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Graco Evo Review

Review Overview

Graco Evo Review
Expert Reviewer
216 Reviews
Reviewed On: 29 Jun 2012
Sophie Bell
Expert Reviewer
Sophie's Verdict:

The Evo is one of the latest pushchairs from the Graco family fold. With the fully lie-flat option, it could be the all-in-one solution you are looking for. Find out more in our review...

Review Summary

Summary

Altogether, the Evo is nicely designed with a few limitations that would not deter me from choosing it as an excellently priced pushchair that will see you through to the point that they no longer need wheels.

What’s good
  • Huge basket
  • Easy seat release and placement
  • Easy recline
What’s not so good
  • Fold not easy for left-handers
  • Exposed suspension springs
  • Non-adjustable handle height

Review Content

Graco Evo Review
Introduction

Following hot on the heels of the Symbio B, the Evo is a similar concept that will see you through from baby to competent toddler. It comes in Pitstop Black or Zesty lime with the lime being exclusive to Mothercare until August this year.

A fully matt black frame superbly compliments both colours and sets off the contemporary chassis design. So if you are looking for something uncomplicated that you are proud to push, the Evo could be right up your street.

Colours
Frame

As usual, we will start from the handle and work downward. Centrally mounted on the foam covered handle is the folding mechanism. The buttons are a light grey to denote them as ‘action' buttons, as are the brakes, seat release and calf adjustment.

The handle is not extendable but comes to a decent medium height of 102cms. If you are profoundly tall or short, this ‘one size fits all' approach might not be suitable for you.

The handle stems continues down towards an elegant scoop at the front wheels. At the folding axis, it branches backwards to the rear axle. Suspended between the front and rear is the large ‘U shaped' frame that forms the structure of the ample basket. Measuring 49cms long, 45cms wide and 25cms it's large enough for the largest of changing bags and the odd kitchen sink!

The rear 23cm puncture-proof wheels are halted by the linked brake that can be applied by either of the grey pedals on the right or the left. Not being a toggle on/off pedal, I thought it might hurt my toes to flick the brake off, but I had no problems, even wearing flip-flops.

The 18cm front wheels are also puncture-proof and can be locked to prevent any steering mishaps on a bumpy or sloping terrain. Suspension springs are mounted near the hub of each front wheel which, although afford your passenger a smoother ride; they are also going to be magnets for dirt. The wheels can be removed and washed, but how often do you really want to be doing that, when encasing them in a sealed unit would have eliminated this hassle completely.

carrycot-and-car-seat
Seat unit

I love the Graco solution to mounting whichever unit you require onto the frame. Cups on the unit simply drop onto the arched hubs on the chassis, it's so, so easy. Removing is equally as trouble free. On the seat, near the mounting hubs, are two light grey paddles that you naturally squeeze as you lift, which release the seat, without breaking nails or backs!

Like the Symbio B, the seat will completely lie flat to accommodate an infant. Unlike the Symbio B, it doesn't make a full pram body from the seat. If you are after more of a bed, then the carrycot accessory will enclose your baby more substantially.

The rear of the seat reclines into the lie-flat position using the handle on the back. It does this by dropping away from the seat frame, maintaining a fabric connection and completely enclosing the head of the bed to give complete protection from even the slightest breeze. The canopy then snaps onto the seat frame and velcro's around the edge with a decent overlap to keep that breeze at bay.

To make sure your little one stays put, the five point harness has three shoulder height options. To alter the position at which they are set, unzip the flap at the rear of the seat and rethread – if only all straps were this easy to adjust!

When tired legs need extra support or a fully lie-flat position is needed, the footrest can be angled from 0 to 90 degrees by pressing the grey buttons on each side of the seat.

A foam covered bumper bar spans the seat. It opens on the right staying attached at the hinge on the left. Definitely an easier procedure if you are right handed.

Fold

Back at the handle, are the controls for the two-stage fold. With very little effort and the seat unit removed or in the forward facing position, it will collapse with just one hand. I have to say that the Evo does have a right-handed bias and if you are left-handed you will find it tricky, but not impossible.

Slide the button on the top of the handle with your thumb and squeeze the button underneath at the same time. The frame will slacken and the handle will drop towards the rear wheels. The front axle also contract towards the back and the automatic fold keeps everything together.

To open, simply undo the auto-lock and open out until you hear the frame ‘click' telling you it's ready to go.

Graco-Evo-Fold-Lime
Accessories

The fleece lined footmuff is really snugly and a relatively decent size. The top portion can be unzipped to  leave a fleece liner in the seat, ideal for the transitional months in Autumn or Spring.

The raincover is tailored to fit well, perhaps a little too snug at the feet but allowing ample room around the face. An access flap at the front allows drinks or toys to be passed to your child even when they are sealed-in against the weather.

raincover
Conclusion

I really like the Graco Evo, and think it's one of their best models to date. The large basket and the easy, enclosed recline are the best features because they are both going to be in use every day and rise to the challenge. The recline handle is in the right place to make it comfortably accessible to lay your child down when they are nodding off, and the basket can accommodate the biggest changing bag.

Another plus is the easy Graco seat connection system – you can't get it wrong, it's that simple, changing your seat from parent to forward facing is literally a 5 second job. Plus if you choose to remove the seat to fold, it's not laborious, just lift it off, fold the frame and throw it all in the back of your car.

Luckily, I am right-handed so find that the fold and the bumper bar work in my favour, whereas it is definitely not as easy for left-handers - the bumper bar is so-so, but the fold is a two handed operation.

The lay flat option for a newborn will not be everyone's cup-of-tea, but the carrycot accessory is there for those that really can't stomach the lack of a proper looking bed. I like how flat the Evo will lay, and would find it more than adequate for a newborn, especially considering that a carrycot is used for such a short amount of time, to me it doesn't justify the extra expense.

The colours are currently quite limited (black and lime green) but a red version is next on the menu later this year, so take a look at what the Evo can do, then wait for the red if the other colourways don't appeal.

I don't like the exposed suspension springs because it limits where you can take this pushchair. It doesn't claim to be an all-terrain, but we've all tried to push our pushchair to its limits by taking it on the beach or down a country path only to regret its poor performance. The Evo won't like a dirty terrain and you won't like having to clean it up afterwards.

Altogether, the Evo is nicely designed with a few limitations that would not deter me from choosing it as an excellently priced pushchair that will see you through to the point that they no longer need wheels.

Footmuffs
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