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Known for its award-winning Oyster travel system range, UK firm BabyStyle has pitched its new Imp model as a practical, lightweight buggy that can be used from day one up until your child no longer needs a pushchair.
The BabyStyle ethos is to offer affordable products without sacrificing on safety, comfort and quality and the colourful Imp hits the brief. It’s light and low cost, but it offers great handling, easy folding and looks smart too.
What’s in the box?
- Instruction booklet
What extra accessories can you buy?
- Footmuff – £40
- Changing Bag – £40 (can be matched to colour of pushchair)
- Car seat adaptors – £19
- Maxi Cosi Cabrio Fix car seat – £94
- Maxi Cosi Pebble car seat – £94
How easy is it to assemble?
It is very easy to assemble the BabyStyle Imp – it took me less than five minutes to get it up and running.
Although the instruction booklet offered clear, visual instructions, I didn’t really need to use it as I simply had to slot the wheels on, attach the hood by sliding on to the chassis and ta-dah!
The Imp is billed as lightweight, but how light is it?
At 7.1kg the Imp is lovely and light, making it easy to carry about – especially when using the useful carry handle.
Its lightweight frame also makes it easy to manoeuvre with little effort – it was perfect to steer even with one hand while I held my four-year-old’s hand in the other.
How comfortable is it?
The seat is quite roomy with good width and height although it is slightly shallow with just a 23cm depth.
The fabric has quite a crispy polyester feel to it, as opposed to a smoother, more comfortable cotton. But there is some padding to the chair and my 18 month-old certainly seemed happy enough – even falling asleep during one of our outings to the park.
It’s easy to recline the seat into one of four positions using the backrest adjustment lever at the back – one nice touch is that you can do this quietly without disturbing your child. And I like the way you can move the leg rest up and down to support different leg sizes.
With that said, the footrest seems to be at an awkward position – a bit too far back under the seat for feet to rest comfortably on. When my friend’s 28-month-old daughter sat in the pushchair, her feet kept slipping off the footrest.
So how does it push?
We had lots of fun trying out the pushchair at various locations including on a bus journey, walking to our local park, around the supermarket and in shops. It felt solid but light and incredibly easy to manoeuvre.
The Imp has a rear suspension, which gives a smoother ride and is ideal for navigating around small spaces and it was easy getting the Imp onto the bus and into lift.
But it didn’t fare very well on the cobbled streets of York city centre and I had to put serious legwork in to get it over the grassy paths in our local park, even when the wheels were locked in fixed-wheel mode.
Tell us more about the wheels and brakes?
The Imp has four small 15cm rubber wheels, which manoeuvre well on smooth surfaces and can be easily removed for cleaning.
The front wheels can be used in swivel-wheel or fixed-wheel mode and it’s easy to switch between the two.
While the wheels are perfectly adequate for a nippy urban buggy, where we live there’s a lot of grassy paths and uneven woodland walks and I certainly missed the big rear tyres of my Bugaboo.
The brake is operated using a foot lever next to the right-hand rear wheel, which is easy to do but each time we flicked the brake lever off, the left wheel always jammed slightly and jerked the pushchair before riding smoothly again.
What do you think of the handlebars.
I’ve always liked having one handlebar on a pushchair for better control, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Imp’s two foam handlebars, which curve inwards for a nice comfortable grip.
With the two handlebars, you can still easily push the buggy with just one hand without it veering off in a different direction.
However, my husband was less keen as he found the grips to be rather loose and they moved round under his fingers when he was pushing the buggy.
As a tall man, however, he did appreciate the height of the handlebars – it’s just a shame you don’t have the option of adjusting their height.
Is it durable?
Even though the Imp is light on weight, its aluminium chassis feels strong and well-finished. And the fabric, although lacking in softness, is decent quality and would be easy to clean and maintain.
But I can imagine I would quickly lose the crotch pad on the harness as it kept falling off during testing and the foam handlebar grips also feel loose.
How does it look?
The smart-looking buggy comes in a choice of five vibrant colours – Grape, Black, Tomato, Ocean and Lime – and is surprisingly stylish for its low cost.
I like the touches of white on the handles and wheels, and the silver colour of the chassis frame.
What do you think of the folding system?
When folding the pushchair you need to close the hood, push two lock buttons on either side of the chassis until they click and pull the closing handle upward until the legs squeeze together and engaged the handy travel lock.
That may sound complicated but it’s ridiculously easy to fold away. I’m the type of person who can overcomplicate simple steps, but even I managed to fold the Imp on my first attempt with ease.
How compact was it when folded and how easy to store?
The Imp has a compact telescopic fold and a centred carrying handle making it easy to carry and transport.
It also stands by itself nicely when folded making it perfect for people with limited storage in their home. And it fitted nicely into our Ford Focus car boot leaving plenty of space for other stuff.
As it is rather long though, it only just fitted in lengthways so I would recommend you measure your boot to see if it would fit. The Imp is an ideal buggy for taking on holidays.
Tell us about the harness?
The pushchair has a five-point harness with two shoulder straps, two waist belts and a crotch strap, which can be easily adjusted to suit your child.
The straps are all connected up together which makes it easy to buckle up and unclip. While the shoulder pads are nice and thick, I found the crotch pad rather troublesome as it kept falling off or twisting round.
I’d also prefer if the buckle had rounded edges instead of the sharp plastic pointed edges found at the back.
What do you think of the hood and raincover?
Unlike some low-cost strollers, the Imp comes with a decent sized hood, which can extend to cover your child from the elements.
There is also a nifty viewing window, which I really liked as I used it to keep a watchful eye on my little one – a nice feature for a forward-facing pushchair.
The raincover is one of the easiest I’ve ever fitted – it’s just a case of placing it over the stroller and fastening Velcro straps to the front legs and at the back. Thankfully, it is also a raincover that folds away just as quick.
Would you recommend it for use from birth?
Despite the Imp being billed as suitable from birth – because of its lie-flat position – the seat is only slightly padded and you can still feel the chassis, which can’t be overly comfortable for your little one.
I personally would prefer a sturdier but softer and more covered bassinet option for a newborn baby that is also parent-facing.
Saying that, the Imp is compatible with a couple of Group 0+ car seats, which gives you an extra option for transporting your baby.
What car seats is the Imp compatible with?
With additional adapters (£19) the Imp is compatible with Maxi Cosi CabrioFix and Maxi Cosi Pebble.
What is the basket like?
The mesh shopping basket under the seat is one of the Imp’s disappointing features as I often go to the local supermarket to shop and like to cram things into my pram’s storage.
Because of the pushchair’s structure, the chassis frame blocks you from accessing the basket properly, which limited me to sliding small objects through the gaps.
You can unhook the basket using loops at the side but getting it reattached is so fiddly and time consuming that I wish I hadn’t bothered.
There are two clips at the bottom of either side of the handlebar which you attach bags to but would rather have a basket I can use.
The Imp is affordable, lightweight, easy to manoeuvre and a nifty pushchair that is easy to carry and transport. Its price tag of £129 is fantastic value for a pushchair that will last you from birth until toddler years.
But families that like to spend time outdoors would do well to invest in a more robust pushchair with wheels better suited for different terrains but the Imp is perfect for taking on holiday or for urban living.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:109cm W:52cm L:88cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:103cm W:28cm L:23cm|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Accessories included||Raincover, Casual bag (changing bag), sun canopy|