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Known for its range of buggies featuring statement prints and designs, British brand Cosatto claims to want to ‘save the world from boring baby stuff.’ Having originally started life in Essex, the brand was relaunched in 2009 under new ownership and has proven a favourite with parents ever since. You’ll know a Cosatto pram when you see one because it looks fun. But there’s logic behind the bold colours and patterns on offer, it’s designed to harness early sensory skills in babies.
Cosatto has conducted its own research into babies’ pattern preferences in partnership with the Baby Science Lab at the University of Sussex whose scientists conclude, among other things, that babies prefer to look at Picasso rather than Monet.
New for 2019, Paloma Faith collaborated with the brand to create the best-selling leopard print and embroidered tiger designs for the popular Wow and Giggle models. But the big launch this year was the Wow XL, an expansion of the original Wow buggy accommodating two children from birth up to the weight of 25kg (roughly the age of 5 years).
The mother of all travel systems, Cosatto has branded the Wow XL ‘the ultimate family unit’. It’s perhaps the most versatile single-to-double buggy to hit the market, offering a vast number of possible configurations (over 50 options in total). It also offers longevity of use beyond its competitors, the Quinny Hub Duo (£602), Peg Perego Team (£990) and UppaBaby Vista (£899). In theory, once you own the Wow XL, you won’t have to invest in another buggy again.
Megan Conner, a freelance journalist and parenting blogger, tested the Cosatto Wow XL Travel System with her two sons, Jack, 2, and Billy, 9 months.
This is a gorgeous-looking buggy available in two really cute animal designs, take your pick from bunny rabbits or foxes, and a stylish abstract print called Nordik. We chose rabbits, the Hop To It design which was littered with fabric rabbits and cute slogans. A lot of thought has gone into making this buggy feel special. I loved the brown leatherette handlebar and chrome-effect chassis. The large storage basket was also a plus point.
How does it compare with other buggies you’ve used?
We’ve had our trusted UppaBaby Vista since our first son, Jack, was born and have used this to transport both boys together in tandem. However, my main problem with the Uppababy is that when it’s loaded with more than one child it’s heavy to push. Unfortunately I can’t say I found the Wow XL any easier to manoeuvre: it feels cumbersome and awkward to steer, a bit like pushing a very full shopping trolley.
An advantage of the Wow XL over the Uppababy is that the second upright seat, which must be purchased separately for both models, is cheaper to buy at £199.
Having tested the Cosatto Wow XL with two children who are old enough to sit in upright seats, I’ve come to the conclusion that a side-by-side double buggy is more lightweight and easier to push (I’m currently using an old OutNAbout Nipper 360 (£254.95 on Amazon), which I can even push one-handed).
The Cosatto WOW XL pushchair has a lot of configurations – which ones did you try?
The Wow XL’s capabilities are far greater than the Uppababy in that there are a wider variety of different positions in which you can seat two children together
- For a newborn/younger baby, you can combine a car seat or carrycot with an upright seat for an older baby/toddler
- Later on (from around six months), you will want to sit both children in upright seats, in which case you would combine them in tandem mode
- An added bonus of this model is that you can manipulate each set-up so that your children are parent-facing or world-facing
- You can also place the seats at different levels, staggering them, or at the same height.
The downside is you can feel slightly overwhelmed by all of the choices. We chose to position Jack (almost three) world-facing at the front of the buggy and Billy (nine months) parent-facing behind him. After a bit of trial and error, we worked out that Jack needed to sit at the lower of the height options, otherwise his head was touching the base of Billy’s seat (it was so tight there wasn’t even room to attach Jack’s sunhood).
Once we switched Jack to the lower height, it was better, but we then realised that in this position the seat has a weight restriction of 15kg as opposed to 25kg at a higher position. I suspect this is because with a heavier child seated at the front in this way and a smaller baby at the back, the pram is entirely frontloaded.
How easy is the buggy to push as a single?
It’s easy to push but not the lightest single buggy I have encountered. I also found the non-adjustable handlebar a little low. On the positive side, I felt the view of the carrycot when placed at the lower height was really lovely, offering a really good, reassuring view of a younger baby.
How easy is it to push the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair as a double with two seats?
It’s definitely do-able for short, flat journeys, and the younger your children are, the easier it is. But overall I found it difficult, especially when scaling hills or curbs, and even bends.
How does it ride on pavement, and on more challenging surfaces?
It glides really well. It was a smooth ride along pavement and on grass at the park too.
Can you take the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair on public transport?
As a single buggy, absolutely. As a tandem double, I didn’t fancy attempting it on the bus or train. Given how hard it can be to mount curbs, I know for a fact that it would be difficult to manage the weight of the buggy with the two boys in it. Having said that, the width of the buggy is good – it fitted nicely through all the shop doorways I tried.
What did you think of the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair’s carrycot?
I love how snuggly and comfy it looks for a young baby. The carrycot is a generous size and I’d be very happy putting a young baby in there. A potential problem is that the sides of the carrycot are fairly thick and at one point I wondered if the padding was too bulky/invasive to the headspace of a young baby.
The inside of the carrycot is covered in tree and leaf motifs and there is a really handy removable waterproof mattress cover. I also loved the fact that there was a choice of height, and a mesh viewing window for parents on the sunhood with a silent flap, so you can avoid waking your sleeping baby. Taking the carrycot on and off the base was easy: you can do this one-handed, at the click of a button.
How comfortable is the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair’s seat?
