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Apr 11

Mamas and Papas Sola Review

Mamas and Papas Sola pushchair

Mamas and Papas Sola on a riverside stroll

First of the pushchairs to be reviewed on Baby Routes, the Mamas and Papas Sola is a realiable and compact lightweight buggy, perfect for walking on footpaths with good surfaces and in-town manoeuvring. We bought this as a our main pushchair on the principle that we would always prefer to use a baby carrier or rucksack for any serious off-road walking with baby and the Sola looked the best option for pushing baby around a department store without taking out other shoppers and for general purpose versatility and walking on well-kept paths. It has lived up to these expectations and despite going best on smoother surfaces, can cope with moderate off-roading in good conditions (see the Marlow Riverside Walk).

About the pushchair

The basic Sola pushchair package includes a chassis, seat unit and raincover. The seat unit comes in a wide range of colours to suit all tastes, can face both directions and reclines fully to offer pram functionality for little ones although the basic seat just lies flat with straps to keep baby secure. It does the job fine but if you want the full pram effect of raised sides and harness free you will have to fork out for the carry cot unit which comes separately and has limited usage. We were advised by the Mamas and Papas shop assistant that the carry cot was not essential and we have never missed it despite using the pushchair from newborn. Whilst you can’t wade through bogs with this pushchair, it is compact, lightweight and you can steer with one hand. It folds up well for back of car storage and the handle folds down making it a good option for tucking in a porch or under the stairs. The pushchair also has good storage underneath for shopping or carrying outdoor kit.

Weight/ age limit

The Mamas and Papas Sola pushchair is suitable from newborn through to children of around 15kg offering great versatility and value for money. The pushchair seat simply tips from flat for newborns through to fully upright for older ones hitching a ride and is robust enough in feel that you can have faith it will still be going strong years down the line. If you choose you can purchase a Sola carry cot from Mamas and Papas separately to convert the pushchair into a pram but this isn’t a necessity.

Practicalities

At 10kg the Mamas and Papas Sola is a moderately light weight pushchair but maintains a feeling of strength and durability and has excellent steering control, weighting and balance. The Sola pushchair does not have air filled tyres or any suspension of note although baby will be comfortable in the padded seat on smooth journeys. It is not a buggy for serious off-road walking or muddy trails but if you want something that packs up easily and is good for town and most good condition tracks then the Sola is the pushchair for you.

The key features of the Sola pushchair are its longevity and versatility – you can use the Sola pushchair from the day baby comes home to the day you finally tell your now rather large baby that it’s time they walked for themselves and stopped hitching a ride! Mamas and Papas also sell a variety of add ons for the Sola  converting it into a travel system and adding to the pushchair’s functionality. The seat comes with a good rain cover and you can choose to purchase additional items such as the foot muff to keep toddlers’ toes warm in winter and a parasol for summer. You can even coordinate your pushchair bag with the chair colours!

In terms of functionality you can choose from the detachable carry cot, converting this into a more traditional pram and saving you having to buy a separate carry cot for overnight stays when baby is little. The award winning and Which Best Buy 2010 Cybex Aton car seat also fits on the chassis base and comes in coordinating colours and will see you through from newborn baby to 13kg or around 15 months with both seatbelt and Isofix base options. The car seat clicks quickly onto the chassis to create an even more compact pushchair for quick trips to the shop or for when boot space is at a premium.

Mamas and Papas Sola Car Seat - Cybex Aton

Snoozing in the Cybex Aton car seat

Talking of boot space, the Mamas and Papas Sola is very quick and easy to collapse and locks once folder up. You will need both hands to collapse it but is straightforward and the Sola fits in to most boots with plenty of room to spare, although may need to go side up on smaller models. The wheels detach and reattach really simply for more compact storage. If it’s a trip to the shops with baby you’re after, the Sola’s storage is fairly generous although once you’ve used up the under chair allowance you have to be quite creative with the little hooks on the side of the chassis to eek out extra bag hanging space. Pushchair seat, carry cot and car seats all can be turned around to face either forward or rear with a simple click and allowing baby to watch you whilst walking in those early days.

