Looking for an all terrain buggy but finding it hard to choose which three or four wheeler best suits you? Stop right there and think about this: how about a two-wheeler.
As buggy designers are working on little refinements to their honed masterpieces to compete in the all terrain market, one new upstart hopes to turn that market on its head.
Swiss company YippieYo has created a two-wheeled all-terrain buggy that seats two kids, which you pull with a long-arm handle rather than push.
Sounds abit like a cross between a buggy and a cart? Well it is, and that’s why it’s called the Crossbuggy.
YippieYo claims to have created a whole new category of child transport.
Manufactured in Switzerland and assembled in Germany it is already award winning.
It’s specially designed for off-road use, created to be easily manoeuvred on tough terrain, durable yet comfy for the pint-sized passengers.
Tell us more about Yippie Yo
As we’ve all learnt from Simon Cowell, before any young upstart can successfully prove they’ve got the X Factor, they have to have a good back-story.
And YippieYo has one: in the 1960s German dad Heinz Hofelmann wanted to be able to take his two children on long tours of the great outdoors, but could find no way of suitably transporting them.
He developed a new vehicle combining a hand-drawn cart, a pushchair and a child-carrier. He dropped one of the cart’s two axles, and there he had made his ‘kiddie kart’!
YippieYo, founded in 2014, picked up on the idea and remodelled it. And the Crossbuggy was born just last year, and it’s now being introduced to the UK market.
It’s so unique that people have been stopping me in the street asking me about it, with one person saying it was the coolest thing they’d seen all day.
But can all British parents be convinced: two wheels good, four wheels bad? And will some be too posh to pull?
So, just remind me again, what is it?
Think of a rickshaw pulled by someone on foot rather than a bike, and you’ve got it. Or one of those trailers that kids sit in that’s pulled along by their bike-riding parent.
It’s got two 14-inch wheels, one axle and a long pull bar.
Is it easy to put the YippieYo Crossbuggy together?
Yes, very. I was worried before I received it that I might have to be some kind of Macgyver to put it together, but the Crossbuggy arrives almost ready to roll.
You just need to click the wheels in to place (making sure the brake discs are lined up with the brake pads, and the wheels are on the correct side), unfold the seat back and clip it in to place, and lock the pull bar in to place with a pin and a lever.
What’s it like when out and about?
A lot of people turned and watched us when we took the Crossbuggy out. The whole concept is very different to what you’re used to – pulling on two wheels rather than pushing on 3 or 4.
With the Crossbuggy you can literally cart them around! But in the comfort of a buggy.
YippieYo is also proud of the Crossbuggy’s construction, with it’s aluminium frame, making it very light yet robust.
And it is noticeably light. It surprised me. The packing box was quite large so I expected it to be a heavy lift, but it wasn’t at all.
It’s all very simple to use. The seat belts have a five-point locking system, as you see on many car seats.
The seats unfold with a simple clip, and the pull arm locks in to place with a pin and the pull of a lever.
What do you think of pulling, rather than pushing?
It’s a bit odd at first, but I think it’s just something you have to adjust to. It’s weird being in front of the kids, and using one arm to pull rather than two to push. I did wonder whether I’d have an aching arm after, or wake up with one arm like Popeye’s, but I didn’t. It’s very light and glides along.
We also went up some hills, which are normally real lung-punishers with our normal pram, but were no problem with the Crossbuggy. No effort at all.
How is interacting with your child when in the buggy?
Different to a normal buggy, as you’re in front of them and facing away. You do have to turn around to talk to them and check they’re ok, which I initially found strange.
Then I thought about it and realised that even in a buggy that you push I often have to bend over the top or move to the front so they can hear me.
When and where would parents use it?
It’s good for a day out in the great outdoors – across fields, through woods, the beach, snow or wherever.
Just bung it in the car boot, and when you get where you’re going you can clip it all in to place and get going.
