Mutsy have been producing pushchairs since 1937 so they know a thing or two about transporting young children. We are focusing on the Mutsy Evo, a well priced, well made bundle...but is it right for you?
The Evo is another quality gem from Dutch company, Mutsy. We first saw the Evo, along with the Exo in Cologne last year where they were both untouchable prototypes in keep-out cabinets. Now they have been unleashed to the wider world and are available in the UK.
Like most pushchairs originating from Holland, the design of the Evo is precise, stylish and attractive. From the spokes to the leather clad handle, it oozes careful consideration. The contemporary chassis and use of high lustre fabrics gives it instant appeal which is a necessity if it's going to catch your eye and lure you in to find out more.
What's in the box?
The RRP of the Mutsy Evo is £399
The Mutsy Evo comes in Black, Bright blue, Brown, Navy Blue, Red and White.
The chassis is available in two colours, standard (aluminium) or black.
Although the Evo can be bought in its individual elements, most retailers will sell it as a bundle which includes the chassis, seat, carrycot and rain covers for the very reasonable price of £399.
To begin with the chassis seems sensible as this is the part that you will be interacting with the most. The handle on the Evo is unmissable, it's very long and can be angled anywhere from 103cms to flat against the back of the chair (which is actually stage 1 of the fold...more later). Clad in black leather it gives a good grip and a sense of classic car luxury. The buttons, to adjust it, are bit fiddly because it's hard to press them at the same time as trying to angle the bar to your ideal position.
Beyond the seat sockets is the footrest and the lockable 22cm front wheels. The collar around the top of the wheel connection controls the swivel lock; right to lock, left to release. They have an funky three spoke design, that looks a little like the Mutsy logo – a great detail demonstrating the understanding Mutsy have of the overall aesthetics.
The larger 29cm rear wheels share the spoke design of the front wheels. Both have EVA foam tyres which, in place of pneumatic tyres, decrease the overall weight of the pushchair.
The brake is a single pedal in the centre of the back axle that is foot friendly, regardless of your footwear. Spanning the width of the chassis, the large basket extends from the back axle up to the seat socket. You might mistakenly assume the basket is too shallow, but the mesh sides and the high connection at the front means that shopping or ‘stuff' can be lent forwards to make the most of the depth there.
The Evo is not a one-handed fold, but isn't complicated. Adjust the handle to swing all the way down until the two silver dots on the pivot line up. Then, squeeze the triggers on the left and right stems of the handle to allow the front wheels to fold neatly under the basket, while the handle sits on top. When condensed enough, the frame lock will automatically keep everything under control. The rear wheels pop off by pressing the hub, very handy if you want to shrink the footprint even further. A robust carry handle is located under the brake pedal to give you a reliable grip for transportation.
Unfolding is just the reverse of the fold but you do need to make sure you tackle it from the right position to make sense of it. Standing behind the back wheels, grab the frame at the lower part of the handle. If you are in the correct position, you should be able to flick the frame-lock off as you lift. The front wheels will then extend out in front of you, leaving only the handle to pivot out to the correct position.
As I've already mentioned, the seat fabrics on the Evo are lustrous, muted and subtle compared to those found on the statesman of the family, the 4rider.
The seat can clam shut (like the seat on the Babystyle Oyster) to make it more compact for storing or transport, however when it's mounted in the forward facing mode it can be folded in situ. When mounting the seat on the chassis, it needs a little assistance to hit the sockets squarely. The problem is the sockets are hinged so that they lay flat when the chassis is folded down, if they don't become fully vertical when the frame is opened the seat won't engage without a little help.
Removal of the seat is a doddle, it's simply a matter of squeezing the handles left and right of the seat to release it. The seat can be mounted in forward or parent facing modes, still leaving plenty of access to the basket.
A feature of the Evo that I really like is the lie-flat seat – not unique, I know, but for those not wanting to use the carrycot, it provides an adequate horizontal angle. In combination with this, the calf rest folds up to be almost vertical and can be tethered to the bumper bar to form an end stop to ensure your baby won't slide out. It makes a cute and compact pramette that will cover the few months when your baby is immobile and needs to lie flat.
