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A few months ago when my girlfriend and I told our parents that we were expecting a baby, they were delighted. Being my parents first grandchild, they were very keen to be able to help out as much as possible and offered to buy us a buggy/travel system. While talking to the daughter of a friend of theirs, they learned about the Bugaboo Frog, a travel system combining pram/carry-cot and pushchair with a frame that is compatible (via adapters) with most of the car seats on the market.
Bearing in mind that my girlfriend and I are fairly frugal types and had been thinking that we would make do with cheap and cheerful pushchairs etc, when we looked at the price of the Bugaboo range, we were shocked to see that the equivalent model that had superseded the Frog, was about £800!! There was no way we could afford that, nor would we let my parents - who had offered to buy a travel system - spend that much on it!
I suggested we look at second hand Frogs, and was quite pleased to see them going on Ebay for about £300, quite a saving! My parents were happy to pay this much so we started watching each and every Bugaboo Frog that came up for sale in our area. After a few disappointments we managed to get one for £245 which we were quite pleased with.
A short drive and demonstration later and we handed over the money and took home our new purchase!
The Frog we got included the standard items:
Frame with wheels
chassis which is used for both pushchair and pram/carry cot
The fabric covers for the push chair and the pram
Also included was a Sun parasol, a footmuff, an alternative third party insect net and adapters to fit a Maxi-Cosi Cabrio-Fix car seat.
***** The Frame *****
The frame is constructed mainly of aluminium with heavy duty plastic mechanisms and sockets. The handle is finished with a rubberised soft feel to make it warm and comfortable to hold while pushing.
Unlike later Bugaboo models, the handle is not height adjustable, however my girlfriend and I who are both 5'8" find it absolutely perfect, so unless you are much taller or shorter you'll probably find it just right.
There are two sets of wheels which attach to the frame.
The rear wheels are 8 inch pneumatic tyres on typical 5 spoke pushchair wheels. They push into the side of the frame at the rear (for standard wheeling about) and are held in place by sprung circlips. Removal couldn't be more simple, all you have to do is squeeze the two tabbed sides of clip and the wheel easily comes away from the frame. While removal is simple, I have to say the construction and mechanism feels very sturdy and there is no chance that the wheels could be released accidentally as you wheels the chair along.
The front wheels are completely different. They attach to the frame via means of pushing the top of the wheel mechanism through a vertical slot whereby it clips in place.This arrangement allows the front wheels to rotate much like those of a shopping trolley, thus allowing the whole frame to turn on the spot. In addition to this, they also feature a sprung mechanic giving the front an actual suspension setup which absorbs lumps and bumps as you wheel it along giving a nice smooth ride.
The handle can be moved so that the large back wheels become the front wheels which makes it much easier to push on uneven ground, even fairly rough and bumpy fields are no problem and we have discovered while wandering around various boot fairs looking for bargains.
Setting up the frame and collapsing it are both nice and simple. On the inside of each side of the handle of the frame there is a release mechanism which works by sliding towards you. To prevent you from accidentally operating this, on one side there is a button which needs to be pushed in first which then allows the mechanism to work.
With the frame collapsed you merely lie it down on the floor, release the slide mechanism, then lift the handle, as you do so, you push the bar with the front wheels forward with your foot and the frame opens out and the handle clicks into place.
Collapsing is even easier, you merely release the mechanism, lower the handle to the floor, then pick up the frame by the central bar and it all collapses together and locks closed, the front wheel's bar has two clips which attach to the rest of the frame keeping the whole thing together.
Often things like this seem easy when trying them but when in the real world are a pain but I have to say with just a little practice it really is as simple as it sounds!
In addition to the frame, there is a separate section which acts a s chassis for the pram and pushchair, it's a rounded off rectangle which, in the middle of each side, houses the connectors which attach it to the frame, and a removable carry handle. The pram and pushchair are in effect shaped fabric covers which attach to this chassis.
***** The Pram/Carry Cot *****
The Pram cover has multiple velcro strips and simply velcros in place around the chassis piece. At each end of the cover there is a vertical pocket from the chassis to the base, into which a small lightweight metal plate is inserted to hold the fabric in shape. There is also a wooden base which holds the base in shape and provides support. Once this is assembled which only takes a matter of a few moments, there is a nice little mattress for your baby to lay on.
There is a separate fabric cover which hooks over the chassis and has two elastic hoops which attach to small tabs at each side, this provides cover for the baby's body when out and about.
This can be attached to the frame facing in either direction, so you can have the baby looking at you or away from you depending on your or your baby's preference.
When not in use on the frame/wheels, the pram top can also be used as a carry cot which can be quite handy. We have used ours to give out little boy somewhere to sleep while we have been at friends houses, it's lovely and cosy and he slept very nicely in it.
