Micralite Super-lite Fastfold Review
Everyone told me Micralites were brilliant – brilliant off road, small, neat and lightweight. I have tentatively got close to looking at a Micralite a few times, but they always seemed a little scary simply because they look and fold like nothing else on the pushchair market. However after having had two Micralites for a few weeks, I know that I was wrong to be afraid, because Micralites are some of the easiest and best pushchairs I have ever used!!!
It is rare that a pushchair arrives at Best Buggy HQ and we don’t sit down and read the instruction booklet from cover to cover, either before opening the pushchair, or during the process of opening. However the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold arrived hours before we had an all day trip to a narrow gauge railway. This seemed like the perfect outing to try a light, fast folding pushchair out on, as we knew we would need to be able to fold a pushchair quickly and neatly, to go into the tiny carriages. It literally took us seconds to work out how to open and close the Super-lite Fastfold and we felt confident enough to put the Micralite into the car without reading anything more at all! We like a pushchair that is up and running in minutes!
The Micralite Super-lite Fastfold name really says it all – this is a very light, very quick folding pushchair which folds into a neat freestanding package. If that is what you need from a pushchair, then this is it!! Beyond the fold the Super-lite Fastfold is really light and easy to push.
I am sure everyone looks twice when they spot a Micralite for the first time. There is no question that the design is head turning and maybe even odd or weird. The design appears too simple in some respects, but the pushchair is beautifully engineered. The fold / unfold is so smooth and we love how on the Super-lite Fastfold the wheels tuck in behind each other when folded, to give an even neater finish. Even folded and stood up, the Micralites makes you look twice because the folds are so neat.
Child Comfort, Seat Recline and Harness:
The seat on the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold is unusual. It is a tilted bucket seat suitable from 6 months old. The seat fairly pyramidal in shape and very functional. The child’s knees are above their bottom when sat in the seat. I had always wondered if the seat was comfy, but our eldest, aged nearly 4, loved being in the seat, and believe me she is the biggest pushchair seat critic ever! The seat is made of a see through mesh. Again I had always wondered about how practical this was, but as the photos show, by the end of our outing, we were glad of the air flow through the mesh to cool down our very hot sleeping baby. Micralite do comfortable liners, and amazing “zip up to the chin” footmuffs – they look very snuggly and warm!! So I have no worries that the Super-lite Fastfold could be made comfy and warm for winter use.
The Micralite Super-lite Fastfold has two seating positions. There is an upright position which is fairly reclined, but not enough for our children to want to pull themselves forwards. There is one recline position. I have to say, this was probably my only negative because my youngest looked a little uncomfortable reclined – his upper half seemed too upright compared to his lower half. BUT this is a super light, small folding pushchair, and to be honest a recline on this type of pushchair is a bonus, rather than a feature, if that make sense! The Super-lite Fastfold for our family at least would have a purpose i.e. for outings like the one we took this pushchair on, or for holidays, and for both, we wouldn’t be too fussy. I do not think that I would buy the Super-lite Fastfold as a full time pushchair for a child who naps every day – I would choose the Toro instead which has several recline positions, and I think is more suitable for a young baby or toddler. The Super-lite Fastfold does not take a carrycot or car seat. The Toro does.
The hood on the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold is small and functional. But on the day of our main outing, it was exceptionally hot, and the hood did its job shielding our youngest from the sun. Yes, ideally a bigger hood would have been good, but it was sufficient. The only thing we had a real issue with was that small shafts of sunlight were streaming in onto our sleeping son’s face through the cracks at the sides where the hood meets the chassis. There is a useful peekaboo window in the hood.
When the Best Buggy Focus Group were discussing the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold – the “small” basket was something everyone mentioned. But I beg to differ!! The “small basket” took my fairly large handbag (which holds a set of clothes for both children plus loads more!), and a Bugaboo Organiser, a lot of drinks, bits and pieces, and a picnic easily. The basket reminds me of the Quinny Zapp one but on a larger scale. Access is divided by a strap which goes through the middle of the basket leaving two good sized triangular sections. It is a basket to pack carefully i.e. its not one to throw your shopping under at the till, but once again, for the kind of outing that we would use this pushchair for, the basket was more than adequate for our day trip. It was easy to push light items e.g. bags / coats between the frame too. We did find that one of the side poppers holding the basket did keep popping open, and then the basket was rubbing on the wheel which was a little frustrating, but I suspect that was unique to this pushchair. We has no problems with the Toro basket.
