Bumbleride Indie 4 Review by Best Buggy
We have been putting the Bumbleride Indie 4 stroller through it’s paces for the last few months here at Best Buggy HQ. We have previously tested the Bumbleride Indie 3 and the Indie Twin, so it was a pleasure to have another Bumbleride here back here for testing.
Bumbleride is really a name you can trust in the pushchair industry. The first impression of the Bumbleride pushchairs is always of quality. The build is sturdy and the aluminum chassis looks smart. The attention to detail and finish is good. The fabrics are strong and hard wearing, as well as looking great. The seat is well padded and the hood is lined. We especially love the 4 all terrain air tyres. The quality of the construction is what sets a good pushchair apart from the competition, and the Bumblerides certainly do stand out. There are 8 glorious colours. We have the Aquamarine and it is stunning! All round the Indie 4 looks great!
Child Comfort and Seating Positions
The Bumbleride Indie is suitable from birth to 25kgs. Although Master BB is well under the upper weight limit, we were unsure whether 105cms tall, 5 year old Master BB would fit in the Indie 4. So we had younger testers on standby to try it out. However, he fitted absolutely beautifully into the seat. We met the UK distributor of Bumbleride recently, and he too was surprised that we were using the Indie 4 with Master BB. But why not? The Bumbleride Indie 4 works brilliantly for him, and we would absolutely recommend an Indie 4, for a larger child. We can confidently say that the Bumbleride Indie 4 is a product that will definitely last for the lifespan you will require it for. The seat is large and well padded. The harness straps have good adjustability and there are 4 harness height settings.
We had issues with our previous Indie 3 because the seat did not sit as upright as we would have liked. We don’t know if the seat has been changed, but Master BB looked upright and comfortable.
We like that the fabrics are eco-friendly. The exterior fabric is made from 50% PET plastic bottles and the soft interior is made from 50% bamboo charcoal fibre.
The Bumbleride Indie 4 is suitable from birth. One of the features we have always liked about the Indie products is that the calf rest lifts up, which is brilliant for a baby. It is difficult to find this feature on an all terrain pushchair so this is a big plus point for us. A baby really does need leg support when sleeping, and we like that the Indie 4 calf rest is fabric covered to give a baby comfort. The Indie 4 calf rest can be placed in a number of positions from pointing down to vertical, although it does take two buttons to move. The buttons can be tricky to get your fingers into as they are close to the frame. When a young baby is on board, the calf rest should be placed in the vertical position, and then hidden underneath the footrest are fabric straps which can be attached on either side to enclose the foot area, making it a safer and snug area for a baby. Above the child’s head, there is also a flap of fabric which can be pulled up to enclose the seat at the top. These two – the calf rest and head fabrics create a cocooned type area for the baby. There is also the option of a separate bassinet which sits onto the seat fabric of the Indie 4, but can be easily removed.
The seat only has a forward facing position, however there is a mesh peekaboo window in the hood so that you can watch your child. This is a positive change from the Indie 3, which used to have mesh that you could not see through! There is a cover which is held magnetically, but it can also be opened and rolled up neatly and secured with a toggle. The mesh also provides ventilation in summer. For those fortunate enough to live in warmer climes, the hood has SPF rating of 45, and can be unzipped and removed, in the middle to allow air to flow through the hood. The hood is a generous size, and it is clear from our photos that it offers good shade in the right positions. When the rear section is removed, the hood can be moved forwards and back into the correct position for shade. We love that the hood is fully lined. Our Aquamarine stroller has the same colour inside, but the contrast between some of the other pushchair hoods is dramatic! The Indie 4 also looks good without the hood!
There is a lower footrest for a larger child. This is not easy to see in photos, but it is a proper ledge for small feet to rest on. The front axle of the chassis forms the front of this, with hard wearing plastic type material forming the ledge. This is easy to wipe clean.
The seat reclines using a toggle recline. We have to admit that although this should be easy, it was not as easy as we would have liked, partly because there is a release button which isn’t very responsive; and the webbing is ridged so that he strap ‘catches’ on the way down. There is a positive to this because it allows a slow controlled recline which is important if you do not wish to wake a sleeping baby up. Pushing the seat back up again from the recline takes two hands and a shoulder. We like a toggle recline because the incline can be set at any angle, but we think the Indie 4 recline could be made smoother and easier. We like that the ends velcro together neatly, and can be tucked behind the seat so that they don’t dangle.
