Thursday, 30 May 2013

Pushchair Ponderings

When the new baby arrives at the end of November, Celeste will be 21 months old. 

Although she is a brilliant little walker with plenty of stamina, I think it would be unrealistic to think we could get away without buying a double buggy.  Currently when we are out and about she has our undivided attention and we can follow her wherever she goes. This will be less practical with a second baby to look after therefore having them both in a buggy is as much for safety reasons as practicality.

I have looked into buggy boards and I think this is definitely something worth investing in; however I am sure there will be some occasions when Celeste would prefer to sit down or maybe even sleep.  I also am willing to consider having the new baby in a sling and Celeste in a single pushchair however I am sure there will be scenarios where this is not practical either.

Currently we have 3 single pushchairs

  • A Graco QuattroTour Deluxe. This was given to us second hand from a relative.  It’s a lovely buggy to push around but quite heavy to lift in and out of the car and does not fit in one of our cars (a Vauxhall Corsa) due to its size. This pushchair currently stays at my parents house as a spare.
  • A Bugaboo Bee.  This is the only pushchair we have bought new.  We initially bought it as we needed to take Celeste on an aeroplane when she was 10 weeks old and needed a lightweight buggy suitable for a newborn to take with us.  It is also great for around town and easily fits into both our cars.
  • A Quinny Speedi SX. I bought this second hand as my husband was keen to try out running with the buggy. To be honest Celeste wasn’t a fan of high speed travel however I find this an excellent all terrain buggy and use if regularly for country walks around where we live.

I currently use a pushchair for 3 main scenarios:

  • Buggy walks.  In an attempt to shake off the baby weight, I currently go on a weekly buggy walk with friends. The terrain of these walks can vary tremendously, from tarmac paths to muddy and uneven woodland trails. Currently I use my Quinny Speedi for these.
  • Walking into the village.  We live in the Kent countryside, about 1 mile from our village centre.  It is usually 50/50 whether we walk to the village or drive, depending on the weather and the time I have available.  The walk to the village is on narrow uneven pavements and again we use the Quinny Speedi for this.
  • Shopping.  When around town and in larger shopping centres like Bluewater the Quinny Speedi is a little bulky.  It also takes up a lot of room in the car.  We therefore use our Bugaboo Bee for this.

Obviously I would rather only buy one double/tandem pushchair that would cover all of these scenarios.  The key features I feel it needs to have are:

  • Multi terrain. It does not have to be able to cope with extreme conditions but has to be able to cope with a multitude of surfaces.
  • Size.  It has to be able to fit in the boot of my Kia Sportage.
  • Liftable.  I have to be able to lift it in and out of the car.
  • Car seat compatible.  I have to be able to use as a travel system and attached an ISO-FIX car seat.

From the research I have done so far the following pushchairs have been recommended to me:

  • Bugaboo Donkey. I have heard great things about this pushchair and one of my Buggy Walk friends has one therefore I often get to see it in action.  I like that it is narrower than a lot of double buggies and therefore more suitable for narrow pavements.  I have also been reliably informed that folded down it will fit in the back of not only my Kia Sportage but also my Vauxhall Corsa.  If true, this would be a huge advantage.  I also like that it can easily transfer to a single if Celeste wanted to walk or travel on the buggy board.  Finally I have seen that it is able to cope with a variety of terrains and would feel confident taking it out and about locally.  I do have a slight concern that any side by side double may be too wide for our narrow pavements.  I guess I will need to go up the road with a tape measure and measure the narrowest points :-).
  • iCandy Peach Blossom. Everyone I have come across who has one of these pushchairs, loves it.  I like that it is no wider than a single and that there is flexibility in the seating arrangements.  My reservations are my preferred seating arrangement would be to have the carrycot closest to me and facing me, and the toddler seat furthest away and facing forward.  This scenario isn’t shown on any of the pictures I have seen therefore I am not sure if it is possible.  Also I am also not sure how suitable the wheels would be on a variety of terrains.
  • iCandy Pear - The iCandy alternative to the Peach Blossom in the Pear.  I like that the wheels look more suitable to a variety of terrains and as with the Peach Blossom , I like that it is no wider than a single.  However, as with the Peach Blossom, I am not sure if I can have the seating configuration how I would prefer.
  • Britax B-Dual. I do not know anyone that currently has this pushchair but my husband is particularly keen on it from what he has seen online. I like that I can already see I could use it in the configuration I would most prefer, with the carrycot or car seat at the top facing me and the lower seat underneath facing forward.  My concerns are I am not sure how Celeste would feel about riding in a seat so low in the ground, and how suitable the wheels would be on a variety of terrains.

The next stage of my investigations is to visit a local pushchair retailer and test drive some of these out.  I need to check how comfortable they are for me to push but also for Celeste to ride in.  I also need to have a good look at the wheels and see if they are up to the job.

If anyone has any other double or tandem pushchair suggestions I’d be delighted to hear them.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard great things about the phil and teds. I am also told it is the most stable and can have a sleeping toddler and shopping and not tip up when the second seat is empty. But I am yet to actually test drive one...