“ Brand: Mamas and Papas / Carriage / Single Seat / Adjustable Handle Height / Suitable from Birth „
Choosing a pram is exciting for the first time parent, it was something I enjoyed researching on the Internet whilst munching ginger nuts to stave off morning sickness! I knew we wanted something neutral coloured, practical and easy to manoeuvre.
Originally I had picked the Mamas & Papas Zoom on personal recommendation from a friend. The Ultima I had also seen but was out of our price range. But it was on offer in the shop we visited, and I fell in love with it. I loved the stylish Mimi design (black with white dots) and the traditional pram style carrycot looked lovely. It was slightly more than the Zoom, and was a 4 wheel rather than 3, but we ordered there and then.
We had to order a belted base as our car doesn't have long enough seatbelts. This was an extra £100 but essential.
All parts of the system were easy to put together, and I find the wheels easy to fold up and open, although I haven't ever tried doing it with one hand. The carrycot on the stand was brilliant for our daughter to have daytime naps in, as we didn't buy a Moses basket.
We did have an issue with the clip on the car seat, but M&P sorted it within a business day, couldn't have been happier with their customer service.
Generally the system is easy to manoeuvre and light enough to go up and down pavements.
I love the fact that it really is everything you'll need for the first few years of baby's life. We will need to buy a new car seat but we probably wouldn't have picked a car seat that did many more months anyway. The stand is useful, although I will admit we have only used it with the carrycot.
My only gripe is the seat unit has to be removed to allow the wheels to fold down, but this is the same with the car seat and carrycot. It folds small enough for both parts to fit in a Peugeot 206 boot.
When I was pregnant we found ourselves with a shedload of vouchers for Mamas & Papas. Lucky us! So off we headed to their nearest large store to see what we fancied buying. The shop had various travel systems, prams and strollers on display so we were able to look around and test run a few around the shop floor. We immediately fell in love with the Ultima 8 in 1 system. Yes, it was expensive but in we thought it would be worth it, especially when we were using credit vouchers to pay for it.
This particular travel system included chassis, carrycot with hood and bug net, buggy seat with foot muff and cover, car seat, a base for the car seat and a stand as well as the parasol. We also chose to buy the raincovers and matching changing bag as well.
The fact that the carrycot can be put on the chassis as well as the stand allows you to use it both in the home and out and about, meaning there is no need to buy a separate moses basket. We got a mattress for around a tenner to make it a bit more comfy and it served as his bed as well as his pram for the first two or three months until he moved into his cot.
The base for the car seat makes it easy to strap in whenever you're going out and as the car seat can also go on the chassis you don't need to wake baby for a short trip to the shops.
When your child is a bit older the buggy seat can be either forward facing or parent facing and it is very easy to change, even when the baby is sat inside.
The shopping basket in the chassis has plenty of space, especially compared to other strollers and there is a detachable snacks/drinks/keys/purse tray beside the handle, which often came in handy.
The stand and chassis are really easy to get up and down and the carrycot, car seat and buggy seat are easy to lock into place.
The system is really easy to maneouvre around the shops.
The chassis and carrycot/buggy seat takes up a lot of room even when folded down so you do need a pretty big boot to accommodate it.
The wheels are great for pavements but not brilliant if you're going off the beaten track, for example walking a dog.
We have used this system for two children and it still has plenty of life in it yet. It seems really comfortable for the children and is easy for adults to use. It is compatible with Lascal buggy boards too and if you take out the detachable tray the older child can stand between the pram and the handle, meaning you don't have to stoop or kick the buggy board as you go along. Overall, we loved this travel system and have had plenty of use out of it.
We bought the Mamas and Papas 8 in 1 Ultima for our first baby. We paid £700 for it as it was described as everything we would need. The pram when fitted with the carry cot was lovely for our son when he was first born as it was warm and he felt secure in there. However the poppers broke on the apron piece and I couldn't fix it. When the pram was used with the seat unit the hood actually snapped so would not fit into the seat unit. The car seat is fine, it fits onto the chassis with no problem.
The stand that comes as part of it is very handy as you can use the carry cot as a moses basket or the seat unit like a highchair.
We bought this in Etro fabric which was lovely but is now discontinued.
The biggest downside of this pram is that to collapse it down the seat unit or carrycot had to be taken off the chassis. Even when collapsed the chassis took up a lot of room and the carrycot/seat were also very big and I often found it difficult to get them in the car.
lots of ways and combos to use the items,
forward and rear facing for any of the items,
nice big shopping basket,
the seat unit is very roomy and sits straight up when both forward and rear facing, unlike the quinny.
