I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that hubby and I went to Kiddicare on Tuesday primarily to try to narrow down our choice of pushchair, as we didn’t really know what we wanted. I’ve blogged before about advice we’d been given as to what to look for in a pram/travel system, but to be honest we still didn’t know how any of this would work in practice and were feeling pretty overwhelmed.
Kiddicare have a huge range of travel systems to choose from. Great! I thought, this will be the place to find and compare the different brands and features. However, we were disappointed that Kiddicare don’t stock Bugaboo, Stokke or Joolz, which were all brands we had been interested in. Undeterred, we decided to see what was on offer and had a look around. To be fair to Kiddicare, they do have a huge range of brands on offer, including (off the top of my head): Jané, iCandy, Uppababy, Quinny, Cosatto, Chicco, Graco, Oyster, Egg and others.
To be honest, most brands we discounted just because we didn’t like the look of them (we are both aesthetically picky!)/they felt ‘cheap’/we thought the wheels looked flimsy/they didn’t push smoothly enough for our liking! We started to feel really despondent until we realised that it was actually a good thing that we had discounted so many – at least we wouldn’t have too tough a time choosing!
The pram that stood out for us was the Uppababy Vista. It looked good, came in navy (important for us!), felt sturdy with good wheels and pushed really nicely. It also has the biggest basket I’ve ever seen on a pushchair and can be made into a double in future (no reason not to think ahead!).
Before visiting Kiddicare, the Bugaboo Chameleon3 had been my favourite. I’d pushed one around in our local branch of John Lewis and really liked it. However, when we went into Peterborough for our lunch on Tuesday, we decided to pop into Mothercare where they had a Bugaboo Chameleon3 on display. We had a good push (lovely) and asked the saleswoman if she could show us how to collapse it etc. This is where our Bugaboo dreams fell apart. When you collapse the Chameleon3 you have to pick it up a certain way as it doesn’t lock closed. It also felt really heavy to me (I am a weakling!) and at this point I decided that the Bugaboo wasn’t for us. It is a lovely looking pushchair but is at the high end of the price spectrum and for that I’d expect perfection and it didn’t deliver for me.
We went back to Kiddicare and had a closer look at the Uppababy Vista, asking for a demonstration. The sales lady was really helpful and even took it outside for us so we could see how it fitted in our boot. Unfortunately, both hubby and I own Fiestas and the Vista won’t fit in the boot without removing the rear wheels. However, this was really easy to do – you just press a button in the centre of the wheel and pull it off. This is like much about the Vista – it’s really easy to take bits off (like the seat unit) and put them back on again without any fuss. It also has a clip that holds the frame together when folded – a big tick for me. Although it didn’t feel much lighter than the Bugaboo Chameleon3 (I think I just need to do some weights!), the Uppababy Vista felt less cumbersome to handle.
We still didn’t want to make a final decision until we’d looked at the Stokke and Joolz systems. So, while we were in pushchair mode, we stopped into our local branch of Mothercare on the way home as we knew they stocked Stokke. We didn’t spend much time looking as again, Stokke are right at the top end of the price spectrum and they just seemed a bit unnecessarily bulky to us.
That just left the Joolz. So on Wednesday we popped in to a local independent retailer who appear to be the only place in Norfolk and Suffolk to stock Joolz! While the Joolz is a very pretty system, I think our hearts were already set on the Uppababy Vista. But I think it’s worth mentioning some of the Joolz Geo‘s features. Like the Vista, it has a decent size basket (although not quite as big), locks closed when folded and can be made into a double in future. However, I didn’t feel it pushed quite as nicely and still has to have a wheel removed in order to fit it into our boot. The wheel doesn’t go back on quite as easily as with the Vista though. It has clever suspension (which some might see as a plus) but this means that you have to line up the wheel before you lock it back on. A level of faff that to be honest I wasn’t prepared to accept when I secretly preferred the Vista anyway! Fortunately hubby had been thinking the same thing (although we both agreed that aesthetically the Joolz Geo is the more attractive system!).
Now it’s just a case of shopping around to find the best price! And of course choose the car seat and IsoFix base to go with it!
What’s your favoured brand of travel system? Which pram did you choose and why? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: I have not been paid to include any of the brands in this post; this is my honest opinion of the brands we have seen.