All-terrain prams and pushchairs for off-road adventures

all-terrain pushchair mother and baby

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

You don’t need to be a hardcore outdoor adventurer to warrant choosing an all-terrain pram or pushchair these days. With light yet robust frames and generally three wheels instead of four for extra manoeuvrability, an off-road pushchair will ensure you don’t get stuck in the mud at the park or stranded on a sandy beach with a buggy that won’t budge. With one of these, nowhere is off-limits, whether you’re clattering over cobblestones or wandering through woodland.

If you have an outdoorsy lifestyle, you'll most likely want an all-terrain pram or pushchair. It’s a must if you love forest walks or more adventurous off-road exploits or if you want to take your baby with you in the pushchair when you’re out running. But even if you’re just after an easy-to-manoeuvre buggy that’ll cope with kerbs and uneven pavements, then it’s well worth considering, too. A bit more sturdier than a lightweight, compact pram, an all-terrain pram will ensure your baby gets a smooth ride over any terrain – rural or urban – so wobbly cheeks can become a thing of the past!

The Best All-Terrain Prams And Pushchairs At A Glance:

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair overall: Thule Urban Glide 2 - View offer on Thule
Best lightweight all-terrain pram and pushchair: Out ’n’ About Nipper Single - View offer on Amazon
Best all-terrain pram and pushchair for folding: Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 - View offer on Amazon UK

If you think you could be in the market for an all-terrain pram or pushchair, we've done the hard work for you and have rounded up the very best ones on the market available to buy.

All-terrain prams and pushchairs to buy

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair overall

This sleek all-terrain jogging pushchair has a lightweight design with large 16” wheels, suspension for comfort and control and a swivel front wheel for strolling and manoeuvring around town, which easily locks in place for jogging or rougher terrain. The integrated twist-hand brake ensures security and braking control on any hilly terrain and while running. We love the one-handed, compact fold which makes storing and transporting a doddle.

M&B tester Jim said: "You're buying quality, real quality that I think should last the course until your bubba exceeds the safety weight limit for the buggy. The Urban Glide 2 is sturdy and has worn well so far. We've used it now pretty much since the start of the year and have been very impressed - the pros the Urban Glide 2 offers seriously outweigh the minor cons, by a long way. We get a lot of admiring glances when people see us with it - especially at the various parkruns we've been to - and are asked a lot of questions about it, which we're happy to answer. It's a snazzy-looking bit of kit!"

Read our full Thule Urban Glide 2 review.

Pros

  • Brilliant for running
  • Lightweight yet very sturdy
  • Superb build quality
  • Adjustable ergonomic handlebar

Cons

  • Don't press/lean downward on handlebars too hard: feels like it could tip backwards when baby is reclined

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair from birth

Puncture-proof rubber wheels with an adjustable shock absorber make this pushchair a good buy for navigating between different terrains. The front swivel wheel and handlebar brake create good manoeuvrability. We love the high seat position – you can use this as a highchair when out and about – and the fact that the seat unit can face either direction. It's compact when folded and compatible with a Jané carrycot and car seat to use from birth.

Review: "Super stylish, really enjoyable to use, and easy to manoeuvre. It’s light and so compact – absolutely tiny when folded! Other pushchairs might handle rough terrain better but this is perfectly adequate for walks across the park. I like the idea of a handlebar brake but I kept forgetting where it was! My son's quite petite yet I think he’ll have outgrown this within six months but for now, he’s very comfortable."

Pros

  • High seat position
  • Adjustable suspension
  • One-handed unfold

Cons

  • Small shopping basket

Best lightweight all-terrain pram and pushchair

A lightweight aluminium frame with pneumatic tyres, independent rear suspension and a lockable swivel wheel make the Out 'n' About Nipper Single effortless to manoeuvre on any terrain. We like the adjustable handlebar and retractable sun canopy with window. Reviewers were impressed with the multi-position reclining seat with lie-flat mode, the large shopping pouch and handy storage pockets. It's compatible with a carrycot and car seat for a full travel system package.

Review: "When I first unpacked this I didn’t think I would like it as the design lacks some finesse and the harness is really fiddly – not ideal when you have a ‘planking’ toddler to contend with – but it’s really grown on me and now I absolutely love it! It’s lightweight and very user-friendly with a small turning circle, which makes it really easy to manoeuvre. An incredibly smooth ride overall."

Read our full Out 'n' About Nipper Single review.

