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Mamas & Papas Sola Review

Review Overview

Mamas & Papas Sola Review
Expert Reviewer
143 Reviews
Reviewed On: 27 Nov 2013
Helen Taylor
Expert Reviewer
Helen's Verdict:

The Mamas & Papas Sola seems a favourite with our Facebook fans. Being both parent and world facing and coming with a host of easy to use features, how does it stack up? Read on in our review.

Review Summary

Summary

The Sola is one of those pushchairs that you will never be desperate to own, but will love when you do. It does everything a mum or dad needs without being technically challenging.

What’s good
  • Simple to use
  • Unfussy styling
  • Freestanding fold
What’s not so good
  • Small basket
  • Baggy raincover
  • A little heavy

Review Content

Mamas & Papas Sola Review
Chassis

The Mamas & Papas Sola chassis is simple and uncluttered. Tubular matt finished silver aluminium creates the top tubes leading up to the handle. There is a more substantial thicker section oval tube that leads down to the rear wheels. I love the amount of free space that there appears to be around the chassis and seat, most of all, it provides good access to the basket.

The basket itself is an odd teardrop shape formed by a black metal tube with a mesh basket hanging below. It measures: 36cm wide x 43cm long x 12cm deep. The basket capacity is not the biggest you will come across, but the access is good with the seat in either forward or rear facing mode.

Back up to the adjustable Sola's handle. It is a buttons and swing affair, which I really like. It gives me more options for hand positions than the usual in and out handle. The handle itself has 5 positions with an excellent height range of 89 – 105 cm. It will suit people of almost any height.

MamasandPapassolachassis500

With 9kg in the seat and a couple of kilos in the basket, the position of the handle means the kerb pop on the Sola is excellent, you won't have any problems as you push your little one round town.

The wheels are puncture proof EVA and measure 24cm at the rear and 18cm at the front. Both the front and rear wheels have suspension and the fronts are lockable as well. Mamas & Papas have made the front and rear wheels easily removable by either pushing a button or sliding a toggle, putting them back on just requires a little push.

Removing the wheels is quite useful as the Sola weights in at 10kg, which is not the lightest in this category. Popping them off before you put it in the car no doubt will make transportation easier for some.

Seat

The seat on the Sola can both parent and world face. To remove the seat, simply place your fingers into the little ‘pockets' below the seat catches and lift. The seat comes away and is well balanced. This is great if you intend to remove the seat before folding – more on that later. To replace the seat drop it back down. It lines up really well and clicks into place with ease.

Reclining the seat is a single handed affair with the squeeze button located at the top of the seat back. The seat itself reclines to a very horizontal position, it is not entirely flat, but your little one will be able to relax as the position is near perfect to taking a nap. There are 3 recline positions in total, flat, semi reclined and the most upright position.

Fabrics are pretty standard fare being the hardwearing nylon rucksack type. They will no doubt be hardwearing and also pretty wipe clean.

MamasandPapassolaseat

The hood comes attached to the seat, which is great as it reduces the ‘out of the box to on the road time' considerably. Coverage is ok, but not as good as some of the ‘mega' hoods we have seen recently and it does not have the trendy ‘flip-out' extra shade at the front, but it still does a good job of providing shelter from our countries worst weather. I do question the placement of the viewing window. It is located in the front section of the hood and has a magnetic closed cover, however I am not sure when you are supposed to use it as a viewing window. You cannot reach to see into it when you are behind the handle unless you go round to the side of the pushchair, in which case you may as well peer round the hood. In parent facing mode, you can see your child anyway, so it is redundant.

MamasandPapassolahood

Adjusting the Sola's 5 point harness is quick and simple. I like the fact there are no harness tails on the shoulder straps. You also get shoulder and crotch pads included. The buckle must be joined together before inserting into the clasp. In our experience this can be tricky when you are trying to strap in a reluctant child, it is much easier to be able to do one side of the harness and then the other.

The raincover is simple to attach and covers the entire seat. Whiles this makes it effective against the rain and wind, it does remain quite baggy somewhat spoiling the looks to the pushchair.

Lastly the bumper bar is gate opening with a simple and well-designed button release.

Fold

The Sola's fold is quick and simple and can be done with the seat in place when word facing.

To fold, first rotate the handle round and under the chassis until it touches the frame. Next there are two little black sliding catches under the handle tubes, press a little button in on the Right Hand Side and slide both catches up the frame. The catches are a little stiff and not particularly ergonomic which makes this part of the fold a little tricky. Once the catches are pulled up towards you, the frame breaks at the front and fold down. The autolock engages with a click. Now it is folded, the chassis and seat will freestand, which is a feature we love!

To unfold, undo the auto lock and lift the handle. The Sola chassis snaps into position and then all you have to do is unfold the handle and you are ready for the off.

Folding the Sola is simple and unfussy, if the triggers had a little more ‘shape' to them to help your fingers get a grip and required slightly less effort, it would greatly improve things.

MamasandPapassolafold
Our verdict

The Sola is one of those pushchairs that you will never be desperate to own, but will love when you do. It does everything a mum or dad needs without being technically challenging.

Some people may want something with a little more panache or with more functions. We would like to have seen a bigger basket and better fitting raincover, oh, and it would be nice if it were a little lighter but that is it about it.

The Mamas & Papas Sola is a good pushchair. There are no surprises and it is simple to use and easy to understand. I have no doubt that people who own one love it. We know there are some good deals to be had as we write this review. If you are looking for a great value out of the box pushchair, take a look at Sola, you might just fall in love.

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