Buying a Stroller –The Mountain Buggy Swift

D103492CHILLI000[1]Choosing a pram/stroller is one of the “big decision” items to purchase before your little one arrives.  There are so many to pick from with many different features and a wide range of prices.

I highly recommend:
a) Asking friends/other parents what they recommend
b) “Road testing” and asking for advice at a baby shops with a good range.

We went to our local Baby Bunting, came out with the Mountain Buggy Swift and couldn’t be happier with how it has performed over the last 9 months.  In addition to being impressed with it at the shop, we also had a few friends recommend it.

Things we considered:

1. Number of wheels/robustness – We went with a 3 wheeler as it was better for running (many good intentions!) with more suspension in the wheels and better direction control.  Mountain Buggy also has the larger models, the Urban Jungle and Terrain which have even better suspension but weigh more.

2. Weight – at 9.5kg it’s not the lightest stroller out there, but it is one of the lighter 3 wheelers, and light enough to lift in and out of the car reasonably easily.

3. Dimensions – Will it fit in your boot?  Important factor as you are not likely to change your car to fit your pram!  And is it narrow enough to easily fit down aisles at the shops?

4. Manoeuvrability – Take it for a spin to make sure you are comfortable with it

5. Adjustable handle – With quite a large height difference between me and my partner this was important.  We actually found that some strollers did not have a handle that went low enough for me

6. Applicable age – Not all prams can be used from birth, and many require purchase of a bassinet to be used from birth, thus requiring extra outlay of money.  We liked the swift as it could be adjusted to lie flat so that we could use it from day one.  There was also the option to buy a bassinet to go with it, but decided we did not need it. It can also be used up to age 6.

7. Tray – It can hold up to 5kgs and is a fairly decent size.  Amazing how quickly it fills up though!

8. Forward or rear facing? – One of the disadvantages of the Swift is that you cannot have your baby facing you.  There is, however, a peek-a-boo flap in the canopy, and the bassinet/carrycot is rear facing if you buy it.

9. Braking system – We wanted a system that easily locked out both wheels at once.  The Swift uses an easy to use foot brake which locks out both wheels.

10. Price – At $599 rrp ($499 on sale) it is a mid range stroller.  About half the price of the Bugaboo, but a lot more than the cheaper ones out there.

11. Folding – The Swift can be opened and close in pretty much one step, very easy to use.

12. Sun cover – The canopy with a fold out mesh visor is good on most occasions, but when the sun is particularly bright or low, the optional zip on sun cover has been a winner.  It is very common to see mothers out with their prams with blankets or sheets draped over them to block out the sun.  We found that we did not need to do that with the sun cover as it sufficiently blocked out the sunlight, while providing good airflow through the mesh material.

13.Other optional accessories – We also purchased the rain cover which fits really snuggly over the stroller, and a sheepskin liner to add extra softness and warmth for the baby.  There is also a Mountain Buggy sleeping bag you can get which looks ultra cosy!

14.More than one? – Another disadvantage of the Swift is that it is not adjustable to allow for 2 babies.  Although I notice that Mountain Buggy are just about to bring out the +One which will fulfil this need.

15. Travel – For travelling (especially travelling by plane), or even for day to day use, a lighter, more compact umbrella type stroller might be more appropriate.  One option is to buy a cheaper second stroller for this purpose, or you may want to consider buying such a stroller in the first place.  Maclaren, for example, make some excellent strollers that are just about as light as you can get, but still can be used from birth.

It can also be worthwhile having a look at the Australian Standards to see what other factors you might want to consider.

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