Lizzie Dewar and her "wee princess" Eilidh have been embracing their girly sides with the Quail by egg in Strictly Pink - with a bit of help from Eilidh's two older brothers. Here's what they made of this stylish stroller when they put it to the test around their home in East Kilbride, taking on school runs, shopping trips, park and cafe visits and more...
We were really excited to be chosen to test the Quail. Eilidh is my third little one, and whilst I am no parenting expert, I've had a little bit of experience in things prams! Saying that, my older children are now 6 and almost 8, so I'm a little out of practice!
I decided when the egg Quail arrived that I would put it together and try to figure it all out without looking at the instructions. This would be a little test to seen how intuitive it was (also partly because I was too excited to get it up and running!). The pram went together really easily and I soon figured out how to apply and remove the brake, extend the handle and fold the pram. This was the start of my love affair with the brake! Whilst we are definitely out of flip-flop weather for this year, this brake is perfect for flip-flops. A simple press down to put the brake on and the same to release it.
The pram looks great, there is no denying that. The lines are really smooth, the fabric great quality. The hood is really large for such a compact stroller, giving great coverage (perfect for when the sun decides to make another appearance!).
If I was nit-picking, adjusting the crotch strap wasn't the simplest and a little fiddly, but this isn't something you would be doing every time you used the pram, so I can forgive this. I was also a little concerned over the angle of the seat. It's quite flat and with no calf support, I wondered if this would mean baby slipped down a little even in the most reclined position.
Pretty much as soon as the pram was built, Eilidh started to grumble, so the perfect opportunity to get her strapped in and off on a wee adventure! The weather hasn't been fantastic since we received the Quail, so we have had plenty of opportunity to test out the raincover. This fits the pram perfectly and even has a small flap at the back so you can easily reach the recline handle. There isn't anywhere obvious to attach the bottom of the raincover to in parent-facing mode, but the cover fits so well over the hood and frame that it never felt like it was going to blow off.
I did kick the brake bar a few times on our first outing, which was annoying, and I did wonder if I was going to fall out with the pram very early on in our testing. I'm only 5'4" so not overly tall. I found increasing the handle height helped. My husband is 6'1" and has never kicked the brake bar so perhaps I just had the handle too low. The handle does increase to a great height, even for my tall husband.
Did I mention that I love the brake? It's fantastic!
The Quail certainly was comfortable for Eilidh as the first outing even made her sleep and I got a coffee and a doughnut in peace. Eilidh was 15 weeks at the time we received the pushchair to review and the full recline was perfect for her. I'm not sure how I would feel putting a brand-new newborn in the seat unit as it is quite low and exposed at the sides. But at 15 weeks Eilidh has already outgrown the carrycot of our own pram. My earlier concern about the angle of the seat did raise itself a little as I did find she slipped down slightly. This is probably more to do with the age she is and I'd be keen to see if this continues to happen as she gets bigger. The seat doesn't have a bucket shape and is very flat.
As I mentioned before, Eilidh is the third baby of the house. When the boys were little, we lived in a second-floor flat and I cannot tell you how many times I put off going out as I knew it would mean bumping a pram up and down two flights of stairs. We now live in a house but haven't escaped stairs! On the school run, if we want to go the short way to or from school, we have stairs to contend with. I usually try to avoid these and go the long way, but with two tired boys after a long day at school, we decided to brave the stairs! I am over the moon to say that the Quail is so easy to take up and down stairs. The relatively short wheel base means the weight (not that there is much of that) is really central. At no point did I feel I was wrestling the pram up or down. We can take the short cut to school, which allows me at least another five minutes of "please get your shoes on" before we are running late for school! (And less listening to "my legs are tired, why are we going the long way?"!)
We wanted to use this opportunity to answer all the questions I had when choosing a pram. The big one for me was how small does it fold? Just before I found out I was expecting Eilidh, I had bought myself a tiny little runaround car, a Peugeot 107. If you don't know this car, I'll tell you, it's tiny. I am pleased to announce that folded, even with the seat unit attached, even with all four wheels still attached, the Quail fits in the boot of the car. This is almost a miracle. I did have to remove the parcel shelf, but it's pretty pointless anyway!
As well as fitting in a tiny boot, it has more than enough space in the boot of our Citroen C4 Picasso with bikes and scooters, even if my husband can't pack a boot efficiently!
Whilst the car seat adaptors weren't provided for review, I purchased these myself. Sometimes you do need to just nip from the car somewhere and infant carriers are heavy even without the added weight of a baby. This was really simple to use. The seat unit just clicks off and the adaptors click on in its place.
On one of our adventures, I'd mistimed how long it would take me to get home and was going to be late for school pick-up so we decided to jump on the bus. The Quail fits really easily through the doors, even on a double decker, and is narrow enough to fit down the aisle. Oh, remember the brake I love so much? This held the pram perfectly still on the bus despite the slightly dubious driving of the bus driver!
The basket on the pram isn't as big as I would like, but then how big can you really make it on a compact stroller? It's still big enough to do a quick top-up shop of bread and milk at the local convenience shop. With the added bonus of being so small and agile to get through the really small shop aisles littered with cages (insert eye roll here!).
Eilidh is still quite small and compact, just like the Quail. The Quail has a massive maximum weight limit of 22kg and I wondered if this is really needed. The pram is so compact that surely a baby will outgrow the height of the pram and seat well before they outgrow the weight limit? Wrong! The Quail has an extending back/hood height meaning that even the tallest and heaviest toddler will still fit this pram. Don't believe me? I tested it out with my 6 year old. He's just under the weight limit and still fits in the seat at the highest height. You aren't going to outgrow this pushchair whilst you still need it.
The only thing it needs now is a travel bag accessory so I can take it on holiday with us next summer as the huge hood, flip-flop friendly brake and compact fold is going to just be perfect.