I am very familiar with the Britax brand, as we have used the Smile buggy and baby car seat since my second child was born 18 months ago.
It is a great brand, very trustworthy and reliable with a great range of products. It’s best known for its car seats but their range of buggies, originally launched in 2010, is making waves in the stroller world. And the Britax Affinity 2, is the updated version of the original Affinity model.
Launched to give parents the best of both worlds; it’s a sleek and sophisticated buggy, which is just at home in rural territory as it is in the city, thanks to its dual suspension.
It cost £495 for the pushchair and colour pack, (yes, you have to buy the hood of the buggy separately) if you want to use it from 6 months onwards. But the chances are, you’ll be buying this pushchair to use from birth, so you’ll have to spend an additional £120 if you want to add the carrycot. That’s a total of £615.
Still, the Britax Affinity 2 is a mid-range buggy that compares in price to the other pushchairs in its class like the Mutsy Igo (£699), the Babystyle Oyster 2 (£555) and Mamas & Papa Ocarro (£689).
You can buy the Britax Affinity 2 from Kiddies Kingdom, Amazon and Mothercare.
Britax buggies had a bit of a bad name for themselves in the style department, but this has all changed with the Affinity 2. You can choose from 3 chassis colours; white, black or silver and 6 colour packs – to me, this makes this buggy more akin to an iCandy, which is great!
When opening the box, I was relieved to see that the Affinity seemed to have a slicker, slightly more stylish design than our old Smile. I love the fact that there are colour packs available, which means you can switch up the colour and style whenever you get bored of the current colour! Perfect if you happen to have another baby of a different sex but don’t fancy buying a whole new travel system.
Buyer’s guide to travel systems
This buggy is being sold on giving parents “the best of both worlds,” – is it a good ‘city’ buggy and all-terrain?
The Affinity 2 is marketed as a buggy which can handle the rough terrain of rural areas as well as the smooth but hectic pace of city life. Can it? Yes it can!
How does it ride in parks, over tree roots, up hills?
We used the buggy on a couple of woodland like walks, as well as out and about in the shops and street and its lovely suspension makes for a very smooth journey. My 18-month son Teddy hates bumps – even when I drive slowly over speed bumps in the car, he protests loudly, but we heard no cries of discomfort while he was being chauffeured in the Affinity 2.
How does it work as a city buggy?
It is super easy to push and I was really impressed with the manoeuvrability of the buggy, and the suspension was a dream. It has lovely, squidgy leatherette handles (so much better than water absorbing foam) with a rubber centre, which is perfect if you need to push one handed for whatever reason.
How easy is it to assemble?
It is super easy to assemble, one of a few features that I am very glad are still apparent on the Affinity 2.
How is folding and unfolding the Britax Affinity 2?
It has a simple release system with a catch to keep your buggy from springing open. There are trigger buttons on the underside of the handle, which you just pull and, voila! I also like that you can remove the back wheels easily, thanks to their quick release function, if you are short on space.
Plus it can be folded without removing the seat.
How compact is it?
When open, the Britax Affinity 2 measures 75-107cm (height) x 60cm (width) x 101cm (length) and folds down to 66cm x 60cm x 33cm.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
It fitted neatly into the boot of our Qashqai, with plenty of room to spare for my multitude of bags, coats, boots, more bags and the shopping.
How lightweight is it?
It is relatively lightweight, thanks to the aluminium chassis, weighing a total 11kg. The chassis and wheels alone weigh 8kg.
What do you think of the height of the handlebar?
The handlebar is adjustable from 75-107cm; another big bonus for me. I don’t understand why this isn’t a basic requirement for buggies. Parents and carers come in all sizes and all heights.
If I’m pushing the buggy, I like the handles to be at their highest, as I am 5’9 but if my mum were to push it, I would need to push the bars down to their shortest option, as she is 5’2. So thankfully, we can all enjoy pushing Teddy along in his buggy. Instead of pulling the handles up or pushing them down to alter the height, you adjust the position of the handles, making it a much smoother and more comfortable process.
What age of child is it best for?
The buggy itself is suitable for babies from 6 months – 3 years (approx. 17kg) and after testing it out on Teddy (18 months) and Elijah (3 and a half) I can confirm that both found it comfy! If you get the carrycot, it is suitable from birth too, which turns this buggy into more of a travel system, which is perfect if you don’t want to faff around with different models.
How comfortable is the Britax Affinity 2 for your children?
