby all received four stars overall, while the two budget-oriented brands – Kmart and Target – scored three. While Baby Jogger secured top spot overall, some notable top marks for other brands included Bugaboo being the only brand to achieve five stars for handling & steering, design/style, and flexibility/versatility. Steelcraft and Valco Baby were the only two brands to receive five stars in value for money, while Mountain Buggy and Valco Baby earned top marks for the weight & size of their strollers.
Read on for further details about the eight brands featured in the ratings and what they have to offer in the form of prams, strollers, and any other hybrid models doing the rounds right now. There are several other brands out there, but it’s fair to assume these brands are the biggest in Australia.
Active people who become parents can struggle to manage their adventures while lugging along their little one. That’s why, in 1984, Baby Jogger was founded by a father who wanted a stroller capable of enduring long distance use, over all kinds of surfaces. It’s important to note that not all Baby Jogger strollers are suitable for jogging – there are various different models for different needs. The range covers various terrains and uses, so you can take baby along with you on even the most active and adventurous of pursuits. Pictured is Baby Jogger’s city select, claiming to be the most versatile. It’s designed to keep rolling as your family grow, allowing you to add an additional seat if you have another one on the way. The brand is also well-known for prams that can be folded with just one hand, meaning you can easily hold your little one and pack the car at the same time. Baby Jogger is certainly a premium brand, which is reflected in its price tags, ranging from as low as under $400 up to more than $1,000.
However, Baby Jogger seems to have lived up to its promises to Aussie parents, who have rated it five stars overall and for ease of folding. It also received a solid four stars for all other categories except for storage compartments where it scored three stars.
Founded in New Zealand for mountain-climbing mums and dads, Mountain Buggy is stated to be an all-terrain luxury stroller brand that can help you take your parenting to new heights. The company claims to adhere to high standards of performance, safety and engineering, with a personal touch. Mountain Buggy offers a range of strollers in both single and double configuration, plus carrycots compatible with buggies to transform into bassinet-style prams. The Mountain Buggy Duet twin stroller (pictured) is no wider than a single buggy, with each seat able to be independently reclined so that you can have your toddler facing forward to watch the world go by while keeping your newborn lying down and facing you for that special connection. Prices start from $399 for its Nano Buggie, going up to as much as $1,299 for its Cosmopolitan Luxury Collection, designed with ‘modernistic styling and renewed functionality’.
In our 2018 ratings, Mountain Buggy had a mixed performance – four stars overall and in most other categories, with three stars on value for money, yet five stars for weight & size.
With a proclaimed mission ‘to help you move freely’, Bugaboo offers a number of strollers and luggage systems to help you explore the world in comfort and style. Bugaboo’s chief designer and co-founder turned their childhood obsession with wheels into true passion for getting people out and about. The company endeavours to produce products its customers happily take out on adventures and get them well-worn and even muddy as they live without limits. The range of strollers to suit different lifestyles includes the Fox (comfort), the Cameleon (all in one) the Donkey (convertible), the Bee (urban) and the Runner (for jogging). Pictured is the Bugaboo ‘bee 5’ which is apparently ‘the most comfortable and stylish compact pram’ in the line-up. Expect to pay premium prices, from $1,000 to around $2,000, depending on style and size.
Bugaboo earned four stars overall, as well as for storage compartments and weight & size. It received five stars for handling & steering, design/style, and flexibility/versatility, but just three stars on ease of folding and value for money.
Part of Dorel Australia – one of the largest suppliers and designers of nursery products in the country – Mother’s Choice describes itself as a brand for mums looking for a great deal on practical and accessible products without worrying about being trendy. It covers a wide range of furniture and transport gear for babies and toddlers, including car seats, cots and highchairs to keep your baby comfortable, whether it be during naptime, while eating dinner, or while out and about. The current stroller range keeps things fairly simple with three models. The Wilton three-wheel stroller (pictured) offers three different recline positions, a removable child tray with cup holder, and a viewing window in the hood so you can keep an eye on your little rug rat. Its prices certainly reflect its aim, ranging from as low as $99 and going up to as much as $199.
Mother’s Choice received four stars overall in our 2018 ratings, as well as for most other categories. It also achieved five stars for storage compartments. However, it was three stars for weight & size, plus ease of folding.
A brand under Britax – a baby travel and furniture company probably best-known for its child car seats – Steelcraft strollers are said to be travel-friendly thanks to their lightweight quick-fold design. Look out for features such as recline, extendable sun canopy, peek-a-boo window and storage space. Steelcraft uses high-performance fabrics and offers stylish editions of its diverse offerings, which includes umbrella strollers and reverse handle strollers (which allow parents to have their child facing either forward or backwards). Pictured is the Steelcraft ‘Sprint’ stroller, said to make travelling with your little one simple and easy. Prices range from around $299 to over $1,000 for is deluxe edition prams.
