Product Type: Graco prams, pushchairs and strollers
Newest Review: ... the kids so I didn't look like a fool pushing 2 prams! He showed me how to fold it down and flip it back up, OK easy I thought, he folded ... more
middle of the range buggy
Member Name: kat_weller
Date: 12/06/04, updated on 12/06/04 (3746 review reads)
Advantages: compact alternative to a buggy, suitable from birth, good value for money
Disadvantages: not very sturdy, wobbly handlebar, quite big but compact
This is my third buggy review (and hopefully the last) as I do have a penchant for purchashing buggies. I purchased the Graco Citisport from BabiesRUs because it was on a special offer and after getting fed up with my Maclaren Daytripper, I fancied something a bit different. The Citisport definately has an interesting look about it, quite unique from other buggies in the same range. Graco call their lightweight buggies 'Superlites' but I think the Citisport is actually a cross between a pushchair and a folding buggy.
The Citisport is available in loads of colour combinations which are continually being updated (there are about 10 choices in the 2004 range). The Citisport is a relatively light pushchair weighing in at 6.4kg but its bulky and compared to the Maclaren Volo is a bit of a beast. The seat is well padded and looks comfortable and is washable and comes with a 5 point harness. The seat can be reclined in a multitude of positions because it has a very unique reclining mechanism. There is basically a toggle at the back of the seat which tightens or loosens the seat making it upright or completely lying flat. However I found it very difficult to negotiate the toggle when the baby was already in the buggy especially if you are trying to return the seat to its upright position when the baby wakes up. Because the seat can be laid flat, this buggy is suitable from birth.
The height is adjustable (94cm-105cm) because the handlebar height can be changed using buttons on the side. I dont think the handlebar is great. Its supposed to be made with an ergonomically designed soft grip handle but its not very comfortable to push and I found that between me and my husband changing the height, we made the handlebar really loose and it joggled as you pushed it. This also made it awkward going up and down pavements and stairs. This is one of the reasons why I can't give it 5 stars.
The Citisport comes with a canopy which is permentaly a
ttached to the pushchair. However the canopy is retractable and will also disappear into the frame when the buggy is folded. Graco boast that the Citisport has an easy to fold 'one-handed' mechanism but I'm not convinced. I found it really difficult and fiddly to do and I noticed that anyone giving me a hand with the buggy could not do it either. The folding mechanism is not instinctive to use but once you've got the knack, its quite quick. I think the mechanism got more and more difficult to operate over time. Once the buggy is folded up, its actually quite compact. The stats are folded length 88cm, folded width 48cm and folded height 26cm. The great thing about the Citisport is that its freestanding once folded. This is ideal for standing at bus stops or storing it in the hallway etc. It also comes with an adjustable shoulder carry strap although its not the most comfortable thing to carry on your shoulder, it helps. The Citisport is relatively easy to unfold. It fitted in our Ford Focus without any problems but you couldn't get much else in the boot with it. This is not really a buggy to choose for travelling on holiday with but perfectly suitable for shopping trips and getting on and off buses.
The Citisport is quite nice to push and glides over bumps and lumps in the pavement. It feels very light and easy to push and manouvre even one handed. The steering is effortless. The front wheels are lockable swivel new EVA (don't know what that is) but the locks would never stay on and were pretty useless especially over surfaces such as sand. However the one great thing about the Citisport is its breaking system. Very easy to use pushdown a bar on the back wheels with your foot but even with the breaks on, the buggy did look like it could topple. Other features on the Citisport are a plastic footrest, large shopping basket and the trademark rubber bumper bar. The shopping basket is good and easy to reach things. Because this pushchair d
oes not umbrella fold, you can leave stuff in the basket but its likely to fall out. The baby's bumper bar is not removable and makes it quite difficult to get a tantruming toddler in and out. Graco say this buggy is suitable up to age 3 but my son grew out of it before he turned two. However I would still use this buggy on a young baby. One of the things I liked about the bumper bar was that I felt like it protected my son in his buggy. The seat is also much higher than other buggies so I found that less people actually tripped over the buggy (beleive me this happens a lot!). I had to purchase a rain cover seperately.
In summary, the Graco Citisport does seem to be quite plasticky and not very sturdy. I wouldn't expect it to last through more than one child. Ours has been relegated to the garage for now but might get another outing if we have another baby. But its quite good value for money and makes a nice alternative if you don't fancy a tiny buggy.
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