Easywalker June Review by Best Buggy
The Easywalker June is a pushchair that really grabbed my attention when I first saw it. It was small, neat and looked really appealing with its big chunky wheels. The combination of a forward and reverse facing seat, with a small fold, off road tyres and a decent sized basket seemed to be my idea of pushchair heaven. The June seemed to be even better in real life when we got our first hands on look at it, at Harrogate this year. We loved how comfortable our (then) 3 year old looked in the seat, and how small and neat the June was. I have to admit, I came away from Harrogate feeling that my search for the perfect pushchair had ended with the Easywalker June. However would the June live up to our expectations?
The Easywalker June looks cute – I hate to use that word, but it does! Its got a slim stylish chassis, comfy looking seat and fab small chunky tyres. The June looks neat folded and neat open. I love the how unfussy the June is. One detail which is brilliant and I can not stress enough how good it is, is the way that the hood slides neatly and easily behind the seat unit. This leaves perfect access to the child in the seat unit. It makes it so easy to pop a child into the seat, especially when they are asleep. Plus there’s no fabric flapping around when the hood is pushed back, so the child has a really good view all around them. I know it may seem like a minor detail, but it really does make a difference.
One thing that the photos do not show is how heavy the June is. The June is just shy of 10kgs, which is still fairly lightweight for a pushchair, but somehow you do not expect the slim chassis to weigh so much! It is also longer folded than you would think too. The June does pretty much fill my boot if I laid it flat, but the June is also narrow and unusually I am able to slide it into my boot sideways. But I just like that first impression of small and neat, even if the June really is just an optical illusion of dinkyness!!
The Easywalker June really is a pushchair with two sides! Never have I used a pushchair that handles so differently depending on whether the seat is parent facing or forward facing!! Forward facing, the June is a one handed, easy to push, easy to lift up kerbs pushchair. However parent facing, the June is a two handed, difficult to handle, nearly impossible to push up kerbs pushchair!! I can only assume that the centre of gravity shifts dramatically, because I do not know of any other pushchair where swapping the seat around makes such a huge difference.
Seat & Child Comfort
The seat itself is set slightly tilted back so that the child is not sat upright. I think this may be an issue for some children, but both my two seemed fine with it. I think the unobstructed view around the June makes a difference, and I think both simply find it comfortable. The seat itself is nicely padded. However there is no calf support for a younger child on the standard June. As the photos show, our son seems to choose to cross his legs onto the front of the seat a lot of the time. On the occasions when he has fallen asleep with his legs down, I have ended up tucking his legs up onto the front piece of the seat for him. There is an optional leg rest for the June which we have been trying to get hold of.
We have been a little disappointed that the footrest is too far underneath the pushchair to be really terribly useful to our eldest – she is exactly the right age to use the footrest, but she could barely get her heels onto it. However the June is high enough off the floor that dangling legs are not a problem, and she didn’t complain either.
There are a choice of optional liners (inlays) for the June. To be honest, the seat is probably comfortable enough not to need a liner, however the liner should be easier to wash than the seat, and it does add a really thick layer of padding, whilst still being breathable when hot. What we love is that the June inlays and hoods can be easily swapped around to give a choice of mix and match colour options.
Harness & Shoulder Pads
The harness on the June is a good harness with a chunky buckle. There are 3 shoulder height settings and a good adjustment on the crotch pad. The buckle was easy to use but not easy enough for my toddler to undo. However the harness is a complete fiend to alter because every time you need to do so, (which is a fair bit in this changable autumnal weather,) the harness pads on top need undoing to get to the adjuster points hidden underneath the harness pads!!! On the one hand I am pleased that Easywalker recognised that hoiking harness pads back onto the shoulders is a real pain, and so fixed their harness pads into place, but I have to say, I wish I could remove them or slide them down. We are finding there needs to be quite an alteration in the harness for a sleeping child because the seat expands as it lies flat. Having to undo the velcro right next to our sleeping son’s ears is not the best way to keep him asleep! Plus the velcro catches in the hair of our eldest when we adjust the harness for her. All round it would have been much better to have been able to remove the harness pads, should you wish, without reaching for the quick-unpick!
