After a few weeks of using the iCandy peach, it became apparent that it just wasn't the pushchair for me and I needed a more suitable model. It's funny that you only really know what it is you need to look out for in a buggy once you've used one for a while. The Bugaboo Bee ticked all of the boxes and so after a short push around the shop floor the order was placed and my new little family firmly joined the "Bugaboo Brigade" that we often jumped out of the way of during their pavement pounding sessions in East Dulwich.
Reasons why we fell in love:
1. The handle height. I am 6'2 and Dominic is the same (disclaimer: with hair product) so we needed a comfortable position. At 107cm tall this was a great fit for us both.
2. Good handle bar angle which meant we never kicked the cross bar at the base.
2. The baby can face both parent and the world. I used to adore out little chats in the buggy face to face when Lena was wee. Equally as soon as the world became more interesting than my random witterings on lampposts passing overhead, she was able to people watch when forward facing.
3. It folds as one piece so no need to remove a carrycot or seat unit.
4. The wheel base width is the same as the handle width so no embarrassing 'bad driving' jokes as you catch the rear wheels on a shop display unit.
5. Good suspension. It never felt too rickety even on the various pavements around Brighton, London and Somerset.
6. A very nippy ride and easily pushed with one hand. Great for mums on the go or when the little one has started toddling beside the buggy.
7. Lightweight. At 7.7kg this is just shy of the Maclaren Techno XT weight so is perfect for hauling in and out of the car or up the stairs on the Tube.
8. The newborn cocoon with head hugger made me feel my baby was secure. I prefer a harness to a bassinet for this very reason and the extra padding meant I felt Lena was cosy and comfy.
9. Colour choices are fun and varied.
10. Safety wrist strap is a great added security measure, especially when dragging it up and down stairs.
11. Adjustable seat back height allowing the buggy to grow with your baby.
Things we would love to be improved:
1. No peephole window in the canopy, so when your little one faces outwards it's difficult to still feel connected to them with the hood up.
2. Basket access when the baby is forward facing is a little bit of a nightmare. You have to lift the leg rest up to reach your bag. Not great when you finally have a baby asleep inside after walking for a good half an hour singing 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.'
3. No bumper bar which is a shame. It would be nice to have somewhere other than the hood to hang toys and buggy books.
4. Twisting straps. For some reason it doesn't matter what I do to the body straps I always have to have an untwisting session at least once every two weeks.
5. No calf support. There are certain stages during Lena's growth spurts where her legs just didn't look comfy. The edge of the seat looked like it stopped either too soon or not soon enough, even when extended.
6. Ridiculously difficult rain cover to fit and fold. It's like a giant bubble that occupies half the basket. We actually ended up buying an Elodie rain cover instead which is more like a pac-mac. To this day when I see a new mum wrestling with that rain cover I get sympathetic butterflies.
7. Not one hand fold. When you have a clingy little munchkin who can't stand being apart from you the need for two hands to fold the buggy can and does cause a lot of stress for all.
8. An additional hood panel like the Buffalo would be great. It would mean not having to walk around with a muslin pegged to your hood on sunny days or during nap time. Any tool to help reduce the content of your nappy bag is a bonus!
Overall this is a brilliant buggy for town living. It's great for compact cars, narrow streets and public transport. It's also a comfortable ride for both baby and tall parents. With only a few minor niggles in terms of design I would recommend this buggy to my friends, without question. The only other contender for my favourite is the City Jogger Mini GT.