The seats looked lovely, and had some funky-looking straps, but in practice I found they weren’t deep enough for my toddler, however, my baby seemed comfortable, but the seat wasn’t anywhere near big enough depth-wise for Jack who is nearly three. He was perched precariously on the edge of the seat, with the harness doing the job of holding him there.
I also found the harnesses incredibly frustrating, as they were hard to secure owing to fabric covering parts of the clips that slot into the holders. The clasp part also regularly fell apart as I was trying to click it into the holder. It’s a five-point plastic harness clip that slots together and does not stay in one piece. It was also a challenge to secure a wriggly nine-month-old.
How many recline positions does the seat have and how easily adjustable are they?
There are four recline positions: upright, slightly reclined, mostly flat and completely horizontal. It was really easy to adjust them one-handed.
Which directions can the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair’s seats face?
There are over 50 combinations so many configurations can be achieved in parent and world-facing mode. We ran into a couple of problems with our toddler fitting comfortably when his seat was placed at certain heights, so it’s not guaranteed that every one will work for you.
The instruction booklet was pretty basic and would have benefitted from a suggestions guide for how best to position different-aged children, or even just a bit of a guide to the adaptors supplied in the kit bag. It took me a while to decipher each of their purposes and how they worked.
Is the frame strong and durable?
Yes, I didn’t have any issues. It felt nice and robust.
How do you fold the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair?
You fold by pulling two little buttons on the frame towards you to release the chassis. It’s really simple to fold flat and I was impressed with how compact it was when folded.
Can the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair fit in the boot of a car?
We have a Volvo XE60 and achieved this no problem, but it is a larger car. Compared to the Uppababy, the seats are not as deep so it packed away more compactly.
How effective are the wheels?
The wheels moved really freely in all directions and clicked on and off the frame easily. You could even pop them off quickly to rinse under the tap.
Is the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair’s one-hand adjustable leg support a useful feature?
It’s useful to be able to adjust the leg support although I found I didn’t really need to alter it for either child once I’d chosen a mode. I’m not sure it’s necessary for this feature to be one-handed given how infrequently most people need to use it.
Do the brakes feel effective?
The pedal is simple and functional, just depress with your foot until it clicks to secure the buggy. To take the brake off, you put your foot underneath the pedal and push up.
How much could you fit in the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair’s basket?
The basket is an amazing feature and definitely rivals the famously supersized basket on the Uppababy Vista. It features a long zipped compartment where you can store any waterproof items. There’s also a nice raised bit at the back of the basket to help prevent precious cargo from falling out.
I easily got my large backpack and two bags of food shopping in the main section of the basket and felt it was easy to access. Even in double mode, I didn’t feel the space was compromised.
Can the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair be used with a car seat?
Yes, the Wow XL is a full travel system, although I didn’t use this mode myself. You can buy the Wow XL system with a car seat included (RRP £1000) or attach other models. The adaptors are purchasable at an extra.
How effective is the sun hood?
I was impressed with the sunhoods – they’re easily detached and include a silver UV lining that can be pulled up and down for more protection. We just couldn’t get the sunhood on our toddler’s seat in one of the double modes as there just wasn’t the space.
What age children is the Wow XL best for?
I’d definitely recommend this buggy for twins or two children close in age. The younger your children are, the easier it is to push in tandem mode. My eldest son, Jack, is almost three and although the Wow XL is designed to take children up to 25kg in weight (around the age of five years), it’s increasingly difficult to manoeuvre with older, heavier children seated in the buggy. I was impressed that there is an inbuilt buggy board, though – most travel systems require you to buy them as an extra and they can add extra bulk when attached.
Is the Cosatto WOW XL a stylish pushchair?
Yes, I loved all three designs. The Hop To It design comes in a green/teal colour with ochre accents and white bunny rabbits – there’s a lovely felt rabbit on the back of the carrycot hood – and even included two matching knitted rabbit companion toys. All three designs were unisex and quite sedate for Cosatto, meaning you wouldn’t go off them after a couple of years.
What’s in the box?
The folded frame/chassis
- 4 x wheels
- 1 x carry cot
- 1 x upright seat (you would need to buy an additional seat for a second child)
- 2 x rain covers
- 2 x bunny rabbit companion toys and a kit bag that neatly stores the various adaptors
How easy is it to build the Cosatto WOW XL pushchair?
I managed to build it in about ten minutes with two children under three in tow. The instructions were picture diagrams, which were fairly self-explanatory, however, I found the information about how to achieve the different set-ups with the various different adaptors really lacking. I had to mess about a bit more finding the configurations that would suit us, but once you know what you’re doing, the process is quick.
Is this good value for money?
It really depends on how old your children are and how long you can bear pushing it a buggy in tandem mode. I think there are side-by-side double pushchairs out there that are much easier to use.
Cosatto say the Wow XL comes with a 10-year guarantee because it’s a buggy that will be with you for a very long time, but in my opinion, it’s too difficult to manoeuvre with a heavy baby and toddler both seated.
Where can I buy the Cosatto WOW XL?
It is available to buy from Amazon, Olivers Baby Care, Kiddies Kingdom
Made for Mums verdict
A nice option for parents of one child who plan to extend their family in the near future, but it’s hard to be sold on the longevity of use that Cosatto promises. Transporting the weight of two children in tandem in a single-width buggy is never going to be an easy feat, and this model felt difficult to manoeuvre and push. Those issues aside, it is really attractive and competitively priced for a single-to-double buggy, and not ludicrously priced by some standards for a single travel system.