Combination strollers can be converted from a first-time stroller to a buggy and can be used from birth up to around four years of age.
The GS mark and the TÜV sticker guarantee that the stroller has been tested and provide parents with guidance on safety issues.
A safe stroller should have a padded 5-point belt, a powerful parking brake and good suspension.
Smaller rubber wheels are completely sufficient on paved roads, while larger pneumatic or air chamber tires are recommended for uneven forest or field paths.
Mobile thanks to a stroller
There are hardly any parents-to-be who do not ask themselves the question of the right stroller. It is high on all initial equipment lists for babies and keeps parents mobile. Because carrying it in a sling, a carrying system or simply on the arm becomes strenuous over the long term, especially as the child’s weight increases, and puts a strain on the back. A stroller is therefore the ideal solution, especially for longer walks and excursions. Most strollers can be folded up compactly for car journeys and easily stowed in the trunk. So he is everywhere and becomes a constant companion of the family.
Sleep aid and storage space
Rocking the stroller calms many babies down and helps them to fall asleep. In addition, the carrycot and the canopy shield the baby well and offer protection from wind, rain and sun. And not only there is space for the offspring in the stroller, but also shopping and all the utensils for baby care, without which parents can hardly go on longer trips, such as replacement diapers, wet wipes, disinfectant gel or drinking bottles.
What types of strollers are there?
The first step in choosing a stroller is choosing the right type. Which model is the right one depends primarily on the age of the child and the terrain on which the stroller is to be used? In the following, we present the most common types of strollers with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
The first stroller: the safe one
The so-called first-time stroller is a couchette stroller with a fixed baby bath. It is designed for the early days and should offer the baby sufficient protection and rest from birth. Typical debut models are equipped with a hood for this purpose. It is also important to have a large , flat bed surface , a stable , robust frame and good suspension so that the baby’s sensitive spine is relieved and protected. In order to enable a smooth ride even on uneven surfaces, most of these strollers are equipped with large, wide pneumatic tires that largely absorb vibrations.
Trendy as a retro stroller
The design of the first strollers is often reminiscent of the classic strollers from the 1970s. This helps these models in competition with the pram. Because “retro strollers” are currently in vogue. These include, for example, strollers with a wicker baby seat or in an extravagant leather look.
The advantage of this type is that it is precisely tailored to the needs of infants. Its disadvantage compared to a multi-functional stroller: it cannot be converted into a sports buggy and can therefore only be used for the first six to eight months until the baby reaches sitting age. Then a follow-up stroller with a child seat and sufficient space is necessary. Manufacturers charge between € 400 and € 800 for most commercial first-time strollers. They are usually ten to twenty kilograms in weight.
- Stable and robust
- Large, flat lying surface
- Tailored exactly to the needs of babies
- Very good suspension
- Can only be used up to the age of sitting
Jogger and sports buggy: the sporty ones
As their name suggests, joggers and sports buggies are aimed at sporty parents who want to take their offspring to a run or long walks. This type of stroller is designed for rough terrain such as field and forest paths and therefore has large wheels. Some models are three-wheeled and therefore particularly agile. At the same time, joggers and sports buggies are very robust . So that the child sitting in it is not shaken too much on sporty rides over hill and dale, parents should ensure good suspension.
If parents want to find out whether the suspension of a stroller is sufficient, a test drive on different surfaces is the best way to help. In this way, the respective model or its suspension can be assessed under real conditions. It is also advisable to put a weight, about two 1.5 liter water bottles, in the car for such test drives in order to test how the model controls itself under load.
As a rule, sports buggies and joggers offer a lot of comfort thanks to a large seat with an adjustable backrest and hood. However, they are seldom designed for lying down. Therefore, they are only suitable from an age at which the child can already sit. This type of stroller is therefore a good successor to the first-time stroller. Depending on the manufacturer and model, the prices for joggers and sports buggies are between 200 and 800 euros. With weights between around 10 and 15 kilograms, they are usually a little lighter than a first-time car.
