Britax Vigour 4
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The Britax Vigour 4+ travel system is a lie-flat buggy plus car seat that manages to be everything you’ll ever need – and in any direction you like.
My 4-month-old baby Cormac gets bored easily – he’s nosey and likes a continual change of scene. The Britax Vigour 4 + turned out to be the perfect travel system for him. The system is made up of the Vigour4+ buggy and a car seat – choose from the Britax Baby-Safe, Baby-Safe plus, Baby-Safe plus SHR (single handed release) or Britax Baby-Safe Sleeper. You can also get a carrycot if you wish, though it is suitable from birth without it. I trialled the Baby-Safe plus SHR.
We had high hopes for the system – it’s a Practical Parenting awarded gold winner – and we weren’t disappointed.
In spite of looking bulky when folded, the Britax Vigour 4+ travel system is surprisingly nimble and easy-to-use in any of its modes. With one click the car seat goes in, comes out, the buggy goes in and turns round.
So curious little Cormac enjoyed being propped and peering forward almost as much as he liked ‘chatting’ to me as I pushed him. And when it all got too much for him, I could lie the back flat with one hand.
Likewise, the super comfortable Baby-Safe plus SHR car seat pops into the chassis like a dream.
We had a few niggles, but not enough to make either of us want to give the travel system back.
What we love
We love the ease of use and versatility of the Britax Vigour 4+ travel system. Unlike some rivals, the brakes go on and off easily. Being of fairly average height, I hadn’t imagined much use for the handle adjustment but they came in really handy when tackling steep hills or steps.
The Baby-Safe plus SHR car seat’s clever head support adjustment is brilliant and means that it’ll fit perfectly whatever the size of your baby.
The scissor-style folding mechanism drops the buggy to a flat (ish) square and I was surprised to find it fitted well in the back of my small car, although there wasn’t much space for anything else. I’ve struggled in the past to fit some of the longer umbrella-style buggies in without some kind of Krypton Factor style manoeuvres, so this was a big plus.
Britax should also be proud of their customer service department. One of the hinges broke when I folded the Vigour 4+, but we were sent a new chassis within days – a very impressive service.
What to watch out for
The Britax Vigour 4+ is a bit on the bulky and heavy side for public transport. It’d be a strapping mum who would hurry to lug this buggy, even with a fold-up clip, in one hand with a baby under the other. Weight wise, the Baby-Safe plus SHR car seat is 3.9kg and the buggy is 11.7kg (that’s 15.6kg for those of us with mummy-brain).
Being in Scotland, a raincover is a fairly essential piece of kit so I was disappointed to find that the one supplied is difficult to fit and even harder to fold up after use. North of the border, rain often comes with wind and, if you aren’t careful, the loose bits will catch the wind and the cover will disappear off into the trees.
The 5-point harness is straightforward to adjust and fit, however, the padded covers were so stiff and awkward that they dug into Cormac’s face. I took them off and he seemed happier.
The luggage basket doesn’t hold very much apart from the (badly folded!) raincover. It’s fairly low at the back and things are inclined to fall out. The whole thing hangs fairly low and not too far above the puddles, so, in all, it’s not a place for keeping very much at all.
Who is the Britax Vigour 4+ travel system best for?
Someone who walks a lot, but not perhaps in the rain, and doesn’t use public transport. It’s also ideal for babies and toddlers who like a bit of variety in their lives.
It’s easy to see why the Britax Vigour 4+ travel system has won awards – it’s a pretty good all-rounder that should go from tiny baby to energetic toddler without too much trouble. though the raincover and shopping basket aren’t perfect, the Britax Vigour 4+ is easy to use, the Baby-Safe plus SHR car seat is comfy and is also easy to attach to the chassis.