Micralite Twofold Review by Best Buggy
The Micralite Twofold is an innovative, well designed pushchair which provides a comfortable ride for a child from six months to 15kgs, or from birth using a carrycot or car seat. However, the Twofold also has options for a second child in the form of a padded clip on seat unit, or a flick out standing platform.
The Micralite Twofold has been one of the most eagerly awaited pushchairs here at Best Buggy HQ. We are the first to admit that we generally struggle with a stroller board attached to the rear of a pushchair. We either end up hunched over with finger tips on the handle, or walking at the side pushing two children one handed or waddling like a duck with a foot either side of the board! Therefore to have an inbuilt board where stride and handle length had been taken into consideration, made the Twofold simply bliss to use. It was also very enjoyable to be so close to the rear child, and to be able to interact with them.
What impressed us most is the neat package into which the Twofold folds, even with the board attached. You honestly would have to look twice to realise that the Twofold was not a Superlite Fastfold – there is really no difference in size. The ease and quickness that the standing platform slides in and out is brilliant. Our eldest walks most of the time, but every now and again either she gets tired, or I need her safe, or items around her kept safe, so to be able to simply slide the board in and out even for just a few minutes use, without it being a hassle, was BLISS! Even adding, and removing the second seat, was easy peasy. The second seat drops easily straight on into place, and then removes just as easily, within a second.
The main Twofold seat is very similar to the Micralite Superlite Fastfold. The second seat is most akin to a bike seat. Both seats have removable very thickly padded liners inside for extra comfort. There are huge thickly padded shoulder pads and a protective crotch pad. Both seat units have a choice of 3 harness height settings. Access to alter the second seat height is via a zipped compartment at the rear of the seat. It was very simple to push the harness through the pads and the seats, to change the shoulder height. Thus it was easy to interchange the children if necessary. The harnesses themselves, were easy to adjust and had good buckles on them.
Our eldest was able to reach the footrest when in the front seat. Our youngest was not. However there is a slight tilt back of the seat, which seems to make it comfortable (so our 4 year old tells us) to sit in. We prefer the legs of a sleeping child to be raised up, however our son does look perfectly comfortable asleep in the front Twofold seat.
Both children easily get in and out of the rear seat. There is plenty of room for an adult to do the rear harness up etc. The seat is so well padded that there were no complaints from our two. The second seat fits onto two ‘pegs’ which serve as useful footrests should the child require leg support. However, the child’s legs are supported in plastic ‘splints’ and are well off the ground. Our eldest, aged 4 (109.5cms tall) , was nearing the upper limits for using the rear seat, but equally she was old enough to understand to keep her feet on the pegs. Our youngest aged just 3 (91cms tall), absolutely loved ‘driving’ the Twofold. It was lovely to see him playing as we walked along!
The front seat has a decent recline – plenty for a child to have a comfortable nap. However there is only one recline position other than upright. The seat is easy to recline using the protruding pieces of plastic on the central bars at the rear of the seat, however it is a little harder to push a child right up to upright again after their nap. The rear seat has no recline, and this is worth bearing in mind when considering purchasing the Twofold. We would not buy a Twofold for a child who may still occasionally nap, when its younger sibling is in the front. The rear seat is too upright for comfortable napping. However one massive advantage of the Twofold is that, it is one of the very few tandems where an older sibling can still sit or stand comfortably even when their younger sibling is fully reclined in the front seat. This makes the Twofold a great ‘hopping in and out of’ pushchair for a child who likes to walk at times, and ride at others.
There is a good sized hood on the front seat, although a little high. Micralite have thoughtfully provided the rear child with a sun or rain canopy too. This is concealed in the zipped pouch on the rear of the seat along with a small frame which supports the hood. It is very easy to pull the hood out, wrap a strap around the handle stem, and velcro the sides into position.
The standing board on the Micralite Twofold is the BIG selling point for this pushchair, and combined with all the other features makes the Micralite Twofold a very versatile product for a family to own.
The board is attached to the pushchair i.e. it can not be removed! It stays hidden and out of sight if it is not needed. When the board is required it flicks out very simply: apply the brake, roll the pushchair forwards slightly and the board starts to appear from the rear. Keep pushing forwards until the pushchair and board locks into position. The wheel guards rotate into a new position as this happens. Then use either a foot or a hand to flick the standing platform down. This is incredibly simple to do. We can do it in a couple of seconds (as long as we remember to apply the brake!) It is so simple that it really is no hassle to keep flicking the board in and out, if a child wants to jump on and off at will. It is perfectly possible to leave the board permanently out when the pushchair is open either, and indeed the Twofold feels very stable like this. However putting the board away, shortens the length of the pushchair. The Twofold does feel long when the board is out, but that is definitely perceptional, and is probably due to the length and position of the handlebars.
Putting the board away is just as simple as opening it. Apply the brake, flick the standing board back up, and roll the board back in by pulling the main pushchair slightly back towards you.