- Large, comfortable seat
- Suitable for rough terrain
- Partly heavy
- Only suitable from the sitting age
The buggy: the practical one
The buggy is a compact and lightweight version of the sports buggy or jogger. This type of stroller is aimed at toddlers who can already walk or are just learning to walk. If the toddler is tired or tired after a long run, it takes place in the buggy and can be pushed. Most of the time, the backrest can be folded back so that a surface is created and the child can comfortably take a nap. However, buggies are not designed for lying down for long periods of time. The same applies to rough terrain. Here, parents will have little fun with a buggy due to the small wheels. It is more suitable for driving on paved roads and sidewalks .
Modern buggies often weigh between five and ten kilograms and are therefore particularly light. On the other hand, they are less stable and robust than heavier sports buggies.
Good buggies can be folded up and unfolded again very easily, ideally with one movement, and thus easily and space-savingly transported in the car or other means of transport. They are also equipped with swivel wheels, which make the vehicle particularly manoeuvrable. Compared to other types of strollers, buggies are cheaper to buy. Very simple models are affordable for everyone with prices starting at 35 euros.
- Compact and manoeuvrable
- Light weight
- Easy to fold and unfold
- Comparatively cheap
- Only suitable from the sitting age
- Not suitable for rough terrain
The combi stroller: the flexible one
The so-called combi stroller combines classic strollers and sports strollers and thus the advantages of both types in one model. It is available as a 2-in-1 stroller with a baby bath and buggy attachment and as a 3-in-1 version with an additional attachment for the baby seat. This makes the station wagon suitable from the baby’s birth to around the age of four . If the child has grown out of the baby seat and can sit, the parents simply convert the stroller into a buggy and continue to use it. This saves you having to buy a successor model – probably the main reason for the great popularity of the pram.
The combi stroller is the flexible one among the strollers. Parents can also carry the detachable carrycot separately. For example, if the baby fell asleep while walking in the stroller, parents would bring it into the home in the carrycot and leave the stroller in the hallway. When converting to a buggy, the child seat can be used in both directions . Depending on the situation and needs, parents can decide whether the child should look to the pushing parent or to the front while driving.
However, most prams are significantly larger and heavier compared to a buggy or pushchair. Most models weigh 15 to 25 kilograms. This is particularly disadvantageous for parents who often want to transport the car in the car or public transport or have to carry it up and downstairs. The prices for common prams vary depending on the manufacturer and model between 200 and 1,000 euros. Manufacturers often advertise their more expensive models with some additional equipment.
- Can be used from birth to the age of 4
- Combines several types of strollers in one model
- Portable baby bath
- Fixed lying surface
- Protection against wind and weather
- Comparatively big and heavy
The sibling carriage: space for several children
There are special strollers for multiples or siblings with a short age gap. This not only saves parents having to buy several prams, but also preserves a large part of their freedom. Because undertakings with several babies or toddlers are an organizational challenge that can be mastered more easily with a multiple or sibling stroller.
Depending on the model, there is space for two or more children next to or behind each other in the sibling carriage . Multiple strollers in the double-seat version, i.e. with two seats next to each other, offer the advantage that the siblings can communicate well with each other while driving. However, such models are very wide, so that narrow passages, paths and doors quickly become a problem. In addition, they are difficult to stow in the trunk. In contrast, the tandem version of the multi-child carriages, in which the seats are one behind the other, are significantly narrower, but also longer, and the children cannot keep busy with each other.
A sibling stroller with a baby bath and buggy attachment is ideal for siblings with little age difference. In the case of combination models, the baby bath can later be exchanged for a second seat. For older siblings who can already walk safely, a step board for the stroller is an inexpensive alternative. One advantage of the larger trolleys for parents is the more storage space that they bring with them. The prices for simple sibling buggies start at around 150 euros, for high-quality sibling buggies manufacturers also charge up to 1000 euros.
- Several seats / loungers in one model
- A purchase for several children
- Lots of storage space
- Very broad or long
Which stroller is the right one?
