* Prices may differ from that shown
At first I didn't like the look of the Bugaboo Bee. I am not the first person to say that they look like a wheelchair. However there was just something about it that drew me back to it.
My son looked very snug in the newborn cocoon that is available to buy as an extra. So I was not worried that it didn't have a carrycot which I think does put some people off. It handles like a dream around the shopping centres and on pavements. It doesn't have brilliant suspension, it is fine going over uneven grass but would not be suitable for going for a walk on the beach with!
However I found that there was an 'awkward stage' and many other Bee mothers I have spoken to have agreed that they babies from around 5ish months to ten months don't sit very well in it. I am not sure if adding a liner from the bugaboo range would solve this?
At nearly a year my son loves the pushchair, he is able to parent face and sit upright. The fact that the seat unit extends in length and height means that it will last him well into toddler hood.
When my son was first born we invested in a second hand bugaboo cameleon for him, after a couple of months this broke (but was still usable) a couple of months after that my husband got a new job and as a result promised me a new pram which is where the bugaboo bee comes in! I've been using this since the little fella was about 5 months old.
*WHAT WAS I LOOKING FOR IN A PRAM*
This time instead of being sucked in by the "in crowd" of yummy mummies parading round the park with their bugaboos and their iCandys I decided to write a list of what I felt was important to me in a pram.
- The ability to fold as a one piece
- Able to be forward and parent facing
- Could be used with a maxi cosi car seat
- was light weight so I could carry it plus baby of required
- Could be used from newborn (forward planning I didn't want to spend a fortune and not get my money's worth! Wanted to use it for the next one if we are lucky enough to have a next one)
- Could fit in a small boot
- Could be used as he got bigger as well as when he was small!
- Could lie flat so he could nap in it (ha who was I kidding needing this ?!)
Round and round the shops I went trying out all these prams and each assistant said the same to me, you want the bee. Determined not to be trapped in the yummy mummy trap I continued on, only to admit defeat as the bee is the only one that can do all of the above. I am now that yummy mummy you see!
*THE BUGABOO BEE - A YUMMY MUMMY DREAM*
The pram itself, I think it is gorgeous to look at. The black seat and the customisable hood (and footmuff) adding a spot of colour. You'd think that you'd buy it all as one as a sun canopy is a pretty essential part of the pram, not so with bugaboo you purchase the sun canopy separately at a hefty price tag of £40 (mothercare June 2013).
- THE SUN CANOPY; as stated comes in a variety of colours, hot pink, blue, red, yellow, black and beige to name a few and that's before you even start to look at the custom ones, examples include missoni.
When the pram is in lie flat mode the sun canopy comes up and covers the babies head and the baby is still visible to the parent. You move the seat up to half recline, some of that visibility is reduced, at full upright position I cannot see more than my sons arms and legs poking out! His head is completely covered so much so I have to bend under the canopy to see him. In one way I think that's a good thing because his head is protected from the sun, another way of thinking is if I can't see his face what can he see!! Somewhat defeats the object of my taking him for a walk.
- THE SEAT; has a standard 5 point harness to clip baby in. I find that the waist portion of the straps are very loose, but my son is very slender (not sure where he gets that from!) I have had no issues with the buckle and it's quite stiff so requires an adult to unclip,no problems with little fingers finding and pressing!
The 3 reclines are good, and EASY to operate. You simply squeeze the button on the back and push up or down as required. My only complaint is that it is a little jerky so sometimes when I see the little mans eyes go and rush to drop the seat back the action actually jars him awake.
Adjustable harness heights! Wow. This is good! I have the newest model of the bee and it is so simple. The top of the seat extends a further 4 clicks moving the harness with it. Caution; I couldn't find the handle to pull when first looking for this, it had hidden itself under the sun canopy! This feature means that as the baby gets bigger the back and the harness grows with them so they remain comfortable, safe and secure.
The seat - pulls outward, so you can extend to keep little legs from dangling off when they are small and to accomodate bigger bums and thighs as they get bigger.
FORWARD AND PARENT; I wanted this option as now my son is still quite little he likes to look at my ugly mug. Changing it to forward facing means lifting the seat off, easily done but not with a baby in your arms/tht you are trying to contain from crawling away so you can't really change your mind at will when you are out, which would be a nice feature - baby happy looking at the world, starts to grizzle bang you turn it round and happy baby again, something for bugaboo to think about! To actually take the seat off you fold the seat all the way forward using the recline lever and then lift! I also take the seat off if I'm just going to use the car seat but will come onto that shortly!
