As a new parent I found my purchasing decisions have an added weight and importance to them. The big one for me was how to transport our new baby both in the car and along the pavement. Recently, I had the chance to try the Orbit Baby G2 pushchair system, and enlisted the help of some friends with newborn and youngster to see how it stacked up.
If you've not heard of it already the Orbit Baby G2 pushchair is a little different because it enables you to rotate your baby 360 degrees and recline. It's also a modular system so you can keep using it from newborn to toddler. You can also attach and rotate your bassinette, stroller seat or car seat.
I liked the idea of being able to move the bassinette from rocker to pushchair without having to wake up a sleeping baby. Also, although it sounds like a minor aspect, the test family found that being able to have their newborn facing them made a big difference. It meant they didn't have to stop and peer round to see what their child was doing, and it involved the child more more with the rest of the family on trips out.
The Orbit stroller combines a lightweight chassis and the ability to be folded with one hand -- something we struggled with on our Phil & Teds pushchair. The Orbit also wins on its compact folded size, easily fitting into a variety of smaller car boots.
If you add the car seat to the setup you can also plug it into the car after removing from the stroller. Reading online I discovered that you need get this fitted correctly so that there is no movement of the seat when attached. The tension bar aspect of this installation is easy to miss and should be attended to. We found that most stores will offer to help fit the car seat for a small charge -- well worth it for peace of mind.
Although this isn't a buggy you'd go running with, as my test family did with other products, the Orbit Baby has a good positive push, and wheels that are big enough to cope with most bumps and cracks. In fact, even on a beach (the ultimate test in my book) the large back wheels still meant we could make good progress.
It has a few nice touches for parents too. For instance there's a cup holder underneath the handle. This means that your hot drink is well away from your child while still within easy reach. I must admit that whenever I see these out and about they usually have snacks and water for baby in them rather than a Latte.
Now on our third child we've got more into eating out as a family. When they were smaller we often skipped this treat because of the logistics of managing a buggy in a restaurant. The swivel function of the Orbit stroller means that you can get the buggy right up to the table and have your infant close enough to join in with the rest of the family. Another minor point of the design, but one that makes a big difference to family life.
In terms of storage, the Orbit Baby G2 is slightly light. To maintain its compact design there is a Carry Pod rather than parcel net. This means that you can't carry quite as much, although it does keep valuables much safer and is easily detached.
As our testers also had an older child we set them up with the Sidekick Stroller board. This was a big winner. While their fashion conscious pre-schooler had not wanted to use similar plastic offerings on other buggies, here the retro cool wood design seemed to be more agreeable. He was more than keen to jump on and ride what he called his "clip on skateboard". Praise indeed.
The Orbit Baby G2 may not be the cheapest product, but for us and our testers the build quality and attention to design features make it worth the price. Add to this the benefits of being able to continuing using as your baby turns into a toddler and there's also some sound financial aspects here too.
Dads will be won over by the sheer gadgety aspect of the stroller clip and twist system and I suspect that Mums will appreciate the functional aspects like its one handed fold action.