It’s no secret that we Scandinavians are notorious for letting our babies nap outside; rain or shine. We leave them outside our house, cafés, and stores. Even a Scandinavian childcare institution may leave your little one to nap outside. No big deal!
The stroller systems sold in the US simply doesn’t cut it. It usually includes a regular stroller and car seat. Neither of which have room. It doesn’t include a bassinet, and provide little comfort and shelter. It often has small wheels, and little to no suspension.
The bassinet is key as it allows your little one to lie down flat on the back. Pediatricians and other health professionals highly recommend that babies should not be left in car seats for more than 2 hours at the time – in fact, in Scandinavia the same recommendation is for a maximum of 30 minutes! Car seats are for safe transportation, not for extended sleeping. If you plan to go out for long periods of time where you need to bring your infant along, a pram is recommended.
So, how do you get your hands on a real pram in the US?
It’s not an easy task! At Scandinavian Living we spent months of searching before we found something resembling what we wanted. While the bassinet stroller – as it is commonly referred to in the US – is becoming more popular, it’s nearly impossible to get the same kind, and quality, available in Sweden, Norway or Denmark.
We took a look at what some of our options are in the US. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to test them all, but did get a chance to talk to other Scandinavians who have. We will refer to all of the systems as prams since everything we looked at comes in pram-mode (as well as stroller-mode).
* Please note that prices vary across sites, and may be subject to change.
Roan® Marita Prestige, Rocco & Kortina
ROAN® is a family-run business that prides itself on hand-making their prams to fit both tradition and new trends. The ROAN® is the closest you can get to the very popular Emmaljunga or Odder pram used in Scandinavia. The ROAN® is not available in stores in the US, and must be shipped from overseas. As a result, in contrast to the other prams that are available in the US, it comes with a high shipping cost.
The ROAN® is available in three different models. The ROAN® Marita can be purchased through Ebay, and is shipped from the UK. This is an extremely classy-looking pram. We love that it’s available in a variety of colors and textures to fit almost any taste. The Marita sells as a 3in1 (incl. carseat and stroller insert) and 2in1 (incl. stroller). The ROAN® Rocco and the ROAN® Kortina have a sportier look than the Marita. They are both available through Amazon, but from a private seller.
Overall, the ROAN® is a great pram, and is good value for money. It’s not the same quality as the Emmaljunga, but it works. Though larger than the usual pram in the US, it folds up nicely to fit in the back of your car. It’s an incredibly comfortable ride with superb suspension and plenty of protection from nature’s elements.
Many will complain about the non-swirling front wheels, but this is a classic pram requiring a bit more practice to maneuver. Once you have it down, it shouldn’t be an issue, and you’ll be certain that your wheels will never get stuck in sidewalk cracks or on icy patches. If you are concerned about flat tires, order the pram with foam tires.
The ROAN® may squeak a bit with time, but this can be managed with a little bit of oil. The mattress is also not very comfortable, and parents may want to purchase a separate mattress for the bassinet.
Finally, it doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles. There’s no air ventilation in the canopy, and it doesn’t extend to provide extra shade. You can, however, unsnap the canopy at the back and move it back and forth to offer ventilation and shade as needed, but it doesn’t look as nice.
We love Stokke® at Scandinavian Living. How could we not? It’s after all a Norwegian brand. Stokke® is famous for providing a very sleek and modern, yet classy design. Stokke® is also the creator of the popular Trip Trap High Chair, which you will find in many Scandinavian homes. All of Stokke’s® products are built with convenience in mind. They take up little space and grow with the baby.
The Stokke® Trailz™ stroller is their all-terrain stroller. It comes with a bassinet. We love that the look of the Stokke® Trailz™ in pram mode is modern yet carries the more traditional softer look of a pram compared to the UPPAbaby®, Bugaboo®, and Bumbleride®. The bassinet is also placed much higher on the frame, closer to mum and dad. This improves its look and makes it easier to access baby when needed. Finally, it rolls on air tires. We love air tires as it offers the smoothest ride for your baby, and makes tough terrain easier to navigate.
To make it even better, Stokke® offers some great accessories like the airline-approved Pram Pack ($199), which fits the frame, bassinet, and stroller seat. Many Scandinavians in the US travel abroad every year to visit family. This allows you to safely bring along the bassinet and stroller your baby is used to on the plane.
