Which triple stroller or pram should I buy?
There are several reviews for triple strollers and prams on US websites, but not a lot for Australians. Whether you have a multiple birth or several closely aged children, you may find yourself looking for a triple or quad pram and unsure of which one you should buy. (Hot Tip: If you’re not someone who likes drawing attention, start getting used to the idea because there isn’t a subtle way to transport three or more tiny humans around at one time.)
There are several options out there, so I’ve collated some reviews of various triple strollers in one place to help you get a feel for what’s available in Australia. This is a basic rundown based on peoples’ personal experiences that will hopefully provide you with a starting point if you’ve just started looking. I haven’t received any form of payment from pram manufacturers or suppliers to write this article – I just realised that people keep asking the same questions and wanted to try and provide some answers…
Triple ABC Adventure Buggy:
Over the past few years, the ABC Adventure Buggy has been an overwhelming favourite amongst triplet and multiple families in Australia. It balances its’ weight evenly across its’ four wheels and feels stable and easy to push around, handling rough terrain well too. It is easy to put up and down with both rain and sun shades. The ABC has lots of storage pockets too, which is a huge bonus.
Each seat reclines independently and the design allows you to peek in on bubs without them seeing you. The pram only allows the two bottom children to be forward facing and the other seat/s are rear facing. It will comfortably carry your children from newborns through to toddlers. The design of the pram means that for those of us who might be a little vertically challenged, your view can be obstructed. I’ve heard several women complain that they struggle to see over the top of it.
The ABC is pretty heavy (around 20kgs), but when it folds up it can be wheeled around so you will only have to lift it in to the car and not carry it very far. It is bulky though, even in its’ folded state. Reports from numerous families are that the ABC tends to get pretty hot for little ones due to the deeper seats and material and quite a few people have informed me that they migrated to the Valco Zee Two once their babies were bigger because of this reason
Pneumatic tyres mean you will need to check air levels regularly and can run the risk of a flat tyre leaving you stranded. Don’t let this be a deciding factor for you, as your local bike shop can replace these with rubber tyres for little cost. The pram itself will set you back around $1500.
**Note: The ABC Adventure Buggy also comes as a Quad model with two seats on top. If you are unsure whether you need the fourth seat or not as your eldest is almost done with needing a pram, it’s probably worth the extra investment as you can always put your shopping in the seat when your child gets too big for the seat.
Okay, picture the trolley guy at Westfield’s, with the four metres of trolleys ahead of him… Got that mental image? This is how you feel pushing the Peg Perego Triplette. Peg Perego have developed a steering wheel on the handle which allows for easy steering…the sleepless nights you’re enduring make that takeaway cup of coffee necessary, so you’ll appreciate the ability to drive this thing one handed. The turning circle isn’t great (although better than I expected), but you will fit through a standard doorway with ease! You do, however, need to be able to plan a couple of seconds ahead of what you’re used to and this is particularly important when approaching road crossings. I’ve heard several bystanders refer to this pram as the “baby train”, and that’s exactly what it is.
Think about where you are likely to use your pram the most. The biggest downfall of this pram (as I guess is the case with tandem designs in general), is that the long chassis means that any sideways slope in the path feels magnified because the weight of the children is so far in front of the handlebars and therefore pulls a great deal to the downhill. This isn’t a problem on flat shopping strips or when indoors, but very noticeable on older footpaths that tend to slope, or other uneven outdoors areas. The length of the Peg Perego can make getting up and down kerbs a little tricky too. On the flip side, the Triplette negotiates most shopping aisles with ease, can go on travelators in shopping centres and will fit in most (I said most!) elevators , providing you give anyone standing in your way a good warning glare first!
Some great features of the Peg Perego include the ability to have the seats rear or forward facing. Rear facing is great when bubs are little as you can see them easily (although you will have to stop and take a step alongside the pram to see what your front two are doing). As they get bigger and want to sit up, it’s nice to have them facing forward, though there will definitely be “shotgun” calls for the front spot as it gets all the view as well as the leg room. The rear two seats do have the back of the chair in front directly in their face. The chairs have four positions, from upright to reclined, with adjustable footrests.
The Triplette breaks down in to four parts, being the 3 seats plus the chassis, which collapses. It’s pretty bulky to fit in the car, but we managed to get ours in the back of our station wagon. Definitely worth checking this before you purchase one though…it’s cheaper to buy a different pram than a different car!
