There’s a pattern to my poverty: the poorer I get, the more random competitions I enter in the vague hope that somehow, I might win myself a little treat. I never usually do.
So it was an absolutely fabulous surprise to get a call from Pushchair Expert a few weeks back: I’d only gone and won a brand new Maxi-Cosi pushchair! I was pretty gobsmacked – talk about a treat. And I know, I know, I’m the one who bangs on about babywearing all the time. It’s true: I am indeed a big fan of carrying my baby rather than pushing him round in a pram. But as a family, we’ve still always used the pushchair a lot. Neither my husband nor I can drive: on occasions where we need to be out for a long time, or we have to go a long way, or have to do a big shop, we do resort to Ted’s wheels. And if we knew if we ever happen to have another baby, we’d definitely need to get a new pram – the one we’ve had since Ted was born is battered beyond recognition. So we were absolutely delighted to accept this beautiful new Adorra pushchair from Maxi-Cosi, and now we’ve had it just over a week, I thought I’d do a little review.
I saw the delivery driver coming from the living room window, and I practically bit his hand off signing for my glorious new treat.
The pushchair arrived in a surprisingly small box – that picture is misleading, makes it look enormous! I could easily heft it into the house by myself. My mum was visiting at the time, and we were going to take Ted out for a walk. Perfect! It only took a couple of minutes for my husband and I to extricate the entire pushchair apparatus from the box and put it together, mostly without having to resort to the instructions – just a matter of sliding the wheels into place, and clipping the hood onto the main frame.
It looked beautiful. We chose the lighter Nomad Grey colour, with a brown leatherette handle and bumper bar. I know it’s pretty fashionable at the moment for prams to have that exact colour scheme, and I do wonder if it’s going to look dated in a couple of years, but I don’t particularly care – it looks gorgeous right now, in 2018, and that’s all I care about at the moment.
The frame and the wheels all looked very sturdy, and all the pieces fit together very well. I didn’t feel like anything needed tightening or adjusting at all, when it came to the main frame: no need for so much as a screwdriver.
It even smelled nice. New pram smell – who knew that was a thing? I don’t remember it from unboxing our other pram, but then I was heavily pregnant at the time so who knows what my senses were up to.
Out and About
Ted was just as excited as I was to take his new pram out for a stroll – he loves anything with wheels and was trying to push it out the door himself before I even got his coat on.
The seat is very well padded, Ted simply sunk into it. There was a detachable head cushion that I did remove, as he’s a pretty hefty toddler now, and it seemed a bit like it was getting in his way. I can see it being very comfortable for a smaller baby though, particularly if they’re going to be lying flat for much of the time.
Size-wise, Maxi-Cosi recommends the Adorra as suitable for up to around three and a half years old, and sure enough my one-year-old Ted has plenty of room. His legs don’t come anywhere near the footrest at the bottom of the seat unit yet, and without the head-cushion, he’s snug at the top but still with some room to grow. I maybe would be more likely to predict him growing out of it by two and a half rather than three, though, but that’s mostly because I have an enormous child – if you happen to have a more petite toddler, it would obviously last longer. One of the layers of cushioned padding can be removed, though, which I think will give another good chunk of space and extend the pushchair’s life a bit further.
The only issue I had on our first outing came with the actual straps of the pushchair. It’s a five point harness, lovely and safe, with padding at the shoulders and the crotch. But getting the straps adjusted to actually fit my enormous child was a bit difficult, with my husband and I having to unzip quite a lot of the cover to work out how it was done (the instructions aren’t particularly clear in that respect). In fact, it’s been well over a week and we still haven’t worked out if we can make the crotch part of the straps a little bit longer – we’ve lengthened the rest of the harness to make up for it, but if Ted decides to slump forward a bit while I’m trying to get the clip done up, it can be a bit wince-making having to yank on it to get it in the right position.
Actually pushing the Adorra was a revelation – so light! So easy! Our older pushchair was hardly a behemoth, and in fact the Adorra comes out as quite a bit larger to look at – but it pushes like a dream. It’s got swivelling front wheels that can easily deal with the potholes in my local pavements, and it’s easy to control even with one hand. I’m not sure it would do hugely well off-road, as the wheels aren’t the biggest, but the suspension seems pretty decent for a pushchair marketed as ‘urban’.
The brake clicks on very easily, and very firmly, keeping the pushchair absolutely immobile even on a steep hill when I had to stop to sort out my own shoes . If you have a particularly long stride, it can be a little bit tough to get used to pushing the Adorra – my husband found that he was kicking the brake a little bit when he first took it out.
