There’s a moment in every expecting parent’s life when they go shopping for a pram, find one that’s absolutely perfect and then discover that it costs eleventy billion pounds.
Prams can cost as much as a second-hand car, and there’s a huge range to choose from. But as we’ve discovered, you can get some great prams for very little cash - and some great ones for quite a lot of cash too.
As a rule of thumb, big wheels aren’t ideal for urban trips and little ones aren’t great for the great outdoors. It’s worth thinking about where you’re going to go: is it worth buying an all-singing all-dancing travel system if you won’t be travelling much, or would you be better off with a car seat and pram just now and a lightweight buggy a few months down the line?
Every parent is different, but some things are universal - such as the pain of pushing a really heavy pram up hills, or the car seat that feels like it’ll dislocate your shoulder. Always check the specs and wherever possible, see things in real life. What may look great in a photo might be a real faff to fold.These are our picks of the best prams for newborns and beyond.
1. Mothercare Xpedior
Everything you need for a price you won’t believe
Lockable wheels: Yes | Car seat: Yes | Weight: 9Kg | Max child weight: 15Kg (13Kg for car seat) | Rain cover: Yes
You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on a pram for your newborn: Mothercare’s Xpedior gives you everything you need for a knock down price, which is currently £179 instead of the £249 RRP. For that you get a pram that turns into a pushchair suitable for children up to 15Kg, an infant car seat (suitable for up to 13Kg) and a frame that’s easy to fold. The front swivel wheels are lockable for the great outdoors, the baby can face you or the outside world and it comes in a range of colours from plain to eye-popping. Just be aware that the infant seat doesn’t have Isofix fittings: it’s the kind of car seat you secure with seatbelt-related shenanigans.
2. Mothercare Orb
A travel system for much less than you’d expect to pay
Lockable wheels: Yes | Car seat: Yes | Car seat compatible: Yes **Weight:** 9 Kg | Max child weight: 15Kg (13Kg for car seat) | Rain cover: Yes
Designed for newborns and suitable for children up to 15Kg the Mothercare Orb is a pram that turns into a pushchair (and you can attach a Maxi-Cosi car seat if you buy the £29.99 adaptor). Its wheels are arranged in a three-wheeler configuration with double wheels at the front lockable for straight-line travel or free wheeling for getting around tight corners. The handlebar extends enough for six foot-plus people and there’s a clever one-handed rotator that spins the pram body 180 degrees.You don’t get everything that more expensive systems offer, though, such as suspension for off-road adventures or build quality that’ll last for generations, so buying a used one on eBay might not be a brilliant idea.
3. Silver Cross 3D travel system
Built like a tank and easy to use, but quite expensive
Lockable wheels: Yes | Car seat: Yes | Weight: 10.3 Kg | Max child weight: 15Kg | Rain cover: Yes
We can recommend this pram with immense confidence: we’ve used these systems for two kids and we can’t say a bad word about them. The 3D model is more nimble in shops than the alternative, traditional pram style frame (although that one is much better for off-roading as it has proper air-filled tyres; the 3D is more like a buggy than a pram), the basket converts into a pushchair that’s appropriate for children weighing up to 15Kg and it’s tough enough to survive even the most active family adventures. It is quite heavy, though, and the car seat in particular will build muscles in places you didn’t know you had muscles. Shop around, as limited editions are often heavily discounted.
4. Bugaboo Cameleon 3
Only slightly less expensive than a solid gold baby
Lockable wheels: Yes | Car seat: No | Weight: 9.6 Kg | Max child weight: 17Kg | Rain cover: Yes
Made of lightweight aluminium with adjustable suspension, the Cameleon pram is capable of tacking anything from urban jungles to sand and snow. Baby can face you or face away from you, it’s suitable for children up to 17Kg and you can attach car seats with (optional extra) adaptors. You can also attach a buggy board to push a second, older child around when they get tired.The Cameleon is beautifully designed, endorsed by all kinds of celebs and gives you Alpha Mum or Dad status in any environment: it’s a luxury product, and that means people will happily overlook design flaws such as the use of a handbrake instead of a footbrake. And when it’s time to get rid of it, you can expect a decent sum on eBay or Gumtree.
5. Stokke Xplory v5
Only slightly less expensive than two solid gold babies
Lockable wheels: Yes | Car seat: Yes | Weight: 12.2 Kg | Max child weight: 15Kg | Rain cover: Yes
If you thought £849 was a lot for a pram, making the Stokke Xplory newborn-friendly means shelling out another £170 for the carrycot - and if you want a car seat too you’ll need to find another £200ish down the back of the sofa, plus another £190 for an Isofix base. Is it worth it? Mums and dads say yes, it’s the best pram ever, partly because of its unusually high position that means it doubles as a high chair in restaurants or cafes. It’s very easy to steer, looks fantastic and will turn Bugaboo owners green with envy, if that’s the kind of thing that matters to you. Once again, you can expect a pretty decent sum when baby’s outgrown it and you offer it for sale.