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9 best all-terrain strollers for making off-road adventures with your kids a walk in the park

With air-filled wheels, days out in the forest won’t be a bumpy ride anymore

Zoe Phillimore
Tuesday 24 August 2021 13:48
<p>We were desperate to find a foldable stroller that we could chuck in our car boot at a moment’s notice</p>

We were desperate to find a foldable stroller that we could chuck in our car boot at a moment’s notice

A long walk does everyone the world of good – the last year or so has clarified that for us. If you want to head off the beaten track with your little one, you’ll need an all-terrain pram to keep up with you.

These nifty strollers are designed to tackle rougher routes and be easy to navigate through busy city streets. So what makes an all-terrain stroller, well, all-terrain?

These kinds of buggies have lightweight chassis which means it doesn’t take much heaving to get over lumps in the path. The prams also have excellent suspension for a smooth ride and often have air-filled tyres which offer a more comfortable ride.

Many, but not all, have three wheels – two larger back tyres and one smaller front tyre. The three-wheel design makes the strollers easier to push one-handed and can zip around corners with more ease.

They’re also good for tackling bumpy ground. We recommend looking for a lockable front wheel – locking it over very rough terrain stops the pram from getting jammed, but being able to unlock it for busy streets is invaluable.

How we tested

We took to the streets, fields and country paths over the course of six weeks to find the best all-terrain stroller.

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We put them through their paces, looking at how comfortable and smooth the ride was, how easy they were to push and fold, and how compact they were – being able to chuck them in the car boot was a priority for us. Here’s our round-up of the best all-terrain buggies.

The best all-terrain strollers for 2021 are:

Baby Jogger city mini GT2

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

  • Weight: 10.3kg
  • Wheels: Three
  • Suitable from: Birth

We absolutely loved this versatile pram, mainly because of its ingenious yet simple design. The thing that bowled us over was the compact fold – pull two tabs in the seat and the whole pram folds down. We reckon it would fit in pretty much every boot. Plus the wheels are much smaller than those on most other all-terrain strollers, which means we didn’t need to wrench off muddy tyres to get the boot shut. The seat is roomy and nicely padded. Our little tester was very comfy in there, with enough space for their favourite teddy and snack too. The seat reclines almost flat, and there’s a zip-down mesh back for air circulation. A generous sun canopy with a little fold-back window gave our child some calm privacy to enjoy their nap.

We also found the push on the city mini GT2 really easy – you can spin it around the tightest of corners with just one hand. Perhaps the smaller tyres mean you sacrifice some robustness and the ability to really go wild on rugged routes, but it still handled curbs and country paths well. This is a great option if you’re not taking on mountains, but want something nimble and compact.

Bugaboo fox2

Best: All-rounder

Rating: 9/10

  • Weight: 9.9kg
  • Wheels: Four
  • Suitable from: Birth

Beefy and robust, Bugaboo has made a really decent all-terrain stroller with the fox2. Large, puncture-proof tyres and the central joint suspension provide a really smooth ride for parent and baby alike. It glides effortlessly over fairly tough terrain and our little tester didn’t jiggle at all. It also handles busy streets and tight supermarket aisles with ease, letting us push one-handed through the shop while quickly responding to our gentle guidance. However, the back wheels do stick out so we found it getting caught on the occasional narrow doorway.

The pram feels sizey – the seat is really high at 59cm which is designed so you can roll the seat up to a table and use it as a highchair. We felt it was a bit too imposing for this though, and it took up a lot of real estate in our hallway. However, big stroller equals big shopping basket, so the fox2 comes up trumps there. Low mesh sides make it easy to chuck stuff in there.

We especially loved the peekaboo hood so we could check on our little one. We also found the fold easy, and it folded relatively small for its size. The fox2 has all the design features Bugaboo are so well-known for: easy recline, durable fabric and modern good looks. This would suit people who are looking for something really substantial, but it’s so pretty it’s almost a shame to get it muddy.

