Easywalker MINI Buggy XL Review by Best Buggy
The Easywalker MINI Buggy XL is a great looking pushchair. There is a beautiful glossy navy blue chassis; a seat that looks super comfortable; smart leatherette handles and of course there are the colourful, head turning Union Jack fabrics. The Easywalker MINI Buggy XL also comes in more subtle Vintage Union Jack or Milky Jack fabrics; or in sporty looking black and red fabrics. We have seen a good number of Easywalker MINI Buggies this summer, and each time we were left with a smile on our faces. They look great out and about.
We have reviewed the Easywalker MINI Buggy previously, but the XL buggy has two big advantages over it’s baby brother. First of all it has larger XL wheels which give a better ride across rougher terrain. The larger wheel size elevates the child into a slightly higher seated position for a better view. The other brilliant advantage is that the XL buggy has adjustable handlebars which give a few more centimetres of height to make the push more comfortable for a taller parent. The standard Mini Buggy is just a little low for us, so we have very much welcomed having higher handles on this Easywalker MINI Buggy.
Child Comfort and Harness
The Easywalker MINI Buggy XL has a very thickly padded seat unit. This offers maximum comfort for its small passenger. The liner easily detaches from the seat for washing, and velcro tabs keep the liner secure whilst in use. The 5 point harness comes with harness pads and a crotch pad for extra comfort. There are three harness height settings: two placed high where you would expect, and one very low setting for use with a tiny baby. There is also a smaller waist strap setting, again for a smaller child. The harness is good quality and chunky, although we miss the older rounder unique harness from the older Easywalker buggy. The harness will break into 5 pieces, however, thankfully not easily! Each side can be inserted into the buckle individually to make fitting a wriggly child in easier. The silky webbing is comfortable for the child and is easily adjusted. There is plenty of length on the harness. The crotch strap is also adjustable.
There are four recline positions from lie flat, to upright. This buggy can be used from birth right up to a child of 20kg (approx age 5 or 6). There is a lift up calf rest which requires a slider button to be pushed into position to keep it inline with the seat. This gives additional support for a sleeping child’s legs. A head cushion is provided to support a child’s head when napping, however, this only has one high position which is no used for a smaller baby who is more likely to require the support. The head cushion can be removed if not required.
Our testers have both seemed very comfortable in the MINI Buggy XL. We have no criticisms of the seat at all, although we don’t feel that there is much difference in seat height than a typical buggy. We have not had the standard MINI buggy and the XL MINI buggy side by side to comment on the difference in height between the two.
One criticism we have seen about the old Easywalker MINI Buggy was that the fabric caused sweaty backs in summer. However, we notice that Easywalker have brought out a summer inlay which has a breathable cushion and prevents perspiration.
Hood, Raincover and Storage
The hood on the Easywalker MINI XL is very large. The front two panels are solid fabric, the third rear zip out panel has mesh for ventilation down each side. We would prefer these panels to have a cover, as it is more likely to be chilly, than hot here in the UK, and bitter winds near a sleeping child’s head are not pleasant. The upper half of the rear of the hood is clear plastic which offers a perfect view of your child, however, again, there is no cover for this and may be an issue if you really want your child to go to sleep and they are grinning up at you! This rear section will keep a child snug and warm from behind when sleeping. We do find the excess material at the rear a bit ‘flappy’ and it gets in the way of the basket access. It is a shame there aren’t some velcro tabs to tuck this up when the seat is being used upright. The front panels have a lock on each side. We had to remember to undo these when folding the pushchair. They give the hood a good shape, but we are not sure how essential they really are to use.
Just a note here that the new fabrics have the Union Jack printed on. This does not give this stroller quite the same luxury feel, that the older MINI Buggy had.
Easywalker include a raincover in the box. This is a well fitting, large raincover. The lower area of the raincover is black, whilst the upper two thirds is clear plastic. It fits around the rim of the hood and down each side.
As with most buggies, the Easywalker MINI Buggy XL has a basket underneath the seat. The only access is in through the rear of the basket, either from above and through the frame, or from the side at the rear. With the seat upright there is room to push a couple of small carrier bags down into the basket.
