This review will be published in two parts; this first installment covers the performance of the system in pram mode for babies from birth to 6 months/9kgs and the second as a pushchair, for babies from 6 months old to toddlers up to 15kgs. There will be some overlap in the reviews as certain features are applicable for use in both modes.
PART 2 OF THIS REVIEW (PUSHCHAIR MODE) IS NOW LIVE HERE
Little Rascal Reviews was fortunate enough to be provided a gorgeous Cosatto Giggle Travel System for review. Having viewed Cosatto’s unique range of funky colourways (something the Cosatto brand is infamous for) we opted for the All Star, one of Cosatto’s dazzling new patterns for Spring 2013 and I think you’ll agree it really is eye catching and stands out from so many other ‘boring’ buggies you see on the high street. I also love the fact the All Star design is unisex, so is perfect for those buying their first buggy who might have more children. I was torn between this and the stunning Treet design.
Assembly – After unpacking the single and very compact box, which is shown on the right in the photo above (the other box on the left in the photo contains the infant car seat), I managed to set up the entire thing single handed…this may not sound like much to you but I’m notoriously bad at assembling things, IKEA instructions send me running for the hills! The instruction manual is very clear and is was simply a case of unfolding the chassis, clicking the wheels into place and securing the base of the carry cot. The only bit requiring any elbow grease was fixing the carry cot base, which although very straightforward, required some pulling! Having said this you’ll only need to do this during initial assembly.
Bits & Pieces – Included in the box is; the chassis (cleverly colour-coordinated with the buggy), infant carry cot, seat unit, footmuff, adaptors for the car seat (sold separately to the buggy), raincover and changing bag. You really do get a lot for your money with this travel system, as many manufacturers sell many of the items included here as optional extras…although I don’t think a raincover can really be considered ‘optional’ in England!
The previous single-child travel system I used with R (before Baby L was born) was a 1st generation Bugaboo Cameleon. This had a single frame that you either set up to be used in carry cot or pushchair mode. The advantage of this was that there was no separate frame to store however, it meant that it was a lengthy process to switch between the carry cot and the pushchair. Whereas the Giggle comes with separate frames; one for the carry cot and another for the pushchair. This means that you can easily switch between modes if you have an older child who needs it as a pushchair for the day, it’s as simple as clicking one off and the other on (a task requiring no more than a few seconds). This is a massive advantage for childminders who look after children of different ages.
Folding/Unfolding – I can’t emphasise enough how easy it is to fold and unfold. Note that chassis does not fold with the carry cot attached. To collapse you simply pull up the small levers on each side of the handlebars whilst simultaneously pressing the safety button on the right handlebar (next to the right hand lever) and push forward until the autocatch locks into place. To assemble from folded, simply release the autocatch and unfold in a single movement and you’ll hear it click. Once folded the chassis is very compact, owing to its clever 3-wheeled triangular shape and I imagine you’d easily fit it into most car boots with no problem at all. You can also tilt the handlebar 180 degrees, making it even narrower (you can see this in the “down” picture below).
Weight - It’s advertised as “light as a feather” and at 9.85kg in carry cot mode (chassis 6.1kg, carry cot 3.75kg) it really is! I was managing to separate the carrycot frame from the chassis, collapse the chassis and lift both pieces into the back of my car, which has a high tailgate, with absolute ease, 2 days after having had a caesarean section (I’m not advocating this as a postpartum keep fit regime though!)
Quality – Everything feels and looks of a very high quality and the detailing with the patterns is wonderful. The inside of the carry cot, mattress and the inside of the hood are also patterned. The Giggle Travel System comes with a 4 year guarantee which should provide you with piece of mind in the unlikely event something breaks/needs replacing.
Carry Cot Features – The carry cot can only be fitted in parent-facing mode, which is perfectly standard for carry cots. The bumper bar/carry handle makes it nice and easy to move around and has a detachable washable cover. One bugbear I’ve always had with bumper bars is that usually you need to remove the entire thing in order to get baby in and out but if you remove it completely you can’t easily lift it on or off or carry the carry cot around! However, Cosatto has cleverly made this bar side opening, allowing you to quickly release one side and once baby’s in, simply click it back into place. This is a single handed operation, ideal when you’re holding baby in the other hand.
Now that the sun has finally chosen to make an appearance, it’s comforting to know with a very young baby that the hood offers UPF 50+ sun protection. Used in conjunction with my pram curtain it’s really very dark inside the carry cot when you need it to be, combined with the foam mattress (washable cover) this makes it perfect for occasional use as an overnight bed, saving valuable space in the car on those weekends away…I should be so lucky!
The hood of the cot also has little fabric hooks immediately on the underside which are specifically designed as ‘toy hooks’. This is such a great idea given that attaching them to the bumper bar (the normal solution with other buggies) makes it nearly impossible for baby to see them. This simple but very clever feature should give you an idea about the attention to detail that has gone into designing this system.
