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Pushchairs: Where to buy? Which one to buy?

(61 Posts)
f1silver Sun 22-Jul-12 17:45:05

My husband and I are finally starting our pushchair/travel system (to be honest i don't understand the difference) search. I am due early November and it seems these things need to be ordered fairly quickly in order to be available by then. What we're stuck on is where do we go where we can see a large variety of pushchairs on display? We live in South East London and don't have a car. We've spent several weekends already attempting different Mothercare stores but none of them seem to have a large variety of brands (certainly not the ones we really want to check out). So my first question is, where do parents-to-be go for good displays?

We our basically city folks so don't necessarily need an all-terrain type. In fact we prefer a compact pushchair that folds small, has a reversible seat, and can fold with the seat on. We live in a small flat and will have to keep folding the system all the time to be able to squeeze it in the storage cupboard. We don't own a car but will get a car seat for the few times we do rent a car to go out of town. Also, I have a few long haul trips planned for the first year so it would be handy if I can get an opinion on traveling with the pushchair.

Our short list (with comments) is as follows:
1. Bugaboo Bee (have seen) - I personally don't like how low it is
2. Babystyle Oyster (have seen) - Won't fold with seat on according to the Mothercare assistant
3. iCandy Strawberry (haven't seen) - I understand the seat unit is from 6 months?
4. Maxi Cosi Elea (haven't seen) - for the life of me I can't find it on display anywhere
5. Jane Muum (haven't seen) - I'm very interested in this but can't find any reviews or a shop that displays it
6. Easywalker June (haven't seen) - just discovered it but can't find any reviews or shops
7. Uppababy (haven't seen) - we are very much inclined towards the Vista but want to try the Cruz as well. Do you know how long is the waiting time for this? Also, can the Vista be folded with the bassinet on?

Apologies I do realise this is one long post, but any help will be appreciated.

liswee Sun 22-Jul-12 17:47:01

Have a look at the Baby Jogger Versa also it may fit your needs quite well smile

Ihateparties Sun 22-Jul-12 19:42:40

The Versa, June, Vista, Muum and Oyster all need a carrycot to be newborn suitable and I don't think that there is anything that folds with a carrycot on. If you really really need it to fold in 1 piece for storage then these really won't work until the baby is 6 months.

I don't know enough about the Elea to know whether it folds up parent facing or not. The Muum does but the manual says the seat is only suitable from 6 months, as per the oyster. I suppose maybe the recline is not true flat? I ordered one in order to see it (then returned because I needed a double and the Jane Twone is the same frame with different seats) and it seemed pretty flat to me. Wish I had folded it with the seat on and taken some photos cos I cannot remember!

Umm what else, Njoy/petite star bubble, this def folds parent facing. But you may find that feels low too if you thought that about the bee. The choice of newborn suitable, seat faces both ways and folds both ways is extremely limited presently.

Can you get to a Peppermint? There used to be one in Kingston, dunno if that's still there. John Lewis in Kingston will have some stuff too. I think there is somewhere in Croydon but it's not in the centre <googles> babynest.. that's it. They carry quite a few things that mothercare etc. don't.

milk Sun 22-Jul-12 19:44:29

I vote Baby Jogger smile

anthonys Sun 22-Jul-12 20:22:03

I am in a very similar situation. John Lewis in Oxford street has the strawberry, it's in the heavy side and you need the carrycot for newborn so get quite pricey. They also have the Vista but again it is big and heavy for inner city in my opinion. Saw the elea today at a pram shop in Bethnal Green. It is suitable for newborn and a good size but felt quite flimsy and that turned us off it. Also tried the bee but once you add up everything it quickly gets expensive and probably better off going with the cameleon given it doesn't have the reported wheel problems. Don't think the June is out yet, Mothercare apparently stock Jane, so may be able to try the muum at one of their stores?

