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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.

f1silver Wed 25-Jul-12 14:01:23

Oh my, oh my... What a disaster! I had my hopes pinned on the Cruz.

minipie... my shortlist isn't too far from your own. I'm keeping the Jane Muum (if I can find it) and the Mutsy Evo on it too. Where did you find the BJ Versa? Is it out yet?

Tiggywunkle Wed 25-Jul-12 14:37:46

I know...I am sobbing with you!!

I have examined it closely today. There is about a millimetre or so suspension on the front wheels ie nothing worth even me typing about.
The main suspension is....on that photo....start at the back wheel and go up to the slim black joint before the bigger black joint where it meets the diagonal - that tiny piece between the slim black bit and the bigger black bit, is the suspension! If I push down hard on the handlebar then it does move down - but then it stays down!! I would expect suspension to bounce back after I took the pressure off...?? It just sticks. How that benefits the child being so far back and up, I don't know - but I dont design pushchairs. But its certainly not benefitting me as I push. Its still hard to push. I can feel every bump.

It was so lovely to fling open and go though and I love the basket. Why oh why is it soooo hard. It could have been sooooo right!

All I can say is that I am glad that I didnt import one because I would have been sooo disappointed.

I have to say, you have a great short list. I personally would remove the Oyster based on the childs seating positions - but I know some people here who love the Oyster and say other things are worth more. I prefer the Cherry to the Cruz - they are similar apart from the one piece fold, but I find that better if you want a seat parent facing because like today I had the Cruz up and my son in, before I remembered that he prefers parent facing. Then you have to turn him round. At least with a 2 piece fold you make a conscious decision to put the seat a certain direction. I love the Strawberry but I haven't tried flinging it into my car boot as yet and the Peach is pretty heavy but easier to manage in two pieces for me.

I love the Versa - I think it looks fab - but its long open - but its got sooo much going for it starting with the fact its a Baby Jogger - great brand all round - which gives you a certain expectation of quality etc. Theres the handbrake, huge basket, adjustable handlebar, fab easy fold, huge seat etc etc. I think the fold will be smaller than the Cruz length wise, so hopefully even if its heavy, I am hoping its easier to fling into the car boot.

I have to say, my money is on the Easywalker June at present though. But I just hope its not a disappointment. All my fingers and toes are crossed that its what I am expecting and hope....

minipie Wed 25-Jul-12 17:40:21

Hmm that sounds odd about the Cruz suspension mechanism. I bet that bit you describe is supposed to spring back up when you take the pressure off, but it's sticking for some reason. Could you try a bit of WD40, or would that mean you can't return it?

When are you getting your June? I am so frustrated that there is nowhere near London to see it. I've emailed Easywalker asking them about appearances at baby shows - will see what they say.

I think we will try out the Cherry and see if DH and I can cope with the non extending handle. It ticks all my boxes apart from that one.

f1 I don't know much about the Jane Muum, any recommendations of good sites to look for info on it?

Tiggy do you reckon the BJ Versa will be easy to push despite being large and heavy? I'm not too bothered about fold and ease of getting in the car (will only be doing this rarely), much more bothered about ease of pushing on pavements and kerbs.

minipie Wed 25-Jul-12 17:40:46

PS and thanks again for continued help/obsession!

Tiggywunkle Wed 25-Jul-12 17:46:06

I spoke to another retailer just to ask about their display Cruz. They said that their shop model was very hard as well - but it does sound like my suspension piece needs some silicone spray as she said it shouldn't stick like mine is. However she did say she didn't think it would make much difference.

I think the June arrives in August. I dont think you will be able to see one until they arrive here.

I am hoping the Versa will be easy to push. The single City Select and the City Mini / GT which the Versa is really a hybrid of, are all easy to push. I have a Versa GT on order. I have to say I have been wondering how much the small wheels / lack of air tyres are making a difference / would make a difference to the Cruz and whether I could get any to fit!! LOL

f1silver Wed 25-Jul-12 18:49:07

minipie to be honest I haven't seen a lot on the Jane Muum apart from some videos by Which and Jane themselves. It's actually my husband that really liked the Jane Rider so we put the more "urban" version the Muum on our list. Plus it seems a lot more economical than the others. Even though we haven't locked ourselves in to a tight budget we don't want to spend more than we need to.

One of the main features I like (apart from our general conditions) is the hand brake rather than the foot brake.

minipie Wed 25-Jul-12 19:09:19

I can wait till August (baby's not due till December) but the trouble is I can't find anyone in the Londonish area who will have them even after August. Are you intending to get one?

Will you be trying the silicon spray? Would be interested to hear if it helps (if you are going to try).

The Versa looks like it's as long as the Select but narrower like the City Mini. Weight is in between the two... I am trying to find out when London stockists are getting the Versa in too.

minipie Wed 25-Jul-12 19:10:50

thanks f1 didn't see your post till after I'd posted. I will see if I can find a Jane Muum to look at somewhere nearish.

