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Torn between BabyJogger Versa and Bugaboo Bee+. Help!

(86 Posts)
Badgerhoney Tue 29-Jan-13 13:42:16

Hi,
Just wondering if anyone can help me on this one. One minute I think I've settled on the Versa then the next I'm swaying back to the Bee+. I've looked at loads of others and narrowed it down to these two, but just can't decide which one. If anyone has used these and can offer any pearls of wisdom, I would be forever grateful!

I live in a city basement flat with a short flight of stairs outside. Pavements around where I live can be quite cracked and bumpy in places, but the town centre is smooth.

I'll mainly be walking into and around town and to the park/along the river which is bit more rough terrain in patches. Car and short bus journeys a couple of times a week.

The Bee - I love the lightweight feel and the idea of being able to move in and out of tight spaces. I also wonder will having the Bee mean avoiding having to get another smaller lightweight stroller later on. I struggled when I tried swapping the seat round in the shop and found the two hand fold/unfold a bit fiddly. Also feel a tad concerned about a newborn being safe so low down and in only a cocoon. Biggest concern is the wheels. Will they cope with pavement cracks, rougher patches of ground, cobbles? And the shimmying problem I keep hearing about. One of the display models I played with in the shop actually had this problem.

The Versa - love most things about this including ease of folding, turning the seat, big basket, feels sturdy. Main worries are the weight. It feels heavy to lift when folded so I doubt I could carry it very far but guess one flight of stairs or onto a bus would be ok. Not sure about curbs. Also, it's a bit bigger unfolded than the Bee so wonder if it will fit through all doors, be easy to move in shops/restaurants/public transport. Also, I'd like the GT version but don't think I could handle the extra weight, but wonder if the standard wheel version will be good enough.

Sorry for the rambling.

Look forward to hearing from anyone who has experience of these two and could maybe help.

Cheers!

Badgerhoney

RooneyMara Thu 31-Jan-13 11:35:32

Tiggy, may I ask is the GT shorter folded than the Versa?

On Bestbuggy it looks shorter. (image 18)

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 11:53:10

Thanks RooneyMara. Have tried it out in the shop so have seen the seat. Don't think it's a big deal really, just noticed it was a bit less upright compared to the Bee.
My local pram shop has a good deal on in the sale, though not quite as good as Lesters. I might see if they can price match, so thanks for the tip.

I'd love a GT Versa but it would make it 13kg which I think I'd struggle with as the standard one is already 11.9kg. Tiggy pointed out that the standard version is actually a bit lighter to push because of the all wheel suspension so think I'd have to go with that one as I'm not massively strong. Hope the standard versa wheels will be ok. I think they are the same as the back wheels on the standard city mini. What do folk think of the quality of these? I hope they're long lasting and not too noisy and rattly being hard plastic instead of rubber...

RooneyMara Thu 31-Jan-13 12:11:03

I'm so sorry, I was skimming through the thread trying to see if you had seen it in real life, etc etc but couldn't manage to read it all so I think I missed some stuff you have already said! blush

Yes the GT is apparently a bit heavier - the site I linked to didn't seem too bothered, they said they could hardly tell which is good. I like the quality of the mini wheels - but I think I prefer the look of the GT ones and they're narrower as well though I don't know if this makes any difference in practice.

I've gone for the GT (cancelled order from Debenhams last week - glad I did now). Good luck with the price match, you might be lucky - I asked our local store if they would be getting it and they said no, the Babystyle Oyster is their best seller and is quite similar, and cheaper - well I looked at it in their shop and hated the quality. It's a shame as I'd like to buy it locally.

I imagine the seat not being so upright might be a bit annoying as time goes on but then again, there are so many advantages to the versa against the bee, imo anyway - I'd kind of see it as nothing is perfect, and still the best option. I think the bee is quite a fragile sort of buggy, tiny wheels always get stuck in things - actually that's what I hate about the cameleon, the way that going down a kerb can be quite hairy, as the front wheels are so tiny.

The BJ wheels are much better in comparison.

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 12:16:50

Thanks RooneyMara. Have tried it out in the shop so have seen the seat. Don't think it's a big deal really, just noticed it was a bit less upright compared to the Bee.
My local pram shop has a good deal on in the sale, though not quite as good as Lesters. I might see if they can price match, so thanks for the tip.

I'd love a GT Versa but it would make it 13kg which I think I'd struggle with as the standard one is already 11.9kg. Tiggy pointed out that the standard version is actually a bit lighter to push because of the all wheel suspension so think I'd have to go with that one as I'm not massively strong. Hope the standard versa wheels will be ok. I think they are the same as the back wheels on the standard city mini. What do folk think of the quality of these? I hope they're long lasting and not too noisy and rattly being hard plastic instead of rubber...

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 12:25:31

Oops, somehow managed to post my message twice there by! I've pretty much discounted the Bee now as I don't think it will cope with some of the rougher patches of terrain I need to go on. So I think it will defo be the Versa (hurrah!). I am drawn to those GT wheels, esp for Scottish winters. But on a daily basis I need to be able to bump up kerbs etc and think the 4 wheel suspension/evo wheels instead of two wheel suspension/GT wheels might suit me better for that as not so strong. But those GT wheels are sooooooo tempting...

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 12:28:54

RooneyMara - just out of interest are you going to be using the Versa for a newborn?

RooneyMara Thu 31-Jan-13 13:15:40

Hiya, yes I know what you mean - I'm hoping the lack of rear suspension isn't too noticeable.

I do have a 4wo but am presently using other prams - we've got an old Emmaljunga Edge which I kept from ds2, and it's so cushioned, it's great - I like babies to be in something that really is a soft ride. So I probably won't use it till he is a bit bigger tbh.

Not sure if you're supposed to use these for new babies actually - isn't the BJCM from 6 months? I am confuddled smile Unless it's with the carrycot of course. I still prefer the big old air tyres on our Emmal I think. Though after about 5-6 months it becomes super heavy to push, won't swivel round corners etc so I never get round to using the seat unit on it at all.

Just as well it was second hand!

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 13:32:17

Hiya, you can only use the Versa with a carrycot for first six months cus of the bucket seat, so I'll be doing that and hoping the baby doesn't outgrow it early. Apparently, it's a big carrycot so should be ok. If not, I could possibly use a baby seat wedge insert to flatten the bucket seat for a few weeks. Not sure about this option though. The bjcm actual seat is a flat recline so it can be used from birth. You can get a carrycot too, but only really need it so that the baby can be parent facing for the early months. I think if I really had to have GT wheels, I'd have to go for the bjcm GT instead of the Versa, just to keep the weight down for carrying up the steps outside my house and putting in the car boot. But I think I'd miss the longer term parent facing option that the Versa gives. So many decisions. I think I'm finding it hard as it's my first and they're not due for another 5 weeks so I've no idea what they'll like/want - so am trying to cover all bases! Bet after all this, I end up just using a sling for two years! Hee hee.

Ihateparties Thu 31-Jan-13 13:54:38

If you're worried about outgrowing the carrycot, do you have the measurements handy? i have just under 98th centile dc1s red book here, he was 10.5kg and 71cm at 25 weeks, which is more or less 6 months. According to the john lewis website the versa cot is 75cm long, assume this is outside measurement but I think ds would still have technically fitted in. Weight would have been more of a problem if it has a 9kg weight limit. None of my others would have been anywhere close to outgrowing it in weight or length. Does that help? Unless you're particularly likely to have an off the charts huge baby then it sounds like it will be okay size wise. The thing that's harder to predict is how long your particular baby will be happy to lie flat in it for!

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 14:11:20

I hate parties - Oooo, thanks for the info. This is a whole new realm of stuff to think about. I don't even know what 98th centile means, eek! Yep, dimensions are L75 x W50 x H55cm (with hood up). On babyjogger US site it says weight limit is 25lb. So I guess it should be ok. I was wondering about how long they actually lie flat for though too, if they start pulling themselves up earlier than 6 months (at what say 4months?), I guess it's no longer safe to have them in the carrycot but there's no harness, right? Hmmm, so that would be when I would have to use a wedge insert or the car seat and limit the length of time being out and about. Tricky. Oh dear.

Ihateparties Thu 31-Jan-13 14:47:58

I haven't got one (cos I'm useless with this sort of stuff) but if you find some sort of developmental chart it should give you an idea of what to expect and at what sort of age broadly speaking. If they're got enough muscle strength and control to pull themselves up though then it kind of follows they probably have enough to sit safely in the seat unit so I doubt it would be a problem in reality iyswim. I think 4m would be pretty early for pulling up but at 6m it's more likely (unless my expectations are way off?)

You usually can attach a harness to a carrycot though, if you're worried. I think it's only very recently that regs changed and there no longer have to be d rings or similar on them to attach your own harness.

I don't fully understand the centile charts but generally 2nd centile = statistically small 98th centile = statistically big.

PopsyWind Thu 31-Jan-13 14:59:44

Bugaboo bee is terrible on cobbles!

Having said that everything else about it has been perfect for me. Got it 4 yrs ago for new born DS and haven't needed another.

DS moved to buggy board when DD born (although there was 2y 9m between them) and its only just starting to get sl rickety.

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 20:00:22

Had a look online and seems they pull themselves up anytime from six months, so should be ok. Hopefully anyway!

Tiggywunkle Fri 01-Feb-13 01:07:16

Badger my DD was very very early physically. She could sit up on her own at 3 months old, and was crawling by 6 months. But she also would sleep for England! So within minutes of leaving the house, she would be fast asleep in her carrycot. When she woke up, if she wanted to sit up, we would harness her into the carrycot with an add on harness and she was fine.
But TBH that was very rare. We used to keep her laid down. So I wouldnt worry. She moved to a seat at 5 and a half months.
But a typical child will sit unaided at around 6 months and crawl around 9-10 months. They shouldnt pull themselves up until nearer the 12 month mark.

