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After researching a lot of different pushchairs, I decided on the Loola quite early in my pregnancy. It is stylish, practical and comfortable for the baby, what more do you need! It can be quite expensive, but I got it all at bargain prices by shopping around on the internet. I have now been using it daily for just over a year and it is still going strong. It has had a few good comments and admiring looks, I feel really proud pushing it around.
The Loola is really easy to push and can change from fixed to swivel wheels at the click of a button located on either side of the chassis. It is quite a wide pushchair, and occassionally the wheels can get in the way when passing other pushchairs etc. But it doesn't seem to be a problem most of the time, and it can spin around really easy in tight spaces. There is no support at the top of the handles so it can feel a bit flimsy when going up curbs, and I try to avoid bumping it up or down steps if I can help it. If theres a lot of steps it's better to carry it, but this isn't easy either, as you have to hold it either side of the chassis. Its also not designed to carry much shopping, it is possible to rest bags on the changing bag clips on the handles, but they tend to slide down and drag on the wheels unless the changing bag is attached first. Also the shopping basket is only useful for small items as the cross bars limit access to it.
The handles are a reasonable height and can easily adjust by clicking the button in and swivelling round with a choice of 3 positions. I am about 5'6" and even with 4" heels I am still comfortable with it on the 'up' position, but if you are much taller than this you might need to go for something else. The touch on touch off brake is good, as you don't scuff your shoes up, but I am always gentle with it as I have seen some that have broken on other Loolas so I think it's a weak point.
AS A PUSHCHAIR ** ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ It is a fantastic full size pushchair and really comfortable for the little one. The padded seat is slightly higher than most, so baby gets a good view and you don't get their feet dragging on the wheels. The seat is both forward or rear-facing and has a four position recline, although it's not easy to locate the exact recline positions, but it's easy enough to lie it down when baby's sleeping and sit it back up again one handed. It can also be folded whatever position the seat unit is in, but I find it takes up less space when folded with the seat facing forward. The chassis has a freestanding compact fold, which is done just by pressing the buttons on each handle and pulling the carry handle up at the back. Although it is twice the size and weight with the seat unit attached, I still think it is smaller than most full size pushchairs. And it's easier to get in the boot of our Corsa than the umbrella folds we had for our other children as it is shorter, it doesn't leave a lot of room for shopping though. The seat unit comes off really easy so it can be stored separately from the chassis if you don't have much space.
** AS A TRAVEL SYSTEM ** ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ The Loola chassis can also be combined with a Windoo carrycot (0-6m), Creatis car seat (0-12m) or Elios car seat (0-9m) to create a travel system. All these attachments click into place really easy, and can change from one to another in seconds. We only have the Creatis (please see my other reviews) which we used with it more than the seat unit in the first year. It is excellent as a travel system as the car seat fits directly onto the chassis so it takes up less room in the car and makes it much lighter to carry. It is also great for public transport, although it doesn't fit down the isles on some buses, but it's easy to detach the car seat and fold it up quickly if needed. I found it easier to fold it up before the bus came along, It was easy enough to carry the car seat in one hand and the chassis in the other (its special carry handle makes it easier). I put the chassis in the buggy store and the car seat on the seat next to me, leaving more room for other pushchairs.
** ACCESSORIES ** ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ SEAT COVERS - They come off easily for washing, but some of the poppers are a bit stiff. When I first took the cover off, the lining ripped slightly when I tried to undo the poppers underneath the footrest. I don't do them ones up now as it doesn't make any difference to it staying on the seat unit anyway. They also need to be washed carefully as I've heard the logos can come off easily, especially on the bumper bar cover. They're not easily available, but you can purchase the covers separately if you need a spare set or fancy a change of colour. Each year normally brings a selection of about 6 colour choices for the UK, but it is not the full range that is available in other european countries.
HOOD & RAIN COVER - The detachable hood clips on easily to the seat unit, it is quite large and seems to hide the baby a bit if fully open. It has a viewing window at the back, so I tend to leave that bit over so I can see the baby, and leave the main bit closed so she can see out better. When I do have the main bit open I have to watch my fingers, as the hinges are quite stiff and spring shut as soon as I start to close them. The rain cover zips onto the hood but can be fiddly so is easier left on and folded back if there's any chance of rain. It does it's job well keeping everything covered, it has straps which attach together with poppers underneath the seat unit to keep it in place. It doesn't let a lot of air in though and seems to get a bit misted when used in cold weather.
BUMPER BAR - This clips on either side of the seat unit, easily undone to get baby in and out and can be removed completely if you don't want it. It bends in 2 places so it folds with the pushchair.
PARASOL (purchased separately) - This is available in some of the colours to match the Loola Range. It clips on and off very easily to special clips that hide in either side of the chassis when not in use. It does the job but would be better if it was more compact folding. It also comes with an extra attachment so the parasol can be used with other pushchairs as well if needed.
CHANGING BAG (purchased separately) - It has plenty of room for all baby's things and a few handy pockets inside, also a net pocket on either side of the bag handy to keep drinks in. The changing mat, which comes in colours to match the Loola range, attaches to the outside of the bag so it is easily accessible when needed. The bag has plastic loops on either side which attach to special clips on the top of the Loola handles.
TECHNIC FOOTMUFF (purchased separately) - The footmuff is lovely and warm and cosy, and covers baby right up to their shoulders (might drown a tiny baby though). It zips up diagonally down the front, so it's easy to get baby in and out, without the zip rubbing against their face while in it. It only attaches over the top of the seat unit so it tends to slide down a bit at the bottom which makes it harder to do the straps up. It also gets in the way a bit when folding the pushchair. This also comes in most of the colours of the Loola range.
The Loola is an excellent buy, especially when used as a travel system. The downsides are probably no more than you would get from any other pushchair. It's definately worth the money, and used ones still sell for quite a bit on ebay, so you can get some money back when you've finished with it. You might want to purchase a lighter pushchair when your baby gets older, but I'm perfectly happy to keep using this until my daughter can walk everywhere.