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The Britax B-Smart has been tweaked (technical term). Released last year to great reviews (MadeForMums gave both the B-Smart buggy and B-Smart travel system 5 stars), the B-Smart buggy had some minor adjustments in 2011. Following feedback from mums and dads, the B-Smart now has a smaller hood with extenders to make it grow with your child but be compact at first, a lighter chassis, a flatter lying position and an included raincover (my bugbear when I reviewed the B-Smart last year was the lack of raincover).
The Britax B-Smart is available in either a 3-wheel sporty version or as a 4-wheeler buggy, and when sold just as a buggy it’s around £329.99. It easily converts from a buggy to travel system by adding any of the three compatible Britax car seats, all of which use the simple ‘Click & Go’ attachment. We tested the 4-wheeler B-Smart buggy with the Group 0+ Britax BABY-SAFE plus SHR car seat. That ‘SHR’ stands for ‘single handed release’.
The list of features on the B-Smart goes on forever, as it needs to in this competitive marketplace. We all expect our buggy to do everything and the B-Smart certainly has a go. Suitable from birth with a lie-flat seat position, the B-smart has a very lightweight aluminum chassis, puncture-resistant tyres (that’s non-inflatable to you and me) and can be set up to be either forward facing or rear facing.
This is a buggy with useful pockets where you need them (in the shopping basket) and with a bumper bar that pivots to easily let you strap in your baby with minimum fuss. Optional extras include a soft carrycot or carrycot.
The colours for 2011 included a lovely ‘Purple Rain’, which we tested and received a few compliments on whilst out and about, and 2012’s colours are Blue Atoll, Neon Black, Black Thunder, Desert Sand and Chilli Pepper.
Having tested the original B-Smart in 2010 when it first came out, I was keen to see how the 2011 changes affected this workhorse of a buggy. Straight out the box our test model didn’t disappoint, assembly was so simple and really took very little time.
What we love
As a travel system, the Britax B-Smart really works. The ‘Click & Go’ system is fantastic, especially if you have the Britax BABY-SAFE plus SHR car seat as we did. This means that you can attach or remove the car seat from the chassis with one hand. This is a real bonus if, like me, you have other children to hold on to in a busy car park.
Other advantages to the B-Smart are that it unfolds one handed and the chassis easily clicks together. This is really helpful when you’re in hurry, or as I seem to be, constantly getting the buggy out of the car in torrential rain! The fact that we truly could click and go was great – there really are no supplementary bits to do as with some other travel systems.
The revamped hood on this B-Smart has been well thought-out. It is still very large and provides a good deal of coverage when in a shower. The best bit though is the zip around the middle, which extends the hood further, adding a sunshade to the list of useful bits on this buggy. When the sun did come out (only occasionally mind, this is Britain) it was simple to shield baby Freya’s eyes. The hood has been made a little more compact to reduce the folded size of the buggy and now comes with extenders to make it large enough for a bigger child.
The Britax B-Smart manages to cater for all sizes of baby. The seat hasn’t changed much in this 2011 model and would still be great for a small baby, especially now that it does recline even flatter. Freya is now 1 year old so we had the seat upright, buggy facing me, and there was plenty of room. Unlike some buggies on the market, the B-Smart looks as though it might be big enough to last out a child – the seat is both wide and deep and once the apron is removed there’s no limit on leg length.
The new and improved B-Smart is also 1kg lighter, has a double depth basket and is easier to manoeuvre, so is ideal for getting about town. The B-smart now folds a little smaller and as it’s so much lighter, it feels like a real option for those with smaller boot sizes.
The seat padding seems to have been improved and the harness covers are now definitely softer on the skin, making the B-Smart a cosy place to be.
Britax has thought of most of the possible things you could want from a travel system. The one-touch on/off break is definitely the easiest I’ve ever used and the handle adjusts to accommodate both my husband’s 6’2” height and my 5’3” frame.
What to watch out for
There really aren’t any major flaws you can point to with the B-Smart travel system. The shopping basket is still a little low at the back and I worried that things might fall out but I haven’t lost anything yet. The non-inflatable tyres weren’t as easy to push as inflatable ones, but again not enough to make me complain.
The tweaks to this travel system now mean you get a raincover included in the price, however this gain is offset by the fact that the apron doesn’t come as standard any more. To make this travel system perform at its best you’ll need to purchase a cosytoes or soft carrycot to cocoon your newborn.
Who is the Britax B-Smart travel system (2011 model) best for?
Any confused parent-to-be after a system that really does do everything you need and even some things you didn’t know you did!
The changes to the B-Smart travel system for 2011 have enhanced this all-ready great package. If you splash out on the optional Britax soft carrycot, you’ll have an almost perfect travel system that will outlast your child.
First reviewed 01/04/2011. Updated 23/02/2012.
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|Model||B-Smart 4-wheel travel system|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:115cm W:62cm L:98cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:36cm W:62cm L:110cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Baby-Safe plus SHR II car seat (required to create the travel system tested in this review), Britax BABY-SAFE Plus II car seat, Britax BABY-SAFE Sleeper|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|