I’ve never kept it a secret that I adore the Mamas & Papas brand. Their products are chic, unique, durable, and very well made. Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing a number of their products, including the Tour Lightweight Stroller, Babyplay Tummy Time Octopus, George Giraffe Rocking Animal, and other great products. So, when I was contacted about reviewing their new Armadillo Stroller (at no cost in order to facilitate this review), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! The Mamas & Papaps Armadillo is touted as the “big little stroller that incorporates all the featuers that parents love in a surprisingly compact size.” I was eager to see if that proved to be the case!
I was sent the Armadillo in Lemon Drop (which, at our house, has been renamed the Yellow Jacket) for review. One of the things I love about the strollers I’ve tried from Mamas and Papas is that they have all been extremely quick and easy to assemble. For the Armadillo, you will insert the rear braking mechanism, attach all four wheels, then attach the basket, and you are ready to stroll. Set up took literally less than 5 minutes.
Features of the Armadillo
Roomy and comfy seat: Let’s start with the seat, since your little one will be spending a lot of time there (it’s suitable for newborns through children weighing 50 pounds). Mamas and Papas designed this seat to give your child the roomiest seat on the market.
The seat back & footrest are adjustable with levers located behind each section. Simply pull and adjust to the desired angle. As you can see from the pictures above, the seat reclines to a give your child a total length of 36 inches (when foot rest is extended) and is nearly flat, with just a slight incline. It looks like it would be very comfy for a sleeping child and work perfectly should you want to use it to change a diaper. The recline happens very smoothly, so I doubt it would wake when lowering. When adjusted to it’s most upright position, your child will still be at a slight reclined angle, but nothing so extreme that it seemed to bother my 2 year old son. To raise the incline of the seat, simply pull on the 2 thick straps located on the back of the seat.
The seat width is a full 12 inches to give your child plenty of wiggle and growing room. It also features a 5-point harness to keep your child securely in the stroller. This is a rethreading system, meaning that you have 3 slots to choose from for the shoulder height, and to adjust you will need to take the straps out of their current spot and then fit them into the correct position for your child’s height. Personally, I prefer a no-rethread system because it is quicker, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. There are drool covers on the shoulder straps that can be removed for easy machine washing.
XL Canopy with Peek-through Window: The stroller features an XL canopy to shade your child from the sun (and deter strangers from reaching into the stroller). This shade can also be removed for easy cleaning. There is a peek-through flap on the top that secures with a magnet. I have used other strollers that had a peek-through flap secured with Velcro, which I always found was too noisy for my sleeping babies, so I was excited to see that a magnet was chosen for this stroller. There is also a toy loop on the canopy to hang your child’s favorite toy. As you can see in the picture below, I hung our Mamas & Papas Armadillo toy (not included in stroller purchase).
Smooth Ride: This stroller delivers an incredibly easy and smooth ride thanks to its all-around suspension. I’ve pushed it over gravel, dirt, and on hard road surfaces so far, all with ease. I’m 5’5″ and the pushbar is a great height for me. The front wheels can be locked into place by sliding the locking mechanism located behind each wheel. The back wheels have a connected brake located on the right side. Push down to lock both wheels, then use the top of your foot to tap underneath the brake to release it. The brake couldn’t’ be easier and is truly flip-flop compatible!
Large Storage Basket: There is a large, stretchy, mesh storage basket located under the seat. It is accessible from the front, sides, and back.
Rain Cover: The stroller comes standard with a raincover. There’s nothing worse than being out with your baby when a sudden downpour starts. The rain cover snaps onto the stroller and folds up small enough that it barely takes up room in the basket when not in use.
One-handed Opening and Closing: When you have a little one, it’s not often that you have both hands free. I love that Mamas and Papas thought about this when designing the opening and closing of this stroller. You’ll need just one hand to do either and it couldn’t be simpler. To fold, simply engage the bottom located on the pushbar, then twist at the center of the pushbar. The stroller will immediately start to fold inward. Once it has nearly folded in half, just grab the handle located behind and slightly under the seat and pull. The stroller will automatically finish closing and lock into place. The seat is folded inward, which helps keep it clean during storage or transport. When you are ready to unfold, just unlock the stroller and pull up on the pushbar until the stroller clicks into place. It couldn’t be easier!
Easy to Transport: Another thing I’ve grown to love about the Mamas and Papas strollers is that they are easy to carry when needed. Just like my Tour, the Armadillo has a handle which makes carrying a breeze. There is also a teether strap located on the pushbar. Once collapsed, the stroller is very small and can fit in the far back of my minivan (where many other strollers are unable to fit). Although the stroller weighs 17.6 pounds, the handle makes carrying it so easy that it feels rather light.
5 Fashions to Choose From: The Armadillo stroller is available in 4 different colors and 1 stripe print.
So What’s It Missing?
There are a few things this stroller either can not do or does not come with, and I’ll cover those here:
- Parent’s Cup Holder: This stroller does not come with a cup holder, however it DOES have a cup holder mount and you can purchase a cup holder from Mamas and Papas at a suggested retail price of $14.99.
- Child’s Tray/Bumper Bar: This stroller does not come with a bumper bar or tray for holding your child’s snacks/drink. At the present time, I was unable to find this as an accessory from Mamas and Papas, but it could be introduced at some point.
- Car Seat Adapter: This seat does not come with a car seat adapter, however you can purchase one separately to fit the following infant car seats: C’hicco Key Fit 30, Maxi Cosi Mico/Prezi/Citi/CabrioFix car seats, & Cybex Aton car seat.
- Parent-Facing Seat: With this stroller, you do not have the option to reverse the seat; your child will have to face away from you. However, if you choose to use this seat with an infant car seat adapter, the car seat would then face you (or whoever is pushing the stroller).
- Telescoping/Adjustable Pushbar: You will not be able to adjust the height of your pushbar on this stroller. That hasn’t been an issue for me (5’5″) or my husband (5’6″) but it is something to consider if you are not of average height.
Real World Testing & What We Thought
The minute I had our new stroller assembled my son (who recently turned two years old) was literally begging to climb into it (right in our living room). I put him in it, then he proceeded to sit happily in the new stroller for at least 10 minutes. I wasn’t pushing him; he just loved sitting in it. I finally convinced him to get out so we could leave and head to our local park. When we left the park later that day and he was forced out of the stroller, he cried. We have used this stroller a few times since then and it’s no exaggeration when I say he is obsessed. He LOVES this thing and gets excited any time he sees me pull it out. Normally when I go shopping he is unhappy to ride in the stroller. While I haven’t been to the mall with it yet, I’m pretty excited to take him because I don’t think he will fuss like he normally does. He’s extremely happy and content in the Armadillo.
We have taken the stroller with us to the lake, the park, and for walks around our neighborhood. I didn’t think I could like a stroller as much as I love my Mamas & Papas Urbo, but honestly, I love this one just as much! It’s lightweight, handles like a dream, has a fun, bright color, is priced about $200 less, and best of all, my boy is happy riding in it! Although my daughter generally prefers to walk, at 4 years of age, she still fits in this stroller as well; I love that it can be used for such a long period of time! Mamas and Papas once again has exceeded my expectations!
Buy: You can buy this stroller and other awesome items directly from their website, or look for their items at Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us and at Amazon.com. The Armadillo has a suggested price of $279.99 but is on sale right now for just $229.99! This sale ends June 2nd, 2014, so don’t miss it!
Disclosures: I was sent the stroller mentioned above at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours and/or Mamas & Papas.