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The Graco Fusio travel system, released in 2011, offers a lot for a decent price. However, it’s not very compact or able to cope well if it strays from the pavement.
Graco is extremely proud of its very latest buggy, the Fusio. Priced at £299.99 for the buggy, raincover, newborn liner, footmuff, and apron, its catch-cry is “designed to connect.” This refers to the buggy seat – it switches direction with one click, allowing you interaction with your baby in parent facing mode, or have your tot take in the world in forward facing mode.
The seat is particularly easy to use, down to its clever concertina style base. You simply fit one side then stretch it out to meet the other. The seat reclines completely, making it suitable for a newborn. Pad it with the newborn liner and fit the apron over the top and the Fusio buggy becomes a pramette. When your baby’s able to sit up, you convert the carrycot in to a seat simply by sitting the base up again.
The Fusio becomes a travel system when you team it with the Graco Logico S HP Deluxe car seat. This is attached onto the buggy chassis using the Graco car seat adaptor system. It boasts a four-star safety award from the European independent consumer organisation ADAC, and accounts for £129.99 of the price tag.
Along with my 2-year-old daughter Esme, baby Astrid, 6 months, tested the travel system with me.
What we love
Putting the Graco Fusio together was simple to do, and my toddler Esme was clearly happy to climb aboard.
Collapsing the Fusio is easy enough once you’ve mastered the technique. To fold, there are two clips just beneath the handles that you pull towards you to trigger the release of the frame, and then you pull up on the plastic handle that sits behind the basket. The fact the Fusio is freestanding when folded is a real bonus.
Unfolding the Fusio is a real doddle – you release the two triggers either side of the frame and shake it out, securing it by pushing the foot bar down until it locks.
I’m pleasantly surprised at how roomy the footmuff is. My daughter’s tall for her age, and the majority of footmuffs we’ve trialled have come up small. However, this one is big enough for her and she’s comfortable as well as snug.
I really like the fact the Fusio buggy seat sits up straight. Some other Graco products can’t boast such an upright seatback and I’m pleased Esme’s supported as getting a good vantage point.
A great feature of the Fusio is that the footrest automatically adjusts itself in relation to where the seat is. For example, when the seat is reclined flat, the footrest is completely flat too, so your child’s legs are continually supported.
The basket offers plenty of storage and it takes Esme’s bag of tricks easily. On my first outing, I put my handbag over the handle and realised the clip on the side used for the fold/unfold mechanism prevents your bag sliding down the frame. This is a neat feature whether it’s intentional or not!
The switch to lock the front wheels is on the body of the buggy rather than on the wheels, so unlike most pushchairs, you don’t have to lean down far to activate it. Also, they’re coloured red and green – red when locked, green when free. The brake is also colour-coded like this and the step on/step off system is simple and effective.
When baby Astrid trialled the Fusio in pramette mode, she was comfortable within the adequately padded liner and the 5-point safety harness. There’s some growing room left height-wise but not much, but then Astrid is long and lean for her 6 months.
The Graco Logico S HP Deluxe car seat sits easily on to the chassis, once the car seat adaptor is placed on first. The car seat simply slides on top of it. It’s so easy to do I wondered if I had actually done it properly the first time (I thought it rocked quite a lot though). It’s just as easy to remove.
The car seat, which has Side Impact Protection, is easy to install in your car, using your car’s own seatbelts. The cover is machine washable, which for a car seat is pretty much a necessity, but not always a feature.
What to watch out for
When 6-month-old Astrid was in the Fusio in pramette mode, she was right up against the sides. There was room above and below her, but the lack of space either side meant when it came to lifting her out, there wasn’t much room for an adult to slide her hands around her. I do wondered how a much chunkier baby would fare.
Only having the footmuff over Astrid meant there wasn’t much in the way of protection, especially around her legs and feet.
The first thing that strikes me about the Graco Logico S HP Deluxe car seat is that it’s big (it weighs 4.4kg). It’s very well padded, although if you get up close and actually feel the seat, you’ll notice the vast amounts of fabric used to pad it out don’t actually do a great job of making the seat that comfortable. The material is not the softest.
Considering the size of the car seat I was surprised to see that when I put it into the car, Astrid’s feet travelled up the passenger seat, although she is a tall 6-month-old.
The Fusio takes up a fair amount of room in the boot of my car – I have a Citroen Picasso, and it’s by no means small.
The Fusio doesn’t fare well off-road. The wheels just aren’t that capable and pushing soon becomes heavy with my 14kg toddler on board.
The shock-absorbing spring suspension never revealed itself to me. And for one reason and another, I never noticed that the Fusio was particularly light, and as it weighs in at only 9kg, I ought to have done.
The Fusio gives the impression that it’s compact. Indeed the seat is narrow, but the framework the seat sits within isn’t that compact at all.
Although the handles rotate, they don’t extend and for me being tall, I felt they came up short.
Who is the Graco Fusio travel system best for?
Mums on a budget who stick to well-paved roads.
The Graco Fusio travel system has a budget-minded price tag, going from pramette, to travel system, to rear or forward facing buggy for just over £400. The downside of this system is that it doesn’t handle that well, and it’s not easy to push and steer with a toddler on board. However, the easily reversible seat and clever self-adjusting footrest are noteworthy features that could help make the Fusio a hit.
First reviewed 08/02/2011. Updated 15/03/2012.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:106cm W:57cm L:74cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:94.5cm W:42.5cm L:25.5cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Graco Logico S HP Deluxe car seat|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Accessories included||Raincover, Birth liner, footmuff, apron|