The Mima Kobi Visits The City Of York
The modern Mima Kobi visited the historic City of York today.
The first task on arrival was to set the pushchair up. The Mima Kobi is simple to open – we now leave the top seat on when we fold the Kobi – so its a simple unhook the catch and open the Kobi up. If the upper seat is left on then we remove the lower hood to make access easier. (We have also worked out that it is easier to put the child into the lower seat with the upper seat removed.) We popped the hoods into place and the bumper bars, and we were ready to load the Kobi up.
When I asked if we could take the Mima Kobi to York with us, I questioned myself several times if the Kobi would be the right choice of pushchair. Our trip was typical day trip for us where we park the car and do not return until the end of the day. Thus our pushchairs need to have adequate storage space for a changing bag, food bag, coats, drinks, spare clothes (for a potty training toddler), portable potty, my large handbag, and with rain threatening we also needed the double raincover. I have to say this was quite a tall order for any pushchair but we managed to squeeze everything under or around the Kobi. I am sure Mima wouldn’t necessarily recommend me hanging my handbag from the handle, but I am a real life mum and if I am pushing a pushchair, then I do want the pushchair to take the strain! The Kobi is very stable and showed no sign of tipping with my handbag on the handle. We added various velcro hooks on the pushchair for light items such as my daughter’s reins and backpack, the raincover and any shopping we picked up. I have to say I was relieved that everything fitted on because I am used to larger pushchair baskets, and the Kobi’s lower seat does obstruct basket space.
We had a quick walk around the east side of the City of York. This trip had been arranged because it was our wedding anniversary, so we took the children to the beautifully restored medieval Bedern Hall where we got married. It was lovely because we could explain to our eldest daughter about our wedding and it was the first time that our son had been on our annual pilgrimage. The Kobi pushed noiselessly across the stone floor in Bedern Hall and was much admired.
With rain threatening, we headed to the National Trust Cafe for lunch. The Kobi went up the huge step outside easily and then it was easy to manoeuvre it around the tiny spaces, chairs and baskets on the floor in the cafe, to park the Kobi next to a table. I moved my son into the Kobi’s upper seat which he thought was brilliant and he sat happily playing with his toes and squealing whilst we ate our lunch. I liked being able to pull my son up to the table and to be able to choose the height of his seat to suit us. Unfortunately the cafe was busy and we could not get a high chair, and I had forgotten our portable one. I dont allow my children to eat, or drink anything but water in our pushchairs, but I was resigned that I had no choice but to use the Kobi as an impromptu highchair. This worried me because we have to give the Kobi back, but yet my son’s current party trick is to raspberry every mouthful of food across the room! I realised that unlike other pushchairs, the Kobi seat pad is tucked underneath the child and the sides are wipe clean, so that feeding my son wasn’t as hairy as I thought, and I am sure Cheeky Rascals will be glad to know that we didn’t get a scrap of food on the seat pad! The biggest test of the Kobi came as we left the cafe. Recently I reviewed a pushchair which when I tried to go forwards off a step, resulted in the front wheels starting to bend alarmingly and I had to retreat and turn the pushchair round. So with Mr BB stationed outside I attempted to drive the Kobi forwards straight down the huge step outside and it dealt with it with such ease that I didn’t even realise the front wheels were on the floor until Mr BB told me!
Shortly after this my daughter decided she wanted to walk. To be honest she is a good walker, but when I am on my own it is impossible to hold her hand, push the pushchair, shop and more importantly deal with the unpredictability’s that toddlers bring such as dawdling, whinging, “I want”s, and worst of all the tantrums or sit down protests. Hence why I have a double pushchair! With Mr BB present I was happy for my daughter to walk, knowing the Kobi was there as back up. So we parked the Kobi up, put reins on our daughter, and then removed the upper seat, and did what Mima probably would never recommend; but Mr BB and I carefully lifted the baby in situ in his identical seat unit, and fitted him into the upper seat position. It was easy enough to do with two of us, (not as easy as the City Select which I can do easily on my own – again not recommended by Baby Jogger but a necessity when a baby falls asleep and needs a reclining position,) and our son was very happy to be up front and to have fantastic unobstructed view on this day trip! We quickly put the other seat in the lower position and swapped the hoods around - partly because I like things to be correct – the lower seat has two folds and the upper seat has three – but also it was quite sunny and the extra fold really helped keep the sun out of the baby’s eyes.
Time to shop! York is full of tiny little shops full of beautiful things. There is nothing worse on an outing that being on the outside of a lovely gift shop knowing that you either couldn’t get the pushchair up the step to see inside, and even when you get inside, finding the shop is too small for you and the pushchair to comfortably fit. But given the step challenge at the cafe, I had no issue with simply driving the Mima Kobi up and down shop steps, and in and out of every shop I wanted to look in. There was only one shop where I was unable to turn round and had to reverse out. But it would have been impossible to go into the shops I went into with a side by side pushchair. Later on we ended up down a tiny alleyway leading to the Barley Hall. The entrance to the alley was pretty narrow and once again I was glad that I had not brought a side by side. Having the Kobi gave us total freedom to go anywhere without thinking or planning a route.
