Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I see London, I see France...

Steps. Europe has lots of STEPS. As in stairs. To climb. And, alright, I know that France and England were well established before good ole' Columbus had ever even THOUGHT about sailing the "ocean blue" but I mean, c'mon, haven't they every heard of elevators over there?

Steps aren't an issue for me, but of course, it was a new consideration with a 18 month old in tow. She would need a stroller, and it would have light enough to carry when needed, and need to fold up quickly and compactly. Lucky for me, I was aware of all of these things before I left and prepared accordingly.

We brought with us the Micralite Fastfold, a stroller that holds true to it's name -- it is small and light, and really does fold up quite quickly! It made our trip MUUUCCCHHHH easier, and we discussed several times how impossible it would have been had we been using another stroller.

Ok, so there is so much to say about this lean, mean, pushchair machine that it's easiest for me to make a list -- so read on to find out my loves and a few little nitpicky things that I would improve.

I love the Micralite Fastfold because:

1) At 16 lbs, it was light enough for me to physically pick up and carry for a short distance, if needed.
2) The larger back tires are filled with air, which made for a much smoother ride, and it made it easier to hop up over bumps by popping the stroller backwards.
3) The design is really cool -- it almost looks like it is in the shape of a triangle.
4) There is mesh at the back of the seat to keep air flowing through, which is really important in the summer especially -- so that Little AG wasn't sweating.
5) There are reflectors lining the edge of the entire stroller, which really messed up my pictures but was great for crossing streets at night, especially in London, where they drive on the wrong side of the road.
6) The handle for pushing goes all the way across AND it has two little sections on the side for both hands. This is convenient for one-handed pushing as well as using both hands.
7) It collapses and sets up in under 3 seconds. Yowza!
8) It came with an AWESOME raincover that would have been a lifesaver for us in London if I had only remembered to actually bring it with me from the hotel room. In all seriousness though, I did eventually get to use it and it rocked. Everyone in London had a raincover for their stroller. It was nice to blend-in and very functional.
9) Little AG was very comfortable in it -- it is almost like sitting in a hammock, the way it is designed.

The nitpicky stuff that I would change but wouldn't stop me from getting another one:

1) The front wheels aren't air-filled. I wish they all were, as it is a nice feature.
2) The sun canopy is miniature and does close to nothing for keeping the sun out of Little AG's eyes. However, I used the Protect A Bub Sunshade with it and it worked like a charm.
3) It's oddly shaped, making the front wheels of the stroller further apart than the back wheels, which causes problems when trying to squeeze through tight spaces.
4) You can't hook a diaper bag or even a small grocery bag to the back handles (which is stays very clearly in the instructions, for the record). This stroller is very back-heavy and when I took little AG out of the stroller, it would instantly flip backwards. Trust me, I broke a coffee mug in a souvenir shop by not remembering this very factoid. Slightly embarrassing, and I had a feeling they were muttering "stupid American girl" under their breath as I sheepishly offered to pay for it.
Places we maneuvered the Micralite Fastfold:

1) The wet, packed streets of London.
2) Through the overpriced department store of Harrods.
3) Up stairs in Tube and Metro stops.
4) Onto the Eurostar Train.
5) Through the cobblestone streets of Paris.
6) Through the Catacombs of Paris.
7) Up the Arc de Triomphe.
8) On the Metro (aka Subway).
9) On Escalators.
10) On the rocky beaches of Nice on the French Riviera.

Overall, the Micralite Fastfold ROCKS my world. Hubby and I both agree would couldn't have made it through Europe using our other stroller -- this one was a lifesaver. Did I mention how cute it is? We get compliments about it everywhere we go. The girl in London called it a "Posh Buggy" and I swooned. :)

The Micralite Fastfold is available in Red and Black. It holds up to 42 lbs.


Little Window Shoppe said...

What a travel bug! I have visited Europe and remember the many steps too (but didn't go with a baby along). Good to know about this stroller.

Tabitha Mills said...

I was quite excited until I saw the price tag! OUCH!

Anonymous said...

Wow! A stroller that only weighs 15 pounds?! I swear my current stroller weighs about 50 pounds. It is so hard for me to pick up and put it in the trunk of my car. I wish all the manufacturers would check out the user friendly construction of this stroller. I'm envious of whoever wins this great prize.

Michelle said...

I blogged about it!