Easywalker MINI Stroller Review by Best Buggy
Best Buggy LOVES the Easywalker MINI stroller!
The Easywalker MINI does everything we need from a pushchair. The Easywalker MINI is the elusive flexible small, reversible seat pushchair, which parents have been looking for – the pushchair which is neat about town and great in tight spaces, but yet which is sturdy enough to deal with rough and uneven terrain on when out in the country. It has a sturdy chassis and top quality fabrics, which are styled with iconic MINI designs. The Easywalker MINI carrycot is gorgeous for a newborn, and the addition of optional car seat adaptors make the MINI into a practical travel system. The Easywalker MINI also stores well – whether freestanding upright neatly in a corner, or laid flat neatly in a small car boot.
The Easywalker MINI stroller is brilliant!
Quality and Style
There is no doubt that Easywalker produce top quality products. They always feel sturdy and well made. The MINI is no exception. The chassis is solid and can carry an amazing 30kgs of child weight in the pushchair seat. The fabrics are beautiful and clearly good quality. Even the harness pads are thick and comfortable, and have the MINI logo design detail.
The Easywalker MINI also looks the part. It is super cool, modern and stylish. The chassis is slim with the emphasis on the chunky wheels and beautiful fabrics. Easywalker have given the customer licence to choose the colour of the frame, wheel rim colour and the fabric pack from a choice. The Easywalker website has an excellent ‘Mix & Match’ feature, which allows the customer to clearly get the look and feel of their chosen stroller, before purchasing. There are two Union Jack colourways (with a new Pepper White one coming this year), and three striped MINI colourways. It is worth noting that the Easywalker June fabric packs do fit onto the MINI if you prefer plain fabrics.
We absolutely love our Black Jack fabrics. They are stunning – understated but yet a head turner. Many people have stopped and looked at the Union Jack detail stitched in leather on the hood.
Although we have not had the carrycot here on test, we know that the Easywalker carrycots are some of the best on the market. They are very cosy with extra layers of insulation in the apron, a comfortable mattress, and a securing strap for the baby.
One of the major selling points of the Easywalker MINI stroller is the focus on child comfort. The memory foam liner is extra comfy with one side covered in super soft fleece, whilst the other echoes the Union Jack hood.
Our youngest, aged 3 and a half, looks super comfortable in the MINI stroller seat. In every photo he looks great.
At first glance the MINI seat may appear to be narrow – however it is not. The sides of the MINI seat are elasticated, and thus the seat fit to the shape of the child if needed. When the child is sat upright, these sides are quite hidden, but when the child is reclined, the sides come up to cocoon the child. There is certainly plenty of width between the child’s legs and the chassis for growth.
We have wondered about buying the MINI leg support, but we see no need. Our son loves tucking either one leg or two legs up on the front of the deep seat. There is lots of space for his legs, if he wants to do this. There is plenty of room for him to stretch out to nap. At no point have we ever thought he looked uncomfortable as his legs are well supported to almost his ankles by the unusually long area between the crotch strap and the seat edge. A younger child will have plenty of room to tuck their legs up.
There are 4 recline positions including a lie nearly flat one, and a fairly upright position. Even ‘upright’ the seat is a little reclined, but it is a bucket seat, and both my children seem to love the seating position.
The seat reclines using a large button lever underneath the seat unit. This makes it easy to recline the seat when a child is parent facing, however it does mean you need to stop, walk round, and recline the seat from the front, when the child is forward facing. This is the reverse to what usually happens when a seat has a button recline at the top back of the seat. It is much easier than other pushchairs to see when your child is falling asleep when forward facing, because the hood is so unobtrusive, and you can peer round the sides easily.
Our eldest is 5, and she would previously tell anyone that her favourite pushchair of all time was the Easywalker June because it was so comfortable. So she was very excited to see the MINI, and she couldn’t wait to jump in. She is heavy for her age, but we took her out on a test run and the MINI handled her weight very well. She was no problem to pop up kerbs or to push. It was easy to turn her one handed around tight corners. Although she was looking a little big for the seat (no wonder given she is in age 6-7 clothes!) it was a useful test of the MINI to see how well it handled. She now proclaims that the MINI stroller is the most comfy pushchair ever! The only negative is that the footrest is too far under the pushchair for her to properly rest her feet. She can get her heels on, but she prefers to dangle her legs, and there is sufficient height for her still to be able to safely do this.
We love how low to the ground the MINI is – it makes it so easy for an older child to hop in and out of the seat unit – and with a maximum weight limit of 30kgs, there is a possibility that an older child may well be using the MINI stroller. The low height has meant that there have been several occasions where with the handle folded down and the hood folded away, the MINI changes from a pushchair into a small seat with a small foootprint, which on occasions e.g. meetings, family gatherings, and also on public transport etc. has been very useful. The downside to this has been that in crowds, our child did feel a little vulnerable being low down. However we put the hood up and he was fine.
