Foppapedretti.... Not heard of them? Well you will as their MYO-TRONIC pushchair is possibly the coolest piece of pushchair tech you will find in 2014.
Originating from Italy, Foppapedretti are best known for manufacturing useful furniture such as ironing boards and clothes dryers. They also produce a range of nursery furniture, but have recently branched out into the wheel goods sector. We have just got our hands on what is the first electrically driven pushchair on the market, the Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC. Is it just a gimmick or can it live up to expectations, read on in our Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC Review.
Whats in the Box.
• Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC Pushchair
• Main Seat
Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC Specifications:
• Open Size: 105.5cm x 107cm x 58.5
• Closed Size: 37.5cm x 80cm x 58.5cm
• Weight 16 kg
• Suitable from birth.
Available as a travel system for £1990.00
Note: The MYO TRONIC is available without the electric drive as the MYO for £590
Available Colours: Red, Blue.
We have seen the Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC Pushchair at various trader shows throughout 2011,12 and 2013. At last they have got two colourways past the UK fire regulations and on sale. The MYO actually comes in two versions. The MYO without electric drive (read our Foppapedretti MYO review) and the MYO-TRONIC which has the electric drive motor built into the chassis which we are reviewing here.
The first thing you notice about the chassis is the design. It is elegant and unfussy with graceful curved aluminium tubes making up the structure. These are finished in an ultra cool gunmetal grey with black Foppapedretti logos on the rear chassis members. The chassis design initially looks a little ‘open' with big gaps around the seat. That is because the seat can rotate 360 degrees while affixed to the chassis, just like an Orbit Baby 360. More on this later.
Moving down to the wheels, the MYO-TRONIC has pneumatic wheels at the rear measuring 25cm in diameter and lockable EVA wheels at the front measuring 18cm. As this is a powered pushchair, the rear wheel size and tyre design have more significance as this is where the power is put to the pavement. The MYO-TRONIC's rear tyres are wide and nice and grippy, so should be happy powering your little one around during your day out.
The brake is operated using your right foot. You push the pedal down to stop and press down a blue button atop the pedal to release the brakes. They are easy to operate and very flip flop friendly.
On to the basket and we meet the first weakness in the MYO's design. It is tiny. The chassis design is to blame as the main central beam curves down right where the basket should be. Foppapedretti have added a small basket below this, but it is barely big enough to hold spare nappies, wipes and a changing mat.
Back up to the MYO-TRONIC's handle. Here you will find an ergonomic D shaped handle bar that rotates to create the adjustable height. There are two height options: 95cm and 105cm which should provide a comfortable handle height for most parents.
I must say that the overall quality of the Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC is superb. It feels extremely well made with materials and finishes that are befitting of its premium price. It is not too heavy either. With the motor and batteries on board, the chassis and wheels weigh 11kg. That is respectable when you consider the implications of adding the electric drive. The seat comes in at 5kg making the whole package 16kg.
I guess the first question we should ask is why? Why would you want a pushchair that drives itself? You have just had a baby and for many, walking with a pushchair is one of the only ways they can begin to regain their pre-baby shape and fitness. Well I guess, my answer would be, why not? In the age of the smartphone, or the electric car or bike, battery technology means that power sources and motors are getting small and more efficient. It was only a matter of time before someone combined this with a pushchair.
The MYO-TRONIC is powered by a lithium ion battery driving 2 electric motors that sit inside the rear axle. Up on the handle, there is a rotating speed control, battery level display and two grey buttons that are used to engage the motor. To use the motor, you simply twist the speed control to set the speed you want and then hold in the two grey buttons behind the handle which starts the motor running. The MYO-TRONIC will move forward at the desired speed until you release one or both of the buttons. It is simple to use and very effective.
After the initial shock of the pushchair moving off under its own steam, you soon get used to the assistance. You don't have to exactly match the pace either. If you go to fast, the overspeed is taken care of, slow down too much though and you will be pulled gently along by the motor.
Foppapedretti claim that the MYO-TRONIC will climb a gradient of up to 20% and this is where we feel that the motor makes sense. During normal use on level ground, the MYO-TRONIC can be pushed as if it were a normal pushchair (it pushes very well), however, when you get to a hill, you can call on the assistance of the electric motors making your ascent easier.