Take a look at the petite star, also the silver cross surf and b smart - they can all be used from birth. I'm quite fond of the cherry, given its size and weight, though needs a carrycot ..

Tiggywunkle Sun 22-Jul-12 22:30:46

I have to say I am with the others in that the Baby Jogger Versa should really be on your list.

1. Bugaboo Bee (have seen) - I personally don't like how low it is
It is low but its got a neat fold and probably would do what you want.
2. Babystyle Oyster (have seen) - Won't fold with seat on according to the Mothercare assistant
Will fold with the seat on in both directions and then will freestand. I dont like the seating positions - I think the Mutsy Evo - which has a pretty neat fold - has better seating positions ie lie flat, but also upright. I would add the Evo to your list TBH.
3. iCandy Strawberry (haven't seen) - I understand the seat unit is from 6 months?
Yes, you will need a carrycot for the first six months, as you will with the Oyster; and you will need the Bugaboo Cocoon with the Bee. Really luxurious but also heavy and a chunky fold.
4. Maxi Cosi Elea (haven't seen) - for the life of me I can't find it on display anywhere
Seen it and had a quick play, but its not grabbed me!
5. Jane Muum (haven't seen) - I'm very interested in this but can't find any reviews or a shop that displays it
I have the Twone and I suspect the Muum is very similar - the Twone even have Muum bits on it! The Muum has the lie flat seat though. I have seen the Muum and it does seem compact.
6. Easywalker June (haven't seen) - just discovered it but can't find any reviews or shops
Have seen and I love it. I think it has so much going for it. The seat again is low, but will last you from birth to the end. If I were starting again, I suspect this would be what I bought.
7. Uppababy (haven't seen) - we are very much inclined towards the Vista but want to try the Cruz as well. Do you know how long is the waiting time for this? Also, can the Vista be folded with the bassinet on?
The Vista is pretty big folded. Its tall and not that neat. The bassinet I doubt will stay on any of these pushchairs when folded. You generally have to remove them. My Cruz arrives tomorrow smile

minipie Sun 22-Jul-12 22:43:04

<hijack> Tiggy just in case I haven't dropped enough hints grin.. pls will you start a thread or PM me with your Cruz thoughts once you've given it a try? It's my top contender (though haven't actually seen it)

Tiggywunkle Sun 22-Jul-12 23:47:10

LOL Minipie - I have a memory like a sieve - blame two children who are omnipresent - so do me a favour and give me a nudge on say Tuesday when I have had chance to open it. I am busy playing with the Twone at present so need to make space to open the Cruz lol

minipie Mon 23-Jul-12 11:12:45

Will do grin thank you!

minipie Mon 23-Jul-12 11:25:11

Oh and to the OP - the Cruz doesn't need a carrycot from birth, just the snugseat (which is similar to the Bugaboo cocoon). So, should be easier to fold as you can leave the seat on rather than having a carrycot that needs to be removed.

this site is helpful for comparing sizes and features.

London stockists:

Tommys Wear and Cheer in Peckham have a few of these, including the iCandys, Oyster and Vista. They are getting the Cruz in the next couple of weeks.

John Lewis has Vista, iCandys and Bugaboo but not getting the Cruz.

Peppermint has iCandy and Bugaboo.

I can't find anywhere in London that is going to have the Easywalker June on display sad. Don't know about the Elea/Muum.

BertieBotts Mon 23-Jul-12 11:31:48

"Travel system" just means it comes with a car seat.

As a non driver I would recommend you get a car seat which is compatible with your pushchair, especially if you plan to do long (or short) distance trips which will partly involve buses/trains and partly involve car journeys. You don't legally need a car seat in a taxi, but obviously it's safer to have one and it's so much easier if you can just clip it onto the frame rather than having to carry it around as they're an awkward shape.

I also recommend if you are choosing between two car seats to measure the inside length of the back, and pick the longest. The most difficult car seat to use as a non driver is the second stage, so pick a first stage that your baby will fit into for as long as possible.

