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Germany-based ABC Design has been making strollers, prams, buggies, high chairs and more for the past thirty years. The Salsa 4 Aire is an upgrade to its Salsa 4 pushchair, with new features like integrated suspension and extra space for your child.
Winning gold in the MFM Awards 2020, it's a competitively priced all-rounder designed to handle multiple terrains but without the cumbersome feeling of a heavy pushchair. The Salsa 4 Air easily draws comparisons with newborn pushchairs like the Mamas & Papas Ocarro or Silver Cross Pioneer, but without the significant price tag.
What were your first impressions of the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air?
I was thoroughly impressed with the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air from the outset; each part of the model I unboxed reflected its high quality, and I was surprised at how easy it was to put together.
I was also impressed by the price; for such a sturdy model, and one that looks that part, I was expecting it to be more expensive than it is. All things considered, I couldn’t wait to take it out for a spin!
How is it different to the ABC Design Salsa 4?
The ABC Design Salsa 4 Air is similar to the Salsa 4 (£699 on Amazon) – a previous MFM Awards winner – but benefits from some practical and stylish updates.
As well as coming in a range of colourways, with the option of rose gold or gold finishings, the Salsa 4 Air also boasts more robust wheels. All four tyres are pneumatic and benefit from a large tread, meaning the pram is not only easy to steer, but can take on different terrains with ease.
How does the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air compare to other travel systems you have tried?
Its spaciousness for the baby and sturdy suspension is comparable to the Mamas & Papas Ocarro which is more expensive (£799 from Amazon).
And compared to my usual pram, the Babystyle Oyster 3 – which is wonderfully nifty and compact – it’s far more robust and comes with a roomier carrycot, but it still folds down neatly.
What age is the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air suitable for?
The Salsa 4 Air can be used from birth with the carrycot or the seat unit which also lies flat, all the way up to 22kg giving it a long lifespan which was praised by our MFM Awards judges.
The roomy carrycot is suitable for babies up to six months, while the convertible seat unit is ideal for toddlers, particularly as it has the ability to recline.
Does the carrycot seem comfortable for babies?
Absolutely, it’s roomy enough (L77cm x W35cm) that babies probably won’t outgrow it before six months, plus its mattress is incredibly comfy.
My eight-week-old had no problem sleeping in it both in and out of the house. It can also be used for overnight sleeping and I found it to be as roomy and comfy as a moses basket, with the added bonus that it has a hood – handy if you want your little one to nap in it during the day.
What is the seat unit on the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air like?
Unlike some other pushchair models, the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air seat unit can lie flat, so can be used from birth in addition to the carrycot.
We found the seat unit to be comfortable and spacious. It was also easy to adjust and recline to the height and level you wanted, thanks to a simple lever at the back which just needs pulling.
How is interacting with your child when in the buggy?
While the carrycot seems spacious compared to the Oyster 3, my son didn’t feel like he was too far away from me when I pushed him – I just had to make sure I placed him at the top end of the carrycot, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see him!
What do you think of the hood on the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air?
The hood on the carrycot and the detachable hood on the seat unit are easy to put up and to collapse. Handily, the hood for the seat unit is expandable and provides SPF50 protection, eliminating the need to buy an additional sun shade or canopy.
How does ABC Design Salsa 4 Air fold?
The pram is incredibly straightforward to fold. To collapse, you simply pull two small levers, located just below the handle on the left and right bars, and the whole base unit folds down inwards and clips together.
Handily, the two back wheels can also be removed if you're short on boot space in your car.
How compact is the pushchair when folded?
The pram is surprisingly compact when folded (measuring L80.5 x W63 x H28cm) – we have a tiny porch and the base unit managed to fit into it, both with the large back wheels intact and without.
How lightweight is the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air?
With the seat unit weighing in at 14.5kg and the carrycot at 14kg, it’s slightly heavier than similar models such as the UPPAbaby Vista (12.6kg) and the Mamas & Papas Ocarro (approx 13.5kg), but its sturdy suspension and robust wheels more than make up for the extra weight.
How easy is the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air to push?
The ABC Design Salsa 4 Air’s steering is one of its best features, particularly as the pram can be pushed and steered one-handed – something I really appreciated given I also have a dog to walk!
The suspension has a generous bounce thanks to the ball bearings on the wheels; all I needed to do when approaching a kerb was to gently press down on the wheels using the handle – and that gave enough momentum to easily mount the kerb.
This was also one of MFM tester Samatha's favourite features, "The suspension is great on uneven pavements and it’s easy to push!"
How does the pushchair ride on smooth surfaces?
Again, another big plus point – this pram felt sturdy and robust to push on smooth surfaces, especially in comparison to my Oyster 3, which at times can feel slightly flimsy.
How does it ride on rougher surfaces?
Rougher terrains such as woodlands or muddy paths are no challenge for this pram either thanks to its pneumatic air filled tyres, which can take lots of bumps and jolts without making the pushchair feel shaky.
I happened to test the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air on a particularly rainy day, and even boggy woodland stretches and giant muddy puddles didn’t faze it. Its car equivalent would be a 4x4!
How did you find it on public transport?
I tested the pram on the train and I was able to get on and off from the platform easily thanks to the pram’s sturdy suspension.
What was your favourite feature of the ABC Design Salsa 4?
From its design to its sturdy suspension, it’s tricky to choose between its top aspects. However, the pram’s ease of steering, no matter the terrain, comes out top for me.
What are the brakes like?
I tested the pram on small inclines and hills – and the brakes worked faultlessly which MFM tester Samantha also found. To engage them, you simply step down on a small lever next to the right wheel.
What is the basket like?
The basket is easy to store things in and is pleasantly roomy – I was able to stow away my changing bag, along with a bag of shopping.
One thing to note, is that there’s a silver bar which cuts through the middle of the basket, which does limit the size of the objects you can place in it.
How did you like the look and design of the ABC Design Salsa 4?
The design and style of the Design Salsa 4 is one of its top qualities – a couple of mums even approached me praising its look. It certainly does turn heads and seems to stand out, as it’s a brand that isn’t particularly well-known in the UK yet.
I tested the Asphalt colour, which is a navy blue and brown combination, and I particularly loved the quality of the pram’s textiles as well as the vegan leather brown handle.
What’s in the box?
Are there any additional extras that you can buy for the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air?
Winter footmuff - £59.90
Apron - £29.90
Cup holder - £19.90
Changing bag - £69.90
Mosquito net - £14.90
Sun umbrella - £24.90
Car seat adaptors - £26.90
Is the ABC Design Salsa 4 Air good value for money?
At £699.90, this stylish and sturdy pram is most certainly worth the price tag. With its smooth steering, powerful suspension and sleek design – not to mention compact size when folded – I’ve actually now put my Oyster 3 to one side in favour of this impressive (and budget-friendly) model. It’s something I would – and already have – recommended to friends and fellow mums.
The ABC Design Salsa 4 Air is ideal for parents looking for a stylish pram at a reasonable price, which can take on multiple terrains whilst still providing a comfortable ride for your baby thanks to integrated suspension.
A brilliant all-rounder when it comes to newborn pushchairs given its ease of steering, all-terrain suitability and top-quality design.