This week, Pushchair Expert were guests of Inglesina, in the very sunny province of Venice in Italy. We had a behind-the-scenes tour of this established Italian brand as it begins its relaunch back into the UK in a few weeks. We can't argue that the setting for a business trip was just stunning and the weather was rather better than the downpours our counterparts have been experiencing at home.
Inglesina is already well established throughout Europe and further afield but although they have had a presence in the UK, this is a considerable time ago. Launched in 1963, the company has remained very much a family business with the original owner now enjoying retirement and his two sons having taken over the business and pushed it firmly into the 21st century.
The original Inglesina concept was based around the traditional bouncy pram, very much akin to the classic British Silver Cross pram - indeed, Inglesina translates as ‘Little English Girl'. Now Inglesina is back and, according to the brand, back in earnest.
In a few months, you will see Inglesina hitting a select number of nursery stores, as well as John Lewis, with the Aptica travel system. Independent retailers will offer a choice of three fabrics and John Lewis will have a lighter in colour, exclusive option.
We were lucky enough to have a full tour of the Italian factory and meet the owners and faces behind this pushchair. It was a fascinating insight to watch the intricacies of everything from component production to all the testing that takes place. Inglesina tests everything above the industry minimum requirements and even has its own test track where the pram is put through rigorous and sustained testing in real-life situations.
So, there are of course a vast number of travel systems already on the market BUT the Inglesina Aptica has a number of unique features that really captured our interest. Firstly, the carrycot. Inglesina has worked very closely with a leading paediatric hospital in Bologna to develop a very different mattress. It has an additional soft cylinder that slips inside the mattress in those early weeks to support baby's legs, as well as an integrated head cushion designed to help lower the chances of flat head syndrome. You also have the option to add car seat fittings and harness to give you a completely lie-flat car seat option in the car (fully safety tested of course).
The carrycot also boasts what we often call the 'colic lift', allowing you to raise baby's head if they are suffering from colic, reflux or even the common cold. The ingenious mechanism for the lift allows you to move the head end upwards without removing the baby via a twisting knob situated at the foot of the carrycot. Innovative, simple and effective!
Once little one moves onto the seat unit, they have a very spacious area. They can remain in the seat unit to 22kg - far higher than the industry standard of 15kg. In line with most pushchairs on the market, this can parent or world face.
Now onto the car seat included in the Aptica package. We were pleased to see that this is an i-Size seat that adheres to all the latest testing, including ADAC where it came out with a ‘Good' rating overall and ‘Very Good' for the comfort of the baby. Interestingly, the ISOFIX base can also house the next-stage car seat, which rear-faces all the way to 104cm, so that is an added bonus. There is so much more we could tell you, but look out for our review, coming soon! If you are expecting a baby this autumn or beyond, perhaps the new Inglesina Aptica should be on your shortlist.