Product Type: Maxi-Cosi prams, pushchairs and strollers
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A travelling tale!
Maxi-Cosi Mura 4 Stroller
Member Name: hlb2009
Maxi-Cosi Mura 4 Stroller
Advantages: easy to push, good to put together, comfortable
I was not very well during my pregnancy so I didn't have the time or the ability to go into Mothercare and other baby-inspired shops to go around looking at pushchairs and travel systems so I knew very little about what was on the market. The majority of the research I did into what to look at and what to avoid was conducted online and I felt completely overwhelmed by the choice and the huge variation in prices between them all.
***What is a travel system? ***
A travel system sounds like something rather complicated but it's not. It is basically a pushchair which is designed to be appropriate for your child until you no longer need to push them around and they can walk for themselves.
A travel system generally has 4 parts to it:
The car seat is ideal for carrying your baby around in and moving from the car to the wheels. The pram is designed for newborn babies who are meant to stay flat on their backs. The chair is a pushchair suitable from around 6 months to three years and the wheels are compatable with all other parts for you to be able to transport your baby.
There is great variety in the travel systems in terms of price, style and quality. They are available from Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, Babies R Us and several other shops. It's important that when you go travel system shopping that you look around and find out which one is most practical to suit your needs.
The Maxi Cosi Mura
***Why this one? ***
We chose this travel system purely for the fact that it would fit in our car. Now though that we have had almost 2 years' worth of use from it I now can see that there were many other reasons why we would have bought it too which I will describe within this review.
Travel systems can be quite bulky so if you have a large car you are alright but if you're like us and have a small car then you may have a problem. The most important factor on our criteria was that the system would fit in our car without a huge struggle. This was one of three which would and seeing as it was the most expensive and looked very different to the other travel systems we went for this deciding that if it was more expensive then it must mean that it's better!
***Construction degree required? ***
When this travel system arrived our lounge was full of boxes and plastic packaging and what looked like a lot of bits to be put together. I was concerned that I would need to take out a degree in construction to fit it together but I didn't! It was actually extremely straight forward thanks to the help of a DVD which came with it to explain step by step how it was done.
It does sound like it must be complicated seeing as it came with a DVD but this just made it extremely straight forward- once we had followed the DVD it all became clear and we never had to consult it or the instruction manual again! I much preferred just watching the DVD than reading through endless amounts of instructions in various languages that's for sure!
The wheels have various little parts on it which you move to be able to fit the part of the travel system on it depending which one you require. The car seat needs you to move up two little sticks for it to clip into these which takes a matter of seconds. The pram body needs you to move this little sticks upside down for it to slot over them, this again takes a matter of seconds. The chair needs you to twist one of the clips and away you go! It really is that simple!
***The car seat ***
The car seat is a Maxi Cosi car seat which was voted the safest car seat on the market by Which? magazine. It is also compatible with other travel systems too. To fit it in your car you need a base for it whch you buy separately for around £75 and it then is installed in your car. This is very easy to do although the base is extremely heavy so it can be awkward to move from one car to the next. Once the base is installed the car seat just clips in and out of it without having to mess around with installing it every time you want to take the car seat out.
The advantage of this is that if your baby is asleep in the car and you're going shopping or on a walk you simply pull the car seat out of the base by just pulling out a button and then you can put your sleeping baby still in car seat onto your wheels or into your supermarket trolley or whatever without disturbing your baby.
The car seat clips directly onto the wheels without any fuss at all and it is then facing towards you which is what is advised for the first few months so the baby is comforted and so you can see what the baby is doing.
This seat comes with a built in sun shield which you can pull across the top of the baby and attach to the handle which helps protect the baby from the sun and wind which is a very good idea. You can buy a rain cover separately for aruond £11 and it's very easy to put on so you can do it within a matter of about a minute.
The car seat is very comfortable and has a head hugger in it so whilst your baby is tiny it's head is supported and given as much comfort as possible. Eventually your baby will outgrow this and you can take this out and a lot more room is suddenly provided.
It is suitable from newborn to around 20lb so usually 9-12 months of age so you do get a lot of use out of it.
***The pram ***
The pram body is probably what we used the least but only because it wasn't quite as practical for us to take the pram out as well as the wheels when we already had the car seat in the car so we would just tend to use the car seat. It is advised, however, that young babies lie on their backs and don't sit in car seats for too long without a break so it is a good idea to use the pram, plus it looks nice, there's nothing quite like pushing a baby along lying in a pram!
The pram is the same size as a moses basket but much more robust. The sides are plastic making it not very flexible at all which I think makes it safer and look better quality and it is still comfortable because it's lined and padded. The mattress is the same as a moses basket one so they're easy to buy if you needed to replace it.
There is a hood which can be pulled up over the baby to help protect from the elements and also a covering for the rest of the pram also used to shield the baby. This came with a rain cover which again was also easy to put on.
The pram was very comfortable and Hope would sleep very well in it, I think it's sturdy quite high sides gave her comfort and made her feel safe. If she didn't sleep at night we would often put her in this instead of her moses basket and she'd sleep much better!
It is easy to put onto the wheels although because it's quite large it is difficult to do so if the baby is already in there as you're trying to keep it flat and as still as possible. It isn't as easy as the car seat that's for sure but it was still possible for me to manage by myself.
I don't think the pram is that practical because it is so large. We used it if we went out locally but if we went out in the car we just stuck to the car seat attaching into the wheels as our car would just be full; the car seat, the pram body and the wheels leaving very little space for anything else.