Items broke easily and were expensive to buy replacements,
Very big even when collapsed down
Bad customer service from Mamas and Papas post purchase
I was looking on eBay for prams for sale in my area and came across the M&P Ultima 8in1 second-hand and decided to bid for it. The auction ended at 3 in the afternoon on a wednesday which was probably why I got it for so cheap - I paid cash in hand £90 - No kidding!
We went to pick it up and the set comprised of:
*MPX chassis (+shopping basket)
*Carrycot (+waterproof cover, washable mattress, insect net, fabric cover & hood)
*Pushchair (+waterproof cover, hood and fabric cosy toes)
*Car seat (+waterproof cover)
*Car seat isofix base
On arriving to pick up the set I met the owner who stated that the grandparents purchased it from M&P without asking them and they already had a set which was alongside it and the two of them took up too much space in their flat - The M&P set was brandspanking new and was obviously unused. On getting it home I tried the various settings and found it all rather straightforward and easy even for a 6 month pregnant lady.
Many combinations to try although I admit that I never found a use for the surefix stand and believe this to be of little use.
Comes with covers and waterproofs but this should be the case when you purchase a £600-£800 travel system.
The pushchair is a decent size for your little one and much roomier than the other makes that I have seen e.g. Quinny and Mothercare own brand
The carrycot is a decent size
The pushchair is a decent size
Decent size of shopping bag
Chassis can be a pain to move on anything that isn't smooth pavement.
Pram-chassis combination can be bulky but this is always the case with a carrycot pram
M&P are well known to be pretty much useless when something goes wrong with a product - a friend of mine purchased the Sola pushchair and the chassis snapped which should never happen and she was told she must have been using it wrong??? what the heck!
Takes up a hell of alot of space in my home
I would never pay full price for this ultima set as the set is rather gimmicky and admittedly the chassis looks cheap IMHO even the more traditional chassis version looks cheap . My son is now approaching 7 months and we make use of the pushchair on the very odd occasion as I prefer to carry him. To be honest if this travel system was to die a death tomorrow I wouldn't be at all upset as I really am starting to see it as cumbersome and a pain to take out and about.
When i was pregnant i found the choice of prams and pushchairs very over whelming, there was sooo much choice, different brand, styles, features but its one of the most important purchases you need to make for your baby. I opted for the ulitma in balmain, which is now discountinued althought it does come in fab new patterns. Although the ulitma is very expensive at the time i thought it was a very worth while travel system. From birth it includes the carry cot top, which looked fab plenty room for baby a nice big hood and cover it really did look the business! Mamas and papas offer as an extra a thicker matress for this part which allows the carry cot to be used as a moses basket so for the £12 i spent on the matress i saved buying a moses basket. You also get a stand to use the carry cot in the house without it having to be on the pram. it has handles on both sides to make it easy to carry upstairs. from newborn the carrycot lies completly flat which is very important for a newborn, as baby gets older you can adjust it so the back lifts up to sit baby up. The car seat is also included, very easy to carry nice and light and very easy to fix into car, i bought the fix in base for the car to make it even easier. When baby is around 6 months the next seat comes in use it can be backward and forward facing, lies completly flat. The only thing i didnt like about this part of the seat and the reason i changed my pram was that the 5 point safety harness is all visable meaning when baby is lying flat they lie on the straps which didnt seem the most comfortable thing to me. The carrycot, car seat and buggy all attach the frame and the stand. The frame collasped with a handy 2 click system and was very lightweight and easy to pick up to put in the car. I had bought the parasol for my pram i had 2, both broke they seemed very badly made which was a shame as they were £30. Mamas and Papas seem to make there prams different patterns which make it hard to buy cheaper accessories for them. All in all i loved this pram at the start but wasnt keen on the second seat for my baby, the comfort of my child is very important and mamas and papas on this occasion didnt meet my needs.
This pram has won lots of awards - mother & baby favourite, prima baby best buy, pregnancy best buy, babygear gold award and babygear silver award. I bought it 2 years ago for my first baby.
so what do you get for your money?: carrycot, seat unit, car seat, apron, surefix stand, and chassis. I think this is the rolls royce of prams but it is a lot of money and it takes up a lot of room in the car.