Another good reason for removing the harness pads is that the edges of velcro on the shoulder pads are rubbing on our seat liner and after only a short time the damage on both sides is clearly visible. With the liner costing just shy of £40, this is expensive damage.
Whilst the shoulder pads meanwhile are really thick and comfy for an older child. I do wonder if they are too bulky for a 6 month+ baby? We hope to find this out.
The Easywalker June’s hood is one of its highlights. The hood can be chosen in one of several colours, and can easily be swapped should you wish. The hood is zipped onto a frame which is kept hidden behind the seat unit. When required the hood easily slides upwards to the height that you require ie low for a smaller child or high for a tall child. So often you either do not need a hood, or it is in the way when putting the child into the seat or doing harnesses up. It is no problem to simply slide the hood out of the way, and then put it back on again if required. The hidden hood makes the seat unit look very neat and unfussy. I think it also makes the June quite a “grown up” pushchair for an older child, or maybe even one with special needs. The weight limit of 30kgs means that there are no worries about the June being able to cope with the weight of an older child! Due to the zip on nature of the hood, it is easy enough to buy a different colour for a new baby or simply if you fancy a change!
The hood itself does feel small – but this is partly because the hood doesn’t actually need to be any bigger. It moves to the correct height for your child and seems to give reasonable cover, although it would do little more than shade a child’s face in summer. I know some people do not like the way the hood looks simply because it does look smaller than a usual hood. The hood itself has two main folds and then a third fold is tucked inside the front of the hood as a large visor. The hood and visor are easy to pull out. As the photos show, our youngest seemed to think it was a big game to pull the visor up and down from inside the rim of the hood, which I did find a little annoying!
The June has a slim handlebar which feels good in the hand. It is foam covered on our version (we did see leather handlebars at Harrogate but I dont believe they are coming to the UK). The foam is pretty dense and feels good to push. My only worry with the foam is that when pushing the June parent facing, I found I needed more than usual force on the handlebar to manoeuvre the June around. My worry would be that the stress would damage the foam, but this is something we will keep an eye on.
The handlebar (as the photos show) extends from way down low, to very high! This feature really helps with the “neat” feeling because in a confined space, its so easy to drop the handle down low and the June almost disappears out of view. Handy on buses and in school cloakrooms at pick up time! The handlebar simply clips into place at the desired level.
Wheels and handling
One of the big attractions of the Easywalker June is that it has small 8.5 inch air tyres, which allow the June to be a rare four wheeled pushchair that is both at home in the town; but also can happily handle a day in the country, or at the beach. The air tyres are suspended at the back and all round the tyres so absorb shock and give a smooth ride for the passenger, but also for the person pushing the June. However the down side of these tyres is that they are not as manoeuvreable once stopped. For example if you stop to look at a display in a shop and the pushchair has turned in with you, the June wheels will need a good wiggle to get them straight again. With a pushchair with regular plastic swivel wheels this would just be a flick of the wrist to get the pushchair going again. It is something that you get used to, and it is not as bad as I have found with bigger 3 wheeled off road pushchairs. The wheels will lock straight as well.
However, we really struggled to handle the June at times when the seat was parent facing. Even on tarmac we found the June to be very tippy. I was having to hang onto the handlebar hard with both hands to keep the June upright. Given we have a 4 year old, I need to be able to push a pushchair one handed at times, so that I can also hold her hand. But it was nearly impossible to do so with the June parent facing. At times it took all my strength just to keep the parent facing June straight. I kept having to drop my toddlers hand to steer the June two handed, and in the end it was easier if she held onto the frame (which I dont really like doing when we are near busy roads).
The Easywalker June was also hard work to get up kerbs when the seat was parent facing. Mr BB had more problems than I did, and he completely failed to get the June up any kerb parent facing. I am used to constantly pushing double pushchairs, including some very heavy tandems, and so I am used to getting these bigger pushchairs up kerbs. I personally found it easier to start to tip the June up whilst walking so that at the point it needed tipping, I had enough momentum to push down and get the June up the kerb. But there is absolutely no doubt that if you meet kerbs all the time, then the June could easily get frustrating. Thankfully we live in an area with plenty of dropped kerbs. Kerbs become a game between Mr BB and I. He was constantly amazed how easy I found getting the June up a kerb, and he got frustrated that he could not do the same!!