Hauck runner 2

Best: Value for money

Score: 8/10

  • Weight: 11.1kg
  • Wheels: Three
  • Suitable from: Birth

Huge air-filled wheels make this a stellar off-road stroller. Its lockable front wheel means it’s ready to take on rougher terrains and it’s an easy push, which swivels when pushed one-handed. We think it’s a bit more no-frills than some of the others we tested, but if you want to really head off the beaten track, this stroller is ideal. A spacious seat meant our child looked very comfortable in there, and the seat reclines absolutely flat so it’s suitable from birth (a carrycot which converts to a footmuff is sold separately for £54.99). There’s a huge zip-down ventilation window to allow air to circulate during naps and a decently sized visor with hi-vis trim to keep the elements away. As a 6ft-tall tester, we appreciated the adjustable handlebar.

The fold on the stroller is easy – two levers at the sides ping back and it almost collapses itself down. However, it isn’t exactly a compact fold – did we mention the huge tyres? You can take the back wheels off but this might not be ideal for slinging into your boot if they’re muddy. The basket isn’t huge either but if you’re dashing through the forest with this you probably aren’t after a massive shopping basket. Overall, we think this off-road pram offers brilliant value for money.

Thule chariot cross 2

Best: Double off-road stroller

Score: 9/10

  • Weight: 14.5kg
  • Wheels: Four, but can alter to three with jogging kit, sold separately
  • Suitable from: Six months

We were jealous of our little ones in this pram – it looked so cosy in the pod as they were pushed about. Thule don’t mess about when it comes to all-terrain kit and this chariot is no different. It’s designed for one or two passengers who sit in an enclosed pod but you can also buy a single (£900, Thule.com). It can be pushed from behind or you can use the tow kit to pull it along behind your bike. We loved the versatility of this function and thought it was great for families who really love to go out and explore. You can even buy a kit to tow it behind you while skiing.

The stroller is surprisingly lightweight for something of its size. Speaking of its size – it’s hefty, but you can fold it down easily and store the wheels inside the pod (you might want to get a bag for them though to stop the inside from getting muddy). It could fit in a large boot, or roof box on a car.

Padded seats and plenty of ventilation keep things cosy on the inside, while adjustable suspension allows you to decide how much “bounce” you want from your pram. Everything on this stroller feels really well thought out and quality is definitely not scrimped on – the fabrics are wipe-clean and smart; the break is excellent and there’s a decent size hopper on the back for shopping. You can also recline the seats individually with a one-hand recline function at the back. While this stroller is undoubtedly pricey, we think the quality shines through.

Out n About nipper V4 single

Best: Compact fold

Score: 8/10

  • Weight: 9.8kg
  • Wheels: Three
  • Suitable from: Birth

This stroller is really easy to push thanks to the swivel front wheel and relatively light chassis. The rear suspension helps our little one enjoy a smooth ride over rocky ground and the large, air-filled tyres tackle curbs and rough terrain with ease. The seat is perhaps not as luxuriously padded as others we tried but it does recline flat so it’s suitable from birth. A zip-down back panel with mesh allows for plenty of air to circulate in warmer weather. Our little one had some long naps in there during the summer months and didn’t get sweaty at all.

The fold on this pram is easy to do, although isn’t a dreamy one-hand fold. Compared to a lot of the other all-terrain strollers we tried, the fold is compact. If you take the tyres off you can get it in even a small car’s boot.

iCandy peach all-terrain pushchair

Best: For adaptability

Score: 8/10

  • Weight: 15.9kg
  • Wheels: Three or four
  • Suitable from: Birth

This is a very comprehensive bit of a kit built for almost all eventualities. The peach lets you choose between three or four wheels – but changing does involve tinkering with the chassis, so it’s not something we’d vouch for doing too often. The front tyre on the three-wheel mode is big and swivels pretty well to get you out of tight spots. However, at more than 15kg this isn’t the lightest push by any stretch.

For that extra weight though, this stroller does feel really high-quality and durable. All the fabrics are gorgeously soft, the under-seat storage is spacious and there’s even a little back pocket with zipping. Our little passenger seemed to like the slightly higher perch on this one – great for nosy kids like ours. It reclined with one hand and the sun canopy swooped nice and low for naps on or off the road.

When it comes to the versatility of this stroller, you can have a seat unit or bassinet on it. Plus, it’s compatible with a wide range of car seats (adaptors included). You can also convert it to a double pram if you have twins or two children of a similar size. We really liked this stroller because feels like it could see you through anything.

