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Ickle Bubba are a British brand formed in 2013 who produce affordable high-end travel systems designed with modern family life in mind.
Its Aston Rose travel system, a MFM Awards 2020 bronze winner, has a luxury look and feel and while it’s created by Ickle Bubba, it’s branded as simply ‘Aston Rose’ on the pram itself, with beautiful gold detailing. It stands out aesthetically, with immaculate style and good-quality materials. The Aston Rose also boasts other innovative and useful features, such as the hand-operated brake and reversible handlebar.
The Aston Rose is available as an 8-piece travel system – without the car seat and isofix base – for £699, or as a 10-piece travel system for £899, making this a luxury-looking pushchair with a very reasonable price tag.
Currently on maternity leave, I live with my husband and our 2 daughters, aged 4 months and 3 years. I tested the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose when out shopping, at the park and on woodland walks.
What were your first impressions of the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The first thing I noticed about this travel system was the design and quality. I thought the gold detailing, faux leather touches and matching accessories looked very stylish and I loved the silky lining of the carrycot.
How is the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose different to the Ickle Bubba Stomp V4?
There are some similarities in the design of the Aston Rose and the Stomp V4 (£599 on Amazon), and I think this comes down to the signature style of Ickle Bubba – the shape of the seat and carrycot and look of the chassis are very alike. However, there are numerous differences and overall, I’d say the Aston Rose is more lavish than the Stomp V4. Their differences include:
- The Aston Rose has a more premium feel – I loved the the silky lining in the carrycot, soft cushioning inside the footmuff/seat liner and gold detailing throughout.
- There is a hand-operated brake on the Aston Rose, as opposed to the foot-operated one on the Stomp V4.
- The Aston Rose has a reversible handlebar, which doesn’t feature on the Stomp V4.
- The handlebar on the Aston Rose doesn’t tilt as it does on the Stomp V4, but it is able to be pushed a lot further down for storing – handy if you’re trying to tuck your pushchair into a small space.
- The ‘ultra compact fold’ as it is described by Ickle Bubba is different to the concertina fold of the Stomp V4.
- The extendable shopping basket is larger than the basket on the Stomp V4.
- The Aston Rose travel system comes with a Mercury i-Size car seat and isofix base, which complies with i-Size regulations and comes with a memory foam newborn insert unlike the Galaxy 0+ car seat (£151.99 on Amazon) that’s included with the Stomp V4.
How does the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose compare to other pushchairs you have tried?
Compared to my Quinny Buzz, there was a lot more wow factor with the Aston Rose and I did receive a number of compliments about how smart it looked.
The brake is easier to apply, simply by pushing the small gold lever up, and released again with the push of a button. This was a welcome change from the stiff foot brake of my Quinny, which often needs a couple of goes before working. Another big contrast was the large shopping basket on the Aston Rose versus the small one I was used to.
It is safe to say I was completely won over by the Aston Rose when compared to my beloved Quinny Buzz. That said, I did find the Quinny Buzz lighter to handle, although the Aston Rose was still easy to push and steer one-handed over normal terrain.
I also marginally prefer the fold of the Quinny Buzz, which auto-unfolds when you release the catch, though the chassis cannot be folded one handed as you can with the Aston Rose.
What age is the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose suitable for?
The Ickle Bubba Aston Rose is suitable from newborn to approximately 3 years (15kg). The carrycot can be used from 0-6 months (or until baby is sitting up, whichever comes first) and the seat can be used from 6 months onwards.
The carrycot is ventilated with a silky lining and a firm mattress that looks very comfortable for a newborn. The only problem is the carrycot cover, which would almost entirely cover a newborn if they were placed in the ‘feet-to-foot’ position (as recommended for safe sleeping). This is easily resolved by rolling the cover down and I would likely remove it entirely if I used this carrycot for overnight sleeping.
I tested the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose pushchair seat with my 2.5 year old nephew who is on the small side for his age. There was plenty of room left in the harness even with a winter coat on, but my guess is that 3 years is probably about right as an upper age limit in terms of the harness.
The sun canopy didn’t leave much headroom for my nephew, so it might not be the best choice for taller toddlers, although my little tester seemed happy and said it was “very comfy”.
Is the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping?
Yes, the Aston Rose comes with its own carrycot that is fully ventilated and suitable for overnight sleeping. As aforementioned, it has a silk lining that gives it a sense of luxury, and my baby did seem to gravitate towards this each time.
The mattress feels very comfortable and firm as confirmed by my mini tester who always fell asleep within minutes of being pushed in the carrycot. The bumper bar attaches to the carrycot which would be useful for hanging toys from.
The cover that comes with the carrycot is my only gripe; it feels well made, but I found after it was attached to the carrycot, there was a small gap between the cover and the bumper bar, which resulted in the wind blowing underneath and into the carrycot on windy days.