I will be absolutely honest and say I found the handling on the June parent facing very difficult at times.
However, even though my youngest likes to parent face, I decided to turn the seat around to see if it made any difference. Believe me, IT DID!! The June suddenly became more manoeuvrable, easier to push, easier to handle, more stable and I walked on the first outing the entire was pushing the June ONE handed!!!!!! Plus kerbs were NO problem at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The June flew straight up and over them!! Absolutely and honestly I was astounded at the difference!! After that, we didn’t turn the seat back around again…..but that kind of defeats the object of having a parent facing pushchair!!
Easywalker in response to this review have said that the parent facing option for the June was aimed more at a child under the age of one year old. After that a child would prefer to face the world, than face the parent. However every parent in our Best Buggy Focus Group, said that they would prefer their child to parent face if possible – even those with children aged 3 and 4.
Forward facing the seat really transformed the experience of having the June for me…..from difficult to enjoyable.
Changing the Direction of the Seat
Yes, for the first time ever, I need a whole section on how to change the seat around. I have to say, I thought the Bugaboo Bee seat was hard to change around, but the June is even more tricky. To be completely fair though, you do get the hang of it – like the Bee – and the more you swap the seat around, the better you get at it. In reality, most people do not swap the seat around every few days either, so it probably is not a big deal for something you may only do once!
To remove the seat start at the black plate underneath the front of the seat pad. There are two squeeze buttons which require a bit of squeezing to release and the footplate comes free. Next, underneath the seat pad on the right hand side is a red handle. This releases catches at the back of the seat and somehow you can then lift the seat off, manoeuvre it through the chassis and turn the seat around. Putting the seat back on is tricky. I do it differently to how Easywalker suggest but let me explain.
There are 3 parts to putting the seat back on. First of all there is a swinging bar underneath the June which the seat has to sit on. Easywalker suggest you put the seat on here first. But the nature of a swinging bar is that it moves and I ended up in a pickle. So the second part is that there are two ‘hooks’ on the seat which fit over two knobs on the frame. I hook these on first. Then I put the seat in situ at the front and pull the swinging bar underneath onto the now in situ seat and make sure it fixes correctly. Finally stage 3 involves squeezing the black sliders to put the plate back in place underneath the seat. This final part is often easier said than done. It is all just a bit fiddly with chunk of a seat to manoeuvre into place inside a slim frame.
Fold / Unfold
One of the biggest advantages of the June is that it folds flat and neatly with the seat left on in either direction. We were told that the June has a memory fold seat ie that the pushchair will reopen and the seat will be in the same position that you left it in, but in reality I think most, if not all the times we opened the June, the seat was reclined. This meant sitting the June up before each use.
The actual fold has been the subject of some debate because I find the June easy to fold when the seat is parent facing, but almost impossible to fold forward facing. One of my retailer friends finds the opposite – they can fold the June easily forward facing, but simply can not get the June to fold parent facing! I will admit that having initially failed to fold the June in either direction, that I took the seat off and practised folding just the chassis first!!
The start of the fold involves the red buttons on either side of the seat. First press the above buttons in – it is important to make sure these really are properly depressed – there is a click when they are done correctly. Then press the red knobs in from underneath and pull upwards and slide the chassis together. BUT we have been struggling to get the chassis to fold as flat as we would like. At first we simply pressed down on the chassis to get the two halves closer together, but we did not like the “crunch” noise as we completed the move. We discovered by chance that releasing the seat recline button allowed the June to fold flatter without the “crunch” noise. This is probably why our June always opens with the seat reclined, but this is preferably to struggling with the fold.
Very quickly we realised that the Easywalker June was lacking one essential detail – some kind of fold lock. As soon as the June was picked up or placed upright it would slide open again. Thankfully Easywalker have a solution to this – a locking strap. I have to say, it has been an absolute necessity. It was easy to fit by sliding through the eyelets where the basket is fitted. However we did find that the lock also does ping off back through the eyelets every few weeks. But thats a small niggle compared to a chassis that slid open every time you moved it!! This lock is apparently going to be included in the box in future.
