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Easywalker MINI Parent Review

Review Overview

Easywalker MINI Parent Review
Reviewed On: 25 Nov 2013
Caroline White
A parent

I live in Bath with my husband Simon and our 3 children, Seb aged 5, Dominic aged 3 and Polly, 4 months. Seb made history last year as the first child with Down's syndrome to model in a major TV ad (M&S) and our campaign work keeps us very busy. He is full of beans, charms the pants off everyone and thinks he is Buzz Lightyear. Dominic is quiet but quirky. He is OBSESSED with elephants, robots and dinosaurs. Polly (so far!) seems pretty chilled and enjoys the mayhem around her. We lead a really typical family life and love getting out and about in our beautiful home city, especially walking and boat spotting along the Kennet & Avon canal. 

Review Summary

Summary

The Easywalker Mini is an outstanding pushchair in both terms of style and function.  The design of the buggy is both clever and beautiful, super slim and lightweight with lots of lovely touches like a leather handlebar embossed with the Mini logo.  The pushchair is so easy to handle and convenient for city living – especially public transport and weaving in and out of crowds and shops.  

What’s good
  • Size – super slim and lightweight
  • Design – the design of the buggy is very premium and stylish
  • Parent Facing Option
What’s not so good
  • Price – the buggy is priced at the upper end of the market
  • Terrain – I did find the Mini didn’t handle rough terrain very well
  • Under basket storage – this is very limited

Review Content

Easywalker MINI Parent Review
First impressions

Polly’s first set of wheels….
 

I nearly fainted with excitement when I got the call to say I had been selected to review the easywalker Mini. I love Minis. My first car was a Mini, but with 3 children in tow, even a Countryman is out of the question. 

The first thing to do, just the same as when you buy a new car, is to select your model – choice of wheel colour, chasis colour and trim. All of the design choicres are classic Mini. After hours (days) of deliberation, I went for the classic black stripe and excitedly waited for its’ arrival.

3 neat boxes arrived, all easily liftable. One of the first things I noticed about the packaging was the Mini logo hologram sticker on the box. I LOVE that kind of attention to detail.

The packaging was super easy to remove (I have had harder times trying to remove toys from their tags). Once out of the box, a removal of some cardboard and a plastic clear bag and the buggy was free. 

First_Imps_Duo_500

It even SMELT like a new car!

The wheels clicked beautifully and simply into place. No jamming, just a perfect, easy fit. The frame unfolded really simply too. I could not believe how light and slim and elegant the frame was. 
 

As Polly is still under 6 months I packed the seat unit away and got on with fitting the carrycot. For transit the carrycot is flat but with two really simple clicks inside, the unit becomes taller and ready for its’ load. The top cover is customised according to your trim and the sun canopy from the seat unit doubles up for use with it too. The mini logo on the back of the cot is a lovely touch, as is the leather handle bar, which is gorgeous. 
 

The carrycot unit literally clicks onto the frame by matching up four points. Another very pleasing, solid, click with no wiggling or forcing required. To remove it is just as simple. A gentle pull on the underside red release bar and it is off again.  When in situ the carrycot feels really safe and steady and secure.

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Attaching the hood seemed a little difficult. The fabric didn’t attach onto the metal hooks very easily and as everything else had been so effortless I was a bit nervous to force it, but we got there.
 

I generally hate putting things like this together, but this buggy was so beautiful to look at, touch and play with that I actually really enjoyed fitting it all together.

 

I think in total, it took me about an hour and a half to fully unpack, read the instructions and get my head around it all. It was definitely love at first sight. Gorgeous. I just couldn’t believe I had to go to bed before I could take it for a test drive! WAKE UP POLLY!   

November 8th 2013

Super excited about taking the Easywalker Mini out for it’s first test drive.
I was struck by how simple it is to remove the carrycot, fold the frame and put into the car. It then literally takes seconds to put back together again.
Polly was fine about going in the carrycot and it wasn’t long before she settled down and fell fast asleep.
We went for a walk along the canal, which has a fairly even surface. The buggy is light and easy to push and really smooth.  Above all, it looks GORGEOUS and I love pushing it whilst being able to look at my sleeping baby! 

