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The Petite Star Bubble has been discontinued, but if you’re after a lightweight buggy, click here for the best available now.
However, if you still want to get your hands on this buggy there are a few secondhand models still circulating on websites like Amazon.
Petite Star were designing and manufacturing nursery products for over 50 years. The brand was one of the most well-establihsed parenting companies in the world, but sadly it stopped making products and closed for good in 2014, we don’t know why.
However, as we mentioned earlier, you can still get your hands on some Petite Star products and buggies and even spares that are floating around on the internet.
Youngsters can be reassured by the presence of their mother’s face as they sit in their prams and look up at them when on the go. But what if the sun is getting in their eyes? Or they want to see where they are going? And then suddenly decide they want to look at you again? The decision on which way to seat a child can depend on everything from their mood to the weather. Now award-winning child travel system company Petite Star claims to have come up with a brilliant solution – the Bubble – a fully-reversible folding buggy.
The first of its kind on the market, the Bubble caused a stir when showcased at a baby fair early last year ahead of the launch to market in summer 2012. But pushchairs which can face either way are nothing new. What sets the Bubble apart is the fact that there isn’t a separate seat unit that has to be removed and spun around. You simply push a button in the backrest and flip it forwards or backwards, depending on which set-up you prefer. This means it can be collapsed in one into an ‘umbrella’ fold – the sort usually associated with buggies that have a fixed seat unit facing in one direction, normally forward facing.
What we love
Take one look at the clever design which makes this pushchair reversible and foldable and you’ll think, ‘why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?’. The concept is strikingly simple but it works. Mum to a toddler, I am familiar with the basics of buggies and couldn’t understand the Bubble concept until I popped it out the box, pushed on the wheels (the only assembly required), and saw it with my own eyes. My son Kasper quickly grasped the idea too and was keen to try facing one way then the other as I wheeled him round the kitchen on our first test drive. Now he gets to choose which way he sits when we go out and should we need to move him, for example if we’re heading towards the railway station where he like to look out for trains, I just lift him out, move the seat, put him back and on we go – the whole process taking about as much time as it took to type that last sentence!
The design is intuitive – it’s not a product that you will need to spend hours poring over instructions to get the best use out of – but if you do get stuck, it comes with a handy demonstration DVD and cute cartoon illustrating the background to the development – both also available online on YouTube. This was especially useful as I realised I hadn’t understood how to properly reverse the canopy until I saw it in action. Made of dark wet-suit style material, this is another strong point of the Bubble, offering almost complete shade whichever mode you have the seat in.
Secure five-point harnesses are attached to each side of the seat and there are strap covers and padding included to make younger ones comfortable, giving extra longevity to the product, which is suitable from birth up to the age of three, or 15kgs.
What to watch out for
Quick and easy as it might be to switch the seat from forward facing to parent facing and back, it will take a little longer if you have a young baby as you will need to move the padding and strap covers which will make the process a bit more fiddly. Most aspects of the operation can be completed using one hand though, so you don’t have to worry about putting your child down on the floor if you can’t or don’t want to.
With wheels that can swivel or be locked into place, the pram is very easy and smooth to manoeuvre but you won’t get much shopping in it, there being just a small netted basket underneath best for storing nappies, wipes and tissues.
It is also slightly more cumbersome when folded than other buggies I have used, but not so much so that it is a problem. Plus, it may be expensive for some family budgets.
Who is the Petite Star Bubble pram best for?
Active families who want to be able to take their children out and about everywhere and in all weathers.
One of the most exciting innovations in buggies for a long time, we’re tipping this for success and expect other similar designs to follow from other brands. As the Bubble is leading the way, however, you will pay a high price for the pram where it all began.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||Up to 15kg|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:110cm W:50cm L:62cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:108cm W:42cm L:34cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Accessories included||Raincover, padding, strap covers|