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When I was pregnant, I bought myself a Graco Travel System ( a pushchair that fits the car seat in) from Tesco, on offer. After keeping it in the box, I went off the idea of the Travel System, knowing my baby would be able to lie down straight, just upright, either in car seat or pushchair. I returned this to Tesco, and started researching different brands and styles on the Internet.
Before I talk about it, I was looking for a unisex design as I didnt find out the sex. The design is a Charcoal Grey, with white faint squares on hood, pramette cover and Footmuff, along with matching changing bag and carseat.
I found the Mamas & Papas Pliko P3, Pramette- Pushchair, Changing Bag, Car seat & Car seat Base. I priced it up to be around £600, £700, with the footmuff.
I visited a Mamas & Papas store and fell in love with it. It came also with a raincover. I found out to assemble it once it had been folded up, how to fold it down. Just a simple clasp of the levers on handles and pull the device towards you. Pull the lever behind the chair towards you to fold it down or push the lever near the wheels to stand upright. All done in litrelly 5 seconds.
When I was testing it, I thought about getting it in my car, so an assistant allowed me to try it, and it perfectly in the boot of my Vauxhall Corsa.
The pramette turns into a pushchair by pulling the lever - under the pramette to recline the backside upwards, and to turn the hood around so its facing away from you and include footmuff, or to turn back to pramette, pull lever to recline fully down turn hood around to face towards you, zip around the bar at the front, and include pramette cover.
I went home from mamas and papas looking for money off vouchers online, and you never guess what... someone was selling one round the corner from me with everything for £100 including car seat & base. I found this on the Loot.
I do think Mamas & Papas is a great store but very overpriced. Mothercare & Boots i find cheaper, but as the pram is their own brand, i was debating thinking I wouldnt find it any cheaper. I Love everything about the pram, the fabric is cushionned so well it is really comfy fo my baby. Also are harness straps to keep him strapped in.
I bought the Pliko P3 as I like the idea of the Viaggio car seat being able to clip straight onto it, but after that stage being left with a perfectly useful umbrella folding one-hand-one-foot see your toddler right through sort of push chair.
I checked I could hold a large baby in one hand and fold up the pushchair in the other; that it would fit easily into the boot of both our cars (Toyota Avensis and Celica) and that I thought it would see us through the whole pushchair stage without having to go out and buy a cheaper more lightweight one at sixth months as so many people do.
I have now got a second child who uses it, aged one year.
The Good Things
* For a new born baby you can lie it flat, so if you have a summer baby as we did you can use it in place of a pram. This saves buying a bulky pram attachment for an extra 100 quid that you will only use for maybe 4 months.
* It does fold up more easily than most travel systems although if the swivel wheels are unlocked it doesn't compact down properly.
* They are quite stylish looking and come in a range of colours. all a bit black and grey just now mind.
* It does have a mesh shopping basket underneath. It couldn't have a rigid plastic tray and still umbrella fold so this is best you can get and it does hold a lot. Three years on and mine is starting to sag in the middle a bit.
* It is quite sturdy (aka heavy) so you can swing a bag or two of shopping off the handles without it tipping up.
* it comes with a good rainhood that keeps baby dry and you can buy nice good quality accessories to match (I have a cosytoes).
* Despite being an umbrella fold, I can gt my 3G buggy board on the back for my toddler and the frame has not warped (after a year) nor does it tip up.
*I have managed buying it, and only it, for my last two babies. Just the car seat extra.
The annoying things
* If you are on foot a lot, and don't need to be constantly folding your pushchair down, either because you have space at home to leave it up, or because you are not in your car every day with it, then a one handled (i.e. pram handled) push chair is easier. With a toddler in tow I struggle to steer it in a straight line cos you need two hands - not surprisingly - one on each handle.
* the baby faces you in the Viaggio car seat on this but is otherwise away from you- the seat does not swivel. Fine now my son is one, but a compromise when they are very young.
* it is heavy compared to other more lightweight 6m+ umbrella strollers, both to push and lift into the car boot. There is an argument for buying a full pram to start you off, and a cheapy light stroller for later.
* If you have the handles extended to their highest it is quite long when getting it into the car boot.
* It doesn't fold up properly with a cosytoes on, anything in the shopping tray or the rainhood attached, so there can be a bit of a performance when you get back to your car if you are out shopping with it.
Overall I would buy it again if I was still leading my "back to work mum living in the city, constantly in and out of my car" lifestyle I had when we started. Now I am living in a village and staying at home, only using my car twice a week, I wish I had something like the Quinny Zapp or Phil and Teds (ooh I wish I'd bought that so I could have converted it into a double buggy) with three wheels and a pram handle cos ease of folding into car boot is no longer a priority. It was when we bought it though, so I can't complain. The frame and fabric have withstood three years of daily use very well - it does score on the durability front.
© Oldbag 2008
i bought my pram off of ebay, it was in excellent condition. i have had quite a few prams from mamas and papas and this has to be my favourite. it stylish, light, very simple to fold away. mine has a matching bag, parasol and foot muff. it has a small but spacy appartment underneath, the front wheels can lock so they just go in a straight line or move around so its easy to turn corners.i think its great value for money, mamas nad papas prams tend to last, so if not in use after you have finished you could always sell on for good money.
they come in all different materials so that you can choose one to suit you, try glasgow pram centre or ebay for mamas and papas prams.
i would purchase this pram rather than any other pram as its light, good value for money, never known a mamas and papas pram to break or fall apart, you can purchase spare part such clips (to fold away pram etc) from the mamas and papas website. i purchased this pram because i liked the style of it, when i recieved i found to be very light and folded down very small.
my pram cost me 78 pounds that was deleivery as well, mine was from ebay.
This is one of several buggies I have had, so there will probably be more reviews to follow.
About Mamas & Papas:
The company was founded by David & Luisa Scacchetti, just over 25 years ago. According to their website, they are one of the UK's leading retailers in the nursery industry with products ranging from nursery interiors, travel systems, kitchen and bathroom equipment to toys, baby and maternity wear.
In my opinion, they are overall a high quality nursery product provider, with excellent customer service, but unfortunately highly overpriced.
The P3, in summary:
The P3, classified as a "pushchair" by Mamas & Papas (M&P), is suitable from birth to toddler, having a four position backrest, and single handed recline and 3 position legrest. For safety, it has a 5 point safety harness, and "gate" style opening bumper bar. The frame is aluminium, making it lightweight and corrosion resistant, and it has independant suspension and a secondary locking device.
This buggy is very modern looking, and comes in a variety of fabrics, which are frequently updated by M&P, and either a charcoal (grey) or black frame. It has nice chunky wheels, which, as well as looking good, are better for slightly rough ground.
I can only go by how my daughter looks in this, as I am WAY too big to test this buggy for myself.
It has a seat which is padded, both where her bum goes and at the back, and also has padded wings (at the side of the head area). My daughter has fallen asleep in this many times, and with a little smile on her face, I have to say she does look incredibly content and comfy. This also helps, due to the fact it has 4 seat positions, ranging from sitting upright, to completely flat (hence being suitable for newborns).
Opening and closing:
To open this buggy, you simply hold the handles, hook your fingers under the "triggers", and squeeze upwards, whilst giving the buggy a gentle shake. (You may need to push down on the seat to make sure the locks have engaged). You then press down with your foot on the lever plate (or foot plate) at the back of the buggy, and it is ready for use. Very simple, once you've done it once or twice.
To close, you first have to engage the brakes. Then pull up one trigger on the handle until it locks, and the same with the other. Next pull up on the handle in the centre of the back rest, and continue to pull until it is fully closed - you will just need to check that the locking catches on the sides of the handle are engaged. This is called telescopic folding, and is even easier than opening the buggy.
Reclining the seat:
This is very simple - you just locate the recline catch, and lift it upwards. You then pull back until the seat is in the position you require. Let go, and it will click into place. To sit upright again, just pull on the catch whilst pushing the seat back upwards again. The good thing about this, is you can do it with one hand, and whilst baby is asleep in the buggy!
Hood, bumper bar and wheels:
This buggy has a huge hood, which can be very easily opened and closed, and what I like about it is rather than buying an expensive sun canopy, you can pull it down to shade baby from the sun. It is also water resistant for those moments when you get caught out, and don't always need to get the raincover out.
The bumper bar can be opened by pressing upwards on the button which is under the hinge. There is one at both sides which means you can take it off completely if required.
The wheels are made of a hard rubber with a good tread, and can be fixed or swivel. Swivel wheels are good for shopping, and lots of turning, fixed wheels are good on rougher terrain, so the buggy doesn't shoot off in all directions.
The buggy comes with a raincover, which is very easy to fit.
You can also get a cosy footmuff in matching fabric, these are £30 to £50 from Mamas & Papas. Matching changing bags are around £45, sheepskin liners are £60 (!!!), suncanopies £30 and parasols £15. You can even get a toy steering wheel to clip on for £20.
If you look on Ebay, you will find loads of other bits for sale, such as cup holders, and playtrays. You can end up spending an absolute fortune on these things.
You can also make the buggy into a travel system by adding the Primo Viaggio car seat, which is very handy, or you can buy them together as a travel system in one package. The car seat alone is £130, so it would probably be a slightly cheaper option to buy together as a travel system.
From £200 to £250, depending on colour/spec from M&P.
I have to say of all the buggies I have had, this has been one of my favourites. It is very easy to operate, and quite compact when folded, if a little tall. It fits snugly in the boot of my old Polo, with room for some shopping.
It is very stylish, and does get lots of admiring glances, and is very comfortable looking. I find it excellent for shopping, as it turns very easily and is quite narrow, so fits through doorways well. It is also good for general out and about walking, due to having decent enough suspension, and the wheels can be fixed if desired. Also, the handles are height adjustable (having 2 positions), so good for the tall and small alike, and very comfortable, being at a slight angle.
The only thing I don't really like about this is the price. I really do thing you pay for the name as an added extra with M&P, although they are high quality products.
The above said, I did not buy mine new, (nor would I for any buggy for that matter), and you can get many a good bargain on Ebay for around £100.
Overall, I really do recommend this buggy, for comfort, style and practicality.
Age guideline: from birth - 15 kg. Weight: 8,2 kg.