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Travel systems - a minefield of information

(17 Posts)
MrAnnaSpanner Wed 27-Sep-06 23:03:50

Ok, so I am not a mum, nor am I ever likely to be. I am the "uver arf" of Anna Spanner who I think posts on here.

Herself has charged her parents with the purchase of the pram/buggy/pushcahir/whateveryouwannacallit and in turn charged me with selecting it.

As a result my head is in a spin. We live in Spain so the first thing I was handed was a magazine devoted to selling things for babies. Great, a whole load of weird terms and vocab for me to get my head round. Now I wouldn't mind if there was just a little bit of consitency between the reviews, but alas no. In one they feel it is imperitive to tell you that it collapses this way but leave you guessing when reviewing another make and model.

So, I decided to devise my own selection system. Point 1, will it fit in the boot of our car. That worked, I weeded out about 75% of the range they had. I finally found one that I thought would be good, only to look on here and to find out they have a reputation for falling apart.

So...... can anybody offer any advice on how to select the much sought after and possibly mythical, perfect solution? What I would love is an impartial place that compares all models. Kind of like a car buyers guide.

And just one more thing, I am a bloke. I like football. I like cars. I drink beer. I work in the building trade. I can be very blokey. But I do have a brain. Surely I am not the only man insulted by "for men" baby books that equate all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and raising of children to football and cars. Likewise, I took one look at the men's section on here and ran away screaming. Sexism is a 2 way street, how offensive would it be if I was to make a joke about women drivers?

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Clary Wed 27-Sep-06 23:17:05

Hello Mr Anna
(lol at"never likely to be mum" btw)

What is it you want? Do you drive a lot or walk more? We had a 2-in-1 pram from Bebecar which I liked, when we go tthe bigger car we have now it foled up into the boot still assembled.

But a much cheaper option which I might be tempted by if about to have baby no 1 again, is to use a sling (I liked my BabyBjorn) and then a cheapy umbreall fold buggy (Maclaren) at 6mo.

I personally don't like "travel systems" where people stick the baby in the little car seat and stash it on the big pushchair; 1) because the baby is better lying flat at this age 2) because you hardly ever see the big pushchair being used later - people switch to a little umbrella buggy.

What we ended up with after the Maclaren broke (I have 3 children) was the Instep Nipper 3-wheeler which I would recommdned if you want a 3-wheeler - ie it's very light over rough terrain if you walk a lot (we do). It's bulky in the hall/car tho and not the skimpiest thing around town.

Any help?

Macdog Wed 27-Sep-06 23:33:02

why not try the mumsnet best book. we read it when i was pg, had useful product reviews in it. you can order it direct from and pay postage.
hope it helps

Ags Wed 27-Sep-06 23:43:28

Sympathies to you. Have just done a bit of a search to try to find some helpful information for you and everything is a bit Mummy centred!

My husband approached the whole thing in a very similar manner and got befuddled. He ended up accosting strange women on the street to talk about their buggies with them! I'm sure they thought it was a pick up line and if he had not been so single minded in his task would have scored!

We went Mothercare Urban Detour for both of our two and really recommend their travel systems. The buggy is extremely light and easy to push (same can't be said about lifting it however!). It is big and may not fall into the 25% that fit in the boot although you can very easily remove the wheels.

Some of my friends have Isofix car seats which they find really convenient.

Could not find any comparison sites except this american one but it does have some of the available brands like Graco, Chicco, Britax etc Nextag Hope this will be helpful.

MrAnnaSpanner Thu 28-Sep-06 06:22:33


Thanks to Clary, Macdog and Ags.

Aren't those American sites depressing! They are so cheap. But they don't deliver outside the US or Guam. What is the weather like in Guam?

I hit our midwife with a load of questions last night and came out of it with some of the mysteries explained. I think it is time to get down to Babies R Us and road test a few. What I really want to do is drag one or two outside and see how they load into the car, but I doubt they will be too keen, there is a real shoplifting paranoia here.