You also have access to amazing winter ($240-$299) and summer ($200) kits. The winter kit provides extra insulation for your little one, while still making your pram look extremely stylish – think fur trimmings. It also offers a pair of matching hand muffs for mum. The summer kit ensures additional ventilation and shade, and also includes a terrycloth seatliner to absorb moisture.
Obviously, we are raving about the Stokke® Trailz™. There’s not much we don’t like about it. The price is a bit on the high side, but that is common with most Stokke® products. However, you are positively sure to get a really high quality and durable product. Our only critique would be that, as with the other bassinets, the internal length of the bassinet only allows for usage until your little one is about 6-7 months old. Besides that, the Stokke® Trailz™ is a beautiful pram and stroller.
Peg Pérego® Book Pop Up
The Peg Pérego® Pop Up Book must have been built to fit small Italian cars. This pram folds up so well it can fit in the back of the smallest car imaginable.
The Book Pop Up is an improved version of Peg Pérego’s® Book Plus. It was named after its unique features and ability to fold up like a book, even with the bassinet attached to the frame. This is one of the only prams we have come across that has this feature. The bassinet folds flat, and with a simple gesture “pops up” to full size. Given how little space it takes up once folded, this pram may be exceptional for someone who lives in a small urban space.
We love that it comes with a big canopy, which opens in the back to reveal a large mesh window allowing for plenty of air to pass through. The canopy looks small, but can be extended with two additional panels providing plenty of shade.
We are also in love with the eco-leather handle, which gives the stroller a much more luxurious look than when using foam handles (like UPPAbaby®, Bumbleride®, and Bugaboo®).
That being said, the frame and wheels are not impressive. The frame doesn’t have the same sleek look of the Stokke® Trailz or the classic look of the ROAN®. The wheels are small and not at all suitable for all-terrain, and some owners have complained that over time they have issues with the front swirwel feature. Owners of this pram have also complained that the suspension does not allow for a smooth ride – even on asphalt every little bump can be felt.
The Peg Pérego® Book Pop Up compares best to the UPPAbaby®, and on this it wins some points. Besides folding up much easier, is much lighter, and easier to transport, the bassinet also has a softer and more classic look than the UPPAbaby®. However, while the UPPAbaby® material is machine washable, all Peg Pérego® material has to be hand washed.
Additionally, the Peg Pérego® is just a tiny bit shorter than the UPPAbaby®, making the UPPAbaby® more pleasant for tall people.
UPPAbaby® Vista or Cruz
Even though it may sound Scandinavian, UPPAbaby®—contrary to popular belief—is not a Scandinavian brand. That doesn’t affect our review though; we don’t discriminate. The UPPAbaby® is a good quality stroller that comes with a bassinet in a variety of colors.
What we really like about the UPPAbaby® bassinet is the SPF50+ sunshade, the ventilated canopy, and the fact that it only weighs 8.4 lbs. We also find it incredibly convenient that it folds flat and thus takes up a lot less space in the back of your car. It’s also build to fit tall people with a handlebar height that extends to nearly 40” (102 cm).
With all that being said, the UPPAbaby® loses our interest due to its size. We find the bassinet small. Most babies will have grown out of the bassinet by age 4-5 months. In addition, though UPPAbaby® claims to be all-terrain with its Vista and Cruz models, we find it difficult to navigate grass, snow and ice, and rocky terrain.UPPAbaby® Vista or Cruz.
Even though shock absorption is OK, the smaller foam swirwel wheels prove a challenge ones you take it off the sidewalk or street and into more challenging terrain; especially for the Cruz. The bassinet also sits extremely low giving it an awkward look, but this is purely taste preference.
The Vista and Cruz models come with many add-ons, and may be a good solution for those with multiple children as their frames fit two bassinets. It also fits a bassinet and a stroller insert, or two stroller inserts. However, UPPAbaby’s® solution for multiples is a bit crammed as the inserts sits on top of each other – that is, in-line versus side-by-side.
The UPPAbaby® is easy to get your hands on as it can be found almost anywhere in the US including major baby equipment chains like BuyBuyBaby® and Babies r’ Us®.