The Easywalker MINI stroller harness is one of the best we have seen. The buckle is chunky, decisive and hard for a toddler to undo. We love the MINI detail on the centre of this. The straps themselves have a lovely feel and can be tightened or enlarged well. The adjustors are hidden under two very thick, MINI liveried, shoulder pads which are fixed to the top of the harness so that they do not slide down. These close with velcro and can be undone easily to adjust the harness. The only downside to this, is that if you need to adjust the harness for a sleeping child, (the harness needs to be slightly bigger when the seat is reclined,) then the sound of velcro ripping next to their ear, could well wake them up. We have found that the velcro does catch in the hair of our eldest too.
The harness has 5 points, but the shoulder straps can be removed. However they do not easily come off which is excellent.
We managed to change the height of the harness shoulder straps easily. There is a large crotch pad which sits up high on the child.
Our favourite feature on the MINI is the incredibly useful slide away hood. There are a number of advantages to having a hood which slides away. First of all being able to slide the hood away allows clear access to the child, whether it is simply to wipe a nose or to lift them out. Having no high sides, and no hood rods or supports in the way is bliss. The child can be easily lifted in and out. Having the hood out of the way makes doing the harness up easier too. The hood also slides up and down behind the child. We have the hood up high when our youngest is awake, because he is not a big fan of having a hood over him. It allows him protection from the wind without it being in his way. However when he is asleep, the hood can be lowered, and the front section can be extended out, to give him more protection for napping under. Being able to get the hood so low over the child, is a big bonus compared to a fixed canopy which leaves the child more exposed. Best of all, with the hood stored away behind the pushchair, our son can see all around him. It is clear to see in our photos, how much he is enjoying seeing the world around him, unobstructed with no flapping hood fabric in the way.
There are three panels to the hood. The front section is a visor on a light wire frame which flicks in and out as required. It stores neatly inside the front rim of the hood when not in use. The hood once folded, can be simply pushed down behind the seat where it sits neatly away. No one would know the hood was there.
Our hood is beautifully finished with a Black Union Jack sewn in leather. The texture difference is probably even better in real life than in our photos. We absolutely love it.
Wheels, Handlebar, Brake and Manoeuverability
The Easywalker MINI stroller has four dinky 8.5 inch air tyres, which combined with the suspension give a comfortable ride even off road. We took our MINI stroller onto some tough terrain, and it drove up and down ridges, steep banks, hills and holes in the ground with ease. We were very surprised what terrain we were able to push the MINI straight up and over, even with the wheels unlocked! The wheels will easily lock to improve all terrain use. When in town, the wheels have provided superb manoeuverability with the seat facing in either direction. This is worth highlighting because the MINI has a different chassis to its sister pushchair, the June. The handling is very different, and it is excellent on the MINI. It was an easy one handed push at all times, no matter the weight of the load of the direction of travel. Kerbs were no problem to whizz up even with our 5 year old on board, in either direction.
The MINI comes with a choice of white or black wheels rims. We have been fortunate to try both options on our MINI stoller, and both looked great.
The wheels have been easy to pull on and off if required. We often quickly remove one wheel so that we can stand the MINI on its side in the car.
We did ‘Slime’ our tyres to protect against punctures, and to date we have had no issues.
The Easywalker MINI has a gorgeous leather handlebar with the MINI logo stamped into the centre. This really is the seal of good quality. The handlebar is slim and comfortable in the hand. The handlebar extends a huge way from very low, to very tall. The handlebar height will truly suit parents of all different heights. We like a tall handle, but the MINI stroller handlebar extends beyond our required tall height! The height is adjusted using a clip on either side of the handlebar.
The brake is a simple bar with levers on each side to flick up and down. It is simple to do, however it is important to ensure that the pins on the brake have fully engaged. We will admit once, we thought the brake was engaged and it was not, so, we do now visually check each time we apply the brake. The brake levers do catch when bumping down steps. We have carried the MINI down steps instead. We lower the handle to assist with this.
Bumper bar, Raincover and Basket
Easywalker thoughtfully provide a raincover and a bumper bar for the MINI. The raincover has led to hilarity here at Best Buggy HQ because I keep putting it on the wrong way round. Unlike most pushchairs, the ‘ribs’ of the raincover do not follow the ‘ribs’ of the hood, but instead they fit over the child’s feet. Thankfully the raincover fits both ways round, so Master BB has stayed dry!
The Easywalker MINI bumper bar will only fit when the seat is forward facing, and it needs removing to fold. For these reasons we have not really used it – it is in the boot of the car, but we forget to fit it each time. It fits using two large clasps which wrap around the frame.