BRAKES, HANDLEBAR AND STORAGE; brake is a standard foot pedal, no problems it's easy to find even with bags swinging from the handlebar! The handlebar, EASILY adjustable, unclip the lock each side and pull it up and down, 2 criticsms are that it had to click into the correct groove for you to be able to lock the handlebar again I have missed the essential clic on a few occasions and struggled. I also find that they don't go up that high, should I wear heels I feel very stooped over the pram. Under buggy storage is not the best, maybe one bag of shopping as long as you take it out the bag! I tend to use mine for toys aand rice cakes! I bought separate buggy clips to clip my pram bag to the handle bar but this is not recommended and I can see why as putting extra weight can damage the locking mechanism of the adjustable handlebar! Their ia also a wrist strap to wear attached to the handle bar for any potential brake issues or runaway hill issues, I use it most on the bus when a vicious turn has spun the pram regardless of the brake being on.
FOLDING; it folds as a one piece in either parent or forward facing mode, simply align the back of the seat sit the handlebar and push the 2buttons while pushing the pram down. My only issue is that you do need both hands to do it so baby needs to be contained first
CARSEAT; shock horror you have to pay extra for the adapters! Easy to clip on and can be used while the seat is in position. I like to just take the frame if I'm going in a taxi as it means I don't have to remove the adapters to fold the frame down which you do have to if you keep the seat I place as you can't bring it forward past the adapters. Slightly annoying but not a deal breaker.
TRAVELLING; the bee fits in most boots and is relatively easy to get through an airport! They often make you put it throug the X-ray scanner, which I struggle with when travelling alone!
Being a yummy mummy comes with a hefty price tag, we paid £450 for our pram and adapters and that was considered cheap! Shop around and a lot of independents will price match for you!
Now all is said and done I personally would not be comfortable putting a newborn in this pram, I probably wouldn't start using this until they are nearer 12 weeks old. My main reasononing is that I wouldn't want to strap a newborn in when I'd rather they go in a carry cot and could lie without restrictions. There is a carrycot you can get called the microlight corro tht will attach to the frame using the car seat adapters. Now I haven't tried this as we got the pram when little man was 5 months but it is something to be aware of. And if that's all that is putting you off buying then there is a solution!
I love my bee, it's lightweight yet still sturdy, it pushes like a dream, my little man naps in it, I like the look of it. If you have the money I would defintely recommend buying one, they also keep their resale value ao you can always get some money back on eBay!
I bought the bugaboo bee a couple years ago and can't rave about it enough - I absolutely love it. It's been described as the pushchair of choice for the city yummy-mummy and I definitely think it is. It's available a range of colors, and new colors are always available. I've heard some people say it's expensive, but I personally think it's is well worth every penny. We live in a first floor flat and I've been able to carry the buggy and DS up and down the stairs without any problems (well until DS became to heavy to carry) It is a small, light but steady and folds away in once piece (no need to take the seat off etc.), it very easy to steer and I've used it for long walks in the park, busses, tubes and have had no problems over the 2 years I've had the buggy. Initially I used the buggy with a maxi cosi car seat (with adapters) and had no problems with this. When I moved DS into the main buggy, I initially had him facing me and now he is older, we turn the seat around so he can face outwards. During the colder months, I used the footmuff which has kept DS nice and cosy and warm. Overall I would have no problem recommending this pushchair to anyone.
We have had the bee as our main pushchair for a year and a half and on the whole, we love it. At 8.5 kg, it's one of the more lightweight pushchairs on the market and due to its compact nature, is very easy to lift in and out of car boots which is a major plus if like me, you are on the petite side! It fits easily into the tiny boot of my peugeot 106 and is very simple to fold and unfold (although I find I still need two hands to do this.) It's also easy to tell if you've unfolded the bee correctly as a green marker shows on each side of the chassis.
Another great feature is the adjustable handle, which means both my taller husband and I can push it around comfortably. I've also found that by pushing the handle down to its lowest setting, you can compact it even more to create more room in your boot. This also comes in handy if you need to tuck the pushchair away in a cramped coffee shop or restaurant and don't want it getting in other peoples' way.