I didn’t have this issue, though – the only problem I’ve had when it comes to pushing, is that it isn’t the best at handling kerbs. It can take a bit of heft to get it up onto the pavement: I’m yet to try manoeuvring it onto a bus or a train, but I can’t imagine it’s the easiest pushchair for public transport simply for that reason. When I was in Manchester, with bus drivers who were notoriously reluctant to ‘kneel’ their kneeling buses, I may have struggled with this one. However, things are made a bit easier when the handle is fully extended – it’s a telescopic handle with three heights to choose from. At its tallest setting, the centre of gravity seems just that little bit better-suited for leverage, so I’ve started pulling it right up.
Ths Adorra is compatible with various Maxi-Cosi carrycots for the newborn stage, and I can see how easy it would be for them just to click in. Equally, it works with a number of Maxi-Cosi carseats, including the Pebble (I mention that one just because I see it popping up on Facebook groups all the time as highly recommended: we had a generic Mamas and Papas one that hardly ever got used as we’re not a driving household). You do need adapters to get the carseat on the Adorra’s frame, but they come in the box with the pushchair.
It also comes with a nicely sized raincover, which is easy to put on with just a couple of snaps of velcro, and is angled so water doesn’t drip into the shopping basket. I actually love the raincover, as it has a big flap at the front that can be lifted up so you can get to your baby without removing the whole thing. Living in the North where scattered rain showers are a part of everyday life, this is immensely useful. I can flip it up to give Ted some air in between showers, or if he falls asleep while it’s raining, I can lift it so he doesn’t get too hot when we go inside, without disturbing him by taking off the entire cover.
There are various other accessories available that are compatible with the Adorra – infant cocoon, footmuffs and even some faintly ridiculous handlebar gloves that I’m sure I’ll regret mocking the next time we have a cold snap (probably next week, the way it’s going round here). The only thing that’s missing is the one thing I’d really like – a cup holder!
The Best Bits
Two things really stand out for me when it comes to the Adorra: the hood and the basket.
Our last pushchair was a bit of a nightmare in the summer: the hood was fixed to the main seat, so when the seat reclined, so did the hood. In other words, when the baby was flatter, and therefore more likely to be sleeping and especially NOT want sun in their eyes, the hood gave a lot less coverage.
Not so with the Adorra! The seat reclines separately from the hood, so the baby is well shaded at all times. And it’s a good big hood too, with an extra flip-out sun visor. Last week, we had a couple of bright days, and my sun-shunning boy was perfectly happy with his hood pulled down.
There’s also a neatly meshed viewing panel in the back of the hood, so when he’s facing outwards, I can still have a peep down at him – or, if it ever properly warms up around here, I’ll be able to leave it open for some extra ventilation.
Then there’s the basket. The basket! I never realised how small our old one was until I started using this one. It’s huge! Easy to get to from front and back, and with a panel at the back that flips in if you have a hefty box or the like to slide in. And it’s just so roomy.
The other day I had my handbag, a bag of shopping, a Primark bag, a box containing a full potty training set, a bag of library books and a LittleLife backpack all shoved in there, and there was still room to spare.
Apparently the handle itself can take 2kg of weight too – we do have a buggy clip for that eventuality, but so far we haven’t had to use anything but the basket.
In fact, Ted can comfortably sit in it. Not that I’d recommend it, but he keeps taking himself off to the cupboard under the stairs and having a little sit down in it. Not your average toddler, that’s for sure…
For such a big-looking pushchair, the Adorra folds down to a surprisingly small package. It can be folded with the seat unit facing forwards or backwards, and can stand independently. As I don’t have a car, I can’t tell you how well it fits into the boot of one, but it fits very nicely under my stairs.
For longer-term storage it has an extra compact fold – when you take off the seat unit and fold it separately, you can easily click the wheels out too and significantly reduce the footprint of the whole thing. We plan to make use of this in the inevitable couple of years between Ted deciding he’s had enough of buggies, and us making up out mind about another baby. At that compact size, it will easily fit under our bed.
It’s not the easiest folding mechanism, I have to admit – it’s not particularly intuitive. Technically, you can do it with one hand, though I’ve not had chance to get that confident with it yet. However, being able to fold it with the seat attached, in parent-facing mode as well as outward-facing, is a big plus point for people like me who use a lot of public transport – just saves some time when you’re faced with a bus full of people all glaring at you for holding them up!
I bloody love this pushchair. Love it! For someone like me who lives in a town, doesn’t have a car and walks a lot, it’s perfect – it can handle city streets, and, even better, can handle my weekly shop! It’s comfy and safe, easily manoeuvrable, and looks absolutely lovely. For someone who never wins anything, this was a bloody good competition to pick!