Tandems are never going to be petite given the nature of their purpose, but carrying two children in-line does have its advantages. The Chicco Together has arrived at Pushchair Expert HQ where we are going to investigate how it tackles the transportation of two children.
Chicco have crept seamlessly into the stroller market and have trampled over territory that used to belong to brands like Maclaren. All across Europe and America you will find Chicco pushchairs in abundance on every high street. The reasons being; they are the right price, they include the right accessories for each country and they satisfy the job for which they are bought.
The Chicco Together is a monster tandem pushchair that gives your passengers plenty of room while providing you with all the amenities of a single pushchair.
The RRP of the Chicco Together is £299
The Chicco Together is their first Tandem pushchair and is built in the same vein as their singles and doubles; simple and robust. Predominantly aluminium and plastic, it has a chunky, contemporary feel. Our test model comes in the only colour currently available: Syria, a bright red and light grey combination.
Tackling the beast
Folding the Chicco Together is a matter of getting a grip of this large animal and taking it in hand. First, fold your front canopy all the way forward, then pull up on the handle in the middle of the parent tray. You also need to pull up on the orange, safety release on the left of the frame. Tilting the frame up on the back wheels will aid its collapse; in fact I found that applying a little pressure on the edge of the basket will advance this process.
As you hold onto the handle, the front chair and bumper bar swing up towards you. Giving a little pull on the bumper bar will ensure the pushchair is closed against you and that it stands independently. The front canopy then folds down neatly towards the front wheels.
I have to admit, being only 5ft 2 is a disadvantage in man-handling what is, a very large pushchair. It is practically as tall as me!
Opening the Chicco Together is not complicated, just takes a little control, something I clearly lack! After many attempts I realised it must have the brake on to stop the whole unit rolling backwards resulting in the metal rim of the basket taking the skin off the top your feet.
With one hand activating the release on the parent tray and the other operating the orange safety trigger, it doesn't leave you a hand free to encourage folding or opening, however some control can be gained if you put your foot on the metal rim of the shopping basket.
The comfortable, foam covered handle is adjustable from 112cms down to 100cms. The parent tray eliminates balancing keys or glasses on your canopy; it has room for two cups and a compartment with a lid for anything small, like keys, coins or a mobile.
The shopping basket beneath the seats is enormous, slightly reduced by the feet of the back passenger but you would hardly notice as there is plenty of room left. The zip access in the back of the basket is a stroke of genius as it allows you to access your cargo when your back seat is fully reclined.
The brake is easy to apply on either side of the back axle. The same cannot be said for its release – it's not flip-flop friendly!
The large 9 inch foam back wheels follow the smaller 8 inch front swivel wheels and manoeuvrability is good considering the overall length of the frame.
The Chicco Together is suitable from birth in the back seat and from 6 months in the front. Both seats are roomy at 34cms wide and upto 60cms in the back depth. The back seat reclines in three angles and ultimately flat to take a newborn. The front seat recline is a minimal 30 degrees, not really a low enough gradient for your front passenger to sleep without lolling forwards.
The sun canopies are attached to the frame and not the seats, allowing them to be angled to follow the sun but also leaving them open to toddler abuse – where your young rider will find endless enjoyment in pulling the canopy down onto their laps!
The five point harnesses on each chair have chest padding and a buckle that is sufficiently difficult to baffle a three year old, whilst being simple enough for any parent to manage, however technically inept.
The aprons supplied in the package are colour co-ordinated and well finished. They are billed as leg covers, so the padding would not be enough for them to be used alone in winter but they do make a compact pocket to offer some protection from the elements.
The raincover is very easy to affix. Simply throw it over the top and attach it around the handle with the Velcro tabs. With the height of the hood, it stands well away from the passengers, so they won't feel claustrophobic when covered up.
Two Chicco Key-Fit 0+ car seats can be attached to Chicco Together without the use of adapters. The pushchair canopies can be removed or left in place to form cocoon shields in conjunction with the car seat canopies.
The Chicco Together is a large cumbersome animal that would be best tamed by anyone with a greater height advantage than myself. Big pushchairs come with mixed blessings. Large seats provide a more comfortable ride as well as accommodate the taller or wider child, a large shopping basket gives you more room for all your gubbins (of which you have plenty when carrying two children) and the large wheels aid manoeuvrability. However, big is not better when it comes to lifting it or trying to shoe-horn it into the car.
Its negatives can be balanced by the fact that it is well made, relatively contemporary and is reasonably priced at £299. In fact, for just over £500 you would have everything you need to transport two children in the car or around town – good value!
Chicco seem to get it just right; they aren't the top of range, but they are by no means the bottom. They include the right amount of accessories, they come in at the right price and their build quality is just right. You can't say that Chicco produce pushchairs with cutting edge, exemplary design but they do what they set out to do; transport children in the most comfort for the least price.
We give the Chicco Together
3 out of 5 stars