If you fancy something a bit different from the everyday classic umbrella fold stroller, but that will excel in a similar situation, the Nuna Pepp might be one to take a look at...
I was very excited when I first heard that innovative multi-award winning Dutch brand Nuna were breaking into the UK market on their own, and even more excited when they announced the release of their own pushchair; the Nuna Pepp. We take a close look at this little gem and see how it stands out from the crowd...
What's in the Box?
The RRP of the Nuna Pepp is £200
The Nuna Pepp comes in 9 colours - 5 of which are available in the UK - Emerald, Night, Sand, Scarlet, Yellow
The first things I noticed about the Nuna Pepp when I got it out of the box is a) the only assembly required is popping the hood on (hurray!) and b) how flat it is folded.
Upon opening up the Nuna Pepp I am struck by its distinctive looks, it has very unique styling. The chassis has an exceptional quality feel to it; the exposed parts are either a smooth cool lightweight metal, or a durable feeling rigid plastic that screams quality and stability. The chassis is well finished and doesn't have the same sort of ‘wobble' to it that an umbrella fold stroller often has, it is all very stable - perhaps due to its ‘squat' nature, the seat being quite low to the ground and the wheels widely spaced.
This is one of the rare breed of strollers that has a single bar handle rather than two separate ones, which should be really useful for pushing one handed (often necessary when holding a toddlers hand), the handle bar is covered in a soft rubber and is also height adjustable, a great perk for a lightweight pushchair. The basket is okay for fitting a few essentials in – as long as they fit through the opening at the rear.
The wheels just seem to let the Nuna Pepp down a little bit for me, they feel very cheap and plastic, and almost give you the feeling you are pushing a dolls pram and I don't think it would take long for them to get scuffed. They did seem to handle different surfaces better than I would have expected, as long as the surface was smooth, as the front wheels don't have a locking option stoney ground or cracked paving slabs might cause a few uncomfortable jolts. Although this pushchair is designed as an urban pushchair so you shouldn't encounter too many fields and forests to negotiate.
The brake is a nice feature, completely integrated into the back axle; all you do is press down on a large panel in the centre between the two back wheels. It gives a very reassuring clunk to indicate the brake is applied, to undo the brake you just flip the panel up with your toes, its easy enough to do without causing you any pain in flip-flops, but there is enough resistance to give you confidence it won't come off accidentally.
At 8.3kg it's not the lightest in its class, but it's fairly near the bottom and nowhere near as heavy as a fully blown three in one travel system.
The forward facing seat looks great; lovely soft luxurious fabrics, interesting and unusual colour options, great padding and fairly spacious. The hood is a little on the wibblywobbly side, but does the job well enough. It has stays on both sides to keep it open and a colour co-ordinated flip out visor – although this might be annoyingly within grabbing reach of a taller child. The seat recline is controlled by two zips on either side, giving you three possible recline settings – fully upright, partial recline and flat. Although the pushchair is suitable for newborns the full recline isn't the flattest I've seen and, although the baby is nicely enclosed and protected from the elements near the back it is quite exposed near the front of the seat.
The zip reclines are more than a little fiddly to do, I found the fabric could get squashed in the zip and you had to try and poke it back in as you did the zips up if a child was on board. As you are also having to push forward against the weight of a child and trying to cling on to the small zip pull at the same time this makes for a slightly tricky manoeuvre. The pushchair has no bumper bar, which adds to the quirky feel, but some people may find the seat a little exposed without one.
The leg rest has an unusual method of adjustment; you can 'pop' the footrest out to give a shallower slope and higher step for little feet, or tuck it back and create a lower step for longer legs. The calf rest is padded behind where a leg would fall for comfort, and the footrest part itself has a knobbly rubber coating which would be easy to keep clean. The seat base is exceptionally firm, well suited to a heavier bottom, but still has adequate padding. The harness is five point adjustable, and a nice soft material as opposed to the standard sharp edged nylon you often see.
The harness does up in a central clip, and it is easy to get your little one out of the pushchair as every time you undo the clip all five straps fall away. This is great until you have to get your child back in and end up fiddling around trying to attach the shoulder straps back onto the waist straps and get them to stay attached long enough to poke them back into the central clasp. The button on the clasp is stiff enough to prevent little fingers opening it, but not so stiff as to almost break bigger fingers trying to release it! All the straps – including the crotch strap can be adjusted, and the shoulder straps can be moved to three different height settings. The crotch and shoulder straps are padded which is a nice touch.
The Nuna Pepp takes a car seat (either a Nuna Pipa or Maxi-Cosi), and you can either completely remove the seat fabric from the frame to attach the adapters, or remove the hood and just peel back the fabric where the adapters sit on either side of the chassis, neither option is particularly elegant, and doesn't give you the ability to swap quickly between travel system mode and pushchair mode.
Nice and easy this one, and has a great compact result. To achieve the smallest fold before you start make sure the seat is upright and the handle bar lowered, although if you want to pull the pushchair along behind you like a trolley you might want to leave it extended. So, just fold the hood right forward into the seat (don't be shy, cram it in there otherwise it all goes pear shaped later on), pull up on the triggers found near the hinge on either side and push the handle bar forwards folding the pushchair in half like a clam shell. You can wrap a fabric strip around the other half of the chassis to keep it closed. You can then pull the pushchair along like a trolley behind you if you want or it will even stand up (although it's a bit wobbly). To unfold it couldn't be easier – just undo the strap and open the pushchair out, it automatically locks into place and can be done with one hand.
The Nuna Pepp is a stroller sized pushchair that tore up the stroller rule book and threw it out the window, because of this I think it might be one of those "you love it or you hate it" Marmite type pushchairs. There is no doubting that it is an exciting little pushchair - with a clever compact fold, unusual and funky looks and great manoeuvrability all setting it apart from its rivals. This would be one to look at if you were downsizing from a great big 3 in 1 travel system but you still like to stand out from the crowd a little bit. Although I am not entirely convinced on the suitability of the seat from birth (the lie flat recline is distinctly unflat, and the adjustable calf rest leaves a little to be desired), it is nice to have a car seat option and additional padded infant insert is available which should make it more comfortable. Apart from a few niggles; the small basket, the floppy flimsy hood and the cheap and nasty wheels, I find it difficult to pick out any major faults and think it makes a good contender if you're looking for an unusual and handy to have around feature packed toddler stroller.
We give the Nuna Pepp 3.5 out of 5 stars