The market offers a huge selection of strollers. Well-known manufacturers outbid each other with new models and vie for the buyer’s favor. The best-known manufacturers include ABC-Design, Bergsteiger, Britax, Bugaboo, Cybex, Hartan, Hauck, Joolz, and Roma . Noname manufacturers are trying to gain a foothold in the market with low prices. No wonder when first parents feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed by such an offer. With the listing and explanation of some important purchase criteria, we want consumers to provide a guide to help you find your way around the pram jungle.
It is particularly important that the stroller offers the baby or toddler sufficient safety. This includes good suspension and a padded lying or sitting surface so that the child is not shaken roughly even when pushed over uneven terrain and, in the worst case, injuries. Good suspension is also very important for babies so that their spine, which is still very sensitive, is adequately supported.
Safe stand and powerful parking brake
When buying the stroller, consumers should make sure that the model they choose has a secure, stable stand so that it does not tip over too easily. You can test the stability by shaking the frame and the baby bath or the carrier bag a little. They should also try the parking brake to test its strength. A detected pram may not roll away in the park or on the bus or train.
Seat belt, seal of quality and road safety
So that the child sits safely in the pushchair or buggy and cannot fall out or slip, the stroller should be equipped with a belt system and a sturdy safety bar. A well-padded 5-point belt secures the child adequately without cutting in uncomfortably.
It is also important that the stroller is clearly visible in the dark. For this purpose, some models are equipped with reflectors and light. However, users can buy both in order to retrofit the car with them.
Different belt systems
There are basically two different belt systems for prams and child seats. With the so-called 3-point seat belt, also known as a harness belt, the belt runs over both shoulders and is fastened between the child’s legs. The 5-point belt also secures the child on both sides. This prevents the child from sliding sideways out of the car and increases safety.
Seals of quality such as the GS (“Tested Safety”) and the TÜV seal offer guidance with regard to the safety of strollers. They are awarded by independent institutes, which subject the strollers to thorough tests beforehand. In order to receive the TÜV seal, a stroller must, for example, demonstrate the parking brakes and the strength and stability of its fastening devices and locks. In addition, the TÜV ensures that the stroller that has been awarded with it complies with the EN 1888 standard, the European standard for strollers.
Checklist for a good stroller
- Safe stand
- Strong parking brake
- Padded 5-point belt (in the case of a buggy or pushchair)
- Safety bar (in the case of a buggy or pushchair)
- TÜV or GS seal
- Reflectors and lights
height and weight
Ideally, the stroller is as stable and robust as possible and at the same time light, compact and manoeuvrable. Parents in particular, who often have to carry it up and down stairs, for example because their apartment is higher up in a house without an elevator, should make sure that it is light. Usually models with an aluminum frame weigh little. A low weight is also an advantage for frequent train, bus or car journeys.
If you want to stow the stroller in the trunk of your car, you also have to pay attention to the folding dimensions of the frame. The size when unfolded can also be important if users park the car in a narrow hallway or apartment, for example. Using public transport is also easier with compact strollers. Basically, buggies are more compact than first-time and combination strollers. Large prams are folded out, for example, 66 centimeters wide, 110 centimeters long and 110 centimeters high. An example of a compact pram, on the other hand, is 39 centimeters wide, 65 centimeters long and 85 centimeters high.
The seating or lying surface
Anyone who opts for a multi-purpose stroller has the choice between a fixed carrycot and a soft carrycot when it comes to the carrycot . The carrycot is very stable, optimally supports the baby’s back and is extremely comfortable. It also protects well against the rising cold. However, it is heavy and unwieldy compared to the carrying case. Anyone who intends to take the tub off the frame more often, for example to carry the baby into the apartment, is better advised to use a lighter soft carrycot. It is also practical that soft carrycots can be converted into footmuffs later, when the child has reached the age of sitting and is traveling in the buggy.
Use the baby car seat as a carrycot
With suitable adapters, some combination strollers allow the baby seat, which is used as a car seat in infancy, to be used as a carrycot. However, users should note that this option is only suitable for short distances. For a long time, the hunched posture that the baby adopts in the baby seat damages its still weak spine.
With the seat unit of the buggy, jogger or pram, consumers should ensure that the backrest is adjustable so that the child can also have a healthy sleeping position. In addition, the seat unit should be equipped with stable footrests and a 5-point belt. Ideally, the reclining and seating units of a pram should be exchanged as easily as possible.
