If you have been hanging round here in this neck of the tinterweb for a while you will be fully aware of my utter obsession of prams and pushchairs and love nothing more than taking a pushchair and testing it to its limits!
Prams and pushchairs are a massive investment in any parents baby budget and finding what is right for you can be such a minefield as lets face it we are all looking for very different things when we make that purchase.
So here are my personal thoughts on using the Graco EVO XT pushchair and carrycot.
Putting Together The Graco EVO XT
From the outset I have loved the look of this pushchair from afar and so was thrilled to get to try it out.
On arrival I was slightly panicked at having to pop little bits into the rear wheels to secure them on and was slightly fiddly to do.
That being said they had good instructions and only took a few seconds to pop the split pin through and the cap on the top of that.
The rest of the pushchair was very easy to put together, the seat unit just clipped in place and the bumper bar clips in too.
Using The Carrycot
Since Jacob is really little still we were also sent the carrycot that goes with this pushchair that we could use instead of the seat unit if we wanted to make it a pram and on putting it together I found it really stiff to put the bars up that stabilises the base and did damage my thumb in the process, however once done I was pleased with the depth of the carrycot and the ultra padded mattress that comes with it.
The carrycot comes with a cover that velcros over the top to keep baby snug and secures in place with 2 press studs at the hood, there is even a carrycot nest for inside that comes as part of the package.
I loved how easy the carrycot clipped on and off the chassis and loved the comfort factor of it over all but there were a couple of niggles I found when using it the first is that the basic hood didn’t keep the sun out Jacob’s eyes like it does on the seat unit as it has an extension and he would wriggle to the bottom out-of-the-way, it’s a shame that lovely feature of the seat unit wasn’t carried through to the carrycot too.
Secondly I did struggle with is the fact the carrycot doesn’t come with a rain cover so had to abandon the carrycot on several trips, I personally would have the preferred a fitted rain cover to the baby nest. I did think that maybe the pushchair rain cover was multi purpose but if so I couldn’t get it to fit the carrycot, but maybe that’s just me?
Using The Pushchair
This pushchair can be used from birth as it has a lie flat option which is fab so you don’t have to purchase the carrycot if you don’t want to and since you are able to turn it forward facing or parent facing and comes with a super snug footmuff its can be easily used from tiny tot through to preschool.
We have also been using the pushchair with Jacob who has just turned 4 months.
I adore the look of the pushchair and love the oversized hood which covers really well, I also love the firm chunky handlebar, but you can’t push this one-handed you will need both to push so it could be slightly hard work if you are having to hold small hands while crossing a road.
The Graco EVO XT has a fantastic suspension and using over more rugged terrain it made light work of it, ploughing literally through fields and soft mud but on the down side it’s only the front wheels that pop off for cleaning so you do get some degree of mud in the boot when you are off roading with it.
Using the pushchair on more out-of-town routes and pavements, it handles beautifully and eats up the road and fields but it is worth mentioning the counter balance is off slightly somewhere meaning when you have it in parent facing it does make it slightly harder to get up and down kerbs and that is made worse again if you have baby in lie flat mode the weight is all positioned on the front wheels.
I have turned it round into forward facing and used with a slightly older child and it does make it so much easier to push and obviously makes it much easier to get into the MASSIVE shopping basket too.
Did I mention the shopping basket … it’s by far the biggest one I have come across on a single pushchair to date and made it a total doddle while out shopping or on day trips.
The rain cover that comes with the pushchair is rather good, it slips over the seat unit and comes with a centre parting that seals with velcro meaning you can leave it on and open it up when the rain stops for those odd dry spells we get which was far less stressful
The Graco EVO XT works really well as a more rural pushchair with its great suspension, sturdy frame and chunky wheels. It is really comfy and totally built for a demanding off-road type lifestyle.
It looks stylish and has a really great sized shopping basket, oversized hood and obviously its ability to forward and parent face are all bonuses.
For me however the weight and large fold combined makes lifting it in and out the car boot with my poorly back/pelvis hard work, if you have a large boot and non dodgey back/pelvis however this wouldn’t be a problem.
Disclaimer: This product was sent for the purposes of this review, all thoughts and opinions were independently formed by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse.