Norway is a beautiful country. But it is also a cold and bumpy one. And definitely not the kind of place where a lightweight stroller would survive very long.
When we visited last month, this was something I took into account when deciding how best to get us through the airport, on and off the plane and then into our hire car and home to the ‘hytte’. We needed a robust pushchair that folds down fairly small in order to fit in a car boot alongside all our luggage, as well as being sturdy enough to withstand the baggage handlers and big enough to hold Bubby D all wrapped up in a bulky coat, snow boots and blanket.
Oh, and ease of steering is a plus too when you’re navigating a very busy airport like Heathrow, juggling a pushchair and a carry on case!
The Britax B-Motion 3 definitely fitted the bill. With its large all terrain wheels it made for a nice smooth ride through the airport, and doubled up as a great ‘stuff’ carrier too when Bubby D decided she’d like to sit on her suitcase for a while instead (you can fit a lot of ‘stuff’ on it!). Getting through security was easy too, thanks to the quick folding mechanism which requires the push of a button and then the pulling up of a strap. I like the way that the pushchair locks into the folded position, making it easy to pick up and place on the security conveyer belt. It is worth noting that if you are using a footmuff like we were, you have to flip the seat liner part up to be able to reach the pushchair folding strap, which means you have to reinsert the bottom part of the harness every time you use it. I’m sure some footmuffs might make this a bit tricky, but our footmuff doesn’t really cause much of an issue in this respect as it’s easy to put the straps in and out of – something worth considering if you are looking for a footmuff for the B-Motion 3 though. Once it IS folded it’s quite easy to lift, and although it is heavier than some pushchairs the dimensions make it much less unwieldy than lighter-weight umbrella fold pushchairs that I’ve used in the past. It’s also free standing when folding which is great if you want to put it down for a few minutes at a time in a busy security queue!
Arriving in Norway, we went to find our hire car and kept our fingers crossed that we’d fit all our luggage into it as well as ourselves. I was envisaging having to take the quick-release wheels off the B-Motion 3 (which gives it a much more compact fold), but as it happened it fit in snugly between the suitcases with no need to remove any bits at all.
Then we were off around the fjords…via lots of lovely mountain roads, 6km long tunnels and three very big ferries.
Although there was some snow about, the majority of Norway was just wet – very, very wet.
So the raincover on the B-Motion 3 got quite a lot of use. As raincovers go, it’s large – but it does completely cover the pushchair – front, back, sides and all the way over the hood which is great when we are ready to store the pushchair away as its all lovely and dry underneath. It does look like it was intended for the B-Motion 4 however as the Velcro fastenings at the front of the cover are made to go around two wheels rather than one – but this hasn’t been an issue with fitting or using it in any case.
Bubby D still has a midday nap, and she seems to really like sleeping in the pushchair – in fact its pretty much the only place she’ll nap during the day now (one of the reasons I decided taking it with us travelling was a must). The seat is lovely and roomy, and with an easy to use, quiet recline mechanism that goes all the way down to a lie-flat position, I can see that she’s very comfortable. I like the fact that the five point harness can quickly be adapted for use with just the bottom straps too, leaving her arms free to move around whilst still keeping her strapped in securely (she does like to sleep with her arms flung above her head). And the hood is massive, and provides lots of cover so that she can sleep happily even when the sun is shining.
As we moved around Sauda (the place we were staying in Norway) she was obviously not affected at all by the snow, rain, lumps and bumps that we moved across as she stayed fast asleep and even missed out on some lovely Norwegian cakey things (I was definitely staying awake for those – yum!).
The adjustable height handle, rear suspension and effortless front swivel wheel meant that everyone was happy pushing the B-Motion around: myself, the Other Half, Grandma and even the Wee Man all had a go and we experienced no problems wherever we were – snow, giant puddles, Norwegian woods or shopping streets. I did find that the wheel lock would engage itself fairly easily sometimes when moving from folded to unfolded position (it sticks out a little from the front wheel so it’s easy to knock as you’re moving the pushchair) but it’s equally easy to click back into swivel mode – so we were never confounded for more than a second or two!
The shopping basket is roomy, and came in very handy for carting around various bits and pieces as we went on our travels. One thing that does impact on this is the design of the back of the basket, which angles up and makes it a bit more difficult to get things in and out from the rear of the basket. However, the side access is pretty good, so although it’s a niggle it’s not a big one.
It’s easy to keep clean, and so far seems very durable – even though it’s been used almost daily for the last few months, gone through the baggage handlers, around Norway and back again it still looks pretty much like new – with only a small nick in the handle foam and a slight crack on the plastic part of the handle which scrapes the floor when it’s folded to show for it’s regular outings.
Overall we are very impressed with the Britax B-Motion 3 – I’ve no doubt it’ll be accompanying us on a lot more fun journeys in the future. (And since it’s suitable from birth I reckon Bubby D might get kicked out of it in a couple of months too so that Pippin can have a go!).