Need to know
- Convertible tricycle strollers are obliged to meet the mandatory Australian Standard for prams and strollers
- Our tests found that many do not meet the Standard, with some lacking even basic safety features like brakes and restraints
- We suggest buying from a larger mainstream retailer rather than online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and catch.com.au
When you have a child, it seems like you're constantly buying something new each time your child grows a bit. A convertible tricycle stroller might seem like a smart way to avoid buying multiple products: it starts out as a stroller and then, with a few modifications, voilà — it's a tricycle that your toddler can cruise around on independently.
But what you might gain in flexibility you could lose in safety. When CHOICE recently tested nine convertible tricycle strollers, we found that six of them failed basic safety requirements – and in some cases we're talking very basic safety features like brakes.
Our testing has found a significant number of convertible tricycle strollers don't pass mandatory Australian safety standards for prams and strollers.
The convertible tricycle strollers that fail the mandatory safety standard
- Achieveyourdream (eBay) Convertible Tricycle Stroller
- Liang_zn (eBay) Convertible Tricycle Stroller
- Supacheapa (eBay) Convertible Tricycle Stroller
- Metradingco (eBay) 3 in 1 Folding Trike
- Babycore 4 in 1 Progress Trike
- Q Play Rito
Bear in mind that other sellers on eBay and Amazon may also sell these models (or ones very similar to them), which is another reason to avoid buying on those online marketplaces – or do some thorough research before you buy.
For full reviews for all these models and to find out which models we recommend, see our convertible tricycle strollers review.
Why is a tricycle covered by the stroller safety standard?
Convertible tricycle strollers must comply with the mandatory Australian Standard for prams and strollers (AS/NZS 2088:2000). In 2019, the Standard was clarified to include convertible tricycle strollers.
Despite the ACCC cracking down on retailers selling unsafe convertible tricycle strollers (Target Australia and Baby Bunting were penalised for selling products that didn't meet the mandatory standard), unsafe strollers continue to be sold on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon – often by international sellers who are harder to police. But that's why it's so important for Australian consumers to be informed about safety issues with regards to products for babies and kids.
Product safety laws need work
Here at CHOICE we think that unsafe products should never actually make it to market.
"It is unacceptable that these products have been allowed to reach Australian families. Parents expect the products they buy for their children to be safe, and rightly so," says CHOICE product safety campaigner Amy Pereira.
"Unfortunately we've been let down once again by manufacturers shirking their responsibility to ensure their products are safe. This is yet another example of why the Australian government needs to introduce tighter product safety laws."
Who's selling unsafe convertible tricycle strollers?
The worst offenders tended to come from online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and catch.com.au, so we recommend you buy from a larger, mainstream retailer to avoid buying a dud.
Some sellers advertise these tricycle strollers as 'toys', even carrying warning signs saying that "this is not a stroller".
But if you're using it to transport your child and it has similar characteristics to a stroller, then it needs to comply with the safety standard.
"Think twice before ordering a convertible tricycle stroller from an online marketplace," says CHOICE baby and kids products expert Kim Gilmour.
"We found many examples of dodgy products which failed even the most basic stroller safety standards such as a suitable harness. Some had torn or missing instructions, a lack of warning labels and unsuitable parking brakes. It would be dangerous to transport an infant in them."
Why did these models fail safety tests?
Some of the convertible tricycle strollers we tested had serious safety failures, such as:
- missing brakes
- missing tether strap, which presents a risk of it rolling away when in stroller mode
- no harness, or harness itself not meeting the standard.
Other models had minor safety failures, such as warning labels not being prominently displayed, brake pedals not coloured red (making them harder to find in a hurry), and harnesses that break easily.
The instruction manuals that came with the strollers often weren't very useful. Many were poorly translated with small pictures, some weren't written in English, and in one case the instructions were missing altogether. Models bought from mainstream retailers tended to be more comprehensive, with diagrams.
What safety features should a convertible tricycle stroller have?
To comply with the Australian Standard, convertible tricycle strollers must have:
- parking brakes to prevent it from rolling away (these need to be red for visibility)
- a permanently fixed harness with waist and crotch straps to secure your child
- a tether strap on the handle as added security against the stroller rolling away
- clear warning notices for safe use.
Other features you might consider include:
- 5-point safety harness
- large parking brakes
- lockable or removable front handlebars
- lockable or removable pedals
- foot rest
- canopy/sun shade
- parent handle.
For more information on safety features, read our convertible tricycle stroller buying guide.
Stock images: Getty unless otherwise stated.