Despite being a relatively under-the-radar brand, the Venicci Carbo Lux 3-in-1 travel system combines high standards with robustness and outstanding value for money. With an adjustable head area on its carrycot, it also caters for babies with reflux
3.0 out of 5 rating
4.5 out of 5 rating
Comfort for child
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Worth the money
5.0 out of 5 rating
Pros: Value for money, extras included, great suspension, innovative features, ideal for newborns with reflux, stylish
Cons: Pitiful basket capacity, wheels aren’t puncture-proof, seat unit unsuitable for particularly tall toddlers
Venicci launched in the UK in 2011 though the brand is only stocked in a handful of stores across the whole of London, where they seem to be something of a rare breed. The Carbo Lux 3-in-1 travel system delivers on its aims of providing good style and performance with safety. It boasts a clutch of awards for performance and design, including the German Design Award Special 2019, Best Baby and Toddler Consumer Choice Award 2018.
Price wise, the travel system compares favourably with the likes of Peg Pegero Book 51S travel system. It’s more expensive than the Red Kite Push Me Fusion travel system but is far better quality. It’s also dearer than the well-reviewed Ickle Bubba Stomp V3 travel system but comes with more accessories.
Gabrielle tested this travel system with her three-month-old baby and her three-year-old boy in the city and on a farm. In London, they put the travel system through its paces on the school run, public transport and in the shops. In rural Wales, they were lucky enough to test the Carbo Lux on tough terrain including grass, bridleways and muddy tracks.
What were your first impressions of the Carbo Lux?
It comes with everything you could possibly need when out with your baby, except for perhaps, a changing mat. I was impressed by the luxurious look of the product. It comes with quilted material on the carrycot sides and apron and the aluminium frame is accented with soft grey leatherette. The whole thing looks very snazzy.
How does it compare to other pushchairs/travel systems you’ve tried?
It’s far more substantial and robust than the Red Kite Push Me Fusion travel system and I found it lighter to push and easier to steer with one hand compared with the Silver Cross Pioneer and UPPAbaby Vista. It’s easily got the best suspension and biggest wheels compared to any other pushchair I’ve tried, including Phil & Teds Voyager to the Mothercare Roam.
What age is the Venicci Carbo Lux suitable for?
It comes with a carrycot that is ideal for newborns, including those with reflux as the mattress can be tilted into three different positions, reducing the chances of a baby vomiting. From ages three and beyond, it’s not quite as suitable. My average-height three and half year old is almost tipping the max weight (he’s 14.5kg) but is already too tall for the seat.
What did you think of the carrycot?
The carrycot is not as luxurious inside as it is outside. The mattress is rather thin and doesn’t come with a removable, washable protector, which seems strange as one of its unique selling points is that its base can be raised for babies with reflux. I have a baby with reflux and ended up having to fashion a protector out of a fitted Moses basket sheet. It’s also not clear whether the carrycot can be used for overnight sleeping. The most disappointing thing is that for two of the base raise settings, you need a harness. Not only is this not supplied but nowhere in the instructions does it that it’s even needed.
Fixing the base of the carrycot into the lowest gradient setting was easy but I did find that if I moved the mattress was fiddly.
Magnets which help attach an apron to the hood come apart with the gentlest of knocks – this was really irritating though the hood itself is one of the strongest I’ve come across.
How easy is it to swap between the Venicci Carbo Lux’s cot and toddler seat?
In theory it’s easy to swap between cot and toddler seat by pressing two buttons, one on either side of the buggy, where the carrycot connects to the frame and then pulling the carrycot up and clear of the chassis. In practice, I struggled to reach over the wide carrycot and muster the strength to push both buttons simultaneously while lifting, but someone taller might have more luck. To install the seat unit, you simply lift it over the chassis, line up and press down firmly.
How does the Carbo Lux fold?
The Carbo Lux folds easily but does take both hands and, crucially, you cannot fold it with the seat unit or carrycot in place. You use your thumbs to press the release buttons on either side of the frame then you slide the buttons up the frame towards you while lowering the handlebar and pushing it towards the frame. It folds smoothly and then you need crouch down to remove the wholes using quick release buttons. You can then use the buttons at the top of the frame to adjust the handlebar upwards, allowing the frame to stand alone.
How compact is it when folded and unfolded?
