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The Graco Symbio is one of the new breed of buggies that let you convert from parent to forward facing with minimal fuss.
The Graco Symbio is a stylish buggy that features a reversible handle that allows the buggy to change from rear to forward facing mode without you having to remove the seat or optional carrycot. It’s travel system compatible with the Graco Logic S HP car seat (£129.99), and has ‘one-click’ adaptors to make switching between optional car seat, buggy seat and optional newborn carrycot (£142.97) easy.
The Symbio can be used from 6 months to 3 years. To use it from birth, you’ll need to buy that optional carrycot (taking the price to £492.96), which will last until your baby hits the 10kg mark.
Features include a 5-point safety harness, 3-position seat recline, shock absorbing spring suspension, pneumatic tyres designed to give a cushy ride over bumpy ground and one-handed fold. It is lightweight at just 7.5kg, though the newborn carrycot does weigh 4.5kg, taking the overall weight back up to something more standard.
What we love
I found using the different elements of the Graco Symbio (pushchair seat, optional carrycot and optional car seat) simple. The ‘one-click’ adaptors mean changing between these different parts is quick and easy. You really can just slot the carrycot or pushchair seat into the mounts on the buggy’s chassis and they’re immediately locked into place. Getting the right positioning isn’t hard, so it can be done in seconds.
Ten-week-old Maya enjoyed her travels in the Symbio. She fell asleep in the optional carrycot whilst being wheeled around. Her usual buggy is large and forward facing, so being able to have her in the snug carrycot, facing me, made me feel more comfortable.
To save space while travelling, you could also use the carrycot as a Moses basket. While the carrycot has no raincover included, the apron and hood (or “extendable UV- protective canopy”) provide shelter from light rain.
The Symbio chassis is simple to fold. There’s numbered parts so you won’t forget how to do it. To make it even more compact, you can remove the wheels quickly. The chassis and the pushchair seat should fit in most car boots.
What to watch out for
If you buy all the optional parts – such as carrycot and car seat – the Graco Symbio doesn’t come in cheap. This will also make it take up a lot more space, as the newborn carrycot and Graco Logic S HP car seat seem larger than average (or at least, bigger than the Maxi-Cosi option I had). Because of its size, the newborn carrycot feels heavy to cart about.
For what seems to be a luxury buggy, the small shopping basket is really disappointing. With no lid to keep smaller items safe, it’s not much use.
The buggy seat, which is suitable from 6 months, could leave your baby feeling a little exposed after the snug, secure feeling of the carrycot. That said, you can position your little one facing you, which will help reassure them.
While the chassis is very manoeuvrable, the pneumatic tyres didn’t result in a smooth ride. The Symbio often hit raised paving stones with a jolt, rather than riding over them, though Maya didn’t seem to mind the bumps. It’s not a buggy you should use cross-country.
Who is Graco Symbio buggy best for?
First-time urban parents after an flexible option.
The Graco Symbio is sturdy, comfy and you’ll feel your baby is well protected in the carrycot. Attaching the seat, car seat and carrycot to the chassis is super simple. The ability to change the direction your baby’s facing is a handy, clever idea. The downside will be the mounting price tag if you want to get all the extras.
First reviewed 21/04/2010. Updated 15/03/2012.