Thursday, 1 September 2011

Graco Fusio review

Buying a pushchair, pram or travel system is always a big decision as it always uses up a large chunk of the baby/toddler equipment budget. You don't want to get it wrong because you're unlikely to buy more than one, hopefully using it for any subsequent children you may have. This means that once you've got one, you tend to stick with it through thick and thin, faults and all, and don't really get to compare and contrast with other models.

So it's been really interesting this year, as a lucky Graco ambassador, to get the opportunity of trying out more than one top of the range pushchair. Our first taste of luxury was the Graco Symbio travel system, which we reviewed here. We're still using it and still loving it but Pierre is about to change childminder's (he's having his first trial session there this afternoon - finger's crossed !) and she needs a pushchair too. When the opportunity came up to try out a new product, I opted for the Graco Fusio, the latest addition to the Graco line.

If you think of the basic wishlist when buying a pushchair, it has all that (but to be honest, any big name pushchair worth its salt should anyway) - it's stable, comfortable, sturdy, the wheels run smoothly and it's easy to fold. It also looks very chic, either in the black/grey or black/red colouring.

But it also has a lot of little extra features that make you constantly go "oooh that's handy". Such as the straps for attaching your child which come apart so that you snap the waist and shoulder parts together at the same time as you buckle him in at the front. It doesn't sound particularly ingenious and at first, I thought it was annoying because you had an extra bit to fiddle with when doing up the buckles, but in practice, it means you don't have to try to find the straps stuffed under baby's bum or back or try to bend his arms into a contortionist's position to fit them through the arm straps. Add a tired grumpy toddler, a couple of bags of shopping, pouring rain and a winter coat into the mix and you'll soon see how much of a Godsend they are !

The Graco Fusio has kept the best bits of the Graco Symbio, such as the reversible seat which is a fabulous way of keeping in contact with your little one and has staved off many a burgeoning tantrum !

But it has also improved on others. One of the things I didn't like about the Symbio was the tiny basket underneath. While the storage basket on the Fusio isn't that much bigger, the split handle does allow you to hang a couple of shopping bags on it (although you obviously don't want to overdo it and make it tip over backwards. That's a good point actually - I'll have to try out the Hamster Buggy Bags (that we reviewed here) and see if they fit on the Fusio because they didn't fit on the Symbio.)

Another new feature is that once folded, it stands upright which is great for keeping it clean and for not taking up too much room, especially if you have to leave your pushchair in a hallway where people constantly need to get past. You can also twist the handles around to any position you choose and set the wheels to locked or swivel, depending on what you prefer.

I have to admit - when I saw the word "pramette", I didn't know what it meant but it's actually another really good feature. Graco explain : "This all-in-1 compact travel system can be used as a pramette which transforms at every step with your child. The pramette function on the Fusio allows the backrest of the pushchair to be reclined fully. When Fusio is flat, it becomes the perfect pram to enjoy your first stroll as a new family. The Fusio offers a number of options to suit your lifestyle. If you’d prefer you can add the Graco Go Carrycot – with soft and comfortable padding, so your little one can enjoy sleep undisturbed." The Fusio can also be used as a travel system with the Logico S HP car seat.

As Pierre is now 2-years-old, he'll just be using it as a pushchair and, as you can see, he loves it. When we get the really small fold-up pushchair out, he often struggles and doesn't want to be strapped in. With the Fusio, he's happy to sit in there for hours, even staying in there rather than a high chair when we called in to McDonald's, so it's presumably very comfortable.

Assembling it from the box was a breeze. It took Madhouse Daddy Mike literally seconds to fix on the four wheels without once looking at the instruction manual, then we were off. It's also very easy to fold down and is relatively compact.

I love all the little added extras that are thrown in, such as the newborn liner, apron, footmuff, basket and raincover, which make the whole experience even more enjoyable. Given the weather this summer, the rain cover in particular came in very handy, but I'll definitely be trying out the footmuff as the weather gets colder too.

I always like to give a balanced review with positives and negatives but nothing springs to mind that I actually didn't like for this one.

You can see a demonstration video of the Fusio here.

And make sure you head over to the Graco website here and upload some photos for your chance to win either a Graco Sybio or a Graco Fusio.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £299 but only £230 at amazon (see below)
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  1. I love that this folds down compact, will have to show my SIL who is due in december

  2. Fab review! Looks like a great pram - and affordable too! Think I might recommend that my sister in law looks into this one as she's pregnant at the moment and looking for a pram soon :)




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