Having had the luxury of being able to be the first site to review the Mima Xari, we now have its bigger brother, the Mima Kobi in for inspection.
Problem: You want a stylish pushchair that is attractive and desirable but you are expecting your second child ...Bye bye style?
Solution: Mima Kobi, This contemporary pushchair has the ability to look good single and expands, without spoiling its good looks into a double when required.
Back in May we reviewed the Mima Xari, a must read review that marvelled at the unique looks of the Mima range. If you are image conscious and looking for something that nobody else on your High Street has, the Mima pushchairs are going to fit the bill with their cutting edge design and their price tag.
What's in the box
The RRP of the Mima Kobi is £950
The Mima Kobi is available in Silver on a Black frame (Cosmo) and Grey on a Silver frame. The white, in the above graphic is only available in sunnier climbs. The choice of liners extends to Black/Dark Grey, Sangria red/Dark Grey and Black/Silver (Cosmo).
The Kobi looks virtually identical to the Xari but is slightly larger in frame and seat, plus when the need arises, it can accommodate a sibling. It can also double-up to transport twins in carrycots – a particularly rare option for an inline tandem pushchair.
The frame on the Kobi has some subtle differences to sister Xari but the fundamentals are the same.
You immediately notice the polished alloys on the frame but not on the wheels, the reinforced, 90 degree hinge at the point of the fold, draws your eye in the same way attractive alloys add that ‘something extra' on a car.
The Kobi fold reminds me of an arm, with the alloy hinge being the elbow, folding first at the elbow, then the shoulder. If you fold your arm in towards your shoulder and then down, the Kobi contracts in much the same way.
It has two sliders along the handle, one with a safety button on the top. Pressing this safety button and squeezing both sliders towards you drops the foam covered, multi-angle handle at your feet. The folded verticals then lay flat on the wheel base, a smooth and uncomplicated procedure that leaves you with a substantial frame footprint of 85cms long, 64 cms wide and 42 cms high. If you want to minimise this, the wheels are a breeze to unclip; the front via buttons above the wheels and the back by pressing the hubs, this reduces length to 80cms and the height to 22cms, still not titchy, but remember this does have to carry two children!
It can be folded with the primary seat still attached in forward facing mode but the second seat has to be removed, either way the frame will stand vertically when folded to make storage a little easier. There's no chance of the frame springing open when you least expect it as the automatic frame lock clip is substantial.
In single mode the large, 30cms, foam- filled, rubber back wheels come with clip-on mudguards. When you buy the second seat, the mudguards are upgraded to wheel covers to stop the little fingers of the lower rider getting caught. The on/off brake sits in the middle of the back axle and is a doddle to apply.
Where the basket on the Xari is long and ‘nose' shaped, the basket on the Kobi seems a much more practical size. The changing bag slots into the basket space and is made from the same material as the seats. Inside, it contains a changing mat and an insulated bottle warmer plus two large netted compartments and one zip pocket. As a bag, it's quite masculine but exquisitely designed.
The bag will not fit onto the pushchair when the second seat is in place as the basket becomes the footwell for the lower child but it can be hung across the handle.
Two scoops please!
The seats on the Mima Kobi are slightly wider than that on the Xari, and just like the Xari seat they look like two halves of an egg with moulded seats inside. They are beautifully smooth, formed in an EVA foam material providing ergonomically supportive seats. The starter pack that comes with the Kobi contains all the elements to soften the edges; the seat liner, mattress and apron.
If you buy a second seat, don't forget you also have to buy a comfort kit which consists of a seatpad and harness. However if you are purchasing a second seat to use the carrycot option (i.e. if you have twins) you also need to buy another starter pack, making the total cost of your pushchair a phenomenal £1,275 and that's without a car seat, car seat adaptors, footmuffs or any other accessories!
The harness' plug through the liner and into foam shells in two possible positions. They are secured on the inside by slide-on fixings – a great improvement on the hours of re-threading you have to do on some pushchairs. Even the harness buckles are rounded and finished in a way that only a person with an eye for aesthetics would appreciate.
The foam covered bumper bars for each seat are hinged and gate-opening, giving you easy access to your passengers.
Now, the canopies are where the audience will be divided. Looks-wise, you immediately think – Armadillo! The top one has three panels that slide out over each other when extended or sit on top of one another when folded away, the bottom canopy acts in exactly the same manner but has only two panels.
Opening and closing the canopies is not easy and the dimple in the first panel is there to indicate where to hold to pull them open. I have to say that the double is easier than the triple panel canopy. They are more robust than you first think, the trick is to be firm, they seem to work better the more confidently you attack them.
If you are using both seats in the forward facing position, the canopy becomes a wall and with no peep-hole window - you cannot see your child at all. Plus, depending on your height (i.e. if you are short like me!) it's difficult to see over. I don't like the canopies in practical terms but they are an integral element of the iconic overall shape. Even though I am short, I am sure I would still use the single seat on the highest setting as it looks so impressive and like a Stokke Xplory, it's great have the ability to be so close to your child without actually carrying them.
Cracking the egg
If you remove the primary seat unit from the Kobi frame you can then unleash it's split personality. Unzipping the waterproof zip that runs around the entire perimeter of the seat will allow it to open like a clam to reveal the flattened, peanut shaped, carrycot. Discard the shell and then erect the carrycot by sliding the rigid plastic supports into place. Insert your mattress and voila – carrycot! The canopy and the bumper bar can then be attached to complete the ensemble.
When you buy the second seat, you can choose to have a carrycot (£225) or non carrycot (£160) version, a difference of £65. Obviously whichever you choose, will depend on whether you are accommodating twins or siblings or whether you are buying the full version with a view to being able to sell it later to a wider audience.
Keeping your distance
The top and the bottom seat brackets can slide up or down the frame depending on which configuration you require. The child in the bottom bunk will be at a constant recline of around 45 degrees as it isn't possible for this seat to sit anymore upright, plus it's view is impeded by the top seat even when it's in its highest position. Such is the trade-off of a tandem, the back seat is always going to have some compromises. With the carrycots in place, they look a little stacked but with twins you are always going to have one of them facing the bottom of the other if you use this style of pushchair.
The Mima Kobi is definitely a pushchair that will get you stopped in the street, it certainly stopped us in our tracks at Kind + Jugend last year where Mima had a stand. On display, they had all the different possible combinations of the Kobi that looked amazing before we even found out that its seat concealed a carrycot. They displayed the white version which is not being sold in the uk but probably more appropriate for sunnier climbs.
The clever concealment of the carrycots within the seats is only clever to a point. For starters, you will still have to store your chair shells elsewhere while the carrycots are in use. Then, when you are finished with the carrycots you will have to carry them around for the duration, within the seat units, only adding to the overall weight.
In my opinion the carrycots should be separate items, after all it's not as though you need carrycots to hand, just in case! If they were separate, the shape of the seats could be exploited for further innovation, such as integrated rain covers or mosquito nets, or even storage - which is always at a premium with two children on board.
Over and above the sum that many parents are willing to budget on a pushchair, even the most aspirational pushchair-o-holic will struggle to convince their partner that this contemporary chic is value-for-money.
The Kobi is a dream to push and amazing looking but does trade some practicality for style. Future versions of this pushchair will be amazing and worth looking out for. This seems to be the concept car to the more practical equivalent to come.
We give the Mima Kobi 3.5 out of 5 stars
Size open: 126 x 112 x 64cms
Size closed with seat: 86 x 58 x 64cms
Size closed without seat: 86 x 42 x 64 cms
Weight: Chassis 11kg
Chassis with one seat 15.2kg
Chassis with two seats 19.4kg