“ Brand: Chicco / Type: Pushchairs „
--This is a bit of a long review and if you are planning on buying this pram but don't have time to read the full thing just skip to the bottom for the overall summary--
On the face of it this travel system seemed like good value. It had everything I wanted - carrycot, front and rear facing stroller seat, car seat with base, footmuff, changing bag, raincover, bumper bar, and even adjustable handles.
I went to Kiddicare in Peterborough to look at travel systems, amongst other things for my baby. As a first time Mum I found the choice overwhelming, there must have been hundreds of prams there. In the end I decided on the Chicco Trio Living. I think what swayed it for me was the price, it was on offer for £250 - the RRP was over £700! It seemed to handle well in the shop, seemed a pretty smooth ride, and had everything I wanted. A bargain I thought.
However, I had not considered that in a shop it might seem smooth because of the smooth floor. Whereas on bumpy pavements and paths it might be a completely different kettle of fish. I had also not considered the weight of the pram, when using the carrycot it is so heavy to push. The frame and carrycot together weighs over 15kg. When your trying to push this up some very steep hills (I live in Sheffield) this is a real struggle.
I had been suffering from Pelvic Girdle Pain during my pregnancy and the condition doesn't disappear straight away after giving birth, unless your very lucky. This meant I was struggling to walk normally and pushing heavy loads was a nightmare. I had already given up doing the weekly supermarket shop during my pregnancy as I couldn't push the trolley round once loaded with food. This certainly added to my difficulties with this pram, but to be fair to it I still think even if I hadn't been suffering with PGP I wouldn't have found it to my liking.
The weight issue was also compounded by the tyres and suspension. After giving up on the Chicco I ended up getting a lightweight stroller. I liked it but as my son was facing away from me I decided I wanted another travel system. The replacement was just as heavy but because it had air pumped tyres and really good suspension it was so much easier to push and actually felt lighter than the Chicco.
The tyres on the Chicco are very hard rubber and the suspension, well it's more a case of what suspension. Every little bump on the pavement was noticeable - it would give you vibration white finger after a 30 minute walk it was that bad. Seriously it really vibrated, it almost felt rickety.
Another negative is the fold. It really takes some yanking and forcing when the stroller seat is in place, it's not an easy to fold pram at all. When I had tried folding it in the shop it was minus the seat so it folded really easily.
The shopping basket, although not small, was hard to access. The frame criss crosses over it so you can't access it easily. You have to ram things in through the gaps in the frame.
On a positive note the carrycot, stroller seat, and car seat along with the other accessories are of good quality. I think if they had been put on a different frame that wasn't rickety, had better suspension and better tyres then I actually think it would have been a really good travel system for the money.
The car seat was sturdy and I really felt like my son was safe in it. But it was very heavy compared to others. As my son got older the heaviness became more of an issue as I started to really struggle to take the seat out from the car to put on the frame, my husband also started to find it difficult too. I would like to add at this point that I only used this pram for the first 4 months so with an older baby I probably would have stopped using the pram as a travel system. Because not being able to take seat and baby from the car at the same time defeats the point of buying a travel system.
I think I got fooled into thinking that a hard carrycot was better than a soft one because it seems more sturdy. But in reality hard plastic equals heavier and harder to carry. It does not necessarily mean it is better quality or more practical. I also couldn't see the point of air pumped tyres, I thought they were over the top but in reality I got it wrong - probably like a lot of first time Mums.
My experience of buying a pram was that it is just so overwhelming with all the choice. I hope that this review will help others who are struggling to decide on what pram they want. My top advice is have a look around and decide which pram you want. But don't do what I did and buy it there and then. Come back in a couple of weeks time and look at it again, as you might find it's not as good as you first thought.
Overall summary: I got rid of it after a few months. If I had paid the RRP of around £700 I would have been really disappointed. Looking at Chicco website they now have an updated version called Trio Living Smart, however, it looks very similar to my model. It seems to be mainly cosmetic changes. I have found it on a couple of websites for around £400. If it handles the same as mine please don't get it unless you plan on only taking your baby round flat newly tarmacked pavements and shopping centres.
The Chicco Trio Living Tecna Travel System comes complete with Pushchair, carry cot and car seat, giving you the right combination suited to your needs.It provides your baby with all the safety and comfort that your baby needs, whilst providing you with freedom and comfort to go about your everyday life. The Trio Living Tecna Pushchair is a lightweight and compact chassis, with a spring loaded opening mechanism that will free stand when folded.. The reversible lie flat seat has 4 recline positions and can be either forward or rear facing, with the quick connect/disconnect mechanism allowing you to change from parent-facing to front-facing mode in seconds.Ergonomic, folding, 8 position twist handles will keep you comfortable whilst pushing the Trio. as well as the joinable handle converting into "pram style" to match when you are using it with the carry cot. Manoeuvring will also be comfortable and easy with the lockable self centring front swivel wheels, all round suspension and linked rear brakes with Stop &Go pedal feature.Comes with luxury matching leg cover and matching changing bag, 5 point safety harness and comfort kit for younger babies, large net shopping basket and rain cover.