Some people have commented on the standing position of our daughter in the photos. To be honest, dont read too much into any positions she is in! She had perfect freedom to stand as she wished – sometimes she lent over the handlebars, sometimes she leaned back and sometimes she even stood sideways on, or even faced me for a cuddle! The main thing is that she was happy and comfortable. The board itself is not huge but it was perfectly adequate for my daughters size 12.5 feet.
Handlebar and Handling
The Micralite Twofold handlebars are unusual because of the length and shape. It is possible to buy extenders for the other Micralite pushchair handlebars. However Micralite have ingeniously made the handlebar move and twist into different positions to suit whoever is using it, but also the mode that the pushchair is in. For example, in single mode, we often have the handlebars in a circle shape. It is possible to do this when in tandem mode, which gives the child something to feel secure within, however I kept pulling my daughters hair, so we opted for the ‘horns’ position where the handlebars were out to the sides.
The handlebars have two pivot points (technically 3!). The first pivot point is at the front. Anyone who has had a Micralite will recognise the handle adjustors. They look rudimentary but they work! There are two metal levers which when pulled up release the handlebars to rotate up and down on a pivot. These need tightening once the handlebars are in the required position. The second (and third) points are in the centre of each handlebar. These require the ring covering the joint pulling apart slightly, then the joint can be rotated round until the right position is found, and then the joint is pushed back together. It is easy, but you need both hands to do each side. There really is a handle position for everyone, no matter what your height (there’s a photo of our daughter pushing the Twofold around) and Mr BB at nearly 6 foot has no problems, and doesn’t kick the board at all. You will find that you adjust the handles for different situations though i.e. in single mode or double, or with the board, or with the seat on.
One of the few negatives we have of the Twofold, is that the handlebars need adjusting each time it is folded. It doesn’t take long, but we kept forgetting until the fold was nearly completed!
The handlebars themselves are covered in foam. Long term we would be concerned about how the fairly soft foam stands up to the additional pressures that steering two children on board requires. We did have issues with one of our handlebars dropping, but Micralite were stars and immediately sent out a replacement part. We heard of someone else, to whom they gave more personal service, to ensure the customer was happy! Great customer service, Micralite!
In general the Micralite Twofold handles very well. We know someone who jogs with their Twofold (although it is not a jogging pushchair). We had no problems cornering. We need to remember that the front wheels are wider than the rear of the pushchair as we keep getting stuck on objects especially in shops. At certain times we have needed to put additional pressure onto the handlebar for turning in a tight space.
We do prefer the Twofold with the chassis extended – it feels more sturdy and balanced. However adjusting the handles is quite important in how the Twofold feels to push in each mode and it is worth bearing this in mind.
Our main issue with the Twofold is getting the pushchair up kerbs or any raised platform or step. Thankfully these days dropped kerbs abound. However if you live in an older town where kerbs are more of an issue, then we would maybe think twice about buying the Twofold. We really struggled to get the Twofold up one small step into a shop. This came as a bit of a shock as we thought it would simply tip up and in like every other tandem we have tried! In the end we had to remove our eldest, and have a rejig to get the Twofold into the shop.
However pushing the Twofold on the straight is lovely. The Twofold feels really good to use. It is easier and lighter to push in 2 seat mode than in the one seat plus board mode. We enjoy using the Twofold a lot. It is a lot of fun to be honest for all of us, and the different options and modes make up for the minor niggles!
Wheels & Brake
The Micralite Twofold has front lockable swivel wheels which are wide set. As mentioned above, these do take some getting used to, and we have got stuck a few times on shop displays etc. The rear wheels are large air tyres. Micralite kindly supply you with a small hand pump.
The brake is unlike anything I have seen on any pushchair. Micralite have been very clever. They have appreciated that the mode the pushchair is in, affects the brake. Thus there are two brake pedals set at different distances under the edge of the board so that one is always in each reach for your foot no matter whether the board is in or out. The brakes work well, although sometimes we do have to look to see precisely where the one we need is as one is on the left and one is on the right!
Storage, Raincover & Accessories
The basket is similar to that on the other Micralite pushchairs – one basket obscured by a strap down the centre, which creates two halves. However, on the Twofold, the rear access is obstructed by the board. Thus the main access to the basket is via the front under the seat. This is not the easiest basket to access and you risk getting your skirt / coat wet when its raining. However, as our photos show, it is perfectly possible to fit a good sized handbag and an amount of shopping into the basket!
Micralite also very kindly put into the box, a massive 40 litre storage bag, which in single mode, attaches very neatly to the rear of the pushchair (although it is rather tight to fasten the strap around the handle stem) and can hold an enormous amount of shopping or ‘stuff’! Fabulous! If the board or second seat needs using, then the bag can be detached and slung over a shoulder using the long strap. The bag has a zip top and a wide opening. There is a small zipped pocket inside to keep valuables close at hand. We LOVE the bag!! The bag is great for say an outing where it can carry the picnic, drinks etc. but at the end of the day, when the bag is lighter and your toddler is tired, the bag can be slung over a back, and the toddler can hop onto the board for a lift home.
