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Armadillo, Graco Evo Mini, bjcm... is there anything else?

(12 Posts)
simplynails Wed 29-Jan-14 23:18:51

Hi all,

I'm after a lightweight, small folding pushchair for my 16 month old DD.

What are your thoughts/reviews of the armadillo and evo mini? I know bjcm is popular on here.

I currently have a baby jogger versa but need something small and light.

I have a bit of a problem with the lack of leg support on the evo and bjcm.... Should I be that worried?

Is there anything else with a leg support like the armadillo?

Thanks for any help

McPheezingMyButtOff Wed 29-Jan-14 23:21:16

Armadillo rocks.

delasi Thu 30-Jan-14 01:12:26

The BJCM has leg support all the way down to the footwell, unless I'm confused? <looks at Armadillo> Or is this referring to being able to adjust the leg support to make it flat/horizontal?

The Armadillo and the BJCM are both around 8kg whereas the Graco Evo Mini is about 6.2kg. The GEM has the easiest to access basket imo, followed by the Armadillo. The BJCM is notoriously a bit tricky but obviously still accessible as people use it. The Armadillo is supposed to have the longest seat, no idea on the GEM but the BJCM despite being shorter is well-known to support very long children (long past 2,3,4yo+) so I don't think that would be the deciding factor. The BJCM hood might be a bit bigger, but there isn't much in it between that and the Armadillo. The GEM has a much shorter hood.

We have the BJCM and love it - length and width (DS is 14mo, 100th % on both length and weight), full support for his legs, huge hood good for both sun and rain, 2 viewing windows which is useful for using the hood at different sizes, very sturdy and great wheels (DH gave them a thorough bashing testing in store), nice deep sides, lightweight (we live up 2 flights of stairs, no lift). For us, it seemed like the very best option for what we wanted and still does.

Have you had the chance to play with them in store?

delasi Thu 30-Jan-14 01:18:38

Ahem, what I meant with all of that was... BJCM was great for us for all of our needs, but you may not require all that we required. If lightweight is your main issue, GEM may be a good idea. If you want more features, then between Armadillo and BJCM. I think the legs will be fine in any of these, they all have some form of long footrest/leg rest.

simplynails Thu 30-Jan-14 13:32:01

Thank you for your replies.

Delasi, I meant about being able to lift up a leg support if needed when child is sleeping, so their body would be completely horizontal. The versa that we currently use has a lift up support as does the armadillo.

I've had a go of all 3 in store. The bjcm when dd was very small and the GEM a couple of months ago. She hasn't been in the armadillo, but I wheeled it around the store.

I love the GEM's weight, padded seat and basket size.

Do you have the normal or GT version? I know gt is heavier. How does the normal one fair on rougher ground, for walks etc?

McPheezing, does your armadillo squeak or rattle? Just that the one I tried in store did. So was put off by it, but I like the adjustable leg rest lol. Is it also ok on rougher ground too?

I just can't decide. And wanted to make sure there wasn't another pushchair I'd missed.

delasi Fri 31-Jan-14 18:35:02

simply I have the regular BJCM but I live in the capital, so we don't encounter much in the way of rough ground, but we go over a lot of kerbs, gravel, potholes, cobbles etc. I have used it in other cities, the countryside and on hols (Med), as well as through parks, it has coped very well in all places but obviously I've not used it on a regular basis there. We walk a lot and it's very smooth, easy to push and DS is very comfortable.

I can't say for certain, but the BJCM looks the sturdiest to me of the 3 in terms of wheels and build and that was how we felt about it when buying. But then, we thought almost every pushchair wasn't quite sturdy enough grin DH had his own special criteria for determining suitability!

Imo, if you want to use it as your main pushchair then perhaps the BJCM would be better as it has a proven track record for sturdiness and comfort, I've read some reviews of the GEM going South after about 6mo (no idea on Armadillo). But it you will still be using the Versa for the bigger trips then I would go for the lightest and easiest. Despite having the BJCM, we did recently buy a Maclaren Volo - it's only 4kg and very smooth, we use it for short trips or when one of us is going out alone with DS (due to having to carry both pushchair and DS as we both have health issues).

