Stokke Xplory review
In a nutshell
A sleek and stylish pram, focusing specifically on bringing parent and baby closer with ‘pioneering’ adjustable seat height. The Stokke Xplory places itself as a city run around.
What we tested
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Comfort for child
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
- No axle to accidentally kick, fabulously versatile hood, comfortable bucket-style seat, front-facing can sit at a coffee table with ease.
- Big and chunky even when collapsed, no under-seat basket, small wheels
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Stokke, pronounced Stok-ah, was founded in Norway in 1932. The company – which originally produced bus seats – now focuses on designing and building smart, sustainable products that “promote bonding and healthy development for a whole generation of children”.
Stokke has a ‘higher is better’ and ‘parent facing’ philosophy when it comes to its products and the brand uses clever ergonomics to make that work for any parent of any height.
The Xplory is an innovative product, but has a significant price tag, with a starting price for a basic configuration of £899. It is by no means the most expensive, as comparable, high-end design innovators are similarly priced.The Bugaboo Donkey, for example, which in mono mode costs more than £1000, and the Silver Cross Surf starts at £995.
Ten of the most expensive pushchairs can be found here.
How we tested the product:
Steph is a 36-year-old first time mum, living in Kent with her husband Mark. She is currently on maternity leave, looking after their seven-month-old son, Ted.
The Stokke Xplory is sold on its iconic height adjustable design – what do you think of it?
As I am a 5ft2 wife with a 6ft2 husband, the height adjustable design of the Stokke Xplory seat is a winner for us! Also, being able to adjust the height of the handle is really useful when out and about on buses - it’s easy to make more room as and when needed.
How many different heights are there and how easy is the Xplory to adjust?
The seat height of the Stokke Xplory is easily adjustable with 19 settings and the handle extends to 27cm. Adjusting the seat is easy enough, once the seat is removed it’s quite intuitive and moves easily. Similarly, adjusting the handle height is also easy to do.
Is interacting with your child noticeably better in the Stokke Xplory than in other pushchairs you have used?
Genuinely yes - and not only when pushing the stroller. For example, when we went out for coffee it was nice to include Ted at the table instead of having him turned away in the pram. The style of the pram was extremely inclusive and we loved this aspect of it.
One of the most noticeable things about the Xplory is the basket, what do you think of it?
Honestly, I scoffed at the thought of not having a basket but then my husband reminded me it’s because I’m ‘a chucker’ - I like to just chuck things, which you can’t do with a bag that’s at the front of the pram. Plus, the shape of the bag is limiting. In previous prams, I’ve been able to pick up a pack of 50 nappies and chuck them in the basket with no worries, I wouldn’t be able to do that with this shopping bag, which is shaped almost like a pineapple.
The first time I used the bag-not-basket I was fuming at how unhelpful it was. I had just four items at the local shop, and instead of chucking them into the basket as they were scanned I had to scoop them up, wheel the pram away (to avoid blocking the line), put the break on, then crouch down to fiddle with the zip. Annoying hey? BUT it is good that the bag is water proof and zips up neatly, keeping everything is safe and dry. In addition, it DOES look sleek and smart and totally in keeping with the pram style.
How comfortable does it feel for your little ones?
Ted seemed very comfortable with the bucket-deep-seat style, however the lack of suspension was obvious and at one point, going over a dropped - almost flat - kerb woke him up.
What do you think of the size of the seat unit?
It’s sturdy and a little bit on the bulky side (ie takes up space in boot) but for what you get; the comfort and fabulously expandable hood, it’s easy to overlook.
Does the seat recline? How many recline positions are there?
The seat does recline, with three different positions.
Is the seat reversible?
Yes, you can use it either parent-facing or turned outward.
Can the Xplory be used from newborn?
It can, but to an additional cost of £170 for the carrycot.
How does the Stokke Xplory ride on different surfaces?
As an urban pram, the Xplory took concrete in its stride, however an errant twig literally stopped it in its tracks. However, locking the wheels helped prevent this. The small front wheels made pushing on grass tricky and heavy - it was definitely a two-hand job.
The wheels have been updated to make them lighter and stronger – what do you think of them?
One word: flimsy. It seemed that Ted felt every bump in the road with the wheels.
Tell us about the brakes.
The brakes are operated by foot and a in bright can’t-miss-me red. They’re easy to use and effective at keeping the pram stationary.
How compact is the Xplory when unfolded and when folded?
It’s not very compact. It’s great that you can pull the chassis like a golf trolley (the husband’s words) in the folded position, but it’s still quite sizeable both for a boot and a hallway.
10 of the most compact folding buggies.
What do you think of the fold?
Folding the Xplory is easy enough and fairly intuitive, if you can remember which lever does what.
What is the weight of the buggy and does it feel light/heavy?
The chassis feels very heavy and chunky as well as awkward to lift – there’s nowhere easy to grab, or a natural fit for your hands.
Officially the Chassis weighs 8.8kg, which is the average weight of say a 9-month old baby. And the seat is about 4kg which is similar to an average newborn baby. But the seat and chassis don’t collapse together so you will only be lugging one at a time into the boot. I have to be honest, the chassis definitely feels heavier that 8.8kg.
Is the Stokke Xplory affordable for what it is?