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 07:26:54

ds3 hates lying flat most of the time so I'm already propping him up, sort of at an angle against the side of the pram - which is very padded - as the pram we're using has a prop-up back rest. He looks around for a while then goes to sleep, so I lie him down then. Probably not ideal!

Badgerhoney Fri 01-Feb-13 09:45:49

Thanks for the info. I guess all babies are different and there's no way of nowing until s/he arrives. I could get a Bee+ and s/he Good to know all this stuff in advance though so I'm prepared. I'll just have to hope the baby's doesn't grow too fast and likes lying down!

Tiggy (or anyone else who already has a versa), do you find the stand evo wheels quite quiet or noisy when you're walking along? I'm sure the GT wheels would be nice and quiet but not sure about the standard ones as they're hard plastic. I've only wheeled one round a pram shop so can't tell. Whenever I pass folk with umbrella strollers I always notice the sound of the plastic wheels rumbling along the pavement. I know it's probably daft, but I wonder if it might bug me if the standard versa sounds like that.

Badgerhoney Fri 01-Feb-13 09:49:10

Ps I didn't finish my first sentence. I meant to say, I could get a Bee+ and the baby could hate lying strapped into the the cocoon so prob no just as much risk as getting a versa and them hating the carrycot (if that makes sense?!) confused

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 10:36:35

Badger, I haven't got mine yet but I do have a buggy with similar wheels - the Britax B agile - and I didn't notice the wheels making any sound the other day when I took it out. It was fine and our pavements are dreadful...this town is built for tourists so it's all bloody heritage cobbles and so on! Awful for prams.

It was even Ok on those, though the Emmal is the best for that sort of terrain. I do always notice the sound of an oncoming Bee though! I think cos of the smallness of the wheels and the lack of suspension perhaps? I don't know what makes it so noisy. But I think the evo wheels on the versa would be fine in terms of rattling. It's kind of hard-but-soft if you know what I mean?

Badgerhoney Fri 01-Feb-13 10:53:29

Thanks Rooney, that's really helpful. And made me chuckle – 'the sound of an oncoming bee'. Hee hee. I'm probably coming across as a total fusspot, but I just want to do my best to get my first pushchair as close to being right as I can. Although, appreciate there's no way real of knowing until I'm out and about in the real world with a baby in it! shock

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 11:18:34

Badger, it's taken me 3 children, 10 years and over 60 pushchairs to get this far...there's never a 'right one' that encompasses everything. It's a learning curve - but a fun one I think smile

You're wise to try and get it right first time, I did stick to mainly one with ds1 after a few false starts! But since then I really like trying out different ones, most have been second hand, obviously, but they are all good at different things smile

I hope you do make the right choice and don't have to mess about trying to get the right one later, though. Good luck and keep asking questions - I am always happy to talk buggies, I even left the kids in the car for ten minutes the other day, including the baby (who cried! sad and ds1 had to hold him) because I was in a pram shop and was so excited to have a conversation with someone who understood grin <needs to get out more>

Ihateparties Fri 01-Feb-13 12:07:11

The wheels on the normal versa are not at all noisy, they're eva not hard plastic like some umbrella strollers.

I don't think there's any point in worrying too much if they will outgrow things or develop insanely early physically, you just can't control that type of stuff. And as rooney said it's really not the end of the world if you find whatever you buy doesn't totally suit you, there is a vast used market in pushchairs now, it's relatively easy to swap if necessary and you stop before it becomes a habit unlike the rest of us

RooneyMara Fri 01-Feb-13 17:53:51

I just unpacked my Versa GT. I don't like it sad

The chassis is lovely, really nice, though when you push the handlebar from side to side it moves - I'd expected a more solid construction tbh. Feels a bit flimsy for the price.

The fabric is horrid. White stitching on black and nothing like the BJCM fabric, which I liked a lot. It's that heavy weave plasticky stuff. And a bit of frayed edging came off in my hand - no, no. This is not good enough. They've really skimped on it.

There is also a chip on the seat hinge part, under where you attach the bumper bar. Making sharpish (not dangerous but still) little edge.

It's going back I think. sad Oh and I hate the awkward recline that takes the footwell with it - only two positions? Surely not. Keeps getting jammed as well.

Gahhhhh

Badgerhoney Fri 01-Feb-13 20:35:47

Oh no!!! That sucks. Hmmm. You really think it's not not a keeper? sad

Ihateparties Fri 01-Feb-13 20:48:10

Nooooooo. The jamming in particular does not sound good.

I can't say I even noticed the fabric really and certainly nothing on mine was fraying. The chip sounds rubbish too, is it damage or some sort of shaping and they're all like it?

I heard something about the handlebar on the GT can't remember what, Tiggy will know. Mine was very solid. It was stiff in some ways and then obviously recalled..

:-(

Badgerhoney Fri 01-Feb-13 20:49:55

Double :-(

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