Sue: Car seat and compatible stroller with adjustable handlebar and parent-facing solution for a newborn
Today, we address another soon-to-be mama’s car seat and stroller conundrums. Getting ready for a newborn can be extra stressful during coronatimes, but don’t worry, we’re here to navigate choppy waters with you! Read as Elise recommends prams and car seats for Sue and her bub, Furry. If you know any mummies who are preparing for their new arrival, please share this article with them!
Sue's preparing for the arrival of her baby and she’s overwhelmed by the significant amount of choices available in the market and thus turned to us for advice. She’s looking for a stroller that has an adjustable handlebar—baby’s dad is tall—and a parent-facing solution, and a compatible car seat. Ideally, the car seat should fit in her 5-seater Subaru, baby’s grandparents’ car and should be easy to use in GrabCar and taxis.
Hey Sue! After considering your requirements—an infant car seat that compatible with a stroller, and installs with an ISOfix base/seatbelt for your car and Furry’s grandparents’ car/taxi use—I’ve come up with a matrix (below) for you that fits your budget of approx. $1500. I’m an engineer so things can get really nerdy really quickly, so bear with me! I’m going to talk about prams on the left column (green) of the matrix and your car seats options are on the top row (navy). I’ve also thrown two extra options at the bottom, which I’ll talk about as well.
Okay, let’s start by talking about prams because that’s where you have the most difference in features. I reckon you can perhaps look at a compact stroller since you’d like something convenient to use, easy to fold, light to lift, with adjustable handlebars, and given that you don’t want to run with it/take it off-road. Compact strollers perform better in Singapore—they generally get around a lot better, particularly on the train and bus. I’ve done the legwork and narrowed it down to the 1) Bugaboo Ant and 2) Cybex Eezy S Twist. Normally I’d recommend the Mountain Buggy Nano but I’ll not recommend that in this case because A) you want an adjustable handlebar (almost none of the travel strollers have that) and also B) you’d like a parent-facing seat. You can put a Mountain Buggy Cocoon on the Mountain Buggy Nano to allow bub to face you, but I think that the two prams that I’ve shortlisted better meet your needs than the Nano.
Pram #1: Bugaboo Ant
The Bugaboo Ant is not just a cool-looking compact stroller, it packs quite a hefty punch and you’ll figure that it actually ticks all of the boxes on your requirement checklist. Suitable for use from birth up to twenty-five kilograms (which is really a lot for a travel pram), the Ant stroller is a good value pram considering that it’s long-lasting and that it’s decently priced at $799. It’s the only genuinely compact stroller that has an adjustable handlebar and it’s incredibly adjustable—you can adjust the angle of the handlebar and also fully change the height of it as well! Plus, the Ant offers a parent-facing solution—just as you wish—and it’s achieved easily by turning the seat around (watch the Bugaboo Ant demo video). Another plus point is that it features a lie-flat mode for babies and so you won’t have to use extra accessories like a bassinet or a carrycot with the Bugaboo Ant stroller. Although this might have its pros and cons, but it’s mostly good in Singapore because the Ant is not a fussy pram that’s going to have the baby being really warm and sweaty. This pram accommodates only infant car seats (with the use of car seat adapters that cost about seventy-five dollars) and again this is one of the reasons why I’d recommend this pram over the Nano. The Nano really shines as it accommodates both infant and toddler travel car seats, but you’ve got a car and you won’t necessarily need that flexibility. But if you do require that flexibility because you’re going to take a taxi etc, you can perhaps consider the Urban Kanga because it doesn’t require a stroller to be compatible with it, it comes in a carry bag and you can hang it over the handlebars of the stroller.
Pram #2: Cybex Eezy S Twist
The Cybex Eezy S Twist costs $350 on Amazon and that’s really the only way it made it onto this list—it’s because its half the price and that’s a compelling argument. This stroller doesn’t have an adjustable handlebar but hear me out first: I know your husband is fifteen centimeters taller than you’re, but depending on the angle of the handlebar and how much foot space there is for you to bring your feet forward, he may not need an adjustable handlebar. The only determine that is to head to Mothercare and test it out. But, for half the price I think it’s worth testing out, plus all of the other compact strollers—to my knowledge—don’t have adjustable handlebars. For $350, this stroller definitely has got a lot to offer: it has a parent-facing seat that can spin very easily to be a world-facing seat, it’s got independent suspension, which is a new thing that’s coming into compact prams and that’s pretty cool. The Eeezy S Twist is also ready to ride from birth with its lie-flat feature, which I think is pretty good to be honest given that it’s kind of like a hamax seat (watch the Cybex Eezy S Twist demo video). There are other accessories like a cocoon footmuff for newborns, but I reckon it’ll be too warm for Singapore’s weather and I don’t think it’s good enough to warrant the extra money. You can easily convert this stroller to a travel system with the use of adapters, and they cost about sixty-five dollars. Other than the fact that it lacks an adjustable handlebar, the Cybex Eezy S Twist stroller does meet most of your requirements and it’s a strong competitor to the Bugaboo Ant. Maybe the fact that it’s half the price may make up for the absence of an adjustable handlebar, but you’d have to decide that.