The MINI basket is a good size. We can get two medium sized bags e.g. two Pacapods, or one cool bag and a handbag side by side in the basket with plenty of room for things to be tucked down the sides and put on top. The sides are elasticated and are great at holding things in. Even when we basket has been bulging we have managed to fit ‘just one more thing’ in! Our only warning to be aware that the underside mechanics of the seat may damage items. We were not impressed when a very expensive Mulberry handbag got scratched as we tried to put it in the basket.
The seat removal is tricky. However before you read on, bear in mind that the majority of parents will not be changing the seat around more than a few times (if that) during their use of the MINI stroller. Most will put the seat on once when the carrycot is finished with, and then again when their child wants to forward face. Thus, do not let the seat removal be a reason not to buy – it only takes a minute or two, and you may never do it again
The mechanics are thus: Recline the seat, squeeze together the black clips on the horizontal black plate under the seat. Then pull the red handle situated under the right hand side of the seat. This releases two clips at the rear of the seat. The back of the seat is then free. Lift the seat, and twist it to pull it through the chassis.
Replacing the seat can be done several ways. We prefer to reattach the seat onto the two clips by hooking them over two pins on the chassis. This secures the back of the seat. Then the front can be reattached by squeezing the black clips so that the front plate is reattached. Underneath the seat is a swinging bar, and this can then be lined up underneath the seat. The seat can be pressed down to click onto the bar. It is possible to put the seat onto this bar sooner in the process, but we find it easiest attach, once the seat is fixed. Sit the seat upright again.
The Easywalker MINI can be folded with the seat facing in either direction to give a compact fold, or the seat can be removed before folding. If the seat is left on, then first it needs to be reclined to flat to make the fold easier.
On either side of the pushchair there are round side details (which have MINI logoed covers included in the box) with white buttons on the top. These buttons need to be fully depressed for the chassis to start to give. On one side, the round part then slides up and the pushchair should fold neatly to flat.
However, we have found it difficult to get our chassis to release at times. The most frustrating was in torrential rain on Bonfire night, and on that occasion, we simply folded the handle right down and amazingly the MINI stroller fitted upright in the boot of our car! Since then we have often just put the MINI stroller into the car open with the handlebar down, so that it is nearly ready to go at our next stop.
We were delighted to see the simple strap / buckle strap inside the basket which keeps the pushchair neatly closed. It is possible to pull the straps inside the basket tight to achieve a flatter fold. Ideally an autolock would be lovely, because it is tricky to lean the chassis against you and then to use both hands to do the buckle up.
We love that the Easywalker MINI can be towed along, and especially that will freestand easily when folded. It is also so slim and flat when folded that it will fit into our car leaving plenty of spare room on top, or will even fit on its side to allow for more space.
Unfolding is simple – undo the fold lock and push on the handle until the chassis is upright. There is no audiable click when the chassis is fully open, but it is easy to visually see if the two parts of the chassis are tight up to each other, or if they start to reopen when pressure is taken off the handle. It sometimes does take an extra push on the handlebar to ensure the stroller is locked open. The handle then needs raising to the desired position.
We have added a Betty Bramble footmuff for winter, and this has worked brilliantly on the Easywalker MINI stroller.
We at Best Buggy love the Easywalker MINI stroller. It is one of our all time favourite pushchairs. It is such a perfect size, with the chunky all terrain air tyres which give a smooth ride over any terrain. The fold size is compact, and the handling is great even in tight spaces. We love the seat and how comfortable the children look in it. We love how the hood slides away when not required. The Easywalker MINI is absolutely perfect for our needs with an older toddler, and we would have loved to have tried it from birth.
The Easywalker MINI is a top end pushchair, and it is easy to see why. We love the luxury touches on the handlebar, hood and the thick comfy liner and harness pads. It can easily compete with, and surpass most pushchairs in a similar price bracket, on most counts.
The Easywalker MINI stroller really is for pushchair connoisseurs….for the parent who is looking for the perfect super flexible pushchair, or something to stand out from the crowd with; and who doesn’t mind a few minor issues to get that elusive combination of small, neat, narrow, with off road capability, small folding, a comfortable large seating position, not too heavy to lift and with a decent basket.
We would dearly love to give the Easywalker MINI a Best Buggy 5 star rating because it is superb – and indeed there was heated debate here at BBHQ because we all love the MINI stroller. However, the clunky seat turn around, combined with the indecisive fold and unfold of the chassis, means that however much we want to, it would not be fair for us to do so. Thus we are awarding the Easywalker MINI 4 and a half Best Buggy Gold Stars.
Best Buggy have found personal perfection in the Easywalker MINI stroller. Absolutely fabulous!
With many thanks to Easywalker for their help with this review.
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