First Look: Mamas & Papas Airo compact city pushchair
Ideal for city dwellers and day trippers, the Airo is suitable from birth, and has a one-hand, compact fold and multifunctional carry straps that turn it into a backpack
Mamas & Papas has been a go-to brand for new parents for decades. Now, just in time for summer, Mamas & Papas introduces the Airo, their most lightweight and portable pushchair ever. It’s been designed with travelling and city living in mind, as it folds easily and can be stored compactly. It can be used from birth (with a carrycot attachment) up to a weight limit of 22 kg (around 4 years old).
Why is the Mamas & Papas Airo special?
- When folded it should fit into most overhead compartments, coming in at a compact H25 x W45x L55cm. It fits easily into a car boot and will stand upright for easy storage at home
- It can go from buggy to backpack in minutes using the straps provided. It can also be worn over the shoulder, or the straps can be used to hang it up in a cloakroom
- It’s suitable from birth using the carrycot attachment. The pushchair can be folded with the carrycot still attached
- Unlike many lightweight compact fold pushchairs, it has an adjustable handlebar for comfort
How comfortable is the Mamas & Papas Airo for a baby?
A carrycot attachment is available to purchase separately, providing a safe and comfortable space for a newborn. I started testing the pushchair when my daughter was five months old, so she was getting towards the upper age limit of the carrycot. She still fitted comfortably, but I did remove the cushion at the head to give her more space.
I have never had a carrycot with a harness before, and I was impressed with this element as it kept her secure at an age when she could roll over and push herself up. The large hood and foot cover made her feel cosy and I was reassured she was protected from the elements. I can imagine a newborn would feel really snug inside it too.
I love that the buggy can be folded with the carrycot still attached. I have been known to pack a buggy on day trips in the past only to get to our destination to find I have forgotten to put the carrycot in too! It makes it much easier to travel without having to carry an additional item, and to store it in the boot and at home.
How does the Mamas & Papas Airo look?
I tested the special edition rose gold and dusk version and I love this style. The frame colour complements the dark fabric and everyone who has seen me with it has commented on how much they like the look. It’s available in 4 other colours: black, grey, mint and grapefruit.
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How does the Mamas & Papas Airo handle?
I was impressed by how easy the pushchair is to push as it is very light and manoeuvrable so glides along the pavements and steered well around the shops. The wheels are EVA, with the back wheels slightly larger than the front. It’s obviously designed for urban living, and not so much for uneven terrain, but I found it handled fine on short grass and smoother off-road paths.
The handlebar can be set to a range of heights which was a welcome feature for me as I’m only 5ft 1in. The leatherette handlebar is comfortable to grip and it comes with a wrist strap which is another welcome feature as it made me feel safer when pushing it down hills.
How comfortable is the Mamas & Papas Airo for older babies?
Once my daughter was 6 months old I transferred her to the seat. I also tested the pushchair this way with my 2.5 year old. There are three seat settings, both preferred the upright position of the seat which allowed them to see all around and grip the bumper bar. I liked the fact the seat can be quickly adjusted up and down by pulling a lever on the back of the seat as opposed to grappling with straps.
The seat fitted my baby perfectly but was a little snug for my toddler when the footrest was put up. He did like being sat upright when the footrest was lowered, as he could put his feet on the lower footrest attached to the chassis.
In lie-back mode, my baby was happy but as the sides are quite exposed it meant she didn’t fall into a deep sleep when pushed during her usual lunchtime nap, but this could probably be resolved by attaching the footmuff.
What do you think of the Mamas & Papas Airo fold?
One of my favourite things about the pushchair is how it can fold so compactly with or without the carrycot still attached. It has an easy fold, and though I have yet to be able to do this seamlessly one-handed, I think I could with a bit more practice.
It takes up hardly any space in the boot of my Ford Fiesta, and as it will stand upright when folded it can fit into the footwells of my car too. This is really useful for me as we have a dog who takes up all the boot space when we travel with him, so if we want to take a buggy too, we usually have to attach a roof box.
Storing it at home is easy too thanks to it being able to lie flat or stand upright when folded. It can be tucked under a table, in between furniture or hung in a cloakroom using the shoulder strap.
When carrying it with the strap, I find it most comfortable to do so with it over one shoulder. It can also be converted into a backpack with two straps. This wasn’t my preference, but it would definitely make taking a buggy on trains and planes easier.
What accessories come with the Mamas & Papas Airo?
The pushchair comes with a rain cover and travel cover for when it is folded.
Additional accessories include:
Some of these items can be bought as bundles which makes it cheaper than buying them all separately (more details on this below).
How much is the Mamas & Papas Airo?
The pushchair is £399 which includes a rain cover and travel cover for the folded buggy.
There are a number of bundles available to make it suitable to use with a newborn and for car travel.
- The “Travelling Light” bundle from £429 comes with a footmuff and cupholder.
- The “5 Piece Essentials Bundle” from £599 has the footmuff and cupholder, plus the newborn pack and changing bag.
- The “8 Piece Complete Bundle” from £799 includes the footmuff, cupholder, newborn pack, changing bag plus a Cybex Aton 5 car seat, car seat adapters and an Isofix base.
About the author
Lucy Waterlow is a freelance journalist. She tested the pushchair on walks round the park, supermarket shops and day trips with her baby and her 2 year old.