Bugaboo® Buffalo & Cameleon
The Bugaboo® is a favorite among many Scandinavians in the US. Particularly the Bugaboo® Buffalo given its larger wheels and capability to go through varied terrain. It’s almost as popular amongst Scandinavians as a Volvo®.
It comes with really great accessories like a sun canopy ($80) and a high performance footmuff ($190). However, as with many of the bassinet stroller, the bassinet sits too low, and doesn’t offer the same classic look we are used to in the Scandinavian countries.
The bassinet doesn’t have a lot of padding, and similar to the UPPAbaby®, most babies will have outgrown the bassinet by age 5-6 months. So, if you plan on having your little one nap outside from baby into toddler age, this may not be the stroller for you.
The Bugaboo® also comes with a higher price tag. If you choose to go with the Cameleon, it is about $100 less than the Buffalo. However, the Cameleon’s small swirwel wheels make it a lot less durable in rough terrain and more difficult to navigate. It is possible to buy a pair of rough terrain wheels and adapters as add-ons for $60 and $12 respectively to make it more versatile. However, with that, you may as well purchase the Buffalo.
Like the UPPAbaby®, you can find the Bugaboo® nearly anywhere from Babies r’ Us® to Amazon®, and its own US webshop.
Bumbleride® Indie & Indie 4
Bumbleride® is first and foremost a stroller, but its Indie models come with a bassinet, placing it in our category of prams.
The Bumbleride® with the bassinet has a sportier look and is designed for an active family. Its large air-filled tires offer a smooth ride, and make it a very good pram for all kinds of terrain. However, the bassinet does not snap in as a separate part to the frame, but is simply placed on top of the stroller seat. This makes it look kind of messy and in our humble opinion unfinished.
The weight capacity of the bassinet is low at only 19lbs, so it will also only be suitable for up to 4-5 months, if even that long, depending on your baby’s size. On the plus side, the bassinet alone only weighs 4lbs, which may be one of the lightest bassinets on the market.
Besides the nice air tires, we are overall not a big fan of this pram. The stroller by itself is of high quality, and great for all kinds of terrain; city walks, forest hikes, and beach strolls. It is also known to be one of the best jogging strollers on the market. So, if you plan to run with your little one, the Bumbleride may be for you.
The Bumbleride® sells nearly everywhere. For the Bumbleride® Indie Jogger you will need to purchase the bassinet separate for $159, but for the Indie 4 you can choose to include the bassinet as part of your package.
Silver Cross® Kensington & Balmoral
Talk about old school. Known as the Rolls Royce of prams, the Silver Cross® looks as if taken out of a 1960ies movie. With this pram we are talking vintage look with a capital “V”, and all we can say is, WOW! And, of course, it is the pram-choice of the royal family in England, so why shouldn’t it be yours?
There is no arguing that this is a beautiful pram that will turn heads on the street. The first Silver Cross® was designed in England in 1877, and they are still crafted by hand in Yorkshire. The pram sells in two models in the US, the Kensington and the Balmoral. You can get your hands on one of these beauties either through the US Silver Cross® site or through several specialty online baby stores (PoshTots®, The Baby’s Den®, Albee baby®); it’ll only set you back a few thousand bucks.
Unfortunately, we have not had a chance to take an up-close look at the available models, but we can give you some of the facts. The Kensington is the cheaper version… if you think $3000 is cheap! In our opinion, this does not make it any worse. On the contrary, it has some features we like better than the Balmoral.
The Kensington is about 23lbs lighter and its inner length is 2” longer. It also folds up for easier transportation, and to make more room in the back of the car, the tires snap off. The pram has great suspension and puncture-resistant tires. The Balmoral has a much more traditional look with larger tires. It also comes with a unique C-spring suspension making for a smoother ride, and the price includes a white leather harness and a certificate of authenticity. However, the Balmoral doesn’t fold up for transportation.
Though we have to give Silver Cross® props for its craftsmanship on this pram, we have to admit that it may not be the most convenient pram, and is in our opinion very much just for show or to have as a keepsake.
Inglesina® Classica, Quad & Trilogy
If the Silver Cross® Kensington is your Rolls Royce of prams, the Inglesina® Classica may be your Alfa Romeo; classic, but not quite as expensive. The Inglesina® Classica, much like the Silver Cross®Kensington, has a very traditional design. In its 0-36 months package (most expensive) you get both the bassinet insert and the stroller combined. You can also choose the 0-6 months package, which includes only the pram.
