Micralite FastFold pushchair review
In a nutshell
A tough, any-weather pushchair that can tackle all sorts of terrains but it lacks a compact fold and could be tricky to travel with
What we tested
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
4.8A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.
- Comfort for child
4.9A star rating of 4.9 out of 5.
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
4.8A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- All-terrain wheels, easy to assemble, comfortable hammock seat, one-handed steering, self-standing
- Storage basket inaccessible, hard to fold/unfold, seat feels exposed, not a compact fold, too wide for busy places
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The Micralite FastFold isn’t an everyday city buggy; it was built for bigger adventures. From its strong and durable aluminium frame to its suspension wheels, this all-terrain stroller is the ideal outdoorsy companion for active families.
Promising to ‘go anywhere’ with you, it’s the latest innovation from Micralite, a brand run by parents that prides itself on making life easier for families by designing nimble, lightweight strollers. Their pushchairs fall into two categories, ProFold (one-handed, ultra-compact fold – great for international travel) and FastFold (lightweight, freestanding fold – built for big days out) and this is the latest update on the latter.
Even though at 7.5kg it’s over a kilo heavier than its predecessor, the Micralite FastFold Super-lite, the Micralite FastFold features some of the key USPs including tough air-filled tyres, impressive steering, a comfortable hammock seat and the ability to fold up for travel. However, the hood has been updated to make it more weatherproof and there’s now a premium-feel, cushiony seat liner (available in six stylish colourways) to improve the feel of the mesh seat, making it an altogether more enjoyable ride for little ones.
At £245, the price reflects the improvements but it’s still a fraction of the cost of competitors like the Bugaboo Fox 3, a foldable pushchair for all-terrain conditions (currently £1,045) or the Mamas & Papas Ocarro, which folds but is not lightweight (at £899).
Becky has been a journalist for almost 10 years, specialising in women’s lifestyle. She tested the Micralite FastFold with her 10- month-old son on muddy walks around parks and cobbled shopping streets in Surrey.
On first impressions, I thought the Micralite FastFold wasn’t as compact as I expected because of the tough, extra sized rear wheels that are designed for all terrains. Since it’s aimed at families who ‘live life to the full’, I was hoping that the pushchair would be a good option for international travel, but it didn’t collapse down to suitable size for a carry-on and even took up more space in the car boot than I thought.
How easy is the Micralite FastFold to build?
Very – assembling the product took a speedy 15-20 minutes. The box contained the main base and the back wheels, which were easy to add in minutes. I also added the basket, mesh liner and harness pads, and the hood and seat liner from the FastFold Essentials Pack. The instruction manual was clear and well-illustrated, making it simple to attach all the components in a surprisingly quick time.
How is the FastFold different to the Micralite FastFold Super-lite pushchair?
The Micralite FastFold Super-lite launched in 2016, claiming to be their lightest and most versatile stroller. But now, weighing in at 7.5kg, the current version (the FastFold) is heavier than its predecessor (6.2kg) and that’s a noticeable – even disappointing – difference for a pushchair they’re still calling ‘feather light’, even if it is at the lighter end of the all-terrain pushchair market.
The best features have stayed consistent, like the hammock seat, durable chassis and large air-filled tyres, but the hood now benefits from an extra canopy at the front, after reviews suggested it didn’t provide enough shade. The newer-style handle is also more ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing than the previous handlebars. Unfortunately, complaints about the fabric webbing that covers the storage basket have not been addressed.
What age is the FastFold pushchair suitable for?
This stroller is designed for babies from 6 months to 22kg, approx. 4 years old.
How easy is the Micralite FastFold pushchair to fold and unfold?
For a buggy that prides itself on being quick and easy to fold, this was probably its biggest downfall. It took some time to identify the unfold mechanism from the instructions and at first, the parts were stiff and difficult to click. Even though I can see the mechanism loosening up over time, the parts feel slightly flimsy and even quite dangerous because we caught our fingers a couple of times.
