It’s the buggy that looks a little like a highchair on wheels. The very fact that it’s designed without reference to other buggies makes the Stokke Xplory functional in the extreme, but such high standards come at a price that’s not for the faint-hearted.
Stokke is renowned for making products that are beautiful, versatile and, above all, do their job. The Xplory is no exception to this rule: the designers have clearly thought about all the potential problems parents face when out and about with their babies and gone out of their way to address them. Want your baby to face you? Here’s the reversible seat unit. Want your baby to sit higher than the average buggy? The seat unit can be moved up and down the central post to whatever height suits your situation, including up and away from the traffic fumes. Want to tackle stairs? Just fold in the smaller front wheels and you can pull the buggy along behind you (this also works on the beach).
The sturdy, cocooning carrycot (which will cost you an extra £75 and will make the Xplory suitable from birth) is the perfect spot for newborns, and when he graduates to the seat he’ll luxuriate in the padding. The hood, meanwhile, gives good protection from the elements. The footrest is adjustable to cater for small babies and much bigger toddlers. For a smooth ride, whatever the terrain, the rubber tyres are filled with air bubbles, but the best bit is that they won’t puncture.
For parents, the handle is height- and angle-adjustable and what looks like a small bag underneath expands beyond recognition to carry copious amounts of shopping. The smaller front wheels can be fixed or swivel, depending on terrain. There’s no central bar between the back wheels so you can stride out without fear of bashing your ankles and feet, while the brake is operated by a pedal next to the back wheel.
Although the Xplory looks big, it has a small ‘footprint’ so it’s no problem getting it in and out of shops or small spaces, but that doesn’t extend to its folded size, which sadly isn’t small. On the plus side, folding and unfolding – and all the other adjustments – are easy once you’re used to it. Owners tend to give this rave reviews, so the outlay would appear to be justified.
What we love
Talking to your baby is so much easier when he’s up at your level – and it’s the perfect position for sitting at a café table. The level of adjustability and functionality is impressive – it may lack cup holders, but I can’t think of anything missing that I’d actually use. Its distinctive look and choice of colours is also great: this is a real head-turner and conversation starter.
What to watch out for
The biggest problem with the Xplory comes when it’s folded down, as it’s not that compact, and if your boot is on the small side you may need to disassemble it more than is convenient for everyday use. The price will undoubtedly put some people off, as it’s not cheap, but it is built to last more than one child.
Who is the Stokke Xplory best for?
Families not short on space or cash looking for a stylish and highly functional buggy that will last for years.
Magnificent modern design in motion: a really clever buggy that offers comfort (for both baby and parent) and functionality. However, it’s not compact when folded and the price is on the eye-watering side.