As people who know me know, I am a massive buggy fanatic. I’ve loved them since I was a child playing with my dolls and when I became an adult I knew which set of wheels I was going to purchase even before I knew when I’d like to have the children to put in one.
I’m not entirely sure what it is I love so much about pushing a pram? I just do! But I do know, as with my style, I need them to look good (as well as obviously being practical and working well). Over the years of my buggy pushing days I have tried out many, some have been brilliant and some haven’t really stood up.
It’s funny that the ones I have often thought would be amazing have turned out not to be so and sometimes ones I have thought would be a little rubbish have actually been wonderful! I do like to be surprised though! I personally prefer a high ender when it comes to price point because you generally get what you pay for (with a few exceptions) and I would always choose something that looked good over something that didn’t (IF it also did the job it was supposed to do mind).
I expect a lot from a high end brand because when paying the prices they often command I don’t see why you shouldn’t get the whole package. I want beauty, style, a very easy push, potential for carrying lots of shopping and for them to generally be good at customer service for any help you might need going forwards. Often the higher priced strollers spend a lot of time training staff in their retailers so whether you need assistance on how to fold your new buggy into a travel bag or if something goes slightly awry later on then your local shop should be able to help. My experience and watching friends with their buggies is that if you buy cheap then you by twice, sometimes more times and seriously, what’s the point? You may as well go ‘all in’ in the first place! That’s not to say ALL expensive buggies are great, believe me that’s not always the case and I have indeed reviewed one recently with a very high price point that was no better than a flimsy and very inexpensive umbrella fold from the super market. However, on the whole there are brands which I feel can truly be trusted.
Now, no buggy is perfect, it would be impossible to make the perfect pram for all sorts of reasons. For starters I use different buggies for different scenarios and holidays differ to home which differ to where my friends might live and have different buggy needs. I like small city nippers for darting across London on the tube and I also like big all terrain wheels on other push chairs so that I can walk across sand and grass in the country. I have favourite buggies for different conditions and I fail to see that any one could be all things to all scenarios but I don’t, like I said, expect one to be!
It’s great when you find what I call an ‘all rounder’ something which is pretty good at most stuff and I’ve been testing one such model recently. The Xplory is the flag ship stroller from the Stokke brand and along side its brothers (the Scoot – in my opinion a City dweller, the Crusi – which has the ability to become a double and the newer Trailz – definitely looks like a country beast) it is very eye catching indeed!
When I first knew the Stokke brand I wasn’t immediately drawn to it I have to say, instead I would have said the Scoot was my favourite looking from their fleet. I’ve not been used to having a seat so high up (I used to call them the tripod buggies) and I wasn’t sure I liked the look of it at all. I also had pre conceived ideas about how well it would work for me in the City of London and although friends who had them told me they were really rather good at coping with public transport I just couldn’t see it. The Xplory is bigger than any other pram I have considered taking on the tube and it doesn’t fold down in one swift movement (another plus to lots of city minded buggies) but as we are moving to Norfolk soon I wanted to see what it was like and I’ve really put it through its paces; not just in London but all over.
Firstly I have to say that I don’t believe it to be the perfect city buggy because it’s not but what it does do well is cope with public transport adequately enough to not be put off travelling with it. While I use the tube often and might not recommend it to someone commuting every day, I absolutely would say if you need to travel on trains once or twice a week then it is absolutely do-able. The chassis is actually incredibly light and I have managed very easily both on my own and with others offering lifting help to take it on and off under ground, over ground, the Emirates Cable Car, DLR, buses and even on escalators which is what I was most worried about prior to travelling with it.
I had thought it might be ungainly and clumsy but because it’s so light and the wheels work so smoothly it’s been a really easy journey each time I’ve used it. Daily travel in rush hour is certainly more suited to a nifty little something small but the Xplory can hold its own and it is particularly great for getting on and off buses because the wheels maneuver and glide superbly and then, really and truly, believe it or not, it doesn’t take up too much of a foot print in the buggy area of the bus. I’ve been mega impressed with that!
So I knew it worked in the City when I needed it to but how does it do on harder, more country type lanes? Well, again it does awfully well! The tyres aren’t huge or air filled but it does push over grass and sand and if you flip the back wheels up you can pull it making it super easy to do so. Again, it’s not the perfect buggy if you LIVE on a farm full time and need it to cope with whatever that throws up every single day but just like the public transport of the City it copes when you need it to.
It’s probably an ideal buggy if you live somewhere like Norwich (where I’m moving to) with mainly city streets but the occasional need for public transportation, beach and country walks. As I said earlier, an all rounder and let’s face it, suited to most places in the UK! I don’t just like it, I love it! As well as everything else it just feels really special when pushing it and I love that Jimmy is almost eye to eye with me.
What I love: loads, from the sleek aesthetics and the way it pushes to the fact I can get lots of accessories and change it up! I already have a new style kit I’m going to add when I can bring myself to turn away from the gorgeously sleek black look I have going on now. I also have to say that Jimmy has just turned three and looks tiny in it! YES! I can’t stand buggies that only work for small babies because Jimmy won’t walk very far and he still needs a buggy. The seat, although it doesn’t look particularly big, is super spacious and probably the most impressive point for me! I haven’t even extended the foot bar and the straps are on the smallest setting – says it all! The under storage basket is similar to the seat in that it looks small but you can’t half fill it full of all the stuff you need!
What Jimmy loves: Being high up! Plain and simple! He thinks it’s flipping brilliant! He also says he prefers to face me from time to time and popping the seat on and off really is as easy as ‘popping the seat on and off’! The seat can fully recline when parent facing for a tiny tot and almost fully reclines facing forward – either way Jimmy loves to sleep in it and always looks very comfy.
What would I change? Well it JUST doesn’t fit in the boot of my 3 door Corsa and if the neck only went down a tiny bit more it would. If there was some way of them making it so that it could just compact down another inch and we’d be laughing! Please note though that a 3 door Vauxhall Corsa is TINY and I reckon other small cars might just be able to fit the Xlopry in. When it is folded up it’s not massive, far from it and it looks rather neat in our small communal hall way. It stands up and is completely out of the way. It’s just too long for my particular boot.
Overall, after a month and a bit of using the Xplory, it has impressed me in lots of ways. It’s showing a few signs of being used but not too many and the wheels are almost pristine. I need to get a changing bag so that I can add to my load and I think a cup holder for any buggy is essential so I also need to add one of those to my collection. People always ask me when I’m going to give away some of my buggies (something I rarely do) and they’ll be waiting a LONG time for me to part with this one! I want to see what it’s like in the winter with those oh so gorgeous furry gloves that go around the handle and IF I am lucky enough to have another baby I want to use it with a new born. I will write an update to this review when I’ve used it for a bit longer and of course changed it up a bit with my style kit. Watch this space for more Stokke Xplory news soon!
I was given a Stokke Xplory for the purpose of an honest review.