Handles, Handling, Wheels and Brake
We absolutely LOVE the extending handles on the MINI XL Buggy. There are two settings – one at approx 2.1cm and another at 4.3cm. This is not much, but for us, it was just enough. We did expect them to go higher though. The extension is released using an easy press in button at the base of the handlebar. The handlebars lock with a click into each position. The handlebars are leatherette, which gives them a nicer feel than traditional plastic buggy handles. They do feel slimmer than traditional buggy handles which does take a little getting used to, but this is not a negative. What we like especially about this version of the MINI buggy XL is that the ends of the handlebars are finished differently. With the other handlebars, the leatherette used to “squash” under the plastic rims of the stoppers and it used to niggle because it caused quite an edge between the handlebar and plastic stopper, and I kept playing with it! These plastic ends are bigger and are tapered. They feel much better.
The XL wheels are bigger than the smaller MINI Buggy wheels. There are 4 sets of double wheels. The front ones can be swivel for manoeuverability, or locked for going across round ground. The wheels are soft touch which absorb some of the lumps and bumps. There is all round suspension but it is quite hard at the rear. The handling has been great. No problems there. We were concerned (from previous experiences) that there may be some movement in the handlebars but there is only a tiny amount which isn’t annoying especially if you brace once you are walking. It would probably be better to simply have a taller handle, but this would then add to the fold length.
We like the MINI styling in the centre of the wheels, and also on the brake pedals which are ridged to mimic car brakes. The brake needs stepping on at either side (there is a pedal on the left and on the right) to engage. This locks with an audible click. It is important to be firm to ensure the brake does engage. The brake needs flicking off underneath to release. This again clicks so that you know when to go.
We like the chequered flag effect on the lower footrest which echoes the MINI car theme.
Travel System and Accessories
The Easywalker MINI Buggy XL can be used as a travel system. We did not try this. However the addition of car seats adaptors means that an infant carrier can be quickly and easily snapped into position.
There are a range of optional matching accessories available including a bumper bar, blanket, footmuff, parasol, Mosquito net and a cute MINI cocoon for a baby.
The Easywalker MINI Buggy XL has a typical umbrella fold. Simply push up under the middle of the rear frame (or lift the loop at the top) until the frame starts to bend in half. Then on the right hand side, press down on the small pedal to continue to fold. Allow the handlebars to go downwards towards the front wheels, and the whole pushchair folds compactly into a long thin package. There is a fold lock which should engage automatically but a push down on the folded package may be necessary.
Unfolding is simple – undo the storage lock; pull the handles upwards until the pushchair is pretty much open and on all four wheels. Then press down or stand lightly on the centre of the rear bar to lock the chassis into position.
The fold, and unfold can both be done one handed. Useful for those who use public transport.
We LOVE the storage strap with no slip shoulder pad. This is so handy for carrying the buggy around. There is also a carrying handle to one side if you prefer not to sling the pushchair over your shoulder.
As with all umbrella fold pushchairs, please check this pushchair will fit into your boot before purchase. However, it is small enough to fit in the footwell of most cars too. Handy for holidays.
The Easywalker MINI Buggy XL is a very comfortable buggy for the child, however it just doesn’t quite have the luxury feel of the older MINI Buggy that we reviewed. It is still easy to steer, simple to fold and has a good harness. However, the extending handlebars would be improved by simply making them taller. The wheels are bigger and give a better push. The design and height of the handlebars is better. We preferred the feature buckle on our other MINI Buggy, but the harness on this version is still good. We would have liked to see the ‘flappy’ part at the rear of the seat held up when not in use, and for covers to be available for the mesh and plastic windows in the hood.
However, overall this is still a great pushchair. We are going to give the Easywalker MINI Buggy XL a Best Buggy 5 gold star rating, because our niggles are all only minor. However we do feel that Easywalker have cut corners in the details compared to our original MINI Buggy, and that there could be small improvements made.
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