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November 15th 2013

Today we took the Easywalker Mini into Bath city centre to do some shopping.

It is so easy to get out of the car and within seconds and a couple of clicks and the frame is up and the carrycot on.

Polly settled in and happily had her morning nap in it leaving me free to browse in peace (in fact she slept longer than usual!).

 It was an absolute breeze going in and out of the shops, the Easywalker Mini is so light and easy to push, it glides over all surfaces. Best of all the buggy is so slim it fits down the narrowest of aisles and through he smallest little gaps. My usual pushchair is a Phil&Ted's sport so this was quite liberating!!

I felt super proud pushing this beautiful buggy around, especially as I am yet to spot anyone else with one! 

November 16th 2013

LOOOOOOK! Mini me :)

MiniMe
December 6th 2013

A few years ago I went to the lovely Bath Christmas market with one of my boys in their Phil & Teds.

The market is extremely popular and coaches visit from far and wide to drop off scores of visitors. I vowed NEVER to go again until I was child free!

However, as the Easywalker is so slim and light I thought I'd give it a go! And it was fine. Totally stress free, didn't bang into anyone or get stuck, just weaved in and out of everyone beautifully, Polly was wrapped up warm in her carrycot and I started to feel really excited about Christmas!

Xmas_Market

The Easywalker mini offers quite a bumpy ride over cobbles! I think it's because the wheels are quite small (compared to my Phil & Ted anyway, which handles the cobbles a lot more easily).

The buggy wobbled all over the place and the cobbles caused it to tip a little. It wasn't enough to wake Polly up though and as most streets these days are not cobbled (!) it's not really a problem :)

Cobbles
December 11th 2014

Some smarty pants has parked their car on the pavement. Ordinarily, with my P&T, I would have had to have walked in the (busy) road around it but the easywalker mini is so super skinny it was no problem fitting through. I even did it not handed whilst taking this photo :)

Parked_Car
January 8th 2014

Over Christmas we were on the road a LOT! We spent actual Christmas at my parents in Essex and also travelled to a wedding in Sussex the day before Christmas Eve.

As Polly is now almost 6 months, she wants to be looking around a lot more so whilst she still fits (albeit snugly) into the carrycot, she would prefer to be sitting, not lying flat when she is awake.

So the wedding was the perfect time to try her out in the seat unit. I was practically crying at the thought of not using the carrycot anymore, it is so lovely to push around, BUT once she was in the seat unit I discovered a whole new world of loveliness!

Not only does the buggy look super cute, it is so compact and pod like, it also still looks super stylish - it was lovely to be at a wedding with such a smart and small set of wheels. We managed to keep nice and tidily out of the way, manoeuvred ourselves in and out of small spaces and amazingly Polly even slept in it despite it being very noisy in the venue.

And the carrycot still had it's place! We took it with us and she slept in it at our hotel (I HATE the idea of using a hotels travel cot and it saved us taking ours).

As we were rushed over Christmas and on the day of the wedding we didn't have time to really read the instructions properly but we managed to work out how to fix the seat unit and harness, although I need to have a look and make sure it's all done properly. The hood seemed a bit tricky to transfer from the carrycot to the seat so we didn't bother but it wasn't a problem as it meant the buggy was even smaller and neater than usual.

This buggy is a joy. A beautiful one at that!

January 17th 2014

Today on the way to school pick up the heavens opened. Doesn't it always? It was ok for Polly though as I'd brought the raincover with us as it seems quite usual these days for the bright blue skies to darken over and for floods to follow, usually at 2.55pm. Within seconds Polly was tucked up nicely in her rainproof pod and was the only one of us to keep dry.

Raining_
January 24th 2014

At 6 months, Polly has now started to want to be more upright so she can look around and it's lovely for me to be able to see her, using the parent facing option. I have never had this before and it makes so much difference. I love being able to see her and interact with her. As my eldest has special needs we use Makaton (Mr Tumble language) and I will be using it with her too so I am excited that I can sign whilst we are out and about. I also love how easy and gently the seat reclines. By the time we had done school drop off today I could tell she was getting tired and restless so I reclined the seat and now we are home I have parked her in the corner still asleep!

Raincover

Yet last night she was able to sit in the buggy like a chair whilst we watched my son at swimming. I LOVE how she holds onto the buggy frame :)

Swimming_
February 4th 2014

I love how if I'm pushed for time (or feeling lazy!) I can fit the buggy in the car by just putting the handle down and not having the fold it up. It makes the school pick up super easy. 

Easywalker_in_boot_500
February 18th 2014

We are lucky enough to have a bus route that runs just a one minute walk from our house right into various central points in Bath. I have only ever caught the bus once before, when I had both my boys in the Phil & Ted's buggy. By the time I got into town I was almost in tears and vowed never to do it again. The boys had to be taken out of and the driver insisted I took it apart and folded it up. Armed with bags and two small children it was one of the most stressful things I have ever done.

Easywalker_Bus_500_duo

As the EASYWALKER mini is so light and small and because it is more convenient getting the bus than faffing about with driving and parking, I decided to give it another go. And it was perfect! The buggy slipped easily onto the bus and barely took up any room. I "parked" it into the disabled bay and knew that if I had to move there was plenty of other options and places for me to put it. I didn't dread the journey home and I will choose this method of going in to town every time now.

February 22nd 2014

First sign of some spring sunshine so we have come to the park! I am proud to push the easywalker Mini buggy and am yet to spot anyone else with the same buggy (which I love!). It doesn't handle hilly terrain as well as my Phil & Ted's and I feel a bit precious about this buggy, not wanting it to get dirty or sandy, whereas the Phil & Ted's almost needs to be muddy!

Feb_22nd_500_duo
March 5th 2014

I love the sitting upright, parent facing option, especially now Polly is babbling as I feel really close to her and can respond and talk about what is going on around her. Bring on Spring!

March_4th_500
March 12th 2014

As we have 3 children and often drive 200 miles to stay at my parents, my current car resembles a bus. I have a 5-7 seater with a big boot and have enjoyed not even having to fold the Easywalker to fit it in. My husband, on the other hand, has a cute little nippy BMW 1 series. At the weekend we decided to go out in his car for a change. The buggy fitted perfectly into the tiny boot - and we didn't even have to take the seat off. Another massive TICK for the easywalker :)

March_BMW_boot_500
March 16th 2014

I was the first to whinge about the inaccessibility of the easywalker mini shopping basket, particularly when the baby is parent facing, BUT today I used the handle clips and was astounded by how much weight and bags they held! And comfortably too. I bought my niece a pair of wellies, my husband bought a new North Face Jacket, a pack of thank you cards, I had some grocery items and my change bag (which is always over stuffed!). It all hung easily off the clips and I am no longer upset about the basket situation - in fact I had my son's library books in there, which was the perfect place for them!  We caught a train too and there was no problem at all with my shopping and the clips mean that everything is to hand should you need it, rather than crouching down and rummaging underneath.

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March 28th 2014

March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day. It is this day as it represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21 which results in the condition - 21.03. Everyone is encouraged to raise awareness by wearing "lots of socks" - the socks represent colourfulness and diversity and also look like wiggly chromosomes when laid out on the floor. As Polly's eldest brother has the condition we all sported our silliest socks and set off for school - I thought Polly's looked pretty cool on show in her buggy!

March_21st_socks_500
April 16th 2014

As you will no doubt be aware, it is the Easter holidays! As we live in a city there is usually lots of great activities for us to do locally. Three children aged 0-6, one with additional needs, can be quite a challenge at the best of times, but I try as much as possible to get out.

Yesterday we went for a picnic in the woods. The weather had blessed us with some gorgeous sunshine and the temperature is perfect - not too hot. The woods have a woodland play area and a big, enclosed field, perfect for safe picnics and kicking a ball around. We can park fairly close to the area but there is a small walk along a busy road and I had a LOT of stuff with me. For these reasons, and the terrain in the woods, I decided to dig the Phil & Ted's out of the cupboard and leave the EASYWALKER at home where it would stay nice and clean.
The P&T fulfilled it's need perfectly and in a way the EASYWALKER mini wouldn't have done. Loaded up with rugs, food, drinks, football, frisbee, changes of clothes and the usual baby stuff, as well as a baby, it managed the bumpy uneven terrain easily and I didn't mind hammering it or if it got muddy.
There were times though when I really missed the EASYWALKER mini. At one point we had no way of getting the buggy into the field without lifting it over a style. Even with all the baggage and baby off board it was a two (wo)man job. Getting it in and out of the car boot too was a pain, heavy and cumbersome and awkward by comparison. Obviously before I had used the mini I didn't know any different.
The trip really highlighted to me the good and bad of both buggies. They're so different but both have their places.

