Excited, speechless, giddy – just a few of the words I would use to describe myself when I was offered the chance to review and keep a Stokke Xplory V3 in fabulous purple (my colour for the season). I had originally looked at these when I was pregnant with Little Bean but I quickly dismissed it as it was out of my price range. I’m always trying to make our money go that little bit further but I have realised with a few things just recently that you “get what you pay for” and so I am starting to pay a little more for better quality.
The Stokke Xplory wasn’t totally new to me as my friend Karin (Cafebebe) already had one for Little Miss, however it wasn’t until I attended an event in London with her in December last year that I actually had the opportunity to push it myself (Karin is quite protective over her Xplory!!). I had always assumed because of its size that it would be quite a heavy bit of kit but I couldn’t believe just how light it was and so easy to steer. I was also surprised at the number of people who stopped us in the street to admire it, many of them men!
The good thing about being a second time Mum is that you know before you start out what you would like to do differently. The only thing I instinctively knew I wanted to do differently with Beanie Boy was to get a pushchair that can be used parent or forward facing right through to toddler-hood. When Little Bean went into a forward facing pushchair I missed the interaction we had previously enjoyed and for a time I felt like we didn’t communicate very well. With Beanie Boy this will not be a problem because with the Stokke Xplory V3 he can be parent or forward facing for the duration of his pushchair years.
The seat has 3 recline positions, upright, recumbent or fully laid back which means it is suitable for use from birth. Personally I have never used the fully reclined position as I found the recumbent position was really good for Beanie Boy’s reflux. You can even determine the height of the seat by sliding it up and down the main support column. If we are out walking with Little Bean I tend to have him on the lowest setting so that they can see each other but if I’m out with him on my own then I have him on the highest setting so that I can talk to him and constantly plant kisses all over his head! In the forward facing position there are two recline positions – upright and recumbent.
Forward facing is also really good when eating out because you can set the seat to the height of the table and not have to worry about moving little one into a highchair and if you put the brake on they cannot roll themselves away from the table.
From the parent’s point of view I like that you can adjust the handlebar height to suit, Hubby and I are quite tall so we like to use it on the highest setting, you can also adjust the angle of the bar. When we are in big open spaces we can even lower it all the way down so that Little Bean or Curly can have a go at pushing. Beanie Boy loves this as they just tend to make each other laugh all the time.
One of the best features for me has to be the hood, finally someone has taken note and put a hood on a pushchair that actually covers the child and can protect them from the sunshine. It even has a further pull out panel for when the sun is low in the sky.
The front bar can be removed for ease of putting baby into the pushchair, adding toys or just because you want to! For smaller babies there is an insert in the seat which makes it more comfortable for baby and makes the straps fit baby better. The footrest is also fully adjustable so will fit the shortest legs, right through to the longest toddler legs. Stokke really have thought of everything for this pushchair, it will take your baby through every stage of needing a pushchair to walking.
We also have the footmuff which I think has to be one of the best on the market, it is extremely plush and warm with a zip up feature at the top which forms a hood around baby to ensure maximum warmth.
The frame itself is very sturdy and even though mine has been bashed about and had to share boot space with other pushchairs, it has been scratched a few times on the frame and on the fabric but with the help of magic baby wipes, it always comes up looking like new.
The Xplory V3 basic package comes with a rain cover, mosquito net and shopping bag. Other accessories available to buy include the pram pack, changing bag, changeable hood and covers and umbrella so that you can fully customise your pushchair.
In my opinion there is only one downside to this pushchair which I think most Xplory owners would agree with is the size when folded for storage. It is very large but I have carried it in the boot of my old car a Seat Altea with a first bike and another pushchair so it does fit. I now have a VW Touran and it fits comfortably sideways across the boot with plenty of space for a double buggy AND shopping!!
The big question would be, if I had the money to buy this pushchair, would I? Erm, that would be a big fat yes!! I love this pushchair and I’m not giving it up anytime before Beanie Boy decides to walk!! And maybe then I will get a small dog which I can push around in it!?!