The bee is an absolute dream to manoeuvre and is a doddle to push one-handed. It comes into its own when scooting around busy towns and shopping centres as you can swerve around obstacles and pedestrians with ease and change direction at the drop of a hat. It doesn't take up much room on the pavement, you can get up and down one or two steps on your own with very little trouble and can generally manage to get around even the pokiest of shops.
For a pushchair of its weight, it feels surprisingly sturdy and the quality of the build is very good (which you would expect for the price tag.) Over 18 months our bee has had its fair share of bashes and knocks and has been over some fairly rough terrain for its little wheels, yet has coped very well and we've had no damage or breakages apart from a few scratches. The five point harness is also fully adjustable and feels very safe, with extra padding over the shoulders. We did find that the squeezy clips on the harness take a little getting used to, however you will probably find similar clips on a whole host of other baby products so you soon get used to them and most importantly, the pressure required to undo them makes them fairly toddler proof. Another safety feature is the wrist strap on the handle, a very simple but effective idea which keeps the buggy attached to you and prevents any likely accidents caused by letting go of the handle.
The bee has a rather large, oversized hood which not everyone finds attractive or useful, however I personally have actually found the hood to be quite handy. When pulled down to its fullest extent, it blocks out a lot of light which can be helpful if your little one is tired and needs a nap and if you get caught in a rain shower, it provides enough cover for 10 minutes or so until you can find shelter or somewhere to fit the rain cover. The rain cover itself is very straightforward to put on and the material feels strong and durable. My only criticism is that it has a rather pointless flap on the front, through which you can supposedly put your child in and out of the pushchair but I have found this impossible and find it far easier just to roll the cover up and leave it on top of the hood. The flap also secures down with velcro, which is no match for a toddler and I often find my son sticking his hands outside into the rain- not a huge problem but he does sometimes end up with slightly soggy sleeves!
Unlike many lighter strollers and pushchairs, the bee can be both forward and backwards facing which is great if you and your child like to watch and talk to each other as you go along. I've found that changing the direction the bee faces is one of the more difficult elements to master but it does get easier with practice. Unfortunately, you can't fold the bee with the base attached in the backwards facing position, which can be inconvenient. You either have to take the base off and fold and store the chassis separately, or move the base to forwards facing and then fold the whole pushchair down.
One of the negative points to consider if you are thinking of buying a bee is that it doesn't come cheap and whilst the quality is superb, you don't get much included in the price. Most retailers seem to count the hood, rain cover and shopping basket as included extras, whereas I would consider these to be as standard. Additional bugaboo accessories are available at an extra cost and are pretty pricey, even from cheaper online retailers. You may be able to find a more reasonable deal on second hand accessories and the re-sell value of bugaboo products is good so you could get back some of your money by selling them on in the future.
We have found that the only official bugaboo products we really needed were the maxi-cosi car seat adaptors and newborn cocoon. The car seat adaptors are essential if you want to use the bee as a travel system by fitting your infant car seat on to the pushchair chassis. Again, this is very easy to do as the infant seat simply clicks into place on top of the adaptors and you can tell if it's correctly installed by the two buttons clicking upwards on either side of the car seat. To remove it, you simply push the same two buttons down and lift the seat off. This is a great feature if your baby falls asleep in the car and you want to move them from car to pushchair without disturbing them.
In my opinion, the bee on its own is not ideal for newborns, mainly as there is virtually no support for such young babies so we did need to fork out extra money for the newborn cocoon (or use the car seat, obviously ensuring they don't stay in there for longer than the recommended time.) The seat base of the bee also does not lie completely flat, although with the addition of the cocoon it does even out a little more. Whilst the cocoon is of excellent quality and ensures your baby is well supported and comfortable, £60-£70 is a lot to pay for something which will only last for a few months.
It's also worth mentioning that the bee is not designed for rough or off road terrain- if you expect to spend more time taking your child on countryside hikes than nipping in and out of shops then this is probably not the pushchair for you. The swivel wheels are lockable to make it easier to push over bumpy ground, however this still won't be very comfortable for your child. It's also very hard to push in any more than 2-3 inches of snow, but to be fair it's not intended for these circumstances in the first place.
Some models bought prior to May 2009 (ours included) may have problems with the brakes, which is important to be aware of if you are thinking of buying a second hand bee (if parked on an incline, ours would rotate through 180 degrees to face in the opposite direction.) Bugaboo has issued a free set of extra brake brackets which can be claimed via their website, however you do need to know where and on what date the bee was purchased. It's therefore worth checking the age of any second hand bee you're interested in and if the seller has fixed the additional brackets if it's an older model. Compared to many other models of pushchair, the seat is not quite as roomy and may be a squash for older and bigger toddlers. I have to admit that it can sometimes be harder to get my son in if he's wearing a bulky coat, however this doesn't seem to affect his comfort and the sides are made of fabric so naturally move outwards with the child. Whether he can still fit in there up to the age of 4 remains to be seen!
