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Ickle Bubba is an award-winning brand that aims to make parenting easier. Since its launch in 2013, the company has built a reputation for great design and quality aftercare support with its travel systems and pushchairs. Every product from the small range is smart-looking and reasonably priced and the Globe Ultra Compact Travel Stroller is a great example of the brand’s ethos.
The Globe is marketed as a luxury urban cruiser perfect for taking on planes and trains and transporting about in small cars. With the ability to fold down to 45cm x 55cm x 25cm, the pushchair can fit into the overhead storage on many airlines, as well as tiny car boots and other small spaces.
One feature that sets the Globe apart from the rest of the pack is the brand’s claim that it’s suitable for babies from newborn without the addition of a carrycot or cocoon.
Gabrielle tested the buggy with her 4-month-old daughter and her 3-year-old son (not at the same time!) on holiday in Spain, as well as on public transport in London.
What were your first impressions of the Globe?
When I looked in the box, I was surprised by the bling – there’s a shiny rose-gold frame that is accented with a brown leatherette handle and bumper bar and offset with black fabric. Glamorous, but to be honest not to my taste!
Then I picked it up and was alarmed by how light and insubstantial the chassis felt in my hands. I’m used to pushing considerably bigger buggies, such as the UppaBaby Cruz, and even the lightest buggy I own (an old Bugaboo Bee) is chunkier and far heavier than the Globe. So my first question was whether the Globe would be robust enough to either protect my tiny daughter or take the weight of my 3-year-old son while we were on holiday together.
How does it compare to similar pushchairs on the market?
The dimensions of the Globe are similar to those of other lightweight buggies, including the Cybex Eezy S Twist (£239 on Amazon), Babyzen Yoyo+ and Phil and Ted’s Go, but larger than those of the super small Silver Cross Jet.
Tipping the scales at 6.4kg, this stroller is exactly the same weight as the Babyzen Yoyo+ but heavier than the Silver Cross Jet, Cybex Eezy S Twist (both 5.9kg) and the Phil & Ted’s Go (5kg). It retails at around £50 more than the Go but considerably cheaper than the Jet and Twist, and almost half the price of the Yoyo+.
The only other lightweight buggy I’ve personally tried is the Bugaboo Bee Plus, which is several kilos heavier than the Globe but designed to be used everyday rather than as a travel buggy specifically.
There’s no doubt the Bee is more substantial and more adaptable. For example, the Bee can handle tougher terrain and you can position its seat so that it is rear or forward facing. But in terms of portability, the Globe is by far the easier to transport.
Would you feel happy using the Globe with a newborn?
Ickle Bubba says the Globe is suitable from birth to 15kg (approximately 3 years old) without the need for a cocoon or carrycot as the back of the seat can be lowered into a lie-flat position. However, because it’s so light, low to the ground and can only be used forward-facing, I personally would not feel comfortable pushing a newborn or very small baby in it without using at least a head-supporting cushion or ideally a protective cocoon with integrated head support.
Ickle Bubba doesn’t sell a cocoon so we threaded the harness through the Bugaboo cocoon we already own which kept my daughter Amaya protected and warm inside the Globe.
Is it car seat compatible?
Yes – with the addition of universal car seat adaptors, which are available to purchase separately for £30 a pair, the Globe can be used with a variety of car seats. Compatible ones include: the Ickle Bubba Galaxy Group 0+, the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix & Pebble, the BeSafe iZi Go and the Cybex Aton.
How does the Globe fold?
The Globe folds in 4 steps. First, you close the hood by pulling it towards the handle. Then you push the buttons on either side of the handlebar inwards, using both hands. Keeping both buttons pressed, you then use your thumbs to lower the handlebar towards the wheels.
After that, you lift the bar under the seat or the bumper bar until the stroller begins to fold into itself.
Finally, once the stroller is concertinaed, the plastic safety catch should lock automatically. I found it needed some encouragement.
It’s fairly straightforward in theory but in practice it was fiddly. The buttons on the inside of the handles aren’t easy to locate through the fabric and keeping them pressed in while simultaneously lowering the handlebar involves some dexterity.
