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My short list and research

(107 Posts)
anthonys Mon 01-Oct-12 10:44:00

After quite a few months of researching and testing I've come to my final short list of pushchairs. Thought I'd post it in order to seek some final advice but also hopefully it will help others. I have waited longer than I thought I would as there were a number of models due for release that I wanted to see. Baby due next month now!

The main requirements:

Light weight for use on and off London buses
Reversible seat for the flexibility
£500 budget (approx)
4 wheels for maximum stability
Decent storage basket
Easily folded (prefer with seat on)
Suitable for newborn in winter
Relatively narrow and agile for navigating city streets, small apartments, taking on holidays (car boots and planes), cafes etc
Built to last

And lastly .. be able to test it in a showroom in London which I thought would be easy, but it wasn't for all the candidates. I'm still not sure whether I take the risk and buy something unseen. At the end of the day most of these pushchairs meet my requirements and I'd probably be happy with any. I just started to nitpick in order to cross some off!

The final list (after a lot of reading, weight with seat and cost is approx with carrycot):

Bugaboo Cameleon (9.3kg £770), Uppababy Vista (11.5kg £600) – both a bit too bulky and over budget
Bugaboo Bee (8.5kg £560) – newborn carrycot doesn't offer much protection from the weather and lots of reports of faulty wheels
Babystyle Oyster (10.5kg £350) – reports of poor build quality and warranty not as long as others
Graco Evo (9.5kg £380) – iCandy cherry seems to have the edge for my needs at a similar cost
Silvercross Surf (11.3kg £600) – badly designed storage basket and over budget
iCandy Strawberry (12.3kg £545) – too bulky when folded
Easywalker June (9.9kg £600 without cot) – over budget and unable to find anywhere that stocks in London

The short list:

iCandy Cherry (9.8kg £460)– can't fold with seat and Cruz just beats it in features if a little more expensive
Jane Muum (11kg £450) – can't find stock in London and Evo has better reviews so it seems like the Evo would be a better option if I take the gamble on an unseen model
Babyjogger Versa (11.9kg £520)– really nicely built but otherwise similar features to Cruz but a bit heavier, larger and more expensive
Mutsy Evo (11.9kg £400) – been unable to view – on paper it looks good though suspect maybe too bulky?
Uppababy Cruz (9.9kg £500) – meets all the requirements plus it's got a nice high position, it's just a little ugly smile

So looks like the Cruz wins (just) and may put an order in this week but just wanted to see what the consensus was around taking the gamble on the Mutsy, it's £100 cheaper and think it's a nicer design.. or any other model on my short list for that matter.

Brugmansia Mon 01-Oct-12 12:19:20

My requirements are pretty similar. We've decided to go for the strawberry. I think it's a tiny bit lighter than you have down. Although it doesn't fold very small it is relatively easy to carry folded and can also be pulled along on it's wheels when folded. The real selling points though were the simplicity of the folding mechanism and additional zipped storage compartment under the seat. Also I'm short and the handle goes lower than a lot of other models on your lists, exception being the bee.

We picked up a second hand carry cot for approx a third of the RRP over the weekend which will keep the cost down. Fingers crossed we can get the rest by the end of January when I'm due.

Brugmansia Mon 01-Oct-12 12:26:05

Incidentally, I discounted the cherry, Cruz and versa all because of handlebar height or position. If you're taller (I'm only 5' 1") then that won't be an issue.

Ihateparties Mon 01-Oct-12 13:20:30

Had this been last week I might have said a punt on the Evo but in the context you have put it having discovered that the Cruz is an inch or two narrower I would probably say go for that. The cherry at 58cm is not particularly wide and is very easy to use and fold etc. I like the Oyster on paper but not so much in use (v hard suspension on the one I tried at least).

On balance ugly is probably the best thing to compromise on unless you really really hate it, I'd rather have a bit ugly than a bit too wide to fit on the bus iyswim.

Have you seen/tried it? They seem to be quite a lot of places now but London seems very odd for difficulty in seeing things where you'd expect it to be better than most places.

The Muum and from what tiggywunkle has said about the Evo - they sound very similar. £450 sounds very very steep, even with a matrix light, pushchair alone is £250. I liked it a lot, quite a soft push, very light. The seat unit is lovely and comfortable, it says suitable from 6 months but I remember it as very flat. Aha, have pic on my profile which you might have seen before in previous discussions. It's as flat as a bee but not totally flat, a cocoon would go very nicely in it. Both are a bit on the big side though if I'm honest, I would only go for those if a softer push is more important to you than the size.

minipie Mon 01-Oct-12 14:38:34

Your requirements sound a lot like mine (Londoner with winter baby) - I want something compact, lightweight, agile, parent facing, with a nice carrycot and basket. Also an adjustable handle as I am 5'3 and DH is 6'3.

