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Disappointed by the Baby Jogger Versa... Have I got it wrong?(107 Posts)
I was so sure we wanted a versa, as lots of my friends love their City Minis, and I liked the idea of the reversible seat... BUT when I finally got into the shop to compare them today, the Versa felt much heavier, really hard to imagine actually folding one handed, and a fair bit bigger. The city mini felt like an all round easier option...
However, the sales lady was a lot more experienced with the City Mini, and was also trying to upsell us to a Bugaboo (grr), so I thought maybe I didn't get a fair representation? What would you guys recommend?
Our needs are:
- Lots of walking in a hilly but urban and paved area, car journeys maybe once a week (so we're not too bothered about capsule compatibility), public transport journeys maybe twice a week (out of peak hour)
- *most challenging bit* 15 outdoor steps to get in and out of our building, so need to either take a bassinet in and out or be able to bump up/down
- usable from newborn (another feature that makes the mini more attractive, as it looks like we'd definitely have to buy a bassinet/capsule to use the versa early on)
- quite a bit of flying around to see family in year 1, so robust enough to withstand luggage handling!
Thank you for any help you can give us! :-)
Parties and I have had a good play of the Rider. We both liked the nice neat fold. I dont think she has had one. We have both had a Jane Twone.
I think parties has. I tried it out in the shop (before eventually going for a Versa!) and was quite taken with it, but in the end I thought it was just too bouncy - the suspension was quite sensitive and to my mind it didn't really feel stable enough. I imagine this would make it perfect for some people though! I quite liked the Matrix 2 system that went with it, and I definitely liked the seat unit - it felt nice and sturdy and comfortable, but unfortunately once we'd managed to fit the chassis into our little Clio it didn't leave much room for a seat unit AND a baby...
Phew! I went through it all ;) and wanted to throw one more into the mix: Jane Rider. Has anyone used this model?
I am interested to see if the Oyster Gem has got any futher at Harrogate this year. That seems to plug the gap for a small folding, parent facing pushchair.
The Bee is a PITA in some respects, but there's not much comes close to it weight wise...in fact all round there is a real gap in the market for good light weight parent facing pushchairs.
Oh thankyou...the review on Best Buggy hated it and mentioned all the issues I am having! Which was gratifying...going to put it back in its box and take it to Mothercare for a refund, I think.
You definitely need the cocoon for a 7wo. There are loads on eBay as babies are in them for such a short time.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds it difficult to unfold when the seat is rear-facing! I haven't had the seat-back flapping around though.
Fwiw I just got my bee through the post.
I really dislike it
Mind you I was negative about the versa at first so I might decide it's great tomorrow...
But a more difficult to operate piece of machinery I have never encountered. Trying to unfold it with your foot on the brake while not falling over/your foot slipping off said brake, is almost impossible. (is there a trick?)
The baby is in a ridiculous position on the seat with his legs sticking out off the end of the footrest (he is 7 weeks)
I think this is why you need the cocoon as it would presumably move them up the seat back, which is enormous?
The hood is awkward but at least it's large
The recline is good, the wheels and frame seem nice to steer, but the entire reason I bought it (to fit in the car) is negated by the fact that when you fold it with the seat facing you, it doesn't go very small, and the seat back flips and flaps around so it's not going to be that easy to get into the boot at all.
It's far better forward facing. I would choose the versa any day and every day tbh.
Hope that helps a bit.
Iiswee, that's such a kind offer, really wouldn't want to put you to all that trouble. What do you think of the bee and the versa? I know they're quite different, but do you have a preference or one you use more than the other? Pros n cons, etc. Be really interested to hear more as you have both. I could pm you if you prefer.
Badgerhoney if it would be any help for you I live nearby Glasgow (Stirling side) and could pop through with my bee+ and Versa (although its the gt) to let you feel them in your real life surroundings stairs, paths etc - although it is different when you are with bump and not bambino - before deciding which you go for
Oooooh I am glad you posted that link Parties. I was about to do the same!