The stroller tires play a very important role. Their optimal number, size and type depend on how smooth the surface is on which the parents primarily use the stroller.
Three or four wheels
Classic strollers are stable on four wheels. Sporty joggers, on the other hand, only have one front wheel and are therefore a little more agile. However, they can also tip over more easily.
Strollers with swivel wheels are generally more manoeuvrable. The front wheels can rotate 360 degrees around their own axis and thus allow the pushing person to maneuver around every obstacle without any problems, instead of having to laboriously lift the car for every change of direction. This means that swiveling front wheels are recommended for parents who travel a lot with their prams in the city and, for example, in narrow supermarket aisles.
Swivel wheels on uneven terrain
Anyone who opts for the manoeuvrable swivel wheels and intends to drive the stroller over uneven ground more often should make sure that the front wheels can be locked. Otherwise, the stroller will be difficult to steer on forest and field paths, for example.
The wheel size
The size of the wheels also has an influence on the comfort while driving and the possible uses of the stroller. Smaller bikes are more agile and maneuverable, so they’re great for navigating through the crowds of busy pedestrian zones.
Strollers with large wheels, on the other hand, overcome unevenness and bumpy areas better, which is not only more comfortable for those pushing it, but also for the children. In addition, they do not easily get stuck in snow, sand or piled leaves. However, larger wheels are harder to steer because they weigh more and require a larger turning circle.
In general, the bigger the wheels, the more stable the pushchair’s handling. Anyone who wants to use the stroller on smooth sidewalks as well as on bumpy terrain is well advised with an “all-rounder” that has small front wheels and larger rear wheels.
The material of the tires
According to their material, stroller tires can be divided into the following three categories:
Tires made of solid or hard rubber and are particularly found in buggies. Since there is no air inside, the user does not have to repeatedly inflate it. In addition, due to the resistant material, neither broken glass nor sharp stones or nails pose a great danger to rubber tires, which is why these tires are ideal for the city. However, they don’t spring very well and are therefore not suitable for rough terrain.
Pneumatic tires are filled with air in a similar way to a bicycle. They cushion vibrations very well and thus protect the sensitive spine of the baby, which makes them ideal for first-time strollers. However, their durability is somewhat disadvantageous. They wear out faster and are more susceptible to damage from broken glass, nails and the like, which in the worst case suddenly leaves you with a flat tire.
Avoid flat tires
Check the tires regularly and, if necessary, pump a little more air – but not too much, otherwise the tires lose some of their resilient quality. It is advisable to always have a repair kit with you, consisting of an air pump, repair kit and replacement tube.
Air chamber tires
Air chamber tires are a combination of hard rubber and pneumatic tires. They contain chambers that are filled with foamed plastic. As a result, they offer very good suspension and are at the same time as robust as rubber tires. They are well suited for use in the city, but also in rough terrain. Consumers recognize the tires, among other things, by the fact that they can be pressed in a few millimeters with their fingers and do not have a valve.
The right tires at a glance
The following table clearly summarizes which tires are suitable for which surface:
|Diameter of the rear wheels||Tire material|
|Forest and field paths||At least 25 centimeters||Pneumatic tires, air chamber tires|
|Gravel and cobblestones||At least six inches||Pneumatic tires, air chamber tires|
|asphalt||irrelevant||Hard rubber sufficient|
The right tire size and the right material for different surface conditions.
The direction of travel
For the first-time stroller, the question of the direction of travel does not arise. The pram cover is of course open towards the pushing one, so that the parents always have an eye on the baby. This is different with prams that are used from the sitting age, i.e. the buggy , the jogger and also the pram when using the sports attachment .
With many buggies and joggers, the child looks in the direction of travel. Logical, after all, it should see as much of its surroundings as possible, right? Not necessarily. The view in the direction of travel makes communication with the pushing person difficult . Parents do not have a direct view of their child and cannot see, for example, whether they have nodded off in the stroller or are currently feeling uncomfortable.
