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Which pushchair from birth for London (and no car!)

(39 Posts)
marushka82 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:55:18

Hi everyone,
I'm currently 19wks pregnant with our DC1 and although it's still quite early I started doing some research on pushchairs. And guess what? I'm totally confused (so much choice!) and I need your advice!

I'd like to buy a pushchair which would be suitable from birth, rear and forward facing and easy to steer.
We don't have a car (and don't plan on getting one just yet) so I think we don't need an integrated travel system (unless there's a great deal and pushchair and car seat can be bought in a bundle), we'll get a cheap car seat separately (I'm sure we'd only use it once or twice, once being when we leave the hospital).

I plan to do a lot of walking (no off roading, just London pavements!) and occasionally jump on the bus (and even more occasionally use the tube, although if that happens I will have DH on hand to help!). We'll probably be living in a terraced house flat, or 1st floor flat (more likely ground floor though!).

The budget is around £350 and we definitely cannot afford a buggaboo bee. I'd also prefer to buy the pushchair new, rather than on e-bay if possible.

I had my eyes set on M&P Sola but I read so many bad reviews about wheels falling off that I just don't want to risk it!
Now I seem to have narrowed it down to three candidates:

1) Maxi Cosi Elea - I read great reviews and it seems to have all we need. I know there are shops that have good offers on it, but the problem seems to be with viewing it irl! Does anyone know which London stores have them on display?
2) Britax B-smart 4 - again, good reviews for this one and the price is right (I also saw a bundle offer which included a car seat and carrycot, but again, where can I actually see it? I wouldn't want to buy it without testing it in the shop first)
3) Graco Evo - saw it in the shop and it looks fine, good reviews etc, the only thing that worries me are the plastic wheels - are they going to be an issue?

Phew, I realise this is a long post so congratulate yourselves if you got this far!
I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have!!!

Another quick question: has anyone had any experience buying from Babyvalue on ebay? They've got a Maxi Cosi Elea for a reasonable price (auction) apparently brand new: what's the catch? It normally costs £400, £320 with offers.

Ihateparties Mon 04-Mar-13 16:59:58

Jane muum? I've got my thinking cap on for other alternatives too. From the ones you have shortlisted i'm assuming you don't need it to fold parent facing. My head still says bee though... is there no way of affording it? Otherwise maybe an njoy bubble? Mutsy Evo? Personally i would want something narrow but that's just my taste and there are plenty of report of wider pushchairs being fine on london buses etc.

Friend of a friend has recently got a graco evo, this is reminding me to try and get a review off her.

marushka82 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:19:58

Thanks! I read about Mutsy Evo and apparently it's quite bulky and heavy...
I definitely don't want to spend more than £350 on a pushchair as we'll have to get a car seat as well, so bugaboo is out of my budget...
Never heard about njoy bubble, googling it now!
I'm tempted to just get the Graco Evo (I saw it in the shop and liked it) or risk Maxi Cosi Elea although I haven't seen it (it looks great and I haven't read any negative reviews so far)...
Luckily I still have a lot of time, but will have a look at any suggestions!
Baby Jogger mini versa looked awesome, but I read it was recalled and it's still not back?

Dillydollydaydream Mon 04-Mar-13 22:28:57

I have actually just 'won' an elea pushchair on eBay from Babyvalue. Ended up bidding 174.99 for it which I thought was good for a new pushchair. I haven't seen one irl either just videos on YouTube so hopefully it'll be ok! It's compatible with the maxi cosi carseat and is forward or parent facing and can be used from birth with the baby nest which comes with the pushchair.

I'll let you know what I think when it actually arrives!

Tiggywunkle Mon 04-Mar-13 22:37:08

Well done! I hope you like it.

greenthumbs Mon 04-Mar-13 23:05:33

We have a Britax B Smart 4, we got it at the baby show on the last afternoon at a massive discount, everyone sells everything off rather than packing up. It's a fab pushchair and I don't understand why it's not more popular.

dinkystinky Mon 04-Mar-13 23:11:30

Baby jogger city versas are back on sale through selected stockists - I got mine last week. It is at the top end of what you want to pay though and you need car seat or pram carrycot till baby is six months. Perhaps get in touch with maxi cosi to find London stockists of the Elea?

Ihateparties Mon 04-Mar-13 23:11:31

Maybe it depends where you are, I see them on a daily basis :-)

FannyBazaar Mon 04-Mar-13 23:15:07

If you ever want to use the car seat for a journey where you might be on public transport first then a travelsystem is a godsend, also if you might be using a car on holidays.

