Pram wars

The search for a pram has occupied far more of my time than I care to admit in the last few weeks. So far, I’ve taken no less than three trips to mothercare and two to mamas and papas, spent three hours last Sunday making a spreadsheet comparing size, price and weight of about 20 different options, and most of my time outside perving at other parents’ pushchairs in case theres something I’ve not considered.

The choice is absolutely baffling and even the cheaper end of the market aren’t coming in at much under £300 (which leads to more problems- why are they so cheap? Will all the wheels fall off on the first outing?), which means that I’m pretty terrified that we’ll make the wrong choice, but be stuck with a lot of crap that we can’t afford to replace

Happily price isn’t actually too much of an issue at the moment, thanks to some generous input from my mum and the in laws, but then I worry that the expensive ones are going to be just as crap as the cheap ones but the annoyance of a picking a crap but expensive one will be magnified!

I realised that the spreadsheet wasn’t really helping and took my mum, sister, nephew and niece off shopping for a bit of real-life experience road testing what I thought were the top choices so far. Lauren is a bit of an expert in getting prams up and down, so she dealt with the reversing of seats, fitting of carry cots and flapping of flaps, while I tried to wrestle Lyla (18 months) in to various options for a push around to assess handling, while she screamed and cried. Eventually we gave up and persuaded Fin to have a go. At 3 and a half, he was clearly too big but i think he quite got into his role as chief tester in the end.

We tried out…

Mamas and Papas Sola City- it looked really cool, went up and down really easily, but was an absolute sod to push round corners

Mamas and Papas Sola2- Handled much better than the city (admittedly with nobody actually in it, although my mum held Lylas hand while pushing it one-handed and said it was easier than doing the same with Lauren’s Bugaboo Cameleon), but looked a bit plasticky and unfinshed in spite of it being the more expensive option than the City

Icandy Peach- this had actually been our ‘oh my goodness its expensive but I like it’ choice and indeed it did handle very well (with screaming Lyla in the driving seat) but i wasn’t sure if it wasn’t a bit small, although i didn’t really get a good look because Lyla was so desperate to make a quick exit from it). May need to steal another baby as a tester.

Mothercare Orb- we put Fin in this one, and while, yes, he was a bit on the big side, he still fitted and actually, it went around the shop really quite easily, in spite of the extra weight, including with the one- hander test! The one thing I thought was that it was a bit wibbly wobbly when stood still- the Orb has this rotating seat thing that just seemed to be a bit shakey, although as it wasnt mentioned at all in any of the reviews I read, i wonder if it was just a particularly well-used demo model. One thing the reviews did say though is that the carry cot was a bit slim. It did look pretty cool though- I was a bit of a fan of the teal colour.

So basically, I’m still no closer to making a decision! We’re going to meet our friends later for the Invictus Games closing ceremony (Foo Fighters, whoop!) and I can guess what we’ll be doing on our way through Westfield shopping centre!

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