Confession time… I’m a bit of a pram addict.
I have 3 children but have owned 8 prams in their lifetime. Yep, you read that right, EIGHT. So I guess you could say I’m well qualified to review prams, and today I’m doing just that.
I’ve been busting to share with you my Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip review but I needed to wait until bub was out of the bassinet and into the “normal” seat so I could give it a fair and thorough review.
While 8 prams is probably a little excessive, I have loved them all in different ways and for different reasons (actually that’s not true, one of them I hated, but it still served its purpose) but my Mamas & Papas Urbo 2 was my most loved all rounder pram. That was up until they kindly gifted me the Armadillo Flip XT!
Why Choose a Mamas & Papas Pram?
If you’ve never seen a Mamas & Papas pram before I’m actually not completely surprised. Traditionally a UK company, Mamas & Papas is less well known in Australia. Because of their sophisticated look they certainly turn heads and I’ve often had people stop me and ask about my pram. I really like that they aren’t “everywhere” and are still a bit unique.
I initially bought an Urbo 2 for my second son as I was searching for a pram with a reversible lie flat seat (not the bucket style seat that most reversible prams have). At the time it was pretty much the only pram that fitted my criteria, was pleasant to push and to look at. Since then I’ve never looked back.
If you’re wondering whether a Mamas & Papas pram is for you, these are the top 5 reasons I love their prams
- They are gorgeous. Everything is exquisitely finished and beautiful quality. From the fabric to the clips to the quilted leather handle bars, everything about a Mamas & Papas pram screams luxury.
- They can cop a beating. I’ve knocked my prams around and they still look as good as new. Nothing about them is flimsy, they really last.
- They offer true lie flat seats, rear and forward facing. This was so important to me as my babies were never happy in the bucket style seats.
- They push like a dream. Honestly, if you’ve owned a few prams you’ll know that not all are equal. Mamas & Papas prams push effortlessly and smoothly. All.the.time.
- They think of everything. From built in sun shades to ventilation zips and soundless peep holes, they really make their prams super user friendly.
Armadillo Flip XT Review
I’ve been using the Armadillo Flip XT for about 4 months now following the birth of my third child. I previously used the Urbo 2 so some of my thoughts are shaped by my experience with that pram. Overall I really love the pram.
While there is a lot to love about the Flip XT, the two things that I’m really enjoying the most at the moment are the compact super easy one handed fold and the HUGE basket (and when I say huge I really mean it, I managed to stuff 8 grocery bags in there after a “quick” shop ended in a mammoth grocery haul).
Like all Mamas & Papas prams the XT pushes smoothly and turns easily. I’ve also found the foot break to be easy to use, even in thongs. I would highly recommend the cup holder and handle accessories which clip easily onto the side, although be careful with them as they do tend to unclip fairly easily when folding the pram and I unfortunately lost the handle strap early on before I’d realised their tendency to come loose.
Armadillo Flip XT Bassinet
The bassinet is a bit shorter than the Urbo 2 but I found it comfortable and easy to use for bub. I love the ventilation flap at the back which really cooled it down during the heat of summer. My little man is BIG and lasted in it until 4 months, but I would say most bubs would get 6 months of use out of it, at which point they’ll probably want to be sitting up anyway. The pram can be used from birth without the bassinet due to the completely lie flat seat but I’m not sure I’d feel like a newborn was snug and secure enough in the big seat, so I do personally prefer the bassinet for a young baby.
Easy & Compact Fold
The fold on the Flip XT is certainly a massive selling point. It is a true one handed fold and super quick and easy. It folds ups up compactly and would fit in even the smallest boot, and while the fold is compact, the seat still has heaps of space. As you can see below, it even accommodated my tall (but light) 6 year old who thought it was a super awesome treat to get a ride. Weighing in at 10kg it isn’t a super lightweight pram but for a full featured pram it is definitely one of the lightest out there. I had no problems getting it in and out of my boot, especially as it locks into the fold so you aren’t battling with it the way you have to with many prams.
The handlebar extends and I found it a comfortable height for me on the lowest setting (I’m a shorty at about 162cm) and my husband could comfortably push it at a mid setting (he’s 6 foot). I do miss the retractable handlebar of the Urbo 2 for super tight spots in restaurants but I guess you can’t have everything!
The seat rear and forward faces (a high priority for me) and is easy to adjust with several settings including completely flat as well as a nice straight upright option. The foot rest can be adjusted to flat or tucked under for an older child which is a nice touch.
There are two colour choices at the moment (dark blue and charcoal) and the fabric is a really good quality thick textured style with a quilted inner on the canopy. The wheels are much larger than the Urbo 2 and handle off road fairly well. They don’t compare to pump up tyres for walking on really rough terrain but I found them a good all round options for grass, footpaths and gravel while still being smooth and easy to manage in shopping centres. The added suspension is a nice touch and definitely improves comfort off road.
In terms of downsides, the only issue I’ve really found is with the sun canopy. While I love the size of the it, I’m not a crazy about how it functions. I find that it flips back from being fully pulled down quite easily (as in it doesn’t stay fully extended). It also tends to pull the seat up with it if you’re not careful. The pulling up of the seat was a bigger issue in the Urbo 2 but it’s still not ideal. This said, the sun shield does provide excellent coverage and I love the silent peep hole and zippered ventilation flap.
The frame is compatible with Maxi Cosi capsules and possibly others too, but I used a Maxi Cosi. While it’s a bit fiddly to get it attached it’s very secure and sits at a comfortable height. The adaptors do needs to be removed to fold the pram but this is a quick 5 second task.
Overall the Armadillo Flip XT is a fabulous pram. It’s stylish, beautifully made, hugely functional and full of clever features that are rarely found all in one pram. Mamas & Papas produce stunning user friendly prams and the Armadillo Flip XT certainly doesn’t disappoint.
While this post was primarily aimed at reviewing the XT, if you’re looking at both the Armadillo Flip XT and the Urbo 2 I’ve briefly compared them below.
Armadillo Flip XT vs Urbo 2
When you’re comparing Mamas & Papas prams the choice will probably come down to whether to buy the Armadillo Flip XT or the Urbo 2. While I’m still somewhat undecided, here are the pros and cons.
Pro’s of Urbo 2 vs Armadillo Flip
- Larger bassinet
- Retractable handle (awesome for fitting in tight spots in cafes)
- Has a bumper bar (there isn’t one on the Flip XT and it is one thing I really miss)
- More refined style (in my opinion, but the Flip XT is still an exceptionally good looking pram)
Pros of Armadillo Flip XT vs Urbo 2
- Bigger more “all terrain” wheels
- Larger shade canopy
- Easier foot break
- Easier and more compact fold
- Larger seat
- Huge (!) basket
There are some things that I really miss about the Urbo 2 (mostly the retractable handle to fit into tight spaces and the bumper bar). But then there are things about the Armadillo Flip XT that I LOVE (especially the fold and the basket size… oh the basket size!)
I think on the whole the Flip XT wins out for me. If they added a bumper bar option and a retractable handlebar it would be a clear winner!