The MYO-TRONIC's battery can be charged on or off the chassis and can be removed by pressing two release buttons and then sliding it away from its mounting points. It is a 24volt lithium ion battery for the technos out there. It will provide enough charge for 4 hours of constant running at full power. This run time will of course vary depending on hills and the amount of weight in the pushchair.
An electric motor could be seen as a bit of a gimmick, an expensive one at that. However we reckon that anyone breezing up hills with their MYO-TRONIC will be the envy of the street!
The seat on the MYO-TRONIC is very similar in design to the Quinny Moodd. The fabrics are clearly high quality and are really well padded. In fact, the padding deserves a special mention as it is some of the best we have seen on a pushchair seat.
The hood is brilliant. It initially looks like it might lack coverage until you discover the zip and the extra flip out front peak. With these deployed, the hood pulls far enough forward to even cover your little ones toes – it is massive!! This is brilliant when the seat is laid back as it gives fantastic coverage for a sleeping child. A mesh viewing window/vent is deployed when the back portion of the hood is unzipped. Great functionality!
The seat reclines using a button on the seat back which is well positioned, but actually quite hard to squeeze (if you have nails you will be in trouble). In parent facing mode you can recline the seat to one of 3 positions until it is fully flat. In world facing, the seat only reclines one position as the handle is in the way. This is not an issue if your little one needs a sleep, you just spin them round!!
The seat comes with an extra liner which is great if you have a young baby as it will keep them safe and cosy if you are not using the carry cot. With the seat liner removed the seat back has a usable height of 45cm and a width of 35cm.
Of course the party piece here is the 360 degree rotation.
Pull out both the grey tabs under each side of the seat and you can spin it thorough
360 degrees to face forward or backwards whenever you choose without removing
it. The seat will only lock in forward or backwards mode, but seems
perfectly safe in the side facing ‘zoo mode'.
The bumper bar has a really nice padded cover and is gate opening from either side, great when trying to get a stubborn little one into their seat.
Lastly the footrest is adjustable to one of two positions. I really like the way it is covered in a wipe clean rubber material.
Folding the MYO-TRONIC could not be easier.
First you must remove the seat. To do this locate the red sliding lever between the seat and the footrest and simultaneously push in the little red button and slide the lever over. The seat can then be lifted away from the base.
Next you need to fold the frame, Locate the grey button up on the main frame beam up near the handle. Push this in and slide the catch you have hold of up to ‘release' the frame. The handle rotates forward and locks in place once it meets the base of the chassis.
Once folded the chassis is nice and compact and can easily be picked up by grabbing the beam at the top.
To unfold, squeeze the grey button and pull the release catch towards the handle. Now, lift the handle back into position. The chassis will click into place. Now just drop the seat in place and rotate it to your desired position.
The MYO-TRONIC is a genuinely well executed idea. It is a very high quality product packed with features. The Electric drive works really well and feels very natural almost immediately.
The fold is simple, the 360 degree rotation works really well and the seat is well designed. Best of all this pushchair sports very high quality materials and is exceptionally well made.
The only real area you will find frustrating is the ridiculously tiny basket. In this day and age parents expect a better solution than the one presented here.
The main problem I have is the price. At £1690 the MYO-TRONIC is very expensive, possibly the most expensive pushchair on sale in the UK right now. The good news is you can buy its non-electronic sister the MYO for just £590. This is great as it does everything the MYO-TRONIC does except self propel up hills. At £590 this is real value for money. We feel that adding over £1000 just to add electric drive should have an effect the star rating and have marked it down accordingly.
The MYO-TRONIC is an excellent product. It looks different for
starters, the 360 rotation is really cool and the electric drive just feels so natural. It is a very good product, it a shame is
costs so much as I think every mum living in a hilly town will want one!! If you love the MYO-TRONIC but cannot stretch to £1690, just remember the standard version only costs £590 and we gave that 4.5 stars in our review.
We give the Foppapedretti MYO-TRONIC 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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