We are probably going for the Cruz. I rather like the way it looks grin - but then I quite like functional looking things. Its one downside for me is that the handle doesn't go very low (101cm lowest sad) but think I will just have to live with that.

The icandys are cuter looking admittedly but I'm not keen on the blingy metal all over the strawberry (or the weight of it!) and the cherry handle height is fixed at 100cm which doesn't work very well for either DH or me.

Cameleon probably fits my spec the best but I really don't like its looks (esp the coffin like carrycot) and I find the handbrake a total PITA (I need two hands to release it, gah). Also it's very pricey, I thought about second hand but this is my PFB grin. Bee doesn't have carrycot and the seat is v low.

The Mutsy Evo is quite wide, 61cm which is not going to be ideal on London buses and in cafes/shops/narrow hallways etc. Also quite a bit heavier than I'd like. And no London showroom. Versa is narrower but it's very long, which is not ideal on buses/cafes, and it's heavy again.

June looks perfect on paper but it's very expensive and no London stockists, plus Tiggy has had reports of it being impossible to get up kerbs in parent facing mode.

Tiggywunkle Mon 01-Oct-12 16:25:26

The new Cameleon brake is MUCH better. I had a play with a Cam 3 on Friday. I would rather have a Mutsy Evo than a Jane Muum personally.
Have you tried carrying the Cruz. I find it awkward and the chassis closed on my fingers which didn't impress me given there is a raked out carrying place on the chassis sad
The Mutsy Evo handle is fab because it lowers right down eg on a bus so gives the impression of being tiny but I don't like how far away the child is. It's a bit the same with the Oyster Max but you can accept it with the Oyster Max as its a tandem.
I have to say the more pushchairs I see and use, the more confusing perfection gets.
I have a Cam, Cruz, Versa and Bee. I have had a Mutsy Evo, Vista, Surf, Oyster and Cherry. I have a June and Strawberry on order. I have had a Twone which is similar in feel to the Muum...I don't like the fabrics at all.
Out of the ones I have had, I think the ones I prefer the most are the Versa, Bee and Cherry but I can't fault the Vista either. I woudnt get the Bee for a newborn though.
I wouldn't get the Surf....absolutely not.
But i think otherwise you have a good short list and I would go with the one you love. Do not buy a pushchair you don't like.

apachepony Mon 01-Oct-12 16:47:56

Tiggy, the vista on paper looks wider in real life than a lot of the others, yet I love it's carry cot and hear it has better suspension than the cruz - in use do you notice it being much bulkier than the others?

oohlaalaa Mon 01-Oct-12 17:09:09

anthonys - I've found choosing a pram/buggy more complex than choosing a car! I'm not an expert like the others here, but my best friend in London has the Baby Jogger City Mini easy fold, lightweight, takes car seat, pram attachment etc. Like you, I was put off by the 3 wheels, but she says it's very stable and loves it.

Tiggy - I'm off to have a look at the Versa GT and Versa, at the end of this month. The lady in shop said GT was in stock third week of October. Eek. I was initially thinking the GT as we have a decent sized car, and both enjoy walking. The off-road use, would not be massive, but as the GT is not much more cost, I thought we'd have the forever air wheels for occasional off-roading. However, I have read on French review sites, that the suspension could be more flexible on the GT. The french person thought that it might be because it' new, and the forever air tyres may softhen up in a few weeks time. Have you found the suspension okay?

oohlaalaa Mon 01-Oct-12 17:11:41

Actually, I think the Baby Jogger City Mini can now be four wheels.

anthonys Mon 01-Oct-12 17:35:14

Yes, thanks - think all those pushchairs are decent and suitable really. I've had to make some decisions now though and it's really down to Cruz, Versa or Evo smile

On the Cruz I like the higher seat position, lighter weight and size - and the fabric seems softer.

The Versa frame seems to be better built and a bit more rugged but at the cost of size/weight.

The Evo sounds like good value, and think it folds down better than the others? Also seen that it's meant to work for a newborn even without the carrycot, which makes it over £200 less than the other two where I need to buy a separate carrycot?? It looks like the shopping basket may let things fall out easily though? Also the handle does look quite far away from the child. It's only rated up to 15kg while the other two can take over 20kg - not sure that's too important too?

anthonys Mon 01-Oct-12 17:37:20

Babyjogger City Mini isn't reversible so didn't make my final list. Looks like a great pushchair though, if it weren't for that!

minipie Mon 01-Oct-12 17:54:26

It's the brake on new one (Cam 3) I've been trying Tiggy! I find it really stiff, need two hands (I am super weak blush), and sometimes it pings back onto my fingers.

I haven't tried carrying the Cruz admittedly, but tbh I think I will hardly ever fold or carry it anyway. I think I should probably put the Strawberry back on my shortlist (because if I'm not going to carry it, weight doesn't matter as long as push is light) but I can't face dealing with the supply issues or all the bling.

