Norton are marching into the pushchair market with a cocky swagger, and justifiably so. When the Norton Storm achieved one of our highest review scores, back in January, we have eagerly anticipated the arrival on the Norton Pure to see if it can rival it's older brother. Well, wait no longer...it's here!
I have to say, the Norton Storm is a hard act to follow, it was nearly perfect in function and comfort. First impressions of the Pure are that it is equally lushious in fabrics and a different sort of good looking.
The Pure comes in two chassis colours; Ebony and Ivory, with the base seat fabrics on both being jet black. Accents of colour can be added using the Little Gems colour packs. Apart from adding light to dark base colour, the packs also contain a removable wedge that sits in the seat to flatten it out so that it can be used for a newborn.
What's in the box
The Norton Pure RRP is £450
The Norton Pure can be bought in a variety of combinations; pushchair, travel system: includes the car seat in matching fabrics, or the full package: includes the car seat and the carrycot. Great idea! You can buy in at whichever level suits your requirements.
Packing a punch
Starting from the ground up, the frame is where the Norton engineering comes to the fore, especially in the Pure. The meaty, 31cm, air-filled back tyres provide a cushioned but firm base. The front, 21cm plastic swivel wheels are simply to give flexible manoeuvrability.
A sturdy brake, denoted in red, is located in the centre of the back axle; it's firm yet flip-flop friendly.
The central wheel base, connecting the front and back axles, is where all the power is stored in this pushchair, tangible only when you go to fold or unfold the frame.
First, you need to retract the handle to its shortest setting via the slide and squeeze latch on the centre of the handle, which seems to be unnecessarily difficult to operate, it then contracts a little further when you press a small button on the right of the frame.
To make life easier, for the hard of thinking, the folding function buttons are marked in the order in which they need applied; number 1 is just above the brake pedal and number 2 is on the left of the frame. Push down on 1 with your foot and then pull on the trigger that is number 2. A firm steady weight on the handle will then click it down in-between the back wheels – voila – closed!
It has to be said, it's not a compact fold but this can be substantially reduced by sliding off the wheels. A little red switch on each side of the rear axle will surrender the back wheels and silver latches next to the swivel lock buttons will release the front wheels.
You can also achieve this fold with the seat unit in place as long as it is in the forward facing position. Once folded, the Norton Pure can be laid flat or stored vertically on its front wheels.
To open the frame, don't go hunting for a rudimentary plastic catch as I did. Oh no, the Norton Pure offers a far more sophisticated solution; pull on the trigger marked with the number ‘2' and watch out... the Pure jumps to life. The bounce on this beast is incredible thanks to the pneumatics, the suspension and the air tyres; it literally jumps off the floor when you let it go!
The basket is hinged from the frame so that it folds with the frame; it's not enormous but adequate.
The seat can be mounted in a forward or rear facing configuration by sliding the pegs on the seat into sockets on the frame; removing it is not quite so easy! The black release latches are difficult to access and apply. I found I had to release each side independently whilst holding onto the bumper bar of the seat unit so that when both sides were free I could lift it off. This puts your body in an awkward position and there's always a chance that having released one side, it can slip back into its socket while you are trying to release the other.
The seat itself is soft and looks extremely comfortable. Accents of a velour-like material feature in the seat pad and make up the predominance of the canopy. A button at the back of the canopy positions the chair in one of three angles; fully reclined, snooze and sitting up. It's easy to operate and located in a fantastic position.
The foam covered bumper bar, like the foot rest, can be angled in three different positions; however it does not have a gate hinge and leaves ugly sockets behind that stick out if removed altogether.
We first reviewed the Norton Monza car seat in the review of the Norton Storm. It is a 0+ car seat that's suitable from 0-6month. It clips onto the frame in the parent facing direction and is well padded all over making it look super cosy. A fleecy head hugger, canopy and apron are included. The chest pads and the apron are both trimmed to match the colours of the pushchair and both are emblazoned with the ubiquitous Norton logo. The carry handle folds back out of the way when it's not in use.
It forms a highly effective, protective cocoon around a baby to give you a seamless transition from the car to the chassis.
The Norton Pure has all the basic essentials included, such as the canopy, the raincover, a footmuff, a change bag, seat pad and chest pads. If you want to dress the Pure in different colours, the colour packs called ‘Little Gems' are £55.00. Not only do they adapt your pushchair to flatten out the seat to make it suitable from birth but also they are great value for money for a completely different look.
The canopy is vast and has a meshed window either side. It holds a firm shape thanks to the strong, arched supports and offers fabulous protection to your passenger.
The footmuff is soft and well padded with a lip that flips over the bumper bar. You can zip off the top to leave the base as a seat liner, however there would be little point in using this option as the pushchair already has a comfortable seat liner. This said it complements the pushchair beautifully and is cosy enough to make me want to climb in!
The change bag for the Pure is identical to that of the Storm but coloured to match the Pure. As the old saying goes: ‘If it aint broke – don't fix it!'. The only difference is that it doesn't' have the handy clip-on straps that attach to the handle to elevate the bag to a conveniently accessible height. However, we all love compartments, nobody wants their purse and keys buried under acres of nappies and wipes, so the front zip pocket, inner dividers and the small pockets on the shoulder strap are invaluable. Plus an insulated side compartment is designed to keep a bottle warm or cold on-the-go – nice touch!
With the Storm setting the benchmark for the best of the Norton range, it was always going to be a hard act to follow. The Pure doesn't quite 'nail-it' in the way the Storm does.
The good points on the Pure are really good:
It has amazing suspension. Even though it is not intentionally an off-road pushchair, you could take this just about anywhere. This, in turn, adds to the comfort for your passenger; the Pure would be a dream ride.
The automatic open comes into its own when you have armfuls of child and only one hand spare. Pull the trigger switch and you are ready to roll.
The quality of the fabrics, accessories and general build is excellent. There is nothing ‘tacky' about the Pure, it oozes a robust and plush finish.
The recline, another function you will use regularly, is really easy to execute.Why can't all reclines be this simple!
It's drawbacks are niggles that are not critical, but irritating:
The handle height adjustment buttons, that you are going to have to tackle every time you collapse the pushchair, are unnecessarily awkward.
There is no gate hinge on the bumper bar and when it is removed, it leaves the two ugly plastic sockets.
A grumble that did arise with the Storm and again with the Pure is the fact that the foot rest is covered with fabric. For me, this is always a negative as your toddler, with the best will in the world, is not going to have the inclination to keep it clean.
Norton are becoming a prestigious and exlusive brand in the pushchair market bringing some of the best engineering quality to the table. The Pure is good looking, adaptable and most importantly, comfortable. While some of the functions let it down, your passenger is going to be wheeled around in equisite comfort, giving you piece of mind.
We give the Norton Pure
3.5 out of 5 stars