I love strollers. I mean really, really love them. I have owned many strollers over the past six years and firmly believe there is no one perfect stroller. From luxury to running to travel/umbrella, there is a stroller for every one yet there is no one stroller that can do it all. That being said, the newer strollers on the market are making headway towards being the one and only. Enter Mamas & Papas, a company popular in the UK that is newer to the North American market. Their stroller line includes a number of options including the Armadillo, which they call the “Big Little Stroller”.
I tried out the Armadillo with both my newborn (six weeks) and my big kid (almost six years) to get a feel for how it would function and what type of longevity it would have. Here’s what I found:
I love a one handed fold. The easier the better! Especially if you are holding a baby and only have one hand to use. The Armadillo does feature a one handed fold. It is quite different from most other folding mechanisms I have seen before in that you press a button and turn a piece on the handlebar (all with one hand) and simply fold the stroller forward. It is very easy to do once you figure it out. I would caution, however, that it is geared for right handed folks and I could see that lefties could possibly find it tricky. To unfold you simply unlock the stroller and pull it open. Super easy.
The Seat and Canopy:
The seat on the stroller is very plush and quite roomy for a stroller of this size. The leg rest is adjustable, which is great for those using the stroller with younger babies and very easy to use (also one handed). The canopy is huge and features a peekaboo window with a magnetic closure, which may not seem like a big deal but there is nothing worse than trying to check on babe and having to rip Velcro open to do so and waking them up. The straps have three height options and the adjustment is a standard thread through design. The safety buckle is a puzzle piece design, which many people find a bit of a hassle but I actually found this particular one very easy to do up and even easier to undo as both pieces popped out on release.
My infant fit with tons of room of course, but my very tall kindergartener was also able to sit in the stroller with not much room to spare. I’m not concerned about this since he would only need to sit in it in a pinch or an emergency situation, but this indicates that this stroller would easily accommodate a very large and/or very tall toddler without any issue.
The recline on the stroller is probably the only thing I didn’t love about this stroller. While the recline is one handed, you do need to pull down quite firmly as it is controlled with a strap mechanism, which in turn means that in order to restore the seat to the upright position, you need to use two hands. I also didn’t find the recline to be fully flat as advertised; however, my very young infant was able to lie pretty comfortably and would be able to nap without much of an issue.
The brake on the stroller is one small push pedal and can be activated with very little pressure on both the breaking and release, which makes it pedicure friendly.
I know, it’s not a car but sometimes it sure feels like shopping for one. The ride on this stroller was very smooth with both my little and big kid, which is a huge plus. If you have a stroller that bumps and rattles along you aren’t going to use it. The front wheels can be locked or set to swivel depending on your terrain, which is helpful for city life and walks at the park. The Armadillo has a great ride especially for a stroller in its size category and even more so in its price range.
If you are a pack mule mom like me you probably care about the size of the under-carriage basket. While it isn’t quite large enough for a big diaper bag, it certainly would carry the essentials.
The Bottom Line:
The Armadillo is a fantastic option for those looking for a compact and lightweight (under 18 lbs) stroller with luxury features and a very reasonable price point. The Armadillo features a 50 pound weight limit and can be used from newborn stage. A rain cover is included with the stroller and an adaptor can be purchased separately and used with an infant car seat to create a full travel system. With an MSRP of $289.99 CDN this stroller is a lot of bang for your buck. The Armadillo is available at Babies R Us and comes in Black, Indigo and Lemon Drop (shown here).
WIN IT: One lucky Canadian reader will win one Armadillo stroller from Mamas & Papas (Lemon Drop). Enter to WIN via Rafflecopter below. Good Luck!
Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.