Mamas & Papas Sola City

Our score

Mums' score

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In a nutshell

A compact buggy with a light and easy push, this is great for city living and taking in holiday.

  • Pros

    Lightweight (10kg), easy to collapse/carry, car friendly, good room for shopping basket, large canopy for sun/rain

  • Cons

    Framework easily scuffs/chips, padded inner lining frays easily, slightly bumpy ride, doesn’t feel that solid, garish colours available, tyres hold onto dirt

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Our review

You can pimp your pushchair to your own taste with the light, sleek and easy to handle Sola City. Convenient and compact, you’re able to customise it with your own choice of fabric and chassis. Made by the award-winning super buggy brand Mamas & Papas they claim it’s “amazingly adaptable”, contemporary and simple to manage.

Mamas & Papas pushchairs have won plenty of awards including the recent Mother & Baby Best Buys Awards 2014 (Urbo received a bronze award for Best Travel System, and Sola City’s predecessor won bronze in the Best Pushchair category).

We road tested the buggy with 4 month old Lyla in Greece on holiday – getting in and out of taxis, on beaches, through Athens, shopping, eating out and plate smashing.

Out of the box

I tend to have problems turning on the TV and am allergic to instruction manuals, but this was very easy to assemble and understand. I was worried that it would take ages to get the knack of folding the buggy, but it was easy enough for those of us with little-to-no patience.

How was it to push?

As the name suggests, it’s ideal for city living or wherever your wheels take you. My first impression of the Sola City was how light it was (10kg). So light, I had to check I’d remembered to put the baby in.

I loved gliding along with my-four-month old Lyla. I was even able to push with one hand and answer the phone with the other, which was revelatory.

Going for a walk doesn’t feel like a chore as it does with my older, heavy duty pram with a dodgy wheel, however it does feel like a giant gust of wind could potentially knock it over and I wouldn’t be happy manhandling it or taking it over the muddy terrain at Buggy Fit because it doesn’t feel very robust or like it could take a bashing well.

After using it for a few weeks the wheels have become quite noisy and I’m not 100% all is still ok down there – I’ve heard stories about wheels flying off but only time will tell.

How light is it?

My favourite aspect by far was how light it was. It can be folded down and picked up with one arm. It doesn’t feel like you’re about to put your back out each time you lift it into the car.

And because it’s so light, you can fill up the shopping basket on the bottom until your heart’s content. There’s also great room below for your changing back and the kitchen sink.

The large canapé means it’s good for both sunny or rainy days as the UPF 50 fabric hood protects against UV rays (and most likely drizzle), but I did have to use my scarf over the top at times to guard off all sunshine.

How durable was it?

The padded interior is pretty cosy but I was gutted when the material caught on something and frayed after only two weeks.

My all-black buggy looked so sleek I was devastated when I found chips and scratches on the side of the chassis – it *had* been in and out of a car daily and on an airplane ride, but I didn’t think it should mark so badly so quickly.

I was surprised after such a short space of time my new toy was already flawed. Maybe a silver frame would show off less scrapes? I was also annoyed by a tear which appeared suddenly in the foam grip handle and the cover on the bassinet seems tricky to press stud on.

How was it on holiday?

While on holiday in Athens it was perfect for shopping trips (not too big to get through aisles) and getting on an off of public transport (helped by the rotating front wheel).

Long walks and trips to the beach were fine for the pusher and pushee. It even managed to be dragged through sand. The Aton Car Seat (£135) the adaptors also fit my Be-Safe car seat well.

It fits easily into my car boot with plenty of space and I would happily take it on holiday again although I’d prefer to bubble wrap it because the black frame gets battered easily.

It’s perfect for taking to the shops, rain or shine, and will hopefully see Lyla through the toddler years. However my four month old is already nearly taking up the length of the bassinet, so not that great for long babies.

How comfortable was it for baby?

Aside from its now slight imperfections I love using it and Lyla is very happy in it, however, because it’s so light it’s much bumpier for babies compared to a heavy-duty pram, but she didn’t seem to complain.

How easy is it to fold?

It can only be folded down when the carrier is facing forward, so you have to take it off and turn it round each time, if you prefer to stroll with your baby facing you. But with a simple click and lift, it’s easy to do and won’t induce a meltdown.

In the box

  • Pushchair £299
  • Black chassis 
  • Hood
  • Liner
  • Shopping basket
  • Universal rain cover

Optional extras

  • Sola City carrycot £115
  • Urbo/Sola/Zoom/Moove Car Seat Adaptors Aton £29.95
  • Sola City Newborn Liner £19.95
  • Cold Weather Footmuffs £64.95
  • Stroller Cup Holder & Toddler Handle £18
  • Aton Car Seat £135

MadeForMums verdict? 

A super-sleek, cool-looking buggy for mums on the go or as a travel buggy. Lightweight and easy to collapse and carry, it makes life a lot easier when you’re constantly in and out of cars, shops and restaurants.

I’d definitely recommend it as a travel or second buggy, but I’m not sure how robust it is because it’s so light and whether it’ll stand the test of time like other stronger contenders.

It’s far more chic than a regular pushchair - and a little pricier – but is great if you are comfortable with a bumpier ride and don’t have a giant baby.

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