There are also things like the Micralite but I don't have personal experience of them.

PS not meaning to sound like your personal guide to pushchairs blush

simplynails Fri 31-Jan-14 20:24:13

Delasi, trust me, I need someone to be my personal guide as I get totally confused and overwhelmed by all the different pushchairs. I wished there was only one to choose from lol.

Hmm, I still don't know what to go for. Unfortunately I will be selling the versa to purchase the next one, so need this to cover most eventualities. Already sold an oyster travel system to purchase that!

I'm a bit put of the GEM now you mention that things go wrong after a while.

Thank you for your review of the bjcm, very helpful indeed.

The search/decision continues.

Ihateparties Fri 31-Jan-14 22:08:53

Have you been to look at them? It's a huge help in working out what feels right for you irl.

What about the bj city lite or red kite zumi... I'm going to keep plugging it because it's great and so much smaller than the city mini/b agile etc. it's smaller than the evo mini too but with bigger wheels that are fine for occasional off road. You don't get baby jogger solidity but I've used mine daily for 3 months and it's showing no signs of wear.

cleverbit Sat 01-Feb-14 18:19:53

I have an evo mini. I love the basket and the weight and the width (I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to busses and prams). the fold starts out easy but always ends up with me kneeling on the floor trying to get it to lock in the fold position. It's not as easy to push as I was expecting but I don't have any other three wheeler experience to compare to. The hood is large but straight out so more useful in the rain than the sun and it has no window which doesn't bother me when pushing my 2.6 year old but does with my 8 month old. I have a bjcm double and if it weren't for my irrational fear of taking prams on busses I would have bought the single rather than the evo mini. But then again it was relatively inexpensive and it is narrow and the basket is huge and accessible. I've had mine more than 6 months and it is going strong but it doesn't get daily use.

simplynails Sat 01-Feb-14 21:01:16

Thanks Ihateparties and cleverbit for your replies.

I have seen all 3 irl but doesn't seem to have helped make a decision.

The new BJ lite looks fab, but can't find it to buy anywhere, all out of stock.

The zumi looks good too but read bad reviews on the fabric quality of the hood. The hood is important to me as my little girl has a big issue with the sun. Has this been a problem for you?

See, this is the thing. These are 2 I didn't know about which fit what I'm looking for. I fear there must be others which I dont know about.

I was thinking about it today whilst pushing the Versa. I'd love something with a decent size basket which is easy to access. The versa basket is great but only when dd is facing me, the other way round and I can't get anything in or out of it.

I read some bad things about the armadillo too about the hood and raincover and the hassle people have with mamas and papas. Slightly put off now.

Going off to look more closly at the bj lite and zumi.

Ihateparties Sat 01-Feb-14 21:21:04

Hmmm unfortunately the zumi only comes in red and the fabric is thin, so it's a kind of red-fest in there with the hood zipped out and fully down. The light gets through is what I mean, it keeps the glare off but it is in no way darkened. The fabric seems perfectly robust just thin.

The city lite is due very soon, it's out of stock because they aren't out yet.

I don't know of many other options in this sector... the hauck Malibu actually kind of fits. They do an xl wheel version now. I had a normal one 4 years ago and the surface of the wheels were bumpy, drove me insane. Hauck sent me new wheels, which were the same. Other than that it was actually pretty okay, I liked it. At the time it was the narrowest carrycot pram I could find at 54cm.

The hood is possibly insufficient for your needs but Amazon also have my favourite pushchair ever the babyhome emotion Xtreet. This will be the last pushchair to leave our house, it has had a massive amount of use over the years, all three dcs have used it at different times and it has been the one thing I have never even considered selling.

TribbleWithoutATardis Sat 01-Feb-14 22:04:15

Have you thought of a nipper? Similar thing, but the seat is a bit lower to the footrest so the childs legs rest a bit more horizontal when sleeping.

Baskets are very roomy and the hood is nice and big. Its not as light as others but will handle being put through it paces <misses nipper>.

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