It really is baby specific. My dd liked to face out and enjoyed a bumpy ride. My ds very much needs parent facing and HATES bumps. Actually wails and cries when the surace changes. They are strange little people with strange little needs! This is why I wanted something sturdier than a maclaren and his bones would rattle in it and it would be unfair to him. DD was in a maclaren at a year old and I was one of those people who traded at £600 travel system for a maclaren at 12 months. I am so hoping the versa lasts us until he is able to walk for longer distances. The small fold is the selling point for me and I am hoping the weight issue isn't too annoying.
Mwahahah, I preferred the older one too, it should work for your car :-)
I wonder if you can get the older ones anywhere else...I
have ordered it am tempted as it looks like it'll fit in the car boot.
Like the larger canopy and it has SIDES which bee + doesn't?
Ooh, i like the old bee but 359 is too much
Parties, that link is fantastic. They all look great lined up and there's not much in it apart from weight. Amazing that the versa is the heaviest and yet folds down so small. It would still come down to the versa or bee for me (versa on looks and sturdiness, bee on weight and looks too), so at least I haven't added any of the other ones to the short list. Think my head would implode!
Just to note that Mothercare currently have the older Bee in stock in khaki and blue, for 359. (rooney here!)
The bee will defo last you in terms of size and one piece fold, people will differ in their opinion of everyday use of it on rough surfaces, as will babies... One of mine hates being bobbled about and refuses to sleep, the others iirc didn't care one way or another. There is no perfect thing, people definitely exist who have never swapped to a maclaren, I'm one of them so I know there are some knocking about. Check out best buggy's very interesting recent photoset of the bee in context with 4 other parent facing fold buggies here
Vivienne, how funny you're in Glasgow too! How's the versa working out?
Rooty and SSP, thanks again for all the info. Much appreciated. .
I can definitely fold the Bee with the cocoon attached. Haven't tried with the footmuff yet but it's in and out of the car boot every day so I specifically checked that it would fold both ways with the cocoon so I wouldn't be faffing around.
Just to say again though, it is dreadful on uneven surfaces. I've done cobbles and if DD had any teeth, they would have been rattling around her head.
oh Badger, sounds very similar to us! a couple more things, in that case....
re fold - I often have so much
crap stuff wedged in the basket I don't want to fold it anyway - I keep it "packed" with raincover, sling, nappy stuff, change of clothes for DD. I think this is pretty standard practice for city dwellers who don't have / use car and get out and about every day (ie the basket is pretty much my nappy bag, it's not big enough to pack a bag and then try to wedge that in, I just use this, which is brilliant). and I would say the Bee is so compact it's hardly worth folding it, unless you have a car (fits easily into my mum's 3 door polo boot, which is v small, but you wouldn't get much else in; fits very very easily into my brother's 5 door golf, along with a tonne of other stuff). The cocoon comes off and goes on incredibly easily, it just sits on the seat with the straps through. the rest of the fold is easy but two handed.
I generally take DD into the house, deposit in cot, then come back for buggy, just for maximum safety. though have carried her and pram into house no probs when she's asleep (she usually wakes up three seconds later, the minx!) and DH carries her + Bee + aforementioned basketful of crap up and down flights of stairs for the tube no bother (and he is no rugby player!)
other plus: when using the cocoon, there's a handy quite big space behind the baby's head ie above the top of the cocoon, below the hood, perfect for stashing toys, gloves, a muslin!
all in all I was swayed by what a nice man in John Lewis told me, which is that he sees the same people who buy travel systems come back 6 months later for a MacLaren. but the Bee will take you all the way through. I agonised and agonised over pram so believe me, I understand (finally bought a Bee when I was 5 days overdue!!), it took a long time to let go of wanting the 'best' thing, something maximally cosy and robust for DC (was hankering for uppababy vista) but do think made the right choice for us, especially when I see people with virtually anything else struggling to get into any coffee shop, for example. and fwiw she seems to like it. again, my only complaint is it's oddly low down, and I'm not tall....if you are, I would consider that. now she is three months we're interacting fine at the distance, think her vision has lengthened significantly!
HTH, will stop harping on now
Thanks Rooty, that's good to know. Would only be taking it on said crappy pavement, and short patches of cobble and rough path on way to park and river so I'm thinking it will be ok. Like the idea of just lifting the whole thing to take it down to our basement flat. I'm guessing if it can't be folded with the cocoon, it prob can't be folded with a footmuff either but if it's small enough not to need folding often then that's ok. Cheers!
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