Cosatto has long-since been a favourite of fashion-forward parents at the middle and lower end of the buggy market, but at £800, the Ooba is the brand’s first truly luxurious option. A statement buggy rival to the iCandy Peach and the Stokke Xplory, the Ooba is a guaranteed head turner when out and about. At almost twice the price of its light-weight counterpart, the Cosatto Giggle, this buggy is also bigger and sturdier.
What’s in the box?
- 3-in-1 chassis
- Seat unit plus fitted rain cover
- Carrycot plus fitted rain cover
- Adaptors for the Hold 0+ car seat
- Shopping basket
- Foot muff
- Changing bag
- Changing mat
- Messy bag
- 4 year guarantee
Any optional accessories?
- Cosatto Hold 0+ car seat – £135
- Cosatto Hold 0+ car seat Isofix base – £125
What were your first impressions?
When I first saw the Ooba, I knew it would be a one-way ticket to yummy mummydom! It’s what Audrey Hepburn would have choosen (probably) if she was browsing in John Lewis. The Ooba is not a pram for shrinking violets. I admit I found it a bit intimidating to start off. Soon, though, I embraced my inner extrovert. I had no choice but to up my game, ditch the ratty old trainers and milk-smeared sweat pants, and rummage in the back of the wardrobe for a classic trench to complement my first post-birth sweep of liquid eyeliner. I knew it was wrong but I thought about co-ordinating the baby’s clothing – soon to be perched high at the perfect ‘look at me’ level – with the patterned hood lining. With punched leatherette hugging all the accessories, to be honest, it all went fabulously footballers wives.
One thing you won’t have to decide on is whether to buy all the accessories. With the exception of the Hold 0+ car seat (itself clad in colour and the only compatible option priced at £135) they are all part of the matching package.
How did it assemble?
Assembling the eye-catching parts of the carriage was pretty easy, although it took me an hour to put it together. Despite the instruction book being worryingly thick, the English language section is short and certainly manageable, although it would have helped if the instruction text were on the same page as the explanatory illustrations.
How did the Ooba manoeuvre?
Our first outing was a surprisingly rigorous trek across the city, taking in any number of kerbs to climb, cobblestone side roads and even semi-rural parkland with more treeroots than any sane person would choose to take a pram over (we got a bit lost). The Ooba took them all on. The suspension on the chassis made for a smooth ride most of the way but the small front wheels took some persuading to climb some of the more challenging pavement edges. Luckily the buggy seat option enables the handle to flip over so the large wheels can take on bumpy grounds. The Ooba also took corners well and could be kept on course with one hand, so taking it out it makes for an enjoyable stroll.
Is the buggy as practical as it is bright?
Obviously aesthetics are important here, and there is no more eye-catching pram out there, thanks to the Ooba’s white’n’bright chassis with central supports. The white wheels are controversial – beautiful, but a source of constant worry – I worried about whether they would be covered in grass or squashed berry stains, but so far, so good. The pretty rain covers are so cute they’re enough to hope for bad weather. However, they take up half the shopping basket, but looking as good as they do, ‘who cares,’ I say!
The brake, which is operated by hand and situated near the extendable handle, is a neat idea but I found it cumbersome to use as I’m left handed. And although the brake went on safely with ease, it often took several tries to get going again, holding up the bus while getting off on a couple of occasions. Cosatto assured me this issue hadn’t been found by other parents. I do love the multi directional handle, which whooshes right over the top of baby’s head so he can travel facing outward or in toward you with no faffing, just one simple swoop.
What about the folding action?
The carrycot, seat unit and optional car seat are designed to swap in and out of the chassis with ease. The ‘click in’ mechanism is quite unwieldy but simple enough to use. Placing the units into the frame before heading out to the shops was a doddle, and just a matter of getting a good aim to ‘click in’. However, like other travel systems all three units need two hands to unhook once you’re back home, which isn’t easy if a suddenly grumpy baby is still inside! I found a way to remove the clips one at a time on the car seat, holding the top handle steady in between. But the carrycot is heavy and bulky, so my ten-week-old son found himself rolling around the inside as I tried to heave the whole unit clear.
Travel systems, on the whole, are not known for their ability to fold up and down in a zippy fashion. The Ooba’s aluminium chassis, however, was a breeze. Folding down is a two step process – after releasing the two waist-height clips which allow you to push the handle toward the floor, all it takes is an instinctive grab at the central handle, a tug at the adjoining lever and hey presto the wheels come together squeezing dimensions down to something much smaller – just remember to unload the Tardis-like shopping basket before you do. Unfolding, meanwhile, is super-easy. Lift the handle up and the wheels spring into position. Honestly, I could have unfurled it, revealing all its design glory, all day!
How comfortable does it seem?
We took the buggy for a quick spin but as my son is still only ten-weeks-old we stuck to the carrycot and car seat options most of the time. He snoozed right away in the car seat and I love the fact he’s high enough for me to tuck his blanket round his toes at any time. The removable, washable inside covers are a great touch and the hood was big enough for me to see into with ease. The size of the cot, though, meant the baby seemed to disappear under the semi-rigid apron. Great on flat land – but he rolled around heading up hill!
How well did it do as a travel system?
One bugbear on the seat unit was that I found adjusting both harnesses really tricky. You’ve got to pull the straps through holes in the backboard – while they’re still attached a buckle that seems to be too large for the appropriate hole. I spent ages trying and I still haven’t worked out how! I found the car seat’s heavily padded five-point safety harness, which features two vertical straps running from baby’s waist level to shoulder height, difficult to lift him in and out of (the buggy seat’s harness looks the same but it’s made of softer fabric). I also removed a bulky cover enveloping the car seat’s bottom front buckle after just a couple of days.
Is it value for money?
Yes and no! It looks a tad impractical but boy, it makes you feel grand! All in, it costs nearly a grand, but I still had to build it out of the box. I do wonder what justifies the near £400 price hike from the Giggle. However the construction of the two models is totally different and since the bits that I zipped up all unzip to wash, it makes perfect sense.
In a nutshell
The Ooba has that ‘once seen, never forgotten’ edge that means it will always have a core group of buyers, vowing, I must make it mine!’