Mamas & Papas are hoping to make a big impression in the city-friendly small-stroller market, with its latest addition to the Armadillo range.
The Armadillo Flip has been sent out to battle other compact contenders, like the Bugaboo Bee, Uppababy Cruz and Quinny Zap Xtra, and has many neat tricks under its armoury.
M&P, which has spent 33 years establishing itself at the higher-end of the High Street (winning awards along the way) has pulled out all the stops with its “revolutionary” Armadillo Flip.
The Flip, M&P say, has a bigger seat, the largest hood, and has the quickest, most simple and compact fold, compared to its chosen rivals.
And it doesn’t stop there; it folds using just one hand!
Is it easy to build the stroller?
Yes, it is very simple and takes about five minutes to put together.
Three minutes of that was deciphering the instructions, as they were mildly perplexing.
What’s the difference between the original Armadillo Flip and the Flip XT?
The size. As you may expect from the ‘XT’ in the name, this buggy comes with extras. It’s 7cm higher, 2 cm wider and 2 cm shorter than the original Flip, as well as being a kilo heavier, weighing 10kg.
There’s also the addition of a toy loop and mesh air vent in the hood among a few other things.
It has a two-way reversing seat unit, meaning you can flip between parent and world-facing in a matter of seconds.
Mamas & Papas have focused in on minimising for parents and maximising for the little ones.
Comparing its Armadillo Flip to rival strollers, M&P say the hood has 19% better coverage, a 12% bigger seat, and a quicker, simpler way to fold the chair, which only requires one hand! A lot of big selling points for such a little pushchair!
What do you think of the two-way fold?
It’s very convenient. It means you can collapse the buggy at any time without having to rearrange the seat position.
How easy is it to fold with one hand?
It’s certainly simple to do with one hand, but in my mind I was expecting to be able to fold it in one fluid movement!
In reality there’s a tiny bit more to it (and it involves a little to-ing and fro-ing when the seat’s parent-facing, which made me think that you’d have to put down whatever you were holding anyway if you wanted to do it comfortably).
However, you could hold on to your little one with one hand and fold the buggy with the other if it was necessary.
Is the Armadillo lightweight?
It certainly is. You hardly feel like you’re pushing any weight, and when folded it’s easy to transport with one hand.
So is it strong?
Yes, the frame and handle certainly feel sturdy. Some strollers feel like they might fall apart from rattling across the mountainous terrain of many city pavements, but the Flip feels strong.
However, the way the seat clicks into place didn’t give me the utmost confidence, as a few times it glided straight passed the setting I was looking for. This was a bit annoying, especially when in a rush, and I was left supporting some of my son’s weight as I tried to click it into place.
How does it push?
It’s pretty smooth, and glides nicely and it’s very light to push.
We put the Armadillo Flip to the test on an autumnal day. It handled broken pavement with ease, took high kerbs in its stride, and didn’t slide on wet grass.
Sudden turns, however, it didn’t do too well on. I tried quick turns at speed (I’m often pushing a pram fast, then realise I have to quickly turn round and get something I have forgotten!) a few times, and each time the Armadillo felt it could tip if I didn’t have a proper grip on it.
With that said, it’s so light that it was very easy to keep on four wheels with minimal strength required.
Tell us about the brake.
It’s really easy to reach with one foot, and just as easy to push. I was impressed with this.
What do you think of the handle?
I’m not impressed, as it’s fixed. The height is reasonable, but I like to have the option of making it higher or lower.
How compact is it when folded?
It is small, and the wheels can be taken off if you want to maximize your storage space. M&P say it’ll even fit into the boot of a Fiat 500.
Is the hood really as good as M&P say?
Yes, it’s great! Really long, unfurling like an armadillo shell over your little one.
It’s pretty good for giving a sleepy head a dark, comfy space to get some much-earned rest.
It also has UPF50+ protection on summer days. I didn’t get the chance to put this to the test!
Would you take it on holiday?
Definitely. I’m paranoid about sunburn, so the extra long roof is a massive bonus, and it has sun protection in its material. That’d be very reassuring for me.
And, apparently, the brake is flip flop friendly! Also, it has a carry-handle, so you can easily cart it about when folded up without having to fiddle about to find a comfy way to carry it.
Does the weather have a bearing on how you use it?
No. The hood steps in again for light rain, and the raincover will easily deal with heavier weather. And strong sun, as I’ve already said, shouldn’t be an issue.
What are the basket and storage like?
There’s a good-sized space under the seat to carry shopping, as well as discarded teddys, toys, hats, gloves, and whatever else you might suddenly need to pick up from the floor and quickly store.
Would you recommend using it from birth?
Yep. And M&P say that a carrycot isn’t essential, as the seat lies flat.
I think I’d feel more comfortable using the carrycot as it’s much more contained than using just the seat.
Is the product value for money?
Not really, it fits the bill for a compact city stroller when it comes to weight and folding size, but I’m not sure if I’d pay £399.
Some of it’s rivals have more style, and I’d want a much sleeker looking pram if I’m shelling out almost £400.
However, if you care less about style, it has many child and parent pleasing features that might just sway you. And the additional extras are reasonably priced, plus there’s no requirement to buy the carrycot as the seat lies completely flat.
What’s in the box?
- Instruction manual
What additional extras are there?
- Carrycot – £149
- Cybex Aton Q car seat – £185
- Ellis shoulder bag – £47
- Cold weather plus footmuff – £79.95
- Car seat adaptors – £29.95
The Armadillo Flip is large on space for your youngster and compact where it needs to be for you.
It has many parent and child friendly features, but, for me, it just doesn’t look as good as some other strollers in its price range.
It’s a decent choice if you care less about looks, and more about features.
You can buy the Armadillo Flip from Mamas & Papas and Amazon
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