Best Versatile Travel System 2019
Bugaboo Fox review
Bugaboo is a firm favourite for many mums and highly praised among Mumsnetters – and for good reason. Like its namesake, the Bugaboo Fox is intended to be versatile and smart, fitting seamlessly into any lifestyle and helping new parents adapt to parenthood without sacrificing the activities they love.
Verdict in 10 seconds
A stylish, compact travel system that is ideal for an active family. Offers parents complete flexibility while delivering Bugaboo's usual tip-top design standards.
- Seat sits in high position
- Harness easy to use
- Slim frame – good for public transport
- Smooth ride
- Stylish design
- Unique ballpoint brake
- Awkward to adjust handle height on the go
- Lots of stages to fold
What are the key features?
- Three-position seat
- Easy to attach Bugaboo accessories onto the Fox's integrated attachment points
- All-wheel suspension
- Black leather-look handlebar and carry handle
- Large sun canopy with UV 50+ protection
- Five-point harness
- Ultra compact fold and self-standing once folded
- Two-wheel position to pull through sand or snow
- Generously-sized storage basket with built-in pockets
- Adjustable handle height
- Foam filled wheels
- Core colour range fabrics are made from recycled bottles
- Car seat compatible
What are the specs?
- Suitable from: Birth (with carrycot – sold separately) to 17kg
- Pushchair orientation: Parent- and world-facing
- Number of wheels: Four
- Extras included: Sun canopy
- Dimensions: H 88.5 x W 60 x L 83.4 cm
- Folded dimensions: H 19 x W 54 x L 66 cm
- Weight: 9.9kg
- RRP: From £979 (dependent on customisation choice)
- Compatible with the following car seats: Nuna Pipa Lite, Nuna Pipa Lite LX, Maxi-Cosi Rock, Cybex Aton M i-Size, Kiddy Evoluna i-Size 2, Kiddy Evoluna i-Size, BeSafe iZi Go Modular, Kiddy Evolution Pro 2, Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix, Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus, Cybex Aton Q, Cybex Cloud Q, Nuna Pipa Icon, Cybex Aton 5, Cybex Aton Q i-Size, BeSafe iZi go x1
What does the package include?
If you’re familiar with the Bugaboo brand, then you’ll know it’s all about the optional extras.
As our tester’s baby was seven-months-old during testing, we by-passed the carrycot (suitable from newborn) and went straight for the seat, which does recline all the way for naps but is not recommended for newborns.
If you have a newborn, you will need to purchase the carrycot separately depending on which package you go for.
Our test product came with the seat and chassis, shopping basket and UV 50+ sunshade. If you want anything more than this, including a rain hood, you’ll have to pay extra.
This makes the Bugaboo an expensive, but highly customisable, option. A rain cover will set you back around £50 while the basic footmuff is twice that at £100 (£150 if you opt for the high performance version).
While it’s great to have the same brand accessories, and they really are top of the range, there are generic alternatives you can choose which will more than do the job if you're not keen on shelling out for too many extras.
There is also the option to customise your wheels for £17 and upgrade to a leather-look handle for £20 depending on your personal budget.
How easy is it to assemble?
The Fox was taken apart and reassembled by our tester, which was pretty straight forward all-in-all. Our tester didn’t need to use any tools and it took her around 10 minutes to accomplish assembly.
There are plenty of easy-to-watch online videos to guide you through any stage if you are struggling and there are also paper instructions included in the box for extra guidance.
The warranty is a generous three years, and customer service is easy to access, with a direct phone number and email displayed on Bugaboo's website as well as an online enquiry form.
How does it look?
The Bugaboo Fox is definitely attractive and our tester loved the light blue mélange colourway she tested, although there are a total of 13 seat colour and chassis combinations to choose from.
When it comes to frame and material, the chassis feels sturdy and the material hard-wearing so our tester had no fear that either would look worn after a few months.
She also loved the seat and its positioning. It sits higher than others on test, such as the BabyStyle Oyster 3, and the height makes eye contact with your baby easier. The seat is spacious with plenty of room for fast-growing children and it'll save your back as you won't have to bend down to attend to your child.
The buggy also boasts foam-filled puncture-proof wheels, but there is an option to upgrade the wheel hubs for £17 if they start to look tired. The tyres gripped to different surfaces well and didn’t show any noticeable wear and tear during testing either.
What's the Bugaboo Fox like to use day-to-day?
The high seat position is a big plus when it comes to day-to-day life as it means your baby is closer to you and out of bag height in crowded spaces, which makes the Bugaboo ideal for urban lifestyles.
Another is the positioning of the belly bar which is the ideal height to attach a toy steering wheel to keep the baby entertained.
When it comes to manoeuvrability, the Fox is all about one-handed operation – as well as steering, the seat can be unclipped one side at a time, and the safety bar can be undone with a single hand.
The adjustable handle has a good height range and, once in position, is comfortable to push. However, unlike with most other buggies on test, most notably the Nuna Mixx with its easy-to-adjust handlebar, the Fox needs the handle to be locked into position using little notches. This means that it can be a pain to adjust quickly while walking – it tends to be quite fiddly, with our tester often managing to lock the handle in place on one side but struggling with the other.
Day-to-day, our tester found the buggy's frame to be really slim, so it was great for getting about when going for long family walks at the weekend or popping to shops or running errands during the week.