The cover also makes it difficult to view your baby and I found I often turned the top of the cover down below the bumper bar to get around this. I did find it useful though when I wanted to provide a darker environment so that my baby would sleep, so there were plus points to it.
Combined with the sun canopy, most of the windy weather was kept off, and since I wouldn’t rely on a cover alone (I always dress baby for the weather) this was not a deal breaker for me, just an observation. A raincover with a velcro window is included for the carrycot which also works very well.
Is the seat unit comfortable and spacious enough for your child?
The Ickle Bubba Aston Rose seat unit uses the same frame as the carrycot, so once your baby has outgrown the carrycot, you need to remove the lining from the frame and attach the seat fabric. This is slightly fiddly but not difficult.
The seat unit is firm, supportive and comfortable with a 5-point harness for added safety that is easily adjusted. There is a gate opening bumper bar for added support. My 2.5-year-old nephew had plenty of growing room in the harness and seemed very comfortable. He didn’t have much head room left with the sun canopy pulled down, but I do think he would easily make it to the 3 year upper limit, though he is on the small side.
With the seat liner and footmuff in situ the seat looked cosy and cushioned, and felt very soft which my nephew loved.
What’s the recline like on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose seat unit?
The seat has 3 recline positions that I felt were spot on. It reclines back fully to what would be a lie flat position if it were not a bucket seat. This is very easy to do one-handed using a lever on the back of the unit.
How is interacting with your child when in the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The seat unit can be parent or world facing and the canopy has a mesh window, so interacting with your child in either mode is easily done.
Talking to my baby in the carrycot was difficult to do with the cover on as I could not see her while pushing without leaning over; I got around this by folding the cover under the bumper bar. It is worth noting that I am short at 5ft 2in, but my 6ft husband had the same problem.
MFM tester Lois praised how easy it was to interact with her child in the Aston Rose: “My baby is at a much better height level than in other buggies which is firstly a back saver when lifting them in and out and also, for older babies it is handy for stopping for a meal or a quick drink as they are more level with the adult.”
How effective is the hood on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The hood is used for both the carrycot and the seat unit, and it does provide excellent cover as it can be extended further by unzipping an extra section of fabric.
MFM tester, Lois, also agreed and said, “The hood of the buggy is brilliant is comes right down to completely cover baby which is perfect for when little one is sleepy, there is even a little window to check on them.”
It is ventilated with a mesh window and covers a significant portion of the seat. Combined with the footmuff and seat lining, it offers a great shield from the elements. It’s also dark, so great for napping.
How easy is the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose to fold?
To fold the Ickle Bubba Bubba frame is relatively quick and easy.
- First you remove the seat unit, then you push the handlebar all the way down.
- Place one foot on the bottom bar behind the shopping basket and pull upwards on the handlebar so that the chassis folds in.
- You can then turn the front wheels inwards to make them flatter.
You can also fold the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose with the seat attached, although not as compactly.
How compact is the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose when folded?
Ickle Bubba describe the fold as ‘ultra compact’ and it is compact, in relative terms, for a complete travel system, though I didn’t find it much smaller than my old Quinny Buzz. Even so, there was plenty of room to fit the chassis in the boot of my Nissan Pulsar along with my children’s wellies and coats, and that was without removing the wheels or flattening the carrycot.
MFM tester Lois found the pushchair to be “very large and bulky” when folded with the seat attached, so it’s worth removing the seat if you have a smaller car boot or storage space.
I found flattening the carrycot could be a little tricky, but this would give you extra space if needed. As I was predominantly using the carrycot, I kept the seat fabric and any extras stored at home, which is easy to do as there is no extra frame to store.
How easy is it to push and steer the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
On first use the Ickle Bubba Bubba didn’t feel as light as my old Quinny Buzz, but that’s not to say it didn’t handle well – it could easily be pushed and manoeuvred one handed and was simple to lift up and down kerbs. I did find it quite light to push and the front wheels were responsive to my steering.
How does the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose ride on smooth surfaces?
On pavements, the Aston Rose feels sturdy yet responsive. It has good suspension and glides almost effortlessly on smooth terrain.
How does it feel on more challenging surfaces?
The suspension is good on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose and mounting kerbs is relatively easy, though it does involve tilting the pushchair back a fair bit as the front wheels are smaller. When riding over bumpy terrain, the front wheels can be locked into position by pushing down the buttons on the front. It wasn’t much effort to push up a long gravel driveway without using this feature, and it handled with ease over grass as well.