***The pushchair ***
The pushchair is probably the same in terms of how much space it takes up as the pram body- it doesn't fold up as one, instead you have to take the chair off the wheels and carry them separately which takes up a lot of space. We tend to stick to our small stroller for if we're going in the car but any local walks we use this.
The pushchair is large it certainly isn't 'just a chair' instead it is carefully moulded so that it is supports the baby. The sides of the chair don't come around too far making it possible for your baby to have a good view of everything that is going on. I have noticed that Hope is much more interested in things when in this pushchair as she can see more than she can in her other one, a stroller.
It has a hood which pulls over and it doesn't just pull over a little bit, instead it extends a lot and you can choose how far you want to pull it over. I tend to just use this and not the raincover as it's easier to do and gives me one less thing to carry around with me!
It is extremely well padded so very comfortable and you can connect a t-bar for between your toddler's legs which makes it safer and also gives them something to hold onto. It has extendable straps which are connected together before fastening making it a bit like the Krypton factor for your toddler to undo but it is easy for adults to do so!
This pushchair faces away from the parent and can recline or be as upright as you wish. It definitely looks different to others out there and is extremely comfortable.
***The wheels ***
This is an important part of the travel system to think about as it's important that you are able to feel comfortable pushing your baby around.
This travel system can come with a set of three wheels or four wheels. Ours came with three wheels and although some people said it looked weird only having three i actually found it very easy to steer and liked it. The wheels are very large with big grips on them so we use this pushchair as an 'off roader' if we are going to be going somewhere where the roads are not paved or we're going to walk around fields and things then we always take this! Because the wheels are so large it makes for a smooth ride for the baby and we can definitely tell the difference in the smoothness when we use our little pushchair with small wheels!
It's very easy to push which I think is because it is designed with practicalities like this in mind. You do not need to push it down and put lots of weight on it to get up curbs and steps which makes it great.
The wheels, however, are heavy and they are wide which can be frustrating. It can be difficult to get down aisles in a small shop for instance because it's wider than a normal stroller although it's amazing how quickly you come to be able to judge whether you can fit through places or not! The heaviness is okay if you don't have to carry the wheels around a lot and you do get used to it but i do think that this is one of the negatives of this travel system. I'm sure the manufacturers will defend themslves and say it's for safety reasons or something.
The wheels are easy to collapse down from upright to compact. Even when compact though they still do take up quite a large amount of room as the wheels and the base are large. You just pull two levers whilst pushing forwards on the handle bar and it collapses in on itself and then to snap it back up again you just pull the levers the other way and pull it up! Simples!
The handle of this travel system adjusts so that you can have it at the most comfortable height for you.My husband and I are always changing this when we use it as he is taller than me so he likes the handle to be lower down whilst I prefer it higher up. This is a great feature.
This travel system comes with a huge shopping basket beneath it which will fit your change bag and several carrier bags too which is very practical! It also comes with a cup holder and you can buy clips to put over the handle bar which you can also use to carry carrier bags.
We got a maxi cosi mura foot muff that came with this which is great as it keeps your baby nice and warm in the cold weather and can't be kicked off like a blanket could!
You can also get a change bag to match your travel system which fits nicely into the basket below. It has a section for bottles designed to help keep them warm as well as many other compartments making it a very practical bag.
Like I said earlier you can buy rain covers too for the various components.
It comes with a pump which can be stored in the wheel frame so that if your wheels begin to need pumping up then you can do so!
***My opinion ***
All four elements to this have been used by me a lot and I am extremely impressed with this travel system. I am aware of it's faults but think that the positives far out weigh any negatives that there are.
I like the fact that it is such a good pushchair to push, you can go on uneven roads and grassy areas without having to use a lot of force to shift it so it is very reliable. When it snowed last year we were able to still go out and about without getting stuck in the snow at all thanks to the large wheels on this.
I was really suprised and pleased by how well this all fitted together. It was overwhelming when it first arrived and I worried I would struggle with it but I really didn't, after the first demonstration i got the hang of it right away and even after a month or so of not using one of the elements I was still able to remember how to connect it right away.
The car seat, pram and chair are all designed with safety and comfort in mind and you can definitely see this. You can tell that you are getting good quality in these products, they're far more robust and padded than the other travel systems we have seen. They have all impressed both myself and my husband.I think that we got very good value for money when we bought this, it was supposed to be £800 but cost us £600 as we took advantage of an offer. This is a huge amount of money to pay but if you think about it it will last us until Hope is about 3/4 depending on when we stop needing to push her around so we have used it since she was 1 day old and will continue to do so for another year or so yet so we have definitely got a lot of use out of it! It is also very good quality so we don't need to replace any of the parts and it is still looking in very good condition and I can imagine if we had another baby we would use this again so we could get 8 years worth of use out of it making it even better value for money.
Easy to slot together
Use it for a long time
Brake works very well
Comes with various accessories
Easy to fold up
Looks different to others
Pushes and steers well
Adjustable handle bar
Very good quality.
Sometimes not practical
More expensive than others
I can conclude that I am very happy with this choice of travel system and I'm glad that we bought this one and not any other. It is easy to steer, simple to put together and enables your baby to travel around safely from day one of it's life. I do recommend this although it is very expensive so do look out for when offers are on as you could be getting yourself a bargain!
*please note review also found on Ciao under my username on there *
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