The handlebar is very unusual. The handlebar looks like two horns which can be rotated up and down by undoing two clips on the top. At first glance it looks rudimentary, but the clips work well and the rotation is easy to do. The handlebar itself is covered with foam. To be honest the foam was a little too squishy for me, and I did note that one of the handlebars of our test model was starting to split. I am a one handed pushchair pusher, and I was concerned that using just one hand would eventually damage the foam. I did also find myself pushing the Super-lite Fastfold right in the centre between the handlebars. It felt a little low but it was comfy and easy to steer. For taller parents, Micralite do sell handlebar extenders.
Wheels and Handling:
The Super-lite Fastfold has two large air wheels at the rear, and two double swivel / lockable wheels at the front. The front wheels were thicker than I thought they would be, and the Micralite handled everything we threw at it. On our day outing and subsequent testing, we used the Super-lite Fastfold on all sorts of terrain from gravel, to grass, on bumpy ground, potholed paths, across rail tracks and on smooth surfaces. The Super-lite Fastfold handled everything with ease. We had no worries about taking this pushchair anywhere. It was a perfect choice for this outing and I have to say several times I was glad I had taken this pushchair over another one. I did wonder if the front wheels would get stuck – because they stick out wider at the front than the rear – but we didn’t have any problems to be honest.
The Micralite Super-lite Fastfold was really great to push and manoeuvre too. I could easily push and steer with one hand. What I also liked was that I could use one ‘horn’ of the handlebar to push and steer well whilst our eldest was able to hold the other ‘horn’ and amazingly she didn’t get in my way! I usually find she adds ‘drag’ to the pushchair, or I end up tripping over her or something! So this suited us both!
The fold is really what the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold is all about. There’s no question that this comes above every other feature on this pushchair. The Super-lite Fastfold is a very quick folding, lightweight pushchair – and if this is what you need, then the Super-lite Fastfold is the pushchair for you! To fold, simply pull simply press on the silver button to release the safety lock, then press down on the red button at the same time as sliding the handles either side of the silver button and pull the chassis closed.
Opening is even easier. Just undo the red storage catch thoughtfully labelled “Lift to open” at the bottom of the handlebar stem, and press the sliders down from the top of the handlebar stem until the chassis clicks open. Dead easy, but it does take two hands which in some ways is a bit of a shame, as a one handed open / close would have made the Super-lite Fastfold quicker and easier to use on public transport where one hand is likely to be holding a baby or a toddler’s hand.
Brake and Raincover:
The brake was simplistic but effective – it is a metal bar that is flicked up or down. It is not one to try with sandals on really, but easy to flick on with shoes. It is very obvious if the brake has engaged just by simply looking down.
We LOVE the Micralite raincovers which come in small pouches. This is intelligent thinking because I know we don’t generally carry around raincovers, because they fill up the basket on a pushchair, and we don’t usually have the correct raincover in the car anyway!! So having a raincover in a small pouch which hangs off the handlebars and looks neat is great! We did not have need to use the Super-lite Fastfold raincover however we did have a good look and play with it, and it seemed to fit really well. We have heard of one family who went camping, and whilst the rest of the family got soaked in torrential rain, their little one stayed dry under the Super-lite Fastfold raincover.
We love it when a pushchair that we weren’t sure about wins us over, and the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold certainly won us over. The Super-lite Fastfold was just so easy to use. It was no nonsense, no frills, but did what it needed to easily. It unfolded easily, it folded quickly. It was light to lift in and out of the boot. It was narrow folded to store on the trains. The seat was comfortable enough for outings although we are not so sure we would use this pushchair for a baby. The Super-lite Fastfold handled really well across all the terrains that we tried it on (although nothing seriously off road!). All round the Micralite Super-lite Fastfold works very well and we are no longer scared!!
With many thanks to Micralite for facilitating this review!
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