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People are practically queuing up for the new Mamas & Papas Urbo, a beautifully designed buggy due out in 2010. The Urbo is available as a buggy on its own for a fair £295, with a carrycot for an extra £130, and you can also add either the Mamas & Papas Primo Viaggio car seat, £125, or the new Mamas & Papas Cybex Aton car seat, £115, to create a travel system (with car seat adaptors).
I tested the full bells and whistles Urbo version, complete with carrycot, footmuff, satchel bag, satchel bag cover, parasol, Cybex Aton car seat and car seat adaptors, which came to a glorious £694. And after testing it, I think it’s worth every penny. However, if you just got the buggy (£295), Cybex Aton car seat (£115) and adaptors (£20), you’d be looking at £430.
The Urbo weighs 9kg, and the Cybex Aton car seat is 3.5kg. The Cybex Aton can be used from birth to 13kg, and is fitted in your car using the adult seat belt.
What we love
The second I laid my hands on the Mamas & Papas Urbo, it was love at first sight. Okay, so it probably had a lot to do with the luxury leather handle I was gripping on to, but everything about the Urbo oozes beauty and comfort – two of my favourite things!
I never thought it was possible to get so excited about straps. I mean, seriously, it’s just a harness to strap your baby into, right? Well, yes, but when I sat my 8-month-old daughter Rosie in the Urbo and strapped her in, I wanted to get in there with her. They buckle together the way straps on a car seat do, except they feel even more secure and much more comfy, thanks to the soft and spongy chest pads. Rosie could be driving a racing car in that harness, never mind a buggy!
The Mamas & Papas Urbo’s big seller is its style and there’s no denying it looks the part. The black and grey fabric (which is incredibly soft and cosy) looks great against the chrome chassis, and the leather handle and bumper bar finish the look off to perfection.
The movement is fantastic – quick and easy wheels for nipping about town, simple to set up, fold down and move the seat from a sitting position to lying flat.
The basket underneath is easy to get to and a good size, the hood is sturdy but allows plenty of space for your little one to have a good nosy at the outside world. Even the raincover folds into itself, forming a pouch, so it always looks neat and tidy!
The height adjustment of the handle is huge, so there are no worries if you’re 5 foot tall but your partner’s a giant.
The carrycot is a great option and although a bit tough to set up initially (I had to get my husband to lock the supporting bars into place), it slots into the chassis with ease and provides total comfort for tiny babies – definitely worth the extra £130 if you’re buying the Urbo for a newborn.
Another lovely touch is that you get the choice of two car seats – either the trusty Primo Viaggio 0+ or you can opt for the newer Cybex Aton. Both attach to the chassis in the same way the buggy seat and carrycot do. I think this is a much better looking option than sticking them on top of the buggy, like some brands.
Weighing in at 3.5kg, the Cybex Aton is Mamas & Papas’ lightest baby carrier, and it’s the cheapest, too. The newborn head hugger is luxuriously silky, the covers are washable and there’s an extra wide Y-belt for comfort and safety.
What to watch out for
There’s not a lot to dislike when it comes to the Urbo. My biggest bugbear is probably the wheels. They’re wonderfully smooth and nippy but if you’re used to big, pneumatic tyres that you pump up (like me), every lump and bump in the pavement seems like a big deal.
Aside from that, the bumper bar is very low so you need to watch your little one’s knees as you get them in and out (or take the bumper bar off) and when you put the foot muff on, it has to fold over the bumper bar, leaving you nowhere to hang pram toys.
There’s also only one colour option. It looks fantastic but if you were hoping for patterns or brightness, you better look elsewhere.
As far as looks go, the Mamas & Papas Cybex Aton is not the prettiest car seat I’ve ever seen and although the hood canopy’s three settings are handy, the wide plastic lip at the front is a little unsightly.
Who is the Mamas & Papas Urbo travel system best for?
Stylish city mums who love a little luxury.
The Mamas & Papas Urbo travel system gets a serious seal of approval. It’s got all the looks, plus a fantastic performance, and you can pick and choose what you need (such as carrycot or car seat) to keep the cost – and car seat – right for you.
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|Brand||Mamas & Papas|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:99cm W:53cm L:83cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:29cm W:53cm L:83cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Mamas & Papas Primo Viaggio 0+, Mamas & Papas Cybex Aton|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|