Where is the company?
I really like the idea of this stroller and I purchased it to be our travel stroller, and I liked that it already came with a carrying case as well as the weather shield. I really don't want to travel with my Baby Jogger City Mini and risk it being mistreated during air travel (gate check), plus it's a little bulky. Delivery from Albee BABY was fast which I appreciated. The tape on the box looked pretty old and there was a lot on it making me feel like it was once opened and returned. Upon opening the box there was a slight weird smell like something that's been sitting in a warehouse for a while (see below for more details about that). I opened the stroller and I definitely like the print and the fabric, and just the general look of it, every modern. I put my 17 mth old daughter in it and she seems to like it too as she didn't want to come out. She was actually able to crouch her legs up and get comfy because the seat goes straight out (she's a little short :) ). The recline function is a bit of a pain because it's four plastic buckles/connectors (can't think of what you call them, but everyone has these on at least one baby item they own), two on each side that you unbuckle to recline then re-fasten to make it upright. It's hard to do when the child is in the stroller, you have to ask them to sit up or would have to physically pull up younger babies so you can do it. Kind of tricky with only two hands. Unfastening is definitely easier because of the laws of gravity. A drawstring would have been better. It also doesn't recline very far. It seems to be enough for my daughter to look comfortable and if she fell asleep her neck wouldn't go forward, which is good, but it's not a flat recline at all. I found the stroller hard to push with her in it, more specifically the front wheels. I notice another parent said in one of the reviews here they oiled theirs and it worked fine and they wished they didn't have to, but even though we purchased it new, it's about 3 years old and has been sitting in Albee Baby's warehouse most likely ever since. So I guess that's a little understandable. I also find that at the handle when pushing bounces a little making me feel like I'm going to snap it in half and my daughter is only 20 lbs! Not sure if that's how it's supposed to be, some sort of shocks when bouncing. I'm not too sure how it will handle on the NYC streets with those small little front wheels should I decide to use this stroller for a quick errand. There aren't any harness pads/covers, but I suppose you can buy those if you want. The harness buckles aren't the easiest, but it is a 5-pt harness which is great because later you can forget the shoulder straps altogether. The fold is two-step and I don't know how fast that will be at the airport gate. I had to fold it on the ground and I would imagine the fabric would get dirty in a public place. Maybe it takes getting used to. Then there is a little of a struggle to get it into the bag, which isn't the best quality I should add. It's a great idea, but it's not padded and I don't know how well it will handle if being thrown around by luggage handlers at gate check. I've had one of those red stroller travel bags come back with a hole on it before and the material is similar. I feel like a need a case for the case! :P It folds pretty small, definitely more compact than my City Mini. I've read some people were able to put it in the overhead of some flights, which is what enticed me in the first place. But I'm not too sure about that now looking at it. Perhaps on bigger planes, but definitely not on the smaller domestic ones. It also doesn't weigh that much less than the City Mini, maybe about 2 lbs. I guess the basis for travel is its compactness and not necessarily the weight. The bag with the shoulder strap definitely makes it easier. They say to carry it by the handle if not using the bag, but I find that kind of awkward. In general I think if you use this for travel and not as your main stroller all of the above issues and my cons below would not be huge problem. I also recognize that some of the "issues" may also be what makes it able to be as compact as it is. I would recommend to a friend for travel and infrequent use only.
I'm kind of leery about keeping the stroller mainly because the company that makes it seems to be M.I.A in the US. The website hasn't been updated since 2011 and the phone # is not in service. My stroller was purchased last week (Mar 2014) and has a manufacturer date of 2011. I emailed the distributor from the box, Funtastic, and they told me it is now being distributed by The Dale Group, also in Australia. I have emailed them asking who do we contact in the USA in case we need support. I don't particularly like having a product that a) has such an old manuf. date, and b) I can't contact anyone about should I run into an issue. I am still waiting on a response from them. I'm on the fence and I may return it and purchase a stroller with active customer support.
Pros- Nice look, print and design, very modern
- Fabric seems easy to spot clean
- Handle bars aren't too low
- Carrying bag included
- Weather shield included
- Folds pretty compact, especially once in carrying bag
- Nice big rear wheels, when you press the brake one side, the other locks
- Small storage pouch behind seat
- 5 pt harness
Cons- No harness strap padding/covers
- Canopy folds upwards into the handle bar when you want to pull it back, which is awkward. It doesn't retract like most canopies that "disappear"
- Handling isn't too smooth (and I've only tested at home on my smooth, wood parquet floors)
- No locks on the front wheels and there is a YouTube video where the person was having a hard time maneuvering it on gravel and locked front wheels would have helped with that
- Small front wheels that are very close together, may be hard do maneuver on certain terrains
- Basket underneath is very small and shallow
- Spot clean only, cannot remove padding
- No customer service support in the US as far as I know, and I've researched and inquired
Best Uses- Travel
- Quick trips