As discussed the rear seat has an inbuilt hood. This is a fairly generous size for the lower seat. However it does leave the legs of the child exposed. We have found that the best solution is to pop a thin pair of waterproof trousers into the pocket where the hood is kept, ready for the child to pop on if it starts to rain.
The main raincover is a very bright shade of luminous green. We were told back at the Harrogate Nursery Fair that the raincover is made from CPU which gives 100% UV protection. We love how the raincover is so soft and flexible. It fits on easily with an elasticated skirt, and afterwards it simply folds back into its tiny round pouch, which can then be hung from the handlebars or popped into the basket.
Carrycot and Travel System Options
One of the big selling points of the Micralite Twofold is that the front seat area also has the option to have an Air-Flo carrycot or a car seat attached, whilst leaving plenty of room for the older child to either stand on the board or to sit in the second seat. In either travel system or carrycot mode, the seat, board or storage bag can be used.
The front seat fabric needs removing to fit the adaptors for the carrycot or car seat. This does take a few minutes to do, so it is not easy to switch between having the seat fabric on or off, which may be a consideration once the baby outgrows the carrycot, but a car seat is still needed. The same adaptors are used for both the car seat and carrycot, and they need removing and fitting (easy to do) when folding and unfolding the pushchair. Once the adaptors are fitted, the carrycot fits parent facing or a Maxi Cosi Pebble or Cabriofix infant carrier can be added. The car seat and carrycot do need a little guidance to get them in the correct position to drop onto the adaptors, as the latter are slightly flexible until the seat or carrycot is in place.
The Air-flo carrycot folds flat for storage. It was easy to pull the carrycot up into the open position. The carrycot is very thickly padded with Air-flo fabric – it is obvious looking at the breathable fabric why the carrycot is named ‘Air-flo’. There is a thick velcro in liner and mattress. The carrycot has a rigid handle onto which the hood is attached. The padded handle has a one button release which is very handy. The hood is made of thin fabric which folds neatly out of the way when not required. We love the thickly padded carrycot apron, and that there are D rings in the carrycot base for a harness to be added if desired.
We love that an older sibling can be sat or stood so close to their younger brother or sister! Great for bonding between them, but also that the carrycot and car seat give a clear view of the parent too.
Fold / Unfold
The Micralite Twofold could easily take the record for the quickest tandem pushchair to fold and unfold. Like the Micralite Superlite Fastfold, the main Twofold pushchair literally opens and closes in an instant.
To fold the pushchair, simply press on the silver button at the rear of the pushchair and as it released press the lower button marked ‘Press’ and then pull it all the way up until the Twofold folds into a standing position.
To unfold – simply release the button which says ‘lift to open’. This releases the pushchair, and it is easy then to push down on the protruding plastic parts on the main stem so that the Twofold clicks into an open position.
We have described above how the standing board unfolds. The second seat does quite simply slide onto the extended chassis in a diagonal motion, until the hooks on the base of the seat engage onto a pin on either side. The seat is firm when attached. Removing the seat is simple – there is a plastic loop on some webbing underneath the rear seat. This loop when pulled, releases the seat and it literally comes off in your hand.
The instructions for the Twofold, are very clear and easy to follow.
The Twofold fold is very neat. The Twofold folds into a standing position, and then it will freestand folded. This makes it a very neat and tidy option for anyone with storage issues. The board is contained inside the chassis, and the rear seat unit would be easy to slide into a gap. However, the fold is very long, and we were unable to put the Twofold ‘short ways’ on in our car – it had to go length ways. So this needs to be a consideration if you have a small car. Overall though it was very refreshing to have a tandem pushchair which disappeared into one (if used with the board) or two parts (if used with the second seat) instead of dealing with adaptors and having to detach two seats, or deal with a bulky chassis. The Twofold is a pleasure to store here because it does quite simply stand tall and firm, on a very small footprint in our house.
The Micralite Twofold has taken the unique design of the Micralite Superlite Fastfold, and created a completely fresh concept in how to carry two children from birth, until the end of their pushchair using days. It is only by using the Twofold that you really appreciate the design and thought which has gone into creating such a unique pushchair. I suspect a year ago, we would have used the Micralite Twofold very heavily. However, even though our two are older now, we absolutely HAD to try out the Twofold and we have simply had fun trying it out! The Twofold is a lot of fun – especially to allow good parent / rear child interaction. There have been times where our 4 year old did not want to walk, or it was safer for her to be on the board, and it was bliss to have that option. We would have never chosen to use a stroller board of any other sort because of past experiences, so for us to have a pushchair with an incorporated board, which was not huge folded, has been great. Having the option of a second seat too has been useful. We think that as long as the eldest child does not need to nap in a pushchair, then the Twofold will give a range of options for any given occasion or age gap. Oh, and be prepared to turn heads as you stroll on by :)
With many thanks to Micralite for their help.
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