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Bugaboo, the luxury Dutch buggy brand, is popular with both royalty and celebrities alike. Bugaboo sits firmly at the top of the pram market and pricewise the Ant is no exception.
What sets the Ant apart from many other lightweight, compact strollers is that it can be both forward and rear facing. This means you can keep a watchful eye on your baby and later give your curious toddler a great view of the road ahead. Like the Silver Cross Jet, the Ant can be wheeled along like a suitcase for maximum ease when travelling. It also has an adjustable seat meaning that a baby can lie flat.
Sybilla Hart is a mum of 5 who lives on the Essex/Suffolk borders. She’s been testing the Ant on the school run and at home on a variety of different terrains such as gravel, grass and concrete with her newborn son Benjamin and 4-year-old daughter Celestia (the Ant is suitable up to 22kg).
What were your first impressions of the Bugaboo Ant?
First impressions count and everyone in the family was impressed with the sturdy sleek lines of the Bugaboo Ant. I would say that the Ant is not (at 7.2 kg) an especially lightweight stroller but what it lacks in lightness, it makes up for in brains.
How is the Bugaboo Ant different to the Bee5?
The Bugaboo Bee5 was Bugaboo’s smallest stroller, and is extremely popular with urban parents who want a stylish, robust buggy that can handle busy, narrow city pavements. However, the Ant is even smaller – with travellers in mind, it can fold up so compactly that it fits into the overhead locker of 50 airlines.
How does the Bugaboo Ant compare to other lightweights you have tried?
The Ant is not nearly as lightweight as other strollers I have tested. However, the likes of the Maclaren Techno XT, Maclaren Volo and GB Qbit All terrain do not include all the Ant’s clever design aspects such as a pull along trolley mode or parent facing seat. If you want an ultra-light throw-in-back-of-the-car stroller this may not be the one for you. But it definitely offers more than your standard lightweight buggy.
What age is the Bugaboo Ant suitable for?
The Ant is suitable from birth though some parents have complained that it is not amply cushioned to support a newborn. You can buy a Bugaboo Bee Cocoon at an additional cost, which I didn’t test when trying out the Ant. Impressively, it can be used for a child weighing up to 22kg – significantly more than the 15kg many lightweight strollers can hold. This improves its lifespan as an everyday buggy, but also makes it a great holiday option for older children who have outgrown a pushchair but need a rest on long days out.
Is the Bugaboo Ant’s seat unit comfortable and spacious enough for your little one?
The ergonomic seat unit worked really well for our newborn son in lie-flat mode but the seat unit is a snug fit for an (admittedly very tall) four-year-old. She was still comfortable in the seat despite the cosy fit and enjoyed being wheeled around in the Ant for a stroll.
How many recline positions does the the Bugaboo Ant’s seat have?
There are three recline positions when the child is facing the parent and two recline positions when forward facing. It is easy to adjust these positions.
How is interacting with your child when in the buggy?
I absolutely loved being able to watch our newborn son in parent facing mode out and about. It is so useful having a stroller that is parent facing as it means you can keep an eye on a small baby’s breathing and any posseting.
What do you think of the Bugaboo Ant’s hood?
The hood boasts an ingenious design as it folds flat when you need to stow away the buggy or change positions from parent facing mode to forward facing mode. The hood was sturdy too and features a 50 SPF so it even protects your child from harmful UV rays. Cleverly, all fabrics designed for the Ant are made up of half recyclable materials. I think the hood was one of my favourite features of the Ant.
How do you fold the Bugaboo Ant?
You don’t need to remove the seat to fold the Ant, as there is no carrycot. You only remove the seat from the chassis if you want to swap it from one mode to another (i.e. parent mode to forward facing mode or vice versa).
How compact is the Ant when folded and unfolded?
When folded flat the dimensions of the Ant are as follows;
Compact fold – size of just 55 x 38 x 23 cm
When the Ant is completely folded it sits on its own and uses its footrest to facilitate this – just another clever design element of the Bugaboo Ant. This makes it really easy to store.
Does the Ant fit in an airplane overhead locker?
Yes once folded the Ant fits into the overhead locker of fifty airlines.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
The Ant slotted easily into the boot of our Mini – there was even surplus space left over for a couple of small bags to go alongside it.
How lightweight is the Bugaboo Ant?
In my opinion the Bugaboo Ant is lightweight given all of its functionality but at 7.2 kg it is definitely not the most lightweight stroller in the market.
How easy is it to push?
Unsurprisingly, the Ant handles concrete and smooth surfaces superbly but struggled with gravel or bumpier terrain even with just a newborn in the seat unit. The Ant handled grass pretty well.
How does the Bugaboo Ant ride on smooth surfaces?
The Ant was designed for tackling smooth urban surfaces and it shows. I found that the buggy’s lie-flat mode worked well when pushing our newborn son around on concrete.
How about on more challenging surfaces?
It doesn’t cope so well on challenging surfaces. I struggled mounting the kerb with my 4 year old but I think that was more of a function of her weight than anything else. It was obviously much easier to mount the kerb with my newborn son, but as the chassis and handlebar are both on the narrow side it was not as seamless a process as I had anticipated.
What do you think of the Bugaboo Ant’s wheels?
The back wheels are six inches thick and the front wheels are five-inch wheels. They feature all wheel suspension which makes for easy steering.
I could imagine the Ant coming into its own in an airport when wheeled in trolley mode – this is one of the main highlights of the Ant’s design after all.
Is the frame strong and durable?
Absolutely. One thing the Ant chassis cannot be accused of is flimsy. Not only is it expensive looking, the Ant lives up to the superior quality you would expect from a Bugaboo product.
Can you adjust the height of the Bugaboo Ant’s handlebar?
The handlebar was not my favourite aspect of the Ant. I kept ‘losing’ my correct height when I used the Ant on bumpier terrain but it worked like a dream on a smooth surface. The handlebar is height adjustable and has two positions – 95cm and 104cm.
Are the brakes easy to use?
The brakes are really easy to use, and because they are white they are easily distinguishable from the rest of the black frame. It is literally a case of pressing down or flicking them up to apply them.
How easily can you access the Bugaboo Ant’s basket and is it big enough to store everything you need?
The shopping basket can be accessed when folded up which is handy for travelling but I thought it looked a bit exposed when it was both folded and in use.
The mesh could have been a bit higher in my opinion to ensure that nothing could fall out.
Can the Bugaboo Ant be used as a travel system? Which car seats are compatible?
Yes, the Ant is travel system compatible and can be used with the following car seats
- Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus
- Maxi-Cosi Rock
- Cybex Aton Q
- Cybex Aton 5
- Cybex Aton Q i-Size
- Cybex Aton M i-Size
- BeSafe iZi Go Modular
- BeSafe iZi Go X1
How did you like the look of the Ant overall?
There are a number of different colour combinations to choose when purchasing your Ant from pink and grey to black on black. It is an extremely smart, expensive looking piece of kit that attracted a lot of compliments.
What’s in the box?
- Chassis with seat hardwear
- Front & rear wheels
- Underseat basket
- Sun canopy wire & clamps
- Seat fabric, headrest fabric
- Sun canopy
- Wheel caps
- Side panels
Are there any additional extras that you need to or can buy for the Bugaboo Ant?
You can buy car seat adapters for the Ant as well as a coffee cup cover, a mosquito net and even leather handlebar grips. The list of extras available from Bugaboo is fairly extensive.
Is it easy to build the Bugaboo Ant?
It is not hard to build – it only took about 5 minutes but it is harder to figure out the fold. However once you have got the hang of it – like all things – it was ok.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the Ant?
I would have wanted to know how narrow the chassis was.
Who would the product be most useful for?
Given Bugaboo’s popularity, I can see it being a real hit for those with an urban lifestyle. For those parents who travel on airlines and trains regularly and for whom space is an issue this could be the answer.
It’s also sustainable. Not only will the Ant see a family through from birth to 5 years, but also at the end of its life cycle most parts of the stroller can be recycled, thus reducing parents’ carbon footprint.
What was your favourite feature of the Bugaboo Ant?
My favourite feature of the Ant is the parent facing aspect as this is so unusual (and welcome) for a lightweight stroller.
Is the Bugaboo Ant good value?
The Bugaboo Ant is definitely on the expensive side but I think it is worth it for those who want ultimate flexibility and don’t want to compromise on style or size.
Where can I buy the Bugaboo Ant?
It is available from John Lewis and Natural Baby Shower.
The Bugaboo Ant is a cleverly designed stroller that will sate the appetite of modern, urban-based parents who travel frequently. I would wholeheartedly recommend the Ant to those who see themselves in this category.