You don't need a car seat to leave the hospital unless you are in your own car.

milk Tue 05-Mar-13 09:18:31
marushka82 Tue 05-Mar-13 09:39:32

Hi everyone, thanks for your suggestions! Dillydollydaydream please do let me know once you receive and test the Elea, I'm really curious about that ebay supplier - the prices seem almost too good to be true, but I keep thinking there must be a catch? Is it cheaper because it's last year's model?

greenthumbs was this the recent baby show in Excel in Feb? I just got a reply from one store saying they have Britax b smart 4 in stock, but they don't confirm whether it's on display (I assume it is, because that was the question in my email to them :D

I think I will contact Maxi Cosi directly - surely there must be at least one store in London who have Elea on display? :D

RE: car seat - I will be going home in a taxi from the hospital (it's definitely not walking distance!), so I assumed I'd need a car seat?

TuesdayNightDateNight Tue 05-Mar-13 10:04:13

The seller on eBay BabyValue is the outlet for Dorel, they are the UK branch of Maxi Cosi, Quinny etc...

It means you are usually bidding on returned stock, refurbished stuff or just things with very minor cosmetic blips which mean they can't be sold at full price. Often when they arrive they are actually completely brand new!

Have bought quite a few things from them over the years and never been disappointed.

If you message them they are usually very helpful with finding you what you need and/or sending out replacements. I was sent the wrong thing once and they replaced it and told me not to bother sending the other one back (a Zapp I think it was!)

rootypig Tue 05-Mar-13 10:06:50

We got a bugaboo bee second hand (like new) for £250 and it's been brilliant. there are a LOT on the London resale market. Then buy a new muff / cocoon. Check gumtree to buy direct from another parent x

ElliesWellies Tue 05-Mar-13 12:10:13

Our situation sounds similar to yours, and we had a Britax B-Smart 4. It is a lovely looking pushchair and great for newborns. It is, however, wide at the back, and really heavy, and does not fold up small. It is not great for going on public transport. Also, the seat doesn't sit up 100% straight and there isn't a proper footrest. I don't think it's good for older babies or toddlers.

I would urge you to resist spending too much on a lovely shiny pushchair that weighs too much! We switched to a Maclaren about six months in and have never looked back. I would say get a Maclaren Techno which is suitable from birth. It doesn't face the parent, although I understand you can clip a car seat in which would then allow you to see your newborn.

The main thing is to look at pushchair size and weight, in my opinion. If you're like me, you'll get sick of driving a lorry, even if it looks great!!

marushka82 Tue 05-Mar-13 12:27:03

I looked at MacLaren techno, but I'd really love the option of forward and rear facing. You mention that MacLaren does that but only with a car seat - I heard that the general guidance is for newborns not to be in the car seat for longer than two hours?
I'm more and more tempted to get the Elea off eBay from baby value (secretly counting on Dillydollydaydream to review her experience with both the pushchair and the seller! smile

TobyKemp Tue 05-Mar-13 14:24:56

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

marushka82 Tue 05-Mar-13 15:30:23

TobyKemp thanks a lot for sharing! I haven't read a single bad review of it so far :D Could you tell me what wheels it has? The one thing that discourages me from getting a Graco Evo are the plastic wheels.

Dillydollydaydream Tue 05-Mar-13 16:00:07

I will definitely let you know what the elea is like and buying from babyvalue too!

Ihateparties Tue 05-Mar-13 16:25:48

I'm not sure what the difference is in the wheels tbh, i didn't think the evo ones were hard plastic, i think the evo and the elea will have eva wheels.

marushka82 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:06:58

I just talked to my friend (mother of two babies) and she got me totally confused about the pushchair choice...confused
She basically said that the rear/forward facing thing is a faff and useful for maybe 6 months because after 6m the baby will be sitting up and more interested to look at the world around it then its mum :D
She also said that the lighter the pushchair the better and she'd get a MacLaren had she had a choice. I'm sort of convinced, but buying one pushchair to serve you from birth to 6 months and then getting another one like MacLaren (which everyone is raving about as it's light). Or I could go with just a good forward facing and comfy pushchair and add a second hand carrycot for the first six months? Grrr, I really really hate the fact that until the baby is here and I actually start using the pushchair I won't know what works and what doesn't and obviously what works for one person doesn't work for another.
As we don't have a car and I don't plan to necessarily lift the pushchair or fold it too much (hoping to get a ground floor flat in a terraced house) I don't think the weight will necessarily be an issue, but I also would hate to find that I spent £300 on a pushchair that I will want to ditch in favour of something lighter in less than a year.
So now I'm looking at Baby Jogger City Mini or a MacLaren as they are lighter. Just need to check whether I can mount a carrycot onto a BJCM?