How compact is it when folded and unfolded?
It’s incredibly small: the folded dimensions are 45cm x 55cm x 25cm. This is equivalent to the size of a carry-on bag on most airlines and means it will fit into the overhead locker on an aeroplane. It also makes it easy to store in small spaces such as cupboards or even drawers. Between outings, we kept it in its plastic cover in our narrow hallway and barely noticed it.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes, this buggy would fit in the smallest of boots and even in the footwell of your car.
How lightweight is the Globe?
It weighs 6.4kg so is by no means the lightest of the lightweight strollers on the market, but it’s certainly not the heaviest.
How easy is it to push?
The Globe is incredibly easy to push – on smooth surfaces indoors and outside – with just one hand. It was a pleasure to push this buggy through the hotel we stayed in on holiday at as it glided over marble tiles. Outdoors, it was just as easy to steer and manoeuvre, even when pushing with one hand.
It takes very little pressure to move it, even with a nearly 15kg toddler in the seat. On rougher terrain it doesn’t perform quite so well though.
How does the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller ride on different surfaces?
The first time I attempted to take the Globe ‘off road’, I was pushing my daughter along a path made of cracked paving stones interspaced with small planks of wood from our hotel down to the beach. I didn’t get very far – the wheels jammed in the sandy space between two paving stones and I struggled to get the front wheels to grip onto the next smooth step.
However, my husband soon had the stroller bumping along the path – evidently it can ride along tough terrain – though I’m not convinced it’s very comfortable for the rider. Back in London, pushing my son Rocco along pavements was a cinch, and I was impressed by how easily the pushchair dealt with kerbs, cambers and cracks.
Under the handlebar, the frame felt sturdy enough to withstand small bumps and was easily light enough to tilt or even pick up over larger obstacles.
How did you find the Globe on public transport?
The pushchair is great on public transport. Folded up and set on the floor between my feet, it barely took up more space than a daypack. Unfolded, it fit neatly next to the seat at the end of a row and the brakes kept it firmly in place.
I was a bit nervous tipping it onto its back wheels to get it on and off the train as the span isn’t huge but it managed the small gap between the platform and overground train without a problem. And it’s so light that on the few occasions it didn’t look long enough to reach, I could easily pick it up.
What do you think of the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller’s wheels?
Like the wheels on the Babyzen Yoyo+, the Globe’s wheels are filled-in so there are no gaps for dirt and leaves to get caught in. However, I think this makes the stroller look flimsy and cheap, and it also makes it handle differently, though there is front and rear suspension to absorb some of the impact.
The fact the wheels are shiny and match the rose-gold frame might appeal to some mums but I found they got scratched easily and made the stroller look worn after only a few outings.
Is the frame strong and durable?
The spindly-feeling frame was initially a cause of concern for me as I didn’t believe it would withstand more than a gentle stroll on a smooth surface while supporting my newborn.
But having used it to push my sturdy toddler along stretches of cracked London pavement, I can confirm that it’s a lot stronger than it appears.
And Ickle Bubba must be confident that it’s durable since it comes with an impressive 4-year guarantee.
Are the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller’s brakes effective?
The brakes themselves are good and hold the stroller in place even with my nearly 15kg toddler strapped inside. My complaint is with the brake pedal, which is on the bar between the two wheels and closer to the wheel on the right.
It feels flimsy even for such a lightweight stroller and it’s so narrow it feels sharp on the top of your foot, so definitely isn’t ‘flip-flop friendly’ to release.
What is the basket like?
The basket can carry an impressive 5kg – over twice the weight allowance of the basket under the much bigger and sturdier Venicci Carbo Lux. But it’s dinky and unless you’re sliding in small packets or bottles, isn’t big enough to hold all your supplies for a trip to the beach or pool.
It’s also almost impossible to access from the front when the adjustable leg rest is down. And when the seat is in the lie-flat position, you’ll need long arms to reach the length of the back of the seat and into the basket.
Can you adjust the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller’s handlebar?
