Reviews Pushchairs Baby Elegance Venti 2-in-1 Pushchair Our score Score breakdown Ease of folding/unfolding 5 3 Ease of pushing and steering 3 3 Comfort for baby 5 3 Style 4 3 Robustness/Durability 4 3 Value for money 4.5 3 1 of Ad break Continue slideshow > Continue slideshow > Continue slideshow > Review this product Our review Mums' reviews Specs By Anna Trapmore In a nutshell A reasonably-priced travel system with a 2-in-1 seat that's ideal for city use, but doesn't handle rough terrain well Pros Ultra compact Smooth, instant transition from pushchair to carrycot Faff-free collapse Comfortable for newborns Great value Cons Wheels too thin for patchy pavements and off-road use Hood could be larger Frame isn’t strong enough for a buggy board Compare deals from top retailers MadeForMums Preferred Partner Our review Key features: Age suitability: Birth until 15kg Type of buggy: Single pushchair Fold: Two-handed fold Travel system compatible: Yes Total cost: £349, plus extra for cup holder, footmuff Irish brand Baby Elegance produces everything from baby clothes to buggies, and makes a business to offer ‘superior… great value products you can trust’. The Venti 2-in-1 is competitively priced (£349) and sits in the middle of the travel systems market. Other pushchairs in its class include the Cosatto Wow (£370), Joie Chrome (£300), Mothercare Journey (£299), and the Ickle Bubba Stomp V3 (£440) although the Stomp also offers an ISOFIX base with its car seat. You can buy the Venti travel system at Baby Elegance, Argos, or Boots. Living in London means multiple public-transport trips for me and my two boys (Alex, 3 years, and Eddie, now nine months). When Eddie was born and we were looking at prams and buggies, the Venti 2-in-1 seemed a far more compact and nippy prospect than the Bugaboo Frog we used for Son Number 1. I was intrigued to see whether this streamlined, lightweight travel system would prove sturdy and comfy enough for a newborn. I also liked the idea of not having to switch to a buggy once Baby Eddie hit 6 months – but would the Venti 2-in-1 go the distance? First impressions? My husband and I loved how compact the Venti is, whether in buggy, carrycot or car seat mode. With its leather-look handle and charcoal-grey fabric it has a smart, business-like look, but lacks the wow factor you get with, for example, the colourful Diono Quantum or elegant ergonomic Joolz buggies. Still, it is a fraction of the price of the aforementioned buggies. 10 of the most compact folding buggies The best buggies for holiday-goers How does it compare to other buggies/travel systems you’ve used? This is more compact, lightweight and comfortable for baby than the Diono Quantum I recently tried, although the frame is less sturdy. What age child is the Venti suitable for? From newborn to 15kg, which is around 3 years. Although once your little one’s legs start to grow you won’t want to use the foot apron for the carry cot as it’s quite restrictive. How easy is it to convert the carrycot/seat unit? The conversion is immediate – you just pull out the lever at the top of the seat back. The first time I reclined the buggy I thought I had broken the lever as there’s a bit of resistance and you need to pull it out further than you’d think – but it’s a reassuringly sturdy feature so you won’t change angle quickly or accidentally. How easy is it to push? Very - on standard suburban/ city pavements and paths. It’s also fine on park grass. It proved a lot harder to navigate on country and coastal paths. I found myself often having to lift the front wheels on patchy pavements and reverse the buggy on steeper kerbs. This is also the first buggy I’ve used with a hand (rather than foot) brake and I loved the safety aspect of this: you can always see clearly whether the brake is engaged or not, depending on whether the lever is up or down. I would question how robust the mechanism is though. After a few months’ use the brake has started to catch slightly on the wheels after release, which makes a clattering sound as you go along and I’m worried it may become less effective over time. But there is a two-year warranty on the product and, five months’ in it hasn’t failed me yet. How is interacting with your little one when in the buggy? Good – you can swap the direction of the seat so it can be parent- and forward-facing. What do you think of the hood? The website blurb promises that the hood will protect in all weathers but I found it on the shallow side and a little frustrating. You can convert it from two sections to a more generous three by unzipping the fabric but our hood tended to pop back to its two-section position whenever we tried to pull it down further. That said, the hood is more generous than other buggies I’ve tried such as the Bugaboo Bee but still let the sun shine in on my little one’s face. How is it on public transport? Excellent. The swing-down handle means you’re never impinging on aisle space, while the buggy’s low wheels and narrow frame make easy work of bus and train aisles. How easy is it to store? Easy enough, although it’s relatively tall/ long if you keep the seat in the chassis when you fold it. We preferred to leave it assembled in the corner of our living room and swing the handle down out of the way, which wasn’t at all intrusive. Is the frame strong, durable? Fairly - but I would have liked to have attached a buggy board for longer journeys with my toddler in tow and the frame doesn’t feel sturdy enough to accommodate one. What do you think of the fold system? The best I’ve come across. I have always found collapsing buggies a bit stressful but this was very straightforward - you simply slide the foot pedal to the left and put light pressure on the handle bar to collapse. 