ABC Single Adventure Buggy with Top Mounted Static Toddler Seat
This is a quick review of the single ABC Adventure Buggy with a top mounted static toddler seat.
The Adventure Buggy is unlike no other pushchair we have ever had here at BB HQ. It is handmade and to be honest, it is a beast!! Its made out of thick tubular metal, hand welded, with big chunky air tyres and very strong canvas fabrics. The solid ABC Adventure Buggy makes a Mountain Buggy look flimsy!!! It comes with all manner of accessories – raincovers, sunmesh, stability kit etc. The Adventure Buggy is a seriously well built pushchair!
Everyone thinks that the ABC Adventure Buggy is high, but in the line up of off road pushchairs in our Side by Side Comparisons, you can see that its not much taller than say the Baby Jogger Elite. This is because the ABC Adventure Buggy single pushchair actually is quite low. The hood is flat and the toddler seat sits above this flat hood.
The top mounted toddler seat has an optional hood, so with no hood on, its actually easy to see around the top child to see where you are going. The hood has a see through panel which makes it easier even when the hood is attached. We have not tried the reclining top toddler seat, but we suspect it is harder to see where you are going with that attached on top. The reclining top toddler seat has a solid fabric hood.
The pushchair chassis itself being handbuilt, is not what you would describe as “modern”. In fact you only appreciate the ease of use that a “modern” pushchair brings after trying to fold the Adventure Buggy. To be honest, the Adventure Buggy in our house never got folded – apart from for these photos for Best Buggy. It was not easy to put up, and folding was not easy either! The fold took several steps and once folded, the pushchair was one long big chunk to store. It did not freestand and TBH we felt it was dangerous to have propped up against a wall. So the Adventure Buggy stayed permanently up and ready to go in our hall way. Our top toddler seat was not easy to remove either but I believe the more recently Adventure Buggies have a different system to attach the toddler seats. Even swapping the wheels meant pressing in difficult to do pins and I needed Mr BB to help me press the pins in and to help generally. I think a close up of our photos will start to give you an idea of how this pushchair is built and I urge you to pay heed to this. Even having to undo the fly wheels at the sides of the toddler seat to attach the hood was a bit of a pain to do and I kept losing the nut, and having to hold the hood of the wire frame in place whilst I did it back up needed several hands (only to find the wire frame was back to front because it kept falling out).
The brake is sooooo heavy and solid to put on. It used to take me both hands to pull down and it would “clunk” into position. Believe me, once the brake was on, you knew it was on!!
The ABC Adventure Buggy is the only pushchair to date that we have failed to fit into the boot of our car.
Having said this we absolutely LOVED our ABC Adventure Buggy. We loved the interaction with our older toddler in the top seat. The closeness was lovely. The only downside is that she was riding backwards and she did keep turning her head to see where she was going. But we had sooooo much fun being so close. Meanwhile our youngest nearly always was asleep within minutes of leaving the house. He slept well underneath. We did try our eldest underneath and she really struggled to fit in height wise – to get under the hood. Once in the seat, her head was pushing up on the fabric. We did find towards the end of our time using the Adventure Buggy, that if we reclined the lower seat too far, then our eldest could actually rest / kick her feet on top of the head of our youngest as it is literally underneath the toddler seat!!! The angle of the reclining toddler seat means that this is less likely to happen with this seat. The lower seat uses a 2 toggle recline like a Mountain Buggy.
We used our Adventure Buggy mainly with three wheels, but we did have the stability kit for when we went seriously off road. The front wheel does pull out (once the pin is depressed) and the 2 wheel stability kit comes on a bracket and is pushed back into place. We never had any issues with the Adventure Buggy on three wheels though. If anything the Adventure Buggy felt amazingly solid and stable. It’s quite surprising really!!!
We used our Adventure Buggy lots for shopping with. Underneath is a big canvas bag which can be detached and used as a rucksack should you wish. But it has a big capacity and useful pockets on each side. There is also a good sized pocket on the rear of the lower seat. We used to carry our weeks shopping home in the bag. Fab! We certainly turned heads as we walked along and many times we got asked what pushchair it was. A few times I did leave the pushchair in the doorway of a shop because I didn’t have the manoeuverability to turn the Adventure Buggy round in a small space. It was not bad though – but it is a large wheeled pushchair and the front wheel does need room to wiggle round to straight as most big wheeled pushchairs do.
The handlebar has two fixed heights – the decision is made by removing the handle – not that easy! – and then turning it around. It was a perfect height for me, but Mr BB always found it too low for him and I think it irked that he couldn’t just alter the handle easily. The handle is slim and foam covered. I found it comfy to hold and push.
We loved that both children had a bumper bar and a good strong harness with good buckles. I think that you need to trust the upper child to not try to slip their harness though – although it is a good fitting harness – I wouldn’t want to ever leave a child even for a few seconds in the top seat on their own. As you can see, we did try our youngest child in the upper seat and we felt he was too young to be up there. We did think about getting a reclining toddler seat for him to be parent facing on top, but our eldest couldn’t fit underneath and to be honest he was always asleep anyway.
The downside to the upper seat is having to lift the top child in. The bar on the seat did open, but we couldn’t get it over the child’s head to lower it again. It was easier to lift her in – a fair height to lift an older heavier toddler!!
Finding footmuffs was a challenge because both children needed split legs – we bought Clair de Lune split leg footmuffs. The Adventure Buggy did come with a footmuff for the lower seat but the leg length was teeny – it was unusable. In the end, to be honest, we barely used this pushchair through the autumn and winter because our eldest child was too exposed on top and we didn’t really like using the hood (it made a useful shopping basket though laid flat on the upper hood!). We switched to having a Mountain Buggy +One after the Adventure Buggy, and the +One was a breath of fresh air and modernity compared to the dinasaur of the Adventure Buggy.
I must however stress that the Adventure Buggy was fabulous for us, through the spring and summer. We LOVED using it. It has a special place in our hearts and I think of it fondly.
BUT DO NOT BUY ONE LIGHTLY!!!
I know many people buy a triple Adventure Buggy with three reclining seats for triplets or for three children very close in age. There is very little on the market to cater for 3 little children, and the Adventure Buggy is probably the only (?) triple pushchair where you can have three children all laid flat from birth in a seat. So it has a huge attraction. But PLEASE if you can, try and see one first or at least study our photos well and listen to the message that we are trying to tell you.
We would absolutely recommend one for walking straight out of the house with, but if you asked me to fold one to put it in the car, I would be running away screaming!!! Unless you have a HUGE boot and a strong partner, don’t even think about it!! We had a friend who was absolutely 1001% convinced the ABC Adventure Buggy Triple was THE pushchair for her…..until she saw ours and upon first sight, said that there was no way she could buy one. I insisted she took it for a walk and she was back in seconds and never bought one.
So, would we have another Adventure Buggy? Yes definitely. We loved ours. However it could never have been our only pushchair / double, and we would never have folded it and put it in the car (even if it had fitted). It was long and heavy and bulky, and just not easy to set up / fold – to be honest it was a bit of a nightmare in places. But to push, the Adventure Buggy was fabulous and it was great to walk to the lake or the beach with. It was fabulous to be able to interact so closely with our eldest child and the conversation was brilliant. For that alone I would recommend the top mounted toddler seat on an Adventure Buggy.
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