In the interest of a well-rounded review, I took a woodland walk in muddy terrain that was boggy in places with some hills. The Aston Rose fared pretty well considering I don’t think this was how Ickle Bubba intended for the pushchair to be used, but after some time the front wheels became clogged with mud and leaves that made them impossible to turn. When sticking to less boggy woodland walks (with paths or firmer mud) the Aston Rose was no problem at all to use.
Cleaning the tyres after our muddy escapade was fairly difficult. Although, with such a style-centric pram, it seemed a shame to get it dirty in the first place, so if regular woodland walks are on the top of your agenda I would consider alternative arrangements (most likely a comfortable baby carrier).
How did you find the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose on public transport?
My mother-in-law took the bus with the Aston Rose and reported back that it was very easy to get on and off and to move in small spaces without needing a wide turning circle.
How did the wheels perform on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The wheels are puncture-proof, which is a relief after having dealt with air-filled wheels in the past that constantly needed re-inflating. The front wheels are lockable which is useful for bumpy terrain. They felt durable with a good amount of grip while still easy to push over smooth surfaces.
Is the frame strong and durable?
The frame of the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose feels very robust and should definitely last the length of time for which the pushchair is intended to be used, and probably longer. It did not feel shaky or rickety over bumpier surfaces.
Is the handlebar on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose adjustable?
The handlebar is height adjustable and comes up quite a long way, as well as pushing all the way down, making it suitable for short and tall people alike.
How effective are the brakes?
They might be my favourite feature of the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose! They’re operate by hand and it just makes so much sense to do it in this way. It means it is very unlikely you won’t apply it correctly, and other things don’t get in the way such as shopping or flimsy footwear.
How spacious is the basket on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The basket is generously sized and extendable, and easy to access. I was able to store 3 normal-sized carrier bags of food shopping in the basket.
In one trip, I had managed to store 2 large reusable bags of shopping, toilet roll and nappies in the basket, though the second bag was precariously balanced and, in the interest of longevity, it’s probably better to stick to a sensible amount.
Can the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose be used as a travel system?
The Aston Rose comes as an 8-piece or 10-piece travel system. As a 10-piece, it comes with the Ickle Bubba Mercury i-Size group 0+ car seat and isofix base.
How do you like the look of the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose overall?
The look of the pushchair is a big selling point – Ickle Bubba have branded it differently to its other travel systems and its lovely gold detailing and plush materials give the Aston Rose more of a luxury look and feel.
The colour choices are black or stone which I think offers elegance over vibrancy. Overall, I found the Aston Rose very aesthetically pleasing.
What are the customisable options of the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The travel system comes with almost everything you could want in a pushchair – I could not find additional products specific to the Aston Rose, so I would say it is not very customisable.
It comes with a cup holder which attaches to the side, although I took this off as I kept knocking it on things and also found that it didn’t fit a standard takeaway coffee cup very well.
What’s in the box?
The 10-piece travel system comes with:
- Carrycot and cover
- Seat unit
- Mercury i-Size group 0+ car seat
- Mercury isofix base
- Car seat adaptors
- 2 x rain covers (1 for carrycot, 1 for seat)
- Bumper bar
- Matching change bag with changing mat
- Seat liner and footmuff
- Cup holder
Are there any additional extras to the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The travel system comes with everything you need; you can purchase the 8-piece instead of the 10-piece if you do not require the car seat, adaptors and base, though your car seat may then not be compatible with the travel system.
How easy was it to build the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
Very easy – I was able to assemble the travel system without much direction. When I did get stuck, the instructions were fairly straightforward to follow though there are only diagrams to guide you. It was a bit of a faff having to change over the carrycot to the seat unit and I wouldn’t like to do this often.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
That there is only one frame for the carrycot and seat unit, so if you are intending on swapping between a baby and toddler often you will have to change this every time – I imagine most would opt for a double pushchair in this situation.
What was your favourite feature on the Ickle Bubba Aston Rose?
The hand-operated brake; it was very easy to apply and unobtrusive.
Is it worth its price tag?
The Ickle Bubba Aston Rose travel system represents excellent value for money when compared to other luxury travel systems, as you get absolutely everything you could need and it’s all good-quality. The fact it comes with an i-Size group 0+ car seat, with newborn insert, and isofix base makes the price tag very reasonable. I would definitely recommend this travel system.
Where can you buy the pushchair?
The Ickle Bubba Aston Rose pushchair is an excellent quality travel system, which is ideal for a family wanting a travel system that provides elegant style, safety and comfort at a great price.
The soft and silky lining materials, stylish design, innovative hand brake and generous shopping basket all make it a great value option in the luxury pushchair market.
The reversible handlebar is another innovative feature which shows some careful consideration by Ickle Bubba; though not strictly essential it does make getting your child into the pushchair (and out again) much easier.
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Dimensions & Weight
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||
Mercury i-Size Car Seat
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Tyre type||Puncture proof|
Travel System includes;