Out ‘n’ About Nipper 360 2009 Review
With a brand new Out ‘n’ About Nipper V2 2011 just around the corner, it is probably a little late to be reviewing the current V1 2009 version. However I think by writing about it, it will highlight the good and the not so good of this version and hopefully the new version will be even better!
The Out ‘n’ About Nipper has a fantastic reputation for being light and manoeuverable. It is certainly both of those things which is refreshing to find when you have two older children on board. The Nipper was easy peasy to push with both children in their seats. I have to say it was so easy that when we stopped to take some photos on the sea front promenade, we had to cut the photoshoot short because the Nipper was actually being blown by the wind towards us along the promenade!!! Thankfully there is a long wrist strap for the adult pushing the Nipper to wear! But the light weight of the Nipper both with and without children on board is its major selling point and one worth noting.
The Nipper has three air tyres and great rear suspension. It is a lovely bouncy pushchair to push. We took the Nipper to the beach and it drove straight across soft churned up sand with no problems at all. Fantastic! The triangular shape of the Nipper means that the footplate isn’t really large enough for both feet of a larger child. My daughter could only really managed to keep one foot on and the other dangled most of the time, and indeed at one point she actually was sat sideways in her harness so that she could dangle both feet off! (We had to ask her to put her feet up for photos). Unlike another 3 wheeled pushchair, the width of the Nipper meant that her dangling foot was well away from the front wheel and it was also high enough off the floor to be safe, so we had no worries although we would have preferred her feet to both have been on the footplate in an ideal world. The front wheel has 360 degree manoeuverability and can be locked straight.
The seats are bucket seats, so are at a 90 degree (ish) angle, but are tipped backwards. I know some toddlers don’t like this, but both of my children seemed happy in the seats. Neither tried to pull themselves upright. Both looked very comfortable in the seats with their padded liners. As a parent of siblings, I actually liked the bucket seats because it gave the children some separation. I have been having issues with another side by side because the children are too close and the elder is provoking the younger!!! The Nipper has just a single hood. My eldest did get cross at having the hood up to give protection for her brother, but thankfully the hood was too high for her to fling back (like she does on other pushchairs) and so the hood remained up. After experiencing the Mountain Buggy Duet hoods which “catch” together when they are opened and closed, I prefer to have the single hood rather than two hoods that are too close together to be separate.
The recline on this model of the Nipper is a bit of a nightmare. We know it has been changed in the new V2 Nipper which is great. But on this model, there is simply a clip on the back of the seat. So there are just two settings – the clip open or closed. The recline can be set to any position using a sliding strap, but it is really really really fiddly to set up. Thus you really need to set the seat positions in advance and then leave them in those positions. However one position is always the lie flat position. The other position could be put at any point between flat and upright – thus a baby could have a slight recline and a full recline, or a toddler could have a full recline or an upright seat, but there was no way to have an upright seat with a partial recline for a toddler without adjusting the nightmare straps. But the recline is a flat recline and is thus suitable from birth. Thankfully the strap is not an issue with the new Nipper as we understand it has a new toggle recline, and we can’t wait to see how the new recline works.
The other issue with the recline is that when the child is brought back up to sitting, the fabric ends up on the front side of the seat rather than the back (this can be seen in one of the photos). It became a little tiresome to keep having to push the fabric behind the seat after sitting the child back up. Also it was then difficult to recline the child again without untucking the fabric. If the Nipper is folded with one seat reclined, then that seat stays tucked inside the pushchair which adds to the bulk of the fold.
The harnesses were good and easy to adjust. It is a shame there were no nice comfy shoulder pads though. I dont believe there are any on the V2 either.
We don’t like the mesh behind the childrens’ heads. Yes, it offers ventilation in summer, but here in the UK we spend most of the year, even in summer, trying to keep out of the wind! Personally we think there is enough ventilation around the front of the Nipper without subjecting our children to cold winds around their heads and necks. I wish there was an option to cover this mesh up like with the Baby Jogger range.
What we absolutely LOVE though are all the storage pockets on the Nipper. There are two storage pockets on either side of the hood – one large and one small. There are two enormous drawstring pockets on the back of each seat. We managed to fit our Pacapod changing bags in easily with room to spare for drinks etc. They are absolutely brilliant and to be honest the storage is a major selling point for me as I always have an assortment of toys, drinks, my purse, keys etc. It is a shame that the basket is an optional extra, but believe me it is worth buying. The basket is HUGE and there is clear unobstructed access into it. It was bliss to be able to push a whole carrier bag of groceries underneath without having to tip half of it out to get it past the pushchair chassis (believe me we have to do this with most of our pushchairs whether single or double!) It really is a shoppers dream pushchair, and for that reason alone I love the Nipper!!! There is even room behind upright seats to stuff coats, jumpers and blankets out of the way.
However we keep hearing the pushchair called “the little Nipper”, but the reality is not so. The Nipper is a fairly wide pushchair. It is 77cms wide which Out ‘n’ About argue will fit through a standard doorframe – yes it will, but only recent standard doorframes as until a few years ago a standard doorframe was set at 76.2cms wide. Thus time and time again (and indeed a Google search will throw up examples) we hear examples of people having to remove a wheel to fit through doorframes. However because of the triangular footprint of the Nipper we also understand it can wiggle very nicely through smaller doorframes too by putting one back wheel through first and then the other. The length of the Nipper is almost identical to the Baby Jogger Elite which is generally regarded as a large pushchair.
The Nipper is not just wide, but it is an ok height for me to push at 5ft 6ins. I would have preferred it a little higher but its not too low. I am always wary with fixed handlebars, and indeed a major selling point for me of the V2 Nipper is the adjustable handlebar. I like the clever design that makes the handlebar curve in so that the pushchair looks slimmer than it actually is.
The width of the Nipper comes clear when the pushchair is folded. When I put the Nipper in my car it only just…and I mean only just…fitted into the boot. One wheel was sitting on the sill of the boot but thankfully it just closed. It’s the only side by side that has come that close to not fitting into my boot. The Nipper is also a fairly chunky fold too. But it is easy to pop the wheels off the Nipper to reduce the height. But the fold of the Nipper is larger and more bulky than the Baby Jogger Elite / City Mini for example.
Folding and unfolding the pushchair takes several steps. There are clips on each side to undo / do up. There are pins on each side to undo / do up. There is also a red safety catch to undo before you can finally fold the pushchair! The handlebar does drop to the ground upon folding and there are warnings about being careful not to damage the foam. I can imagine the foam would get very easily damaged but there are plenty of people who make handlebar covers and I would recommend investing in one.
The light weight of the Nipper makes it very easy to carry which is fab because side by side pushchairs can be heavy and bulky.
The brake is a simple to do flick on and off one. Again I know this has been improved on the V2.
There was plenty of room for the children in the seats both height and width wise. The liner removes to give more room.
All round we really liked the Out ‘n’ About Nipper 360. The storage and ease of pushing were the two major huge selling points of this pushchair to our family. The width is not really an issue for us as we have a huge front door, but it would prevent us from going into one of our local supermarkets. So the width is something to be considered when looking at the Nipper.
However very sadly we discovered after only a couple of outings that the Nipper’s wheels were buckled – one side badly and the other less so. Again the V2 Nipper has different wheels which hopefully will be better. Unfortunately our stockist did not have any more Nippers in stock, so we had to send the Nipper back for a refund which is a real shame as I think this is a pushchair that would have been very useful to our family. We would recommend this pushchair though, and it is definitely worth buying the basket!!
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