Ride Quality & Manoeuvrability – It’s very easy to push, even single handed and its light weight makes it easy to turn. It’s also narrow so perfect for navigating around town. It can be quite bumpy if used off-road i.e. on potholed country tracks, but it should be remembered that the Giggle is not specifically intended as an all terrain buggy e.g. the Bumbleride Indie Twin.
Matching Changing Bag – As previously mentioned, a matching changing bag is included as an extra with the pushchair. I was surprised at the quality of this bag which comes complete with coordinating changing mat and perspex bag for dirty nappies. It wasn’t the afterthought add-on I’d expected but rather a really lovely bonus. You can wear it as a shoulder bag or hang it over the handlebars (as shown in the picture) but it would be really useful if some buggy clips were provided, or available as an extra, so that you could clip it to the buggy and remain hands-free.
Storage Basket - Given the compact nature of the travel system, the storage basket is surprisingly roomy. There is also very easy access to the basket in both pram & pushchair mode. Often it’s common to find you have restricted access to storage baskets when using travel systems in carry cot mode (as was the case with my Bugaboo Cameleon).
Car Seat Mode – With each Giggle colourway available, you have the option of purchasing a matching Group 0+ car seat (birth to 13kg/approx. 15 months). The travel system comes complete with the adapters you need to mount the infant car seat (sold separately) onto the chassis. This permits seamless transportation of baby between the car and the buggy which allows you to let sleeping
dogs babies lie! The adaptors fit very easily onto the chassis and the car seat just clicks into them with no trouble at all. After owning the Bugaboo and performing exactly the same operation with that buggy and a Maxi Cosi Pebble I found it very difficult to get the seat on and off the Bugaboo adaptors as they were very sticky but this was a dream. I think it helps that all the pieces in this case are made by Cosatto so are designed to work together. The very lightweight (2.9 kg) of the car seat itself undoubtedly helps with getting the seat on and off especially when the baby’s in it, compared to the rather heavyweight 4.1 kg Pebble! It also helps when you’re trying to carry baby about after a c-section!
It’s great to finally see a car seat with a funky design. People spend hundreds of pounds on their buggies and the second they pop their plainly coloured car seat onto their plainly coloured chassis they suddenly have a completely generic, usually black, buggy. So with the coloured chassis and seat combined, it still carries all the distinctive features of the Cosatto Giggle All Star even in car seat mode. Since publishing this review for the first time, I’ve discovered an additional benefit of the bright pattern so thought I’d update. For any of you who follow me on Twitter (@LittleRascalRev) you may have seen my panic that we took Baby L for his 8 week check and he’s not easily tracking objects like he should be so we’re trying to give him added stimulation with high contrast patterns etc. Well, when we went out on Saturday he spent ages engaging with the bright star pattern on the inside of the carrycot hood. So it turns out that there is also a developmental benefit to the striking design too!
The padding is removable and washable and most importantly, Baby L finds it very comfortable. It’s also very easy to fix in and out of the car. Perhaps a bit of a gamble but the first time I used this car seat, a taxi was picking me up and I had my fingers crossed I didn’t have any issues fitting it (whilst watching the meter go up and up!) but thankfully I had it secured in under a minute and off we went. Easy 5 point instructions are printed on the side of the seat (very handy when you’re on the go).
Raincover – The raincover comes as standard with the pushchair and is very easy to quickly fit, which is important in the event of a sudden downpour! It’s lovely and large when fitted, completely covering the carry cot but also compact when folded and so can be stored in the storage basket when not in use. A minor adjustment that could be made is that it doesn’t have an ‘easy access’ flap whereby if you need to, you can reach in to touch baby or adjust blankets, etc. In order to do this you’d need to remove the raincover or fold a corner over.
Foot Brake – My husband really likes the design of the foot brake in the middle of the chassis (I suppose this is about the most ‘technical’ element of the buggy!). Our previous travel system had its brake incorporated into the handle, which meant you needed a free hand to activate it. With kids you, more often than not, have your hands full so having a brake that can be activated/deactivated with one foot is a real bonus. It’s also a very strong and effective brake and I have a lot of confidence that once activated the buggy is going nowhere. However for some strange reason, I have managed to accidentally activate the brake on several occasions. Perhaps I have a strange gait as this hasn’t happened to my husband. I think this could be remedied if the handlebar could be adjusted more so that I was further away from the buggy or if the brake were positioned slightly to one side. It’ll be interesting to see if this happens again when I convert to pushchair mode. At the moment this is my only little niggle with the Giggle (sorry, I couldn’t resist!).
I’m already a HUGE fan of the Giggle Travel System in pram mode and at £400 for the buggy and £100 for the car seat, it’s looking like excellent value for money, given the (almost double the cost) price tag of some of the Giggle’s competitors. I’m looking forward to testing it in pushchair mode once Baby L is old enough.
Being the caring elder brother, R decided to give it a quick quality test and was suitably pleased with the results! As he’s currently the maximum size/weight limit for the system, I thought I’d let him have a go as he’ll be too big for it once we start testing it as a pushchair
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The Cosatto Giggle Travel System (pushchair & car seat) was provided to Little Rascal Reviews for the purpose of review.