Monday, December 27, 2010

Mamas & Papas Trek Stroller {Review}

I may not be completely up to date on the latest technology or gadgets (nor will I probably ever be), but one area where I feel pretty well-informed is that of Kid Stuff. I'd like to think that I'm pretty well-versed in the land of children's toys and gear and that I can spot a particular brand of stroller or diaper bag from pretty far off... and then list the cool features that it boasts. It's a talent, what can I say?

So, when Great Britain's number one baby brand, Mamas & Papas, finally arrived in the United States, I took one look at their unique and innovative strollers, high chairs, bouncers, toys and more... and realized I didn't know a thing about them. Who are they? What do they stand for? And, most importantly, what makes them so great?

Let me tell you: as I started to find out about the company as well as their products, I liked what I found.

Built on a passion for style, quality and innovation, Mamas & Papas was founded in 1981 by a mother and grandmother who was one of the UK's first female entrepreneurs. Who better to understand and anticipate the needs of pregnant women, mothers and their families?

So, with every product that they offer attractive to look at while adding simplicity, sophistication and, of course, function, I couldn't wait to see the colorful Trek stroller from Mamas & Papas in person.

It was clear right out of the box that Mamas & Papas took into account the major elements that matter to parents prior to constructing the Trek. As well as the great look of the Blueberry fabric (although the Raspberry is pretty cool as well), I could hardly believe my eyes when I pulled this stroller out and found that it was nearly 100% fully assembled.

No wheels to attach, no brake system to construct, no straps to thread; the only thing the Trek needed was to pop it open and it could have gone directly out for a ride.

Attaching the large canopy took only a few seconds, as the sides snapped right onto the stroller frame and then were easily held in place with Velcro on the back.

However, as I fully extended the canopy I noticed something that I had never seen before and instantly wondered why that was: a toy loop right at the end that was perfect for hanging any sort of toy or rings to keep a baby or young child occupied. As I have spent so much time trying to figure out how to attach things to previous strollers for Big Sister E and Little Sister B to entertain themselves with, having a loop just makes sense - what a great idea!

Designed for children from 6 months old up to around age 3 (approximately 18 - 33 pounds), the Trek is comfortable enough for younger babies and tall enough for older children to easily fit without nearing the top. This lightweight (13 pounds) umbrella stroller is just the thing for compact storage or easy travels - there is even a convenient shoulder strap that makes toting this around a breeze.

When it comes to the ride, the plush, padded seat, multi-position backrest and adjustable harness height ensure that your little one will have a custom, comfortable time no matter what. And, as nice as these features are, they are only enhanced by how simple they are to use and modify whenever necessary.

Raising and lowering the backrest requires only one hand - slide the clip located right on the back of the seat to the desired level and the seat leans back. When it's time to be upright again, just slide the clip tighter and you're done. As well as making naptime on-the-go more cozy, it is also extremely quick and convenient!

Changing the height of the 5-point harness is nearly just as easy, as all that is necessary is to pop the harness strap back through the seat and then move and secure it to the desired location. That allows for quick changes if a taller child is going to be riding or just when your child begins to outgrow the current setting.

The harness itself is slightly different than others that I am familiar with as well, due to the fact that the two sides fit together (similar to two puzzle pieces) and then snap together into the main buckle. At first I wondered if this would be more time-consuming or difficult, but I was pleased to find that it wasn't at all. In fact, I felt as though this system resulted in a more secure, safe fit.

When it came time to test out the Trek, I found that the foam handles were soft and comfortable to push and having the option of leaving the front wheels to swivel or lock them in place made the ride smooth and easy for both of us. Plus, with the brake conveniently located connecting both back wheels and a decent-sized (removable) storage basket underneath, parents have easy access to all the necessities.

When it is time to close up the Trek, the simple fold release mechanism allows you to do it pretty much all with one hand. Simply step on the side lever and pull up on the strap and the entire stroller folds down into one compact 11" x 9" x 41" package that, due to the large lock on the side, stays closed no matter how you carry or store it.

I am constantly recommending to new parents that they do NOT need a massive, bulky travel system because it just ends up difficult to move, carry or store. Instead, Mamas & Papas has taken great features from full-size strollers and put them into an efficient, more manageable model. This lightweight stroller provides comfort, style and safety in an easy to open and close frame that both the child and the parent will enjoy using.

No matter what the terrain, your little one will experience less bumps and stay perfectly cozy and secure. In fact, if you happen to get caught in a rain shower, the Trek even comes with its own separate rain cover that easily hooks and Velcros to the frame and stays in place with ease. As well as keeping your baby happy and dry, there are also ventilation holes along both sides that allow plenty of oxygen to keep flowing - a great addition to a handy accessory.

With a collection of convenient features, innovative styling and high quality and durability, the Trek stroller would be a great addition to any parent or soon-to-be-parent's line of gear. And, with their well laid-out line of lightweight strollers (the Trip, Trek, Tour, Cruise and Voyage), I like the way that Mamas & Papas makes it possible to find the one that will work best for your needs and fits your budget.

Plus, if your child is anything like mine, they'll love the relaxing ride they receive from a top-quality stroller like this one.

Retailing for $179.99, the Trek stroller (and many other great Mamas & Papas items) can be found at Babies R Us stores across the country as well as online. You'll also want to stay connected with Mamas & Papas on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss the latest information or a great sale.

(Other than the Trek stroller that I was provided by Mamas & Papas, I was not compensated or enticed or to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of this stroller and this company and their products.)


Anonymous said...

This really looks like a great stroller. I'm impressed with the toy loop, how smart! The harness looks a lot like a car seat for a child I care for. I disliked it at first, as I thought it was easier to just push into the lock, but I really think this is suppose to help with safety. Love the blue and raspberry colors!!!

Unknown said...

I love the colour of that stroller; how fun is that?! :)

I found you via FMBT and am your existing follower Rae T.

I'd love if you could follow me back at my blog: There's a Contest for That

Have a great day and thanks for your awesome giveaways! (especially the ones open to Canadians! ;) )

MIG said...

I totally agree that a bulky travel system isn't necessary. It's definitely more convenient to have a stroller that is easily folded and does not take up much room. It is also great that this stroller was already put together. Definitely a bonus!

Mandee said...

What a neat stroller! I haven't been over in so long! Have your girls grown over Christmas! Wow, they look like they are getting bigger! Still so cute though! :) I hope you all enjoy your New Year! :)

Anonymous said...

this looks sturdy. i like the colors too