Currently in its fourth decade as a nursery merchandise manufacturer, Graco originally began life as a Philadelphia-based metal works company back in 1942.
The company credits itself with creating the first wind-up infant swing, portable playpen/travel cot combination and the first travel system, which are all no small feats.
Having only been available on the European market since 1997 the company has become one of the most recognisable brands in the UK for its car seats. Now aiming to make more of an impact on the pushchair market with its new pushchair, Graco has released the Evo XT.
An all-terrain pram, it has been built with a long wheel-base for added stability, comes with extra suspension and even has mud guards to deflect those nasty splash backs from dirty puddles.
Much like the Mothercare Xpedior, Baby Jogger City Mini and Chicco Activ3, it is at the lower end of the buggy market in price, but unlike its predecessor, the lightweight Evo Mini, the XT is built to stand up to rough environments and all types of weather.
What’s in the box?
- Seat unit
- Mosquito net
- Mud guards
Any additional extras?
- Carrycot – £134.99
- Snug Safe car seat -£129.99
How is assembling the Graco Evo XT pram?
It is not easy, in fact it was very difficult and at times, frustrating.
When I received the product, I noticed that the assembly instructions were quite hard to follow for both the Evo XT and the Snugsafe car seat.
I am usually very quick at putting things together but spent almost two hours trying to assemble the pushchair correctly (I’ll come back to this later).
The instructions are simply some drawings showing how to assemble the product stage by stage. They are not to the best scale and it would be much better to have text instructions to back up the pictures.
What is it like out and about?
The Graco Evo XT feels nice and smooth to push around; it manoeuvres well on pavements and is sturdy enough to tackle the unruly and sometimes hidden tree roots that hike up among the slabs on our street.
However, the frame is quite bulky compared to others I’ve used and takes some time to get used to, especially when going through doorways and narrow shopping aisles.
As I said earlier it was a bit of a faff putting the buggy together and I fixed the wheels to the chassis as best I could. At the time they did not seem secure enough and because I only had the picture instructions to go by, I was left feeling unsure whether it was correctly fixed.
My question was answered early now when one day I took the pushchair out with the car seat attached and one of the wheels fell off!
After speaking to Graco about this, it was established that there was a small part missing that needed to be threaded through the hub cap in order for the wheels to be fixed on properly.
As this part was not in the box, Graco sent it out to me separately by post within a few days. I was able to fix this on as instructed and finally use the pushchair again.
Is the pushchair comfy for your little one?
Yes, I think so, but it’s better for smaller children. I tried the Evo XT with my three-month-old daughter Chelsea, who seemed very comfortable. I really like the Snugglewrap, it is, actually, snuggly and perfect for the cold days – not to mention it looks lovely.
When trying out the seat unit, my two-year-old daughter Hazel was the perfect tester. The specifications show that the age range is from birth to three years but I feel that even with the harness adjusted, Hazel, who is 94 cm, is too tall for this particular pushchair and for this reason, I didn’t put her in it for too long.
How does the Evo XT fold?
The pushchair was very easy to collapse and open up and this can all be done with one hand! It also folds down very small, which is perfect if you have a small car boot.
Tell us about the basket.
I really appreciate the basket, as it is large. I enjoy shopping and think a secure and good size basket is vital, especially when trying to get the many baby bags and essentials from one place to another.
So how is Snug Safe Car Seat?
The car seat is very bulky compared to other Group 0+ chairs on the market. And despite there being plenty of room for my daughter Cheslea, she looked uncomfortable in it because the seat was just too deep.
Saying that, I was impressed with how the car seat fits onto the ISOFIX base and found it quite easy to fix into the car.
The fact that the car seat included an adapter to fit onto the chassis was great because I am aware that many other brands require you to purchase this separately and it can be quite costly.