So often we go for walks through the woods and after an hour or so our boys’ legs start to get tired. And we all know what that means: soon they’ll be on your shoulders.
I also think the Crossbuggy would be good for festivals. Taking a buggy to a busy, muddy field can be a nightmare. But the Crossbuggy would be perfect. To be honest, even if you went without your kids you could use it to carry all your stuff!
Does the YippieYo Crossbuggy steer well?
Yes. It has a long pulling arm so I wondered whether that’d prove a problem, but it didn’t. It turns really easily and smoothly on smooth and rough ground.
It’s billed as an outdoor buggy. How does it handle off-road?
With ease. We took it over lots of gravel, short and very course high grassy areas, and hilly land.
It’s got big 14 inch wheels, and the bottom of the buggy has good clearance beneath it.
It had no problem at all going over grass and gravel. The course, high grass made for a tough pull, but the Crossbuggy powered through.
Is it better than an all-terrain buggy?
I usually use a Mountain Buggy Duet, which I love, and which can easily handle the same land, but the high grass can get tangled in the wheels. The solid disc wheels of the Crossbuggy didn’t have that problem.
And using the Crossbuggy just feels different to a normal buggy. Not just because your pulling. It feels less of a chore than pushing a buggy around and more of a experience, like you’re on an excursion.
Here are more all-terrain pushchairs to compare…
Is it easy to use while shopping?
It’s not designed for city living so it doesn’t really compare to a normal all-terrain buggy, as they can be taken easily on public transport and into shops.
The Crossbuggy’s whole selling point is that it’s designed for off-road adventures.
We handled the wide supermarket aisles fine, but I did have a few slight prangs getting around shelf corners, as I was looking forward, not backwards.
It wouldn’t be good for a tightly packed corner shop as the pull-bar is too long to get round the corners.
And in the street?
It’s not something you could pull onto a bus or train, but it is about the same width as other double buggies so is fine to take down the street.
It was a bit jolty going down kerbs (just the same a if you went down on the back wheels of your pram), as there’s no front wheels to ease it down.
Going up kerbs took a bit of a pull, but only a bit.
Does it feel safe?
Yes, entirely. The Yippie Yo is tested to all safety and quality standards in accordance with the European Standard for Pushchairs and Prams (EN 1888).
You have complete control. It’s solid and sturdy. I had to remind my young travellers to not touch the wheels as they’re moving, but that was my only concern.
Does it easily seat two?
Yep. There wasn’t copious amounts of room left when both my sons were both sat inside, and there’s nothing dividing the two travellers, so they sit shoulder to shoulder. My boys loved it and said it was really comfy – and it does look it.
My pair enjoy riding in it so much they haven’t fought once!
What’s the pull-bar like?
Once the locking pin is in place and lever pulled it feels sturdy. I had no worries at all with it. The handle also feels lovely and smooth!
What do you think of the tyres?
They’re solid discs made of durable plastic. As soon as you pick one up you know it’ll take on anything.
What is the brake like?
There’s a brake like you have on a bike on the handle of the pull bar, which can be locked for parking.
How easily does it fold?
The back of the seat folds down and the pull bar folds into the seat at the pull of a pin and lever.
And it’s this simplicity that means it’ll be easy to use each time you go bush. I don’t think it’d turn into an impulse buy that you use once and from then on gathers dust in the shed.
I’m already keen to go out with it again!
How compact is it when folded?
It takes up a fair amount of room, but efforts have been made to make it as flat as possible. The wheels pop off easily too.
Does it fit into the boot of a car?
It just fitted into the boot of a Golf, but I had to empty the boot first.
It would have slid in just perfectly but for one small plastic piece that jutted out.
It was one of those moments where you have to gently try to close the boot door to see if it will go. And it did.
I could then pile the rest of the usual junk you keep in your boot around it.
How easy is it to store?
It doesn’t free stand, but can probably be leant against a wall. It’s not something that can be easily squirrelled away, but is fine to keep in the shed.