Pros

  • Range of travel system options
  • Bespoke carrycot
  • Great for off-road/bumpy surfaces

Cons

  • Forward facing only

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair for easy steering

One for the runners out there, the Avi is a lightweight running machine with a light, aluminium frame, air-filled tyres and rear suspension that promises a smooth run. It features easy, one-hand steering and the reflective details ensure improved visibility for safety. Suitable from 6 months.

Review: "With its large wheels, it was a great deal easier to push with an overly optimistic amount of grocery shopping shoved underneath its nice large undercarriage, making unexpected yellow sticker days at the supermarket sheer bargainous joy. Secondly, being able to push it with one hand was wonderful. Multi-tasking mommas will love this for both walking and running."

Read our full Cybex Avi review.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to steer with one hand
  • Folds easily and compactly

Cons

  • Hard to adjust the backrest

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair for folding

Baby Jogger City Mini GT2
Price: £426.48

A simple but efficient design, we love that the Baby Jogger pram folds down just by lifting the straps on the seat, an auto-lock securing it for travel or storage. The extendable UV50+ canopy has two magnetic windows so you can keep an eye on your baby while they stay shaded and your little one will appreciate the adjustable calf support and multi-position seat recline. Suitable from birth, just use the near-flat seat recline or add a carrycot or car seat which are sold separately. 

Review: “Extremely pleased with this buggy. I already have the regular baby jogger city mini from my 1st child 7 years ago and adore it. It lasts so well and still fits the 7-year-old for trips to Disney. I wasn't sure about upgrading to the GT2 as it was more expensive than the regular mini but it is definitely worth it. The wheels are fantastic and the extra touches like the magnetic windows, footrest, hand break and extra padding really give it a more luxurious feel.”

Pros

  • One hand fold/unfold
  • Large hood
  • Great for all terrain

Cons

  • Heavy to carry

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair travel system

Effortless manoeuver any terrain thanks to puncture-proof wheels, the Bugaboo Fox 5 has a smart ergonomic seat design with a breezy carrycot and aerated mattress to keep your youngster cool, along with premium soft-touch fabrics, making it ultra-comfortable for newborns and toddlers. It can even be used with just one hand, whether you’re folding the pushchair, adjusting the handlebar or reclining the seat.

Reviewed by M&B tester Ashley: “It is impeccably well-designed, managing to be both totally functional and stylish. The fact that sustainable products have been used to manufacture it is a huge plus point in this modern age. The suspension system makes the ride silky smooth and coupled with the lightness and quality steering makes it very easy to push and manoeuvre. Folding it away and fitting this into a boot without taking it apart is a huge quality-of-life bonus. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a pram that is high in quality, design and easy to use."

Read our full Bugaboo Fox 5 review.

Pros

  • Stylish appearance
  • Lightweight but strong
  • Brilliant steering and handling
  • Fits into the boot without removing the seat

Cons

  • Can be difficult to first put together

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair for style

Designed with style-conscious mums and dads in mind, the Peach 7 can be converted from a single to a double / twin pushchair. It offers lots of features to love such as plush fabric, spacious under-seat storage and an integrated Ride-on Board for families with toddlers who want to hop on for the ride. Suitable from birth with the choice of the included carrycot or seat unit. 

M&B tester Natalie said: “Overall, I have been very impressed with the quality of the pushchair and my baby absolutely loves going out in it. It has also been incredibly useful as a makeshift highchair in busy restaurants thanks to the seat height adaptors and a comforting bed for outdoor naps. I would definitely recommend the Peach 7, especially for parents who need to take a lot of stuff with them or those expecting another baby as it can easily accommodate a second child with the use of adaptors."

Read our full iCandy Peach 7 review.

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable for baby to sit and sleep in
  • Generous 44-litre basket which holds up to 10kg in weight
  • Smooth suspension and very easy to push with puncture-proof tyres
  • Can be easily converted into a double/twin pushchair

Cons

  • The frame is very heavy to carry when folded and takes up quite a bit of space when not in use
  • The cup holder is difficult to reach whilst walking and makes narrow places difficult to navigate due to how much it sticks out

Best all-terrain pram and pushchair with dual suspension

A Mother and Baby gold award winner, the Mamas & Papas Ocarro has a large, robust design which makes it perfect for tackling all-terrain journeys. The dual suspension can easily handle the ups and downs of off-roading while you can be assured your baby stays snug and cosy in the large, comfy seat plus padded chest pads and head hugger. Suitable from birth.

