The Armadillo from nursery manufacturing giants Mamas & Papas has been billed as its new lightweight, inexpensive and compact pushchair. This easy-to-use pram certainly seems to hit targets. It folds down to a slim-line size, is nippy around town and holds its own on grass. Unlike Mamas & Papas 2011 ‘marmite’ likened Mylo buggy, which was sported by celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and Holly Willoughby, the Armadillo has a much more conventional design.
What’s in the box?
What are the optional extras?
Mamas&Papas Aton car seat -£135
Adaptors for the Aton car seat - £29.95
Maxi-Cosi car seat adaptors - £29.95
Sun parasol - £34.95
Foot muff - £39.95
Cup holder and toddler handle - £20
Changing bag - £44.99
Sunshield – £35.10
Knitted blanket - £40.00
How does the Armadillo steer?
For the price it does a good job. If you are used to more expensive buggies with large wheels you might find it a bit bumpy, but it is easy to steer and my little boy managed to sleep through a variety of hills, wonky pavements and bus rides - so it was a smooth enough ride for him.
What about the assembly?
Putting it together is quick and painless. The wheels need fitting but they clip on – no tools required – and there is a break cord that links the back wheels, which just needs tucking inside a Velcro pocket. Then it is ready to go.
Is it travel system compatible?
Yes. There are adapters available so it can fit a Mamas & papas Aton car seat or a Maxi-Cosy pebble car seat.
How does the buggy fare against the rain?
It comes with a rain cover that attaches to the hood and clips onto the side of the chassis. The hood itself it large and waterproof so don’t be concerned that it isn’t covered. It certainly worked well under a bit of light rain, though I found that it was best to leave it out and unfolded to dry. I would have preferred the rain cover to fit over the hood – just because it would be much easier to dry.
How about comfort?
The seat is easy to raise up and down with a pull cord and the footrest is adjustable so it is a good buggy for comfy napping. It can also lie completely flat, for long naps. There is also plenty of room (my little one is quite chunky) and the straps felt sturdy and safe.
I had the striped Armadillo, which came with a padded liner for my baby to sit on. I would recommend having this as it added a little bit of warmth on a very cold day. The plain – and slightly less conspicuous version of this buggy is cheaper but it does not come with a padded liner. However, this is available to buy separately for £19.95.
Any extra features?
Yes, it comes with a shopping basket – which is large and a huge plus point for me. Still, it took a bit of wrestling to get the bigger shopping bags into it as it is very close to the underside of the seat.
I also liked the peekaboo window, which meant I could see my son even though the seat is front facing. The flap that covers it closes with a magnet, which is also a nice touch. The large hood would be good for shade against the sun and it also gave my son a real sense of space. He also enjoyed the stripey pattern much more than I did and would gaze up at it peacefully.
Can you take the Armadillo on public transport?
Certainly- I found the Armadillo easy to get on and off busses. It manoeuvred well in small spaces; it also isn’t too long when folded, so the handle didn’t stick out much, which I know can annoy other passengers.
How easy is it to fold?
It’s easy to fold with a simple twist of the handle – and importantly I could manage it one handed. There’s also a handle to carry it. It folds down very neatly so I was able to lift it upstairs and into our flat without scratching the walls. This has been really difficult with larger buggies in the past. The only downside to the handle is that it doesn’t extend to cater for different heights.
What to watch out for
The Armadillo is only forward facing; the seat lies flat so it's suitable from birth, but your baby won’t be facing you.
In all, the Armadillo is really good for the price. There are smoother rides and better-looking buggies, but they can be three times more expensive. I think it would be a good buy for city mums, and anyone who mostly pushes on pavements. But if you plan on taking it on rougher terrain then it can be on the bumpy side.