Harness and Bumper Bar
We love the Bumbleride Indie 4′s harness. There is plenty of space for even Master BB aged 5, whilst it can easily be reduced down for a small baby. At the centre is a smart buckle with the Bumbleride logo in the centre. The harness is released by pressing the buckle in the centre. The harness can break away into 5 pieces if required, however it does not do so easily, which is brilliant news in our book. Chasing 5 harness pieces around a wriggling toddler is never fun! Two pieces plugging into the buckle is much simpler! The buckle can be done up one side at a time.
Our only niggle is that we did find the side waist straps did slide open. We did have to tighten them a few times on outings. There is a large padded crotch pad and harness pads. These did generally stay up on the shoulders thanks to the harness adjustment buckles.
There is a padded bumper bar with a zip on cover included with the stroller. We love that the cover protects the bumper bar which can then be removed for washing. Unfortunately, Master BB loved unzipping and zipping the bumper bar up constantly, and we eventually had to remove it! The bumper bar clips on at either side. It does need a hard press in on both sides, to remove the bumper bar, so be careful if you treasure your nails. The bumper bar has 2 positions, although the lower position is probably only really useful for reducing size of the fold.
We have a huge confession to make. Mr BB decided to build the Indie 4 without me. He fitted the basket incorrectly at the rear. Unfortunately by the time we realised the basket was wrong (thanks to an eagle eyed BB Facebook reader), we had already taken the main photoset – the basket fits around the rear bar. We have retaken a few photos to show how the basket should be, and also the difference is visible in the out and about photos. The basket is very generous with a large clear opening at the rear, although there is no access from the sides. There is plenty of room to fit in a changing bag. On our day trip to the carnival, we managed to get a large number of bags, as well as Little Miss BB’s purchases, underneath the pushchair. However, we did have to pack the basket well, and the low back edge to the basket means that care needs to be taken that items do not fall out.
There is a small storage pocket in the hood which has a zip closure. This could have been larger as my purse did not fit in, however, it was handy to pop keys, a phone or my camera in.
We did hang bags off the handlebar (not recommended) but the Indie had good stability.
Handlebars, Handling, Wheels, Brake and Accessories
The slim, comfortable, foam covered handlebar is adjustable from a low 63 cm (which made Little Miss BB happy as she likes to push) through to a tall 109 cm. The handle rotates up and down which works well, although the tallest point of the handlebar brings the user nearer to the pushchair, which may not be suitable for a tall person with a long stride. There is a long tether strap attached to the handlebar to keep the pushchair close at hand at all times. We did appreciate having this when we were off roading – especially down hill!
We love the beautiful distinctive Bumbleride trade mark 3 spoke wheels. The front air wheels are 8.5 inches wide, whilst the rear wheels are 12 inches wide. The Bumbleride Indie 4 comes into its own when it comes to push and handling. The combination of all round suspension and air tyres gives an outstanding push, without being too bouncy. There are very few pushchairs that feel light to push with Master BB on board – let alone across grass and rough ground. The Bumbleride Indie handled our every day all terrain tests with ease even one handed. We went across grass, through the woods, over gravel and bumpy tree roots. The downside of air tyres is the potential for punctures. The Indie 4 comes with a small air pump, however there is no storage space for this on the pushchair. We recommend that tyres are filled with protective slime before use. The front wheels will lock straight, or can be set to swivel using tiny metal button locks. The rear wheels remove easily by pulling up a black pin on the back axle – handy to keep mud out of your car! The extra wheel does add a little to the weight compared to the Indie 3, however we do not feel this really had any impact.
Overall the Indie 4 is neat and narrow for an all terrain pushchair, which means that it does not feel large in shops or smaller spaces. The advantage of the smaller front wheels means that the handling and manoeverabilty is also good, whereas with one large front wheel, handling e.g. around shops is often compromised.
The Indie 4 also comes with a raincover and a cupholder. The cupholder stays on really well, even when folding, and was very handy. The cupholder will expand to accommodate larger cups as well as slim bottles. We usually remove cupholders after they fall off – but the Bumbleride one has remained on throughout all our testing!
The brake is at the rear of the pushchair. There is a large footplate to push the brake on. This needs flicking up to release. The brake is decisive, but it is important to ensure that the brake has fully engaged in the notches.