Teddy is at that tricky age where he wants to run off and explore everywhere, but he is not old enough to know the dangers of when to stop, so keeping him in a buggy when we are out and about is still a necessity, but he doesn’t always approve. However, when we put him in the Affinity, he seemed immediately very comfortable and at home.
Our 3.5-year-old, Elijah, tries to sneak into buggies whenever Teddy vacates them, and when we asked him if he thought the Affinity 2 was comfy, he stated very firmly; “yes, it is lovely, I think I am ready to have a little sleep in it now.” Bonus.
The comfort of the Britax Affinity 2 was also highlighted by many of the parents who tried out the buggy in our MFM Forum product test.
And Karen2803 pointed out how the carrycot’s slight angle on the chassis was great for babies with reflux.
What’s the harness like?
The buggy has a 5-point safety harness, which is amazing because Teddy does have the magical ability to snake his arms, and occasionally legs, out of seat belts, but this kept him securely in the buggy with all limbs in the correct position! The straps are also padded, which makes it extra comfy if he is only wearing a light layer.
How is turning the seat from parent to world-facing?
Although we started using the Affinity 2 recently and used it world-facing, if I was to use it with a younger baby, I would take advantage of the parent-facing option. I loved having this on my Smile and I am so glad they incorporated it on the Affinity 2.
And thanks to the Click and Go system, it is very easy to release the seat, turn it around and click it back into place. This receiver system is also great for switching from the carrycot to the car seat to the buggy seat – it is very easy and simple to release, click and go!
What do you think of the brake?
A feature I love is the brake. It has a red and green button function, which is so easy to use and makes it obvious if you have the brake on or off, even if you are half asleep, which, for a busy working mama of two highly energetic boys is definitely a must-have! You can see at a glance if the brakes are on or not. Some buggies and strollers have such overly complicated brake systems, so this is a breath of fresh air.
What are the hood and rain cover like – what sun protection is offered?
The canopy is awesome! Not quite as big as the one on my City Mini Double, but an improvement on the older Smile model. It is an extending, adjustable canopy, which provides a very decent amount of coverage. The website states that it has UPF 50 + protection. I also love that it has a little window, so you can spy on your little one when he is (or isn’t) snoozing. The Affinity 2 also comes with a great raincover, which slides on easily – it isn’t a massive clear plastic thing, but a fine, perfectly fitted cover, with partial clear plastic and partial grey waterproof material.
What do you get in the colour pack?
The colour pack includes a seat cover (which is super padded and comfy looking) and you just need to slide the straps through the harness holes and your buggy will have a whole new look. It also comes with an apron, which is a great alternative to a cosy toes. You just use the poppers to secure the apron firmly to the buggy.
You can choose from 6 colour packs; Lagoon Green, Cosmos Black, Flame Red, Wood Brown, Ocean Blue and Mineral Lilac.
What did you think of the shopping basket?
The basket on the Britax Smile is huge, deep and spacious with easy access, but unfortunately the basket on the Affinity 2 is not as big and slightly harder to get to – although it is easier once you put the seat in the forward-facing position.
Are there any downsides?
Why, oh why, do buggy manufacturers ever think it is a good idea to give bumper bars a fabric cover? A baby’s or toddler’s hands are icky and grubby. They stay clean for precisely 12 seconds before you must get the baby wipes out again and before you know it, that momentarily pristine bumper bar is suddenly covered in rice cake crumbs, snot, dribble and half an egg sandwich.
They are a nightmare to clean (both baby and handlebar) and the nylon fabric just seems to cling on to muck and grub. Why it couldn’t have the same leatherette that is on the handlebar, I don’t know, as this is super easy to wipe clean. You can remove it and stick it in the wash but, honestly, who has time for that? But this is very minor and not something to put prospective buyers off.
Finally, the rivets in the seat. They are deep and all those crumbs from all of the snacks necessary to get me through an outing with the littles just get everywhere and I found myself fishing them out from every crevice, I even got the hoover on it at one point. However, this is also, not a big deal and you can very easily remove the covers on the seat and stick them in the wash if it gets very bad.
What’s in the box?
- Seat unit
- Colour pack including seat cover
- Carrycot (£120)
- Footmuff (£34.99)
- Car seat adapters (£25)
- All-terrain wheels (£65)
- Extra colour pack (£63)
All in all, this really is a fab buggy. The whole family have enjoyed using it and, thanks to the new more stylish take on the classic travel system (by Britax’s standards) the Affinity 2 can really compete with the likes of Cosatto and iCandy.
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