The Inglesina® site specifically states that the Classica is not for everyone. It’s “only for those looking for an exclusive family heirloom, to be admired and remembered for generations.” This is certainly true! There is much to be said for the beauty of the Inglesina (like the Silver Cross®). For example, the pure leather handles, the high quality material, the refined embroidery on the side of the pram, the stitching and padding on the inside, and the many beautiful colors you can choose from.
One of the unique features of the Classica is the privacy curtain. This receives mixed reviews. Some users complain that when your baby can sit up, he can reach the curtains and rip them down. Other users love the look and have had no issues with grabby babies.
There are also complaints that the pram has no safety harness; this is a particular issue for most Scandinavians, as we like to use a 5-point harness for safety.
If you don’t like the Classica, you can choose to add a bassinet to your Inglesina® stroller. Both the Inglesina® Quad and the Inglesina® Trilogy have bassinet options. With these you will be moving towards a more modern look. That is not necessarily a bad thing since Inglesina has managed to go modern without losing the softer traditional look of the bassinet. And, you will still get your hands on a great-quality product.
You will be downsizing to a stroller frame, which on the plus side is simple to fold with a one-hand umbrella-like open/close. It’s lighter, easier to get around with, and takes less room in the back of your car. However, the basket is small and difficult to access. The handlebar sits low, and the wheels smaller and less suitable for all terrains – this is in particular the case for the Trilogy.
The bassinets for the Trilogy and Quad are great. They differ a bit in design, but are otherwise the same. They both have openings for ventilation in the back of the canopy as well as at the bottom. Each weigh 12 lbs. They have high hood flaps offering protection from the wind. And, finally, as opposed to the Classica, the Trilogy and Quad bassinets both come with safety harnesses. The only difference we see is in the internal length of the bassinet. the Trilogy bassinet is slightly larger at 29.1” versus 27.5” for the Quad.
The Quad with bassinet sells for $850 and the Trilogy with bassinet goes for $750.
Quinny® Moodd & Buzz Xtra with Tukk
The Quinny® Moodd and Quinny® Buzz Xtra with the Tukk bassinet are two other stroller/pram combinations that have managed to go modern without losing the soft look of a classic pram.
As with the Stokke®, the bassinet sits high on the frame, which improves the look of the stroller when in pram-mode, and brings baby closer to mom and dad. The bassinet itself has kept a soft-curved look and is made of very high-quality material. Unfortunately, the canvas is hand-washable only.
The frame on the other hand is modern, and for the Moodd comes in a high-tech white. To make it real funky, you can also purchase the Moodd by Britto created in partnership with Brazilian designer Romero Britto. The Moodd by Britto is sold with a fun multicolored frame that easily matches the bassinet. The Buzz Xtra frame is in matte chrome and black.
Most owners rave about the ease at which this pram travels. It’s easy to steer, and has overall good suspension. While the Moodd is most suitable for city travel and pavement only, the Buzz Xtra is built for more varied terrain with larger wheels. However, we do feel that it looks as if the front wheel on the Buzz Xtra may cause some problems on certain trails where there may be too many rocks, or when maneuvering through ice and snow in the city.
The Quinny® Tukk bassinet weighs just 9.8 lbs and is easy to attach and remove from the frames of the Moodd and the Buzz Xtra. It comes with a solid carrying handle and a mattress. We were not able to find the internal dimension of the bassinet, but it only carries up to 15 lbs, so unfortunately that means most babies will have outgrown it by age 4-5 months at least; maybe earlier.
Like the Peg Perego®, the bassinet folds flat in seconds simply by sliding a lever in the back, making it easy to store when not in use.
We do find a few important cons with this pram. The bassinet doesn’t come with an extended sun canopy offering very little shade. As for the frame, even though it advertises a large shopping basket, we think it looks a bit small. Many customers also complain about the height of the stroller, which seems a bit on the short side and not suitable for anyone 6’ 2” and taller.
Look out for the Quinny® Moodd Jet Set Collection designed by Rachel Zoe. This line is extremely sleek, and the frame comes with cognac leather trimmings. The line should be available in 2016.
