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I have to say this baby travels in style! I'm getting rid of the Graco travel system now as it's a heavier buggy and going up hill on the school run is hard enough as it is. I got my Quinny freestyle second hand at a local National Childbirth Trust (NCT) sale. Mine is purple and only cost me £30. Retail you're able to get this pushchair for £130-£150 depending on the seller. Now just to let you know this pushchair is no longer being made ... Quinny have a new "modernised" model which is called the Speedi. They are very similar. Main differences being the front wheel and the colours available.
The handlebar is great. It can be adjusted by two side buttons to different heights. As my other half is much taller than I am this means he can have it at a comfortable height. No more slouching for him!
My Sunshine Kids Buggy Buddy fits easily so I can still bring my drink along and for the school run I just throw the house keys in there and off we go.
Another item I have that works well on the Quinny is the Buggy Buddy Clip (previously reviewed). It clips onto the handlebar easily so I can continue to use it.
Whenever I used to do the school run with the stroller I couldn't really hold my son's bags for him as they would be dragging on the floor but the handlebars of the Quinny are big enough that the bags will hang on them and stay far enough away from the ground so I no longer have to listen to him complaining that they're heavy and blah blah blah!
On the handlebar is a brake which at first I thought was pretty pointless but I have found two uses for it! Whilst waiting at the cross walk on the high street the buggy rolls forward as it's a slight hill. Holding the hand brake then is perfect because you can hold it and then when that little green man appears let go and start walking across. The only other options would be to hold the buggy back or put the foot brake on which isn't as ideal. The other use is when walking down the hill from school. It's a rather steep hill and on the steepest bit the buggy almost feels as if it's pulling you so holding the brake on just a bit makes things much easier.
One great thing with the handlebar is that it folds into the buggy. Normally you'd do this when folding the buggy up to put it away but I have found it really useful in places like coffee bars or restaurants. There isn't much room to move around and there's you with a big buggy in everyone's way. Fold in the handlebar and suddenly there's much more room to work with and people can get past with ease.
If anyone out there is wondering the handle bars are steel covered in black foam.
When the hood is up it's a great place to chuck little coats or buggy toys. It almost snaps shut like a purse so anything you put there isn't going to fall out.
Opening the hood is exceptionally easy. Just push the hood forward and then push down on the black bar (one on each side) to secure the hood in place. You don't need to always secure it but if you want the hood fully extended then that is how you do it. The hood has good coverage. My only complaint is that if I am walking in the direction of the sun it doesn't shield the baby. In the Graco the hood would come off of the main part and you were able to pull it down to the front. My little man just turns his head to the side or puts his book in front of his face.
On the backside of the hood are two pockets which I thought was great. When I'm on the school run or just popping up the road I put my purse in one and my phone in the other.
As you have probably guessed from the hood write-up ... the seat is forward facing. The seat seems quite comfortable as the baby likes to crawl into it to watch the bedtime hour on the children's television station.
The harness has five points which is always good for keeping him in there when we're off on our travels around town. The shoulder straps attach to the belt straps so you have a choice of using them or not. The belt straps snap into a middle bit which is fabric covered and goes between the baby's legs. The fact that it is fabric covered is great because it means the baby is less likely to get little fingers caught in the snaps.
The seat is roomy and I have a friend who fits her 3 year old in hers which is great because it means this buggy will last and not need replacing as the baby gets bigger. Thinking about it I'm sure my elder one was out of his buggy completely by the time he was 3 and a half so buying something new then would be a waste of money.
When I first got this buggy I went for a walk and after 10 or so minutes found that the baby was asleep. I had never even attempted to put the back rest down so I started to investigate. There are two snaps (one on each side) to lower the backrest. It doesn't lay down flat but that's not something that bothers us. It reclines enough for my little man.
Quinny sell foot muffs to fit this pushchair and there was one for sale at the NCT sale. The only problem was that everything at that sale has to be paid for in cash and I only had enough for the buggy. The stroller I have for when we need something compact (like when you're going on holiday or need more boot space) has a foot muff that my son likes. It was from Babies R Us and is a generic shape. It fits onto the Quinny easily. My Quinny is purple and the foot muff is black so it doesn't look out of place either.
The pushchair itself isn't suitable from birth but you can purchase attachments to
Fit a carrycot or a Maxi-Cosi car seat to it. Available on eBay rather cheap.
The rear side of the seat has a large pocket with an adjustable tie holding it shut. I keep a changing mat and sometimes the baby changing bag in there.
Under buggy storage:
The storage area under the seat isn't overly large but it's enough for my roll up rain coat, baby changing bag (it's a small bag with only a few nappies, wipes and baggies in it), and a small umbrella. I have put my handbag under there before as well.
The foot brake is just that ... a brake that you use with your foot! Use this brake when the buggy is completely stopped. Such as when you're in a shop because for some reason the Quinny likes to roll away! Only a slow roll but still.
The brake is very light so not much pressure form you is needed. I had a pushchair with my eldest that actually hurt a bit to take the foot brake off because it was too tight.
There are three wheels on this pushchair. They are sturdy and almost like cycle wheels. I've so far (touch wood) not had a puncture and the lady who owned the buggy before me said she hadn't either. I have the pump if the air gets low but so far haven't needed to use it.
The front wheel is the only thing I don't like about the buggy. It sticks out a bit far. Doesn't bother me when I'm going for a jog, on the school run or in the shopping centre ... but if the shopping centre is crowded then it's a different story. I've gotten used to it now to a point where it doesn't seem to be a problem but my mother took the buggy today in town and nearly tripped some one up. The new versions on the freestyle have front wheels that turn inward a bit and look to be much easier in that respect.
Also the front wheel doesn't swivel. When you turn a corner you have to lift it a bit. Thankfully the weight on this pushchair is really well balanced out so lifting it a slight bit isn't a problem and I do it without even thinking about it now.
The back wheels are a bit wide and our front door is rather slim but it just fits through. I can get in and out of everywhere else with ease so I think it's just our front door being a pain.
I think that the larger sturdy tyres make for a smoother ride which is never a back thing for my little prince.
Fold in the handlebar, Pull up the side bits and then fold to the ground. I know you're probably reading this thinking what the heck are the side bits but I can't think how else to describe them. They are little things on each side that you twist and pull up to release the pushchair and allow it to fold down. Not one handed folding but still rather simple.
I have a rather large boot so it fits in ok but I wouldn't recommend this buggy to some one with a small boot. If you don't travel by car then no problem and I've gotten it onto a bus easily too. I have to say though it might not have been so easy to get onto the bus at busy times but you could say the same thing about a lot of pushchairs.
The wheels all come off to aid storage.
According to something I read on the internet this is one of the few buggies tested for use with heavier children. Most go up to a weight of 15 kg and the Freestyle goes up to 18kg.
There are a lot of trails through the woods by our house and my elder son loves to go on them and thankfully with this buggy I can say yes when he begs to go in there for a walk whereas before none of the buggies could go over the tree roots and rocks.
Would be nice to have the official Quinny one but at the moment I am using the Graco one and it fits really well. Might have a look on the internet and see if I can find a cheap Quinny one.
This buggy has made countless trips to and from school and gone on jogs with mum ... still holdign up beauitfully! and as the school is on a hill and the buggy has a handbrake I'm still the only mum not running to keep up with their kids! he he he!
© oioiyou 2010