Neither does the child see the person pushing. For children, however, facial expression is an important key stimulus for their social development and for the formation of synapses in the brain. In addition, there is a risk of overstimulation if the child is exposed to so many impressions without a filter.
On the other hand, there are of course children who get bored easily when they see only the person pushing the whole stroller ride. They would rather soak up their surroundings and gather new impressions. The solution: a so-called swivel slide . It enables parents to change the direction of travel of the stroller by swiveling the push handle and thus adapt it to the needs of their child at any time. Alternatively, the seat unit of some buggies and prams can be used in both directions.
Height adjustment of the slide
Regardless of whether the stroller is equipped with a swivel handle or not, the height of the handle should be adjustable so that parents can adjust it to their body size and push the buggy comfortably in an upright position. A distinction can be made between two adjustment mechanisms.
The telescopic slide
In the case of strollers with telescopic handles, the height of the push handle can be easily adjusted by pushing it in and pulling it out. Adjusting the slide is usually very easy and also works well with one hand. In addition, a telescopic slide usually offers more room for change than an articulated slide and is therefore well suited for parents with a significant difference in size. When buying, however, you should pay attention to the minimum and maximum slider height.
The kink slide
In the case of an articulated slide, users adjust the height of the slide by changing its articulation angle. To do this, press a button on both sides of the slider at the same time and bend the push bar up or down to reduce or increase the distance to the stroller. Articulated sliders usually offer less leeway than telescopic sliders and are therefore more suitable for parents with little difference in size.
The right slider height
For an upright, back-friendly posture, the push handle of the stroller should be at about navel height of the person pushing it.
Important for tall parents: the maximum height
In particular, tall parents who are more than 190 centimeters long must pay attention to the maximum height of the slide when buying a stroller in order to be able to push the stroller comfortably and gently. For most common strollers, this is 1.10 meters. Such a height is not enough for tall parents. A maximum slide height of 1.20 or 1.25 meters, which can be found on a few models, is better.
The storage space
In many families with babies or toddlers, the stroller is a constant companion and is part of all activities and errands. A good stroller should therefore have enough easily accessible storage space to store shopping and necessary baby utensils in addition to the offspring . For example, many models have a large shopping basket under the baby bath. Others have a shopping net attached to the slide.
Necessary additional equipment
Some prams already have a number of accessories in the scope of delivery, with other models parents may have to buy additional accessories separately. First-time parents in particular wonder what they really need and which accessories are more of a frills.
The list of possible additional equipment is long. Particularly important are the things that serve the safety, health and comfort of the infant or toddler. These include:
- The baby seat as a car seat
- Reflectors for safe journeys in poor visibility and in the dark
- A rain cover for trips in bad weather (ideally PVC-free made of PEVA)
- For strollers with pneumatic tires, an air pump, a repair kit and a spare tube
- A mosquito net to protect against insects
- A back-supporting mattress for less padded carrier bags or baby baths
- A warm footmuff for the cold season
If the seat unit is uncomfortable for the child, additional seat cushions can help. Parents can increase comfort with grip pads if necessary. If you park the stroller in the hallway, in the basement or in the garage, you should also get a good lock to secure it from theft.
Practical additional equipment
A bottle holder on the stroller is not absolutely necessary, but quite practical . So the bottle has a fixed place where it is stable and does not have to be looked for in the diaper bag, for example, where it can run out quickly.
When the offspring begins to perceive their surroundings, it can quickly get boring in the baby bath. Parents can remedy this with a colorful stroller chain or a mobile that they simply attach to the hood. Then the baby has something to marvel at and grasp.
Many manufacturers advertise a diaper bag that fits the stroller.
These can usually be attached very easily to a suitable bracket on the front or back of the stroller. Of course, parents can also carry the most important baby items in any other diaper bag or simply a backpack. So-called stroller hooks can be bought at a low price.
When out for a walk in low temperatures, pushers benefit from a so-called hand muff, also known as a pushchair hand warmer. It is usually attached to the slider with snaps or a Velcro fastener. Many models are lined with wool or fleece and keep your hands warm when you push them. Thanks to such an attached hand muff, parents do not have to constantly take off their gloves and put them on again, for example when they just want to quickly adjust their baby’s hat or blow their own nose.