Considering the fact you can’t adjust its height, the handlebar is remarkably comfortable for parents of varying heights. I’m 5’3” and found the handlebar comfortable to grip for long rides. My husband is 6’1” and he didn’t have to stoop to push the buggy at all – he just held it slightly further in front of him.
Does the seat unit seem comfortable?
I was surprised how spacious the seat unit was considering the overall diminutive size of the stroller. My three-year-old son fitted easily into the seat with room at the sides to spare. When the canopy was pushed back, it grazed the top of his head but when it was extended, it cleared the top of his head fine. On the other hand, the seat was huge for baby Amaya, who looked a little lost in it on the occasions I placed her there without the Bugaboo cocoon I was using.
How many recline positions does the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller’s seat have?
There are 3 options: upright, reclined and lie flat. I was happy with these as they cover all bases – upright for adventure mode, when your baby or toddler wants to sit up and see the world; reclining when they are relaxing or about to nod off and completely flat when they are asleep.
The latter is also ideal for babies up to the age of about 6 months, before they can sit up independently.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
Very. I was concerned that Rocco would feel uncomfortable in the stroller as it feels so light and insubstantial compared to the heavier buggies he is used to riding in, but he was really comfortable in the Globe. I think this was mostly due to the generous seat, which allowed him plenty of room to stretch out. Plus, the 5-point harness features 3 shoulder height positions, making him feel supported but not pulled back.
What do you think of the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller’s hood?
I loved the small plastic viewing window, which allowed me to keep an eye on Amaya while she slept, but I found the canopy a major disappointment as it was far too flimsy to withstand even the slightest breeze.
As we were holidaying in a particularly windy part of the Spanish coast, the hood didn’t stand a chance and I found myself constantly pulling it back down to keep Amaya in the shade.
Out of the wind, I found it provided a fair amount of shade in the upright position but nowhere near enough in the other 2 seat positions, so I had to improvise with a large muslin to ensure the passenger stayed out of the sun. But the ability to roll up the back of the hood, effectively creating an open-air buggy, was a fantastic bonus and ensured that the children could stay cool and in view while reclining or lying in the stroller.
Does the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller come with a travel carry bag?
Our pushchair came with a very thin plastic pouch. Because it was so flimsy, I didn’t fancy our chances of arriving at our holiday destination with the buggy intact so we swapped the bag the Globe came with for our trusty Bugaboo buggy transportation case. This was roomy enough to take the Globe as well as other baby essentials and robust enough to be checked in along with outsize luggage at the airport.
How easy is it to carry the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller by its carrystrap?
It’s really simple to carry the pushchair by its carrystrap, as long as the handlebar is facing towards you, otherwise it has a tendency to unfurl. The strap made carrying the buggy up and down stairs, on and off trains and along paths easy and comfortable – for short distances. I wouldn’t want to be lugging it around all day but it’s not designed for this.
Our closest overground station involves climbing two steep flights of stairs to get to the platforms, and I found I could manage the climb easily wearing Amaya in a sling and with the Globe over my shoulder.
What are the fabrics on the Globe like?
Despite being 100% polyester, the buggy cover, footmuff and seat liner felt soft and performed well – keeping my son cool and withstanding spills and splashes from sun cream and ice cream. The leatherette handlebar and bumper bar look convincing and are easy to wipe clean, so I was surprised that the shoulder pad on the carry strap is leather as it doesn’t seem necessary.
How is interacting with your little one when in the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller?
As it is forward-facing only, interacting isn’t great when the seat is upright and the canopy is down. To talk to Rocco, I had to lean over and fold back the canopy. It’s far harder with Amaya, who is lying flat.
However, a unique feature of the stroller – the ability to roll up the back of the hood and secure it in place with a tie – makes interacting with your baby when the seat is in the reclining or lying flat position very easy. It’s also a great way to ensure your little one stays cool in the stroller as both ‘ends’ of the seat are open to the air.
How did you like the look of the Globe?