You get more use from this buggy if you stay away from home often as you can use the surefix stand with the carrycot and seat unit to become an overnight bed and a highchair. (although if you want to use the carrycot as an overnight bed you need to purchase an extra matress. Mamas and papas have two versions - basic £13 & luxury £17) It can take the weight of your child until their 15kg so this should last a good few years. The carrycot lies flat but has an adjustable back rest so you can sit your baby up slightly if you wish. You can put the car seat straight on to the chassis (although this is only recommended for a maximum of two hours as it isn't great for a babies spine) This is very handy if your just popping out of the car as it is so much quicker. It has a forward facing or rear facing pushchair mode (a lot of prams do not have this) It has a removable bumper bar which is great for baby to hold on to or attach toys to. It has a five point safety harness (free movement harness which means it is not attached to the backrest so baby gets more freedom to move around whilst still being strapped in - personally i do not like the free movement harness) You have a choice of five fabrics.
Extra matching accessories are available and you need to factor this in to your budget as they are not cheap - footmuff £55 (it already comes with an 'apron' but it isn't much good for cold weather) changing bag £55, parasol £25, car seat rain cover £18 and combination rain cover £40.
Overall i love this pram but if you do not need the surefix stand i would advise you look at the pramette as its a lot better price!
Once upon a time, in suburban London, my husband and I were waiting impatiently to be parents. We wanted the best of everything for our first-born child. However, we also wanted to be a bit different - we lived in a world where every second pram was either a Bugaboo Chameleon or Bugaboo Frog and we wanted to stand out from the crowd a bit.... So we went on a mission to search out what they hoped would be the perfect pram, something a bit different from the Bugaboo but offering many similar features. The things that were important to us in our mission were a separate carrycot, a seat unit which could face towards you or look out at the big wide world, a car seat which clipped on to the wheels for those spontaneous shopping trips with a sleeping baby in tow and, preferably, a funky fabric to make the pram stand out a bit. So, did we find what we wanted?
Our search for a pram eventually led us to the shiny new Mamas and Papas store in the Brent Cross retail park. This was a light, airy store full of everything we would have wanted for our baby (as well as lots of things we never knew we needed) and we were immediately hooked. I fell in love with the Mamas and Papas Ultima 8 in 1 travel system in the spotty polka fabric and we ordered it straight away. The system appeared to do everything we wanted it to do, plus it came with a separate stand which would enable us to use the carrycot instead of a moses basket once we had purchased a better mattress for it. It sounded perfect, but was it?
** Order Experience **
We ordered our pram about 10 weeks before our baby was due, which you would have thought was plenty of time. We were advised it would be ready for collection in 4-5 weeks, however the whole delivery process was a nightmare - we seemed to spend most weekends immediately before the birth of our son trekking up to Brent Cross to chase up on our pram. One week we received the wheels, the next we received the seat unit (which wasn't suitable from birth anyway) and didn't get the carrycot and car seat until after our baby boy was born - fortunately, it arrived before we got out of hospital so we did have the car seat to bring our baby home in, but only after my husband had spent ages on the phone trying to resolve the issues. We only received the Surefix stand a few weeks after our son was born, meaning that we had to keep the carrycot on the pram wheels in the house.
** What Do You Actually Get **
Mamas and Papas advertise the Ultima as being the "ultimate luxury, with everything you need in a pram and more". It is a versatile system which allows you to change to any of the eight optional modes in a few easy clicks, using their Surefix® one-click system. It comes with the MPX Chassis which is a sturdy, easy to push base unit with swivel wheels, height adjustable handles and a cup holder. On top of this chassis, you can put the carrycot which lies completely flat or can be cranked up to create a slight angle. This is suitable for babies up to six months. This has a cover and looks like a traditional pram. Once the baby is older (from approx. 4.5 months) you can use the seat unit instead - this works in both face to face and outward-facing modes. You also get the Surefix® stand which enables you to use the carrycot in the house without having to pull dirty pram wheels over your carpet, or use the seat unit as a high chair if you are out. It also comes with the M&P Primo Viaggio Car Seat.
** Carrycot Mode **
Having the carrycot with the additional mattress meant that we didn't need to buy a moses basket (probably a good thing as our son was over 9lbs at birth and would have grown out of it very quickly). He slept in the carrycot by our bed for 10 weeks and it was great - it also meant that it was his 'bed' at that point, so if we went out for the day, we'd always have his bed with us! It was much better once we'd got the stand delivered as it made the whole thing much more manoeuvrable within the house - we could have the carrycot in whichever room we wanted with minimal effort. I always felt that my son was warm and comfortable in the carrycot when we were using it as a pram - I loved pushing it around safe in the knowledge that he was all wrapped up snugly and that he was lying flat as recommended by the guidelines.