If you don't think you'll do this and are planning to only ever travel in a car door to door (not breaking up the journey) then it might be worth the investment into a Britax First Class as this goes from newborn right up to the booster seat stage and it has two routing options so it's a good one for fitting into different cars safely. This one won't fit onto a pushchair though and is as heavy and cumbersome as a second stage seat so if you ever want to do the split journey thing I wouldn't bother.

f1silver Mon 23-Jul-12 12:13:05

Wow... you guys are great. This is all very helpful information. I'm at work right now. Will look in to all your suggestions more carefully once I get home. I'm thinking I'm going to start calling up retailers from the stockists pages on these brands' websites and just ask them what is on display. Saves me trekking all over town only to find out things are not on display.

Tiggy, I'm certainly very interested in the Cruz now. I'll definitely watch out for your reviews.

Anthonys I think I'll just call up Mothercare and see where they are displaying the Jane Muum. I went down to their Valley Park store (apparently it's one of the biggest) and only found the Bee and the Oyster of interest there.

Ihateparties (really?) I found babynest on Google and it looks decent. They'll be hearing from me soon smile

The main reason why I'm being put off buying a separate bassinet/carrycot for the first 6 months (apart from the folding thing) is that I plan to travel. I'm due in the winter and am unlikely to be out and about much. after 2-3 months I'm going down to visit my parents for a couple of months. And that is not a pushchair-friendly city AT ALL. I might not even take it with me. I will probably be relying on a sling/carrier more than anything else. I see that the Vista bassinet folds quite compact on its own (about 5 inches thick) so I might want to take that with me (if we even go for it) just to serve as a Moses basket at my parents or when I go visiting friends. By the time I'm back the baby's likely to be 5-6 montsh old ready for most of these seat units. So really double minded about the bassinet.

I guess I won't know until I find THE ONE (is there ever a THE ONE?).

By the way how much lead time is necessary for most of these brands for delivery?

Chunkychicken Mon 23-Jul-12 14:18:16

Not an expert on these sorts of things at ALL but just to offer my sympathies - I was in exactly the same situation regarding pushchairs/travel systems/pram 2.5yrs ago!!

My tips;
1) Produce a table/Excel spreadsheet with all the facts & figures about each one e.g. weight, size when folded, parent facing, fold with seat, car seat, price etc. It makes it so much easier to do a like for like comparison.
2) get to a baby show. There's one coming up at Bluewater and there used to be one at the Excel in London, twice a year (although Oct may be too late for you). You can usually see lots of models 'in the flesh' and might even get a discount.
3) often online deals are cheaper, although 'boutique' shops may be more open to negotiation.

Good luck - we bought our one travel system at the Feb baby show 2+yrs who & haven't had to buy a replacement yet, so the research does pay off!!! smile

f1silver Mon 23-Jul-12 15:28:39

Thanks Chunkychicken. I'm always ready for a spreadsheet smile

Yes the London Baby Show is just too late for me. Even the Bluewater one is too late to wait to order my pushchair.

By the way which one do you have?

anthonys Mon 23-Jul-12 15:42:05

Let me know if you find anywhere that has the Jane Muum or Uppababy Cruz, or even the Easywalker June. As these are top of my list to check out too!

f1silver Mon 23-Jul-12 16:45:18

Sure. I'll let you know.

