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Torn between BabyJogger Versa and Bugaboo Bee+. Help!

(86 Posts)
Badgerhoney Tue 29-Jan-13 13:42:16

Hi,
Just wondering if anyone can help me on this one. One minute I think I've settled on the Versa then the next I'm swaying back to the Bee+. I've looked at loads of others and narrowed it down to these two, but just can't decide which one. If anyone has used these and can offer any pearls of wisdom, I would be forever grateful!

I live in a city basement flat with a short flight of stairs outside. Pavements around where I live can be quite cracked and bumpy in places, but the town centre is smooth.

I'll mainly be walking into and around town and to the park/along the river which is bit more rough terrain in patches. Car and short bus journeys a couple of times a week.

The Bee - I love the lightweight feel and the idea of being able to move in and out of tight spaces. I also wonder will having the Bee mean avoiding having to get another smaller lightweight stroller later on. I struggled when I tried swapping the seat round in the shop and found the two hand fold/unfold a bit fiddly. Also feel a tad concerned about a newborn being safe so low down and in only a cocoon. Biggest concern is the wheels. Will they cope with pavement cracks, rougher patches of ground, cobbles? And the shimmying problem I keep hearing about. One of the display models I played with in the shop actually had this problem.

The Versa - love most things about this including ease of folding, turning the seat, big basket, feels sturdy. Main worries are the weight. It feels heavy to lift when folded so I doubt I could carry it very far but guess one flight of stairs or onto a bus would be ok. Not sure about curbs. Also, it's a bit bigger unfolded than the Bee so wonder if it will fit through all doors, be easy to move in shops/restaurants/public transport. Also, I'd like the GT version but don't think I could handle the extra weight, but wonder if the standard wheel version will be good enough.

Sorry for the rambling.

Look forward to hearing from anyone who has experience of these two and could maybe help.

Cheers!

Badgerhoney

Tiggywunkle Wed 30-Jan-13 01:26:04

The Versa is absolutely fine up kerbs. It is heavy to carry and longish - I am not sure how easy it will be to carry up and down stairs. The standard version in many ways is better than the GT - its got better suspension and is much lighter to push. The GT has its appeal but I dont think you need the chunky wheels. The regular wheels will be fine for most every day stuff.

The Bee apparently will sling over one shoulder to be carried. I still struggle with my Bee seat after a year but its not something you change every day or even every month.

If you think you can carry the Versa (even in two parts ie remove the seat) up and down your steps then definitely get that. If not, get the Bee.

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 08:54:26

Thanks for replying Tiggywunkle, really appreciate it. You mentioned that the Versa is longish. How do you find it for going round shops? Is it ok for getting round tight corners, lifts, buses, that sort of thing? Also, with the Bee, can it cope with patches of rough ground, such a cracked pavements or uneven river paths? It's mostly ok where I live but I do plan on walking a lot and there are a few dodgy patches to get through in between the strandard pavements.
Thanks a mill,
badgerhoney

Ihateparties Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:35

I walk a lot and depending on how small the spaces are you're talking about i have ended up settling for a slightly larger pushchair for a more comfortable push. There are few places my small tandem 61cm wide, 106ish long, doesn't fit and the versa is slightly smaller than that. It is by no means compact but it doesn't catch easily on things iyswim, the wheels don't protrude far from the chassis etc. My ideal would be bee sized but bigger better wheels and a more robust frame. Lots of people local to me use bees and umbrella strollers daily but i find the pavement, cobbles, paths etc.too rough. At the end of the day what is more important to you.. size or a better more comfortable push (although the bee is excellent to push it's not the same as something larger and sturdier)?

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 15:04:28

Thanks for the info, that's really helpful. I guess by tight spaces I'm thinking of smaller shops and cafes as opposed to bigger department stores and shopping centres. Totally agree about the Bee, it would be excellent if just bit more sturdy and with chunkier wheels. I just don't want to be getting stuck in cracks, and I'd be gutted if I got one with the shimmying wheels, which still seems to be getting reported by folk on Bugaboo's Facebook page.

