The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

16 best prams, buggies and pushchairs to get your tot from A to B

Keep both you and your mini passenger happy with a super practical set of wheels

Zoe Phillimore
Friday 06 August 2021 19:09
<p>Our tester walked and ran across different terrains in rain, wind and shine to select their favourites</p>

Our tester walked and ran across different terrains in rain, wind and shine to select their favourites

Are you looking for a pram, a stroller or a travel system? Or do you not have a clue what the difference is? Never fear, either way we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.

The initial outlay for a pram can sting a bit – they’re a fairly essential bit of baby kit, but the price tags can be a bit winding. So it makes sense to really think about various factors when selecting a pram.

If you’re planning to have more than one child, future proofing your pram just makes good financial sense. If you have two children close together, or are having twins, you can find prams that convert from one seat to two. Or if you have a child who will walk sometimes, look for a pram with an on-board buggy board that they can ride on when their little legs get tired.

Another factor is where you’ll be using your pram. If you’re in a rural area where you head off the beaten track, bigger tyres and decent suspension is what you’re after. If you live in an urban area where you’re on and off public transport and negotiating tight corners, smaller swivel wheels that are nippy at manoeuvring and a more compact pram will be a life saver.

You should also consider the fold – some prams need seat units removing before folding, others simply glide shut with a push of a button. If you’re going to need to fold your pram often – to put in the boot of a car, say – then go for the latter.

Read more:

And as for the lingo, a travel system is normally a kit with a bassinet for newborns and a seat unit for when they get older, plus, they can take an infant car seat (normally with adaptors). A pushchair or stroller tends to be something more lightweight – but they don’t always lie flat, so sometimes they’re not suitable from birth.

We’ve tested more than 20 prams to whittle it down to the very best. We recruited babies and children of all different ages to ride in them. We’ve walked and ran for miles over all different terrains, from country paths to city streets in the rain, wind and sunshine, to find the standout prams. We looked at how easy they are to use – both pushing and folding – how comfortable they seem, and any nice little extras that made us think, “Oooh, clever”.

The best prams for 2021 are:

iCandy lime travel system

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

There are many great features we were impressed with on the iCandy lime. There’s the “totalfold” function, which essentially means the pram folds compactly with the seat unit still attached. Then, once folded, there’s a carry strap to help you lug it about. It’s a long way from being the most compact pram we tried, but on the other hand it’s a much more robust pram than some others. It’s also a great option if you have an older child and a baby, as this travel system comes with a built-in buggy board.

The lime comes with a fleece-lined bassinet included, which sounds absolutely dreamy – who wouldn’t want to sleep in a fleecey nest? Plus, it’s suitable for overnight sleeping, which is great if you don’t have a travel cot or moses basket. There are attachments both for car seats and to raise the seat up further, so it’s about the right height for your child to reach a dining table – great for not having to faff about with high chairs at restaurants. And as for the drive, the push is easy and the chair nips along nicely. This is a great option for city dwellers who want a bit more luxury from their ride.

Babystyle oyster3 stroller

Best: For city and town living

Rating: 8/10

While this pram has a moderate footprint – it’s not up there with a big iCandy, but nor is it a nippy libelle (£199.95, – it also has several clever functions that make it a really smart choice if you’re short on space. It folds with the seat unit in place, whether it’s world or parent facing, and has a really smooth folding mechanism. We don’t have time to stand about coaxing prams to fold, and this would be a brilliant bonus for people who need to take their pram on public transport often. Once it’s folded, it has a sturdy carry handle, and it is freestanding.

The Oyster3 is also surprisingly lightweight compared to some of its competitors, so it would be one of the easiest out of the more comprehensive prams to lug up stairs if need be. The wheels are large and foam filled, which gives a smooth ride, but we didn’t find it quite as smooth to push, or as quick to speed away as other prams.

The five-point harness clips are magnetic, which helps when securing our little one in place. However, the separate clips are a bit like pieces of a puzzle, and we’re not often in the mood for puzzles when our toddler is planking while being put into their pram. There is a moderate size extendable sun canopy with UV protection, and while the seat unit is lying flat you can also buy a bassinet for it – we’ve found “bundles” of the stroller and bassinet for really great prices.

Nuna MIXX next

Best: Easy fold travel system

Rating: 8/10

More papped than Britney, this stroller is a celebrity favourite, including the Kardashians and Jessica Biel. And it seems like those celebs know a good pram when they see one. The MIXX next is suitable from birth as it smoothly reclines completely flat, or you can buy a bassinet that attaches to the pram, which is sold separately (£150, It’s also possible to have the seat parent or world facing.

