06.How we test prams and strollers
Buying a pram or stroller can be a complicated exercise. There are some things you can check for yourself in the shop — such as size, features, and manoeuvrability — but how can you tell whether the model you're considering is safe, durable, and easy to use?
This is where CHOICE comes in. We buy prams and strollers in retail stores and bring them back to our lab for a thorough independent test. We focus on durability and safety, assessed against key clauses of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2088, plus ease of use.
Our testers, Antonio Bonacruz and Matthew Tung, check various aspects of safety based on the Australian standard AS/NZS 2088:2013, including that:
- harness straps are adjustable and of adequate length (so that the harness both fits correctly and is free from strangulation and other hazards)
- the child is securely restrained; no gaps they can slip through and the buckle is not too easy to undo
- folding mechanisms are safe and secure, and
- that there are no sharp edges or possible entrapment points for fingers or limbs (either for the child in the pram, or an adult folding/unfolding the pram).
They also test the stability of the pram and that the brakes work well.
They put the prams on our “rolling road” rig for 64 hours at a speed of 5km/h, as per the Australian standard. Three-wheelers that look like they might be used for jogging are then tested for a further 10 hours at 10km/h, to see how they stand up to faster speeds. All the prams are also attached to a machine that continuously simulates the action of mounting a kerb. These tests show whether anything breaks, falls off or stops working properly after regular use.
Ease of use
The testers check adjustments, such as reclining functions and the safety harness, and various activities such as loading and unloading the basket, using the brakes and locking the front wheel. They fold and unfold the prams; push them over rough terrain, up and down stairs, and through doorways; and test how easily they fit into the boot of a family car.
For more information on travel with kids, see Babies & kids.