Bugaboos are a familiar sight around town these days, but when Max Barenbrug designed his pushchair back in 1994 it was like nothing else on Earth.
Unlike traditional prams and strollers, Barenbrug’s modular design could cope with anything from urban jungles to off-road adventures. Sales rocketed when the Bugaboo was featured in Sex and the City, and the brand is now trusted by more than a million mums and dads worldwide.
There are several models of Bugaboo to choose from, and the 2017 range is the best yet. Whether you’re planning to pound the streets, run around the park or venture far from the beaten track, there’s a Bugaboo for you - and a dizzying range of accessories and optional extras to make it fit your needs precisely.
Who knew a smartphone holder for pushchairs even existed? Other accessories include rain covers and mosquito nets, cupholders for the coffees you’ll be going through at a record rate, carrycots and even upgrades to the handlebars to give them a leather look.
We’d strongly recommend hanging off on the accessories until you’ve spent a bit of time with your Bugaboo pushchair or stroller, though: what seems like a must-have when you’re browsing a brochure often ends up gathering dust at the back of a cupboard, and pushchair accessories aren’t cheap.
1. Bugaboo Bee 5
The cheapest Bugaboo around. Although “cheap” is relative
Suitable from birth: yes | Reversible seat: yes | Car sear compatible: yes | Weight: 8.5kg | Dimensions HWD: 32 x 45 x 85cm
The Bugaboo Bee 5 is designed for “urban adventurers”, the blurb says. It’s a very lightweight city stroller - maybe even a little too light for more challenging terrain - with endless customisation options and a host of improvements over the previous model: better suspension, a redesigned seat (now in two sections rather than one) and a pocket in the under-seat basket. The handlebars are vegan leather, there are nearly 800 colour combinations and it’s a doddle to use on public transport and in busy streets. It’s cheap by Bugaboo standards, although if you start playing with the options list you can easily make it a lot more expensive.
2. Bugaboo Runner
When a normal pushchair just doesn’t go fast enough
Suitable from birth: yes | Reversible seat: yes | Basket capacity: 17.5l | Car sear compatible: yes | Weight: 12.7kg | Dimensions HWD: 42.5 x 70 x 86.5cm
Did you spend the final weeks of your pregnancy trying to persuade the doctors to let you run marathons? Do you prefer sprinting around the streets to slowly going crazy in a soft play? Then the Bugaboo Runner is the buggy for you because it means you can pound the pavements - or go off-road - without scaring the living daylights out of your baby. The Runner’s frame and wheels give baby a smooth ride no matter what the terrain, and it’s perfectly designed so that you can run without having to adopt a silly posture or adjust your gait to avoid kneeing the pushchair. That makes it bigger and heavier than city strollers, but then city strollers tend to get grumpy if you walk too fast.
3. Bugaboo Cameleon 3
Clever wheels make this an excellent all-rounder
Suitable from birth: yes | Reversible seat: yes | Basket capacity: 24l | Car sear compatible: yes | Weight: 9.6kg | Dimensions HWD: 30.5 x 60 x 90cm
The third generation Cameleon has a Marmite feature: the brake’s a handbrake, not the more common footbrake, and that might annoy you immensely. If not, you’re looking at a city stroller that’s perfectly capable of handling rougher terrain from time to time, and there’s adjustable suspension to keep baby insulated from lumps and bumps. One particularly clever idea is the swappable wheels: you can spin the bottom of the chassis so the two wheels are at the front and one on the back when you’re going off-road, and go back to the familiar three-wheel layout when you hit tarmac again. The Cameleon is ludicrously expensive, of course, but it’s a very stylish and very cleverly designed stroller with a huge range of personalisation options.
4. Bugaboo Buffalo
The Bugaboo that’s built for every kind of terrain
Suitable from birth: yes | Reversible seat: yes | Basket capacity: 35l | Car sear compatible: yes | Weight: 12.3kg | Dimensions HWD: 34 x 54 x 88cm
Some pushchairs keel over if you consider putting as much as a handbag on the handlebars. Not the Buffalo: it’s certified to stay upright with up to 6kg on the bars when it’s empty. It’s been designed with practicality in mind from the no-puncture foam wheels, the height adjustable handlebars and a four-wheel layout that copes better with difficult terrain than a three-wheeler would. There’s also a two-wheel option for tough conditions such as sand or snow, or for navigating stairs. As you’d expect from such a hefty pushchair it’s a little on the big side, and heavier than other options. But if you prefer meadows to malls this is the Bugaboo to buy.
5. Bugaboo Donkey
For parents with more than one little wonder
Suitable from birth: yes | Reversible seat: yes | Basket capacity: 28l + 18-22l | Car sear compatible: yes | Weight: 15kg | Dimensions HWD: 62 x 74 x 93cm
The Bugaboo Donkey is designed to answer many parents’ big question: how can you take two kids around without pushing something the size of a bus or the length of a yacht? The Donkey manages it with a combination of really clever design - you can have a buggy and a carrycot or car seat, have one child facing forward and one facing back - and quite slim seats that enable it to be just 74cm wide. If big babies run in your family, they may outgrow this one sooner than you might like. Size aside, this is a brilliantly designed buggy. There’s a footbrake - hurrah! - and adjustable handles, a two-wheel mode for sand or snow or stairs and it’s easy to change seats around or fold the buggy up.