Micralite Twofold at the Harrogate Nursery Fair 2013
One of the pushchairs we were most looking forward to at the Harrogate Nursery Fair, was the Micralite Twofold. We had seen it shown at various shows; we had been talking about it for months and months, and finally we had the opportunity to see the Twofold for ourselves. One thing we did know, from looking at all the pictures, and from our own experiences with the Super-lite Fastfold and the Toro was that, the Twofold in single mode should work very well as a pushchair. For anyone who has had the Super-lite Fastfold in particular, (but also the chassis of the Toro,) then Twofold is fundamentally similar: the seat, the wheels, the basket, the unfold / fold, the push, the hood, the feel, the handle are all very much the same. However the Twofold has the advantages of a beautifully padded seat liner and harness pads, and the handle is bigger.
The BIG difference with the Twofold is that it hides a secret! The chassis can be extended and there is a secret, built in board tucked away at the back of the Twofold.
With the brake locked, and a foot button pressed, the pushchair chassis can be rocked forwards, which makes the rear wheels move backwards and thus the chassis becomes longer. A simple flick of the foot (or the hand), and a footplate opens up at the rear for the child to stand on; or for shopping to be carried in the huge shopping bag which is included with the Twofold.
However, there is more! The Twofold can also have an add on seat hooked onto the rear of the pushchair, which gives an extra comfortable seat for an older toddler to ride on board in.
The Twofold could work really well for parents who have a nursery or school run, but do not then wish to walk home with an empty seat or stroller board, or who maybe want to pick a bit of shopping up before returning home.
What I had not understood, was just how easy it was to have a single pushchair one minute – a true single pushchair, and then to stop and within seconds, have a single with a board on the back, without having to remove the front child. Genius! If 2 seats are required, then the second seat slots in very easily!
Unfortunately, our eldest 4 year old toddler was absolutely not in the best of moods, so we apologise to the lovely welcoming Micralite team, who helped avert toddler melt down. We can only apologise to our readers for the glum face – it was absolutely nothing to do with the product at all! Little Miss BB has been full of how good the Twofold’s ride on board was, ever since we left the stand!!
As for Mr BB, he wondered why he was being taken to see the Twofold, but within minutes, he was ready to hand his credit card over and take one away with us. The Micralite Twofold would have been the answer to our prayers at the show. The board is perfect for an older grumpy toddler to jump on and off behind her brother!!!
The Micralite team gave us a full demo of how the Micralite works, and they kindly let us photograph how the Twofold works. Hopefully the photos will speak for themselves but here is a quick summary.
The Micralite Twofold as a single works just like the Super-lite Fastfold. It folds and opens the same. The seats, hood etc. are all similar, so I am not going to explain all that here. (There is a full review here on Best Buggy of both the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold and the Toro)
As described above the Twofold easily can be kicked into the long wheel base mode, and then the board gets lowered into position. The seat is a hard seat – similar to a bike seat – which has been padded for comfort. The seat slides down each side of the handlebar, and then clicks into position over a bar on each side. The photos show how the hooks have clicked on. This seat fits around the chassis, and thus you are still left with the shopping basket / frame to store things in. As we have shown with the other Micralites, there is ample space underneath for the items needed for an average day out.
The second seat, has a zippered pocket on the rear which contains a hood which can easily be fixed into position to provide some sun and rain shelter. There is no raincover for the second seat, which may be a downside, however most children of the age who would sit in the Twofold’s second seat, would have wet weather gear for walking with. If a sudden shower hit, then hood would suffice until shelter was sought. The main seat raincover is made from CPU which gives 100% UV protection and is flexible for folding away. It is also the fabulous, easy to spot, luminious green that Micralite raincovers are known for! The raincover simply popped over the seat and did up. The raincover comes in its own pouch which can be hooked onto the handlebar.
The handlebar on the Twofold is longer than the other Micralites. It can form an oval shape with the ends bent correctly. The sides of the handlebar have sliding hinges. So, if the lower plastic ring is slid down, then the handle joint can be moved to whatever position you feel is comfortable. The handlebar, like the other Micralites, can also be adjusted up and down and then secured with two black clips. It seemed easy enough to find a handle height to suit all of the team, even the tall Mr BB. We also liked that there is somewhere for a child riding on the board to hold onto.
The front wheels do lock for going off road, however the Micralite team felt confident that it would not be necessary to do so! We look forward to trying this claim out!
The children (despite their faces!) did seem comfortable in the seats. I think we were all surprised how well Miss BB fitted. She is a tall 4 year 5 month old (107cms tall) and she was absolutely fine in the seat. However to be fair to the Micralite team, she is probably a bigger child than most people would carry in the seat. We tried her in for illustration purposes to show that if she can fit in the seat, then most other 2/3/4 year old’s would fit! Master BB meanwhile is 2 years 8 months old and is 88cms tall and he was very comfortable.
Between the two children, there was a lot of weight on this Twofold. However, we all found it easy to push. The Twofold is extremely grounded and stable in 2 child mode which surprised me. The only negative we have found, is that we all did sometimes touch the back wheels with our feet. However, we were in a very confined space, and we all also said that with more room, we felt that we would adjust our stride to suit, or we would walk slightly off centre; and that we preferred having the board on the Twofold to having a stroller board that we had to hunch over. Equally if we had spent more time adjusting the handles to suit each of us (instead of taking turns) then again, this may well have helped. We think it is something you would get used to, and to be honest, this is something we think may be a non-issue under real life circumstances. For all of us, this small point is outweighed by the flexibility and ingenuity of the design of the Twofold, and we all said it definitely would not put us off buying one. In fact, we are looking forward to having one here at Best Buggy HQ.
For parents who use public transport, we believe the Micralite Twofold will be one of the smallest tandems for public transport. We measured it at around 103cms (approx) long in board mode and 110cms (approx) with 2 seats on. The Twofold would be very easy to kick back into single mode before boarding a bus. I am sure that it would be possible to hold the second seat and steer a toddler and the pushchair onto a bus if necessary. We also suspect that the second seat may well fit in the large shopping bag (we didn’t try it) and then slung over your shoulder?
We can all see how the Micralite Twofold could grow with a family, through one child, and having a newborn and young toddler, and then onto having two older toddlers like we have. For us, at our stage, we are really moving away from a double pushchair, but as with the outing to the Nursery Fair, Miss BB is still prone to tantrums and getting tired easily. The Twofold is absolutely what we need at this stage. I personally do not like walking behind a buggy board, but I absolutely can NOT wait to take delivery of a Twofold. We all think it is absolutely brilliant!!!
The Twofold hopefully will arrive in the UK in mid 2013. It will cost £450 for the pushchair, with the bag. The second seat is an additional £100.
Other Micralite Twofold Reviews: