A huge outlay when a baby is on the way is the travel system (pram, buggy, car seat). Of course there are various second hand methods of buying but we decided to buy new and invest in one that was reliable and durable so it would last should we be fortunate enough to have more children.
We shopped around (Chris got the shock of his life when he saw the price of some of the brands out there!). The idea of a travel system package with all of the components we needed seemed like the perfect option as first time parents. I think the most important thing to do before you go browsing is to think about your lifestyle and consider what your personal requirements are in order to decipher which pram best meets your needs.
The Jané Epic Micro Koo’s was perfect and our local stockist Samuel Johnston had a great package deal with Free UK delivery and a 2 year warranty!
The package included the isofix base, as when we shopped around we saw what looked like a good deal on some brands but then realised the isofix base was an additional cost on top of the package.
The hospital will not let you leave without a car seat nowadays and an isofix base to click the seat into is not only more secure than strapping the seat in but it is much handier to place the seat in and out of the car (Especially when it is raining and your little one is having a melt down because the car has stopped moving!!).
The car seat in the package is called Koos. It is one of the lightest car seats on the market at only 2.9kg. An important factor when you are going to be lugging your little one in and out of the house or out and about. It should last us until Sam is 18 months approximately.
This integrates with the Epic chassis to make it become a travel system. WARNING: other travel systems include attachments or separate adapters in order for them to integrate with the chassis. The Koos does not! It is fully compatible and much handier than fussing around looking for components! Trust me the time taken to build and put away your buggy is crucial when your little one is crying. The more efficient the better!
Another big requirement for us was the size of the base/chassis once folded down as we wanted something that would take up as little space as possible in the boot of our car. Jané have a range of chassis available to choose from, the Epic appealed to us as it had added suspension and shock absorbers. We live out in the sticks and so a lot of rough terrain and country walks were inevitable. It sounds silly but it feels really easy to push yet it is robust. There is also a great hand break on it which has a really firm hold.
The Epic pushchair attachment which should do Sam up until he is 2/3 years old has three reclining positions and a full breathable canopy. The fact it can be folded down in one go was a huge selling point for us as some other buggies out there involves detaching the chair before folding. Not ideal!
The Micro carrycot which turns the chassis into more of your classic pram is also fully integrated with no added adaptors. These are renowned for being very bulky but this one collapses down taking up less space in your boot or when storing. It collapses in seconds and is so easy to do. Watch our video HERE!
The carrycot can also be used as a moses basket and is suitable for overnight sleeping. If visiting relatives etc we have been able to bring the carrycot into the house so there is somewhere safe and suitable for Sam to nap. It has handles which makes this easy to do too. This can be used up until about 5/6 months depending on your baby as once they are sitting upright the pushchair attachment with recliner is more suitable.
The carrycot is not a necessity for everyone so this is why you should assess what you want for your lifestyle. Jané offer a great compromise in that their Matrix car seat folds back into a carrycot style and can even be laid flat in the car. Perfect if your lifestyle involves long car journeys as you are not advised to have your baby in the car seat for longer than two hours.
Our package also included a clear rain cover and a changing bag with changing mat.
The only drawback to the whole package for me has been the changing bag. Personally I don’t think it is big enough, as there is so much you need for a newborn especially if you are bottle feeding. Plus I am a bit of an over packer anyway.(Handheld luggage on flights is always tricky for me!).
I also would advise buying a clip for your shopping like this one. It’s so handy to pop on for your shopping bags!
Another extra I bought was this diono insert which stopped Sam’s head moving from side to side as much in the car. I can then take this out when Sam is a little older and as the strength in his neck develops. It can also be used in the carrycot to keep him in position when laid flat.
Obviously when buying another huge aspect to look at is the ease of setting up the pram and folding it away. This is what really sold it for us with the Jané Epic Micro Koo’s system.
Overall we are really pleased with our choice and think it has been a great investment.