In the buggy business it is often inconceivable for parents to buy a pushchair without going to a shop and trying it out first.
To most baby product manufactures, hands-on testing is so important that they refuse to sell their products online, and instead insist on showing their customers how to use the merchandise face-to-face.
Going against all industry trends is YourBuggyShop, an online only retailer of buggies, travel systems and strollers.
The relatively new, family run, British business makes an array of low to mid-priced baby products and released its first travel system, the Ibelieve, back in March 2014.
Despite being an online only product, the no frills travel system, which rivals the Cosatto Giggle, Chicco Urban and Hauck London travel systems, has received warm reviews and was recently shortlisted for a Best Baby Buggy under £400 Award by PushChairTrader.com.
What’s in the box?
- Seat unit
- Car seat
- Rain cover
- Nappy bag
Any additional extras?
There are extras, but luckily they come free with the buggy. I have the cosytoes, a matching changing bag and a rain cover, all included in the price! Sold separately, the car seat costs £50 and the bassinet is an additional £65.
You can also purchase travel system adaptors so the pushchair can be used with any Maxi-Cosi car seat and buy spare hood covers for £12.50.
It arrived in four big boxes – a slightly overwhelming sight for expectant parents – but you do get the feeling you’re getting a lot for your money with the new Ibelieve travel system.
How was it to assemble?
The instructions were clear and straightforward but it does require some concentration, especially because you have to put everything together from scratch.
The whole thing took me 45 minutes to assemble, you even have to thread the hood sticks into the canopy and attach the fabric to the seat frame.
Saying that, everything fitted well and went where it was supposed to, clicking nicely into place. The wheels attach easily, as do the chair and the carrycot. The car seat can also fit onto the buggy frame, which takes a bit of a shove initially but is really simple with practice.
Ibelieve pushchairs can only be purchased online, what do you think about that?
I think this is the one major issue buyers may have with the Ibelieve. It is only available online through YourBuggyShop, so you can’t try before it you buy.
Being a new brand in the UK, YourBuggyShop doesn’t have the word of mouth advantage that other manufacturers such as iCandy Chicco or UPPAbaby have and so it will probably be a lot harder to sell the buggy to parents.
Saying that, YourBuggyShop prides itself on its ethos of ecommerce fulfilment, so much so that it offers customers a free 14 day, no questions asked, return policy with all its products.
So any customer that is not fully satisfied with their pushchair only needs to call the company who will give them a full refund and arrange for a courier to collect the buggy at no extra cost.
The Ibelieve one of the cheaper travel systems on the market, how well does it maneouver when compared with the more expensive buggies?
The best thing about this buggy is that it’s light and easy to steer. The aluminum frame feels sturdy and very nice, but it isn’t heavy or bulky.
The air-filled wheels are also lovely and chunky and have adjustable shock absorbers so the pushchair travels smoothly on various terrains.
Taking my little one over the grassy hills near our home was as smooth as it could have been (smooth enough for him to fall asleep), and it runs nicely on pavements too.
What do you think of the seating positions on the Ibelieve?
There are three different positions – from upright to practically horizontal.The most annoying thing about this travel system is that the buttons to change the position of the seat – situated either side of the chair – need to be pressed at the same time for it to move.
That means it’s then quite difficult to position it without having a third hand. My little boy had a couple of sharp jolts back to horizontal.
However, I do like the fact that the seats can face either direction, the rear-facing is great for when you’ve got a tiny baby and you want to watch their every move.
And for when they’re more inquisitive and want to face outwards and watch everyone else, you can simply chance the seat to face forwards.
How comfortable is the carrycot?
Judging by the reactions of my 15-month-old son Joseph and his two-month-old cousin Mia, who also travelled in the carrycot, it is nice and comfortable.
But the sides are soft, which means it’s not really possible to put the carrycot on the floor while setting up the pushchair, as it doesn’t hold its shape.
Tell us about the design of the buggy?
The buggy looks nice and simple. The frame and seats are no frills, looks-wise, which I prefer. The safety bar is sturdy and the straps are thick and comfortable. The cosytoes isn’t the most cosy and the bag isn’t the most stylish, but they do the job perfectly well.
What about the shopping basket?
Sadly, the shopping basket is fairly shallow, fitting the essentials but not many supermarket carrier bags.
Fortunately the nappy bag can clip onto the handle, so that is one less thing that has to go in it.
How is the hood?
One thing that I am not keen on is the hood. It’s not quite as smooth or as sturdy as I’m used to and can take a bit of arranging. It is nice and big though, offering good shade on a sunny day.
What about the Ibelieve handle positions?
The handle is adjustable – rotating on an axis rather than extending out. I thought it wouldn’t have enough variation for tall or short parents, but actually I was pleasantly surprised, my other half and I both found it comfortable.
How does the buggy fold?
The folding and unfolding of the buggy is very simple, just pull back on the lock and collapse. It takes two hands, so can be difficult while holding a baby, but it is manageable.
Folded it is compact, even with the seat still attached, fitting easily in the boot of the car and easy to carry with one hand.
The Ibelieve car seat is not ISOFIX compatible, what do you think of that?
With or without the ISOFIX, the car seat, which is estimated to fit babies up to nine months, feels light but robust.
And because it straps in using the car seat belt, which is threaded through clasps at the side and rear, it is easy to install. It felt safe and sturdy, and has a good three-point strap with a solid buckle.
The car seat itself is backward facing, with a detachable headrest and seat pad to support newborns. It also has a clip on sunshade, which attaches with three press-studs.
Is it value for money?
Yes, when you can spend £900 on some top of the range travel systems, this has a good cost / quality balance.
Made For Mums verdict
Despite it only being available to buy online, I personally I would be happy to take the risk. It’s a simple, reliable travel system that is in the lower-end bracket pricewise. All the accessories are included so there’s no extra cost and most importantly it’s robust and lovely to steer.
There were a few little niggles, but overall I think it is a good buy for the price. It feels well made and sturdy and is adaptable for a variety of ages.