After hours of browsing around Mothercare and Mamas and Papas, we kept drifting back to look at the same pushchair each time... the Graco Evo. This is a pushchair system which is suitable to use from birth as the pushchair converts to a lie down pram using a simple lever (carrycot sold separately) and can be used in both forward and rearward facing positions. At Mothercare, the current available colours are lime, mineral yellow, pitstop black and plum. Kiddicare also sell the pushchair in chilli red, black and charcoal. We opted for this rather scrummy tangy lime green colour.
The Graco Evo in Lime: Pushchair, car seat and carrycot (car seat and carrycot not sold with the pushchair).
The carrycot is purchased separately (Mothercare £99.99). We got a huge amount of use out of this and it was a brilliant purchase. It meant Little One could lay down completely flat and have room to wriggle about. We used it out and about and kept it on the living room floor for him to nap in, especially during the evenings. It is lightweight and has a built in handle in the hood. It is super easy to clip onto the chassis and you don't need an adapter. The cover is a bit tedious as it uses a popper on each side as opposed to being a zip around. This means you have to take it off and put it on the floor or a chair every time you want to take the baby out but it's not a massive problem. I'm very glad we purchased the carrycot, it was worth every penny.
Using the carrycot for the first time when Little One was just 8 days old. He seemed to find it very comfortable and slept very soundly in it.
The car seat comes with a removable padded insert to keep newborn babies safe and secure. Little One still fits in his car seat safely at 8.5 months so it has been good value for money. Mothercare staff advised us that he is safe in this seat as long as his head doesn't reach the top of the seat. We find the car seat to be well padded and it feels safe but it is on the large side and is very heavy to lift and carry. We have had to move the passenger seat far forwards in both our cars (an Audi A3 and Nissan Juke) so that the car seat can fit in safely behind. The harness is 3-point but can't be adjusted easily using just one hand as you have to press a metal plate with one finger and pull the harness with your other hand. This is impossible if you are also holding your little one at the same time!
The car seat sits on a cradle base (sold separately) which stays in the car and makes putting the car seat in really easy and convenient. Mothercare now also sell a different car seat in the Graco Evo range which fits onto an Isofix base (Graco Sungsafe 0+).
In the box:
1x cosytoe footmuff
One of the features which attracted us to this pushchair was the size of the hood. When it is pulled right over, it shields baby from the elements and keeps them really cosy. On many other pushchair models we looked at, we found the hood was never big enough or it had a large gap between the hood and the footmuff. Beneath the pushchair is a large basket which I find really useful when I'm out and about. The handle, although not adjustable is a suitable height for both me at 5ft 4" and my husband, who is 6ft.
One feature I find difficult to use is the brake. It is quite a basic ratchet system operated with your foot, but sometimes takes a few attempts to click it into it's housing. This can be frustrating. Our pushchair creaks from plastic housing of the wheel fastenings when you push it, which can get quite irritating. The pushchair is easy to fold (by sliding a small button on the top of the handle whilst squeezing a second button underneath the handle) as long as you have engaged the brake properly!
Despite the off-road pictures (we live in the countryside!) the Graco Evo isn't designed or built for off-road terrain. It is bumpy to push along this type of uneven gravel path and the wheels look a little worse for wear for it. We do struggle with the wheels when we walk locally near our house and therefore spend more time using the pushchair in towns and parks because it handles smooth surfaces with such ease. It is an absolute joy to take this pushchair to the shops because it is so compact and has an amazing turning circle.
The padded seat unit has a 5 point safety harness and reclines in three different positions from lie down flat, suitable for newborns to upright, suitable for babies from around 6 months to toddler years. The padded seat footmuff is detachable for when the weather is warmer, but I find the material is quite saggy unless the foot part is stuffed with a blanket.
The seat unit is fully reversible so your Little One can either face you and you can watch them or they can face outwards and marvel at what is going on in front of them. Currently, we mostly use the seat so it's rearward facing as Little One is only 8.5 months but on the occasions when we have swapped it round, it's been super easy and quick to do and he has been able to see everything that's been going on. The footrest is also adjustable so you can have it so it is flat or at a downward 45 degree angle. This will come in really handy as Little One gets bigger.
The diverse raincover fits over not only the pushchair, but also over the car seat and the carrycot too, so no need to purchase a separate car seat raincover like some other brands.
The chassis and pushchair seat stack well in the boot of my car (a Nissan Juke- the boot is surprisingly small for a fairly large car!) but there is little room for anything else such as grocery shopping. When we used to use the carrycot, that stacked on top of the chassis with the hood down.
Whilst there are a few things which have started to irritate me recently, such as the bulky weight of the carseat, the basic brake system and the squeak in the wheel fastening, overall we really like the Graco Evo pushchair, mostly because it is great value for money, easy to use, and switch around into different positions. It is a great option for use in towns and at the shops but I don't advise using this pushchair regularly on off-road surfaces.
For current price details, please see Mothercare website:
*Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not paid or sponsored to write this post. Please do not reproduce any of the photos without my permission.