The Kobi handled cobbles easily with no juddering – it was a very smooth ride to be honest. Unlike our home town, York lacks dropped kerbs, and so I was constantly pushing the Kobi up and down kerbs. These were no problem. As we approached The Shambles it started to rain heavily. The first raindrops simply pooled and then ran off the Kobi’s hood – and the hood was easy to wipe dry. We helped our toddler to clamber, past the chassis and bumper bar, into the dry lower seat unit, (not recommended by Mima – they recommend the heaviest child goes in the upper seat but the weight limit for the lower seat is 15kgs,) but again this is real life and we did not have time to switch the children around. Our daughter looked very comfortable in the lower seat, although she wasn’t very impressed at having to lie back. The Kobi didn’t flinch at all with her weight in the lower seat and it made no difference to pushability.
We got the raincover out. It did take a minute or so to put on – having said that the children were covered up in seconds – but being relatively unfamiliar with the raincover, it took time to do the velcro straps up. To be honest, we didn’t need to bother because the children were well covered up without doing all the velcro up. As the rain subsided I unzipped the raincover front to allow for the baby to see out. Once the rain stopped we removed the cover. However normally I would just push a wet raincover into the basket to hang out to dry once we got home – but on our trip, the basket was full. I tried to drape the raincover over the handlebars but it was not practical. So amidst bustling tourists I took one look at the tiny raincover bag and wondered how on earth I was going to get the raincover back into such a small bag on the spot! So I quickly folded the raincover up, and started to roll. However I heard a crack, and Mr BB and I realised that one of the spines which gives the raincover shape at the front must have broken. This was a bit upsetting because nowhere in the instructions, (I am a bit obsessive about reading all instruction manuals before use,) or on the raincover label did it mention there were plastic spines, (I naiively assumed the spines were caused by decorative sewing,) and that the raincover therefore has to be folded a certain way. I just did my best in a busy situation to get the raincover away as fast as possible into the tiny bag. I mentioned this to Cheeky Rascals who have taken the raincover back to discuss this issue. One thing I must add is that when we got home, unlike other raincovers, the Kobi raincover was already completely dry even where it had been tightly folded!! I assumed it was because of the vents in the storage bag. But usually raincovers end up hanging to dry for a day before we put them away so it was a pleasant surprise.
We weaved our way between market stalls, and round more shops, (including a trip in a small lift where we all fitted in nicely,) before ending up outside the famous Betty’s tea rooms. By this time the baby was fast asleep. He looked so comfortable in the seat units, and he didn’t wake up until we got back to the car at the end of the day. (I have been told recently that the cushions are memory foam although I don’t know if this is true, but they are thick and luxurious.) I have to say that on many occasions we could hear people say “look at that pushchair”, or “isn’t that unusual” or similar. We were engaged in several conversations too about what pushchair the Kobi was. So be prepared for heads to turn and questions to be asked if you buy one! But the whole time the Kobi was a dream to push one handed through the ancient streets of York and ending up at the magnificent York Minster. I loved the juxtaposition of the ancient Minster and buildings with the new Mima Kobi.
We headed back to the car and it was easy enough to remove the lower seat unit, hoods and bumper bar (the seat units stack better if the upper seat attached to the chassis has its bumper bar removed. What I do find harder with the seat unit on is the fold. It is easy to not have confidence that the chassis will bend and to stop folding. You do need to keep pushing beyond where you would fold a typical pushchair to get it to fold. Once you get to that point the chassis glides down to full fold easily and automatically locks into place.
We are finding that we don’t have room to leave the Kobi hoods attached to the seat units when in the car boot, I do worry about damaging the hoods in the boot of the car – although I have to say my worries are probably unfounded because as I have mentioned before the Kobi seems pretty robust. Forgive me Mima, but as a busy mum I don’t have time to put one back into the storage bag which is provided with the second hood each time. I think it would get easy across time to leave the hoods at home. This is always an option, but I personally think the hoods contribute a huge amount to the Mima’s identity and insist on the hoods being put on. It only takes seconds to snap them on and off (although it can be tricky to remove the hood if accidentally left on after folding the Kobi). I like the way that the hoods protrude by one fold even when pushed right back. I love looking at the beautiful ‘armadillo’ shell hoods as I push the Kobi from behind.
In some ways the Kobi is a bit faffy ie having to remove hoods and bumper bars, and the seat units are bulky and heavy (I would love some lightweight, easy stack seats on the Kobi chassis!). But to be honest these are compromises that you take on board because if you did not have the hoods or the unusual seat units then you would not have the ultra cool, stylish and modern Mima Kobi. As I have said before, the one huge benefit with the Mima Kobi is the pushability with two older children on board – especially up and down kerbs and steps. The Kobi really is easy to push. After a day pushing the Kobi I had no arm strain like I usually have with another leading tandem. Nor did I have any back ache because the choice of handlebar settings suits me well! These are points which I want to emphasize, because I don’t think you realistically consider in a shop. Yes you will give a pushchair a quick push around the shop, but pushability in real life is so important. I will happily make compromises these days for a pushchair that is easy to push with my two children on board!!
We had a fantastic day out and the Mima Kobi was neat enough to fit into the tiny shops in York whilst carrying the children in comfort, as well as all our bags and kit. We probably pushed the Kobi to the limits of what a typical pushchair would do, whether it was driving over cobbles, putting the raincover on, going up and down large steps, turning in narrow shop aisles, going in small lifts, going through narrow alleyways, avoiding tourists, being put in and out of the car boot, and simply carrying everything we needed, and more, on board. The conclusion is that the Mima Kobi performed brilliantly.