Finally, the shopping basket underneath is not that big which may be a problem for people who need to fit lots of shopping in their buggy. I can normally fit one full carrier bag of food shopping underneath and hang my nappy bag full of baby/toddler related paraphernalia over the handle with no problems.
All in all, despite the few niggles I have, I really wouldn't be without my bee. It makes popping into and around town so easy and stressless and is light enough to push up steep hills without feeling like you're going to pass out!
The Bugaboo Bee is a premium pushchair. At over £400 it is a pretty pricy buggy but is seen as one of the most 'fashionable' buggys on the market. Its design is such to look like an insect like many of the other bugaboo products. This I suppose it what makes this company unique.
To look at you could think the buggy is a little flimsy but it uses the material it does to make it lightweight and therefore easy to manouver and fold up into the car.
This buggy is suitable from birth up if you use the support pads but I think its more suited to toddlers. The seat, however, is not that large and there isnt a lot of room to move around.
I really like the fact that there is a height adjustable handle. This was a must for me as I am quite tall at 5"11. The downside to this buggy is the lack of storage space. There is only a small tray underneath the buggy meaning that any extra shopping has to be placed on the handles, this can cause the buggy to tip if the weight is heavy enough.
You can buy this buggy in many specialist shops and also online. It does tend to vary a lot in price and online seems to be the place to find it cheapest. The durability of this product is great although there is a guarantee if you need it.
I personally think it has a few bugs that need sorting but overall the bugaboo bee is not a bad buggy at all.
We had a bugaboo cameleon for our first child and loved how it handled, the build quality and the looks. It lasted us well until my second child reached nine months and suddenly we needed more space in the car an something that was slightly easier to put up and down.
The Bee had been released before I had my second child but I wasn't too sure about the looks, so stuck with the Cameleon. Then my friend got a Bee and I had a play and a push and fell in love. It is as easy to push as the Cameleon. They both push like a dream and a lot easier than many other pushchairs that I have tried.
So we sold the Cameleon and ordered a Bee and ever since we've been 'buzzing'. It is a little bit stiff at first to put up, but with time it losens and becomes second nature. The bottom of the seat is adjustable so is good for sharing between children on different sizes and the actual buggy itself is a very good compact size that feels very nippy to push about.
My 2.5 year old and my 9 month old both fall asleep in it which is always a bonus!
I'm very glad we made the change and if the Bee had been around when my first was born, it would have been the only buggy I would have ever needed.
Where to start! Since I bought a bugaboo frog in 2009 I have been hooked. I went on to get a cameleon (the love of my life!) which served me very well until we decided to take a short holiday in the uk. With luggage etc in a hatchback I decided to get a Bugaboo Bee to save some space and still enjoy all the benefits of a bugaboo.
To start with I wasnt keen on the overall looks of the bee, especially the little wheels and oversized hood. But I bought a red one from a friend and immediatley fell in love all over again!
It pushes like a dream. Its as if its going by itself and you just follow along behind it. I can steer it with one finger! I was dubious to how well it would handle bumps compared to the cameleon but again was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the ride is.
The hood is fantastic at keeping sun away from little eyes and the seat reclines easily with one hand. If the seat is upright I only tend to use half the hood though as it can become a bit restrictive of my sons view.
The shopping basket is deceptively large I can fit quite alot in but if it is forward facing you do have to lift up the footrest to access it - though I dont find this a problem.
It doesnt switch between rear/forward facing as easily as the cameleon which is understandable but after a couple of plays I dont even think about it anymore. The seat is a bit ugly in my opinion but I use a custom made footmuff (which was £30 cheaper than the original bugaboo one!) with bright animals on to make it look a bit prettier :)
The handle height is fully adjustable - Even the smallest and tallest people would find it suitable - Im 5ft 7 and have it approx. halfway to give you an idea. The fold is simple to do, ours is a little bit stiff, not sure if that is just because it had been stored a while but folds up very compact and unfolds very easily though I wouldnt say it was one handed.