Britax® Affinity and B-Ready
Britax® is best known for their strollers, but that doesn’t mean you have to forego a pram if you are a fan of Britax’s® products. All of their strollers can be fitted with a bassinet to put them in pram-mode.
The design of the Britax® bassinet is very similar in style to UPPAbaby®, only not as deep as the UPPAbaby® bassinet. The available frames are also not impressive, and we’d likely suggest you go with UPPAbaby® if you like this style of pram. Compared to the UPPAbaby®, the Britax® frames look more fragile, and they have no all-terrain options. The only frames that looks like it could handle some varied terrain is the B-Ready and Affinity strollers. Yet, both of these still comes with small front tires, and we are doubtful how well they may handle bumps and cracks in the road.
Overall, we are not sold on the Britax® system. It seems rather boring and bland. The bassinets sell in very few colors. The Affinity only comes in black/grey, and the B-Ready in red, black, silver and green.
If you like to keep it simple, this may be OK.
On the plus-side they come with a soft fabric belt to secure baby in the bassinet. This, however, is not enough if you plan to have your little one nap in the bassinet outside into toddler age. Regardless, like many of the other bassinets, the Britax® bassinets will only be usable for your little one until age 5-6 months.
The Affinity model is much more sleek than the B-Ready, and not to mention much lighter (about 10 lbs). In particular, we love that it comes with a leather handle- and bumper bar. This gives it a much more luxurious look and feel.The Affinity bassinet also comes with an extended canopy and zipper ventilation. Overall, it just looks much higher quality and sturdy than the B-Ready. The Affinity is also much more expensive, and with the bassinet will set you back about $900 + shipping from the Britax® website. Though, at the time of this post, we were able to find the stroller for $299 and the bassinet for $99 on Amazon with free shipping.
The great thing about Britax® is that it’s highly convenient for transporting multiple children. It has 9 seat arrangements for carrying two children. The frame also pairs with several non-Britax® brands like Peg Perego®, Chicco®, and Graco®.
Phil & Teds® Smart, Dot & Navigator
Phil & Teds® has also released several opportunities for upgrading their strollers to prams.
With a peanut bassinet, you can change your Smart stroller into pram-mode. The peanut bassinet is extremely small though. It carries up to 20 lbs, but many parents haven’t been able to use it past the 2-3 months age. The peanut doesn’t come with a canopy, and you will need to use the canopy from your Smart stroller.
The Smart model is good for anyone who likes to spruce things up. The bassinet itself only comes in black, but by using the stroller canopy, you can add extra pop by choosing something like tangerine, bubblegum blue or maybe hot pink. The canopy doesn’t come with extended sunshade. But, like the ROAN®, you can pop the canopy back and forth to ensure shade when it’s needed. The stroller itself is customizable in a variety of bright colors.
A few things we don’t like for the Smart frame is that the handle seems to sit almost in the middle above the bassinet. The wheels are small, and it doesn’t look like it offers much in terms of suspension making it inconvenient for rougher terrain. This is certainly a pram that may be most convenient for walks around the city or at the mall – particularly given its very slim frame (53cm/20.8″) making it easy to navigate inside stores.
The Peanut bassinet also fits with the classic, sport, dash, explorer, hammerhead and s3 frames.
With the Snug bassinet from Phil & Teds® you can also change you Dot or Navigator stroller into a pram. The Snug bassinet has a sportier look than the Smart and Peanut combination. These two prams will do well on rough terrain given their large air-filled tires and durable frames. We really love the Auto-Stop feature of the Navigator, which ensures your pram stops instantly should you let go for a split-second. And the Dot offers unique Aerotech puncture-free tires, which provides for Air-tire ride without the air.
The Snug bassinet also looks like it provides a lot more comfort and warmth than the Peanut bassinet, and it’s larger lasting for a longer time.
Like the Britax®, Phil & Teds® strollers are amazing for carrying multiples. The Dot and Navigator both offer 15 versions of carrying two children – newborn/toddler, 2 newborns, or 2 toddlers. Unfortunately, none of these positions incorporates the bassinet. For the newborn/toddler positions you will have to use either a car seat or the double kit + cocoon baby carry cot.