Wales could be called many things – but I’m not sure pushchair friendly is one of them.
Well, unless your pushchair is one of those rugged outdoorsy types with big wheels and lots of suspension, anyway.
The Babyzen YOYO is certainly NOT that type of pushchair. BUT it is tiny enough to fit in a car already overfilled with various small child holiday paraphernalia and of course four people. So, in it went. And I crossed my fingers that it would cope with the various castles, beaches and mountains to be thrown at it…
As it happens, it’s actually a very good Welsh holiday pushchair.
I’m not going to lie – it really isn’t good when it comes to climbing mountains. If you want to actually have your little one sitting in it, that is, anyway. Whilst the wheels CAN cope admirably with a pebbly path on a moderate scale (we walked along lots of bumpy unsealed roads with no problems) it doesn’t deal so well with bigger rocks – but then that’s hardly a surprise.
What IS good about the YOYO and mountains is that you can fold it up, attach it to your backpack, and keep on walking up, and up and up. If you want to. Not sure why you’d need a pushchair on the top of a mountain – but this method certainly worked for us when we were walking around castles, anyway. It meant that we could take a sleeping Bubby D around the bottom floor of the castle easily, and then once she’d woken have a good explore around the top without having to take the pushchair on a long trek back to the car or leave someone sitting like a lemon downstairs guarding it.
The YOYO also has no option to fix the front swivel wheels, so I was VERY dubious about how it might perform on the beach. As it happens, we had a lot of beachy stuff to carry (sun tent, buckets, spades, towels, inflatable shark…) and it was a bit of a walk, so we decided that even if it was thwarted by the eventual sand, we may as well make use of the YOYO’s carrying capacity most of the way there…
…and it turns out that yes, the front wheels do get stuck in dry, fine sand. Like most pushchairs. However, if you pull it backwards its actually quite easy to manouvre. A welcome bonus I wasn’t expecting – and it meant that Bubby D and all our stuff easily made it to the beach with practically no effort whatsoever.
On wet sand, I had no problems steering at all. The lightness of the pushchair means that the wheels don’t really dig in and we had lots of fun whizzing up and down the beach, trying to run over seagulls (they stole my sausages, so I have good reason…)
Where the beach got a bit rocky or overly squidgy (and at one point, it basically was in fact THE SEA rather than the beach…) we just did the ‘turn it round’ trick again and voila – easy wheeling!
With it being Wales, of course we also had the chance to try out the raincover in some serious wetness. The all pervading, coming at you from all angles in a kind of seeping, drizzly haze interspersed with torrential downpours rain that Wales seems to be so good at it.
It whips on quickly at the top by use of two small loopy bits, providing instant coverage for Bubby D (and the Wee Man, who took shelter in it at one point too). The bottom part is a bit more fiddly, requiring fastening of little velcro-ey bits, but I love the boned bit that gives it shape at the bottom and keeps it from pressing against Bubby D’s legs. This also means its nice and rounded, allowing the rain to run down and drip off sideways rather than down the front of the pushchair. The hood is left exposed, but I took advantage of the Wee Man being able to offer answers to my questions (unlike Bubby D who CAN say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ but may not say them with any real accuracy or meaning) and asked him ‘are you wet or being dripped on’ to which he replied ‘no Mummy’.
So I’m guessing that means the hood is waterproof.
We were all pleasantly surprised by the YOYO’s performance, and I kid ye not when I say this truly is the best pushchair we’ve ever had the fortune to take on holiday.
I didn’t think it would be, but it is.
Next week: The Babyzen YOYO and travels by bus, tube and train…