The brakes. Now I know there has been a problem with the brakes? I know you can contact bugaboo to get some special clips I think that rectify the problem but mine have been fine so I didnt bother myself. They work great for me and hold the bee well.
The seat width and height are sometimes a problem with some children but my 19month old is quite small and has lots of room to grow still.
I dont use it as much these days as I have a 3 month old too, I use it parent facing and lying flat for him and he looks very comfy. I have since sold my cameleon - I will not sell my bee! I still use it when I just have 1 child on an outing and it always brings a smile to my face.
When I was pregnant and looking for a pram/stroller I had a few criteria:
- be front and back facing so that I could have the baby facing me even as they got older
- be compact as we had a Mini Clubman and a lot of the prams we looked at were way too big to fit in the boot
- can be used as a travel system and have a car seat attached to it when the baby is young
- be easy to put up and collapse
- be sturdy and easy to maneuver as I knew I'd be doing mainly town visits.
After lots of research the bugaboo bee seemed to fit the bill. It was expensive but to be honest it was a lot cheaper buying this than changing our car (it really was one of the only one's I found that would fit without having the wheels removed.
I have to say that I have been really impressed with it since my daughter has arrived. It's a dream to push - very nimble and the small swivel wheels give a smooth ride and can also be turned 360 degrees with ease. It fits into our car easily (apparently it will fit into an ordinary mini too, or so the man in John Lewis assured me.) The handle is adjustable and means that neither my husband or myself have to bend down to push it which makes for a comfortable journey for both of us.
The travel system only works with a maxi cosi seat and you have to buy special adapters to use it which I thought was a bit of a rip off as they're two little shaped plastic things that cost £20 but you can't use the car seat on the frame without them.
Although I've mainly done city trips with it I have taken it on a couple of long country walks and it's coped fine - OK, it's not an off roader type and does get stuck in long grass but overall I thought it coped pretty well and there was certainly no damage to it.
Changing the seats over is a bit of a pain at first - it took me ages to work out how to get the proper bugaboo seat on the first time I used it (I'd just been sticking to using the maxi cosi) and I even had to resort to looking up a youtube video that showed me how! But after a couple of times doing it it's become second nature now. The button on the handle to collapse the frame is pretty stiff and takes a lot of getting used to. It's so stiff that my Mum who has mild arthritis in her hands can't manage to do it. the clips that extend the handle length are also very stiff - in fact after 6 months of using it every day I still struggle to every time I do it.
But overall I think it's fantastic - primarily for the fact that it's so compact, light and easy to maneuver. I have to say I wasn't that bothered about it's trendiness but it is a good looking little pram and I have had a number of people ask me about it. We've bought the red as I had been told by a friend that the yellow I'd originally fancied was an insect magnet in the summer (apparently insects are attracted to yellow.)
The only trouble we've had with it is the carry handle snapped off a few weeks ago. I contacted Bugaboo (it comes with a 2 year guarantee) and they've asked me to send some pictures of it and they will take it from there. I'll wait and see how good their customer service is about it but I've heard good things so I'm not anticipating any problems having it replaced.
I must admit to being a bit of a pushchair-aholic! With our first child we went through 4 different pushchairs in the first year - a Gracco that was far too big to push round the shops, another Gracco that was smaller, the Loola, after reading an article about the benefits of parent facing pushchairs, and finally the very lightweight buggy from toys r us....
Whe I found out I was pregnant with baby 2, myself and my partner decided on a few criteria that our new pushchair would need to fullfill. My main criteria was that it could be both parent facing and forward facing, my partner's main criteria was a lightweight pushchair.
Parent facing pushchairs are now quite common and there was a wealth of choice but I found that to find one that was both parent facing AND lightweight was quite a challenge! Especially with the budget we had.
I'd seen the Bugaboo Bee at the Baby Show in the NEC and had been quite impressed with it, but not by the price! It is a lightweight and narrow pushchair that can be made into a travel system with the addition of a maxi-cosi car seat and car seat adaptors.
Luckily my parents helped us out with the £419 cost (ouch) and I bought the pushchair from Mothercare, along with the car seat £115, car seat adaptors £29.99 and the baby cocoon £67.
The Bugaboo Bee comes with a raincover and underseat basket and was delivered pretty much fully assembled. All I had to do was click in the 2 front wheels which was very easily done.
It's very straightforward to unfold and fold the pushchair, although the first time took me a couple of attepmts to get the right technique - you need to sort of "flick" the chair to get it to click into place.