10 of the best products for parents short on space What do you think of the handle? Excellent. Rather than sliding in and out to adjust, the semi-circular end of the bar swings up and down so you can fix the handle to suit your height - or swing it down and out of the way when the buggy’s not in use (although with a press stud either side you’ll need two hands to do this which isn’t always convenient). What do you think of the size of the seat unit? It’s reassuringly deep, so there’s no precarious balancing when you’re strapping your baby into the buggy. How many recline positions are there? Three in total: upright, halfway and horizontal. How comfortable does it feel for your little one? Very. Eddie has always slept well in the buggy, whether it’s upright or in carrycot mode. Cushioned inserts are provided for newborns but the seat is spacious and nicely padded with supportive straps that are easily adjusted as your little one grows. The foot rest is also adjustable to accommodate longer legs. What do you think of the carrycot? As a place for Eddie to nap it works well – it’s spacious and seems comfy. However, because of the angle of the attachments it can only be used as a carrycot when on the buggy frame. What do you think of the included Group 0+ infant car seat? This is easy to install, simple to use and seems to protect baby well but I would question how comfortable it is. The seat is at a reclined angle which didn’t look natural once Eddie grew beyond newborn age. The seat is well padded and seems sufficiently safe but not quite up there with specialist car-seat brands. I recently reviewed a Britax Romer car seat, and its side impact technology and adjustable head-rest definitely mark it out as superior. Does it fit in the boot of your car? Yes, it fills less than half the total boot space, although it takes up nearly all of the floor room of our Vauxhall Meriva. What age children is it best for? This buggy has suited Eddie right from new born to the present (he’s now nine months) and looks spacious enough to accommodate him up until he’s two years and beyond. How easily can you access the basket and is it big enough to store everything you need? It’s difficult to access from behind when the buggy is parent-facing - and it’s not always convenient to swivel your buggy round in a supermarket - but easy to fill when it’s forward-facing. The basket is a fair but not generous size – fine for a changing bag and the odd bit of shopping but I always needed extra bags for a proper food shop. What’s in the box? Pushchair with 2-in-1 carrycot/seat unit Venti Group 0+ Car Seat Raincover (fits both pushchair and carry cot mode) Newborn insert support cushion Carrycot footmuff Is it easy/hard to build the product? Really easy. I found the instructions and diagrams very comprehensive. It took around half an hour to assemble – a record for me! What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the item? For the first month or so of using this buggy I couldn’t fault it – it seemed to run smoothly on pavements and in parks. But on weekends away to the coast and countryside I soon discovered its limitations: the wheels are too thin for off-road use and were hard work on patchy pavements. I also wouldn’t entertain the idea of attaching a buggy board to the frame – a useful addition for longer strolls with my toddler. As mentioned, the frame doesn’t seem strong enough to take the weight of another child. I also wouldn’t have chosen to buy the full Travel System package. Instead I would have bought the 2-in-1 buggy for £349 and invested in a car seat separately (one with a more upright seat angle and an adjustable head rest for longer-term use). Who would the product be most useful for? First-time parents who are city or town based. Is there anything unique about this product? This is the first buggy I’ve come across with a ‘hand brake’ – a feature which gave me real peace if mind as you can always see whether the lever is up or down. Also, the swing-down handle is a neat, innovative idea: as well as being space-saving, it gives you more room to tend to your child than a slide-down handle would. What is the price? The set is £449 all in with no additional extras required. MadeForMums Verdict: The Venti is brilliant for town and city use - my husband and I loved how compact it is, both for storage and when we’re out and about. It’s narrow light frame, swing-down handle and low wheels make everything from pubs to public transport a stress-free experience. It’s also built with your baby’s comfort in mind and will take them through from newborn months to toddler years with some good sleeps on the move thanks to the smooth carrycot conversion. If it’s an off-road buggy you’re after though give the Venti a swerve as its thin wheels aren’t built for bumps. 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