Holidays this year still might not be quite what we had planned. The likelihood is that our family breaks will include a fair bit of exploring the countryside home and away.
Some pushchairs and strollers really struggle on mixed terrain and off-road surfaces. Wheels are often not capable of coping with irregular textures, and bumps can lead to jolting little ones around. Without the right level of shock absorption not only does this mean that it’s uncomfortable for the child and difficult for the parent or carer, but can also lead to damage to the pushchair too.
It’s therefore important to find the right pram for countryside walks.
All-terrain pushchairs are designed to handle off-road adventures and lots of them. They are built to regularly encounter bumpy terrain rather than the occasional trip and promise a smooth and comfortable ride as possible.
This category of robust pushchairs can tackle rough, rugged and uneven ground, which is ideal for rural areas.
A pram designed for a little more off-piste travel may come in both 3 and 4 wheelers and will have features to ensure the safety and comfort of babies at every stage of their development. It will include extra padding, a slightly heavier frame, greater suspension, and larger puncture-proof wheels.
What to look for when choosing a pram for countryside walks
Wheels – For bumpier surfaces, a larger wheel with a grip will give a smoother ride. Unlike regular pushchairs, all-terrain prams will have larger wheels both front and back, to provide the easiest, lighter push across any ground. In general, a 3-wheeler will be easier to manoeuvre with a single front steer, but the new 4 wheel all-terrain prams are now just as effective.
Suspension – Pushchairs designed for off-roading have more heavy-duty suspension and shock absorbers built-in to take the impact from the bumps. This means that the child won’t be jiggled around quite so much, the parent or carer won’t feel the vibrations on the handlebar and the pushchair will last longer against impact.
Tyres – Many regular pushchairs have solid wheels, whereas air-filled tyres give a smoother ride over bumps. Prams designed for running will always have air-filled tyres for this very reason. They do of course puncture and will need to be repaired so do require some extra preparation and after care. There are now many good foam filled wheels that offer a good all-terrain puncture-proof option.
Weight – Pushchairs built for all-terrain do need to be more sturdy. This means that they are also heavier, which is a consideration if it is used as the main pram. It will naturally weigh more when being used for travel, carried up stairs or packed into a boot.
Fabrics and accessories – Prams being used for countryside walks will need to handle the elements. Accessories and fabrics from all-terrain pushchairs are often designed to be water and mud resistant, and should ideally be dark, removable and machine washable.
Do the research
When choosing a pushchair, pram or stroller for more adventurous trips, it is important to do the right research.
Product reviews, comparisons, awards social media group chats, and testimonials can provide valuable insight into the pros and cons of different models from real customers.
Pop into your local retailer and ask for a test drive – you can’t beat the hands-on experience when it comes to choosing your pram.
By asking the right questions, the market for off-roading pushchairs will become a much clearer picture.
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