One thing I did wonder about with the Versa is what happens if the baby grows out of the carrycot early? I hear that some babies get too big for carrycots by 4 months. Not sure what I would do if that happens as not able to use the main bucket seat until the baby is six months. Happy to use a sling for pottering around but not sure I'd want be totally dependent on one for a couple of months. I guess having a flat seat is an advantage of the Bee. Hmmmm.

Ihateparties Wed 30-Jan-13 15:49:09

When i had a peach blossom with bucket seats and a 4 month old i got a stokke newborn wedge off ebay, which flattened out the seat considerably. There is a footmuff with integrated wedge called the smartmuff that does the same, plus silver cross do one for the surf. It would depend how comfortable you are with this type of improvisation. There is a pic on my profile of the stokke wedged lower seat on the peach blossom with 4 month old in situ if that helps.

Ihateparties Wed 30-Jan-13 15:52:05

That said personally i prefer a flat seat too if i'm honest but i am the type of idiot willing to import things to get what i want blush

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 15:58:19

Thanks! When I tried the UB Vista ages ago they had a wedge snug seat which I thought seemed ok but I never thought of using a wedge from one make of pushchair in different make. That could definitely be a good option. I'll check those ones out. Thanks again.

Love love love my Bee. Have had two Bees and now a Bee+ and it's my overall favourite (and I've had a few!). It's light, nippy, decent sized basket, DD2 was very cosy and happy in the cocoon when she was a newborn. She hated the carrycot on the bigger pushchair I had. Now she's just turned 1 I can still pop the car seat on the frame with the adaptors.

Mostly use it nipping round town and in and out of the car. It copes perfectly well with the odd slightly rougher walk though.

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 16:03:19

I think I prefer a flat seat too as think it might be better for them to stretch their little backs out a bit, which I'm not sure they do properly in a reclined bucket seat. But I guess loads of pushchairs have bucket seat reclines and the babies seem pretty content so must be ok?

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 16:43:24

Oh Gwen, now I'm swaying back to the Bee. Eek, I'm totally torn! Nice to hear some positive feedback on the Bee though. I really liked it at first but then got a bit disillusioned by tales of wheel problems and rickety frames.

Did you find it ok taking the baby out of the cocoon if she'd fallen asleep after a walk. Not sure about waking them up when lifting them out to take into the house as with a carrycot can easily just take that in without disturbing them. Also, do you find the canopy gives enough coverage in summer when they are lying flat? Thought the Versa one might be a bit deeper.

I wasn't sure if the basket was big enough on the Bee, but maybe that's cus half of it was taken up by the rain cover in the shop and I could only get my handbag in the front with a bit of a shove, let alone a changing bag. So not sure where I'd put any shopping in town. I'd be walking back from town or maybe getting the bus, so would probably need to get some of those handle bar clips for hanging bags on. Worry a bit about using those on something as light as a Bee though in case of tipping over.

So you'd say it's ok on patches of rougher ground like, say, cobbles, unpaved foot paths and grass? It's not like I'm going to be trekking through fields or building sites, but the surfaces are a bit churned up in places.

Also, what age do think a Bee will last until? Some say a 3 year old can fit in one no probs other say toddlers outgrown them quickly.

So good to have this feedback. Thanks ladies! Finding it so hard to decide as love walking and don't want to be restricted on what surfaces the pushchair can go on, but also want to nip in and out of shops and cafes without knocking over displays or bumping into things! If I could afford to I'd buy them both. But alas no, it has to be one or t'other.

Badgerhoney

daisydoodoo Wed 30-Jan-13 16:49:22

You'll still need a stroller even if you buy a bee unless you have tiny children. Although this is based on my experience of the bee looking silly with a 2 yr old in.

I had the bee for dd1 and sold it shortly after as at 19 months old she looked silly in it and didnt like the slight recline when on the most upright position.

I had hoped that those problems would have bern ironed out with the bee plus but had similar problem with dd2.