April 24th 2014

For the second half of the Easter holidays out whole family went on a road trip to my parents in Essex. 3 children and 2 adults naturally commands a lot of STUFF! I have got in the habit of putting the easywalker in the boot of the car without actually folding it down. By merely pushing the handle down it fits! It makes the school run so super easy and hassle free. But with all this STUFF to also fit in, I had to remove the seat. I really struggled to work out how. I thought it would be a simple release with the red bar, like the carrycot unit, but it took a good 5 minutes of stress to get it sorted! I am sure if I actually read the manual it would have been an easier procedure but I was too lazy to go and find it!
Whilst we were back we did a train trip to the new Westfield shopping centre and Olympic Park in Stratford, London. The Easywalker was perfect. Lightweight and easy to push, Polly slept happily in it and it was simple to get on and off the train - it even fitted between the seats on the train so that  we could all sit together without being in the way of anyone and without worrying someone would steal the buggy or our shopping!

May 15th 2014

We got caught in a typical spring shower on Saturday. It literally came from nowhere, the sky was blue and then suddenly turned grey and a downpour followed. We didn't have the rain cover with us but between the hood and Polly's buggy fleece she was fully covered! Shame about the rest of us!

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May 16th 2014

And today....the hood is acting as a much needed sunshade! :)

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Final Summary

The Easywalker Mini is an outstanding pushchair in both terms of style and function.  The design of the buggy is both clever and beautiful, super slim and lightweight with lots of lovely touches like a leather handlebar embossed with the Mini logo.  The pushchair is so easy to handle and convenient for city living – especially public transport and weaving in and out of crowds and shops.  

 

Pros
Size – super slim and lightweight, can fit into the smallest of spaces and can even go in the boot without removing the seat - a massive plus for quick school run pick ups and shopping in busy high streets.  The buggy even fits in the boot of the car without folding the whole thing or taking the seat off by pushing the handlebar in.  this is also useful in restaurants and cafes etc if your child is sleeping but you want the buggy to feel less intrusive.

Design – the design of the buggy is very premium and stylish with lots of added touches like Mini design packs to customise, leather handlebar and smart wheels.  The buggy  has a carrycot that was lovely to use in the early days.  Everything flows and fits perfectly too, no forcing, just one click action. 

Parent Facing Option – I loved this option as I have never had this before.  I loved being able to look at my daughter and talk to her.  I use baby sign too so it is perfect for that.  It was also really great when my daughter was poorly as I could see her and also feel her forehead and check her temperature.  I cant imagine ever turning the seat the other way round, but if I wanted to it is very simple to do.
 

Cons
Price – the buggy is priced at the upper end of the market.  I would say it is worth every penny for those people out there who place high importance on style and brand.  There are probably much cheaper options available for those on a more strict budget and other similarly priced buggies from more well known premium brands.

Terrain – I did find the Mini didn’t handle rough terrain very well at all – cobbled streets and bumpy ground were a bit of a problem.  The buggy also has to be tilted to get up kerbs – I am used to a Phil & Ted’s Sports which does all of these things really easily (but is very heavy and bulky so there is a pay off)

Under basket storage – this is very, very limited as the seat of the buggy is so low, especially if you have the child parent facing, the basket is almost completely inaccessible.  Hooks on the handles for shopping bags does overcome this problem but it does seem to be something simple that maybe could have been thought through a little more.
 

I would score this buggy 4 and a half stars! I absolutely loved it but knocked a tiny bit off for the reasons above.  My only other feedback would be that I would prefer the hood to have been made out of a different material, more like a canvas, as I felt the material used felt a little cheap – and we all know this buggy is not cheap!! 

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