The Bruin Hoppa is a compact, lightweight stroller that mimics some of the features of pricier models. Inevitably it feels relatively basic and stripped down rather than luxurious, but it would be churlish to complain too much when you’re getting change from £40!
Some cheaper light strollers can look… well, cheap, with garish colours and prints. I tried the Hoppa from Bruin, the Babies R Us own brand, in black, and it looks surprisingly chic and stylish. It’s fast and straightforward to fold and unfold, thanks to its umbrella mechanism. The handy carrying strap makes it no problem to lug in an out of cars and houses.
At 5.8kg, the Hoppa is fairly light, though if you hunt around, you will find lighter pushchairs on the market. The stroller can be used from 6 months, so it isn’t suitable as a first buggy. The seat itself doesn’t have head cushions or harness padding, but it seemed to be fine, in terms of baby’s comfort.
What we loved
Its looks – simple, unfussy and modern. And its tiny size. This is one incredibly neat buggy. Even in my very narrow hallway, there was room to manoevre with the Hoppa. It’s ultra-compact when folded as well.
Its other big attraction is, of course, the penny-saving price – this would make a fantastic spare second buggy to keep in the car or at grandma’s house. You won’t need to worry if it gets knocked about a bit in nursery pushchair sheds or when carried on and off buses.
There’s a fairly decent sized mesh basket underneath which, unlike some, is easy to access – I found myself tossing in shopping as I went along. The self-aligning front swivel wheels are lockable, operated with a simple pedal.
What to watch out for
I found the handlebars a little on the low side, and caught myself stooping even though I’m relatively short – this is definitely something to check out first if you or your partner is tall.
The foam-covered handlebars are comfy to grip on pavements, and it was very nifty to steer. However, I found that on any terrain that was less than super-smooth – for example, crossing roads – the ride was quite bumpy, and not just for my son Elliot. I really felt the tremors in my wrists and hands, so this isn’t one to take for cross-county treks or off-road. Of course, for around £40, you’re inevitably not going to get Michelin-quality tyres, and the Hoppa’s rubber wheels aren’t super-strong. But they’re fine for those day-to-day trips to the park or shops, which is what it’s intended for.
The back lowers and raises easily enough (there are two positions) thanks to an adjustable strap at the rear of the seat, but I found that when my son snoozed, the seat sometimes sank a little towards one side. More pockets at the back wouldn’t go amiss – the rain cover, which is included, must be stashed in the mesh basket underneath.
The hood attaches with Velcro and clips onto the frame; these were slightly niggly to attach at first. The hood folds back fine, but doesn’t come particularly far forward, which could be an issue on those days when the sun is beating down on baby’s head.
Who is the Bruin Hoppa best for?
Bargain-hunting mums who want a chic and modern compact stroller.
The Hoppa is amazing value – it’s tiny, light, folds up easily and looks stylish for the money. It may not have lots of added extra features, but it’s perfect for quick high street dashes. However, if you want a stroller that’s going to get very heavy use, this may not be the as durable or heavyweight as you need.