Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Top Gear Guide To Prams

The paint job, the trim, the seat fabric, the alloys... Choosing a pram is a minefield.  How can something designed simply to transport a 5kg baby from A to B, wind up costing considerably more than my first car?

With that in mind, here's a handy cut out and keep guide to prams, and their car equivalents.

First up - 

The Silver Cross Balmoral:

This is the veritable Rolls Royce of the pram world.  

Just as the Roller is driven mainly by the hired chauffeur, the beautiful silvercross is mainly pushed by the nanny or perhaps a trustworthy au pair.  It's completely impractical, difficult to park and a tank to steer - but it does make a statement.  Just don't go for the glossy white version, it will only end up getting keyed down at the soft play centre.

(Slightly) down a price bracket is your top of the range iCandys and Bugaboos.  These competing brands are the Mercedes and BMWs of the pram world. People tend to stay faithful to one or the other.  The top of the range 4x4 versions are the Peach (iCandy) and the Chameleon (Bugaboo):
Both drive well, look good, and have been much imitated but never bettered.  They cost an obscene amount of money - but you can't compromise on baby's safety, can you...? Can you...?!?

Their city run-around models are the iCandy Cherry (soon to be made obsolete by the new Raspberry), and the ever-popular Bugaboo Bee:

Lightweight but well made, with clever features and regular "special edition" releases that tempt you into thinking they are worth every penny.

The cool scandi interloper in the pram world is the Stokke xPlory:

This is perhaps the Toyota Prius of prams.  Big and roomy enough but not (no, definitely not) a Chelsea tractor.  Design-led, ergonomic, comfortable - slightly "out there" and less ubiquitous for those parents looking to retain some credibility, but just as expensive as the more common makes.

And that brings us to the McClaren:
A stalwart of the pram scene, you were probably pushed around in one yourself when you were little.  It is the Volkswagen Golf - trusty, reliable, not flashy but surprisingly expensive for a fold-up buggy.  It will last for years and earn its stripes.

Newer to the market is the CityMini Jogger:

Like the Mclaren it is in the so-called "economy" bracket. And it is also a one-fold design, albeit a slightly niftier one.  Complete with a fur-lined seat it has comfort in mind but also off-road credentials.  The Honda CRV perhaps?

Uppababy - Scandinavian, well-designed = Volvo.

Phil & Teds - Antipodean, playful, outdoorsy = Jeep.

OBaby - no frills, genuine economy, does the job = Vauxhall.

Any other obvious buggy-car comparisons???

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