Because you cannot fold the travel system with either the seat or carrycot attached, it takes up more room than a model that can folded in one piece, such as the Peg Perego Book 51S. You can fold the carrycot down, but the seat unit won’t fold flat so it’s a bulky bit of kit and therefore tricky to store in all but the roomiest of cupboards or car boots. Unfolded, it’s narrow enough to fit onto busses and tubes but too wide for me to manoeuvre down narrow aisles in our local shops.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes, although we need to take the larger back wheels off first and that’s just the chassis, not the carrycot or seat unit.
How lightweight is the Carbo Lux?
It’s definitely not the lightest on the market – in carrycot mode it weighs 12.9kg, with the seat unit it weighs 13.1kg and with the car seat it’s 11.3kg. It’s also awkward to lift as it’s fairly wide and has to be lifted by the frame. That said, the huge back wheels mean it’s easy enough to roll up and down kerbs, tip onto busses and even bump up and down steps.
How easy is the Venicci Carbo Lux to push?
It’s very easy to steer and push for fair distances, even with one hand (useful for when I was pulling my toddler along the pavement on his scooter with my other hand). On tougher terrain, it required two hands and a firmer grip but was still easy to push. It’s not the easiest buggy to steer round corners one-handed and takes some wrist strength but is still easier than my Cruz. The only issue I found was that if the brake is applied when the front wheels are not pointing in the direction of travel, when the brake is released, the front wheels need a proper shove to get them back on track again.
How does it ride on different surfaces?
It glided along almost every surface we tried, from the smooth pavements of northwest London to the stone-riddled bridleways of southwest Wales. Thanks to the huge wheels, bouncy air-filled tyres and superb suspension, the buggy can take on kerbs, rocks, grass and uneven ground with very little effort on the part of the adult pushing it. This is the buggy equivalent of a 4×4. When mounting kerbs or going up between two heights, the springs above each of the rear wheels really help things along. It has all sorts of clever mechanisms like when the buggy tilts upwards, the front wheels are stopped from spinning so you can keep on going in the same direction again with ease.
Can you use the Venicci Carbo Lux easily on public transport?
It’s surprisingly easy to use on public transport though it wouldn’t be my first choice as it’s bigger than the biggest single stroller I’ve used recently (the UPPAbaby Cruz). Its monster rear wheels prove to be its biggest asset getting on and off the tube as it minds even the biggest gap between platform and train. I even managed to take it on four escalators on one journey and it was mercifully easy to manoeurve.
What do you think of the handlebar?
I love the handlebar: There’s no brake button to get in the way – just a long, smooth, anti-microbial leatherette bar that can be height adjusted by clicking the discreet buttons at either end. The only drawback over a telescopic one is that it doesn’t lengthen the distance between pusher and pushchair so people with long legs may not get enough space behind the buggy.
Is the Venicci Carbo Lux strong and durable?
It’s not the heaviest frame I’ve seen on a travel system (the Vista and Cruz are much thicker) but it looks like it will stand the test of time from baby into toddlerdom.
Is the seat unit big enough for a toddler?
Off the buggy, the seat is quite upright. It doesn’t look as comfortable as the typical bucket-style seat, but my toddler assures me that it is. The bar that goes across the seat unit is thin and weak-looking compared to some. The harness is more plasticky-looking but it does the job. Overall, it doesn’t seem tall enough for my toddler Rocco and his head isn’t completely covered by the seat back.
How many recline positions are there?
Three, including upright, lie-flat and halfway reclined.
How comfortable does the Venicci Carbo Lux feel for your little one?
My baby is very comfortable having a secure space to recline in without having to lie flat. The kick-ass suspension, with four individual coils above each wheel, ensures a smooth ride on even the bumpiest terrain. The only time baby Amaya looked uncomfortable was when I misjudged a distance and bashed the pram–but that’s more about my poor driving skills! In buggy mode with the seat attached, it’s just as springy and my vocal toddler shouts that he’s comfortable even though his leg position suggests otherwise.
How is interacting with your toddler when in the buggy?
It’s easy to chat with your children as both the carrycot and seat sit at a good level off the ground and are parent-facing.
What do you think of the Venicci Carbo Lux’s hood?
