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Travel System, Pram, Pushchair.... confused about what would be best for city living....(36 Posts)
I've reached the inevitable pram dilemma! My bf and I have looked at prams (online reviews and John Lewis). I thought that a travel system would work best for us (multi-functionality). But it seems some people end up buying them and then discarding them after a few months and moving to a pushchair when the baby is old enough.
We live in Brixton (first floor walk up and have to keep the pram on the first floor landing), we will be doing quite a bit of walking (around the local area, park and out for coffee/lunch) and occasional bus/tube travel, we have a car which we tend to use to get about on the weekends (just changing coy car style now to a larger one so boot space is not a problem but flat storage space is).
I'm interested in people's experience of travel systems and whether they would recommend a separate pram/sling at birth and buggy later instead of a travel system?
In terms of travel systems the ones that seemed easiest to fold up and had a good carry cot (so I can get the baby up the stairs and leave sleeping still - if that ever happens!) were the silvercross wayfarer and uppababy cruz.
All suggestions gratefully received!
My husband and I have done TONS of research (online, which.co.uk, friends/neighbours) and we've determined that the Uppababy Cruz is best for us. We live in London and will be out and about walking or using public transport frequently. The Uppababy Cruz is the highest rated on Which.co.uk for its category (and our friends who own one agree, which is more important!). Key for us is lightweight, portability, easy to fold, and options for both front and rear-facing seat. We'll be getting the pram + carry cot and the Maxi Cosi car seat. I'll probably also get a sling, but the pram is essential as well.
Sorry I can't give you personal testimonial yet as we haven't bought it! We're scouring eBay but may end up buying new if a used one doesn't come up soon.
Have you been into the shop and actually had a play? That's the best way to buy. You need to try folding and feel how heavy they are and easy to steer.
I lived in London and we have a bugaboo bee, it's brilliant and perfect for a city. Not sure if you've been up to Clapham but they're everywhere! Have you been to Peppermint on Northcote road as they sell them and other prams. We got a good package deal with a car seat.
It folds easily and can face both ways and is really easy to push. It has one handle bar which is so much easier when you have a toddler who wants to walk. You can't steer two handles with one hand. It's also got height adjustable handles and a good sized basket, I love it. Car seat also clips on if needed. Light weight too.
We haven't done what most people do and moved on to a Maclaren as it makes a great pushchair too.
The others you could look at is the Armadillo range from mamas and papas and Babyzen.
We went for the Uppababy Cruz, also live in London. It was fine, but not exactly lightweight. Fits well onto buses as narrower than a lot of travel systems.
If I had to do it again though I would go for a Bugaboo Bee, purely because I'm v short and the Uppababy handle is too high for me. Bugaboo also easier to carry down the steps at the tube. I also think I'd still be using the Bee (my daughter is 1), rather than swapping to a Maclaren which we've just fine because the Uppababy felt a bit tank like.
Thanks for the advice so far
Yes we have had a play with the ones in John Lewis - we liked the idea of the cruz as it seems the easiest to fold. Am a bit worried about the comments about it being heavy though! Will head to peppermint to have another run of some next week
The bugaboo seemed more clunky in the shop for folding up. Is it tricky at all and do you find it bugaboo heavy to lift? Am dreading the stairs!
It's not tricky at all I promise. Did you look at the Bee or the Chameleon? The great thing about the Bee is that it folds in one click and you don't have to remove the wheels etc to get it in the car like so many prams.
You literally press a button and pull the levers up and it just folds down. Takes seconds I promise! I've been using mine for almost four years now! It's still going with dc2.
Oh no it's not heavy to lift, I used to to carry the whole thing with DS in it over the steps to our flat. Easy to carry when folded.
Firstly, there's a whole (and active) topic for the "inevitable pram dilemma" and you might find it helpful to browse where all those threads are together and see a range of MNetters opinions on a lot of stuff.
The bugaboo has always struck me as a fairly lousy choice if you need to fold/carry regularly. The use of Maclarens has always seemed to hold up well in London (even the bigger ones fit down the aisles of buses, being no wider than even the smallest bugaboos, much lighter and one hand foldable).
I used a sling for months, and then went straight to what was then the top of range Maclaren.
Hey we were going for the uppa baby but felt it was to big for our home. We live in a small terrace. I was recommend the city mini GT by a friend who lives in an apartment in London and whilst we are still waiting on babies arrival I think it might suit you. It's lightweight and folds with one hand- the fold is ridiculously easy. It's more like a stroller and like you we heard from lots you just end up with a stroller anyways so felt this was a good idea. It's a travel system so you can buy connectors for the maxi cosy car seat which we have and also we bought a carry cot for it so baby is facing us and cosy for the first few months. Finally it's the highest rated pram on which? So this swung it for us and also a bit cheaper then the others mentioned here. I would definitely take a look as I think it might be a good option for you. John Lewis stock them. Oh and the chassis has a lifetime guarantee!
Yes definitely go for city mini gt if you are a floor up, the one arm fold is amazing! It is light enough to last till child is 3, they take big kids well!
If I had my time again I'd go for the Baby Jogger City mini GT. We started with an Uppababy and replaced it with the GT. The one handed fold is a godsend on public transport. Try folding an uppababy with a baby in arms on a bus! You can get a bassinet and car seat adapters for more of a travel system feel. It's much sturdier than a maclaren etc. The seats recline fully, ideal for flying with etc.
Literally been having this dilemma for a few weeks and finally made a commitment yesterday after looking at a number of different prams. We went by suggestions, (needing pretty much the same as you, light weight, easy fold, durable etc)
Had lots of people suggest jogger city mini gt but personally I didn't like it! a lot of people swear by them them though so they probably are great! I'm just fussy! We also looked at the Icandy raspberry and the bugaboo bee, and various mothercare own.
