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Review of Bugaboo Bee Plus (2011) by Emma

I bought the Bugaboo Bee Plus as I live in Central London and wanted something very lightweight and city-friendly and easy to push on and off buses and down narrow shop aisles without bumping into people.
I shopped around and nothing else seemed to fulfill the criteria as well as the Bugaboo Bee, which is billed as ‘the complete urban stroller’ so we decided on that, although it was very expensive compared to other brands. In fact most of my friends bought the same buggy as well which shows just how prolific the Bugaboo Bee is in London – they’re everywhere!
I had ideally wanted a carrycot for my newborn but the other Bugaboo models which took carrycots were bulkier. It was fine with the newborn cocoon though (costs extra) – my son was born in March and it kept him nice and warm and he slept in it fine as newborn – it does not lie 100% flat but it is deemed suitable as it’s flat enough and the cocoon has a newborn head support. He has always slept well in the buggy.

Overall it feels like a quality buggy and have enjoyed using it, butif i had my time again, I am not sure if i would re-buy it. I will list the issues I’ve had with it below.

- It grows with your child as its seat cleverly reverses, reclines and extends. I used it parent facing for approx 9 months.
- There are 3 good recline settings including one totally flat.
- Newborn baby is comfortable in a cocoon with head support and Ididn’t miss not having a carrycot.
- Very lightweight and narrow, easier than almost all other buggies on buses and in narrow shop aisles. Ideal for cities and small homes.
- Light to push and lift compared to other buggies
- Good quality hood that protects baby from winds.
- Looks fashionable
- Easy to fold and and unfold
- Has a strap which you can hold onto for extra security when going down hills etc
- Good range of handlebar heights
- Raincover is easy to put on and works well and provides child withgood coverage and also has a fresh air window

- Expensive
- My son, who is now 19 months and tall for his age (91st percentile) has already outgrown it – his head is right near the top and the straps are exceptionally tight around his legs when the footmuff is fitted, I can barely do it up anymore. Bugaboo strollers are designed for newborns and up to 17 kg according to the website, but my son is only about 12 kg max and is definitely too big already due to his height.
- The wheels are extremely poor and shimmy and shake terribly at times especially if you are pushing it fast – Bugaboo are aware of this problem, it is obviously widespread as they have sets of washer rings that they send out to you to fit to ease this problem. They have now sent me a set of metal washer rings which Customer Services told me are ‘a permanent solution’ to the shimmying wheels.
- Shopping basket is not spacious and not easily accessible when baby is in pram – I often have to lift up my son’s feet to put things in. If the raincover is stowed underneath space is very limited.
- Straps seem to be permanently twisted, we have never been able tokeep them straight therefore strapping baby in is always annoying and fiddly.
- If you have an active child they may learn to ‘escape’ from thestraps. From about 1 year my son learned to wriggle out of the shoulder straps altogether and would literally be hanging out of the buggy – the bottom of the harness meant he would not actually fall out but it was very disconcerting while crossing roads! I eventually found a special contraption called a Houdini Strap which sorted the problem out but cost me an extra £12. A 5 point safety harness would’ve been much better.
- Very tricky to fit and remove footmuff for washing (Husband gets very, very cross whenever doing this).
- Handlebar broke so that it slipped down on one side after approx 15 months usage. Bugaboo sent spare part for self-fitting.
- The brake sticks sometimes – I have found myself trapped in the road unable to move buggy whilst frantically pumping the brake trying to get it to work again. This happened a handful of times and Bugaboo eventually sent out a whole new chassis after I complained.

Other things to mention
- The sun parasol is not worth buying as you have to move it all the time to provide baby with cover which I found impractical. I eventually bought the Bee sun canopy with is made of UV silver mesh. It works well at shading baby from rays, however cannot be washed or even wiped according to washing instructions – mine is now filthy and tatty after about 1 year’s usage.
- Not much storage space overall. I bought a Sunshine Kids Buggy Buddy organiser however this slips down the frame and drives me crazy – I wish I’d bought the official Bugaboo one!

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