Ickle Bubba Aurora Stroller review
In a nutshell
A very affordable, ultra-light and super-compact stroller, but it lacks versatility and isn't the best quality.
What we tested
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Comfort for child
2.5A star rating of 2.5 out of 5.
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Well-made, lightweight, folds down one handed, good for travelling, reclines flat.
- Carry strap broke on the carry bag on first use. It’s small, too small and uncomfortable for my lanky two-year-old.
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Well-known for providing high end travel systems that offer exceptional value for money, Ickle Bubba started just 5 years ago, and has since been a massive hit in the parenting market.
And Ickle Bubba is now targeting urban parents, and has launched its first lightweight stroller, the Aurora.
The stroller has been designed to suit active parents who crave simplicity and style, producing a product that folds quickly and fits into a carry bag.
It can then been worn over your shoulder; great for airports, bus and train rides and for me, perfect for an up and coming trip to Disneyland Paris, where we aren’t sure if we will need a pushchair or not – but will PROBABLY need one; who knows with a toddler!
The Aurora is being sold on being a lightweight, affordable buggy - so how light is it?
It’s clear to see that going on holiday or travelling on public transport with a toddler who likes to walk but also needs the comfort of a stroller when the going gets tough is where the Aurora would come into its own.
As mentioned above, when folded down this stroller is small at only 5.5kg.
It’s a doddle to carry around and get in and out of the car, and on and off of public transport (we took ours on the Eurostar and it fitted perfectly in the overhead luggage).
Tell us more about the fold system
The stand-out feature of this stroller is how simple it is to fold down and open.
You can actually do it one-handed (except from when you have to fold the hood back!) and is as simple as:
- sliding the release catch to one side
- pushing the fold button
- then pushing the handle bar forward and downwards until the frame folds.
You then need to fold the hood back by pressing the buttons on either side.
To open the stroller:
- unhook the locking clip
- lift the handle upwards and outwards
- then click the stroller into place.
You can carry it around in the carry bag, though unfortunately mine broke as soon as I got it out of the box.
The strap snapped off, meaning I’ve had to get my needle and thread out and fix the bag.
How easy is it to store?
Easy. The Aurora folds down to such tiny proportions that it’s hard to believe there’s a stroller in the bag.
It looks a bit like a small suitcase, but once unfolded it’s a normal, full-sized pushchair with really spacious under-seat storage, which is easy to access, even when the seat is fully reclined.
Because of its size, the Aurora can fit into spaces such as under a bed, the porch cupboard or in my car boot without my husband moaning that the children are taking over (they are!) and it’s also easy to carry and lift into spaces such as luggage racks on trains and buses.
Is the Ickle Bubba Aurora comfortable for your baby?
Yes and no. The Aurora offers a cushioned seat with padded shoulder straps but it is quite narrow for my toddler, she seemed comfortable enough when sitting up, but the back support was too short for her so when she laid down flat, her head was slightly hanging off the back.
She definitely can't afford to get too much taller!
It was easy to recline totally flat using the toggle system at the back of the chair and the hood is easy to pull down.
And it's worth noting that, while one of the bigger hoods on the market, it only offers a small amount of shade, which is something to consider especially if you are relying on it for sun protection. Only her head and shoulders were covered by it.
She also didn’t like the hood down. The buggy seat itself looked quite sheltered and it's narrow when all the way down, and I can expect quite claustrophobic with no view of where we are heading.
She preferred playing peak-a-boo with it, good entertainment for long shopping queues!
However once asleep, I did put the hood down and it was good for blocking out light, plus I did like the handy storage pocket on the back of the hood, which was handy for storing your purse, sunglasses and a few snacks.
How does the Ickle Bubba Aurora push?
I love that the Aurora is so easy to push and manoeuvre on flat surfaces, but I wasn’t so keen on the handlebar that didn’t adjust.
I know that this is pretty normal for strollers but it’s something I struggle with being just 5ft 2. It felt a little too high for me and made it difficult go up and down curbs.
It was, however perfect for my husband who is 6ft 2, and I did like the fact that the handles were quite skinny with a foam cover, which made it comfortable for small hands.
The swivel front wheels were also a key part of the Aurora’s manoeuvrability, but be warned; if you don’t like swivel wheels, these can’t be locked.
Where the Aurora could use is improvement is when taking tight corners.
If you are walking at speed and taking a tight corner, it does feel like it’s going to topple over, but hey, a little bit of 2-wheel action is fun for a toddler, isn’t it?!
It feels light and zippy to push on pavements and roads, and is perfect for public transport and getting in and out of the car.
Things do start getting more clunky though when you hit surfaces like cobbles or stones, as the tyres are small and if you have a fidgety toddler in it, it feels hard to push.