The latest model will also allow you to attach Primo Viaggio SL car seats instead of the pop up seats it comes with. (Car seats to be purchased separately and aren’t cheap, but will save you space in the car rather than carrying the pop-up seats as well). The seats attach and detach simply, and will hold children from 0-13kg. Sun shades and ventilation mesh come with the pram. The Triplette retails for around $1500 new.
Valco Zee Two with Toddler Seat:
The design of the Valco makes it no less manageable that a standard twin stroller, as the toddler seat is fixed in front of the other two. At only 760mm at its widest point, it easily gets through standard doorways. The toddler (or Joey) seat can be purchased separately, but does not recline so is only suitable for children 6 months and over. The rear twin seats will recline. Without the toddler seat, it weighs in at a measly 13.5kg although the weight of the toddler seat when carrying a child can make the pram feel a little unstable, since the frame is so light. This means the pram might get stuck on cracks in the footpath that it would otherwise glide over smoothly without the added weight of a child in the toddler seat. The Valco folds up and opens with ease, plus the wheels can be removed making it even more compact for storage and it will fit in most sedan boot spaces. I have read recent reports of a fault with the frame locking mechanism, causing the pram to collapse unexpectedly so if you’re in the market for this model, it’d be worth investigating this claim with Valco to see that the issue has been sorted out.
Hats off to Valco for using some common sense when it came to the size of the undercarriage storage basket. It is very generous and obviously designed by someone who has actually left the house with several children in tow! Tubeless tyres are another bonus, meaning you won’t get caught out with a flat.
The Valco is priced around $600-$700 with the Joey seat. As this article is being written, the Valco Zee Two has been discontinued, but the word on the street is that a new model will be available mid 2015.
The Baby Active Trippy is the latest triple pram to hit the Australian footpath and is getting lots of attention from multiple mums. It isn’t yet available in stores here, but can be ordered online. Recently, a website called Karina’s Strollers have offered delivery to Australia with a fixed price that comes to a total of just over $2000. “Ouch!” I hear you say? Yes, it’s pricey, but so far it appears to be the best all-rounder and you won’t need any other prams as bubs get bigger. It’s also highly likely you’ll be able to sell it for a good price when you’re done as these strollers are highly sought after. Read on…
The frame can fit three carrycots, reclining seats or car seats in forward or rear facing positions. The frame weighs just under 14kgs, though I haven’t been able to find a total weight once the carrycots or seats are attached. The Trippy sits around 155cm high so while it isn’t quite as high as the ABC Adventure Buggy, it might still be a little obstructive for a shorter person to see over. The versatility of the different configurations the Trippy offers makes it really stand out. As I haven’t spoken to many people who have actually used it yet, I can’t give a lot of feedback at the moment, but am keen to hear reviews from those who have tried the Trippy.
Side by Side Prams:
Currently, there are no side-by-side triple prams readily available in stores in Australia. The NZ based Mountain Buggy has sadly been discontinued, so you will only be able to find one second hand. The Obaby Triple is also a popular side-by-side model, but again, only available second hand, or new from overseas.
This simple and affordable product is a worthy investment. A set of three connectors allow you to join two umbrella strollers together side by side. The Prince Lionheart stroller connectors can be purchased online and will cost you less than $30. The end result makes for a pretty wide berth but for walking along cycle paths or outdoor areas, they are great. You’ve got no hope of fitting through doorways, and you can run the gauntlet at Coles, hoping you don’t cross paths with a trolley or it will be a Mexican stand off as to who needs to reverse back down the aisle! If you are struggling for space in the car, the connectors and umbrella strollers are a great option. You can always carry one child in a baby harness and stick with the twin stroller if you need to go in to a shop. Obviously, umbrella strollers aren’t suitable for young infants, so this is an option for little people over six months of age.
Radio Flyer Triplet Wagon:
The wagon is brilliant for children already sitting up fully unassisted. It comes with a sunshade, enough cup holders for the grown- ups AND kids, and three seats with seatbelts. The storage bag that is attached to the back is very generous which makes the wagon really handy for a supermarket trip with the troops in tow! The Radio Flyer wagon doesn’t push well, so it’s important to be mindful of your posture when pulling it along, making sure you don’t twist your back. It’s hard work over rough terrain, but a rolls smoothly on sealed surfaces.
This article is a work in progress and I’ll continue to update it as I hear of new products or feedback from families. If there is a product you would like reviewed, please get in touch via our “Contact Us” page. If you would like to submit a review of any triple pram options, please let me know your thoughts.