Firefly WeGo Review by Best Buggy
This is what we call an ‘opening the box’ review. We don’t do these very often but sometimes a pushchair impresses so much, or there is a demand to hear about all about a particular pushchair, and so we will write up our initial thoughts with an update later.
The Firefly WeGo is a new Special Needs pushchair on the market which really fills a gap between the ubiquitous Maclaren Major (or similar) and more expensive structured Special Needs pushchairs. We have been nagged so much in the last few days to open the box and give our thoughts that we thought we would do this initial review now. Also, it could take us months to write up a full review, and with the summer ahead, it is the perfect time to consider a new Special Needs pushchair. Please bear in mind these are initial thoughts and we haven’t taken the pushchair outside yet!
Master BB is now nearly 9 and approx 130cm tall. We have reluctantly dipped our toes into the Special Needs pushchair market but we were struggling really to find suitable options. If you look through our Special Needs section you will see that we have had a Baby Jogger, a Special Tomato Eio, an R82 Cricket, a Delichon Delta, a Mountain Buggy SN and more, so we feel qualified to be able to say that!
It’s hard to describe really why this pushchair is so important in the special needs market place. First of all the choices are limited especially if you don’t need something very structured and supportive i.e. just a normal large sized pushchair. Secondly the prices are ridiculously high. Thirdly, for one most of the time forget we have a child with additional needs, and just want a pushchair we enjoy using and we enjoy looking at. We have been petitioning ‘typical’ pushchair manufacturers for years to dip their toes into the SN market because a number of pushchairs have huge seats and sturdy chassis’ and could probably be adapted with a deeper seat fabric, in the same way that Mountain Buggy used to. Fifth, SN pushchairs typically weigh a ton and are huge. Sixth, most of them are faffy with bits that fall off, or need fixing or have 10 steps to fold etc. which is ok when you use a pushchair every day and that is the only choice there is for a larger child, but when you need to hand a pushchair over to school for a trip or to Grandparents, its takes a day of education before they can even open the thing! Never mind the pushchair that has trapped my fingers twice and refuses to open when its not in a good mood! Finally, we want a pushchair that looks stylish and that we want to use and push.
Before we go any further, we have already had two friends ask how much commission we are on to promote this pushchair! The answer is none! As is usual with Best Buggy, we have bought our own pushchair, fuelled by our own interests, and this is a genuine, honest review. Firefly have no idea who they sold the pushchair to and it was bought by us out of curiosity. To be absolutely honest, we thought it wouldn’t be any good for Master BB because the promo images and video don’t give a good impression of the seat size. But hopefully we can help show that this pushchair is fantastic for an older child. Master BB is approx 130cm and in age 9-10 clothing (7th centile at rising 9). Miss BB is 145cm and in age 12-13 clothing (91st centile at rising 10 and a half). The WeGo has a maximum weight limit of 30kg.
The box was large but not overtly so, and was relatively light. It is just 11kg, which is still a good weight, but compared to other Special Needs (SN) pushchairs, thats light. It is also long, but its easy to carry with one hand, which again isn’t true of other SN pushchairs.
First impressions were good. Lovely strong but stylish fabrics in a sort of grey/petrol blue – not quite navy but not royal blue with a muted hue. We say this because it only comes in one colour and some photos we had seen looked quite bright blue. It is nearer navy than royal blue. We like the understated but smart decorative feature on the hood fabric.
The pushchair needs mimimal construction – add the wheels (make sure they go on with the ‘drive’ in the correct direction); build the hood (the rods slide into two channels in the hood fabric and then fit into the rod clamps in the packet with the bottle holder, slide onto the receivers which are right up by the handlebar, and put the elastic loops around the hooks on the frame); and you are ready to go! The pushchair literally just slid open – front wheels forwards and up it went as easy as pie, where it clicked into place. That was kind of a wow moment for us. It was open and ready to use before we even realised.
In some ways we don’t want to liken this to any other pushchair, but it reminds us very much of the Mamas & Papas Sola, but just bigger and with a better basket. The front of the chassis folds at the ‘knees’ and it just opens and closes so easily.
Before buying we looked very closely at the photos and video of the Firefly to see if we thought Master BB would fit. We knew the seat back was relatively short – the iCandy Peach and Egg Quail have seat backs which are much taller for example, but equally we knew from our experience with other pushchairs that seat back isn’t everything as long as the seat depth and footrest space was ample. We felt on balance that Master BB would probably be on the limits for use, so we were very impressed when Master BB clambered into the huge seat easily and had bags of room.
Yes the seat back is low, and for us this is one of the negatives. Yes Master BB is 9, and is probably edging towards the limits for use, but equally he still has some typical pushchairs meant for up to 4 year olds that he still fits in! This is an SN pushchair, so we would have expected the proportions to be right. There is however a massive amount of space under the tall canopy, and there would appear to be plenty of room to add several more inches of seat height. Whether the manufacturers were limited by a tipping test, we don’t know.
