When it comes to pushchairs, size matters. First-time pushchair buyers could be forgiven for assuming that they are all pretty much the same but nothing could be further from the truth and great care needs to be taken to ensure that the new pushchair is a perfect fit for the proposed occupant, or occupants, the pushers and not forgetting the car boot. It seems that cars are getting bigger and bigger and, if this trend continues, in just a few years time we will all be driving around in cars that look like something between a minibus and a monster-truck. It could arguably be said that some drivers have already made this transition! Strangely, luggage space seldom seems to be given the high priority that it once had and cars with cavernous boot space are now the exception rather than the rule. Any potential pushchair buyer should therefore carefully check the dimensions of their luggage compartment before deciding on any particular make or model. This is even more important for those with small cars which often have very little room for a pushchair, or anything else for that matter.
Many people may assume that the “umbrella-fold” buggies are the best choice as they are undeniably compact and easy to fold and unfold but some of these can be quite long when folded so it is necessary to check that they will fit across the boot. It may be a temptation to simply fold down a split rear seat in order to fit such a pushchair into the car but this poses serious safety concerns and is definitely not recommended. The Mamas & Papas Pliko products can form part of a complete travel system and are quite compact when in pushchair mode but could be slightly too long for some of the smallest boot spaces.
Maclaren is another highly respected brand famous for its compact buggies but again it is worth checking the folded length. The same can be said for the Silvercross 3d travel system which can provide for safe travel arrangements from birth onwards by selecting the appropriate components. The BéBé Confort Loola 3 and Bruin Presto from Toys’R’Us are both excellent compact pushchairs which fold and unfold in a flash and should present no storage problems.
Fans of the Silvercross brand finding the 3d pushchair just a little too long could consider the Halo model which simply folds in half rather than employing an umbrella fold mechanism and has an accordingly shorter folded length. Many people find the Baby Jogger City Mini to be the ultimate in convenience and it certainly folds easily to a very compact size.
If boot space is very limited, it is possible to quickly and easily remove the front wheel making it even shorter and with the use of the correct adapter, it can be used with a Maxicosi car seat turning it into a travel system. The Petite Star Zia was another compact model following the three wheel format but is no longer made. Some good second-hand bargains are still to be found and worth considering. The Quinny Zapp Flex is another three wheeler but offers a range of accessories, such as a carry cot, making it suitable for use from birth but remaining very compact and easily maneuverable. The Bugaboo Bee 5 is another compact pushchair built with the urban lifestyle in mind. This model retains the traditional four wheel layout and comes with a wide range of options and accessories.
There are many other pushchairs suitable for those with limited car boot space but in all cases it is preferable to be able to use the pushchair in its most basic stripped-down form. There are buggy reviews for most models on the market. Many useful accessories can be added but where these are permanent fixtures, the whole outfit can become rather cumbersome and difficult to manage. The complete “travel system” solution has many merits and usually includes the capability to operate as a simple compact pushchair. Safety is of course the first priority but the next is ensuring the correct three-way fit … child, parent and car!