Ihateparties Wed 25-Jul-12 19:13:40

I liked the Muum at lot, I'm liking my Twone, which is the same frame so I assume the push is v similar. The Muum particularly seems like much better value for money. I'll just have a look and see if I took a pic of it on full recline It says it's suitable from 6 months or carrycot but I'm not convinced... I have one, I'll stick it on my profile if anyone wants to have a look grin

kalidasa Wed 25-Jul-12 20:11:34

Agh! We are expecting our first baby at the very end of November and we were planning not to worry about this stuff for another few months. But I gather from this thread that you have to allow time to order these things? I had no idea! Do we need to decide quite soon?

We are also in a London flat and need to be able to fold the buggy up to leave it in the hallway. We have a car so will need a car seat too. Obviously I need to start doing some serious research! We are only 10 mins by tube from Oxford St so is Oxford St John Lewis a good bet for looking at lots of models together and trying them out?

Sorry for clueless hijack.

minipie Wed 25-Jul-12 20:26:12

kalidasa a few of the models being discussed here are brand new which means they're not in stock and have to be ordered in (and some aren't even on the market yet).

If you don't mind sticking to models that are well established already then the order time isn't long, it's really just a question of finding somewhere that has it in stock. (Someone correct me if I am wrong please!!)

John Lewis is a very good place to try some of the well known brands but it does get rammed - try to go early in the morning as it's less busy.

f1silver Wed 25-Jul-12 21:03:16

Tiggy... If you are online and on Facebook the Uppababy folks are answering questions about the Cruz. May be you can raise your concerns there.

kalidasa Wed 25-Jul-12 21:30:44

That's a relief. Thanks minipie for enlightening me. We will definitely do an early morning JL trip at some point, we did that when we moved into this flat and needed loads of stuff. They even gave us one of those fun scanning machines to record our choices.

Tiggywunkle Wed 25-Jul-12 23:34:03

f1 I have the Twone and if the handbrake is like that one (and there is one part on the Twone labelled "Muum"!), then I am finding it very flimsy - in fact I am a little scared of breaking it. Its nothing like the Baby Jogger one which is easy on and off. I also dont like the fabrics - they "pull" really easily under little finger nails in places, or the plasticky handlebar.

I think I will see if I can carefully add some silicone spray onto the Cruz and see if that helps, but I am not entirely sure it will make much difference TBH.
Its funny because reading the main reviews out there at present, the word "urban" comes up a lot - and TBH thats where the Cruz fits - on a smooth shopping mall floor. I did take it out today again. I am still a little shocked by the length of the fold and I looked it up earlier and I think its only 12cms shorter than the Vista. I have had the Vista, and the size was one factor in it leaving us, but all round the Vista was better (and more money too but you get the carrycot and car seat adaptors and the double option later).
I have to say I am pretty fed up really. Everything else about the Cruz - except the fold size and the push - are absolutely right for me. It's so easy to use, easy to fold, easy to fling stuff in the basket, large seat, loads of seating options, flick out visor, easy lift off seat etc etc etc. (really refreshing after the more faffy Cameleon, Bee, Oyster etc), but its just too hard to push. The nearest I can get to what its like, is that its like the Mamas and Papas Urbo which within 15 minutes was hurting my hands to push. This isn't hurting...yet...but its not forgiving either! I dont even like a bouncy suspension on a pushchair - in fact I like a pushchair that isn't bouncy!! LOL The Cruz is too far the other way for me.

minipie Thu 26-Jul-12 10:33:25

So disappointing Tiggy. I am off to a big baby shop in a week or so, they have the Cruz as well as lots of my other candidates so I will give it a try there <still hopeful> but it's good to be forewarned to look out for hard suspension/not nice pushing as that is v important to me. London pavements are urban but are definitely a lot bumpier than mall floors!

When you say hurting your hands to push, why is that do you think - is it the vibration from the bumpiness? look forward to your thoughts post silicon.

thanks again.

Tiggywunkle Thu 26-Jul-12 22:16:18

The Urbo was hurting my hands - not the Cruz. But I haven't pushed the Cruz long enough.
My hands were just hurting - I think just from the vibration as you say. The Urbo on that occasion was used around an out of town shopping centre - so flat pavements etc.
I haven't had chance to silicone it yet - nor will I probably until Sunday. We are off to a Safari park place this weekend and I dont think its quite the pushchair I need to take, so it will get swapped.....but what to???!! hmm

minipie Fri 27-Jul-12 12:11:57

have fun! I am guessing you have something tucked away with big wheels that would be great for the safari park...

Tiggywunkle Fri 27-Jul-12 18:03:48

Yes, a Mountain Buggy smile

I have taken the Cruz out again today and the huge basket is seducing me. I am say with it now debating whether to keep it or sell. I would keep it for the basket alone as I got approx 2 wire basket fully of shopping underneath earlier all be it carefully stacked. But not many single pushchairs will get that much home.

I have put my heavy nearly 4 year old in and been slightly off road this afternoon - over bumpy grass, up and down edges, kerbs, over thick gravel, over sticks etc ie not manicured grass and it's been fab. Bizarrely it just glides over it all. Maybe it doesn't need suspension and I am just too used to softer feeling pushchairs.