** Seat Unit Mode **
What I liked best about the seat unit on the M&P Ultima was that you could choose which way you wanted it to face. I tended to have it facing me when out on my own with my baby so that I could chat away to him while we out. Research shows that this is best for encouraging speech development in your child as it promotes interaction and early conversation skills, and I think that having a face-to-face pram might be a contributory factor to the very chatty two year old I have now. If we were out somewhere that there was lots to look at, we'd often have the pram facing outwards to give him a better view of the world... sometimes I'd even turn it round mid-walk to give him a bit of variety! There is also a very good recline on the seat unit which made it easy to get our son to sleep in it. The only reservation I would have had about the seat unit was the harness - Mamas and Papas advertise it as a floating harness that allows your child to be more comfortable and less restricted, yet still have the security of a fixed harness. However, as it does not attach fully to the back of the seat unit, it often felt a bit loose and I didn't feel that he was as secure in it as he should have been. Although it is the recommended five-point harness, It is only attached at the base of the seat unit, and you thread it through loops in the foot-muff to secure it. My son loved the freedom it gave him, but I wasn't convinced I wanted my toddler hanging over the front of the buggy trying to grab things as we passed.
** Car Seat Mode **
I'm not going to review the car seat itself, as I think it probably deserves a separate review. We didn't actually use the car seat on the wheels that often - even though it was something I thought I wanted when we chose the travel system. I found the car seat quite heavy to lift from car to wheels with the baby inside, so I only used it if he'd fallen asleep on the way home from somewhere and I needed to pop into the supermarket. It was easy to click it on to the wheels though and I can see that for some parents, this would be invaluable.
** Advantages **
The main advantage of the M&P Ultima for me was the flexibility that it offered. I loved the carrycot and the fact we could use it instead of a moses basket. I also loved the way you could change the direction that the seat unit faced. The recline function on the pram is also excellent. I found the MPX chassis very comfortable to push. Despite the size and bulk of the pram, it always felt light and manoeuvrable when pushing it - in stark contrast to my current Silver Cross buggy which feels like I'm trying to push a supermarket trolley around at times.
** Drawbacks **
There are two main issues that I have with the M&P Ultima - the main one is that it is just so big. We have a relatively big car, with a large boot, and once the MPX Chassis and either the seat unit or carrycot were in there side by side, there was hardly room for anything else. If we went away for a weekend, we ended up packing the back-seat of the car with our luggage as the pram had taken up all of the boot space. It also takes up a lot of space in the house - the MPX chassis is free-standing when folded and doesn't take up too much space, but you have to remove the carrycot / seat unit and find somewhere to keep that too. The other issue is the weight of it - it is a very heavy travel system. You also need to purchase extra accessories for it - we bought a proper footmuff as the one that comes with it is rubbish, a parasol (which we actually didn't use much as the sun didn't come out enough) and the additional mattress, which all adds to the cost of what is already an expensive pram.
** Summary of Key Features **
- Suitable from Birth
- True lie flat
- Adjustable leg rest
- Face to face & forward facing mode
- Travel system compatible
- Traditional pram mode
- Height adjustable handles
- Free standing when folded
- Individual wheel suspension
- Cup holder
- Weight 10.6kg
- Includes: MPX Chassis, Carrycot, Seat unit, Apron, Primo Viaggio I.P., Surefix® stand
** Price **
The current retail price of the M&P Ultima 8 in 1 system is £595.00, reduced from £695.00. This makes it one of the more expensive prams on the market, but you do get a lot of bits for your money.
** Would I recommend it? **
Yes, definitely. It is a fantastic pram for a newborn and an older baby / younger toddler. My son always seemed very comfortable in it and it was a pram that I enjoyed pushing. I used to get a lot of compliments on my pram too - I think the fact it was different was a bonus! It's a great pram for walking with - the wheels are very durable and the pram is very easy to push. It's not an all-terrain pram like the mountain buggy but it's ideal if you live in an urban area and walk all the time like I did. You can also get a reasonable amount of shopping under the pram which is an added benefit. However, you really need to consider the size of this travel system before purchasing it - you really do need a big car and plenty of space in your house to store it all. However much you say that it is going to be your 'only' pram (and I know I was insistent I'd be using it for years), you will end up buying a stroller just because they are more convenient especially if you go on holiday. On the plus side, my pram is still in great condition and, if we have another child, I will definitely be using it again.
Just updating this to add that we are now using this again for baby number two and I still love it!