The canopy of the Evo isn't huge, although it does have a zip-out section but this only expands it by a further 11cms. A sun visor can be flicked out at the front which in conjunction with the concealed segment makes it a reasonable size. A velcro close window in the rear panel gives you a chance to ventilate or spy-on your passenger.
Five point harnesses are common place on most pushchairs nowadays and the one on the Evo doesn't disappoint. It is made with soft, cotton-like straps and has both chest and crotch padding. It can be adjusted to four shoulder heights by simply posting the end bracket through from the rear of the seat and back through the required hole to lock of in its new position.
I love the recline... The large white handle on the rear of the seat makes it a one-handed operation and allows the back of the seat to be angled in one of four positions including vertical and horizontal. I'm not such a big fan of the bumper bar as it doesn't have a gate hinge to enable you to open it to load up. This becomes a pain when you are trying to sit a reluctant toddler into the seat by either slotting them in behind the bumper bar, or holding it in one hand while trying to control your wriggly toddler with the other.
The zip on the bottom of the calf rest conceals the strap that attaches the bumper bar to the calf rest. It seems quite a large pocket to merely stow a small ribbon with a press-stud on the end. Even though it makes no mention of it in the instructions, it's the perfect place to store your rain cover. This leaves your basket free for shopping, not clogged up with a rain cover that you have to take with you ...just in case.
Included in the bundle is the carrycot. It comes with adaptors which slot into the seat sockets. The carrycot can then drop onto the sockets in the parent facing direction. When in position, it makes an attractive contemporary pram which has plenty of room for your baby to stretch out and lie completely flat.
It has a flap on the canopy that acts as a window for baby, letting some light in under the otherwise dark hood. As with most carrycots, the rim of the canopy forms a handle which makes the bulky bed more manoeuvrable. It also has a carry strap that forms a ‘Y' shape over the bed. This needs to be disconnected when you have the carrycot in place on the chassis. It comes with an apron and a rain cover; both are tailored to fit maintaining the standards of quality found in the rest of the Evo.
A rain cover for the seat is also included which fits well over the extended canopy and leaves plenty of room for feet at the bottom.
An extra accessory that must be mentioned is the foot muff. Colour matched to the pushchair and lined with a soft contrasting fleece, it is super lux. It's thick enough to keep your toddler snug, even during the cold winters we've recently endured. On warmer days, the top panel can be zipped off completely to leave a very cosy seat liner.
There is a lot to like about the Mutsy Evo. For starters, it's a really attractive, modern looking pushchair. I love the fact that you can use it as a pramette and that the recline is so horizontal. Even if you don't use it for a newborn, most toddlers need a chance to zonk-out from time to time when you are out and about. However, the ability to use it as a pramette for a baby is only convenient if you don't buy the Evo as a bundle.
The basket is great, it's huge and accessible whichever way round you mount the seat. The seat itself is well padded and the fabric is soft and attractively lustrous. The cotton straps on the harness are gentler than conventional nylon straps, plus they are easy to adjust in height as your child grows.
Manoeuvrability of the Evo is excellent, even when it's folded; the carry handle is a great idea and it's robust enough to cope with the weight of the frame without breaking.
But there are some hiccups that need to be mentioned. Attaching the seat to the frame can be tricky if the sockets aren't completely vertical; this seems like a crazy blip on the engineering for such a practical pushchair. The bumper bar is also a little disappointing; the lack of a gate hinge adds unnecessary hassle to getting your child in and out of the seat. The large handle is great but I don't like the buttons mounted on the side to control the angle, they are fiddly to press and adjust at the same time.
Altogether, you have to weigh up the quality, style and the quantity of pushchair you are getting for your money; £399 for a pushchair bundle that will cope with transporting your child from birth with everything you need included is brilliant value for money. The Mutsy Evo has its faults but all in all it's a good looking and great value for money.
We give the Mutsy Evo 4 stars out of 5
Open size: H105 x L89 x W61cms
Closed size: H39 x L68 x W61cms
Closed size without wheels: H20 x L68 x W30cms
Seat: H49 x W28 x D21cms
Inside carrycot: L76 x W31 x D20cms