Overall the Mamas and Papas Sola is a versatile, light-weight and easy to manoeuvre buggy for both crowded shopping trips and tow-path strolling. If you are looking for baby backpack on wheels for serious walking on bumpy tracks however the Sola is not the pushchair for you.

Style

The Mamas and Papas Sola is neat, compact and good looking. The Sola comes in a wide range of fun and vibrant colours which baby will enjoy, as well as a good range of darker colours for a sleeker look. The Sola looks small and lightweight and is more the modern Mini of pushchairs   – lots of get up and go, fun and good looks. If you’re more a Range Rover kind of person, keep looking!

Versatility 

This is where the Mamas and Papas Sola comes into its own. Mix and match with a coordinating car seat, Sola carry cot, foot muff, parasol and changing bag and if you time it right, you can make the most of seasonal offers to pick up mutilple bits of kit for a bargain.

Price

The basic Sola chassis, pushchair and rain cover cost in the region of £295 with the car seat, Sola carry cot and other add ons costing extra. If you time it right with in store promotions however you may be able to purchase multiple items for a fantastic price and even at full cost this is still a competitively priced model for the versatility and practicality offered. Second hand on e-bay you can find the Sola for around £80 upwards, which as such a robust bit of kit offers fantastic value.

Read other kit and product reviews here.

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5 comments

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  1. kelly

    hi were have u seen the package for £295 including the carseat.thanks 🙂 x

    1. Kate Limburn

      Hi Kelly,

      £295 is average price for the pram seat, chassis and rain cover – available from most of the major online baby retailers. The car seat is extra. We got lucky and bought ours when Mamas and Papas had a promotion on so got some of the accessory items such as footmuff and parasol thrown in for free – worth checking with them if they have any upcoming events?

      I have had a quick look though to see if there are any deals on at the moment for you and have found the car seat for £110 and pram for £265 at Discount Baby Equipment . You could try and get it cheaper at Precious Little One via their price match offer where they claim to match any lower price and reduce by a further 10% so you should be able to get it for about £244 for the pram and £100ish for the car seat.

      Boots have the pushchair for £275 inc free delivery and have included it in their current 3 for 2 promotion on baby equipment. Unfortunately the car seat and adaptors etc aren’t included in the promotion but if you have some other large nursery kit to buy that is included then could be worth it?

      One thing to note – if you are planning on using the Sola as a complete travel system you will also need the car seat adaptors to fit the car seat to the pram chassis (about £20-£25) and a car seat base (approx. £95). Alternatively you can get some great second hand pushchairs on places like Preloved, Nursery Exchange or eBay for about £80 including accessories and then just buy the Aton car seat new to go wit it. Hope this helps and happy shopping! Kate

  2. Lindsey

    Hi there,
    I have the Sola pushchair (without carry cot)…just waiting for my baby to arrive (due date yesterday!). You mentioned that you used it from birth, can you tell me if you use the harness from birth, my mother seems to think it would be too uncomfortable and cut into baby’s legs?!! Having only tried it with a teddy bear to practice, I’m really not sure!! Thanks, Lindsey.

    1. Kate Limburn

      Hi! Congrats on your bump – hope he/she doesn’t keep you waiting too much longer!

      The Sola pushchair is designed to be used from birth – you can recline it completely flat, switch the direction to face you and the straps are adjustable and shouldn’t cut into the baby’s legs at all if correctly adjusted. You need to use the harness though to keep baby safe from wriggling out.

      Although I did used my pushchair seat from birth, I also had the Aton car seat which I tended to use on the pushchair base most of the time in the very early days as it gave more head support and my daughter dozed off in the car so often it was easier to transfer her straight into the pushchair in her seat! The pushchair seat I used more when I was out on longer trips. If you’re not sure on adjusting your seat though for a new baby I’d go back into the shop and ask them to give you a demo. 🙂

      Hope that helps. Kate

  3. Lindsey

    Thanks Kate for taking the time to reply -really helpful. I do have a M&P just down the road from where I live so I will certainly pop in and ask for a demo. I’ve also got the car seat so will also make use of that when in the pushchair for short strolls.

    Thanks again
    Lindsey

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