When Pete and I were looking for a pram, we really bought into the ‘higher is better’ concept that Stokke sold with their Xplory series. I liked having Daniel closer to me height-wise, where I could spend a lot of time looking at him; I liked that he could face towards me when he was younger, and then outwards as he got older. Another consideration was that I have chronic back-pain; I was encouraged to see that Back in Action (a store specializing in back-friendly products) recommended the Stokke because of its height.
Far and away my favourite part of this pram is the styling of it. It’s gorgeous. Unfortunately, that style comes with a price. We had no idea what we were in for when we started looking at prams. At this moment we realized that having a baby was similar to organizing a wedding in terms of how quickly we could be relieved of our money – except worse. We made a choice then and there: we were going to either buy used or borrow as much baby gear as we could get our hands on.
The pram was the first purchase we ever made on eBay. We got it for less than half the price it would have been new (partially because it was located slightly outside of London), and it even included the winter sac, a diaper bag and a dummie holder (I really recommend one of these – it’s a tiny sac that clips on to the stroller or diaper bag and it keeps extra dummie at-the-ready – truly invaluable if you are using soothers).
From a maneuverability standpoint, we liked that it was the narrowest pram on the market. That meant that it could enter on the front of the buses in London, where as most prams need to enter the middle doors. It also has a great turning radius since the front wheels turn as well.
Because Daniel sits so high in the pram, it can be used as a make-shift high chair in restaurants. I really like that we can pull him up to the table to be with us while we’re eating, even though he’s too little to sit in a conventional high chair.
Once he was old enough to be out of the bassinet (around 3 months of age for Daniel) he could easily go from joining us at the table to reclined and sleeping, which made for some fairly leisurely meals for Peter and I.
Another issue to contend with is stairs. We don’t have stairs to get into our flat, so weight wasn’t as much of an issue for us, but the Stokke Xplory is a pretty heavy pram, and there have been occasions when I’ve been navigating a set of stairs solo, and no one has come to help me, when I have cursed the weight of this pram.
The wheels can fold together such that the back wheels are beside the front wheels, and this makes navigating stairs and escalators really easy, but I’ve had trouble getting the folding mechanism to work (apparently they’ve improved this on the new v4 version), and I actually forgot about this feature and always set about completing stairs the hard way. Another tricky part is that my diaper bag often gets in the way of this functionality. Perhaps if I used the bag that came with the pram this wouldn’t be an issue.
Another thing I would like to change with our Stokke Xplory is the amount of storage space it has. It’s pretty much just the sack in the front of the pram. While I’ve never had any issues with it – I did get a buggy hook (thanks Steph) from which to hang miscellaneous bags (NOTE: be careful on ALL prams that you don’t hang heavy bags from the handles of the stroller as it will cause the stroller to topple over).
Lastly, although Stokke infers that their pram is compact when folded, we found that it took up a lot of space in the trunk of the car.
This blog does a good job of ranking the three prams we were deciding between. (Obviously, I like that they came to the same conclusion as us).
Do you have a pram you love? Tell us about it – or be a guest blogger – we’d love to hear your views.