Going to the A3 baby barn this weekend to do a side by side on the Cruz with some of the others...

anthonys if you didn't like the Bee cocoon for a winter newborn, I suspect you might find the same for the Mutsy (or indeed any other pushchair) without a carrycot?

Ihateparties Mon 01-Oct-12 19:08:06

Now you're down to a short shortlist I think it probably comes down to personal choice when you have had chance to see and feel them all. Have you found anywhere that stocks all 3???

Minipie - enjoy your drive across the golf course!

All this should be simple, one baby to consider plus lifestyle - I still don't know what I would choose if I was starting again. It would have been June no question until the impossible to tip up kerbs thing reared its ugly head hmm

HarlettOScara Tue 02-Oct-12 01:57:35

The iCandy Strawberry pushchair isn't suitable for a newborn so you'd need the carrycot which will add around £100 to the price tag.

Brugmansia Tue 02-Oct-12 07:20:17

That's the same as with pretty much all of the OP's long and short list except for the bee.

anthonys Tue 02-Oct-12 13:42:08

All the prices I put included the carrycot.

HarlettOScara Tue 02-Oct-12 15:24:34

Are you sure? Because £545 was the quoted price in several places for just the Strawberry pushchair when I was buying a few months ago. If it is then it's a bargain but I really think you may have been misinformed.

HarlettOScara Tue 02-Oct-12 15:28:46

Ah ignore me. Just checked my receipt and the pushchair element was £450 so you are quite correct any my baby brain is worse than I feared

Brugmansia Tue 02-Oct-12 17:16:04

The price in JL it's £450 for pushchair plus £85 for hood and liner. It's an additional £110 for the carry cot plus an additional £85 for carrycot hood and cover. Overall a bit less than the chameleon.

I'm not sure of all the other models' prices but it seems pretty normal that the pushchair is not suitable from birth and the carrycot is bought separately.

KateShmate Tue 02-Oct-12 19:48:28

Hope you don't mind, but can I just put in a little note about the Bugaboo Bee+

If you buy the carseat adaptors (definitely recommended anyway) then the Micralite Toro carrycot actually fits into the Bugaboo carseat adaptors, making a proper 'pram'. The Toro carrycot is a lovely big, sturdy carrycot, and is absolutely brilliant on the Bee.
The Bee+ has been my overall favourite buggy but my only fault of it was the fact that it didn't have a 'proper' carrycot - problem solved grin Hope this helps!

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 02-Oct-12 20:46:37

I too would shout for the bee. Cameleon is still a 2 piece fold which is a pita on a bus with a baby.
You will have to take the carrycot off the bee to fold, but only for as long as you use the carrycot, the wheel issue has now been sorted apparently, and I have to say the bee is still my rear facing pushchair of choice for a toddler, as it's just so easy to fold, light and small.

anthonys Wed 03-Oct-12 11:01:16

That's a good tip regarding the Bee. I've heard of people adding car seats as carrycots but they can't be too ideal for long trips. I'm put off by the lack of storage on it though, plus friends with a new Bee just had to get the wheels replaced so still worries me. I also took so long getting to my top three that I don't want to go back! smile

In the past few days I've actually decided to take the gamble on the Mutsy. The main reason is that I think I can get away with not having to buy a carrycot. We live in a small apartment so anything that takes up less space is top priority. The Mutsy goes almost flat and combined with a sling I think I can get through the first few months until my son can sit in it.

The Cruz's awkward and relatively large folded state put me off it a little. The Versa looks great but the carrycot doesn't look nearly as light or nice as the Cruz's or Evo's - and it's needed as the seat doesn't go flat at all. Plus the Mutsy comes in at £100 less. I just need to decide whether to go with blue or red smile

minipie Wed 03-Oct-12 11:08:41

ooh Kate that is very very interesting about the Bee! And might well bring it back into contention for me. Is it definitely secure like that? And how high up is the Toro carrycot on the Bee - is it very low to the ground (like the seat is)?

Tiggywunkle Wed 03-Oct-12 11:32:48

The Mutsy also has a handy carrying handle.
I am all for testing the boundaries of pushchairs, but I find my Bee rickety enough and although it can be done, I would never put a top heavy carrycot on the Bee.

minipie Wed 03-Oct-12 12:17:19

Hmm I see what you mean tiggy. I wouldn't want to do anything unsafe, but there are quite a few reports online of people who have done this without any issues?

I am really torn as I love the lower handle on the Bee, it feels more natural for me than the 95cm+ handles on everything else. I also love the fact that it's tiny and light and no need to get a maclaren etc in due course. The big downsides and reasons I wrote it off in the first place are the low seat position, lack of carrycot and the ricketyness. However if the carrycot were fixed I could live with the other two... (the Cruz is my other option and as you know, it's not perfect either smile)

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