The June can be towed along behind you, which is useful if your car is some way from the house. The handlebar slides inside a long way to create a compact package.
Opening the June is much easier. Simply slide the front and back wheels open (it does it pretty much by itself) until the chassis locks. The instructions say that you should hear a click, but we do not on ours, and I have to say, I have become fairly neurotic checking that the June chassis is actually locked properly!
Brake and Basket
The Easywalker June has a very visible brake. It is easy to see if it is engaged or not, which is just as well because the brake does not always engage first time. If the notches the brake drops into, are not lined up then it is easy to think the brake is applied when it isn’t. Just something to watch! But one big disadvantage of the June brake is that when you need to bump the June down steps, the brake catches on the way down. It is really annoying!!!
The June has a reasonably sized basket. It is bigger than it looks. However access is not the best. I stupidly tried to put my handbag in through the rear on the first outing and I had to undo the basket to get it in. But I soon learnt that the way into the basket is from the side where the basket is elasticated and access is better. I could get my reasonable sized handbag underneath along with food, nappies, coats etc. We went shopping on one outing and it was amazing what kept being tucked into corners as we went along!!
Footmuff & Raincover
Easywalker were really kind and sent us a footmuff for the June because winter is starting to set in here in the UK. However sadly we have been unable to use it because the leg length is tiny – the footmuff literally comes to the end of the seat and no further!! This really surprised us because the other Easywalker footmuffs are pretty big and our son is only a small 2 year old. However even though we have been unable to use it, the footmuff is going to other test families who will try it out for us. We were disappointed because it looked like a gorgeous footmuff with a soft furry interior.
We thought that the raincover seemed really good. However we have been told that we had the raincover on upside down! Having reread the instructions, they really are not clear! So for the record, the black ’ribs’ of the raincover, go over the foot part of the June seat, not to line up with the ‘ribs’ on the hood as we though!!! However even upside down the raincover worked well.
I am not sure I have ever talked about price before with a pushchair. One of the reasons is that I often say to people that if you want a good pushchair then you are often better buying a more expensive pushchair second hand, than buying a poor quality pushchair new.
I have absolutely no doubt that Easywalker is a top quality product – I have had two Easywalkers before – a Qtro and a Duo. The Qtro was specifically bought to remind me that there are great quality pushchairs on the market after having a really poor quality product from another manufacturer. The finish on the June seems good and the June itself is a pretty unique pushchair. I would happily sit the June on par with a Bugaboo Cameleon or an iCandy Peach for quality and finish, and to be fair the costs are comparable. However everything on the June seems to be an extra whether its the bumper bar, seat liner or even just the raincover, and I think it is worth holding the comparison with the Cameleon or Peach (and the comparable costs involved) when pricing up a June.
I have to say the Easywalker June is not the easiest pushchair to either use or to push. The difficulties we have had with the seat parent facing really are quite significant. Being honest there were times when I found the June especially hard to handle. Turning the seat forward facing really transformed the June for us – it became a much more manageable and easier to use pushchair. But most people, as we were, would be attracted to the Easywalker June for the parent facing option, plus the parent facing fold / open without the need to remove the seat. Although it pains me to say it, I have to say I think there are much easier to use parent facing options.
Why does it pain me? Because despite this, I still adore the June. It is cute, it is neat, the seat is easy to access, the basket is big enough for our needs on an outing. The June forward facing can carry the weight of our heavy 4 year old well and she looks (and says) comfortable in the seat. In fact we pretty much had to drag her out of the seat. Although we would have preferred the seat to sit a bit more upright, it is clearly comfortable and neither of our children has been bothered by the recline.
Would we buy another Easywalker June?? Yes definitely.
Despite the niggles, I prefer the June to many pushchairs we have tested. BUT this is due largely to a big chunk of personal preference, the way the June looks, the ease of seat access, and also I have a stubborn streak which will compromise when I like something and the balance re the pushchair working is greater than the issues!!
This is a very honest review, and our June is now heading out to the Best Buggy Focus Group who in turn will be adding their views and reviews to Best Buggy over the coming months, so hopefully our combined reviews will be useful. I think the reviews will vary so watch this space!!
With many thanks to Easywalker for helping us with this review.
Other Easywalker June Reviews: