Product Type: Bugaboo prams, pushchairs and strollers
Newest Review: ... the beach with! However I found that there was an 'awkward stage' and many other Bee mothers I have spoken to have agreed that they babi... more
Member Name: lulu2004
Advantages: Lightweight, nippy, eye catching
If you've ever read the parenting magazines on the shelves of the supermarkets and turned to the "tried and tested" section at the back where "Heidi, 25" says "I loved this steriliser, it fitted neatly into my microwave and was done in no time" you'd be forgiven for being like me and thinking that the people who tested the items were in fact made-up and someone in the editorial department spent their day making up little quotes and anecdotes to fill the gaps...
... I can safely say now, that real people do actually test these products, and I was lucky to be chosen to do a stroller test for a magazine. I had aspirations of getting a huge delivery of wonderful prams, but in reality I got a couple fairly run of the mill strollers delivered to me that I duely put through their paces with varying results, and then the Holy Grail arrived- The Bugaboo Bee. I'm familiar with the Bee through my job in a baby department, but I've never gotten to actually use one with my children. It's too expensive for me to just buy myself one, even with work discount. And I have to admit I always thought they looked much too tiny to be of any use at all.
The day the Bee Arrived
The Bugaboo Bee arrived and I was extremely excited, I was even excited to see which colour was arriving. It was yellow. The Bugaboo Bee currently comes in Pink, Blue, Black, Red, Yellow and Kakai. Yellow wouldn't be my own choice, but when you're getting it free of charge for a few days then who would be fussy?
As I have mentioned before, I am fairly familiar with the workings of the Bugaboo Bee and so got it folded down in the forward facing position without referring to the instructions. And then I got stuck! My daughter who would have been just turned 7 months at the time was still a little young for me to have her facing the world so I wanted to turn her around. It was time to bring out the instructions. I had seen it done before but I had no idea what to do and didn't want to break it.
Changing the Seat unit Direction
The Bugaboo Bee can face the parent or face the world and with a young child I preferred that she faced me. A useful point of the Bugaboo Bee is that you can fold it whichever direction it is facing. There are many strollers out there that can only fold when forward facing. After a few very stiff jiggles and pokes I managed to dislodge the seat unit from the frame and get it turned around. But my lord! My fingers did hurt- it was so stiff. I would guess that this would loosen up the more you did it. However, once I had it in that position I was not planning on moving it.
I folded the stroller up and popped it into my boot. (a Volvo) and it was tiny in there. I could have easily popped the baby, the groceries and the dog in there with it and still had room. That was a great plus. I have had a few buggies in my time and generally they are much bigger than that. We went into town and parked in a busy car park. I set up the Bee very easily and popped my daughter in to the seat where she was very comfortable and seemed content. She's not particularly big for her age so had loads of room. I would not be so sure about how my son would fit. He's big for his age and I doubt very much that it would have seen him past the age of two. The seat is narrow.
I must add at this point, I added my Phil and Teds Sheepskin to the seat before I put my daughter into it as I found it was a bit hard and she is too big for the cocoon and it was too warm for a muff. It was a little big, but it looked very cute. It is black so it toned in quite nicely.
I had quite a few messages to do that morning so I fully expected to be out for a while which would inevitably mean darling daughter would nod off. She did indeed, and I tested the recline. It was perfectly adequate for a comfortable sleep. Not quite as "lay flat" as I would like, but suitable all the same.
I personally found the Bee pushed like a dream through the town. The wheels are small but glided over the pavements. My daughter was not bumped even once during the journey. It also caught the eyes of everyone. As we skidded our way up and down the main street we could see heads turning. The vibrant yellow was lovely in the early spring time sunshine. I took it up to the Bank. Our bank has a set of steps to negotiate before you get in (perils of a listed building I assume) and I am used to bumping the buggy up them backwards. The Bee handled this as well as any of my sturdier buggies did.
The next day was going to be the ultimate test as it was going to a football match, gravel, concrete and grass within 10 yards of each other. How would a little thing like the bee cope?
The answer: without a single problem.
More stares as we walked past people. I actually felt a little nervous by the attention it was getting as I'm not really an attention seeking kind of person. I felt a bit nervous pushing it as I knew people were watching the buggy and I was scared I would fall on my bottom or something as I'm fairly nervy and a bit of a klutz at the best of times, but we bumped lightly over the gravel and picked a spot to stand. The huge canopy was a great shelter from a very bitter wind that day. My daughter fell asleep and stayed asleep from then.
I do have the cabriofix car seat for my little girl, but was not supplied with adaptors for the bee so I could not give that a try.
I was never really all that taken with the Bugaboo Bee before now, but now I feel entirely different about it. Despite its small size it was more than capable of tackling terrain that I previously thought only my "tanks" could handle. It is stiff as a new pram but loosens up a bit with use, and changing the direction of the seat is a fairly complicated procedure, but all in all I have certainly pushed worse strollers in my life.
I liked it so much that I'm pleading with my other half to let me buy a pink one. The stipulation is that I have to sell some of my other baby things and I just can't decide what to let go of.
If you are on the market for a stroller then the Bee is deceptive, you may look at it and think it is tiny and wouldn't be up to much, but it's like a little terrier, it will make its way through anything you throw at it.
Summary: Very very nice piece of baby equipment