What Is The Best Buggy To Take On Public Transport?

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 21 months ago
What Is The Best Buggy To Take On Public Transport?

Taking a buggy on a packed commuter tube, bus or train is one of the most stressful things of being a parent in London.

This one is obviously the choice for any future transport nerds. It doesn't make the shortlist though. Photo by Annie Mole from the Londonist Flickr pool.

Too big, and the unwieldy method of transporting your child (plus all the associated accoutrements) makes getting about a mission worthy of the A-Team — not to mention invoking the ire of your fellow passengers.

Too small, and it just won't handle the rough and tumble of the capital.

Now TfL wants to find out which buggy families think is the best, and is running a vote to settle the matter once and for all.

It's recruited a panel made up of leading parenting groups and organisations including Netmums, Mumderground and 4Children, to pull together a shortlist of the 10 buggies they considered best for use on public transport.

They looked at criteria such as: size; foldability; weight: comfort and manoeuvrability; and affordability and style.

The five most popular buggies will be celebrated as 'public transport friendly' and will be highlighted on the TfL website and across social media so that parents and other buggy users know which are the easiest to use.

Here's the shortlist. You can make your feelings known by voting on the TfL website. The poll runs for 28 days from 31 May.

BabyZen – YoYo+

Unfolded dimensions: 106cm x 86cm  x 44cm

Weight: 6.2kg

Price: £339

YOYO+ is a small and lightweight pushchair. It can be folded and unfolded using one hand, making it great for public transport. It is light and easy to manoeuvre with its improved suspension and 'smooth-drive' system. YOYO+ has a shoulder strap, large basket, sunshade, rain cover and protective carry bag.

Bugaboo - Bee3

Unfolded dimensions: 85cm x 53cm x 32cm

Weight: 8.7kg

Price: £539

Bugaboo Bee 3 is a lightweight and compact pushchair. The innovative 3D compact fold makes it easy to collapse, carry, and store. It also has a unique seat that can extend, reverse and recline.

It features a carrycot with an extendable sun canopy, and large under seat basket.

CuddleCo – Doona

Unfolded dimensions: 44cm x 82cm x 99cm

Weight: 7kg

Price: £249

The Doona is the world's only all-in-one car seat and stroller, with its integrated wheels allowing you flexibility and manoeuvrability on public transport. With Doona you can fold up the wheels to carry it up or down steps.

Ickle Bubba – Aurora

Unfolded dimensions: 40cm x 21cm x 64cm

Weight: 5.5kg

Price: £115

The Aurora has been "designed to meet the demands of families with urban lifestyles". Its swift one-handed folding action and compact fold allows parents to stow the stroller without fuss.

Micralite – Supalite

Weight: 6.2kgUnfolded dimensions: 61cm x 104cm x 74cm

Price: £220

A compact and ergonomic stroller, this is easily manoeuvred using only one hand plus it has a single-handed fold. The chunky rear wheels with pneumatic tyres can cope with the muddiest of paths, while swivelling front wheels get around the busiest city streets.

Mothercare — XSS Pockit Stroller

Unfolded dimensions: 75cm x 44.5cm x 99cm

Weight: 3.9kg

Price: £129

Suitable from six months, with stylish leopard print fabric, this is Mothercare's most compact stroller. It's been designed to fold to an ultra compact size, and has swivel front wheels for easy manoeuvrability which lock to help with bumpier ground. It has a sun canopy and basket. It also comes with a carry bag to make it easy to transport when not in use.

Mountain Buggy – Nano

Unfolded dimensions: 83.8cm x 55.9cm x 99.1cm

Weight: 6kg

Price: £249

Suitable from birth to 20kg, this buggy is compact and lightweight, and has a one-handed folding mechanism. It has rear wheel suspension for your baby's comfort and a front lockable swivel wheels for manoeuvrability.

Quinny – Yezz

Unfolded dimensions: 76.5cm x 58cm x 105.5cm

Weight: 5.6kg

Price: £175

Description: Suitable from six months to 15kg this lightweight, manoeuvrable buggy comes with a shoulder strap, making it easy to carry. It also folds to a compact size. The hammock style seat is made of water repellent rip-stop fabric and has a storage pocket to store essentials while out and about. The sun canopy also protects your little one on a sunny day.

Silver Cross – Zest

Unfolded dimensions: 77cm x 46cm x 106cm

Weight: 5.8kg

Price: £130

Description: An ultra-light stroller that's sturdy and reliable, the Zest is designed to fold quickly and easily with one hand, so parents can hold their child at the same time. When folded it's small and easy to store and it comes with a carry strap so it can be carried when not in use. The Zest can be used from birth up to 25kg and comes with a 'lie‐flat' seat recline, padded seat, calf support and safety harness.

UPPAbaby – Cruz

Unfolded dimensions: 56.5cm x 100cm x 94cm

Weight: 9.8kg

Price: £449.99

Description: Light, narrow and compact, the CRUZ is streamlined to manoeuvre around shops, tube stations and buses. It has a large basket so you can load up with your changing bag, toys, shopping and whatever else you need for the day ahead, and its shock-absorbing tyres help make for a smoother ride.

Last Updated 31 May 2016

avlowe

Looking at the Doona (CuddleCo) it gets my vote with a few comments and caveats.
i) It can also work as a protected papoose, and as an engineer with a lot of experience in car-free travel with kids & luggage I'd be happy to work with them on this.
ii) It can work for use on express coaches, using the seatbelts (required by law on all coaches) - perhaps a prompt here for National Express and Stagecoach (including Megabus and CityLink) to have a protocol for allowing a baby crib to occupy a seat for an appropriate fee.
iii) Key benefits of the rearward facing and shielded position are ; the baby can always see the person pushing the 'pram' ; the baby is not being shoved at the frightening view of adult knee car exhausts and 'weather' from the exposed position facing forwards ; walking to the local shops, the baby can 'join in' conversation with friends and others that you meet, learning about adult social interaction. The only downside of this design is that the baby is possibly sitting to low down to really 'join in'.

I'd also highlight that many people keep their kids in a buggy far too long, and in doing so store up problems for later in life. At 12 months the twins were walking and by 18 months were pushing the pram more than riding in it, and at 2 years they had scooter (balance) bikes, preparing them for an easy transfer to cycling. Kids with scooter(balance) bikes will manage adult walking trips with a lot less effort, and a lot more fun - unlike bikes with stabilisers they are less easy to overturn, and cannot be pedalled away, only for the child to discover (too late) that they have not learned how to steer or stop.

With twins the issue is of course 2 separate buggies or double unit and ours was, at 80cm wide, right on the minimum limit for wheelchair access (and a standard domestic single doorway). It therefore provided a useful 'test' for wheelchair accessible lifts and shops, and of course we were certain that we could roll on to all low floor buses, with the pram always (just) passing through the throat between the wheel arches (unless of course the bus is a Solo or Streetlite without that intrusion)