But for the Cruz to stay it has to replace something else and I think sadly the tall fold will be the downfall of the Cruz. It fills my boot, the one piece fold is actually annoying because I need parent facing do I need to keep turning the seat around (or leave it off). I can see so many positives in the simplicity but I prefer other pushchairs better. I think for an urban based parent I would recommend having a look. I still don't like the hard ride, but TBH the Cruz practically pushes itself so maybe the light push carries it through?

Go and look for yourself. It's simple but effective. Just check out the fold and 'suspension'. It does tick almost all my boxes for a perfect pushchair and maybe I am just too fussy!

minipie Fri 27-Jul-12 20:36:21

Oooh it's sounding a lot better yay smile. Light push is v important for me and the gliding over everything sounds fab. Size folded not such an issue for me as we rarely use the car and won't fold it at home. I am definitely urban!

So, silly question probably but if the crap suspension doesn't cause it to be hard to push, what does it do? does it give your DC a bumpy ride? did you find your arms/hands hurt...? Did you try it on pavements?

Thanks, and so sorry for the pestering! You are a star! I will be going to have a look next weekend I think (but in a shop so limited testing I can do!)

Tiggywunkle Sat 28-Jul-12 00:26:37

I have mainly been on pavements and shop floors and it's all felt ok. even on the bumpy stuff it felt generally ok. The bumps did feel bumpy though - I have had smoother rides. I just couldn't really see the suspension going up and down at all - it would do ie it moves. But i am not convinced. I love everything else though. It's got a lovely decisive brake and the seat is so simple to lift off. It's one of the best pushchairs I have seen. Simple but effective.

minipie Sat 28-Jul-12 16:57:08

Thanks Tiggy. I think it's probably down to the Cruz or the iCandy Cherry - if we can live with the non extending handle (saw a couple of friends today who are roughly the same heights as us and they find it ok). Will be going to see them all next weekend after 20 week scan and will be sure to test over some bumps .. somehow! Thanks again!

f1silver Sun 29-Jul-12 15:36:08

So after a lot of reading up and calling around we finally went and saw some of our short-listed models.

The husband and I are both besotted with the Mutsy Evo. Thank you Tiggy for putting it on our list. I love the fold, the fabric and the fact that the seat is from birth. I'm not particularly keen on the bassinet as the seat serves the purpose and the bassinet will take up too much space in our storage (it doesn't fold). But I have looked around and there do appear to be places where you can buy it without the bassinet. And for about the same price we can add the car seat so the total spend with the bits and bobs shouldn't exceed GBP 500! I'm quite pleased with that given that there was a time we thought we're looking at a spend of about 800! My only regret is that we won't be able to buy it from the nice gentleman who displayed it for us because they only sell the combination.

We also liked the iCandy strawberry. Seemed like such a smooth push. But the fold was just too chunky for us.

The same shop also had the Jane` Muum but it was in storage and they wouldn't take it out as it was almost closing time. However, it seems to be the same budget as the Mutsy Evo so we're not very disappointed not being able to see it. The shop is too far so i doubt we're going back there just for the Muum. I must add the Jane` Matrix car seat/bassinet is very impressive.

We also went to "visit" the Vista and the Cruz. The Vista I guess sets the benchmark, a real solid piece of equipment, but just too big for us. I really liked the Cruz (it was great on the shop floor) and the basket was enormous! But I agree with Tiggy, the fold is quite big. Plus the seat that claims to be from birth is quite buckety for a newborn even though it does recline 180 degrees flat. So that is again adding the bassinet for us.

So that is just leaving the BabyJogger Versa and the EasyWalker June to demo. I doubt we'll wait for them now. My husband has his heart set on the Evo and is getting all panicky that we haven't bought anything yet (our 100 day countdown started last week). I am still dallying between the Cruz and the Evo, but probably based on the value for money and the fold I'll go with the Evo too.

What is everyone else leaning towards?

milk Sun 29-Jul-12 15:58:30

The Baby Jogger City Versa: Minimum age in seat is 6 Months+

Unsure about the EasyWalker June.

Tiggywunkle Sun 29-Jul-12 21:43:02

My worry about the Versa is the weight and also the length when open - its nearly as long as a couple of tandems I have here at present.

I think the Evo is a better all round, will go anywhere pushchair than the Cruz. I would never worry about it.

The June is the pushchair I desperately am hoping is my 'one' but it too has a long fold and is heavish too.

My DH turned to me earlier and said its an exceptional pushchair that gets to stay here and he's correct....and if it helps I am dithering about keeping the Cruz or not especially after it coped so well on mild off road the other day with my nearly 4 year old in. The fold is one of my biggest issues...but it would stand neatly by my front door.....and I love love love the basket....

Runningblue Sun 29-Jul-12 21:54:07

I've no idea if there is any display as massive as at kiddiecare near Peterborough. The range of pushchairs etc is massive, I know a few people myself included who have had a cheeky visit to simply have every single option laid out in front of them, then bought elsewhere if price better. Highly recommend an outing.

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