By Chris Barnes – Choice
- Often wider, longer and heavier than four-wheelers.
- Usually easier to push around, due to larger wheels (which are often on bearings so they pivot easily) and inflatable tyres that help absorb the bumps.
- Easier to manoeuvre, but also more likely to roll away if left unattended.
- Can be more prone to tipping sideways, particularly when turning corners or mounting a kerb.
- Umbrella versions are more compact and fold into a smaller package, so they can be a better option for public transport.
- Some have two small wheels at the front and two large wheels at the rear, which provide the stability of a four-wheeler with the manoeuvrability of a three-wheeler.
Which is safer?
In principle there shouldn’t be a safety difference between the two types. But some years ago, CHOICE polled parents to identify any safety problems they’d encountered with their three or four-wheel prams or strollers, and found four-wheelers came out best. More three-wheeler owners reported problems with their strollers such as tipping dangerously or toppling over with a child inside, or rolling away unexpectedly.
It’s now mandatory for strollers to have a wrist strap, so as long as you use that, the stroller shouldn’t ever get away from you. Tipping over can still be a problem. Our tests show some models of both types can be prone to tipping backward; three-wheelers may be more likely to tip sideways than four-wheelers, especially when turning or going over kerbs.
In the end, choose the stroller that suits your needs. Check that it passes the Australian standard AS/NZ 2088 (preferably the 2013 version), and use it sensibly, and there should be no safety problems.
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