You want your stroller to be safe, because your children are precious. So we test strollers using the Australian and New Zealand standard. But you also need a stroller that’s easy to use so we also assess how easy they are to load, adjust, push, fold and carry. Using our results, you can choose a stroller with confidence.
Snapshot: The Steelcraft Agile Elite is a single stroller with 4 wheels. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Steelcraft Agile Twin is a side-by-side stroller that’s suitable for newborn babies. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Bugaboo Bee5 is a single stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Bugaboo Buffalo is a single stroller with 4 wheels. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Bugaboo Cameleon3 is a single stroller with 4 wheels. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Baby Jogger City Mini GT is a single stroller that's suitable for newborn babies. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double is a side-by-side stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Baby Jogger City Select Lux is a tandem stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Baby Jogger City Tour is a single stroller with 4 wheels. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan 2.0 is a single stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Phil & Teds Dash 5.0 (2015) is a single stroller that’s suitable for newborn babies. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Bugaboo Donkey2 Duo is a side-by-side stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Mountain Buggy Duet 3.0 can be configured as a single stroller with side basket or as a side-by-side double stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
Snapshot: The Mountain Buggy Duet Twin V3 is a side-by-side stroller. But how safe and easy to use is it?
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Before joining you on a run, your baby should be at least 6 months old and be able to hold their head up without support.
Sue Campbell, Plunket’s National Child Safety Advisor offers these tips:
Side-by-side double strollers have the 2 seats next to each other; tandem strollers have 1 seat behind the other. We asked members which they preferred.
Our members liked side-by-side strollers for outdoors but not for supermarkets: “I often find I get stuck in the aisles.” Side-by-sides can certainly be difficult to fit through doorways or along supermarket aisles (the ones in our test were 75cm or 79cm wide). They’re also bulky to fold up and transport – you need to have a car with a large boot.
On the plus side, children enjoy sitting side-by-side: “They often hold hands and chat to each other a lot.” And both children get a “front seat” view.
Tandem strollers are better for shopping because they’re narrower than the side-by-side. But their extra length can make them harder to steer and to negotiate steps and kerbs. And if you’ve got 2 newborns, you’ll need both seats to be fully reclinable – which means some tandem strollers won’t be suitable.
Some parents believe tandems are not so good for children: “the kid in the back gets a raw deal on the view”. And kids may even become quite grumpy … “when the baby was about 6 months old he discovered he could kick his brother in front”. But another told us they’re good with a toddler and a newborn as the baby can lie flat while the toddler sits up high.
Second seats can be attached behind or in front of the main seat of a single stroller – effectively turning them into a tandem stroller.
Tip: “Sometimes using a single stroller and a front pack is a lot more convenient.”
We check the adjustment and security of harness straps and buckles, looking for gaps where a child’s head or one of their limbs could be trapped. We look for sharp edges or points that may cause injury. We operate the folding mechanism and check locking devices that stop the stroller folding with the child in it. We also check the stability of the stroller and operation of its brakes.
To test durability we put the strollers on a bumpy “rolling road” machine for 64 hours at a speed of 5km/h. Jogging strollers get an extra 10 hours at 10km/h on the rolling road. We also attach each stroller to a machine that continuously simulates the action of mounting a kerb.
Major failures include insufficient child retention, strangulation hazards, poor stability (tipping), head entrapment hazards and structural durability failures. Minor failures include less serious examples of major failure conditions, plus tether strap failures, insufficient locking device security, and finger/limb entrapment hazards.
We won’t recommend a stroller if it has a major safety or durability failure.
To assess ease of use we put the strollers through their paces in real life. We check how easy it is to adjust the safety harness, seats and handle. We look at how easy it is to apply the brakes, lock the front (swivel) wheels and access the bottom basket. We push them over rough terrain, up and down stairways and through doorways. We fold and unfold each stroller, carry them and lift them into and out of a car boot.