Review: "This buggy is easy to fold down (and at a push could probably do this one-handed although I haven't had to test this myself!). Also the assembly is so perfect for nursery drop-offs and pick-ups. It also folds to a very slimline design that fits easily in the boot, but is still big enough and comfortable enough for our difficult sleeper to sleep happily in!"

Read our full Mama & Papas Ocarro review.

Pros

  • Ideal for uneven terrain thanks to the dual suspension
  • Folds away with one hand
  • Easy to carry when folded
  • Reflective wheel rims for night time walks

Cons

  • Doesn't include a footmuff
  • Difficult to stand up straight and balance when folded

What makes an all-terrain pram different?

Often designed with a single front swivel wheel to make it easier to push along different kinds of terrain, it makes it suitable for cobblestones, woodland walks and even muddy fields. They're a lot more practical than standard prams, whose wheels might often be smaller and less durable on rough flooring.

All-terrain pram and pushchair: things to think about

Do you need a travel system?

Some all-terrain pushchairs are also travel systems, which means you can remove the seat unit and attach a carrycot or infant car seat to the chassis if you wish. This is useful if you drive to most places you go, as you can move your baby between your vehicle and pushchair without disrupting her. But if you don’t have a car or only use it infrequently, your money would be better spent on an all-terrain pushchair with a fixed seat. Remember, if you're simply looking for a pushchair that travels easy, you might be better off with a travel stroller instead.

How much storage space do you have?

Some of these prams and pushchairs are much bulkier than conventional four-wheeled ones, so you’ll need plenty of space to store it when it’s not in use. And the fold isn’t always as compact as you might like. Do check that it will fit the limited space in your hallway and that it’s small enough for your car boot and light enough to lift in and out easily.

Do you plan to take it running?

If you’re a keen runner, choose a pushchair that’s officially approved for running, as not all models are. Heavier models might be less comfortable to run with, too.

Do you want to use it from birth?

To get the functionality, not all of these prams and pushchairs are suitable from birth, and many of the seats mean they’re only suitable for use from six months. Those that convert to travel systems can be used from birth if you attach the appropriate carrycot or car seat – but this may be an additional expense, so remember to factor that into your budget.

What to look for in an all-terrain pram and pushchair

Seat recline: A good seat recline – preferably lie-flat – means comfortable naps on the go. And if you’re likely to be out for a while, that’s important. Check how easy it is to adjust and if the mechanism is quiet to operate so as not to disturb your baby.

Handlebar: A height-adjustable handlebar is an absolute must if you and your partner – or anyone else who is likely to use the pushchair regularly – are of different heights. Check how easy it is to adjust it to suit your particular needs.

Wrist strap: A safety feature worth having on an all-terrain pram or buggy, a wrist strap minimises the risk of it rolling away on sloping ground. Check if you can buy one separately if it’s not included.

Hood: Check how far the hood extends because if you’re spending time outside, you’ll want it to protect your baby well from wind, rain and sun. If the seat is forward-facing, a viewing panel in the hood means you can check on your baby easily.

Washable fabric: All-terrain pushchairs are built to withstand the elements, but they tend to get muddier than the average pushchair, so it’s worth choosing one with washable fabrics that are easy to keep clean.

Suspension: Some all-terrain prams and pushchairs have more sophisticated suspensions than others. Think about the sort of ground you cover and whether the ride feels smooth enough for your baby to nap in on a typical walk without getting jolted awake.

Chassis weight: An all-terrain pram or pushchair is never going to be the lightest option, but if you need to lift it in and out of your car boot regularly, choose one with a lightweight chassis.

Shopping basket: The baskets on these tend to be generously sized, but think about what you’ll want to take. If you’re planning on big adventures then you’ll need room for a change of clothes, extra layers and a picnic.

Wheels: The wheels on all-terrain prams and pushchairs are all designed to cope with rough terrain. A lockable front swivel wheel allows you to control the manoeuvrability and is really useful if you’ll be switching between smooth and rough ground. Air-filled wheels make for a smooth ride but look for puncture-proof tyres so you won’t need to carry a puncture repair kit with you, too.

Brake: Most models have a foot-operated brake. Some, especially those suitable for running, have an additional brake control on the handlebar. This is a useful option for slowing the buggy when you’re going downhill.

Fold mechanism: Check how easy it is to fold and unfold. Could you do it with one hand while holding your baby? Make sure it fits your car boot, and choose one that’s free-standing when folded if storage space is limited.

Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for six years. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

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