In the end we've committed to the mamas and papas armidillo flip xt. The folding system is so easy, it is a little more heavy than I first wanted (still lighter than other prams on the market though) but it looks and feels so much more durable than the others, looks really smart, and a good size that seems it will actually last until the age they say it does! It also comes in a travel system set which the others didn't, and had the option of a carry cot and a new born baby pod unlike Icandy which just offered the pod. If you have a browse online they have a few videos that show you the ease of the folding mechanism too - they boast it's a one hand Job but I'm sure it will take a bit of practice first!
Happy pram hunting!
We lived in a flat with a two storey walk up as well as 10 more steps outside the external front door. After a lot of research we chose to get the baby jogger city mini and I'm so glad we did. It folds with a single pull and much lighter than many of the other buggies. Initially I used the maxi cosi baby car seat on the city mini with adapters. After a few months baby was big enough to sit in the buggy. The canopy is nice and wide and the seat folds back almost flat. Downside is it's forward facing but it didn't bother LO. While it is a hassle getting up and down multiple times, first with the buggy and then running back up to get baby, the city mini made life that little bit more manageable.
Regarding newborns having to be lying flat in a pram for the first 8 weeks, we just didn't really go out much as it was a long frosty winter that year so LO was never really in a buggy longer than an hour or two. Staff at one of the buggy shops told us newborns should not be in an upright position for longer than a stretch of two hours.
I'm buying the Oyster Switch. Newish on the market so not many folks have heard of it.
Just over 7kgs, umbrella fold, parent facing, from birth, great reviews so far, and £169. Nippy and manouverable for city life and stairs (relevant for us). Hears hoping its a good'un 😊
Baby zen yoyo 0+. Folds as small as hand luggage size. Can carry on arm like a bag with baby in arm/ sling on busy tubes and buses. Super light so can carry up stairs open if needed or fold in seconds. The 2016 ones will fit car seat if needed. Parent faces in newborn mode. Look it upon YouTube
Oh, and decided against a travel system. I do have a car but everything is local to us so I'm planning on walking to where I need to go once baby is here. Friends have said that it really isn't that much of a difficulty in transferring baby from residant car seat to pram and back so I'll save my money and buy a 0 - 4 yrs car seat instead. Baby shouldn't be in car seats for long periods of time anyhow.
I have the uppababy vista. I bought it because the carrycot is sleep safe and can be detached with one hand - perfect for when the little one is asleep when you get home! It also has a huge basket underneath, biggest I've seen, which is a lifesaver as I don't drive so need to be able to fit shopping in the pram. It also converts to a double if you are planning 2 babies closer together although this isn't why I bought it!
Downsides are that it is bigger than some other prams and therefore can be a bit unwieldy and takes up more space. It's not the lightest either. I never saw the Cruz but think it might be a bit smaller?
Oh and I always always always use the baby carrier on public transport, I hate taking the pram. I have the mamas and papas morph and love it! I just have a black north face rucksack for a nappy bag (stylish moi?) and this combo has served me well on many a bus!
I went for the uppababy cruz (in 2014) and LOVE it. It's perfect for London. I've found it to be narrow enough that I've never had any issues (the Vista is a lot wider - about 10cm). Everyone in my NCT has either the Cruz or a Bugaboo Bee, but I did find the Cruz a lot sturdier than a Bee (my sister had a bee so I was used to using one). Also better for taller parents (which I am NOT! But husband is). We are still using daily after 18m and had no issues. We haven't swapped to a pushchair, most ppl I know only do this if required eg because needed for nursery. We are lucky that childminder has room for our pram. Cruz super easy to fold, esp once you move to forward facing. You do mention that you're on 1st floor though, and I would say the Bee is very easy to carry upstairs with baby inside (I wouldn't have managed that with Cruz, not a whole flight). Personal preference but I prefer a proper lay-flat bassinet for a newborn, and I found being able to put car seat on the pram chassis very helpful - dish use it loads, but great if you're going somewhere and eg may need to go in taxi or someone else's car. The Cruz is amazing for huge basket space too (the Bee basket isn't great). As others have said, for going on buses a sling is much easier, you know you can definitely get on. The Cruz does fit fine on a bus though.
Just road tested our city mini GT with my nephew in (as they hadn't room in car for there's coming to visit and I think my DH has been itching to give it a spin since we collected it ready for bumps arrival) and amazed with how easy it is to 'drive'.. Is very light and manoureavable and I folded it up one handed once he was back and lifted it upstairs very easily.. Also bounced it down some steps without too much disturbance..
Nothing beats the simplicity of a stretchy sling and Maclaren techno
I can't use the sling because the weight just kills my hips (spd still not resolved) so I needed a pram
Just bought an easy walker mosey. It is absolutely chuffing brilliant. The city mini is very good too but can't go parent facing. The mosey can and the carrycot folds down too!
Have a look at the mosey - I'd never heard of the easywalker company before. Someone on here recommended it and I'm so glad they did!
I like the look of the Oyster Switch!
As a mum of a 20mo toddler, I think long term you want something that's very easy to fold and carry.
Lies completely flat (or close to, without the moulded hard seat because it means legs end up raised).
Slim enough to fit down bus aisles.
The two handles of an umbrella-fold gives you somewhere to hang shopping bags.
A decent sized and strong basket is handy, as long as it has easy access.
Snack tray for baby AND mum is excellent.
Good extendable hood so when Bub is sleeping (or you want them to be!) you can pull it down and they are well protected.
Being able to use with a car seat is an added bonus.
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