|The buggy in snooze mode up on the hill, looking out over the sight and waiting for sunset|
We got the the Baby Trend Expedition LX Jogger just before embarking a 2 week stay at Glastonbury (because we REALLY love the festival...and work there - we're not that over-keen!) If you want to really put a pushchair through its paces, Glastonbury is a good place to start - there'll be crowded walkways, thick grass, hills, mud and miles and miles of walking round! We saw people there dragging round umbrella folds, but I have to say our festival experience would not have been the same without this awesome buggy.
Facts and figures:
- Locking front swivel wheel
- 16" rear and 12" front all-terrain bicycle wheels
- Parent tray with two cup holders and snack box
- Child tray with 2 cup holders
- Extra wide, ergonomically shaped rubber handle
- Can be converted into a travel system with a carseat
- Adjustable canopy
- Trigger fold packs the stroller away neatly, in one piece (wheels detachable)
- Quick release wheel system
- Multi-position, reclining, padded seat
- Fully adjustable 5-point safety harness and tether strap
- Footrest reflectors provide greater low-light visibility
- Extra large storage basket
- Lightweight steel frame construction
I tried this stroller out in on a last-minute shopping trip and was amazed at how light it was to push - I felt like I barely had to touch the handle to get it to glide along the bumpy tarmac carpark behind my house and I pushed it to the supermarket and back effortlessly. If you decide to break into a jog (which I did out of curiosity), remember to lock the front wheel first or the frame goes a bit wobbly as the front wheel can swivel.
Leo and I went down to the Glastonbury site a week earlier than Daddy, so drove down with a friend in a rather small car. However, the frame folds down into a very compact unit and the large back wheels pop off to make it even easier to store. This meant we were able to squeeze two-weeks worth of provisions for two adults and one baby into a very small boot space! The folding mechanism is simply - you pull two little loops under the handle and it just glides down. The back wheels are quick-release too, and the unit has built in handles at the side which make it really easy to lift.
The extra large bike wheels made getting around the site really easy. We were based up in the tipi village, so had to go through long grass on a daily basis - a stroller simply wouldn't have cut it! Although we had amazing weather this year, on Friday night the heavens opened and we found ourselves in the middle of the crowded Shangri-La zone, in the middle of the night, in inches of mud. The buggy was doing well but as the mud was getting thicker and more churned up into that characteristic festival goo, we lifted the buggy and fled back the green grass of our field! Thankfully it is such a lightweight design that it was easy to lift over the muddiest parts to prevent the tyres getting clogged up.
The seat is quite large so would definitely hold toddlers and older children comfortably - a great feature for parents taking slightly older children to a festival who are happy to walk but might get tired. We loved the adjustable reclining seat, as Leo naps a lot in the pram. The hood is adjustable, and can pivot right down meaning you can shade your child whatever the angle of the sun. The straps were secure and easy to adjust, even when putting a sleeping baby in for the evening!
The little snack box on the parent tray was the perfect place to store a few essentials - antibacterial hand gel, tissues, cash and spare change, mobile phone...this made it really easy to get to the things we needed most often without having to rummage around in the basket. Everyone who saw the parent tray exclaimed: 'a beer holder!', and the drinks tray is indeed great if you are standing still, but rough off-road terrain caused spillages from drinks left in the tray, as we found out.
I have to admit we did not use the original footmuff or raincover. The footmuff which comes with the jogger is very lightweight and doesn't really provide enough cover for a child sleeping in the buggy at night or using it in the winter. Therefore, we used our cosatto fleece-lined footmuff and a lambskin liner to keep Leo cool during the day but snug at night. During the night we dressed him in his thermals, wrapped him in a blanket and then strapped him into his buggy cocoon. This warm swaddling effect meant he slept really well - better than at home in fact! This meant we could have a great time at night whilst he slept soundly in his buggy nearby - AMAZING!
For the raincover, we used a generic mothercare cover which has little straps to attach it to the frame. We did not remove it from the frame but simply pushed it back with the hood when it wasn't in use, meaning we were always prepared for a downpour and didn't waste basket space on storing the cover.
The basked was great. On such a big site, you don't want to have to go back to your tent every time you need something, and with this buggy we didn't need to! We could carry round all that the three of us needed with room to spare in the basket. The buggy was also a godsend for getting all of our gear from the car to the campsite. We could load SO MUCH onto it, taking the route of carrying Leo in the sling on my front, a rucksack at the back, the tent and wellies in the basket, and a holdall of everything else in the seat (and a bag of food for Dad to carry...Mum the carthorse!) We even saw some parents who had come without their kids using the same buggy as a luggage trailer to get everything onto the site!
Pimp my Pushchair
We've seen some amazing done-up buggies for festivals and due to getting ours the day before we left, we didn't have a lot of time for customisation. However, the cosatto footmuff was nice and bright, and we added 5m of battery powered LEDs to make it visible at night to avoid collisions with high-spirited revellers and making sure we were always visible. We also added a few bike lights and a bike bell (though that was more for fun than any real practical need). Next year Ill definitely bring out the fun fur and add more lights, fabric flowers, the works!