It’s worth noting though that it’s certainly not a compact fold, and it’s quite bulky – you definitely need a larger boot for this one and decent storage space at home.

Micralite fastfold stroller

Best: Lightweight stroller

Score: 8/10

  • Weight: 7.5kg
  • Wheels: Four
  • Suitable from: Six months

The hammock seat on this stroller is different from any others that we’ve seen. Mesh fabric hangs in the chassis and is lined with padding, which offers our little one a bump- and sweat-free ride. A wide base offers stability, helped by the air-filled tyres on rougher terrain. The tyres on the fastfold are designed to tackle mud, sand and snow – we didn’t see much action in the latter two, but the tread on them certainly provides extra grip in slippery conditions.

The sunshade isn’t huge and doesn’t come right down over the front of our passenger, which was a shame during nap time. But we did like the zip-up pockets on the side for our phone and car keys, and the zip window in the top so we could see what our mini tester was up to without having to stop walking. We found the capacity of the basket moderate – there’s an annoying strap that runs across the top of it, which meant we couldn’t overload it.

The fold on this stroller is unique – doing so vertically, rather than horizontally. This means you have a tall, thin pram to store – perfect for hallway cupboards, we found. It can also be freestanding when folded. The inclusion of a tyre pump was appreciated in this package.

Bumbleride era stroller

Best: Eco-friendly stroller

Rating: 9/10

  • Weight: 12kg
  • Wheels: Four
  • Suitable from: Birth

There’s something about this stroller we found quite pragmatic – although the chassis feels a bit less sleek than some others we tried. But that’s not to say we didn’t like it, because we really did. We absolutely loved that the pram has been made with sustainability in mind. Some 25 per cent of the plastic components are made from ocean plastic, while all the fabrics are 100 per cent recycled PET. And while we’re waxing lyrical about the materials used, we loved the natural cork handle: it felt nice to hold and we could grip it well. Plus, natural cork is supposed to be antimicrobial, sustainable and renewable – three big ticks given the times we live in.

But on to the test ride. We found the large back tyres helped navigate bumps, while the smaller front wheels made light work of tight corners. On rougher terrain, it’s easy to switch a bolt on the front tyres to lock them. The air-filled tyres all have individual suspension which gave a nice smooth ride across pavements and fields too.

This was one of the only all-terrains we tried that had the option for the seat to be world or parent facing. When the seat unit is world facing, you can fold the stroller with the seat unit attached. The seat feels well-padded and it fully reclines. We really liked that the calf support flipped up for extra comfort during naps. The Bumbleride era has some nice touches too – a magnetic peekaboo hood for silently checking your slumbering child, a pocket in the back for valuables and a removable sleeve on the bumper bar, which was handy for throwing in the wash.

Mamas and Papas ocarro pushchair

Best: For style

Score: 7/10

  • Weight: 13.7kg
  • Wheels: Four
  • Suitable from: Birth

A smart looking stroller, the fabric on this number is tweed and cosy, which added to the countryside vibe. However, we did find the same fabric a bit thick and it got in the way when trying to zip up the huge, extendable hood. The fully reclining seat is nicely padded and the calf support folds out, giving our little ones a cosy nook to snooze through our walks – the cheek of it!

Dual suspension gives a smooth ride over bumpy ground. The tyres, however, aren’t air-filled which is good for avoiding punctures, but is less lightweight and doesn’t give quite as smooth a ride. Lockable front wheels are a bonus though. We didn’t feel this pram was quite as nippy as others we tried – it didn’t master tight corners as well as we would’ve liked.

You probably aren’t going to buy this stroller solely as your off-roading option. It feels much too sleek for muddy fields. And it’s just as well because plenty of attention has been paid to the design to ensure it’s easy to use as your main pram. The seat can be rear- and forward-facing, and it comes off easily. You can fold the pram with the seat attached and it’s easy to do too. It’s also got a little handle to help you lug it into the boot or upstairs.

The verdict: All-terrain strollers

The Baby Jogger is hard to beat – it’s great on rough ground, is well made and easy to use. We also thought the Hauck was astoundingly good value for money.

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