In order to make the chair parent facing, the seat unit is unclipped, turned around and clipped back in... The mechanism is quite stiff at the moment but I would imagine this will get easier with time and use.
The car seat can be clipped onto the chassis (with the carseat adaptors) with the seat unit in place or not, but what annoys me about this is that you need to take your child out of the car seat to click it into place... This seems really stupid to me... If I was out and about alone I would have to take my baby out of the car seat and leave her unattended in order to put the car seat onto the chassis. For this reason I have not used this option, I prefer to take her out of the carseat and put her into the pushchair in the lay flat position.
The Bee has 4 seat positions so it is suitable from birth, and you can choose the colour of the canopy hood although I was told in Mothercare that the yellow attracts wasps!
The under seat basket is a good size, although it's quite difficult to access when the seat is parent facing. I haven't used the raincover yet as have not taken her out in the rain... It's great that the handle is height adjustable to any position too.
My daughter looks very comfortable in the seat (although she looks quite far away from me!) and slept for the entire trip about the shops, and the manouverability of the Bugaboo Bee was outstanding! Getting in and around displays and rails in shops was a doddle, as was getting through doorways which in the past with other pushchairs has been tricky! I've even pushed my 3 year old son around the house in it, and it still manages to turn on a sixpence and is still light to push...
All in all I'm glad my parents made it possible for us to purchase the Bugaboo Bee. So far it's been a very nimble and practical pushchair.
We really really didn't want to buy a trendy pushchair like this one. Our criteria for a buggy were: As light as possible (we have several steps up to our house and I need to bump the buggy up and down them each day); very adjustable (there is a foot height difference between myself and my husband); a seat that can face forward or back; and suitable from birth. A fairly simple set of requirements, but actually quite difficult to satisfy.
Many pushchairs on the market are very cumbersome, and tend to come with a separate carry cot for newborns, which makes the whole thing very bulky and heavy. Not so with the bugaboo bee. It is extremely lightweight and very easy to carry up and down steps even with a 8 month old inside. It is slimline, and I do feel very sorry for other mothers as they try to squeeze larger pushchairs through narrow shop doors that I can fit through with ease. In addition, with adaptors you can fit a maxi-cosi car seat to the frame, which makes the buggy even smaller and lighter, and makes going out in the car very easy.
The Bee is very adjustable, for all the grandparents as well as myself and my husband. It has a very simple handlebar locking mechanism that is quick to use.
When my son was first born we purchased the separate baby nest (basically a mummy style sleeping bag) which fits in the buggy to make it very cosy - so cosy in fact that in the depths of winter my son only needed one or two layers of clothing on to keep him snug. Admittedly the pushchair does not go completely flat, as a carrycot would, but I did not feel this was a major concern as my son was not spending a long time in the buggy.
Despite its weight it feels very sturdy in its construction, primarily I think due to the way it collapses, with the aluminium tubes sliding inside each other, rather than the traditional umbrella fold. It has coped well with the rigours of everyday life - including off roading and walks in the snow and ice.
There are a few niggles with this pushchair, although not enough to put me off buying another one in the future.
1. The hood is very thick material and although this was fine for the winter, for summer we decided to purchase a separate sunshade as my son was getting too warm. It also comes a long way down over the child's face if you have the buggy seat in the most upright position, making looking out quite difficult for a larger child.
2. The brakes on my Bee stick, and sometimes do not work very well, needing a good kick to the mechanism. However this could be due to the fact that i have not cleaned them very well in the past.
3. The seat is rather fiddly to remove and switch direction, requiring strong finger strength and the ability to remember a complex series of actions. However, as we do not do this very often I would not consider this to be a major problem.
4. Accessories are very expensive for this buggy.
If you've ever read the parenting magazines on the shelves of the supermarkets and turned to the "tried and tested" section at the back where "Heidi, 25" says "I loved this steriliser, it fitted neatly into my microwave and was done in no time" you'd be forgiven for being like me and thinking that the people who tested the items were in fact made-up and someone in the editorial department spent their day making up little quotes and anecdotes to fill the gaps...
... I can safely say now, that real people do actually test these products, and I was lucky to be chosen to do a stroller test for a magazine. I had aspirations of getting a huge delivery of wonderful prams, but in reality I got a couple fairly run of the mill strollers delivered to me that I duely put through their paces with varying results, and then the Holy Grail arrived- The Bugaboo Bee. I'm familiar with the Bee through my job in a baby department, but I've never gotten to actually use one with my children. It's too expensive for me to just buy myself one, even with work discount. And I have to admit I always thought they looked much too tiny to be of any use at all.