ENormaSnob Wed 06-Mar-13 16:24:43

I hated my maclarens. Really really loathed them.

Personally I would rather get a second hand bee than any of those listed in the op.

tethersend Wed 06-Mar-13 16:27:22

I'd get a baby style oyster.

marushka82 Wed 06-Mar-13 16:58:45

thanks guys. I realise that Bugaboo bee is really popular but it just looks a bit... flimsy?

Ihateparties Wed 06-Mar-13 17:04:03

Did you discount the njoy bubble for a particular reason being it's very similar to a maclaren in size but perhaps a bit heavier and parent faces too? Purely forward facing with carrycot i would go britax b agile with cot or city mini probably city mini gt with compact or compact plus carrycot.

Infact i had a b agile with cot for the first 6 months but find forward facing a 6 month old a challenge to my brain so switched to something else at that point.

marushka82 Wed 06-Mar-13 22:04:26

I think I just read a few negative reviews about njoy bubble (will have a look again though, as I had my heart set on Elea at the time, so perhaps that affected me! grin). I've decided to go to John Lewis/Mothercare again this weekend and have a look at lighter pushchairs (perhaps not necessarily rear facing) like Britax B Agile or Baby Jogger City Mini (I really like what I read about it so far!). I reckon BJCM GT is a bit out of our price range (unless we stumble upon a good offer!).
I have to say I'm not totally convinced as I'm worried about having a 6 month old facing forward; this sounds stupid, but if they start crying I'll have to stop and go round to talk to them/distract them/check them (or do whatever you do with babies to make them happy! Yes, I'm clueless at this point, please don't laugh grin) - mums who had a forward facing pushchair from 6 months - how did you find it?

scaevola Wed 06-Mar-13 22:08:12

McLarens are great for regular users, especially if you need to fold when it's crowded. Gracos are also narrow and fit on easily.

Wider ones are a PITA to get down bus aisles.

ilovemountains Wed 06-Mar-13 22:10:28

I had a maclaren techno xt for mine from birth, it was great. I do loads of city walking, going on buses etc. I definitely would not get a travel system, anything big or anything heavy.

Iwillorderthefood Wed 06-Mar-13 22:25:18

Maclaren, I so wish that we had just gone for the top of the range maclaren, and not wasted a load of money on the bugaboo. Used bugaboo for the first year for each child, then switched to maclaren, as they are so much more practical on public transport. I saw someone with a carrycot type option attached to a maclaren the other day, so baby lay flat too. They are not as whizzy and pretty as some of the others on the market, but ask yourself why the pram you see over and over again in London is maclaren.

marushka82 Thu 07-Mar-13 00:29:41

Right. I managed to completely confuse myself while looking for light strollers.
I'm going to hit the shops on Sunday and check out:

-MacLaren Techno XLR
-Cosatto Giggle 3 in 1 (love the fact that it's light, cute, has a carrycot included in price and forward and rear facing)
-Graco Evo again (Mothercare have an awesome offer on it now which includes a car seat!)
-Baby Jogger City Mini (I love the look of it and how it folds, plus the reviews I read here on MN were awesome)
Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions! Looks like choosing a pushchair is no easy feat!

gameday Thu 07-Mar-13 00:58:53

I loved our MacLaren. We used ours from birth and all children survived. And it made me feel all smug when parents strugged onto the bus with their oversized SUV buggies and we whizzed up and down the aisles like a hot knife through butter! Agree that most of the 'faffing' about pushchairs is about the first 3 or 6 months, at most, and then you'll be glad of having spent less on a light, easily foldable pushchair that is welcome in crowded cafes and that you can use until they can walk onto the bus themselves.

rootypig Sun 10-Mar-13 09:57:21

I agree the Bee isn't the sturdiest, but you say no off roading. I walk 40+ miles a week with my (second hand one) and have no issues. DD gets jostled a bit but it doesn't bother her remotely (quite the opposite, smooth ground seems to wake her up) I don't think it's worth £600, but I went through all the agonies that you describe and did, quite literally, eight months of on off research, and eventually plumped for the Bee (after my due date!) but second hand. DD is 4.5 months and no way in 6 weeks will she be ready to face outward imo, you are right to prioritise parent facing, particularly in a busy, chaotic place like London. Also don't be too hasty to dismiss weight. This is a city full of steps...... everyone has the Bee for a reason. Until someone makes a version that is more robust, with bigger wheels, it's pretty much the only thing that fits the bill you describe.

