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"How many prams does one family need for crying out loud??!" Well the answer it would certainly appear is not just 1. For the first year of our twins' existence we had just the one way of wheeling them around; the out n about nipper 360 double in black. It had pneumatic tyres (i.e. bike tyres) it could go off-road spectacularly, ok I will admit it also got punctures spectacularly. But it was robust, easy to push around albeit bulky. Anyway I am not here to write about that pram (check out my other review for that one), so long description cut short; I was very happy with it.
But then again I (unfortunately) have to go to work each day. It is not I who has to load the bulky pram in and out of the car, not I that has to load said babies in and out of the car and in and out of the pram everyday several times a day (well done Mrs Wilco121). So I had to be sympathetic to the needs of my wife who suggested we invested in a second 'in-town', lightweight, compact pushchair. It made sense - if not only for the reason that there was no chance of taking the other 'beast' on an aeroplane when we went away - this one came into it's own around the airport. And now that the bub's want to walk everywhere - we will get rid of the bigger pram and this will become the primary baby transportation unit.
This pushchair is a deluxe, double version of your umbrella, collapsible pushchair; obviously we needed a side by side one for our 2 littlies. To compare compressed sizes between our 1st pram and the Obaby Apollo is like comparing a bowling ball with a marble. For a double buggy it goes extremely flat and compact. and is easily collapsible, once you have the knack, in 3 small steps. Getting it in and out of the boot of the car is a one handed breeze compared to the 2 handed heavy lift operation with our other pram. So out of the boot and a quick flick to expand, press down on the hinge points to lock in and you are away.
The key point that was different to me was that the chair positions are completely upright. And by that I mean a DSE assessor would be happy with the straight back posture. It really is right angles all the way. Compared to the previous pram this was an improvement on the slanted position (even in full 'upright' mode). The babies could now see straight ahead, without having to strain their necks up to get a panoramic view. And this is important to babies who want to be involved in everything, see everything and ask "what's that?" to everything. (this is easy - I still have the "Why's?" to come!). So this was an instant hit with the young ones; who are only going to be really interested in 2 things in pram/pushchair choice: comfort and view. The rest is just detail.
As with nearly all prams now there is a 5 point harness which we all (babes included) found easier than the other to latch up. As you can see from the picture it has 6 sets of 2 small, solid plastic / rubber coated swivel wheels. This is not an off roader; pavements only. The beauty of 6 sets of wheels means despite the small diameter (12 cm) of the wheels, the pushchair can cope with potholes as whichever set of wheels goes down the hole the remaining sets keep it upright for a stable ride; the same principle as stabilisers give on a bicycle. Going up pavements is not a problem as the centre of gravity is over the back wheels; meaning tilting the front wheels up is not a weight raising movement; they easily lift off the floor.
Dimensions Up: 101 x 74 x 79 cm. the key one being the 74 cm width because it means it fits through a standard 77.5cm front door. Think I am a nerd for knowing the width of my door to the nearest half centimetre? On our other pram I had half a centimetre of clearance - that half centimetre was essential! So even though some might call it a narrow squeeze, the reduced width of the Obaby Apollo was like threading a cotton thread through a basketball hoop for me.
Compact dims are 102 x 50 x 32 cm. Again this is a marvel for me; being used to a suitcase sized folded down pram. We have a Ford Galaxy people carrier.Don't be fooled. A people carrier although fits multiple persons, a pair of wellies have more boot space. This pushchair fits in no problem, so foresee it being no problem for fitting in a boot on most other car models (I won't vouch for the Smart car. If you have decided to buy a Smart car, you have bigger problems than fitting a pram in the boot! ).
The Obaby Apollo comes with an all important rain cover, which in itself is a very high quality one - well fitted, elasticised, and the seams do not appear to be susceptible to unravelling - a very important point. Since buying - I note they now also do foot muffs, although I cannot vouch for these as we didn't get any.
Are there any disadvantages? Being a 6 foot guy, with long legs, I find my natural gait appears to annoyingly coincide with the handle- wheel distance causing my feet to scuff the back wheels. Annoying but its probably a design fault with me as opposed to the pram. It was about £50 more expensive than its nearest competitor, but it appeared to be far better quality and comes with that all important waterproof cover.
I now see the wisdom of a 2nd pushchair. A lightweight, pavement, compact pushchair is a beneficial alternative to an off roader. Both have their advantages, over the other. But in summary...