A couple of months ago, we went back to America and we decided to bite the bullet and buy a lightweight stroller/pushchair that you could just chuck in the car and move around easily. I had been warned about ending up buying two pushchairs, something apparently that regularly occurs when you buy these big three wheelers like our Quinny Buzz. Turns out they were right.
Mission: Get a pushchair with raincover for under Â£75.
I saved myself a lot of legwork by checking out the reviews on Which?, which for those not in the know is a subscription based magazine and website that has objective reviews on pretty much anything and is highly regarded. I always use it for big purchases where I don’t want to let aesthetics rule my head!
The Mamas and Papas Nipi is the 2nd highest rated pushchair in Which?’s Best Buys (first is the Micralite fastfold which I actually happen to love but think is a bit tiny for her tall dad to push around) and that is amongst all the pushchairs reviewed, not just lightweight pushchairs.
I chose it because it’s really light at 6.4kg, quick to unfold, quick to fold up, quick to get going, quick, quick, quick, or ‘Nipi’. It has reasonable shopping space, has the Mamas and Papas look with funky patterns and vibrant colours, and best of all is that it retails for Â£59 although I actually got it for Â£49.
Like many pushchairs, they do the very annoying thing of selling the all weather pack separately which is basically the hood and the raincover – Let me put something out there: Who the hell buys a pushchair without a hood and raincover in England? We’re not exactly known for glorious weather…
The weather pack retails for around Â£25 which brings the overall RRP to Â£84. I happened to be in Allders when they had a sale and paid Â£68.
– Linked rear wheel brake locks
– Five-position backrest
– Adjustable five-point safety harness
– Spacious padded seat, and five-position leg rest
– Large reinforced net basket means easy storage for all baby’s essentials.
– 13.5cm wheels include two swivel wheels that can also be locked into a fixed position.
– Easily folds with one hand with a practical carry handle
– Size when folded 120cm x 33cm x 29cm
– Age Guideline: Suitable from birth – 15kg.
– Weight: 6.4kg.
There’s a lot to like about this pushchair and it does what it says on the tin but there are a couple of annoying things about it…
1) The hood and raincover is actually not the most straightforward of setups and I’ve had a couple of occasions where it started to rain and I just could not for the life of me remember how to put the hood on. It’s got velcro strips for clipping it to the frame but in comparison to the weather kit on my Quinny for instance, I don’t think it’s quite as robust. They could do with putting some clearer markings on the pushchair so you know where each attaching part of the hood goes.
2) I was under the misguided impression that us folk that own three wheeler pushchairs or ‘heavy’ ones are missing out on ease of use on stairs. I don’t know if it’s because I’m short or because I’ve been unlucky with my choice of stairs, but I don’t like using it on stairs.
3) You feel everything in the ground with these lightweight pushchairs. You have no idea how smooth a ride you have with bigger wheeled pushchairs until you have to push the Nipi over a botched pavement or get over a kerb.
4) For constant use, this is that bit too light. It is quick but the lightness certainly contributes to the awkwardness on uneven paths.
But I absolutely love the fact that:
It’s so ‘Nipi’. If I have to dash somewhere this pushchair is unbelievable and I love the fact that I can take the bambino out of it, fold it down and carry it into my house (which has stairs leading into it) with the bambino on my other arm.
Overall: Fantastic value for money and the fact that you’re getting the 2nd highest overall rated pushchair by Which? means that you’re actually getting a pushchair that is highly practical…if not a bit light. Perfect as a second pushchair or you could leave it at one of the grandparents as they’ll actually know how to use it as opposed to weeping at the thought of something more complex. A very strong 4/5.
It is available in various colours but you do have to shop around as they sell out fast. Available from Mamas and Papas and various outlets.