The above two prams are really high-end prams and as you can see from the matrix, if you go for the most expensive pram and the most expensive car seat option, you’re pushing your budget a little bit but you don’t have to. I’m going to throw in a third pram in the mix just to disrupt things a little bit, not because I think it competes with the other two prams.
Bonus: Silver Cross Jet and Doona
Image credits: Doona
The Silver Cross Jet is usually about $669 but for some reason, the orange Silver Cross Jet plus the adapters bundle is on sale for $199 in the Mothercare sale. The handlebars are also not adjustable and it doesn’t have a parent-facing feature but for $199 you may be compelled to forgo those features and so I just wanted to throw this stroller in here. Next, the Doona, which you’re completely familiar with, and I’ve put our pricing (at the moment) on the matrix.
Next, we’ll look at your car seat options: 1) Mountain Buggy Protect and 2) BeSafe iZi Go Modular X1 i-Size Infant Car Seat. Both of the car seats that I recommend are European and they both have separate bases, which have load legs and rebound bars (excellent safety feature!). They can be easily installed in a similar manner in taxis or your parents’ car without needing the base.
Car seat #1: Mountain Buggy Protect
The Mountain Buggy Protect is an incredibly lightweight (just 3.2kg!) and narrow infant car seat, and I personally used it for my third baby. As you can see from the matrix, the car seat itself is $183 and the base costs $153. It’s a mid-range car seat, it’s got a nice fabric, it’s easy to use and most importantly, it has everything that you’d expect from a safety perspective. It also converts to a travel system easily—it uses the Maxi-Cosi/Cybex adapters so it’s compatible with the pram that I listed—and it’s a convenient travel solution for when you’re taking a taxi. The Protect is really a good value car seat and all of its features combine to make it very unique and that’s why we recommend it quite a lot. Besides, the protect capsule also offers multiple intuitive and convenient installation options—it can be installed using the vehicle’s seatbelt, the Mountain Buggy ISOfix Base or the Mountain Buggy Universal Base (both ISOfix and seatbelt installation).
Car seat #2: BeSafe iZi Go Modular X1 i-Size Infant Car Seat
If you prefer something with a few more safety features but also a lot more luxury and convenient features then the BeSafe infant car seat might be the ticket. It’s the same price point as the Maxi-Cosi car seats but the BeSafe car seats offer a lot more, in my opinion. BeSafe is a Scandinavian brand from Norway and they’re known for having some of the safest seats in the world. The BeSafe iZi Go infant car seat is sort of like a plusher car seat, it’s got Side Impact Protection, which is a feature that you’ll see on the high-end car seats now. It’s slightly heavier than the Mountain Buggy Protect car seat, at 4.2kg, but it’s still lighter than the mainstream car seats. It also uses the Maxi-Cosi/Cybex adapters, so they’re all compatible with the prams I’ve mentioned earlier. It comes in a variety of colors, and it’s just a fancier, flashier option. I should also note that the BeSafe base (sold separately) is ISOfix only, which is fine for you because you’ve got ISOfix anchorages in your car.
If we’re going to look at pricing, then yes, the Bugaboo Ant and BeSafe car seat bundle amount up to $1700, which does blow your budget. But if you’re looking at the Ant with the Mountain Buggy car seat or the Cybex with the BeSafe car seat, then we’re significantly below your budget. Lastly, if you go with the Cybex pram and the Mountain Buggy car seat, it’s half your budget. For the Doona, it costs about $940 and do keep in mind that you’ll still be getting a pram after or at the same time Furry has outgrown the infant stroller. Plus if you’re just going for a walk in a park and you don’t want bub to be sitting in a car seat, then the Doona stroller car seat is not what you’d want to be pushing around the park. Have a look at the options, discuss with your husband and let me know what you like/dislike and I can either help you narrow down the options further to I can show you some other ones that might work for you. Alright, see ya!
Cover image credits: Bugaboo