The rose-gold frame with black fabric certainly makes a style statement and got plenty of attention from parents who were drawn to the shiny chassis. The brown leatherette trim on the handle and bumper bars makes the stroller look more expensive than it is and the quilting on the fabrics also elevates the look of the Globe.
The rose-gold frame is also available with khaki fabric, while a conventional silver frame comes with either blue or grey fabric, which both look lovely and offer a refreshing change from traditional black.
Is it easy to build the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller?
It was ridiculously simple to put this stroller together and we managed it in a few minutes. Even without the instructions, it would be straightforward to unfold, attach the bumper bar and the wheels then work out how to use the 5-point safety harness and adjust the seat and footrest.
The instructions were easy to follow but the quality of the pictures is poor as they are all a blue-grey colour for some inexplicable reason. My only other gripe is that the instructions refer to ‘breaks’ instead of brakes, which doesn’t inspire confidence.
What’s in the box?
- Globe stroller including hood/canopy and bumper bar
- Rain cover
- User guide
- Plastic storage bag
Are there any additional extras that you need to or can buy?
Yes, plenty, including a soft quilted seat liner and footmuff, cup holder, buggy organiser and protective carry/storage bag. Rather than buy them separately, you can purchase all of them as part of the Globe Prime Package for an extra £40. Also available are a changing bag and mat (£20) and a set of universal car seat adaptors (£30).
What do you think of the Prime package?
I think the Prime package, which is £40 more than the regular stroller, represents fantastic value for money, since the footmuff and buggy organiser are £30 each, so you’ve already saved on just these two items. It also comes with a protective storage bag which looks sturdy on the website but if it’s the same one that arrived with our buggy, it’s really just a flimsy plastic sleeve that would keep off dust and spills but won’t protect the stroller from knocks.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the Globe?
There are a few things I would have liked to know before buying this pushchair. Firstly, it would have been good to know that although the basket can carry up to 5kg, it’s small and difficult to access from the back, so the extra storage options (the buggy organiser and cup holder, for example) are useful to increase the carry capacity. There’s also no mosquito net included – or available in the range – which is odd for a travel buggy.
In my opinion, the flimsy carry bag that comes with the Globe won’t protect the stroller from bumps and bashes of hold luggage should you not be able to stow it in the overhead locker onboard the plane and so you’ll need a sturdier bag.
Finally, it would have been worth knowing that the pushchair does feel a little flimsy for a newborn baby and that it’s a good idea to buy a cocoon for inside the stroller.
Who would the Ickle Bubba Globe Prime Stroller be most useful for?
This stroller is ideal for parents of babies who love to travel but tend to stick to hotels and pavements rather than beaches and paths. It’s a flashy travel pushchair that has a ‘wow’ factor and some clever design elements to bolster its style credentials.
What was your favourite feature of the Globe?
It’s a toss-up between the storage pouch at the back of the seat, which was big enough to store the essentials I needed to keep to hand, including my room card key, and the roll-up fabric at the base of the back of the hood which allows air to circulate freely through the buggy.
Is it good value?
Yes, I’d say it is worth the price for such a stylish and generously-sized lightweight stroller – especially when you bear in mind that is very easy to fold and unfold, can be carried comfortably over one shoulder and can be stowed in the smallest of spaces.
I’d recommend it if you plan on travelling regularly (including on public transport) in place of a conventional buggy. And I’d suggest upgrading to the Prime package, which includes almost everything you need to transport your little one effortlessly and stylishly on planes, trains, buses and cars.
Where can I buy the Globe Prime Stroller?
This lightweight and easy-to-fold stroller would make the ideal travelling companion for your baby or toddler, whether you’re jetting off to a warm-weather destination or catching a train into town for a spot of shopping.
Suitable from newborn to toddler and featuring USPs such as an integrated storage pocket and roll-up fabric for increased ventilation, the Globe is a great pushchair to keep on standby for both short trips and long holidays. And if bling ain’t your thing, you’ll be pleased to know the frame also comes in a more traditional silver.
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|Model||Globe Prime Stroller|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:99cm W:45cm L:81cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:25cm W:45cm L:55cm|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years – approx|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|
|Front wheels||Wheel suspension|