Bugaboo's announced a new arrival: the Bugaboo Fox. Will it offer parents complete flexibility while delivering the usual tip-top design standards, as the company claims? We've taken it for a twirl around for a first look.
Bugaboo update their existing models fairly frequently, but it's big news when they launch an entirely new product. There's a great deal of excitement surrounding Bugaboo's latest arrival, the Fox – a sibling for the Donkey2 (which can carry a lot), the Bee5 (suited for a busy city lifestyle), and the Cameleon3 (which adapts to its environment).
The Bugaboo Fox stroller's big claim is the intelligence of its design. Like its namesake, it's intended to be versatile and smart, fitting seamlessly into any lifestyle and helping parents adapt to their new role without sacrificing the activities they love.
Naturally, we'll be putting the Fox through our exhaustive testing process over the coming months – so look out for our full Bugaboo Fox review. But in the meantime we nabbed one of the first Foxes, gathered a group of eager MNHQ mums, and took it for a spin. Here’s what we found.
As ever, great design comes at a price. £979 puts the Fox in the top end of the travel system market, which may immediately put some parents off – a second-hand Bee or Cameleon comes in at around around £600. But Bugaboo has a loyal and passionate following, and for many the Fox will be hard to resist. The iconic looks are there, and the design heritage is clear – but does the Fox have the engineering to match?
If Bugaboo’s low seats have put you off until now, rejoice: the Fox seat is way off the ground. You’d be able to pull your child up to the table in the Fox, and it’ll save your back having to bend down.
Bugaboo have compensated for the higher centre of gravity by making the buggy wider, and it shows. The Fox definitely looks bulkier than other Bugaboos, which might concern those who often navigate fiddly little shops or move down bus aisles.
Our ad hoc team of MNHQ first-lookers were impressed with the Fox’s maneuverability. 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. However, folding is another story. Although the frame itself folds in one simple movement, you need both hands to remove the seat first. For true city slickers, the Bee5 might still be your best bet.
Bugaboo claims the Fox's secret is aerospace technology, which they say gives lightness without compromising sturdiness or durability. However at 9.9kg, the new travel system is still heavier than both the Bee5 (8.9kg) and the Cameleon3 (9.6kg) – worth being aware of if you're regularly lugging yours up and down steps.
Bugaboo have designed a new “ballpoint” brake, a single pedal that pushes down once to lock, and again to release. We LOVED this; there's no chance of scuffing your shoes, and we think it's unlikely to get stuck.
Bugaboo have been pulled up on the size of their baskets in the past, and they've listened. At a glance, 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.
We love the look of the Fox, and that counts for a lot. It has some truly innovative features while being a great all-rounder – smart, nippy, versatile, and strong. Is Bugaboo perhaps trying to be all things to all parents? Possibly – we think the other, more specialised (and cheaper) models will be in circulation for a while yet.
That said, the ballpoint brake and the ease of steering give Bugaboo a real advantage over its closest competitors. Let's get real: no-one's life is ever the same after having children. But the flexibility of the Fox, and its one-handed operation, could very well ease the transition.
The Bugaboo Fox is available from March 1st, 2018.