Graco Evo Mini Review by Best Buggy
The Graco Evo Mini is an absolutely brilliant, small folding, neat pushchair with a HUGE basket which comes at a very reasonable cost. The Graco Evo Mini is also stylish, with a twist of funky!
Our first impression of the Graco Evo Mini was that it is extremely lightweight. We have the ‘Very Berry’ colourway which is a deep burgandy purpley-red with bright lime green accents. The colours are absolutely gorgeous together.
The Evo Mini appears to be good quality. We see a lot of pushchairs here at Best Buggy HQ and its usually obvious which pushchairs are the cheaper end. However the Graco Evo Mini seems to have good quality fabrics, a nicely padded seat, and a smoothly finished grey chassis. The handle is a good height, and we absolutely love the massive basket.
The Graco Evo Mini will comfortably take any child from birth to 15kgs in the seat. It is good to see a good small pushchair which is suitable from birth on the market. There is nothing mini about the generously sized, deep, hammock seat with its long knee to footrest length.
We have been using the Graco Evo Mini with our 91cms tall, 3 year 1 month old boy. He is really at the upper limits for use, but he has plenty of room in the seat and under the canopy. He looks very comfortable in the seat both when awake and asleep. We love the very upright seat position for when he is awake, and that the seat lies flat, or semi reclines, for napping.
The seat recline is a toggle cord system, thus can be pulled upright or reclined as desired. What we did find a little odd is that the seat recline toggle sits inside, above the hood line, rather than beneath the hood. So you need to reach inside the hood, or push a hand up and under the hood fabric to use the recline. The toggle was easy to use.
The seat back height is not the tallest we have seen, but it does support our 3 year old behind his head. When the seat is reclined there is a flexible fabric head piece which encircles the child’s head and thus keeps them safe. The hood fabric also comes down behind the seat, keeping a sleeping child snug and warm. Our child looks perfectly comfortable when asleep with enough support under his thighs, calves and feet.
The seat is padded and the padding extends at the sides of the child’s arms and hips. The ‘liner’ is sewn in, and indeed none of the fabrics can be removed for washing. However, we found that the seat fabrics can easily be wiped clean.
Harness and Hood
Our Graco Evo Mini harness has funky two tone straps with the lime green accent colour. We love this detail! Very eye catching. The five point harness itself is made from soft silky webbing which ‘break away’ into the 5 parts easily. We have to confess that we do not usually like this style of harness as it can be frustrating to piece together all the pieces especially with a wriggly child. However for some reason, having 5 points to do up on the Graco Evo Mini has not irritated us at all – possibly because it is easy to straddle the front of the pushchair to hold our son in with one hand, and do the harness up with the other directly from the front. Its been really easy to plug one side in at a time, into the buckle.
The harness adjusters and the buckle do feel a little cheap and plasticky, but they work fine. We love that the harness can be adjusted to suit different sized children. Our son felt very secure.
The Graco Evo Mini comes with two padded shoulder strap covers. However these fell off several times and we ended up removing them.
The hood on the Graco Evo Mini is huge – it is a fabulous sized hood for a small lightweight pushchair. There’s no doubt that it gives good shade to a sleeping baby. There are two folds so that the hood can be part, or fully open.
Storage and Raincover
The Graco Evo Mini has one of the biggest baskets we have seen on any single pushchair. Having such a huge basket on a tiny folding stroller is fantastic. The basket is deep and has great access to it. We managed to get as much into the basket as into the large Bugaboo Buffalo basket! All the school run bags and even a booster seat, all fitted in fine. The basket is also accessible when the seat is reclined, although the access is not quite as open. The Graco Evo Mini is certainly a great shopping pushchair!
The raincover comes with the Evo Mini. However, we could not work out how the raincover fitted around the front wheel. The rest was easy to put on, but doing the lower popper up defeated us. The strap doesn’t seem long enough to stretch around the wheel, and in the pouring rain, we simply made do, rather than mess around.
Handlebar, Handling, Wheels and Brake
The handlebar is covered with dense foam. It feels good to hold. I push a pushchair one handed and the buttons in the centre of the handlebar have not been an issue at all. The Graco Evo Mini is so responsive to push and steer that it does not take much effort. The handlebar on the Evo Mini is fixed but at a reasonable height. I am 5ft 6 ins tall and I like a fairly tall handlebar. The Evo Mini handlebar is just right for me.
There are three 7″ plastic wheels on the Evo Mini. The front wheel is a double wheel and can be swivel or be locked. Three wheelers often are tippy, but we have had no issues with the Evo Mini. It has proved to be a stable and sturdy pushchair to use. Probably our only negative of the Evo Mini is that the wheels are rattly when pushing. This is very much an urban pushchair although we have taken it onto rough paths, mown grass etc. and it can handle a trip to the park. We would love Graco to consider making a Evo Mini with some good air tyres on it! There is front and rear suspension.
The Graco Evo brake has a pedal by each wheel. This has been very handy to have. The brake is easily applied and removed. However it is important to visually check that the brake has completely engaged into the small slots on the wheel hub.
The Graco Evo Mini’s small fold is one of its major selling points. The Evo Mini should fit easily into most car boots. The Evo Mini is 79 x 48 x 22 cms when folded.
The Graco Evo Mini is a one handed fold. There is a slider button and a squeeze button on the handlebar. Slide the slider, and squeeze the button in, and the Evo Mini folds forwards towards the floor. The frame needs a quick push down to get the storage latch to click, and it is ready to pick up and carry. The only negative is that when we fold the pushchair, the seat remains sticking upwards. This is probably because we do have the seat very upright. However, even with the seat sticking out, the fold is still very neat and this has not bothered us at all. If the fold needed to be more compact, then undoing the toggle and reclining the seat would make the fold flat in seconds (see our car boot photos above).
The Graco Evo Mini is so unbelievably light (6.2kgs) that I often find myself picking it up out of the car boot and walking with the pushchair folded, into nursery to pick my son up. It was easier than opening it up and pushing it in empty. The Graco Evo Mini is a dream to carry; to fling into a car boot; to take up stairs. Fabulously light, with logical places to hold the chassis.
Opening the Evo Mini is just as simple. Undo the storage latch and flick it open, until the pushchair is stood on its 3 wheels, ready to go.
The Graco Evo Mini is one of our all time favourite pushchairs. We have no hesitation in giving it 5 Best Buggy stars because it does exactly what you need from a small lightweight pushchair, and more. We cannot recommend this pushchair highly enough. The seat is comfortable and has a lie flat recline. The hood is large. The handle height is a good height. The fold and unfold can be done one handed. The fold is small, and the Evo Mini is light to carry. The Evo Mini is sturdy and handles well, even one handed. Best of all, there is the enormous basket which makes the Graco Evo Mini a perfect pushchair for day trips or shopping. On top of that, the Evo Mini is smart to look at, and is also fun and funky. We have caught people turning to look as we walked by.
We absolutely love our Graco Evo Mini, and it has even taken the place of our Babyzen YoYo as the permanent pushchair in our car boot! At a very affordable £179.99, everyone should own a Graco Evo Mini!
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