The category “You can buy it, but you don’t necessarily have to” include a sun sail and a parasol. Of course, it is important to protect the child from strong sunlight. With most strollers, however, the hood is sufficient as a sun protection and parents save themselves the often awkward attachment of a sun sail or umbrella. In addition, it is advisable to put light, light-colored clothing on the baby on sunny days that largely cover the body.
Many questions often arise not only when choosing the right stroller, but also when it comes to daily use. We answer some of the most important in this section.
Where is the best place to park the stroller?
Parents in particular who live in a small space in their apartment are wondering where the best place to park their strollers is. If the house rules allow it and there is enough space, you can park the vehicle in the hallway. Alternatively, the basement rooms may offer space. There it is advisable to protect the stroller from dirt and unpleasant smells with a protective film.
If all else fails, the parents have no choice but to take the stroller into the apartment. In this case, when buying, you should ensure that the folded dimensions are as small as possible in order to stow it away to save space.
Secure the stroller on public transport
Not all distances can always be covered on foot. If you don’t own a car, you have to rely on public transport, even with a stroller. If you take the following information into account, you don’t need to worry about your first bus or train journey with a stroller.
- Get on forwards (with the car first) and get off backwards (pulling the car last).
- If the means of transport is not barrier-free, ask the driver or fellow passengers for help when boarding in order to safely transport the stroller and occupants inside.
- Pay attention to designated areas for strollers.
- Infants in strollers are safest to travel with their feet in the direction of travel, as this prevents them from hitting their heads when braking.
- However, a buggy is more secure against the direction of travel.
- As soon as the stroller is in the right place, apply the parking brake.
- Hold the car while driving to prevent it from tipping over.
How about the tickets?
Babies and children up to and including five years of age generally travel free of charge on public transport without a ticket.
Make the stroller winter-proof
Infants need sufficient light and oxygen even in winter. Therefore, parents shouldn’t let bad weather keep them from going out with their offspring, preferably every day. It is of course important that the baby stays warm and dry even when it is wet and at low temperatures.
On the one hand, it helps to dress the baby warmly in winter, ideally using the onion principle. This means that parents put on their child several layers of clothing that can be easily put on or taken off depending on the temperature. The ears and hands are protected from the cold with a hat and mittens.
A blanket or a padded footmuff in the buggy provide additional warmth . Lambskin is particularly warm and cozy and is therefore suitable for cold winter days.
A suitable rain cover over the hood and blanket or footmuff keeps the stroller and child dry. In addition, parents should make sure that the stroller canopy is set so that it keeps drafts away from the child.
Cleaning and care
With prices up to 1,000 euros, a high-quality stroller is a very expensive purchase. Regular cleaning and care are necessary to keep it in good condition for as long as possible.
The wheels and axles
The tires carry the stroller and are therefore used the most. Regular cleaning is particularly important here to prevent premature wear. In many models, they can be easily removed so that users can simply rinse them in the sink or bathtub with warm water. The best way to remove stubborn dirt is with washing-up liquid and a brush. Fixed tires are easy to clean with a garden hose.
It is advisable to oil the axles regularly to keep the wheels running and to prevent them from squeaking. Users prevent rust with a special silicone spray.
Upholstery and covers
The stroller covers should be cleaned thoroughly at least once a month. On the one hand, they get dirty easily and, on the other hand, germs and bacteria can collect there. In many models, most of the upholstery and covers are removable and suitable for machine washing at 30 degrees Celsius. Users can find possible restrictions in the instructions for use or on the labels on the covers.
For washing, users should use a mild detergent, as the textiles come into contact with baby’s sensitive skin. Fixed upholstery is best cleaned by users with a sponge , lukewarm water and a mild detergent or vinegar solution . Soak stubborn stains a little with the washing-up liquid beforehand. Parents should avoid chemical cleaners.
The stroller frame
The frame of the stroller is comparatively easy to clean. It is usually sufficient to simply wipe the frame with a damp cloth. However, users should make sure that no rust forms on it. It is best to treat existing traces of rust with lemon juice.