Personally, I think no. For just the seat and chassis, the £899 price tag is a lot for the average Joe. For this pram to carry from newborn to toddler you’re looking a price point north of £1,100. It’s definitely on the higher end of the scale.
Read our pick of the best travel systems.
Is the frame strong, durable?
It feels durable. It’s sturdy both when pushing, scaling kerbs and collapsing.
What do you think of handle?
The fact the handle is adjustable not only in height but also at an angle is a winner for us – what with the height discrepancy in our husband and wife team!
My husband made a very good point regarding the position of the handle. With our current pram, Ted is forever kicking the cupholder (because the only place it can sit is within kicking distance). And if he’s not kicking it off, then I’m knocking it off, as it sits on the outside of the frame to try and stop Ted kicking it. With the Xplory the cup holder it within the handle and nowhere near within reach of Ted –so I can still have my lattes AND actually store them in the cupholder.
What do you think of the hood? Can it be used as sun protection?
The hood on the Xplory is one of my favourite things! The extendable coverage is amazing and so useful for when baby wants to nap. I was also pleased to learn it offered UPF 50+ sun protection
Does the Xplory fit in the boot of your car?
We have an estate and it only just fit side by side. Stacked, with one element on top of the other, it gave a little more room, but it had to be stored width ways to fit in. This made it a tricky to get in and out when on my own (I’m 5ft2 and can’t really reach that far into the boot without climbing in – embarrassingly)
What age child is it best for?
In my opinion, from 12 months and upwards to make real use of the effective leg support the Xplory offers.
Is the Xplory travel system compatible?
Yes. It is compatible with Stokke carseats and some from selected manufacturers with adaptors.
What’s in the box?
- Leatherette bumper bar
- Shopping Bag
- Visor for Canopy
- Seat Baby Pad
- Harness Protector
Is it easy/hard to build the Xplory?
It was very intuitive to build, which was just as well as I didn’t find the printed instructions too helpful.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the item?
That you pronounce the it Stokk-ah and not Stokk-ee! But also that to sit your child at the table in the pram - a big selling point for me - they have to be in the front-facing position. Ted is only 7 months old, so he’s still parent facing. We thought the handle collapsed enough so that Ted – in the parent-facing position – could still sit at the table, but that wasn’t the case and in the middle of Costa we had to change things round, which - luckily - was smooth and quick.
Who would the product be most useful for?
I think this pram would be most useful for parents who are close to everything they need - in other words, maybe a city centre? Parents who pretty much walk everywhere and get their shopping delivered. If you need to drive every day then this would be a heavy and awkward pain in the proverbial, and I fear that the great aspects of the product would be missed, replaced with annoyance at how little room the boot has when it’s collapsed.
Is there anything unique about this product?
I think the fact you can have your little one sat with you at the table is beautiful. Since becoming a mum it’s glaringly obvious just how small and tricksy to navigate prams are, so to have something that makes socialising as a parent that little bit easier is a win in my book!
Are there any additional extras you need to buy?
- Cup holder (£18)
- Carrycot (£170)
- Summer Kit (£119)
- Sleeping bag (£155)
- Changing bag (£99)
- PramPack storage/travel bag (£135)
- Storm cover (£39)
- Carset adaptors (£42)
- Parasol (£42)
What is the price? Is this good value for money?
Sadly, the fact that the basic £899 doesn’t take you from birth to toddler and that not only I – but my 6ft2 husband struggled to get the heavy and awkward shaped chassis in the boot, is not ideal, and not something I would want to pay almost £900 for. And, while I can appreciate that theory behind the sleek shopping bag instead of a basket, a basket is easier. It just is. The saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, comes to mind.
Disclaimer: We are not your average Stokke family - we wish we were! Of course, I looked longingly at the website when we were expecting but, in reality, the brand is out of our price range. I was super excited to have the chance to use and review the Stokke Xplory.
This is such a popular and sought-after brand, so it was no surprise that the stroller turned a lot parents’ heads while we were out and about, it’s sleek, super stylish and just so achingly on-trend, but that price tag just kept niggling me.
While the Xplory offers a lot in terms of a heart-warming, inclusive family-feeling, which should be priceless (and in a perfect world it would be) we, like many parents, just don’t have money to play with.
I suppose it depends on what you need from your pram. If you need a sensible stroller to do shopping and have no car, then this is not the one. But if you need a stroller to socialise and ‘nip around’ with, then the fact your little one can join you at the table and save space (a rare commodity in coffee shops these days) then this IS the one.
I would recommend this pram, if only for the fabulous extendable hood and sun coverage it offers and the fact your little one can sit at a table with you when out and about – these two things for me are unique and winning. However, does that make it worth the £900 price tag? [shrugs shoulders] I’m not so sure…
If you want to browse more high-end travel systems:
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MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.
|Child age (approx)||Birth (with carrycot/cocoon) to 3 years|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Weight note||chassis 8.4kg, seat 3.8kg, carrycot 4.4kg|
|Dimensions||H:89cm–123cm W:39cm L:60cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:34cm W:56cm L:99cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Stokke iZi Go X1 by BeSafe and the Stokke iZi Sleep X3 by BeSafe, plus selected manufacturers' seats with adapters|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Recline positions||3 – 3 in parent-facing and 2 in world-facing|
|Accessories included||Chassis, seat, hood with visor, shopping bag, rain cover, baby pad, mosquito net|