***** The Pushchair *****
Like the pram/carry cot the pushchair is a fabric cover which attaches to the chassis, and again it uses velcro and is nice and simple to fit. The back is shaped with padding and the seat is a wooden base with padding, this allows it hold its shape nicely and gives a good seat for a baby/toddler to sit in. There is a great five point harness which holds the baby in place, with shoulder straps, waist straps and a crotch strap to stop the child slipping down off the seat. The harness is very easy to adjust and clip together so it easy to put the child into the seat and easy to remove but feels nice and safe in use.
Again the pushchair can be placed on the frame facing either direction so you can do whichever you and your child prefer. The seat has a tilting mechanism so it can be either partially reclined or fully reclined which will be more comfortable for the child if they are small and get a bit tired.
***** Accessories *****
This attaches to the frame and can be used with either the pram or the pushchair. It is a fabric canopy with metal framework and ribs. It is very simple to attach and can be opened halfway or fully to give a nice bit of shade.
This is a lovely fleece-lined sleeping-bag esque accessory which can be used with the pushchair. It straps in and provides a lovely snug, cosy and warm covering for the child in cold weather. The front can be adjusted for height so even for smaller children it sits nicely in front of them and allows them to see out.
The parasol clips onto the frame and can be used with both pram and pushchair. it is a lovely little fabric umbrella with a sort of metallic lining to block out the sun and provide some shade and coolness in sunny weather. It can be angled and positioned with a flexible shaft so you can easily shade your child.
The rain cover clips onto the canopy and over the feet when using the pushchair. It shelters your precious child from the rain and is nice and clear so they can see out into the world.
This goes over the pushchair or pram to keep nasty bugs out when outside, very handy for use in the summer!
This attaches to the frame with strong velcro and can be used with both the pram and pushchair. It has a curved hard plastic base so it doesn't get caught on kerbs etc but is sturdy enough that if it did take a knock it would be fine. It has a good elasticated draw string top and can take a good amount in it. It is really handy for a day out as you can pack most of the things you need for a baby into it to save you carrying it.
***** Conclusion *****
This travel system has turned out to be a god-send! The whole thing is very good quality and has clearly been very well thought out with real world ease of use and practicality in mind and it really shows. Everything is nice and simple to operate and use, even when you are in a hurry or needing to keep an eye on a child. With either the frame or the pushchair, and loaded with a baby, the whole thing is so easy to push about and maneuver, with its ability to turn on the spot and the front suspension, you are very unlikely to end up stuck even in less than ideal places like crowded shops.
The whole thing collapses down nice and small so is simple to fit into the boot of a car for transporting about. The fact that you can get adapters for most of the major brand car seats is brilliant as it means you can simply fix the car seat to the frame and wheel it about, then when you get back to the car unclip the car seat and fit it into the car (especially simple with an ISOfix car seat base).
The wide range of accessories that come with the system means it is suitable to use in pretty much all weather conditions whilst keeping your child comfortable and safe.
The Bugaboo Frog has been superseded by a newer model with a few changes including an adjustable height handle but to be honest it's much the same and of course costs a whole lot more than a second hand Frog, which are plentiful on ebay!
I would wholeheartedly recommend the Frog as a great travel system to anyone!
This is a great buggy, its very compact and very easy to use and assemble. Its well worth the money as you get three things in one, a buggy for the baby lying down, a sitting seat so once the baby is over 6 months of age and it is also adaptable to put car seat on by getting the ( the maxi cosi adapters which we had, made live a lot easier when going from the car to the buggy).
A great feature of the pram is that it has so many adjustable positions to put baby and which way to face etc.
The different ways are designed on what terrain you are going on, little wheels at the front swivel to steer and then you can have the large ones at the front (for off roading). Personal experience of the buggy when off road is very good only downside is getting your head around steering from the rear.
I love this pram its stylish and compact.
Back in 2005 I purchased the Bugaboo Frog for my first child. It was at the time that the Bugaboo Camelion and Gecko was due to be released however, I made sure that I reserved the pram early in order to get the frog as I believed it was a far superior pushchair, for the same price. I wasn't wrong. The Frog is now on its second child, and still looks as good as new. It is regularly commented on in the playground and many people are surprised when I tell them its age!
The Bugaboo Frog is an early pushchair from the Bugaboo range. Although it has now been replaced by the Camelion as its equivalent, it is still available from ebay and to order in from europe and the USA. It was an expensive pushchair, costing over £700 however, I believe that I have had my monies worth. WHile many friends thought I was crazy to spend that amount, they have then gone on to having 3-4 pushchairs in the lifetime of one child, spending in total well over the £700 I spent. I have then gone on to using this for my second child expanding its usefulness and its value.