I also found that the swivel wheels got stuck on tough terrain, and you have to give it a double nudge to free yourself. I wouldn’t recommend using it on rough terrain like stony paths or grass.
Tell us about the brake
The brake is a single pedal on each side, which works by pressing down on either one, on either side.
I found it worked well to stop any movement and the fact that there is one on each side made it easy to put on and then take off with a flick of my foot – they are small pedals though, so you may need to push it up a few times to take the brake off.
Because the buggy itself is so lightweight, I definitely recommend having the brake on when you pop your child in and out of the Aurora. It likes to run away if not.
Does being lightweight hamper its durability?
No, it’s sleek and compact and is stronger than it looks! When you get it out the box, it feels very light, and looks very fragile but don’t be alarmed, it's not. It’s actually really well made!
However, I wouldn’t say it’s suitable for use all day every day. For me, the Aurora is more about practicality than comfort.
If we are on holiday or I just need to whizz around town for an hour or so, than this is my go-to buggy.
Is it suitable for a newborn?
The Aurora is a little on the small side for my two-year-old daughter, and I wouldn’t use it for a baby any younger than four months.
Saying that, Ickle Bubba will soon be launching an infant insert, which'll make it more adaptable for newborns.
It doesn’t have a safety bar (although the adjustable straps are very secure) and it just feels a little too light and fly-away for a newborn.
What’s the difference between the Ickle Bubba Aurora and the Babyzen Yoyo?
At first glance you could be forgiven for mistaking the Aurora for the very popular ultra-lightweight buggy the Babyzen Yoyo.
Both the ultra-light Aurora (5.5kg) and dainty Yoyo (5.8kg) are suitable from birth up to approximately three years (15kg).
They both have multiple recline options including a lie flat option, a one-handed folding action and can be carried in a bag over your shoulder.
And when folded they are tiny, with the Aurora measuring in at 64cm x40x21cm and the Yoyo measuring in at 52x44x18cm.
But where they differ most is the price-tag: Babyzen have unapologetically created a high-end lightweight with the Yoyo, which costs £355 all in.
The Aurora comes in at £115, which is not surprising considering Ickle Bubba is known for making affordable buggies.
It’s worth noting that while Ickle Bubba says the Aurora is suitable from birth, as it has a lie flat option, this is not great for newborns (more on this later). On the other hand, the Babyzen Yoyo comes with a newborn nest, ideal for small babies.
The Yoyo also has a parent-facing option, which I prefer to have for younger babies. My daughter, Lacie, faced me until she was 2 years old: I enjoyed the interaction and liked knowing that she was ok at all times.
Does the Ickle Bubba Aurora offer value for money?
At £115, it’s more expensive than your average, cheap umbrella-fold buggy.
But when compared to other an ultra-light, ultra-compact strollers, like
- the Babyzen Yoyo - £355
- Mothercare XSS Pockit -£129.99
- Recaro Easylife -189.99
- Mountain Buggy Nano - £195.95
- it's really affordable and sturdy, making it worth the money.
It’s certainly worth a buy if you’re after an occasional stroller, rather than an everyday one.
As someone who walks EVERYWHERE, and across various terrains, I’m not sure that the Aurora would keep up with that over a long period of time and I would be worried that my little ones weren’t as comfortable as they should be.
I also don’t think it’ll last the full recommended 3 years, as it’s not ideal for newborns and not suitable for taller kids.
My lanky two year old looked really uncomfortable in it, especially when laying down for nap time.
Saying that, it’s nice, however, that I can just jump in the car now and know that I have a reliable buggy waiting for me in the boot for when I need it.
What’s in the box?
- Buggy carry bag
As a compact buggy that folds down and fits in its own carry bag, the Aurora is perfect for travelling.
I also found it to be a godsend in everyday scenarios from shopping to whizzing around busy streets to impromptu trips in the car.
Despite my initial fears of it being flimsy when I first got it out of the bag, the Aurora is actually more durable and comfortable than I thought.
And if you are tired of taking your bulky buggy everywhere or have a toddler that likes the thought of walking but then wants to be carried after 5 minutes, then this is a life-saver and not too much of a burden to travel with and have for those ‘just-in-case’ moments.
I wouldn’t recommend it for nap times though - my little one struggled to get comfortable and it’s certainly not a replacement for your usual travel system.
Want more lightweight and compact strollers? We've got plenty right here...
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years – Stated as suitable from birth, but not recommended by MFM|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Dimensions||H:102cm W:40cm L:62cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:21cm W:40cm L:64cm|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|
|Accessories included||Rain cover, carry bag|