Britain’s economy has had a happy boost from a 13% increase in pushchair spending. According to a recent report by analyst Mintel, we’re now splurging £225m a year on them. But are posh prams worth the money?
Here’s a story that sums up my view of expensive pushchairs. I once overheard two mothers sniggering about a third who’d just spent £700 on a top-of-the-range buggy. It was so bulky with all its mod cons that it didn’t fit in her car boot – she had to scrap the idea and start all over again.
Go to any playground and you’ll see a line of Bugaboo pushchairs. And if you want to join them, don’t expect much change from £500, even for the cheaper models. In fact, the latest two-seater Bugaboo (the Donkey), which launches next month, costs an incredible £1099.
Fashion over practicality?
There’s no doubt that pricey pushchairs are a fashion statement. You can get them with lights, a stroll-o-meter or even an iPod docking station. But, leaving aside the obvious truth that there are some great cheap pushchairs that forgo all this stuff, if you want one that shouts ‘This is my first baby’ there are some posh pushchairs that actually did well in our lab.
However, some expensive pushchairs didn’t do so well – one that came with lots of bells and whistles and cost around £600 turned out to be pretty bad at turning tight corners.
For me, the key thing is that you need a pushchair that’s not only good, but also fits with your lifestyle. Some are particularly good on buses, but some, of course, may not fit in your boot.
I was hit by pushchair envy when I first set eyes on a Phil and Ted’s one-child-in-front, one-tucked-under-behind model. I bought one and then tried to use it on the bus… if only I’d waited until the our results had been published, I would have known better.
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