There is a very deep recline of 140 degrees on this seat, which for some children will be essential, and is lacking on cheaper SN pushchairs. We know from experience that reclining a heavier child can tip a pushchair, so it could be associated with this. If this is the reason, then certainly most bigger children would sleep comfortably with less of a recline, and parents would have appreciated the taller seat instead. But this won’t stop us using the WeGo, nor will it really affect the child comfort unless you need head support.The recline is done using a strap system. It is simple to release and do back up, although as usual with this design you need to push the child up with the seat which may be difficult given they are older. We have managed to get the seat fairly upright with a lot of pulling and pushing. We may consider looking at ‘sit upright’ straps if we feel we need them. We think they could be added. The seat can be stopped anywhere between upright at the 140 degrees lie flat position. Great for a snooze. We immediately wished we had had this pushchair previously for a wedding evening do because Master BB goes to sleep at 8pm on the dot, and it was difficult to find a pushchair where he could sleep comfortably without it tipping.
The WeGo offers no postural support which is essential for some children with additional needs. However, for us, this isn’t required and its quite refreshing just to find a pushchair that looks like a ‘typical’ pushchair, without extras and add on’s. No, it won’t suit everyone, but this was our gap in the market which has just been very nicely filled. For children who do need some postural support, Firefly have been ingenious and have made the WeGo accommodate their GoTo chair seat by attaching it securely to the pushchair seat. Obviously some seat depth gets lost by this but just to have this option is superb.
The seat itself comes with a padded liner on top which can be removed for washing (velroed on at back at the top). The seat is wide and spacious. There’s plenty of room for wriggling. For us the focus is on the fabulous footrest which is why pushchairs with larger seats usually can’t accommodate a bigger child. The footrest first of all is wide with a generous ledge for feet to go on. It is longer than a typical footrest, and it also extends! This was a little gem that we didn’t expect. The mechanism is super simple. Just two sets of press studs and a sliding frame. Undo the press studs and slide the frame down to extend. Then fit the other set of press studs. To push in, there’s a tiny button hidden at the top to press in and slide the footrest back in.
The footrest also lifts up and down – so it can be inline for sleeping or pointing downwards for an older child. Firefly recommend putting the footrest up for a smaller child to counter the seat depth which may cause a smaller child to slide out.
One of our first impressions is that the fabrics seems to fit on well unlike some pushchairs where you are constantly pulling or sticking or press studding things back down again.
Firefly offer the suggestion of using the seat to change a child’s nappy in, and certainly we think we could manage to change Master BB in the seat if we had to. This will be very useful for some parents as finding somewhere clean to change a larger child is near impossible at times.
The harness is massive….huge…probably too big although it needs to go around a GoTo chair as well. We barely extended the shoulder harness for Master BB although we did extend the waist a lot, so just be aware of this if you have a younger child. We moved the shoulder height fairly easily to the top setting, although as mentioned before, we really need another couple of harness height settings above this level. The harness was very easy to adjust by pushing flat through (don’t forget to push through the liner too) and the harness itself can be altered easily. There are pads on the shoulders and buckle too. The buckle itself could potentially been a little more child proof. Whilst Master BB hasn’t yet tried to undo the harness, we think that he could. Again, for an SN pushchair, which is likely to be used for safety, this is one area where Firefly could have been a little more thoughtful about child proofing. We probably won’t try, but if desperate it may be possible to swap the harness buckle out if it became a real issue.
As described above, the hood needs putting together when the pushchair arrives. We have mixed feelings about the hood, but that’s probably because we don’t generally use one. The hood is absolutely enormous with two solid panels of fabric and two mesh sun visor panels. We have friends with children with ASD who will be over the moon to find such a large hood, and one with not just one but two mesh panels so that their children can ‘hide’ but still see out. The two solid fabric panels at the rear have a clear peekaboo window. The two mesh panels do in theory flip backwards and can sit hiding away inside the hood. However, we struggled to get them to do this effectively and neatly for our photos, and Master BB just kept flicking them back out again as well. It was a tad annoying. We looked to see if we could unzip the mesh panels but there is no zip. Equally a zip may just have been another distraction. Overall the hood is better having the mesh. Our other main SN pushchair doesn’t have a hood but we think this pushchair needs the hood especially because of the low seat back to look correct.
The other impressive part of opening the box was finding accessories inside! There is a gorgeous footmuff. This slides easily under the footrest and then hooks onto the chassis. We don’t believe Master BB could kick this off easily because of the depth that the envelope goes under the footrest, but we will reserve judgement on that until we have tried it more! The footmuff is fleece lined to be snuggly, and we suspect the outer will be water resistant. That’s fantastic because Master BB has got wet so many times because he wouldn’t keep a blanket over his legs. The footmuff is warm but we would say it could easily be used on a warmer wet day without overheating. The footmuff does initally sit proud off the child with a gap – but there’s a wonderful little toggle which allows you to pull the opening tighter. It was easy to pull the footmuff up a bit too. There’s plenty of room to add in extra blankets if you wanted to either. Again we were amazed to find Master BB fitted in brilliantly with bags of space. Very good fit and saves having to find a footmuff. The footmuff also scrunches up relatively small, so we will find a bag and store it in the car for the odd rainy or cold day.