The day the Bee Arrived
The Bugaboo Bee arrived and I was extremely excited, I was even excited to see which colour was arriving. It was yellow. The Bugaboo Bee currently comes in Pink, Blue, Black, Red, Yellow and Kakai. Yellow wouldn't be my own choice, but when you're getting it free of charge for a few days then who would be fussy?
As I have mentioned before, I am fairly familiar with the workings of the Bugaboo Bee and so got it folded down in the forward facing position without referring to the instructions. And then I got stuck! My daughter who would have been just turned 7 months at the time was still a little young for me to have her facing the world so I wanted to turn her around. It was time to bring out the instructions. I had seen it done before but I had no idea what to do and didn't want to break it.
Changing the Seat unit Direction
The Bugaboo Bee can face the parent or face the world and with a young child I preferred that she faced me. A useful point of the Bugaboo Bee is that you can fold it whichever direction it is facing. There are many strollers out there that can only fold when forward facing. After a few very stiff jiggles and pokes I managed to dislodge the seat unit from the frame and get it turned around. But my lord! My fingers did hurt- it was so stiff. I would guess that this would loosen up the more you did it. However, once I had it in that position I was not planning on moving it.
I folded the stroller up and popped it into my boot. (a Volvo) and it was tiny in there. I could have easily popped the baby, the groceries and the dog in there with it and still had room. That was a great plus. I have had a few buggies in my time and generally they are much bigger than that. We went into town and parked in a busy car park. I set up the Bee very easily and popped my daughter in to the seat where she was very comfortable and seemed content. She's not particularly big for her age so had loads of room. I would not be so sure about how my son would fit. He's big for his age and I doubt very much that it would have seen him past the age of two. The seat is narrow.
I must add at this point, I added my Phil and Teds Sheepskin to the seat before I put my daughter into it as I found it was a bit hard and she is too big for the cocoon and it was too warm for a muff. It was a little big, but it looked very cute. It is black so it toned in quite nicely.
I had quite a few messages to do that morning so I fully expected to be out for a while which would inevitably mean darling daughter would nod off. She did indeed, and I tested the recline. It was perfectly adequate for a comfortable sleep. Not quite as "lay flat" as I would like, but suitable all the same.
I personally found the Bee pushed like a dream through the town. The wheels are small but glided over the pavements. My daughter was not bumped even once during the journey. It also caught the eyes of everyone. As we skidded our way up and down the main street we could see heads turning. The vibrant yellow was lovely in the early spring time sunshine. I took it up to the Bank. Our bank has a set of steps to negotiate before you get in (perils of a listed building I assume) and I am used to bumping the buggy up them backwards. The Bee handled this as well as any of my sturdier buggies did.
The next day was going to be the ultimate test as it was going to a football match, gravel, concrete and grass within 10 yards of each other. How would a little thing like the bee cope?
The answer: without a single problem.
More stares as we walked past people. I actually felt a little nervous by the attention it was getting as I'm not really an attention seeking kind of person. I felt a bit nervous pushing it as I knew people were watching the buggy and I was scared I would fall on my bottom or something as I'm fairly nervy and a bit of a klutz at the best of times, but we bumped lightly over the gravel and picked a spot to stand. The huge canopy was a great shelter from a very bitter wind that day. My daughter fell asleep and stayed asleep from then.
I do have the cabriofix car seat for my little girl, but was not supplied with adaptors for the bee so I could not give that a try.
I was never really all that taken with the Bugaboo Bee before now, but now I feel entirely different about it. Despite its small size it was more than capable of tackling terrain that I previously thought only my "tanks" could handle. It is stiff as a new pram but loosens up a bit with use, and changing the direction of the seat is a fairly complicated procedure, but all in all I have certainly pushed worse strollers in my life.
I liked it so much that I'm pleading with my other half to let me buy a pink one. The stipulation is that I have to sell some of my other baby things and I just can't decide what to let go of.
If you are on the market for a stroller then the Bee is deceptive, you may look at it and think it is tiny and wouldn't be up to much, but it's like a little terrier, it will make its way through anything you throw at it.
The Hauck Speed Sun - Hide N Seek Pooh is a Single Seat Umbrella.