There are always good like new offers on gumtree in your price bracket eg then £50 left over for a shiny new cocoon.

And this way if you hate it, after a month you can sell it on at no loss

That last bit was what swayed me...... HTH

rootypig Sun 10-Mar-13 09:59:08

last thing - get a Bee and you won't need a MacLaren at 6 months.

Nanny01 Sun 10-Mar-13 10:51:52

I have a cossato giggle. It is much lighter than many mentioned. It comes as a complete package to with a carrycot, bag, footmuff, raincover and a chasie that can take a seat that faces both ways. A 4 year guarantee and really good customer service which sorted out my break for me with in a week returning buggy in working order. I would stay away from heavy buggies unless you can leave them up. I can truly say if this had been available from the start I would not have bought the other one as I use the car loads. I know you said you won't be using the car but often in the past I had to fit the pushchair into a small space on the bus. If I was really unfortunate I had to fold it. So a pushchair with a small footprint is good. You can get a car seat for it reasonable price and I would still get one because it is safer to have one for the few journeys you might do. Also it is useful as you can click it on and off the seat unit at friends houses to so have some where to feed lo in. Light weight is key if you have to carry it any where is a must. The giggle to me has a good value for money option.

VinegarDrinker Sun 10-Mar-13 11:01:21

We are in the same situation (London, no car) but my research is 2 years old. That njoy bubble one looks fab. We went to Kiddicare in Peterborough and played with loads. We ended up with a Chicco Trio Living travel system for £200 all in. It is hardly bigger than a Maclaren, definitely not trendy or shiny but absolutely does the job and is in regular usage still (DS is 2y). We used it rear facing to well over 1.

Btw have you looked at slings? One reason we didn't want to spend loads on a buggy was we expected to use slings more, and we absolutely do. That's our day to day transport option, a million times easier than even the smallest buggy for getting on public transport.

kerrywoo Thu 14-Mar-13 19:45:33

I really liked the look of the Cosatto Giggle and bought one for our first born with some money my gran had left me.
It seemed to be ok at first but on only the 4th use it has broken. I haven't been using it much as advised to rest from the cesarean.

We haven't been anywhere but on pavement with it.
The front wheel collapsed as I was pushing it over a tarmac'd car park. The pram above collapsed with the frame and toppled to the ground. It was an extremely frightening experience for me and my two week old baby.

This is a serious design flaw and Cosatto need to fix it. The wheel is clearly not strong enough and there is no safety feature if it fails.



Mutley77 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:49:45

I think the babystyle oyster maybe a good choice. Have you looked at it?

I have two dc, 8 and 4, and never had a rear facing pram beyond the carrycot stage. Buying new for dc3 and am going for mountain buggy so will be f facing when he/she is out of carry cot. The rear facing thing is quite new and all my friends managed without except those who had bugaboos and none of them used thier bugaboos rear facing after baby was 6 mths.

Sheshelob Fri 15-Mar-13 00:00:14

Maclaren all the way. We started out with a pram but big baby meant he had grown out of it by 5 months. So we opted for Maclaren XT because it lies back flat. It is also nice and narrow, which meant we no longer took up the entire buggy space on buses (which can be downright dangerous in London), and light enough to heft about up and down escalators on the tube. Also has a extra big hood, which is great in the summer/for naps.

Bearwantsmore Fri 15-Mar-13 00:00:14

Bee bee bee! Honestly, there's no contest. Of all the mums I've come across in London, the ones who are happiest with their pushchair (and who don't end up replacing it with a Maclaren after a few months!) are those with a Bee. Mine is still going strong 4.5 yrs and 2 DC later.

Also you won't necessarily need a car seat. You can take the pram in a black cab - just wheel it straight in. There are are threads on here about this if you search.

marushka82 Fri 15-Mar-13 11:10:25

Hi everyone,

thanks for all the suggestions! I have read a lot of Giggle reviews and no one ever mentioned any design flaws... Kerrywoo this must have been a scary experience! Have you contacted Cosatto afterwards?
I have to say I read a lot of Babystyle Oyster reviews and they weren't as good as the ones for giggle; I saw Oyster in the shop and it seemed heavy as well (plus we'd need to get a separate carrycot for it which would hike the price up!). What I like about Giggle so far (I'm hoping to actually see it irl today or tomorrow) is that you get everything included in the price (all accessories like footmuff, bag, rain cover, etc) AND a carrycot. I love the design as well!

I'm definitely going to try and use a sling - I've got a close friend who swore by hers and promised to give me her sling to have a go (she'll also teach me how to tie it when I go and see her in April, yay!)

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