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Alternatives to Bee +- advice please!

(14 Posts)
jumpinghoops Sat 30-Mar-13 19:59:14

Hi all,

I know in practice that for what I'm about to ask the Bee + is the ideal pushchair...but I just can't stand it, it feels wobbly, flimsy and too low to me so I'm looking for an alternative if there is one. My criteria are as follows:

- This will be my 2nd child, I have one of 2.11 so something that works with a buggy board.

-I will be living in a 1st floor flat in London for the next 6 months, then moving to somewhere where slightly rougher terrain walks are likely.

- I'll need to carry the pushchair up one flight- but have never folded a pushchair to do this. With my daughter I used to detach the carrycot/seat and carry it up first and then the base. There is plenty of space in our hallway so folding the pushchair inside is not an issue. This kind of means I need something that's maybe 10kg or under if possible.

- I prefer a carrycot for the first bit of babyhood and parent facing seat for a while.

I have read about the Babywalker June which seems to tick all the boxes but have heard it's a nightmare to handle with baby facing you, I'm not sure if this includes with carrycot. I am not sure if it would even take a buggy board and can imagine from what I've read that it would be a nightmare!!

Any advice please? I have a sling that I'll use a lot but experience of last time tells me that I'll want the option of a good pushchair as well.

Thank you for any help- are there any other options I should be looking at?

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 30-Mar-13 20:22:06

I have (and love) a Bee+. If I didn't then I would get an iCandy Strawberry.

jumpinghoops Sat 30-Mar-13 20:35:24

Right, thank you haven't even heard of the strawberry so I'll have a look. Yes, I do appreciate that most people love Bees and I'm probably being totally irrational! I've carried a few of them up to my flat (friends) and pushed quite a few in the last 2 years and I just can't get on with them!

Ihateparties Sat 30-Mar-13 21:35:23

I mostly agree, on paper the bee is exactly the pushchair I want.. yet I don't want it. I'm still not sure it has any direct competitors though.

I think sub 10kg with stroller board compatibility is do able. Oh, not with an iCandy though, put a buggyboard on your warranty has flown away. Even if that wasn't an issue tbh they're not best suited to them anyway imo.

Now I have questions - do you plan to follow the same pattern when it comes to getting it upstairs? Ie carry the cot/seat, then the base after in another journey? The reason I ask is with two kids that gets more complicated but certainly not impossible. The bee of course has no carrycot and folds in one piece not two. I'm trying to work out if this would help of hinder you with a baby and a toddler in tow?

Also is size of the open pushchair a major factor? The things the bee has going for it are the combination of all in one fold with seat facing either way, small dimensions open and a generally neat, if boxy fold. If the open dimensions are less of an issue then you will have more options, there are very few pushchairs narrower than 56cm that have a parent facing seat, some but not lots. circa 60cm wide there are loads.

One of my current favourites is the Baby Jogger City Versa, it has a nice all in one fold when you use the seat unit, obviously not with the carrycot. I believe it is over 10kg though, not sure I would want to carry it up and down stairs multiple times a day. I have used a buggyboard on one successfully though so I know it ticks that box and is easy to push and use, huge basket, big seat, massive hood etc.

Right now at this moment in time if I personally was having another baby I would probably buy a brand new and totally unproven Silver Cross Wayfarer I like it better than the bee, it has the same open width. I'm obsessed with width though, it's my thing. Only folds forward facing but has carrycot and gubbins included in price, frame is v light, it's easy to fold etc.

Other things to look at:
Babystyle Oyster - this has a really good reputation with the buggyboard but a less good rep overall for faults etc.
New improved June coming summer 2013, the faults with handling and lifting the front are apparently dealt with on the new model. If this is really true then woohoo... I'm waiting till it actually really happens and I see with my own eyes.
New Maxi Cosi/Bebe Confort Loola - I saw this recently and unexpectedly LOVED it. Massive lie flat seat, great fold with the seat in either direction, fine to handle, easy to tip for kerbs etc. Should take a board, the old ones did anyway.

A big list of other stuff I have forgotten and will hold off until you specify a size limit! grin

jumpinghoops Sat 30-Mar-13 22:07:56

Righto, this is super helpful Ihateparties, thank you very much.

I think the practicality of getting them both upstairs may be an issue yes- in my head I'd take seat/ carrycot off first + fold base, walk my older daughter and the seat/carrycot up first, settle them down and nip down for the base. I never folded before as I often found baby was sleeping when I got home and hated the lifting out/ waking up thing. If i were to get a Bee i'd carry it up as a one piece. However, if that doesn't work I'll sling the baby for days that my older one is with me and use the pushchair for the 3/days a week she'll be at nursery and at the weekends.

The biggest width issue will be getting on/off London buses- I will need to do this fairly regularly. Otherwise no size restrictions.