Driving? Yes and no. We live in a small coastal village which has many things at hand so a lot of use would be local. That said, big shopping trips tend to be by car - not easy carrying gallons of water etc. We also have a trip planned at Easter by which time our little lady will be 4 months old. This will be about 10 hours of driving each way.

Spain has very strict rules about carrying babies and children in cars, hard to believe when you see some of the attrocious driving with kids clambering all over the cars, and is very good regarding approved products.

I think I am going to have to wear out some shoe leather to get to the bottom of this as the research is doing my head in.

I too have being eying up young mothers (and their prams) in the street, I take it as a natural pogression from grinning at bumps. Thankfully this is a country obsessed with children and pregnancy so my actions aren't viewed as strange at all.

On the mummy centred issue, I am not bothered in the least. Am I not posting on mumsnet? Funnily, I threw a catalogue at a friend and told him to choose for me. He went purely on a colour that matched the car. How girlie is that?

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MrAnnaSpanner Thu 28-Sep-06 18:57:06

The mists are clearing!

I now know that we don't want a travel system so much as a 3in1. But then again some places still call that a travel system. I have discovered a brand called Nurse which seemed pretty good quality and good value too. Herself was not too struck by the unknown name until I did some net research and found out it is Jané's 2nd brand. Works out about ?100 cheaper than the Jané equivalent. and comes with loads included. Bags, baskets, etc.

Now to check out if it will fit our car....

Those mists are descending again.....

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pol26 Thu 28-Sep-06 19:53:37

From personally experience and working in a nursery goods shop I think you ought to go to some where that will let you try things in your car and you're right babies r us is not the place, they are generally miserable and won't actually help you at all. DP and I spent ages wandering round there and no one offered any help; luckily I knew what was going on.

I think you have to question what you life is like, are you car people or walkers???
Are you both tall, short etc... do you need an ajustable handle height or will one height do?
Does your wife want a pushchair or carrycot (for them to sleep in over night, if yoy have no moses basket or crib, handy if you visit parents/friends and stay over as you have a bed and something to push them in all in one)?
Is your wife able to lift heavy/bulky things, will she want to? (consider that if she has a c-section she won't be able too) So check out each systems weigh and make sure she is able to lift it to the height of your car boot.
And of course you have to like the look of it and it has to be within the price range you are looking at!

If it helps for DD we had a mamas and papas pliko which is an umbrella fold (like a concetina) from birth and well padded. We had it with a footmuff (like a little sleeping bag that straps in too your pushchair) and with DS (three weeks today!) We have gone all out and had a chassis (wheels) with car seat that attaches, pushchair seat and carrycot. That is made by bebe confort. It has changable suspension for slightly rougher terrain but not beaches (a three wheeler would be for you if you wanted to do that)... It is very bulky but I don't use it in the car really, other than the wheels and carseat which will be for a limited time (prob under a year) and we have a seperate maclaren buggy- which I would reccomend and our is suitable from three months.

I hope that helps you.

lucy5 Fri 29-Sep-06 22:08:37


Another dweller of a small costal town in Spain , ask Anna . Anyway are your inlaws buying in Spain or England? We too have got to buy a pram, they have all changed so much since I had our daughter six years ago. Just from looking at what other women are pushing, i've noted quite a few Jane and bebe confort around.

There is a shop in the road opposite the Centro De Salud, called Dulce Bebe, i haven't been in so it might be rubbish. There is also a Chicco shop in La Canada, i like the look of the 3 in 1's there.

There's is also the dreaded Toys r us in Los Barrios, I don't know how hands on they are as we got told off for letting our daughter try on roller skates! Anyway will look forward to what you discover.

MrAnnaSpanner Fri 29-Sep-06 22:32:09

Hi Lucy,

Yup I have heard of you from Anna. Here goes....

Chicco shop La Cañada was OK but pricey. Al Campo (for those that aren't from round here is a supermarket) has a great baby range and a good choice on the pushchair side.

I have discovered a brand that I was keen to see called NURSE. I did a little research and found out it is made by Jané. The models they had were from ranges that were out a few years back but the prices were good.