The frog itself has a pram, with a carrycot. This can be used in the pram or as a moses basket, on a seperate stand (make sure to buy a suitable matress if a baby is going to sleep in the pram). When the baby reaches 4-6 months, you can then have the baby in a rearwood facing stroller so that they can have eye contact with you, as they get older the stroller can face forwards to the outside world. It has 2 large back wheels and 2 smaller ones. When going over rough terrain (or whenliving in a city) the big wheels go at the front, helping you to go over bumps and kerbs.
YOu can buy many accessories for the Bugaboo. We have the clips to enable you to use infant carseat with it, the travelbag and footmuff.
The only downside to it is occasionally muck, mud and other unspeakable stuff gets stuck in the big pram tyres however, I think this is a downside to anything that goes down our dirty pavements!
When it comes to prams Bugaboo prams are the best. In my opinion what makes them really good is due to the fantastic ride it gives your little one. At a cost new of £600 you can only buy the Frog second hand now as it has be superceded by the Cameleon. It may seem like a lot of money but you will only ever buy the one pram. I know people who buy two or three prams and are not happy.
It starts off in pram mode where your baby lies flat and converts into stroller mode when they are ready to sit upright. You can have baby facing you or facing away. There is a canopy to provide shade. The chassis is really bouncy so you glide along. It's really easy to push. You can have the big wheels going first when you want to go off road. We have taken the pram everywhere and never had any problems - just the odd puncture. There is a bag under the pram to store things although it is a bit inaccessable.
You can attach a maxi cosi car seat onto the chassis if you buy the attachments at £30. This was great for when baby is little and you just want to pop to the shops in the car.
There is also a rain cover and a insect net.
Extra accessories include a parasol and a changing bag.
I love my Bugaboo!! It looks great and really easy to put up once you have the knack. It fits in my boot ok but some small cars may struggle.
We got the Bugaboo Frog early on before it became so well known in the hands of famous parents! If it had been I'd probably have been less keen on it as I'm not really one to get something that is seen as the in thing. That said I don't regret getting it one bit and even today I rarely see another one around here (in Coventry) though they are very common when we go down to London and visit places like Kew Gardens.
We bought the Bugaboo partly because we wanted a buggy capable of going off road and the two differing wheel sizes combined with it being able to easily switch where the handle is and therefore which wheels are to the front makes that very easy. You can set the buggy up with the seat facing either way and switch it round easily. You can even use if with the wheels folded together and pull it along like a golf cart which makes it possible to use on sand, we tried it out recently and it does indeed work much better than with four wheels down though of course you can't put it down and leave it like you can on four wheels.
The pushchair is quite light for a proper pushchair, though obviously you can get strollers that are lighter than it they are generally pretty flimsy where as the Bugaboo has taken everything we have thrown at it over five years and is still going strong. It has cleaned up well every time we washed the covers and the only things that have needed replacing are the carry handle when one of the buttons died and the two front wheels because the springs went but have we only replaced those as we have a second kid now and plan to use it for him too. I can't speak highly enough of both Bugaboo and John Lewis who are their main distributors for parts, when I enquired they were helpful, knowledgeable and made everything very easy. I ordered the needed parts on two separate occasions and they were very reasonably priced. Even though they now do several newer models they still fully support the Frog and there was no attempt to get us to upgrade to a new model. The first time the parts were ordered and posted to us, the second time John Lewis had the wheel in stock and gave it to us there and then.
The pushchair comes with all the bits to have it as either a proper pram with a carry cot style top or as a buggy and it is easy to convert from one to another. You can also use it with a first size car seat though when we got it there was only one it worked with and I haven't enquired if there is a bigger range now. We got the car seat that went with it separately (it's from a carseat company) and again found it easy to connect it to the wheels. The main frame folds up neatly and you can detach the larger wheels quite easily if needed. I drive a Smart Car so needed to be able to make the pushchair quite flat to fit it in the boot so I regularly took the wheels off and the clips holding them on are still going strong five years later.
It comes with a hood that works for both the pram and buggy setups plus a pram cover and waterproof cover for the buggy and a carrier for bits and pieces that hangs between the wheels.
If there are any faults at all it is that the mechanism to fold it up seems to stick on occasions though it isn't a major flaw, plus because the larger wheels are set on the outside I get them caught on occasion as I misjudge the width of the pushchair. Also it can be difficult to get things in and out of the carrier though it does take a fair amount if you can get it in there.
All in all we have been extremely happy with it and it has never let us down. It is as useful crossing a field as it is going round town and light enough to lift over a style or down a short flight of stairs with ease.
The Hauck Speed Sun - Hide N Seek Pooh is a Single Seat Umbrella.