The Fox was certainly put through its paces during the test period, covering the school run, days out in town, food shopping and the weekly football training session for our tester's eldest.
Public transport and shopping trips were easy to negotiate as the Fox offers a smooth ride and steers well helping you to navigate the busy flow of people if you live in a city.
It nips onto the bus with ease and squeezes into small spaces. It’s easy to manoeuvre and can be effortlessly steered round tight corners or through busy high streets.
Bugaboo claims the Fox's secret is aerospace technology, which it says gives lightness without compromising sturdiness or durability. However, at 9.9kg, the Fox is still heavier than both the Bugaboo Bee5 (8.9kg) and the Bugaboo Cameleon3 (9.6kg) – worth being aware of if you'll regularly be lugging your newborn pushchair onto busses or up and down stairs.
When it comes to rural living or days out in the countryside, it’s great off-road – you don’t feel the bumps and it takes kerbs in its stride thanks to the all-wheel suspension.
How does the Bugaboo Fox fold?
The frame of the buggy folds well and to a small size and can be folded with the seat still in place. It does, however, have an ultra compact fold option if you’re prepared to remove the wheels and the seat.
Accomplishing the ultra compact fold involves a fair few steps, which our tester reported made the whole process far too complicated. Although the frame itself folds in one simple movement, you need both hands to remove the seat first.
She acknowledged that this would, of course, get easier the more used to the Fox you became, but it could be tricky if you were also trying to juggle a child and lots of bags.
The Fox does stand alone once folded though and our tester found it fitted into her medium-sized boot without having to take the wheels off. There was also a bit of room left for all the items in the storage basket, which had to be removed for folding.
How comfortable is it?
The buggy is extremely comfortable and works well in all three recline positions, which are upright, completely flat for napping babies and a slight incline in between these two.
It was effortless and really smooth to recline the buggy by pressing the buttons on either side of the chair, even with a heavy toddler in place. The recline position can't be changed though if the seat is incorrectly connected to the chassis.
While we didn't try the carrycot out ourselves, it does come with a hood and apron in your chosen colour and is snug and secure for a tiny baby. It also stands on its own on the floor so, if you need to detach it from the base and put it down while you fold the pushchair, your baby will always be comfy and safe.
How safe is it?
Overall the buggy feels very sturdy. It was fully loaded during testing and the seat was tried out in all positions.
The tyres grip well to the floor and the excellent ballpoint brake system exceeded all other foot brakes on test. It works as a single pedal that pushes down once to lock and again to release – plus, there's no chance of scuffing your shoes.
To ensure that the brake is on when intended, there are also indicators that turn red. Once on, it holds firmly.
The seat has a five-point harness and each point connect to the central clip separately which our tester really liked. Our tester preferred this hassle-free harness to all others on test, especially the Maxi-Cosi Zelia, which was tricky to use as it only connected to the central clip at two points instead of four.
The Fox's harness secures well and there is a good amount of adjustment available so you can be confident that any age child would be secure and unable to wriggle out. The well-positioned belly bar also makes the child feel more secure too.
What about the extras?
The Fox's basket is spacious and easy to access and, unlike many travel systems, there's no low bar to get in the way. Big tick from us.
Yet, our tester found the storage basket still wasn’t as large as some on test, such as the Maxi Cosi Zelia, but she could fit everything she needed for the day. The basket will comfortably take two medium-sized shopping bags along with a changing bag and rain cover.
The sunshade hood expands thanks to the additional extending zip section. Its SPF 50+ fabric keeps the sun out of the eyes and protects against harmful rays – plus, it had a useful peek-a-boo section for parents to keep an eye on their snoozing child.
How easy is it to clean?
As this was a test buggy, it had already been used but still looked brand-new, which impressed our tester from the outset.
Even though it was a light blue colour, it just needed a scrub down with a damp cloth to remove spilled food and dirty shoe marks. All fabrics can be removed and washed at 30 degrees, but the base is wipe clean only.
The hood was just as easy to clean. If you did want to take it apart to put it through the wash, you would need to spend some time disassembling it and be sure not to put any foam padding through the machine – this would need to be sponge-washed instead.
Our tester really loved this buggy, especially its compact fold and high seat position. The iconic Bugaboo look is also there and design heritage clear.
While all the buggies we tested ticked the basic boxes, the Fox seemed to go that little bit further in every area. As well as the extra height of the seat, the manoeuvrability and slim design were standout features for our tester.
Bugaboo's Fox is a great all-rounder – sleek, nippy, versatile, and strong – with thoughtful touches such as the peek-a-boo flap integrated into the sunshade and accessories galore to purchase such as trays, smartphone holders, buggy boards and even their ‘mammoth bag’ which straps to frame and has its own rest stand.
However, this pushchair is really only an option if you have the right budget as every accessory is extra – even the rain cover and footmuff – which our tester hoped would be included for the £1,000 price point.
If your budget can stretch to a Bugaboo Fox (and for many it will be hard to resist), then it’s a great choice for an active family. But if you’re looking for a bargain, there are other travel systems that may suit you bank balance better.
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All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our how we test page to find out more.
For more information about what to look for when buying a travel system, check out our buyer's guide.
All prices correct at time of publication
Agree? Disagree? Leave your comment below...
UserName, 19 March 2018
I've got the Fox, you can recline it with a child in the seat. It's the best bugaboo I've had. Definitely worth the money, and would definitely choose it over the buffalo.