However, the many 5-star parent reviews on the Micralite website rave about how easy to fold the pushchair is, so it’s not a view shared universally.
What size is the FastFold pushchair when folded?
I was disappointed about how big the folded buggy was, coming in at L39cmxW43cmxH104cm – even large compared to the similar all-terrain Mamas & Papas Ocarro, £899. Although it was narrow when collapsed down, the back wheels made it quite deep in shape. As such, it took up more space in the car boot and I even had trouble getting it between cars when I reversed into a parking space.
On the plus side, the size of the wheels made it self-stand, which was useful for storage in the home and when collapsed up in a restaurant.
How easy is it to push and steer?
The Micralite FastFold is a lovely pushchair to navigate. The large, comfortable handle can be adjusted to any height as well as being easy to grip from lots of different angles so you can confidently push it one-handed. It feels sturdy to push and it’s smooth for the parent and the child – the front suspension does a great job of absorbing some of the bumpiness for baby. This worked particularly well on muddy ground and cobbles – especially when my son nodded off.
Kerbs were a little tricky because the front wheels spin 360 degrees to allow greater movement on the ground. For mounting a pavement this means that when you lift it, the wheels are tricky to reposition in the forward-facing direction.
How does the FastFold perform on different terrain?
This really is an all-terrain pushchair and I found it good on mud, light on bumpy streets and easy to push up and down hills thanks to its impressive tyre grip. Many of the parent reviews on the Micralite website echoed this thought, with numerous comments on how easy to manoeuvre the FastFold was on cobbles, mud and how it was ideal on countryside walks, even in the rain.
Is the Micralite FastFold good to use on public transport?
While I didn’t get to use the FastFold on public transport, navigating it through a packed restaurant gave me the impression the width would be a problem for zipping down aisles and past other people on buses and trains. It felt a little embarrassing pushing this cumbersome stroller through a busy place, if I’m honest.
What do you think of the chassis?
You can tell this chassis is built to withstand wear and tear. It’s a shiny black metal, which makes it easy to clean when you go off-road and, when it comes to active outings, it feels strong and durable enough not to scratch, dent or damage.
One thing I would say is that the design of the chassis leaves the child quite exposed without a harder frame to protect the hammock seat – obviously this design makes it easier to fold up.
What’s the handlebar like on the Micralite FastFold?
I’m a big fan of how comfortable the buggy handle feels, especially because it can be gripped in a number of places along the unusual shape, which makes it easy to steer, even with one hand. It’s also easy to adjust and lock into place for two parents who are very different heights.
What do you think of the seat unit?
Instead of a traditional seat, the FastFold features an unusual hammock style – the idea being this helps absorb all those little bumps on your walks. This seemed really comfortable for our 10-month-old son and I expect him to be able to fit into it until he’s around 3-4 years old because there is room for the shoulder straps to be higher and for his legs to grow.
Unlike many strollers, there’s no foot plate but he still looked well supported for longer days out. Disappointingly, when it came to fully reclining the seat, the instructions on this were so brief and unclear that I had to revert to online user guides to work out how to lie him flat.
To make it a comfortable ride, the FastFold Essential Set, £35, seemed, well, essential because it padded out the hammock seat which, without it, would leave him a little exposed on colder days. I especially liked the breathable, padded fabric for added comfort and the bright colours (I chose orange) added some flair.
What’s the FastFold’s hood like?
The hood is designed for any-weather strolling, so I felt confident that my little one would stay sun-protected up to UPF50+ and dry if there was a sudden shower. It’s sturdy and stays in place really well, even in heavy winds, but it doesn’t extend far enough over the infant to keep them fully covered. Luckily, the stroller comes with an effective raincover, plus there’s an option to buy the Fastfold sunshade as an add-on.