There is also a mosquito net. We aren’t sure if we will ever use it, but when we used to live on the coast, every summer we would be deluged with harvest flies, and we would have appreciated it then!
Finally there is a bottle holder. We are calling it that because its fairly slim and we think you wouldn’t get more than a slim bottle 500ml bottle or water or soft drink into it, but again we will eat our words if we manage to get something bigger. But don’t order your Costa Latte until you have checked it fits! Once we have tried it, we will update. We believe the bottle holder just slides onto the chassis in the same way the hood clamps fitted.
We have already been asked if you could fit a stroller board onto the WeGo. The brake obstructs the back axle, so we think a board which connects at the sides would fit – like an X-Rider. Have a look at the photos though before buying. We have no idea whether Firefly would recommend a board or not.
Handlebar, Wheels and Brake
We are reserving full judgement on these until we use the pushchair.
The handlebar is covered in dense foam and is adjustable with high and low positions. The buttons are located on the inside of the handlebar. We are looking forward to pushing it properly outdoors to see how the pushchair handles. There is a tether strap which is a good idea for a pushchair with additional weight on board.
The rear wheels are baffling us slightly. They appear at first glance to be air tyres with a pressure rating on the rubber, and with a direction to push marked on each wheel. However, there is no valve. So they must have been filled. We assume they are puncture proof because of this. The rear wheels are 12″ and the front wheels are 6″. The front wheels are solid wheels and can swivel or be locked straight to go across rough ground. There seems to be fantastic suspension on and we certainly noticed when Miss BB jumped on board! We had to fit the wheels when the pushchair arrived, so our assumption is that they will easily remove for storage or to go in a car boot. We have spotted release locks but haven’t tried these yet.
The brake is clearly marked in red at the rear of the pushchair. It is easy to press the brake on at either side.
We will see what the Firefly is like to push once we get out and about, and we will come back and update.
There is a fantastic good sizes basket underneath the WeGo. There is good access to it too. It should take a reasonable amount of shopping or beach gear. We also love the tiny zipped pockets on each side of the hood. Lovely detail.
Folding the WeGo was SIMPLE. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh! Did you get that blissful sigh?
That’s the pleasurable sigh of a parent who has until now had to take several minutes to undo, unlock, fold, faff, bend down and has even had their fingers trapped on several occasions with their current SN pushchair. The pushchair that we admittedly LOVE, but that we can’t possibly begin to teach anyone else how to do it.
The WeGo is utter BLISS to use! So easy and simple and quick and light!
We had a dilemma coming up soon. Whilst Master BB can walk, he is unsteady, he can tire and hurt, he has zero road sense, and he is also a pickle. Taking him shopping is a no go because he will clear the shelves as you go. Whilst we absolutely don’t want to single him out as different to his peers, giving school a pushchair for certain outings is really essential. We are fortunate to have several SN pushchairs and other options – Yippie Yo, trolleys etc. but we were scratching our heads for what was simple enough to give school, but secure enough to be safe. Last year we could still squeeze him into our Baby Jogger Summit, but this year it would be pushing it. We now have the solution. The WeGo is SO simple to open and close that you don’t need instructions. The front wheels simply slide open and the back comes up to click into an open position. To fold, there are sliders half way down the chassis on both sides. Simply slide those up together and the pushchair folds to the floor. Seriously SIMPLE! There is a fold lock down one side if you look for it.
There is no denying the fold is large. It’s VERY long but not overtly wide, but its also fairly flat. Firefly say it is 116cm folded by 38cm high. It may be worth looking through our website and finding other images of folded pushchairs to put the WeGo fold into perspective. We have tried to fold the footrest up / down a bit but it doesn’t seem to help much. Folding the handlebar does make it a tad shorter.
And this is where we hit a big problem! The WeGo won’t easily fit on our car. We opened the boot expecting to be able to put it straight in and it doesn’t fit! We have a large 7 seat SUV so a huge boot! Initially we thought the only way it would fit was by folding one of the middle row of seats down, however we did eventually fit it in across the boot, but it means adjusting the footrest every single time we put it in and out, and even then its a very tight squeeze and the boot has to be really empty too! That’s a huge disappointment!
This piece was just an initial descriptive, independent review to give parents an idea of what the Firefly WeGo is like, and importantly to give a better indicator of size and proportion with the children in the seat. For us, this pushchair fills a huge hole in the current Special Needs pushchair market, and should make it more affordable for parents to have a good quality, practical buggy for their larger children. It is great there is the recline, and the option to add the GoTo seat for postural support. The look and feel of the pushchair is fantastic. Above all we love how simple the WeGo is to open and fold. Firefly have really thought about the practicalities and what a parent wants and have included some fantastic accessories.
We are absolutely delighted to see the WeGo on the market and we look forward to getting out and about with it this summer once we can work out how to get it in the car!!!
One of the reasons for publishing this review now, is to say to other parents, don’t hestitate, ditch your Maclaren Major or heavy SN pushchair, and DO go and buy a WeGo, and enjoy your summer out and about too – as long as it will fit in your car!
Other Firefly WeGo Reviews: