Micralite have been producing lightweight buggies for many years now, we take a look at the Toro Nero, Micralite's ultra strong but ultra featherweight answer to an all-round pushchair.
Micralite are pros at creating the ultimate in lightweight, super maneuverable and alternative looking pushchairs. With quality British engineering, more and more parents are joining the Micralite family as they discover the ease of use of these innovative products. With four fabulous models currently in their pushchair range, the Toro Nero is Micralite's full sized single pushchair.
What's in the box?
• Chassis and seat unit complete with front wheels
• 2 x air filled rear wheels
• Raincover in storage bag
• Seat liner
The RRP of the Micralite Toro Nero is £450
• Basic weight: 8.5kg
• Folded size: 104 x 39 x 41cm
• Open Size: 102 x 90 x 60cm
• Suitability: 6 months plus or from birth if used with carrycot.
• Rider wheeled board £65
• Multi position handlebar extenders £22.50
• Footmuff £55
• Sun and bug shield £32.95
• Travel bag £39.95
• Car seat/carrycot adapters £28
The Micralite Toro Nero is available in Red, Grey and Blue.
The first thing that grabs you when you unveil the Micralite Toro Nero out of the box is its striking design...and then, how light it is to lift - just 8.5kg. For a full sized pushchair, this is pretty impressive.
The pushchair takes all of two minutes to assemble by simply popping the two 12" rear wheels on, unfolding and away you go!
There aren't many pushchairs on the market that the Toro Nero can be compared to. Micralite have defined themselves as being very different to other brands with their unconventional chassis style and the Toro Nero is no exception. The bolster straight spine of the pushchair is formed of two vertical bars which seem to be the central hub of all the action. The recline and fold mechanism are both located down this central spine of the pushchair. The stroller style front wheels are situated at the end of angular arms forming an almost tripod, bug-like creature design. The way the Toro Nero is put together just totally works. The jet black frame paired with the jet black wheels and jet black seat give off a really dramatic image, framed by whichever colourful seat liner that you choose.
The handlebar is yet another distinctive feature of the Toro Nero. As with the other Micralite strollers, the handles are designed with comfort of the pusher in mind and can be adjusted to almost infinite positions using the quick release spindle clamps. They can be used as two handles or you can even grab the central continuous bar if you need to steer with one hand, making the Toro Nero a doddle to manage whilst juggling those everyday parenting situations that we all come across.
The wheels on the Toro Nero add to the striking design. The rear wheels are rugged with 12" air filled tyres and the front wheels are small, solid stroller wheels. The rear wheel base is narrow and giving the Toro Nero its bullishly strong forward drive whilst the front wheels are super smooth and swivel round the tightest of corners. The front wheels can also be locked off using a quick flick of your toes, so if you fancy a walk on the rough side then the Toro Nero can handle that too. We began to wonder if the narrow rear wheel base would mean the Toro Nero would tip backwards, but the clever engineers from Micralite have obviously thought this through as it passed our tip test when laden with child and it was as solid as a rock!
The brake on the Toro Nero, although beautiful in its simplicity, does not leave for happy feet. The solid metal bar is pushed on and flicked off but the metal is angular and uncomfortable, unless you're donned in your best chunky boots. A little bit of rubber or handlebar tape would sort this in a jiffy.
The Toro Nero aims to please and has a shopping basket located in the centre of the chassis between the four wheels. The basket appears small but was able to carry a mighty load...much mightier than expected! If you can navigate your way around the central strap that runs over the top of the basket then you can easily fit a few bags of shopping and a changing bag in. Even though the basket can be tricky to access at times, Micralite have made sure that maximum space is available and the raincover has its own storage bag that hangs on the handlebars rather than taking up space in your shopping basket.
The seat is of a different shape and design to the Toro Nero's stroller siblings from the Micralite brand. The solid framed seat is covered in durable, thick, nicely padded black fabric which can easily be wiped with a baby wipe if your little passenger happens to get any grubby finger marks on it.
The seat is tall enough to accommodate your average sized 3 year old and has a maximum weight load of 15kg. Your little one can nestle snugly in the seat, especially when it is lined with the sumptuous foam filled liner.