When the hood was down, I liked the option of the peephole window on top to check if baby was happy/sleeping/sitting comfortably. The FastFold Essentials Pack hood also has useful pockets at the side to maximise storage space.
How effective are the brakes?
Really effective, when the pushchair is both folded and unfolded. Unlike some strollers, where the brake is small or off to one-side, this one’s a full-sized bar from left wheel to right, so you can find it really easily with your foot without having to look down. I didn’t apply the brake at all when I was pushing the stroller because the grip of the tyres meant I never felt like it was slipping away from me, even on steeper high streets and ramps.
Do you like the wheels on the FastFold?
Absolutely – the wheels are one of the biggest USPs for this pushchair. With ultra-tough, all-terrain Kevlar tyres, you can tell it’s been designed for active parents who like to explore the outdoors with their children.
Though fit for purpose, the only downside with the extra-sized back wheels is that they make the buggy seem bigger when folded, but if you really needed to make it more compact, they’re easy to attach and detach.
Do you rate the FastFold’s storage basket?
Not really. While the basket is quite deep and holds up to 5kg in weight, it’s virtually impossible to use because there are straps obstructing access underneath. It’s useful for loose toys or bottles, even toting the raincover when it’s not in use, but when I think of the essentials most parents want to carry, like a baby changing bag or shoppers, they simply won’t fit.
What’s in the box?
- Main chassis
- All-terrain back tyres
- Pneumatic tyre pump
- Harness pads
- Air mesh liner
- Waterproof hood
- Buggy basket
What are the additional accessories that you need to or can buy?
I feel the FastFold Essential Set, including a detachable hood and seat liner, is an essential purchase for your baby’s comfort, but you also have the option of buying:
- FastFold footmuff, £60
- FastFold winter seat, £80
- FastFold sun shade, £25
- Universal car seat adapters, £40
- DayPak rucksack, £65
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing the Micralite FastFold?
I wish I’d known that this stroller doesn’t have the access to its full 5kg storage basket. From a practicality perspective this is a deal breaker for me, especially if you’re going on long days out because as well we all know, babies need a lot of stuff!
Who would this pushchair be most useful for?
Families who live by the beach or in the countryside would get the best use out of this pushchair. It can tackle sand, hills and bumpy terrain like no other, so it’s ideal if these are a feature of daily walks. It certainly won’t hold you back. Since it folds and travels semi-well, I can see it being a useful companion for active staycations in the Lake District, but as a day-to-day city pushchair, it’s not the one.
Is the Micralite FastFold pushchair worth the money?
If it’s suited to your lifestyle, the Micralite FastFold, £245, is definitely worth the money because it comes up trumps over its more expensive competitors. It seems well-built for longevity and when unfolded it’s certainly fit for purpose, so I think it will do an incredible job of keeping up with active families.
How does it compare to similar pushchairs?
|Product Name||Age Suitability||Dimensions When Folded||Weight||RRP|
|Micralite FastFold||6 months to 22kg||L39cmxW43cmxH104cm||7.5kg||£245|
|Mamas & Papas Ocarro||Birth to 22kg||L76cmx W58cmxH37cm||13.3kg||£899|
|Bugaboo Fox 3||Birth to 22kg||L86cmxW52cmxH34cm||9.9kg||£1,045|
|Thule Spring||6 months to 22kg||H:76cmxW:45cmxD:32cm||9.5kg||£394.99|
Where can I buy the Micralite FastFold?
The Micralite FastFold is a decent all-terrain choice for active families who love taking their baby on outdoor adventures, thanks to its heavy-duty tyres and dual suspension. However, I think it still has a lot of improvements to make before it’s considered the best foldable and lightweight stroller in its category.
Becky Freeth is a women’s lifestyle writer who has written for Cosmopolitan, GLAMOUR and Marie Claire.
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Dimensions||H:96cm–107cm W:59cm L:84cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:104cm W:43cm L:39cm|
|Child age (approx)||6 months to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 22kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|