I know I'm being bloody awkward and should just get a Bee grin. I'm off to look at yr recommendations now- thank you!

jumpinghoops Sat 30-Mar-13 22:32:46

I'm really liking the look of the Silver Cross Wayfarer- do you know how you can tell if a new pushchair will take a Lascal (or similar)? Would Silver Cross confirm or do you know is there a way to tell from the structure of the frame? I think this ticks all my boxes grin

Tiggywunkle Sat 30-Mar-13 22:44:40

The new June seems fabulous...I am sooooo excited about it. The handling is MUCH improved...much much much better and I absolutely can not wait to get my hands on one!

I know someone whose older toddler stands on the bar at the back of the June (not recommended) but they do.

jumpinghoops Sat 30-Mar-13 22:51:24

Ok, both of these will be good options for us. Do either of you know rough release dates for them? I think Wayfarer is May from what I can see. Do we know when the new June is likely to appear?

Ihateparties Sat 30-Mar-13 22:52:00

I don't know :-( I probably need a buggyboard too so short of buying one, sticking my lascal on and reporting back I can't really say <Don't. Tempt me.>

I think probably if you asked Silver Cross or as per the manual the answer will be not suitable, do not use any unapproved accessories etc etc. The surf has a board though so you never know, they may have one in the pipeline. I know for a fact iCandy pushchairs are not designed to take the weight in the places you would attach the board. Unless you choose a pushchair with a branded accessory board, like the oyster or bee for example then I think this is pretty much the case across the board.

Less of an issue if you buy used, no warranty to lose etc. But conversely you never know how long it will last and have less ability to gauge whether it will take a board safely or not based upon your past useage of it.

In some ways the bee kind of sounds awkward for you, in the early days lifting a sleeping baby in a carrycot whilst holding toddler hand sounds more logical, I don't know how long this would be practical for though as the baby got heavier. Your toddler will be older then though and probably need less physical management on the stairs. Retaining a sleeping baby, if you have one, sounds soooo appealing though.

I haven't been on a London bus with a buggy for at least 4 years so I'm not best place to answer, I keep reading on here that people cope with their 63cm wide vistas so I'm guessing off peak most things will fit that are that wide and less.

Ihateparties Sat 30-Mar-13 22:58:09

I know of at least one retailer who has the Wayfarer on the shop floor now grin

I love the June, love it but did not see and feel the new one yet

jumpinghoops Sun 31-Mar-13 08:42:28

I might just be tempted to chance it with buggy board situation with the wayfarer. I love the fact that the handle extends so far, theoretically I guess this could mean the child could stand inside rather than outside the handle.

I think by the time the baby gets bigger we'll be in a house to be honest, I imagine we'll be moving sometime between them being 3-6 months old.

What are the wheels like on the wayfarer? I haven't seen them mentioned really in any reviews. The June was perfect for the wheels, obviously the wayfarer doesn't have air tyres but I'm looking for something a bit more substantial than the Bee!

jumpinghoops Sun 31-Mar-13 08:46:27

Also- people do get on London buses with Vistas but frankly this can make it a bit of a pain for anyone else trying to squeeze on with their little Bees/Maclarens. If I can find something that shows a bit of consideration for fellow parents on the bus all the better!

Ihateparties Sun 31-Mar-13 22:13:41

I see your point grin

Suddenly wondering whether the carrycot on the wayfarer has a handle? If you need both hands to carry it up that would be very irritating. The June one defo has handles. My impression was that the wayfarer is more robust feeling than the bee but tbh we didn't get a long look at it so that's just my very subjective first impression really. I would see if there is a shop near you that stocks it to see if you really like it IRL.

The robust-ness combined with genuine small size was why we were all waiting very impatiently for the June last year, when it turned out to be difficult to handle there was a lot of disappointment because on paper it could have been perfect. I'm vaguely excited about seeing the new one but it's still a few months off.

Something else I am going to go and see when I get the chance is the new phil and teds smart buggy as it has bigger wheels, a single handle, carrycot, reversible seat etc. The buggyboard bit... hmmm.. not sure, the child would be outside the handle looks like. But I figure its maybe worth a mention to you as I did see one in passing and it looks VERY compact is pram mode with the peanut carrycot.

Tiggywunkle Sun 31-Mar-13 23:24:54

The Wayfarer carrycot has the bumper bar which I guess like the Cameleon may well act as the carrying handle hmm??

I think the wheels of the Wayfarer are something I think could have been better - I am not sure the basis for saying this though - they just feel a little small and plasticky compared with the rest of the pushchair. Bigger rear wheels would have been nice. However until you use a pushchair IRL you never know how well it works so these are literally first impressions, and the advantages may be in a smaller fold IYKWIM. However the suspension seemed excellent and the wheels dont feel quite as small as the Bee ones (?). The whole pushchair feels more sturdy and luxurious than the Bee.

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