Does it have storage?
It has a little metal ledge on the back, which acts as an anti-tipping mechanism and a shelf to carry things. It has straps on it to hold things down, and would suit a small bag or a tent.
Or, if you’re into glamping, it’s a perfect size for a bottle of champagne, as you can see from the picture!
Would you use it on holiday?
It’s not really something you’d want to bung on a plane and take abroad, but it’s perfect to put in the boot of your car and take on a UK/European outdoorsy holiday or even Centre Parcs.
No more kids insisting they have their own bag then wanting you to carry it and then them, you can just put them all in the Crossbuggy!
I also think it’d make going to the beach easier than with a pram, because it’s pulled. Prams and beaches are not a good mix.
Would the weather dictate when you use it?
It’s perfect for clear days, but with no cover it’s not something you’d want to use when it’s raining.
Even if the kids had hats and raincoats on they’d still be sitting in a puddle of water. Once YippieYo has sorted that out the Crossbuggy will be fine rain or shine.
What do you think of its design?
There’s a good choice of colour options for the padded seating and surrounds, and you can mix and match with a choice of wheels.
I think that YippieYo have made a clever decision with their styling. The Crossbuggy looks stylish and trendy. It looks very cool, from the aluminium frame to the seat cover design and even the wheels.
When we were out and about I could see lots of people turn their heads and check out the buggy. One mum stopped us and told us how great it was.
Another person said to a friend ‘that’s the coolest thing I’ve seen all day’ and then asked me where I got it from. A little girl stopped and said ‘wow’ as her nan said how good it was too! I’ve never had that before!
Do you have to buy a lot of additional extras?
If your family is more into Bear Grylls than city-based thrills, you’ll love stocking up with the optional extras.
You can buy bags, a light and even a children’s Swiss Army Knife!
All of these are good nods to the brand’s commitment to outdoor life and adventure.
One thing it is missing is some kind of rain cover, which is essential for this country! Although, YippieYo has said it’s working on it.
So why would a parent choose it over a normal buggy?
I think it will appeal to people for different reasons.
Firstly, I like the fact that it feels different to pushing a buggy around.
It’s more adventurous. It’s a good answer for people whose kids are outgrowing the buggy but complain if they have to walk far.
Secondly, it looks really cool and different. I can imagine city-living trendsetters loving it.
And finally, it’s not just the hip who it will appeal to. It’s designed for outdoors people, and I think it fits the bill for a carefree day out.
It’s so different that it feels like a fun thing to do. Pushing a buggy across rough terrain feels more of a chore!
Who would the product be most useful for?
Parents with a sense of adventure who want to go outdoor exploring without wearing their little ones’ legs out. And those who want sustainable products.
Is the product value for money?
£495 isn’t something to sniff at, but if you’ve ever been on an off-the beaten track holiday, you’ll know you have to invest in proper gear.
The Crossbuggy is light yet sturdy, solid yet easy to steer. It’ll stand the test of time. It also looks great – I think it’ll be very appealing to the young and trendy as well as those who like a classic design.
Has the product or the parent company won any awards?
The Crossbuggy won the Innovation Award when it was first presented at the Kind + Jugend international trade show in Cologne, the biggest baby care fair in Europe, in September 2015.
It’s also nominated for the German Design Award 2016 and has a 5* rating on Best Buggy.
What’s in the box?
- Chassis (with pull-bar and luggage rack)
- Two 14 inch wheels
- Stroller bag £44.10
- Additional seat covers £44.10-£53.10
- LED lights (red or white) £10.80 for 2
- Swiss Army Knife for children £16.20
- Spare wheel £31.50
I really enjoyed using the Crossbuggy. The kids loved hopping on and off of it, and the novelty of being carted around. It feels likes a good solution to when you’re kids are too old for a buggy, but not old enough for long walks. It’s a great idea for families who do festivals or love exploring outdoors.
Here are some jogging buggies…