The Bumbleride Indie 4 is a Tri-fold pushchair that is quick and easy to fold although it does take two hands. First the bumper bar needs folding down, or removing. Each side of pushchair chassis has a black slider which releases the chassis although ours is a little stiff. The top half of the pushchair then can be quickly folded over the top towards the front wheels. At the rear of the pushchair, above the basket is a plastic strap. This needs to be grasped and pulled towards the body. This slides the front wheels backwards to meet the rear wheels. This literally takes seconds, and we have found it much easier to fold the Indie 4, than we did the Indie 3, as the wheels simply glide together. However, the fold is let down at this point by two rudimentary plastic storage clips. These are described as automatic, however, they really require pushing down to attach, and it may well be that the handlebar needs adjusting too in order to bring the chassis closer together or to achieve the best fold. The clips hold the pushchair securely closed. The fold is wedge shaped, and it would be a good idea to check that this fits well into your car. The fold is neater with the bumper bar removed. The Indie 4 can also freestand when folded which makes it easy to store at home. It is important to say that at 9.5kg the Indie 4 is relatively light for an all terrain pushchair. This makes it easy to pick up by the black fold strap, and to swing it into the car boot.
Unfolding was simple and can be done one handed once the fold locks are undone. We think that having two wheels at the front, rather than just one, makes unfolding much easier. Simply undo the storage locks on either side. Lift up the handlebar and the front wheels naturally slide open as you lock the top half into position. The chassis all clicks decisively into position.
One of our niggles from the Indie 3 remains: when the pushchair opens, the calf rest is in a semi upright position. This would be no problem for a young child, but for an older child it means that the calf rest needs pushing down each time before use. The bumper bar also needs lifting up or adding on if required. Pressing in 2 buttons for the footrest, and 2 for the bumper bar can become tiresome.
Carrycot and Travel System
There is a carrycot available to purchase separately, or as part of a package deal. The carrycot sits on top of the main pushchair fabric and would offer a baby better protection than just the pushchair seat. It would be even better if the fabric could be removed to use the chassis and carrycot as a pram.
The Bumbleride can be turned into a travel system with the addition of car seat adaptors and a BeSafe iZi Go, Cybex Aton or Aton 2, Nuna Pipi, or Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix infant carrier.
Indie 3 v’s Indie 4?
Although we have always appreciated the quality of the Bumbleride pushchairs, we were not that happy with our Indie 3. We have had a hard think as to why this 4 is better than the 3, because essentially the two pushchairs are still the same. It was noticeable how much simpler the 4 wheel version has been to open and close. Having 2 wheels at the front has definitely helped the front part of the chassis to slide open and closed on the wheels, rather than having to battle with one large wheel which ‘flapped’. This has really made a difference to use. Having the smaller front wheels has meant better manoeverability and the single wheel used to stick out forwards when pushing. The calf rest does not come up as horizontal as the Indie 3 one did, and therefore was not essential to fold down each time. The footrest is also wider and not as rounded which has given more footroom. The distance from the knee to footrest is also longer which will always benefit a bigger child, although strangely the seat has 3cms less depth than the Indie 3 – but maybe this is what makes the difference? Ultimately Master BB seems so much more comfortable in this pushchair compared to this photo of little Miss BB aged 3.
The Bumbleride Indie 4 is a really excellent all terrain pushchair, but one which looks equally at home around the shops. It is extremely light to push thanks to the air tyres. We love the stability that 4 wheels give over 3 wheels. The seat is large enough for even our 5 year old, whilst it can also be suitably adapted for a young baby. The excellent storage basket and zipped pocket in the hood give ample room for bags and bits and pieces. We would have liked a swing away bumper bar, easier recline, more sophisticated storage locks and a flatter fold, but the larger tyres will always compromise on the fold. We love the quality feel, the gorgeous fabrics. The Bumbleride Indie is smart, stylish and a pushchair that you are proud to be seen with. Although we still feel there is room for improvement, the Bumbleride Indie 4 is a fantastic pushchair and one that we love to use. It really is the elusive, great looking, go anywhere pushchair that many people are looking for. We are very happy to give the Bumbleride Indie 4, a 4 and a half star rating. This time the Bumbleride Indie 4 is a pushchair that we would very much like to stay.
With many thanks to Little Saints for helping us with this review.
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