This pram feels really premium – the fabrics are hardwearing and luxurious on the hood and seat, and the handlebar and arm bar are made of a lovely brown leatherette material that is very tactile and nice and easy to grip. We were wowed by the sizable under-seat storage basket, which has a zip-up compartment too, so VIP passengers – Rusty the cuddly toy fox, for example – don’t get dropped. There’s also a little phone pocket in the back of the seat that’s pure genius.

There is a summer seat, which has a mesh back to help keep passengers cool, and in colder weather you can add a seat pad (which is included) that feels really cosy. Our tall parent testers loved this pram as the handle baseline is quite high up (which might not be great for petite parents), and extends further upwards too. And let’s talk about the fold – the seat unit stays attached to the chassis, and you simply pull up two latches on the handle and it collapses without any pushing or shoving. Definitely an easy one-hand fold here. It folds small enough to fit into a compact car boot, but the wheels are quite chunky so it’s not one that you can slip under your arm and jump on a bus.

Stokke xplory X stroller

Best: Premium stroller

Rating: 8/10

“It doesn’t look like a pram, are you sure it’s a pram?” asked our family when this turned up. It’s definitely a pram – a pram like no other. The xplory X has an iconic Stokke look to it, and the clever design that goes along with their products. The seat unit was the snuggest seat of all we tested, and our little one looked so cosy in their nest. Your child can be parent or world facing, and the seat has a cute little foot rest that slips on the bottom

However, the seat unit is only suitable from six months, and the bassinet is sold separately (£179, – the price combined brought us out in a cold sweat, if we’re honest. That said, it does glide nicely with the flexibility of locking the front wheel if you are covering rough terrain.

The basket underneath totally closes, meaning none of your shopping gets wet, although it’s not generous in size. For those precious naps while out and about, the seat unit reclines well, and allows an almost horizontal angle. And if you buy into the Stokke range, the Stokke car seat clips onto the chassis without the need for adaptors – why can’t all prams do this? We felt pretty trendy pushing this pram down the street, and it’s definitely a front runner for parents who are style conscious.

Silver Cross clic

Best: Compact pushchair

Rating: 8/10

This jazzy little number has an eye-catching metallic pattern in the sun canopy, and comes in lilac, aqua or the standard black. The seat unit is quilted in a geometric pattern to match, and looks really comfortable. The shoulder straps also have pads for extra luxury travel.

The clic claims to be a one-hand recline, which is true, but you have to fiddle with a clasp to get it back upright again. However, the clic lies completely flat, so newborns and pram nappers will be just fine in it. The storage has quite high sides, so it’s not the easiest to lob your shopping into when in a rush at the self checkout. The push on it is great though, it glides smoothly and doesn’t feel cumbersome, taking on all the speedy corners we threw at it.

Micralite getgo travel system

Best: Budget buy

Rating: 8/10

Marketed as a highly practical pushchair, we can’t say we can argue with that. We were impressed by this pushchair because it had so many of the nice touches of more expensive, bigger prams, yet it had most of the benefits of a smaller stroller too. We liked the smart black colourway with tan leatherette trim on the handle and bar, and the cream fabric insert. The hood is extendable, has UPF50 and also has a pull-out mesh sunshade that tucks away into the top, which gives more coverage than any other hood we tried. There is also a nice roomy basket, with some pockets to store smaller items.

And best of all? A cup holder and a zippy pocket in the back of the seat that’s smartphone sized. Yes, the designers of this pram clearly knew what parents of small children need. It folds really easily with the seat unit attached, which lies totally flat so it’s suitable from birth (you can buy a bassinet that fits onto the chassis if you want). We thought this was a fantastic pushchair, which ticked pretty much all of our boxes.

iCandy orange pram

Best: For growing families

Rating: 8/10

We couldn’t find a better pram for a growing family than the iCandy orange. It has the footprint of a single pram, but can convert to twin or double mode, and it has an integrated buggy board too. It’s worth noting though that you wouldn’t be able to use the buggy board if in twin or double mode, unless your child was a contortionist.

As a single pram, it does have quite a big footprint, but for that it’s very stable and gives a smooth ride. And the basket is epic. It folds down well though, and you can fold it with the seat unit and bumper bar attached. The seat unit is quilted and feels really luxurious. And once our little darling is rocked to sleep thanks to the decent suspension, the seat reclines really smoothly using a handle at the top of the seat.