It's worth a note that the seat is a bucket style seat, therefore if you need to use the pushchair from birth or before your little one is able to sit unaided, then it would be well worth purchasing the Air-flo carrycot. The seat unit fabric simply pops off the seat frame, unclick the hood and click your carrycot in. The Toro Nero is also compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix and Pebble, the Cybex Aton Q and the Besafe iZi Go car seats for use as a travel system.
The adjustable leg rest on the seat provides space for your little one to rest their growing legs when they are sleeping or it can also be popped down for when it isn't in use.
Easy to operate, the 5 point harness is operated with a one button release and is quickly fastened without a fiddle by clicking two sides in one by one. It is also comfortably padded with harness pads in the same bouncy breathable material as the seat liner - for some smaller babies, the harness pads may be a little too large but for older babies they act as a great snoozing pillow!
Reclining on the Toro Nero is rather like the fold - it's different, like nothing we have ever seen before on a pushchair. On either side of the rear column of the pushchair are pinch levers. By pulling up and squeezing down simultaneously, the seat can smoothly glide (no exaggeration!) into multiple positions from lay flat to upright. When in lay flat mode, the seat can feel like it protrudes from the frame a lot however it doesn't affect the effortless push in any way.
With ample coverage, the hood has an integrated visor to shield your little one from the direct rays. There is a peek a boo window in the top of the hood, however it is lined with mesh and is very difficult to see through without ultra concentration and a keen eye!
The bumper bar is a fab feature as many older babies and toddlers love to hold on to them whilst on their travels. The Toro Nero bumper bar pivots up and down but is attached to the hinges of the sun hood and therefore can not be removed unless you are willing to stroll without your sun canopy too. A gate opening bumper bar would of been a defining feature for the Toro Nero.
The included raincover has its very own cosy home so as not to intrude on your shopping space. If you're the shy and retiring type then the raincover may take some getting used to as it is constructed from a wildly bright fluorescent yellow material with a plastic viewing window for your little one. Even though it's super bright, it's a fabulous idea - on those black and bleak stormy evenings, you will be highly visible to traffic and other pedestrians and you and your little passenger will be kept nice and safe.
Nobody can argue that the drive of a Micralite is exactly that...light! On occasion you have to almost remind yourself that you are pushing a pushchair laden with child and baggage as it is in fact so effortless to push. The large back air filled tyres combined with the front swivel stroller wheels mean the Toro Nero is equipped for any terrain and will take you over it smoothly so both you and your little one have a smile on your faces.
Wow! If ever there was a unique fold, then the Micralite pushchairs do it at its best. With a simple fold that takes just seconds and only requires one hand, the Toro Nero will be a dream for parents that need to pop their pushchair up and down whilst on the go.
The fold action operates down the central spine at the back of the pushchair. The levers are clearly marked so there is very little need for the instruction manual to be hauled through for you to learn how to operate the fold. Simple squeeze the two pressure buttons together and draw them upwards towards the hood of the pushchair. As if by magic, the front wheels will tuck themselves in. The Toro Nero can be folded with the seat on, so there is no fussing around taking your pushchair apart before your travels.
The frame locks into place automatically and even stands alone when folded for easy storage.
To unfold the pushchair you squeeze the recline buttons together and push the seat all the way down until the lock mechanism clicks at the bottoms of the chassis. You can then use the same levers to adjust the seat to your required setting. When folded it forms a neat package, no larger than the seat frame.
The Toro Nero is as strong as its name suggests but not without being nimble and effortlessly light to carry and push. Micralite have raised the bar in the lightweight pushchair market by providing a full sized, feature packed pushchair that will get heads turning, but still serve a purpose in everyday family life.
With a few refinements to the harsh brake pedal and the fixed bumper bar, the Micralite could easily be many people's perfect pushchair partner.
If you want to stand out from the crowd with a different pushchair, but still have the bonus of functionality and purposefulness, then the Toro Nero should definitely be on your wishlist.
We give the Micralite Toro Nero 4.5 out of 5 stars