Key features of the Mothercare Genie travel system
Age suitability: Birth to 15kg (approximately 3 years)
Weight: 12kg (chassis and pram seat)
Travel system compatible: Yes, with the purchase of additional adaptors you can use it with one of the following car seats: Mothercare Maine, Maxi Cosi Cabriofix, Maxi Cosi Pebble, BeSafe iZi Go and Cybex Aton
Dimensions: 108x60x95cm (unfolded), 35x60x95cm (folded)
Handle: adjustable to 110cm
RRP: £490 (including second seat for tandem mode)
Mothercare is a well established parenting retailer and brand in the UK and worldwide. Opening its first store in the 1960s, with a focus on pushchairs, maternity clothes and nursery furniture, it has huge experience in the sector and offers some keenly priced products.
The new Mothercare Genie is a very good value option in the double buggy market, where the likes of the UPPAbaby Vista, Bugaboo Donkey and Silver Cross Wave can cost upwards of £1000.
There are cheaper options too, like the Kids Kargo Ouellette Combi (£499) Joie Evalite Duo (£250), or the Hauck Duett 2 (£399.99) all come with similar price tags. This means, the Genie with an RRP of just under £500 (for standard pram and additional tandem seat) is great value for money. It is also hugely adaptable, promising 10 different configurations, with the seats reversible and convertible from birth to toddlerhood.
You can buy the Mothercare Genie from Mothercare.
What were your first impressions?
First impressions of the Mothercare Genie was that it was very smart. I received it in navy, which I thought looked nice with the black frame, and wouldn’t show any inevitable dirty marks or spills clearly.
What age can the Mothercare Genie be used from?
The main seat can be used from newborn, as a lie-flat carrycot. It came with a very cosy liner, making it really snug for our baby to lie in. When baby is big enough, this can then be converted into a tilted seat with a harness. It can also be used parent- or world-facing.
Unfortunately, the harness cannot be removed when using it as a lie-flat pram, so i had to ensure it was pushed as far out of the way as possible so that my son wasn’t lying on it. The seat is tested to 15kg, which is quite standard, and is approximately 3 years old.
How does the Genie compare to other buggies you have used?
For my previous travel system that I purchased for my first son, (Mamas & Papas Urbo 2), I had to buy a carrycot separately, so the fact that the Genie’s seat can transform from lie-flat cot to toddler seat makes it very good value.
I have been using it as a single pram when I have been out and about with my 5-month-old, with the seat set up in lie-flat pram mode, but have also used it as a double pram for outings when my 2-year-old comes along.
Twin or tandem – which should I choose?
How easy is it to convert the Genie into a double?
It is very easy to convert into a double pram – simply push in a button at the front of the basket, pull it forward to extend the chassis and then click the adapter and seat into place. It does mean, however, that you lose a lot of the basket space when the toddler is in it too.
Is it travel system compatible?
Yes, with the purchase of additional adaptors you can use it with one of the following car seats: Mothercare Maine, Maxi Cosi Cabriofix, Maxi Cosi Pebble, BeSafe iZi Go and Cybex Aton.
How was the ride for your little ones?
I was worried initially that my toddler would not enjoy being in the lower seat, facing the carrycot, but he loved it. He insisted on the hood being fully up when he was in it, as he thought it was his own little secret spot as I couldn’t easily see him.
I will be changing the lie flat carry cot to the more upright seat for my younger son very shortly, and this means that the lower seat for my toddler will be able to face outwards and he will be able to see around him more. It is a great feature that it can be put on in both directions.
How compact is the Mothercare Genie?
The Genie appealed to me over other double prams, which I have seen but not personally used, due to the fact that the width of the pram isn’t increased but the depth. It means I wouldn’t be stuck when getting it through a doorway. It has been easy to store in our garage. However, its tandem design makes it very tricky to manoeuvre around corners, as the larger child is near the front and brings all the weight forward.
How easy is it to fold the Mothercare Genie?
I found folding the Genie to be tricky. When I first received it, I couldn’t figure it out, even after consulting the instruction manual and a video on the Mothercare website. I called in to my local Mothercare and asked an assistant who demonstrated to me that it requires quite a big slam to initiate the folding mechanism. It needs such a force I would never have tried without being shown, and the video did not show it being done so forcefully.
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How many different configurations does the Genie offer?
The Genie offers up to 10 different modes, including pramette, tandem and travel system compatibility. I used it as a single pram with the lie-flat carry cot, a double pushchair with lie-flat carrycot and toddler seat, and with my baby’s car seat using the adapters (Cybex CloudQ).
How lightweight is the Mothercare Genie?
It isn’t the most lightweight of prams – at 12kg it is 3kg more than my Mamas & Papas Urbo. it can be a bit heavy to lift in and out of the car.
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Is the Mothercare Genie sturdy? How does it handle on different terrain?
I still found the Genie sturdy enough to cope well on different terrains. However, I noticed that the Mothercare branding is already wearing away on the metal frame, so we will have to see how well the Genie stands the test of time.
How was the Genie on public transport?
The Genie dealt well with public transport and traveling through an airport. On the train we managed to tuck it in the area with fold-away seats, so didn’t need to attempt to dismantle it.
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You went on holiday with the Genie – how did it fare?
Travelling with the Genie was fine. We were required to dismantle the pram on the way home for it to go through the X-Ray scanner, and as it is very quick to take down, this was easy. We had to carry the pram quite a bit as where we were staying was not pram friendly, so the heavier weight of the pram compared to my own made this a bit tricky – luckily we had various family members to assist!
How comfortable is the handle?
The handle height can be adjusted very easily with a simple click button in the middle of the handlebar, and can be made quite high, which suited my husband and father when they took baby out for walks.
How is the hood?
The hood feels a little flimsy – you need to use a hand on each side to move it up and down. I also wasn’t a fan of the waterproof covers – they don’t have zips and are a very tight fit – they can be tricky to get on, and then you aren’t able to unzip and check your little one once it’s on.
How big is the basket? Does it provide plenty of room?
Measuring 33x39x19 cm, the basket is quite generous, with room for changing bag and shopping. This does get compromised a bit when the second seat is attached, however, you can also be pulled out to extend storage space.
Tell us about the brake
The brake us engaged by stepping on a very obvious red lever on the back axle, and it is released by stepping on the upper part – so it’s a push on and off brake. It can be a little temperamental engage and release. Grandparents found it a bit tricky when they were using it. However, it is a big red button, so is very obvious compared to some pram brakes.
What’s in the box?
- Genie Frame
- Genie seat
- Cosy toes
- Chest pads
- Pram apron/liner
Overall, the Mothercare Genie is a good choice if you require a double buggy and are on a budget. The frame is still fairly bulky when folded, so would take up a lot of room in the boot of a small car, and it isn’t the easiest to manoeuvre and steer. But it looks good, is very comfortable for the baby and toddler to sit in. It also has a generous basket for carrying shopping or changing bags.
How we tested the Mothercare Genie
Kathryn is a mum to two little boys – a 2-year-old, and 5-month-old. We used the Genie for walks around our village, trips to shopping centres and supermarkets and we also took it on holiday to Mallorca.
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