Fwiw dd1 has always been tall and slim and dd2 is average height and build to her peers.

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 17:24:32

Daisy - that's really useful to know, thanks. I really thought getting a Bee would mean only ever needing the one. I totally accept that if I buy a Versa I may need a backup lightweight mclaren type thing later on, but think I would be a bit annoyed having to buy another stoller after only having a Bee for a couple of years. Having two lightweight strollers seems a bit pointless. But having a Versa for walks and an umbrella stroller later on for nipping to shops seems more acceptable. Funny, when I put a Mclaren next to the Bee in the shop I figured the seats seemed similar sizes so assumed they would both last until at least three. Or am I missing something?

RooneyMara Wed 30-Jan-13 17:28:40

Ooh interesting thread - thanks OP and everyone else, I'm learning a lot from it too.

Can I just ask - if it's not a complete hijack - is there anything NOT great about the versa?

RooneyMara Wed 30-Jan-13 17:31:13

Oh just if it helps - not sure if it does though - I saw someone having great problems with spinning and rattling front wheels on a bee about a year ago. she was going down a subway with it - I made a sympathetic face and she said, I know, I was told it's not a fault, there's nothing they can do!' I'm not sure if that's true or not but it really put me off the bee. I also hate the way it has no sides to the seat. I like them to have sides, where things can go to be retrieved later. bits of biscuit mostly

Ihateparties Wed 30-Jan-13 17:35:25

^ this is what people disagree on, some say bee is a stroller and eliminates the need for something else, others say like above it isn't big enough. I suppose what people class as outgrown really does differ quite a lot.

Where I live there are lots of sneaky small shops, the versa will likely be fine but obviously smaller is easier in those contexts. I don't think I would want to have only a versa longer term. S'pose the bee is the best compromise between pram and stroller for those who want or need to only have one pushchair and one only.

Tiggywunkle Wed 30-Jan-13 21:01:15

If you buy the right pushchair, you should never need a "stroller". For many people they "downsize" to the Bee after the Cameleon or Donkey. I have my 2 year old in ours and my 4 year old looks fab in it still. The seat "grows" with the child and my 2 year old still has it on the smallest settings so he has tons of room to grow and definitely doesn't look silly.

Meanwhile my 2 year old can still fit in the Versa carrycot, so dont worry one bit about your baby growing out of it!!

I also wouldn't worry at all about the Versa in small shops. There really is not much between any single pushchair TBH, and its when you get to double stage that you start to worry more about whether it will fit somewhere or not.

I think my gut feeling is that the Versa will cope with your pavements better, give you the basket space you need - the Bee basket is limited.

Worst case, dont get too hung up on finding the right pushchair. Treat a pushchair as a rental. Get what you think is right, dont get too attached to it, and if its not working, then have a rethink.

Just as an aside, have you looked at the Mutsy Evo?

Rooney the only thing thats not great about the Versa is that its a bit long folded - but its down to the front wheels and if you pop those off, then its much smaller!!

Badgerhoney Wed 30-Jan-13 22:02:52

Thanks so much for all your replies. Lots to mull over. Think I'm swaying towards the Versa, but just worry about the weight (lifting and carrying more than pushing). Been out on antenatal course this evening and my brain is mush - hopefully all will become clear in the morning and I'll be able to make a decision.
Tiggy-heard that evo hard on curbs and bulky folded to ruled it out. Thanks for the extra Versa support though. Much appreciated!

Also, what are folks view on parent facing? For me it's been essential in picking something, but some friends of mine who've had babies say once you get to six months you get over it want them facing out in the world. I kinda think I'd like to have the baby facing me longer or at least give them the option as have heard some babies like to switch to face you when they're tired or upset even when aged one or older. And i think it will just be nice to chat with them on walks sometimes.
And the thought of not having the baby face me if they need to after only six months bothers me a bit. Seems so soon and final. Otherwise I would have just gone for a bjmc GT and wouldn't be in such a pram pickle! Hee.

Thanks again!

