As a fan of anything colourful and funky (& usually totally impractical I might add), the Mutsy Spider pushchair really jumped out at me whilst flicking through a nursery catalogue. The picture I first saw was of the shocking pink variant....and I loved it! But, 20 weeks into the pregnancy, baby turned out to be a he, & thoughts of the pink pushchair dwindled...
Then after seeing the pushchair in person & realising that the 'Ocean' turquoise was pretty damn funky too, I just had to have it!
The Mutsy Spider isn't intended for use as a primary pushchair, but as a lightweight, compact variant. As most mums soon realise, it's always handy to have such a piece of kit for times when boot space is limited, or as a spare buggy for grandma's house etc. My intentions were initially for use travelling, as we had an upcoming trip across the pond to visit relatives in America.
The Spider is recommended for babies 6 months plus, as although it does feature a recline function, it doesn't totally lay flat & could put undue stress on under-developed spines. I first used the pushchair when my son was approx 6.5 months. At this stage, he still seemed very 'lost' in it, & slid around easily. With the addition of the footmuff (with the cover zipped off in the warm weather), the problem was soon remedied as his body had something to 'grip' against.
So after getting him used to it, it was time to take the Spider on our travels & give it a proper test run over 2 weeks...
TRAVELLING WITH THE SPIDER:
A separate travel bag is available for purchase (retails around £20). The bag is of a dense nylon material with rubber reinforced areas & a shoulder strap for ease of carrying. The Spider looks very compact when folded & stowed away in the bag...so much so that on 4 of our 6 flights we were allowed to carry the pushchair on board & stow it in the overhead lockers (yes, it really did fit!), which was great news for damage limitation. On the occasions were the Spider was stowed in the aircraft hold (& manhandled through security scanners), it came away unscathed thanks to it's sturdy build quality.
Folding & unfolding was quick & simple, which is great considering the amount of times you have to do this when travelling on planes/going through numerous security checks etc.
FROM BABY'S POINT OF VIEW:
OK, so I couldn't really ask a 7 month old what he thought of his new ride...but this is my view in comparison to other similar compact pushchairs...
The seat itself isn't very padded, but the addition of the footmuff provides a soft, snuggly seat pad (which can then be removed & washed if necessary). The headrest is very padded, & although my 7 month old's head doesn't quite reach yet, it will be very comfortable for him to lean back on when he gets a bit bigger.
There is a 5 point harness to keep baby safe & in position, although at 7 months my son still seemed a bit small for it as we couldn't really tighten the straps far enough...definitely not for use for small/young babies.
The Spider is one of the few compact pushchairs to feature a recline. (It's biggest rival - the Quinny Zapp, doesn't....). OK, so it's not a great deal of recline, but it's enough to make baby a little more comfortable when snoozing.
The Spider is a forward facing pushchair. I wondered if my son would take to this, since he's only ever been in a pram/pushchair that was parent-facing, but luckily it was not a problem...in fact I think he enjoyed seeing the world!
There's plenty of stretching room for little one's legs & feet...& at the flick of a catch, baby's footrest flips down to allow for toddler's legs to dangle down to the 'proper' footrest. However, the footrest is very small, & I can envisage even tiny tootsies slipping off...
FROM MUM/DAD'S POINT OF VIEW:
The basket is small. Very small. The problem is, it's too shallow...I wouldn't want to risk leaving anything in it for fear it fell out! I do use it to store/transport the raincover though. I have attached a loop onto the raincover bag through which I can pass & fasten the strap/clip which is used to hold the buggy together when folded.
The handle is fully adjustable, but if you're tall then it's perhaps not going to be high enough. Bear in mind that this is a secondary pushchair & that compromises have to be made for ease of use/compactness.
The hood doesn't really extend far enough to provide a decent amount of shade. Perhaps not an issue in our climate, but if you're travelling to sunnier climes, then you need to be sure baby is adequately protected. (Personally, I bought a separate shade which fits over the hood & velcro's to the side).
The Spider is a 3 wheeled pushchair, although the front wheel actually comprises 2 wheels together, which does give greater stability. The front wheel/s swivel & make for great maneuverability (& can be locked stationary if you'd prefer). The back wheels however are spaced quite far apart, leading to some problems getting through tight gaps/doorways.
OK, BUT WHY IS IT CALLED THE 'SPIDER'?:
Unfold one of these pushchairs & you'll see why! The compactness of the pushchair is due in part to the fact it almost 'doubles in half'....as you pull it out & upright, the contours/frame of the buggy look like a giant spider (albeit a 6-legged one...but who's counting?!).
A full range of accessories are available, such as co-ordinating foot-muffs, bags etc. Since I already have a Mutsy bag (see review) for my main pushchair I haven't bothered buying another. And, pleasingly, the foot muff I already had for my main Mutsy pushchair also fits the Spider & is almost an exact colour match, saving a few pennies!
As I mentioned, I bought the Spider in the 'Ocean' colour, but there is a vast range available, including royal blue, black, pink, red, & purple.
I'm really pleased with this pushchair. I know it's perhaps not the easiest to fold/unfold, nor the easiest to squeeze through tight gaps, but in my opinion these slight niggles are worth the extra effort for something that is so practical in other areas (& so funky looking!).
The Spider retails around £190, & includes a raincover packaged in a nylon bag. Availability is hit and miss. Very few nursery stores seem to stock the Mutsy range, & even online retailers may not stock the full range of colours/accessories. Be prepared to shop around...
The Mutsy spider is a very trendy looking stroller that will definetly get you noticed. we had this when my daughter was 1 and a half as an alternative to the quinny zapp as the zapp does not lay down when baby is asleep and i dint like that. this pram lies back quite far and is easy to adjust.
The spider has all the extras of a more technical pram with the benefits of a lightweight buggy. The lightweight frame folds with ease into an very small, compact unit which is great for storage or transportation and has the option of a bag to place the pram in which is great when traveling abroad. the pram was available in Bright Blue, Ocean, Red, Purple and Black when i purchased mine but is now available in pink which i would have loved. we got the black version as it was very stylish looking. the pram costs around £189.99 new and comes with a raincover.
Now for the bad bits. the raincover is not made very well and split at the bottom really easily. there isnt much room fo baby's feet when the raincover is on and my daughter ended up pushing her feet through it. the basket under the pram is very sall and doesnt hold much but this doesnt matter too much. the main thing that put me off was that the handle would slip a lot. when any weight is placed on the handle it wouls slip as the only thing keeping it up is 2 metal pressure clips on the handle. this is still agreat little buggy but i think next time i would go for the zapp as they seam stronger.
The Hauck Speed Sun - Hide N Seek Pooh is a Single Seat Umbrella.