Steelcraft had a solid performance in our 2018 review, with four stars in most categories, three stars for weight & size, and five stars on value for money.
Covering a quite diverse range of prams and strollers across single and double configurations, Valco Baby is an Australian baby care company, serving Aussie families for almost 50 years. Most strollers feature bumper bars, retractable canopies and soft, thick padding to help keep your little one safe and comfy. Many are also customisable, with add-ons such as an external bassinet and the ‘sports pack’ with more rugged clip-on wheels for more adventurous trips out with baby. The designs cover all kinds of needs as well as all kinds of styles, to suit your lifestyle preferences. Pictured is its Trend model with a denim design for urban lifestyles. Valco Baby prams and strollers can be had for around $550 to $900.
In this year’s ratings, Valco Baby scored four stars across most categories and three stars for storage compartments. It also had two five-star achievements on value for money and weight & size.
The cheap and cheerful department store specialising in homewares and cheap electronics has a range of budget strollers for Aussie consumers to choose from. Making parenting affordable, Kmart covers a range of equipment to get you and the little one about town. Currently there are three different stroller models to choose from, starting from a cheap and basic $20 upright flat fold stroller (for ages 6 months and up) in a choice of teal, black and red. Next is the $39 umbrella fold stroller, with a canopy, padded safety harness and shopping basket. Kmart’s most expensive stroller (pictured) is still just $59, with front swivel wheels and tether strap plus all of the features of the $39 model.
Kmart strollers were rated three stars overall, four stars on value for money, but just two stars each for flexibility and storage compartments.
Keeping it simple, Target offers four different strollers, including a simple upright buggy for $25 and a dual stroller for $149, being its most expensive in the line-up. The buggy is designed to be lightweight and compact for easy storage and those quick little trips. It’s suitable for children aged 6 months and up, with a maximum weight of 15kg. The traditional hooded stroller (pictured) with a price tag of $89 is said to be more comfortable, with quilted padding and front swivel wheels, but still designed lightweight for convenient movement and transport. It’s suitable straight from birth.
Like its budget competitor Kmart, Target rated three stars overall, plus four stars on value for money and weight & size, but just two stars for storage compartments.
A pram or stroller will naturally be high on your ‘to buy’ list if you’re expecting a child, or if your child is approaching toddlerhood, warranting the purchase of a stroller. Prams & strollers need to be more than just reasonably priced, as our survey found. We identified the following drivers of parent satisfaction in order of importance:
Handling and steering is evidently the biggest factor affecting parent satisfaction. If you’ve ever gone for a walk with a cumbersome pram, you’d know that it can be a workout in itself! Weight and size play into this as well, but having a pram or stroller that handles well can take the stress off your body and maybe even leave your child in better comfort, without being jerked around!
Buying a pram or stroller isn’t a cheap endeavour. Respondents to our 2018 survey reported an average expenditure of over $520 on their new pram or stroller, but there are many models out there that cost double or even triple that!
Survey respondents who bought a Baby Jogger stroller reported a higher-than-average expenditure, with $721 spent. This higher price didn’t deter parents though, as brands need to do more than just offer a cheap price. Sometimes the extra cost is worth it!
A pram is generally designed for younger infants, and is short for ‘perambulator’, while strollers are more basic in design and often merely a convenient place for an older infant to sit. Prams feature soft flat bottoms, and large canopies allowing the baby to lie flat. Prams often feature larger wheels and are a much more ‘complete’ package, lending to higher prices.
Strollers, on the other hand, may be best for toddlers who want to see more of the real world, rather than just merely sleep. Strollers are usually the last step before kids start walking fully on their own. Strollers are also often smaller and more portable, lending themselves to storage in regular car boots and the like. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to choose one type over the other as many brands come with ‘hybrids’ that can configure seating to either pram-style or stroller-style. One type isn’t necessarily better than the other, but considering your child’s age is probably the most important factor in your decision. It seems hybrids/convertibles are in trend with over half of respondents (56%) stating to have purchased one.
You may also be interested in:
Prams & strollers are often as much of a social statement as a place for your child to sit. There’s a bit of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ with other parents and many mums and dads reading will have no doubt analysed other pram purchases while out and about at the park.
Evidently, a pram or stroller is more than just a cart to push your child around in, it’s also a talking point among parents. While it can be an expensive item to purchase, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth investing in one that ticks all your boxes.
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 1,300 Australian parents across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a pram or stroller in the last 3 years – in this case, 885 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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