Twins Freestyle Cool
The Twins Freestyle Cool is a good looking sturdy side by side double pushchair that is suitable for two children whether twins or siblings.
Styling: The Twins Freestyle Cool comes in a wide variety of colour ways. There are block colours or patterned choices. The chassis is black and I think it really sets the pushchair off and makes it look smart with certain colours. The wheels are stylish, but the ones on our test model are slightly different to the ones in the photos that I have seen.
Fabrics: The fabrics on the Twins Freestyle Cool seem good quality. However they are fire resistant, but not fire retardant which one of several tests which is tested for a pushchair to pass British Safety Standards. There are reflective stripes on the seat units.
Size: The Twins Freestyle Cool is a very wide double pushchair at 82cms wide. This means that it will not fit through a standard doorway. However the air tyres on this pushchair and the seating options would make this a fantastic walking pushchair on all terrain, or a good double to take supermarket shopping with.
Child Comfort: One of the main selling points of the Twins Freestyle Cool is that there are a lot of combinations whether for twins or siblings. The independent carrycots and seat units can face either forwards or backwards or one each way. It is possible to have two carrycots, two seat units or one of each on the chassis. There is the option to add two car seats, but these face sideways which means you are unable to have one car seat and a seat unit on for siblings. We have tried to show most of the combinations of the seat units and carrycots.
The seats are wide although not the tallest seat backs. The leg rest has 9 different positions! These click upwards easily but to put the footrest back down requires releasing two buttons on either side.
The seat units feel lower than most other pushchairs, but it is easy to get the children in and out of the seats.
The seats come with individual swing away bumper bars. These are solid once clipped in place.
The harnesses are large. To be honest, they are too big for a child in summer clothing. Our children were fine given it was winter but they would be too large for a small baby. There are no D rings to attach your own harness either. This is something that we will feed back to the distributors to hopefully change. The harnesses were easy to adjust though.
There are two height settings on the harness. The clips and sockets for these do flex a fair bit and I wonder how well they would stand the test of time.
There were a choice of shoulder pads with our test pushchair – patterned or black. There is also a crotch pad, but to use this as it should be used involves unclipping all 5 points of the harness each time. We repositioned the harness so that we only needed to undo 3 points.
Seat Recline: The seats recline using a clip system. The shortest clips give a very upright seat. This was fantastic for our 3 year old, but a little too upright for our 18 month old. The longer clips give a slight recline, and no clips gives a full recline to nearly flat. We also discovered that it was possible to cross the clips at the back to give an additional recline setting! We do not consider that the lie flat is flat enough for a newborn baby, but with carrycot and car seat options, this should not be an issue.
Carrycots & Car Seats: The carrycots are a very good size. We tried our 18 month old in just to see how well he fitted, and although he’s clearly too big for it length wise, the carrycot was not too tight for him even in his winter clothing. The carrycot comes flat packed, and its easy enough to push the bars upright to open it. This does mean that the carrycot can be flat packed down again for travel or storage, although I would not like to do this every day. The carrycot comes with a liner with built in mattress. This is simply pulled around the top edge of the carrycot. It looks good quality. However because the mattress is attached to the liner, it makes it hard to tuck your own carrycot sheet down the side / underneath. The wooden base has ventilation holes in it. The carrycot has a solid rubber handle built into the rim of the hood. It is easy to pull the hood up, but folding the hood down means pressing a button in on either side of the hood to release it. The carrycots clip on fairly easily onto the chassis (it does take a bit of practice) but when releasing the carrycots, they do tip forwards (or back depending on the direction) and for that reason, it is recommended a baby is removed from the carrycot, before removing the carrycot itself.
Basket: There is a huge basket under the Twins Freestyle Cool. However access is a little limited. We found we could slide large bottles of milk, cereal packets etc through the front and sides, but we were unable to post full carrier bags through. The sides are more flexible than the front and back as the basket is attached to bars. But there are press studs along the front edge which could easily be undone and poppered back up again.
Storage Pockets: The Twins Freestyle Cool has two big storage pockets on the rear of each hood. These are really handy for keys, purse, drinks etc. Included in the package was a lovely matching changing bag. This simply poppers onto the handlebar or can be worn as a rucksack or carried by hand.
Hoods: The hoods are large and offer good shelter to the children. They pull up easily one handed, but like the carrycots, they require buttons pressing in on either side to release them back down. The hoods are fixed which means they do add bulk to storing the seat units. But the hoods are very sturdy and firm.
