Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Review: Mamas & Papas Sola Pushchair

Some of you may remember my post about our current pushchair situation and now that we no longer need the infant car seat or the carry cot it was becoming too much of a space waster. Mamas & Papas kindly offered us a chance to test drive their Sola pushchair and here is what we thought of it. I understand we live in different areas and some pushchairs work best in urban places whilst others may suit the country life best. For each pushchair review I shall be testing them in all sorts of ways, including in our car (we have a Ford Focus) and on public transport.

Mamas & Papas SolaThis is my second pushchair that I've ever had to put together, the other being the Hauck Condor. Both were partly put together already so the first few steps were something to ignore such as how to put the shopping bag in. The main difference between this and my old pushchair has got to be putting it down and back up.With the Mamas & Papas Sola it was quite simple and would go down into a flat position, which I find much better for storing as I can rest it against the wall and it wouldn't take up a huge amount of space. The wheels are also bigger and actually makes having to take it down two flights of stairs not so troublesome as I thought they would, infact they made it easier. It's 10kg in weight like my old pushchair, yet it felt much lighter and easy to lift. The soft bar handle is also very comfortable to hold and I would probably say I prefer the bar handle style now, specially as I could set it to different heights which made things easy for me as a petite lady. Turning it so he can face me was very easy to do! Just click the two side buttons, pull it off and turn it around then.. click! And because the seat is light, it's not that hard to do at all. If I can do it, anyone can!

Mamas & Papas SolaIn Town
Taking it around town was a breeze. Barely had any problems with bumps in the pavement and it felt smooth and easy to push along. Getting in and around stores wasn't a problem as the wheels turn very well an with such ease.

In The City
I found getting around the chaos of Birmingham city very easy with this. The front wheels turn like a charm and the big back wheels help make it smooth and enjoyable for little one.

In The Countryside
The big wheels did help, and the option to lock the front wheels can be of use when on muddy grass or somewhere that is very bumpy. Perhaps it's just me but I found these wheels didn't keep the mud and dirt on them all the way back to our flat, or at least most of the dirt was got by the time we were home. Our old one would collect everything and meant leaving it outside our front door so we could scrub the muck off before wheeling it in onto our wooden flooring.

In the Car Boot
We own a Ford Focus from 2004. It's a fairly good size car, however getting this pushchair in wasn't easy. We had to remove at least one of the wheels and once we did there was no space left in the boot. It wasn't possible for us to put it on the back seats either.

On the Bus
I took the bus from the city back home and it fitted well. The bar can be placed down to put it out of the way and once you hear the brake button make a "click" sound you can be sure that it won't be going anywhere. At first I didn't push the brakes down fully but when I did I had no worries about it sliding about, he even fell asleep as we waited for our stop.

On the Train & Underground
I was lucky to have gotten an invite from Dettol to go to London as well as given entry to The Baby Show. I took the pushchair with me on the train and tube. The train I was on had no baggage area, but cos it is very easy to put down and fold up I had no problems doing so in a short space of time. The Underground I had problems mainly getting on the tube trains, otherwise easy to get off and the brakes being so easy to use and very strong he wasn't moving around as the train sped off to the next station.

So here are the Pros and Cons.

- Easy to put down.
- Simple to change seat between forward and rear facing.
- Handle bar can be put up or down to suit your height.

- Doesn't come with foot muff (sold seperately at £66).
- Can't fold it down when seat is rear facing.
- Too big for car boot.

So what do we think of this? Our judges have come back with their scores and...

Baby Al's Rating: 9/10
Petit Mom's Rating: 8/10

Baby Al would have liked a foot muff, but he does not care as much about the car issue then Petit Mom does!

This product was kindly provided by Mamas & Papas.


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