Tiggywunkle Mon 23-Jul-12 21:13:14

A good number of carrycots squash flat - most that aren't hard bodied will but a retailer should be able to tell you eg Bugaboo, most baby jogger, iCandy, Mutsy Evo etc.
I didnt know that you isn't need the carrycot for the Cruz. It does surprise me as the seat is a real bucket. I think I would be buying a carrycot TBH even if you use a snug seat insert for a trip.
The first impressions of the Cruz are good. It's simple to look at - clean lines, huuuuuggggeee basket, easy peasy to use, big seat, three choices of footrest forward facing for different ages, the hood slides up the chassis. The freestanding took some getting right and it feels a bit wobbly. It's smaller than the Vista but isn't as tiny as I would like for something that looks small open. I much prefer it to the Vista - its neater. 5 position recline including very upright. It could have done with an extra footrest notch though. Huge hood with pull out sun visor (which DC annoyingly plays with). Suits both my children. Don't ask me about the push yet...that's yet to be discovered but it seems fine from the bit I have done. It feels heavier than I hoped. But all round excellent TBH. It's certainly up there with the best UK pushchairs on looks, features etc. I think it's better than the Vista coz its neater but I will see whether the lack of big rear wheels makes a difference.

Chunkychicken Mon 23-Jul-12 21:20:45

f1silver we went with the Britax B-smart 3 in the end. The only real competitors at the time for us were the icandy, bugaboo or mothercare spin, as we were adamant about DD being parent facing. The Britax offered more value for money (£500 all in, compared to 1k plus extras). If money was no object, probably would've gone with the icandy. I couldn't believe the lack of pushchairs etc in the shops, with so many online deals. I didn't want to order any without at least pushing them, because returning them is such a PITA!!! smile

minipie Tue 24-Jul-12 12:48:09

Thanks very much Tiggy!

Cruz is still sounding like my top pick. Shame it feels a bit heavier than you'd hoped though ... Do you mean heavier to push or to lift?

minipie Tue 24-Jul-12 12:49:00

There is a wedge that you use (along with the Snugseat) apparently to make it into a lie flat seat. I reckon I'd get the carrycot though.

f1silver Tue 24-Jul-12 18:53:33

Tiggy you are keeping Cruz right up there on my list for me!

Tiggywunkle Tue 24-Jul-12 23:12:19

I was, but now I am not! The ride is incredibly hard - Its very like the Mamas and Papas Urbo. I have only had one outing on flat surfaces and there was NO give at all in the pushchair. I tried to find some suspension and failed (I need to go and read up now and see if there is any, but I should have felt something when I tried pushing down). I suspect my hands would hurt after a while pushing it. The fold is disappointingly large - but I did know that - but I hadn't banked on how heavy it was. I have to say I struggled to lift it into my car and I am no weakling and often lift heavy doubles in. But it was just awkward. Its completely and utterly ruined what seemed like a very good pushchair to me. Everything else about it is soooooo right. Even DH who was adamant that it was staying (rare he wants something to stay) did a U turn today and doesn't want to keep it.

I DID love the huge basket though and to be able to fling anything underneath. But I only pushed for a short time today and TBH that was enough for me! Ebay here it comes!!

minipie Tue 24-Jul-12 23:21:41

sad nooooo Tiggy, don't say that!

From looking online I see it does have 4 wheel suspension, same as the Vista (but no air tyres of course). How does it compare to other non-air tyre buggies?

Tiggywunkle Wed 25-Jul-12 00:13:08

I dont often have air tyre pushchairs to be fair. Most of mine have hard wheels. So yes, its bad! I need to look carefully - when I pushed down there was no movement anywhere - surely suspension should show some sign of movement? You could feel it instantly in the push and TBH the push felt heavy too.

minipie Wed 25-Jul-12 10:51:33

sad oh dear. Yes I'd have thought there should be some movement if you push down, how odd. Uppababy website definitely says there is front & rear suspension see right hand side of the page here. Any chance yours is faulty...<clings to straws>

The heavy push doesn't sound good either.

Drat, that may mean I am back to the drawing board.

My other options are babystyle oyster (but a bit heavier than I'd like and seat position issues), icandy strawberry (but heavy and a bit too bling), icandy cherry (but no extending handles for tall DH/short me), bcjm (but not parent facing and no extending handles), bj versa (but heavy and large) or easywalker june (looks great, but no stockists within 300 miles). Your thoughts would be very welcome!

The Cruz was perfect on paper ... <sobs>

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