The rear of the hood zips off revealing a mesh to allow ventilation in summer especially when a baby is reclined.
We liked the toggle on the rear of the hood fabric to allow the fabric to be pulled up neatly when the seats are upright.
Handling: We took the Twins Freestyle Cool to a supermarket and it was effortless to push around. It easily manoeuvred around the very busy aisles. It was easy to pull backwards and to turn around sharply with. I was in a lot of pain walking home, but the Freestyle Cool offered me support and was still very easy to push up hill fully loaded with two children and lots and lots of shopping!! The pushchair was so easy to push across gravel that we had to put the brake on for the photoshoot because the wind kept blowing it away!! If it had been better weather, we would have loved to have gone to the beach with the Freestyle Cool. I suspect it would have coped very well with the sand.
The handlebar has an amazing ten different settings from very low to very high. These are easy to set. The handlebar is fairly slim and foam covered. The foam however does slide around on our model but this would be easy to fix with a bit of glue!
Brake: The Twins Freestyle Cool has a large brake pedal at the rear. It is very easy to put on and off, and to locate when the seats or carrycots were on.
Tyres: The Twins Freestyle Cool has a choice of tyres. Pneumatic air tyres, or foam filled tyres. The latter are recommended to prevent flat tyres, but our test model had air tyres and the rubber is extraordinary! It is like car tyre rubber, rather than the bike like tyres that you usually see on pushchairs. The distributors believe it would be quite hard to pierce. The front wheels swivel or lock. The wheels are easy to pop on and off, but you have to ensure that the swivel lock is in the correct place when replacing the front wheels!!
Fold: The Twins Freestyle Cool needs the carrycots or seat units removing to fold. It folds best if all the wheels are popped off – this literally takes seconds. The chassis then folds down to approx 26cms flat. The front wheels can be left on which gives a slightly chunkier fold, but we were concerned that any weight on the chassis (eg shopping put on top) could force the wheels. The seat units are more bulky. But the seat units can be flattened (there are struts on the side which can be undone and then they slide flat), and the carrycots can also be flattened, although both of these do take a bit of doing. I am not sure I would want to do either of these every day. The hoods on the seats and carrycots are fixed.
Build Quality: The pushchair is clearly handmade. As a result it is very solid and sturdy. But there are rough rivets which I have caught my clothes and fingers on.
We found that it was difficult to locate where exactly to put the seat and carrycot units. If you look carefully at the photos, you will see that one edge of the metal frame needs to slide under a hook before the front edge can be dropped into position. We found it was easy to either miss the right place and accidentally drop the edge into the wrong slot; or to not get the frame edge under the hook and then the seat unit was not secure. We also found that one side could be secure but and the other not. The seats do click into position, however each seat or carrycot really requires a tug to check that they are secure each time, before putting a child in.
The red push buttons to remove the seats are both very flimsy and flexible and difficult to access – in some modes you need to get practically on your knees to access them, in other modes you have to squeeze your fingers into gaps to get to them. The red buttons do just need pushing in though. But they do not always release easily. Also the release involves pushing a red button in one either side but you then do not have a hand free to remove the seat or carrycot. You have to use your chin, or elbow or chest to nudge the seat off, and the unit then tips off. Hence our recommendation to remove a baby from the carrycot before removing the seat. The distributors acknowledge that these red clips are not the best, and are actively seeking an alternative before the next batch are made.
Extras: Two raincovers, two mosquito nets, additional harness pads and a changing bag were all included with our test pushchair. The raincovers were very thin plastic and to be honest we would have been considering buying alternative ones. The changing bag however was great! We liked the way it could be hung on the handlebar or worn as a backpack. It has a mesh pocket on the outside and a large central compartment.
Conclusion: The Twins Freestyle Cool is great value for money. It offers lots of different seating options for two children. It is very sturdy and yet light and easy to push and manoeuvre. There is a lot of storage space. Putting on and removing the seat units is not the easiest but you get better at it, the more you have to do it! The fold realistically requires the wheels popping off but then the pushchair is easy to store. The chassis would slide nicely into a gap. This pushchair is wide, but would make a good walking pushchair or one for shopping malls or the school or supermarket run. Be aware that this pushchair does not meet British Safety standards, but it does meet EU safety standards.
All round the Twins Freestyle Cool has a lot to offer as a pushchair for twins or siblings and we and the children enjoyed using it.
With many thanks to Allan and Sylvester, at All for Your Baby, for the loan of the Twins Freestyle Cool
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