Mamas and Papas airo pushchair

Best: For easy carrying

Rating: 7/10

Suitable from birth, this compact pushchair lies totally flat and is a comfortable ride too. The recline on it is super smooth, so no jerky manoeuvres to wake up our sleeping beauty. It’s also possible to buy a newborn pack (sold separately), which includes a bassinet (£149,

The one-hand fold has several stages to it, so it wasn’t the simplest – not ideal when you have a tantruming toddler stood next to you. But it does have a useful padded carry handle. You can also wear it like a backpack, but we weren’t convinced by this feature as you have quite a large pram for a tail – perhaps useful if you need to be hands free at an airport or something, but not a feature we’d like to use often. The fold is compact, and it fits neatly into our compact-car boot with loads of room for other toddler paraphernalia. The extendable hood is great and the storage basket is a decent enough size to fit your shopping underneath.

Bababing raffi travel system

Best: Value for money

Rating: 8/10

The Raffi is a great little travel system. The seat unit is well padded – even on the sides – and it reclines back into a horizontal position easily. You can also have the seat unit either parent or world facing. We liked that the bassinet – is nice and robust, with its own sunshade that locks into position – is included in the price on this travel system.

When thinking about fitting this in the car boot, we’ve got to be honest, the chassis isn’t the most petite. But the seat unit can stay attached to the chassis when you fold it, which is music to our ears. However, it is heavy, so it might not be one for lugging about too much. The basket space is ample, and the sides come up nice and high to stop anything getting turfed out on the road. We were really impressed with this little (ok, big) number and think it is great value for money.

Ergobaby metro+ stroller

Best: Compact for newborns

Rating: 8/10

If you’re looking for something very lightweight without the hassle of a bassinet then this is a great option. The stroller has a hidden, built in newborn nest and flaps that you fold out from the foot rest, which folds all the way up at the bottom. We thought this was a brilliant feature for such a compact pram. The seat unit is nicely padded and feels quite bouncy, and the straps are padded too. The seat uses a strap and clasp recline, which isn’t our favourite as it’s a bit more fiddly. But when reclined, the back of the seat is mesh which helps prevent our snoozer from overheating.

All mechanisms on the pram were great – it’s easy to fold with one hand, and folds compactly. It doesn’t take up much room in the boot so it’s great for even very small cars. And the pram really moves nicely – a gentle push and we’re away, nipping around pedestrians with ease. The spring suspension provides a smooth ride for our passengers too. You can also buy a carry bag for it, which is great if you’re putting it in an aeroplane hold or lugging it some distance.

Cybex libelle pushchair

Best: For smallest fold

Rating: 7/10

When this pram arrived we were slightly disbelieving that a pram could fit in such a small box – but fit it did. This pushchair is a brilliant option if you’re after a lightweight, very compact pram for around town and going away. Indeed, it can fit in overhead compartments on planes, and under train seats. For all this zippy, compact fun, this pram isn’t the plushest of rides. Although the fabric feels nice and durable, the seat isn’t super padded and the straps are fairly basic. Our tester looked happy enough in there, but we’re not convinced it’s as comfy as some other (larger, heavier) prams.

The hood isn’t extravagantly large, but fares ok on the coverage front. Pushing the pram is easy, and it zoomed around the shops and over curbs. Because the seat doesn’t lie flat, it’s not suitable for newborns, but it does have a nice recline on it, which is very adjustable as it’s a cord you pull at the back. For such a tiny pram, the basket underneath is also a good size.

Egg 2 stroller

Best: For style

Rating: 8/10

Sleek and stylish, this pram has definitely been designed for style – but yet, it isn’t just style and no substance. The sleek grey chassis can accommodate a seat unit or a bassinet, and it feels really smooth to operate. The recline function when in seat mode is operated from the top, which means you don’t have to stop and fiddle around at the sides when you’re in a rush. And the recline is smooth – it didn’t wake our slumbering baby.

Speaking of the seat unit, it’s plush and padded. In fact, we were quite jealous of how comfortable our mini tester looked in it. And it looks good too – all smooth curves and glossy metal. Another thing we liked was the foot break, which was nicely sensitive and springy – much smoother than others we battled with.

It’s a big thumbs up for the basket underneath, which is really nice and roomy. It has a good space between it and the seat or bassinet above, meaning we didn’t have to get on our hands and knees to load and unload items. Another smart thing we thought was clever was the elasticated insect net, which is stored under the footrest. And, if you have twins or children close in age, the egg2 can be adapted to a tandem configuration – but you have to buy the tandem adaptor set, which is sold separately (£50, It’s available for pre-ordering now.

Cybex zeno multisport stroller frame

Best: For innovation

Rating: 8/10

We were blown away by the innovation of this pram. It is a 4-in-1 multi sport pram that allows you to run with it pushing in front of you, or you can remove the front wheel (which is easy peasy) and then attach it either to a bike or yourself, if you want to run hands free. Lastly, you can attach skis instead of wheels to the back and ski with it, if the climate cooperates and gives you snow. This is a serious bit of kit, with large thin tires that really let it pick up some speed.

The pod that your passenger sits in is cosy, with lots of mesh to make it airy, and the seat pad is nice and soft. There’s a little window in the roof, so you can see what’s happening down below if you’re pushing from behind. There is also a separate rain cover, so you can’t make the excuse of the weather stopping you going for a run or bike ride.

There is no denying that this is quite a specific product – it wouldn’t be great for general use as the front wheel is fixed; ideal for running long distances, not so great for manoeuvering around the aisles of Sainbury’s. You can fold it with the seat unit attached, but to get it in the car boot we had to remove the tires (easy to do with no need for a tool).

Still, we cannot rave enough about this pram, especially if you’re sporty and want something that will work flexibly for you. Just bare in mind though that the frame (£499.95,, seat pack (£239.95, and running harness (£169.95, are all sold separately.

Out n About nipper double

Best: Double pram

Rating: 8/10

This three-wheeler pushchair is great if you’re pushing more than two kids around. It’s brilliant at handling off-road obstacles, pavement bumps and curbs – we didn’t even have to pull it onto its back wheels to get it up the curb. And the suspension is great – our passengers didn’t blink an eye at potholes or bumpy tracks. We loved the generous sun canopy with lift-up flap, and that there are lots of built-in pockets in the hood.

The nipper isn’t the most plush of prams though, and the fabrics feel made for durability rather than comfort. We found the recline function a bit tricky to master as it’s a case of pulling a strap through a clasp. And crucially there’s no under seat basket, which seems madness for parents with two or more kids. We also found the foot brake a bit sticky. However, despite this we were overall really impressed with this double, and that’s why it’s got the top billing. It’s narrow enough to fit through pretty much all doors and you can fold it with the seat units attached. Plus once it’s folded it’s actually pretty compact, so would probably fit in most car boots.

Chicco cheerio stroller

Best: For easy folding

Rating: 7/10

Definitely the easiest to fold pram of the many, many prams we tried over the course of our testing. Simply press two buttons in the handle and the cheerio folds itself down to a very compact size – brilliant if you’re holding a baby in one arm. You can then pick it up and carry it using the padded bumper bar – and away we went to get on with our day. We found it lightweight enough to sling into our boot and it’d be easy to get it into overhead lockers on aeroplanes (as long as no one else is hogging all the space).

Let’s talk about the ride. The seat has adequate padding, and the straps are padded too. The glide on it is great, and it has a really small turning circle. The footprint on the pram isn’t huge, so it feels a little less robust than an all-out big travel system, but if you’re buying this you probably aren’t looking for the Land Rover of the pram world, let’s be honest. Nice little additions were the included rain cover and carry bag, which make this pram a really smart buy in the compact market.

Thule urban glide 2 running buggy

Best: Running pram

Rating: 9/10

Almost good to go out of the box, this pram is ready for a life on the road. It seriously moves – one gentle push and it’s off, and it’s really easy to push one handed even over rough terrain. We loved that you have the option of locking the front wheel for running, or unlocking it when negotiating the streets and shops – it offers the best of both worlds.

Another great touch is the secret pocket behind the hood for phones, keys and masks (but you do need slim fingers to retrieve anything in there). The under-seat basket is waterproof and zips up so you can keep things clean and dry if you’re off for a muddy run across the fields. There’s also a generous sun canopy, which has a magnetic window so you can silently check on your baby as they snooze. There is also a hand brake, making it easy to slow when running.

One thing that was tricky is that the pram is large – it didn’t fit in our compact-car boot without taking the wheels off. This was a muddy job after some runs, so definitely worth factoring in. Even so, we fell hard for this pram, both as a running buggy and for general use. The price is quite punchy compared to some other running prams but we think the difference in quality of the fabric, build and mechanisms is noticeable on the Thule.

The verdict: Prams

The iCandy lime was a standout playing on testing. We loved how robust yet manoeuvrable it is, and it’s packed with design features that really make a difference to parents’ lives. If you’re after something smaller in size and budget, we really loved the Silver Cross clic.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on baby tech and other kids’ essentials, try the links below:

Keep your little one wrapped up warm on your next stroll with our best pram suits

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in