It’s no secret that I’ve always thought that there was room for improvement for the Bugaboo Bee. Last year we spent some time reviewing it with Bubby D, and although I liked it more than I thought I would there were still a few niggles (all pushchairs have them!) that I thought could do with a change for the better.
And it seems like Bugaboo agree, because on the 1st of September the all new Bugaboo Bee 3 will be hitting the pavements.
I was intrigued to see what the differences are, and how it compares – and luckily for me I don’t have to wait til September because Little B and I got to give the Bee 3 a go at the Henley Regatta last weekend 🙂
So what’s new?
Well, immediately just by looking at it, the obvious new thing is that there is now a carrycot available. Little B has been using the Bee+ and I do find that it’s rather exposed for her, so this is a definite bonus. And it’s backwards compatible with older Bee models too – so no need to buy the new chassis to use it if your Bee has already been bumbling around the streets with an older sibling for a while. The carrycot is also self standing, and can be lifted off the chassis easily with a press of a button either side (I tried this and after a bit of fiddling the first couple of times it IS easy) – it has integrated carrying handles for ease of lifting too which can be tucked down into the hood whilst the carrycot is attached to the pushchair to avoid them flapping around.
Little B had a bit of a ride in the carrycot, and I was impressed with the roominess – it’s actually the same length as the one on the Chameleon although it still looks fairly compact. The mattress is lovely and comfortable, and fully removable and washable too unlike a lot of others we’ve seen. Whilst we were walking around, I did notice that there was a little bit of slipping going on (as in, Little B almost disappeared under the carrycot cover!) when we went up and down steeper steps and kerbs; I’m not sure whether this would be improved with a proper sheet on the mattress perhaps. In any case there is no way of harnessing a baby into the carrycot, so it’s worth bearing that in mind.
If you’re not using the carrycot, then the seat on the Bugaboo Bee 3 is the other obvious change. It’s made of a lovely feeling fabric which is much more moulded and feels more enveloping than the previous seat unit, without being claustrophobic. The fabric is heat bonded (the inner and outer are bonded together) meaning it is sleeker looking but still just as comfortable – if not more so! The harness is a fully adjustable, five point separates type too which is great – I didn’t have to fiddle around with straightening and aligning straps at all. And I LOVE the springiness of the shoulder straps, which stand out from the seat unit making them much easier to use. Little B seemed very happy sitting in it too and taking in all the sights of the Regatta.
Both carrycot and seat unit have sun canopies made of a new fabric which is much softer and more breatheable, whilst still providing full UPF50+ sun protection and water repellancy (if that’s a word?) like the older type. It’s kind of smooth yet malleable and reminds me a bit of space hoppers except it’s far less rubbery!
The sun canopy is available in 8 different colours and the carrycot and seat fabric are available with a choice of four options – I’ve not done the maths myself but I’m told that makes a total of 64 different possible choices! I really like the dark khaki seat myself and I think it would go well with most of the sun canopies too.
Other, less obvious changes include a reinforced chassis with wheels that ‘work better’ (I had the technicalities explained but that’s basically what it boils down to) and a larger capacity shopping basket (from 16L to 22L). I didn’t do any shopping so I can’t comment on that but whilst pushing it was a smooth ride and the wheels didn’t get stuck on anything – and even with the carrycot attached which can sometimes alter the steerability it was still very nippy and agile.
The two handed height adjustable handlebar is still there, and I guess I can live with that – my Mum was impressed with how high it went as well (she’s over 6ft and she could push it comfortably. So too could some rowing gentlemen that she persuaded to give it a go!).
Overall the improvements have made the Bee 3 a much more appealing and versatile option than before, right the way from birth – and we are looking forward to giving it a go in a bit more detail in a couple of months time!