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I bought the Cosatto Swift Lite pushchair in May when David was five months old; I'd squeezed him into his travel system car seat for long enough, and now it was time for him to go into the pushchair side of it I thought I might as well trade down and get a more compact one. I didn't do much research actually and ordered this one pretty much on a whim, mine is the Globe Trotter design although others are available.
The Swift Lite is a useful buy as it comes as a set with cosytoes and rain cover, when I bought it I paid £169 (which I thought was a bargain) but this fab little pushchair is £20 cheaper now! When the pushchair arrives you'll need to put the wheels on, I think that was all Mark did although to be honest I didn't take much notice - I remember it wasn't pushable straight out of the box anyway!
I vividly remember my first impressions of the pushchair even though it was six months ago because I was so impressed by the solidity of the build. Pushing it is tight and responsive, the shallowish design makes it easy to steer and despite the perfect amount of padding to keep David comfortable the whole thing is surprisingly compact. The swivel wheels make it an easy push around the supermarket (or more specifically my tiny corner shop) and locking them makes trekking up the ridiculously steep hill on the way to school almost bearable. Almost. Locking and unlocking them is a simple process involving plastic clips, you don't need any knack at all to start messing with the wheels and before you know it you'll be changing the 'push' half a dozen times on each journey.
David seems comfortable enough in the 5-point harness; the shoulder and chest protection pads stay in place on the straps and never crinkle or twist to make my son uncomfortable and irritable. The straps are easy to adjust and the free flowing clips allow you to get the perfect fit for your baby even if it just means loosening them a millimetre, I've adjusted these at least five times as David has grown and I'm getting a bit worried about the length left in the groin strap - it's starting to look a bit tight although there still seems to be lots of room left in the arm straps. Because I can adjust these to be a snug fit I'm not only confident that my son would be protected in the event of a pushchair disaster but it also prevents him from working his arms free of his straps, something he has become an expert at when he's in one of his other pushchairs.
The seat reclines through four positions ranging from upright to lie-back; that's lie-BACK, not lie-DOWN. It does not recline to a fully flat position and in my opinion wouldn't be suitable for a newborn baby, I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable putting my own babies into such a 'sitting' position when they were so young but obviously the choice is yours and Cosatto's tests have declared this safe for the tiniest of infants. Not very comfortable for a newborn though, how would you feel at being bent in the middle at five days old?!
There is a head hugger attached to the back of the pushchair, it looks good quality and is a reassuring size to fit small babies. David was too old for a head hugger by the time I bought this pushchair but it's easily detachable so I've taken it off an put it in a safe place in case I ever need it again. (Un-bloody-likely!). The rain cover was a bugger to fit the first time and I still find it a bit stretchy and awkward; it keeps David perfectly dry though so the tight fit is obviously a benefit, the cover also allows for ventilation though and there's never been any build up of condensation even on cold rainy mornings. Talking of cold rainy mornings, this pushchair is mainly used for the school run and the weather has turned decidedly chillier this week - twice it's rained on the walk to school and thanks to the thick fluffy cosytoes and perfect rain cover David has arrived home warmer than before he went out! I'm grateful for the smooth wheels as it means I can push it one handed while holding my brolly with the other, something I couldn't do with the bulky travel system so baby stayed dry while mummy got wet.
The cosytoes is a decent one, not something that's been thrown in with the pushchair to make a set up. The Globe Trotter one is black to compliment the grey of the pushchair, it's embroidered with city skylines and although the monochrome design should be dull it actually looks very classy. There are other varieties of the Swift Lite stroller, the design of the pushchair itself stays the same but the colour and styles of the accessories are altered - there are gender specific designs as well as the more unisex ones such as the one I picked.
My only criticism is the shopping basket, which is so flimsy it won't hold more than a magazine and box of tea bags. The mesh is so elastic that if you put anything heavy (or even light but oddly shaped) into the basket it would either drag on the floor or jut out at irritating angles. Not good when you have four kids and are constantly going to the shop for milk and spuds! I've risked it a couple of times but can tell the basket is getting fragile now, luckily the frame of the pushchair is strong enough to let me hang a bag from each handle - although for gods sake if you're going to do this keep hold of the handles as it's so (umm) embarrassing when your child tips over in the buggy!
By the way, the handles are padded with a soft foam which is not only comfortable but also helps you keep a firm grip on the pushchair. When I first bought it I thought the handles were a bit high for me, but I've got used to it and to be fair at five-and-a-tiny-bit feet tall most pushchairs are too high! This one might actually be too *short* for taller people, at nearly six feet Mark doesn't like it as his longer stride means he's constantly wary of banging his shin against the back cross bar. It's a bit awkward to push in heels for a similar reason, although that doesn't worry me as I have my special semi-blinging going out pram and wouldn't take this anyway!
For the price I think this is a fab pushchair for older babies. Just as newborn is a bit optimistic, so is the upper age limit of three. David's a lump and at nearly eleven months he's filling the seat, if he's in it by his second birthday I'd be very surprised - my three dainty girls would have outgrown it well before their third birthdays so I wouldn't let the recommended age range sway your decision.
One last thing that may sway it though is the fact that the Swift Lite is so damned easy to open and fold. It's not completely one hand operation but is definitely manageable even with an irate and squirming baby on your hip, if all else fails the pushchair is so lightweight that it's equally manageable to pick the whole thing up and dump it on its side in the boot. Problem solved, strap misery in and mutter all the way home about how babies are supposed to be warm, fuzzy and pleasant.
I don't like to blow my trumpet, but I know my stuff when it comes to pushchairs. I love them so much and have probably owned around the one hundred mark over the various stages of my four children, so trust me when I say that this is a keeper. Taken without the accessories it might be a basic pushchair but I think it's an excellent choice for the money, mine has covered miles in a variety of weather and looks as good as new - the dark colour helps but the hardy choice of fabric Cosatto have used also goes a long way towards keeping the pushchair clean and respectable!
The Swift Lite offers superb value for money. Light at under 7kg, the Swift Lite boasts a large seat for extra comfort and growing room. This quality buggy is ideal about town, in the country or when travelling further afield. Features: 5-Point Harness / Reclining Back (4 Positions)