However, we made a trip to ToysRus tonight and I was impressed. Very helpful assistant who stood up well to our barrage of questions and didn't bat an eyelid as I ripped into the prams. The newer model of the NURSE TRILOOK is fantastic. A full 3-in-1 4 wheeler, bag, basket, etc all included. Available in a couple of colours, collapses nicely and weighs in at 299 euros, about 200 less than the equivalent jané.

AND.... when we are ready to buy they are more than happy for us to try it in our car first. In answer to your question, the in laws will be buying in Spain, Centro Commercial Los Barrios to be precise! They actually live near Barcelona but spend some time in the UK too.

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MrAnnaSpanner Fri 29-Sep-06 22:42:22

Thanks Pol, I missed your post somehow.

I hadn't thought of the beach aspect. I think I prefer the manoeverability (took me 3 attempts to spell that) of a 4 wheeler, if we are having a beach day we will have to carry her chariot over the sand.

Back to Lucy's post, I know Dulce Bebé although due to the ridiculous hour of Anna's appointments, I have never seen it open. I got talking to a guy in Leroy's some weeks back, he turned out to be the owner of that shop and was buying stuff to fit out a new branch they are opening in Marbella.

Did I mention that the Nurse 3-in-1 has a easy to operate bar brake rather than individual wheels?

Anna may have a point about this becoming an obsession.

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lucy5 Fri 29-Sep-06 22:49:28

Hehehehe! Have you looked in Hipercor in Corte Ingles? We haven't yet, really must get motivated or this baby will be coming home on a skateboard.

MrAnnaSpanner Sun 01-Oct-06 12:50:24

And the final decision?

Yesterday we went to a local shop (Avda Juan Carlos next to BBVA bank near the old market ground). I always prefer going to individual shops rather than large franchises.

We ordered the Nurse Trilook II. It cost an extra 10 euros but they offered a greater range of colours and is a 5 minute walk from home, we would probably use at least 10 euros in fuel going to ToysRus and back.

For the record, they currently have a sale on and have great prices on grobags.

Thanks for all your help and advice.

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MrAnnaSpanner Tue 10-Oct-06 23:59:57

So now we have it. Although it is not allowed in the house due to a superstition on Ms Spanner's family.

It is great apart from one thing. The instructions.

Now obviously I speak English, and my Spanish ain't TOO shabby, but I was mystified. Why does a Spanish company selling a product in Spain have the instructions in badly translated English?

I am a builder type, I have assembled various machines, Ikea furniture, etc, but never have I seen anything so complicated. Nor have I ever come across the word "rabbet" before.

Anyway, it is done. Next stage is to work out how to use it. Cue teddy bears and dolls. I am plucking up the courage to test if it fits in the car!

That may be worthy of another thread!

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lucy5 Wed 11-Oct-06 00:21:51

I looked at prams today, tried your shop but it was closed, will go back later in the week. Only old timers like me know what a "rabbet" is. You'll learn

PinkTulips Wed 11-Oct-06 00:35:36

completely off topic but are you irish mr anna? i noticed you call your wife 'herself' and i've only ever heard that over here.

congrats on the buggy purchase and i hope you enjoy MN, even if we are a little sexist

MrAnnaSpanner Wed 11-Oct-06 10:49:31


No I am not Irish, but it has been said before. Many Irish friends, I play Irish music and am partial to the odd pint of Guinness. When I say odd, the stuff you get here is decidedly odd!

Actually half Czech, half German, Hungarian surname, born and raised in London and now living in Spain. I would say I am European.

I don't think MN is sexist, but I am insulted by the wealth of baby books for blokes on the market. They are not ALL condescending football/car analogies, but many are.

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PinkTulips Wed 11-Oct-06 17:34:01

lol sorry, had to ask!

i'm another 'european' then, dutch/irish with a bit of greek and french thrown in for good measure.

hate those mens preg books too, wanted to get one for dp to force him to read up on preg but he hates football and car so they were hardly going to encourage him!

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