The hood on the carrycot, car seat and seat unit are all impressive, boasting sun protection to the tune of UV50+. They’re also water repellent. The hood of the seat and carrycot are both strengthened with steel strips, making them exceptionally robust.
Tell us about the brakes
The brake is slap-bang in the middle of the bar that runs between the two back wheels. It’s easy to apply and release and grips the wheels but only after an eighth-turn of the wheels, which always makes me slightly nervous as to whether engaged it properly. When the buggy has stopped and is pointing downhill, I found the wheels didn’t release smoothly and the buggy veered to the side–that’s unnerving.
How easily can you access the Venicci Carbo Lux’s basket?
The basket – with its paltry 2kg weight allowance – is hugely disappointing and seems ridiculously small on a buggy of this size given it’s equipped with four-wheel suspension. While the basket is easier to access in carrycot mode than the basket of the Pioneer, it could have done with a few more centimeters of clearance. Since the Venicci Carbo comes complete with generously-sized changing bag, nappies, wipes and spare clothes, as well as a soft cotton sling, it could be stored on the handlebars, freeing up precious space for a few small bags of shopping.
Is the Venicci Carbo Lux car seat compatible?
Yes, this version of the Carbo (Lux) comes with a Venicci car seat Group 0-13kg and adaptors. It seems like it might also be compatible with other brands of car seats, but the brand’s website is unclear as to which.
How did you like the look of the Carbo Lux? What do you think of the colour choices?
The colour choices are muted and discreet, and I prefer the shade of this than the grey of the Silver Cross Pioneer because the quilted material trimmed with leatherette look good in what can often be a dull shade. That said, it would nice to have some bolder and brighter colours.
Is it easy/hard to build the Venicci Carbo Lux?
The dearth of comprehensible instructions and the disjointed way in which they were presented were easily my main bugbear with this travel system. There were three different booklets in the box. You’d need a good hour to read everything and even then, you’d be hard pressed to put the thing together without watching the instructional video on the brand’s website.
I enlisted the help of my six-year-old son, my mum and my husband. Obviously the six-year-old was the one to work out how to slot the hood. Even my very-patient husband struggled to work out how to adjust the harness height of the seat.
What’s in the box?
Everything you need with a few random extras that we couldn’t work out a use for. Inside the three boxes were chassis, carrycot (complete with hood and cover), seat unit (with hood and apron), car seat (with hood and apron), changing bag, rain cover, mosquito net, cup holder, car seat adaptors and wheel covers.
Are there any additional extras that you need to or can buy?
The 3-in-1 travel system comes with a comprehensive list of extras but if you’re keen for more, including branded footmuffs, a parasol, or even a pair of winter gloves that attach to the handlebar, you can at a cost. Most importantly, if you intend to use the carrycot in the two raised positions, you’ll need to secure baby with a harness which must be bought separately although these are not available to buy on the brand’s website.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the Venicci Carbo Lux?
That I would need to real all the instructions and watch the instructional video at least twice before even attempting to put the thing together.
The materials cannot be machine washed, only sponged clean. For quilted aprons and hoods, you’ll need to stay on top of spot cleaning to avoid stains.
To use the carrycot in the anything other than lie-flat or slightly tilted position, you’ll need to buy a harness separately.
There’s no buggy board available.
The wheels are not puncture-proof so you should probably carry some spare inner tubes with you.
You cannot fold the chassis/frame without first removing the carrycot/seat unit.
What was your favourite feature of the Carbo Lux?
The ability to raise the carrycot mattress in stages up to 45 degrees. It made a huge difference to my baby and how well she slept.
I’d say it’s worth it: it’s a really comprehensive, robust travel system that ensures you won’t need to buy any extras (aside from a harness for the carrycot if you want to raise it). If your newborn baby is prone to reflux, you can raise the mattress which is useful. I’d recommend it to first-time parents or those whose older children won’t use a buggy board. Its huge wheels and impressive shock absorption system make a meal of kerbs, steps and muddy tracks. However, the width of the chassis makes it unsuitable for negotiating narrow doorways and public transport and if you’re short on storage space, this won’t suit you either.
This very smart-looking travel system would suit a family with a lot of storage space who are planning to use the pushchair.
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Child age (approx)
From Birth (with carrycot/cocoon)
Up to 15kg
Dimensions & Weight
12.9kg with carrycot, 13.1kg with seat unit, 11.3kg with car seat