Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dilemma of choosing a travel system that's right for us

So this weekend we have been browsing the shops to get an idea of the pushchair we intend to buy and with less than 12 weeks to go we really need to get our act together! We luckily (although I didn't think that at the time as I quite fancied trying out all the new ones) were handed down the travel system from my Auntie when we were expecting Alex, although this had been used for my youngest cousin it was in pretty good/perfect condition so we were obviously very grateful. As I don't drive and Alex is nearing 3 it has had a LOT of use and done a lot of milage over the past three years and you can certainly tell from looking at it. The wheels are worn, it is looking really grubby and the shopping basket is hanging on by a thread, so a new travel system is inevitable!

I thought it might be quite exciting trying to find the right pushchair for us as we didn't do it last time wrong was I! There is far too much choice for my already mushed baby brain and our budget does often limit us too. We I have been looking on-line for months to get ideas, and I am glad I didn't just go and order one I liked/was the right price as I was quite surprised at how plastic looking a lot of them were, or how un-sturdy, chunky, un-practical some of them were for us. Only thing is we haven't found one we have fallen 'in love' with, despite looking in 'Babies r us', 'Mothercare', 'Mamas and Papas', and other local baby stores.

I thought choosing a name was hard, turns out it's not the only thing-I'm a very in-decisive person as it is!

Here's what we are looking for:

  • Something around the £200 mark (must admit I am shocked as to how expensive some are)!
  • Travel system preferably with rain cover and foot muff chucked into the package. 
  • Sturdy as I do a lot of walking and will also have some kind of buggy board for Alex because I can't expect him to walk the 20mins to preschool and back.
  • A large shopping basket (I really don't see the point in the pathetically small ones).
  • A straight bar handle rather than two vertical ones-much easier to maneuver one handed when doing a 'basket' shop.
  • Brand I can trust.
The travel system we had for Alex was a Graco one, which I must admit I cannot fault and has served us well, so I am quite tempted to stick with what we know and go and get another Graco travel system, but after seeing some yesterday and today the material on them doesn't seem as good as the one we currently have, but this doesn't seem to be just this brand it's something we noticed across the board unless you made the next step to a £300/400 system.

One of the Graco ones we like is actually one of their cheaper ones which does seem to have good reviews on all websites I have seen which is the Mirage+ Chilli, which actually seems most similar to what we have now, I'm just not 100% sure it's grabbing me, or if it's the cheaper price tag...They also sell it in 'Boots' so I am also thinking of the bonus points and what I can buy for Christmas presents or in the sale afterwards (I know I am terrible)!

Another one that caught our eye was the Graco Evo...

However, when we saw the price tag in Mothercare I thought that it included the carseat and pram attachment and thought it was a great price for the quality it was, on further on-line checking I have since discovered that to make it the travel system you have to buy the other two parts separately which brings the total to around the £500 mark, ouch well out of our budget! My heart sank a little :(

Anyone know of any good places to look that I have't mentioned?
How did you decide on the pushchair before baby made their appearance?

I wish there was a try before you buy, as I would hate to spend loads to then not be happy with it... any pushchair companies need any reviews doing ;) 


  1. I know what you mean, we deliberated for ages on this and got a Britax Vigour, cost an arm and a leg, rated a Which? best buy. The pram attachment got used less than five times, as it turned out I carried him everywhere in a sling for the first year. After that I did make use of the pushchair part for about a year before we got a much lighter buggy that was easier to use on public transport.

    I remember when the Britax arrived I could not get over how massive it was!! It was a great pushchair though but the whole system was seriously underused and expensive for that reason.

    I wanted a rear facing seat so I could talk to babs. I cant even remember the other things I wanted. I would consider second hand to be honest. The prices are crazy and you never use them exactly as you expect (although second time around might be different.....)

    1. Ooo must look at Which, I haven't yet! I must dig out the baby sling too, especially as I expect I will use that more the first month or so on the pre school run. Quite fancy a rear facing one this time, seems to be the in thing! Very true second hand might be worth a shot too :)

    2. ...or there are some ex-display systems on ebay, mostly bright green though!

  2. It's a difficult one. We were given our pram by a friend who had hardly used it and it has been fine (it is mamas and papas pliko pramette) but I have often had pram-envy looking at others, although the prices did make my eyes water (ours was free - the perfect kind!). I agree that it is such ashame you can't try them out as there are so many little things you only discover once you have given it a runabout - like I would really want a one bar pram rather than two as you can't steer it with one hand and hold a shopping basket (or little hand) with the other. It is fairly clunky to steer too. Would love to hear what you do decide for if (fingers crossed) we have another.
    Just to let you know, I've tagged you in my Liebster blog award post - looking forward to seeing your reply!

    1. There certainly is little things you only realise once it's been bought! We just went for the cheaper Graco in the end, seemed silly seeing as we had no problems with the one we had that was similar and the great reviews/price tag. Thanks, I have made a start but haven't got around to finishing it yet!

  3. Hi. I forgot to add the five questions for you to answer on the Liebster blog award post I did. I have now added them to the post but here they are below:

    01. Why did you start blogging? What do you get out of it?
    02. What's your parenting style?
    03. What is the best place in the world for you?
    04. What has been your most exciting experience?
    05. What has been your scariest moment as a mum?


Thanks for taking the time to comment :)