Tiggywunkle Thu 31-Jan-13 00:27:31

I sit on the fence a bit re parent facing. First of all I appreciate the parent / child contact is lovely. But if you are with your child all day long, then I dont see it as essential for an outing. If you spend hours out every day then I see it as more essential.
When you get into the realms of double pushchairs, you realise how hard it is to have your baby or either child parent facing. And one of the compromises that is often made is that your child/ren need to forward face just to be able to push them easily. When you consider that most children will sleep for the duration of most outings until they are around 12 months old, I dont see parent facing as essential for a baby.
My eldest was more than happy facing forwards by 12 months old. But at rising 2, my youngest had a major major separation anxiety and as a result he is parent facing whenever we can on an outing. So each child is individual as well.
I actually think its nicer to have your child parent facing once they are a bit older and then you can talk to them. If I have my choice, my children do parent face, but sometimes forward facing eg if you are in a cafe and want to tuck the pushchair up to the table, is useful to have.
So I think there's pros and cons for both. I dont think its something to get too hung up about, but equally I think its a good option to have.
I think 6 months as a figure is a bit hmm....I bet this is when your friends ditched their big heavy pushchairs for an umbrella fold?

RooneyMara Thu 31-Jan-13 07:28:33

Thanks Tiggy - will bear the length in mind. Badger, fwiw I took ds3 out in the Britax (b agile) the other day and while he seemed fairly comfy in it (he's 4 weeks old) I hated not being able to see him, so walked alongside it most of the way. The hood window is useless on this one. So definitely get the option for parent facing if you can - even if it's just a carrycot and then switch to seat at 6-9 months or so.

milk Thu 31-Jan-13 08:41:17

Baby Jogger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

daisydoodoo Thu 31-Jan-13 09:44:15

its nice to have theem forward facing as babies and in carrycots or lying flat at the very least, but mine have always been nosey and wanted to face out to see what was going on rather than staring at me.

Its nice to have the option but as long as they arent in the buggy all day every day then its not essential.

a fab buggy which im sure you can get a carrycot for is the baby jogger city mini, the seat will last longer than any other stroller and its really lightweight, that super easy baby jogger fold, large hood so good for rain and sun. My dd2 is 3 and half now and although she no longer uses a buggy she could easily fit into the baby jogger city mini and not look silly. the same applies for the city elite, nice big seat and would last throughout your buggy using years i you didnt want to buy stroller.

Have you looked at the uppababy vista? thats a fab pram, good carrycot, simple and easy to use. option to add a toddler seat should you have another baby fairly quickly. you would probably still be looking at buying a maclaren or simialr at about 2 years old but the uppababy is a good price compared to a lot of them, especially as has the carrycot too.

Badgerhoney Thu 31-Jan-13 10:16:18

Daisy - I did really fancy a City Mini GT as I think it seems great, would last until walking and is 2kg lighter to carry than the Versa, but I was just put off by not having a parent facing seat (after 6 months with the carry cot). But maybe I'm making too much of a big deal out of the parent facing thing. Also thought the City Mini seemed longer and wider than Versa, and might be trickier around shops/cafes. The Vista is lovely but way too big for our car boot, so I ruled out that and anything that's bulky when folded, and narrowed it down to the Versa and Bee.

One thing I wondered about the BJ Versa and BabyJoggers in general is the seat position. Is it ok not having a proper upright setting? Highest setting seems to still be quite reclined, particularly on the City Mini. Heard a few people say that as babies get older they start having to pull themselves forward in the City Mini to see out better so not sitting in the seat properly, but maybe that's more because the City Mini has deeper frabic at the sides than the Versa. Not sure.

RooneyMara Thu 31-Jan-13 11:20:29

I don't know about the seat - have you got somewhere you can go and have a look?

If you're thinking of ordering a Versa then they have it at 329 at Lesters Nursery world - online shop - also they have the footmuff at half price.

RooneyMara Thu 31-Jan-13 11:20:57

Oh and they have the versa GT at 369 as well. Those are the best prices I've seen anywhere.

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