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As the only electronically powered buggy on the market, the Myo Tronic is unique and very exciting.
The brainchild of Italian manufacture Foppapedretti, the Myo Tronic uses an electronic motor that propels the buggy at an adjustable speed.
Foppapedretti is known in Italy for making nursery furniture and household products. The Myo Tronic is its first attempt at buggy making and it has certainly made an impression on the industry.
The Myo Tronic won the 2011 Reddot design award, which is the world’s largest professional award for design concepts and prototypes.
However, the big question is, does the world need an electric buggy? The answer is maybe – but it’s a niche need.
So how does it work?
The Myo Tronic works by simply twisting a speed control throttle that’s located on the top of the handle bar of the buggy. It works much like a motorbike (minus the crazy speed) as you twist
twist the speed control to set the speed you want and then push in the two grey buttons behind the handle which starts the motor running.
What about the electric motor?
The controls are built into the handle. There’s a dial for speed and two buttons that act as a safety cut-off, as you have to hold both down together for the motor to work.
When these are held, the whole buggy pulls away at a gentle-to-brisk walking pace (depending on speed and incline) and you simply follow it. There’s also a wrist safety loop on the handle.
The technique does require some getting used to, as it’s a bit counter-intuitive.
The motor will actually resist if you try to push, including if you steer too vigorously. And it can only really get going from a standing start, so you can’t decide mid-push that you need some extra oomph.
But these are minor niggles compared to the bliss of effortless strolling rather than puffing and panting up our monster hill.
And it’s very efficient, with only three hours’ charge enough for three days’ worth of nipping around town. The 24 volt lithium ion battery that powers the motor has enough charge to run the pushchair at full power for four hours and is charged up using a home plug point.
Of course, you wouldn’t use the motor on flat ground or going up and down kerbs, etc. as it makes more sense to be fully in control yourself.
How does it steer without the motor?
The buggy handles well even on cobbles and very muddy grass, with good suspension and that excellent comfy seat unit absorbing any bumps. However, the handlebar stem feels too narrow a lever for the buggy’s weight. So tipping it back to go up a kerb or onto a bus means you lose control and the whole thing can weave.
Is there an non-electric version?
Yes there is, and as you’ve probably guessed it’s cheaper. In fact the non-motorised push-it-yourself version of the Myo Tronic sells at a much more reasonable price of £590.
How easy is it to change the seat position?
Very easy. To switch from front to rear facing, you just pull out a little handle on either side of the base and swivel till it clicks again – no need to disturb the baby! It can even sit sideways if you wanted your baby to face the table in a café, for example.
It doesn’t click-lock in any position but it does in fully forward and fully rear. It has all the features you’d want, like three recline positions (only two when front facing),
The buggy’s fold is also really easy. A one-handed tug of a lever on the handlebar stem sends it sailing gently down to click-lock into place onto the chassis. The same tug again brings it gliding back up.
Once folded, you can lift the front by the handlebar and pull it along on its back wheels, which is great for transporting between car and house. Bodily lifting and carrying its 12kg weight is quite a challenge, though (most of the weight comes from the battery unit, so the non-powered version is much lighter).
How compact is it?
Although it’s heavy, it fitted easily into the boot of my Nissan Micra when folded with the back wheels removed. Even with the seat unit on top, I could still squeeze a couple of shopping bags in as well. Which brings me to an unfortunate problem.
The small-ish shopping basket hangs under the chunky battery unit so getting anything into it is really difficult. And there’s nowhere else to hang bags, as the handlebar is a loop shape. So it’s actually quite impractical for running round town – when we went out on an on/off rainy day, I had to carry my shopping over one shoulder and the raincover over the other.
Is it travel system compatible?
Yes, it can become a total travel system with a Foppapedretti own-brand car seat. This can either be purchased separately (£120) or together as a package with a carry cot and changing bag for around £300 more than the standard package.
What’s in the box?
- Chassis frame and wheels
- Seat unit
- Bumper bar
- Adjustable footrest
- Large hood canopy
- Tyre pump
Any additional extras?
- Footmuffs -£34.00
- Carry cot and changing bag – £290.00
- Car seat – £120.00
Was it easy to assemble?
The frame arrives as one folded piece and you attach each of the four wheels. Both the lockable hard plastic ones at the front and larger pneumatic ones at the back have a little button each that you simply hold down to slot them on and off the frame. While you do have to ensure that the ‘L’ back wheel is on the left and the ‘R’ one on the right (or the motor won’t function), this is overall the easiest fitting of wheels on a buggy I’ve seen.
The seat simply clicks into place on the circular base and unclicks with an admittedly slightly fiddlier ‘hold down and squeeze’ action under the footrest.
It is an elegant and ingenious buggy – but who would really need the motorised version? I guess it’s brilliant for parents who have to deal with hilly terrain on a daily basis or those who have health issues making pushing difficult. It is also good for people who simply love cutting-edge design and technology and have the money to pay for it.
It does take some getting used to, and the handlebar stem doesn’t feel sturdy enough. The shopping basket is also very poor. However the general ease of use and clever seat unit go some way to making up for these negatives.
It’s a great buggy in its own right. Almost everything about it is beautifully designed and so simple to use – as if Foppapedretti actually thought about how a parent needs to use a buggy and decided ‘hey, let’s make it easy!’
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:105.5cm W:58.5cm L:107cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:36cm W:58.5cm L:79cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Foppapedretti's own branded - adaptor included in travel system package|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Recline positions||3 – 3 when rear facing - upright, half-reclined and fully-reclined. 2 when forward facing (not fully reclined)|
|Accessories included||Shopping basket, raincover, hood, pump for pneumatic tyres, battery and charger, footmuff, additional seat pad for younger babies|