The 2009 revision of this standard added a requirement that the harness straps shouldn't be a strangulation hazard when they're buckled together. This followed a fatal case in 2005 when a child slipped through such a gap and was caught. The buckled-together harness straps are especially hazardous if:
The 2013 standard is largely the same as the 2009 version - but it's been extended to cover finger entrapment, crushing/scissoring hazards for adult users (or for children outside the stroller) and stability. There's also further emphasis on harness requirements.
While compliance with this standard is not mandatory in New Zealand, we think it should be. We believe AS/NZS 2088:2013 sets a clear and reasonable safety standard. We’d like to see all manufacturers constructing their strollers to the updated standard – as some of them already do. In Australia, compliance with some requirements of AS/NZS 2088 is compulsory.
Certification involves independent checks of the manufacturer's production line and quality-control processes.
A buggy that is "certified" as complying with the standard will display either the New Zealand "S" mark or the red Australian "tick" mark. If the stroller doesn't carry either of these labels, it's not necessarily unsafe. But check that:
They're ideal for older toddlers who are happy to walk for most of the time but want a break now and again – they can jump on to the buggy board and have a rest from all that walking.
We tested 6 buggy boards for safety and ease of use (see below). We recommend all the boards apart from the Silver Cross Surf Board. It made its “parent” stroller become unstable during testing: the stroller tipped over backwards when its seat was upright and the board was attached to it.
Most of the boards we tested are designed for standing on only. The Valco Baby Vee Bee EZ Rider also has a seat – but it’s very small and could quickly be outgrown.
The Mountain Buggy Freerider (for Mountain Buggy and Phil & Teds strollers) is a scooter rather than a board and it can also be used separately as a scooter.
Before buying a buggy board, check that it’ll fit your stroller and whether you need to buy connectors:
The Mountain Buggy Freerider has three connectors, one for attaching it to Mountain Buggy strollers, one for attaching to Phil & Teds and selected other brands, and one for attaching to the Baby Jogger City Mini stroller. These connectors cost an extra $30 each.
The Baby Jogger Glider Board attaches to all Baby Jogger single and double strollers.
The Silver Cross Surf Board attaches only to the Silver Cross Surf stroller.
The Valco Baby Vee Bee EZ Rider attaches to most Valco Baby strollers and a few other brands.
The Bugaboo Wheeled Board fits all Bugaboo strollers, though an adaptor is required to fit it to Bugaboo’s Donkey and Buffalo strollers.
The Lascal Maxi BuggyBoard is a “universal” board which fits most strollers. Apple iPhone users can download an app to check whether their stroller’s compatible with this buggy board.
We tested the Mountain Buggy Freerider scooter by attaching it to the Phil & Teds Dot stroller. The front wheels of the Freerider didn’t made contact with the ground at first – but after we’d run the stroller on our rolling rig with the Freerider attached, the wheels did touch the ground.
|Recommended[rcmd]||Models||Price||Passed all safety tests[tick]||Passed all durability tests[tick]||Ease of use (/10)||Wheels||Maximum weight of child||Weight||HxWxD (cm)||Folds up|
|r||Baby Jogger Glider Board||$140||yes||yes||6.5||2||20kg||2.5kg||20x40x48||yes E|
|r||Bugaboo Wheeled Board||$153||yes||yes||6.5||1||20kg||1.8kg||26x30x56||yes|
|r||Mountain Buggy Freerider scooter||$152 A||yes||yes||6.0/5.5 B||1||20kg||2.7kg||69x21x65||yes|
|r||Lascal Maxi Buggy Board||$170||yes||yes||5.5 C||2||20kg||1.9kg||32x47x49||no|
|r||Valco Baby Vee Bee EZ Rider||$220||yes||yes||6.0||2||25kg||4.4kg||62x38x51 D||yes|
|Silver Cross Surf Board||$169||no||yes||6.0||2||20kg||2.4kg||21x39x48||yes|
Guide to the table
Price is from a July 2014 survey. Ease of use was tested with matching strollers.
This means it has been assessed against the Consumer NZ Code of Conduct and met the criteria to be awarded accreditation. Customer service is one of the principles addressed in the code along with returns and refunds, online presence, complaints and disputes processes, fair contracts, pricing, privacy and advertising.
Check out more of our tests, articles, news and surveys in our Family & health section.
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