January 18, 2005

Micralite: Stroller-gami

micralite.jpgMy personal jury's been out on the Micralite folding stroller for a while, but several people have emailed me about it [including DT readers Stelly and Emily], so up it goes. The Micralite's made by Kolcraft for the UK market. For a while last year, they toyed with bringing it to the US as the Jeep Rubicon, but that didn't happen.

The Fastfold is a light travel stroller, weighing in at under 7kg (15 lbs), which puts it in Maclaren Triumph territory. Its main feature, though, is its origami-looking double wedge shape. I guess stroller designers stay up nights trying to tweak the standard right-angled folding stroller skeleton.

Like you'd want, the Micralite reclines a bit, and it folds up very nicely--as long as the giant underseat basket isn't full of extraneous junk, which it will be, I'm sure. The inflatable rear tires give it a smooth ride, even outside of the mall, and the pivoting front wheels give it a tight turning/maneuvering radius.

It's recommended for kids 6 months and up; any younger and you should check out the car-seat/travel system or the Micralite Fastfold Newborn, which includes a bassinet adaptor. Prices range from 169.00 to 240.00, plus s&h, minus VAT

Buy the Micralite Fastfold at GLTC, Ltd for 169.00
Buy the Micralite Fastfold Newborn for 240.00 at Groovystyle. Umm, yeah, baby?
Meanwhile, the Jeep Rubicon isn't available for $279.38 at babybeddingtown.com.

17 Comments

Oooh. I happened upon the micralite site while researching strollers, and have been longing to read a review of one of these. Looks to me like they would be a perfect lightweight stroller for Canadian winters (though of course they're not available here).

I am stroller obsessed right now, due in April and at this rate the indecision is going to mean that Junior better have walking licked from day one.

The Micralite is ALMOST my perfect stroller - love the looks, lightweight, wheels good for town or trail/beach. I've played with the stroller itself in shops, it folds nicely but is not that easy to fold (you have to manually wrangle the front wheels into the closed position)especially with the cosytoes on but is so much more compact than the likes of the Jane Carrera C or the Bebeconfort and Chicco umbrella fold models.

The bassinet/carrycot and travel system option looks good but poss fiddly as you have to attach arms to the frame (I understand these clip on) to put the car seat on. I think you have to take the arms off the frame to put the carrycot on as well - a pain for the first few months. The car seat is a Bobob Easybob which won awards for saftey and ease of use tho'.

Some websites say stroller is suitable from 6 months others from 3 months, that's confusing.

There's no cup holder btw and no bar or similar to attach dangly toys to.

I'm about 70% committed to ordering this system but live nowhere near a shop where I can play with it as a whole system (locally can only get the stroller). Grrr.

Keep wondering if I should get something with a car seat with a base (Graco, Chicco or M&P/Preg Perego) instead as do not fancy seatbealt cats cradling each time I take a car trip with Junior. I flit between wanting a 3 wheeler and simply something small and lightweight...ohhh.

Anyways hope the above is useful for anyone thinking about the Micralite. Great stroller, not so sure about it as a travel system.
Favourable reviews of the stroller at www.babyandtoddlergear.com (or poss that shld be .co.uk?) and more pics and prices at Uk megastore www.twoleftfeet.co.uk

Ok...I spent most of the day playing with strollers.

Much as I love the Micralite and all those 3 wheelers with suspension and jazzy stuff I've ended up with a cheap and cheerful Graco Expedition/Excursion that cost GPB 89. It IS a three wheeler but very, very basic (no obvious suspension, hard not airfilled wheels, fixed front wheel) but it is fab. Lightwieght, a doddle to fold and comes with the Autobase for fixing the car seat which I decided was a must to avoid car seat cats cradling every effing trip out.

Figure I have enough spare pounds to buy the Micralite stroller or (and?) the Quinny Zapp once need arises and Junior can hold his own head up.

Quinny Zapp going to be sold via Mothercare here so will become as ubiquitos as the Maclarens are now methinks.

I looked into all sorts of strollers from the Bugaboo Frog to the Stokke Explory, all of which are horribly heavy and bulky, until you come to the Micralite. Now all our friends have one as well! They only had to see us out with it once to be stunned by how compact it is and how easy to use - anything you can't use with one hand whilst holding a baby is useless, other manufacturers take note. Our 3 month old boy fitted in just fine thanks, so hopefully that answers the 3 or 6 month question.

As for being fiddly taking bars off etc. for the carry cot and car seat, I totally disagree, but I'm a design engineer and can see exactly what the design intent was and work with it. If you're having problems, sit down, take five and stare at the thing. It really is an excellent piece of design and will all make sense if you take a moment out of the hectic life of a newborn parent to see it.

Lastly, I own an old Honda Civic with a boot smaller than the case I use for a week's holiday. The Micralite fits in with the carry cot (which flat packs), the baby's bag and all our stuff for a weekend visit to the grand parents - even my 73 year old mum can work it with one hand.

I am looking for a stroller that will accomindate tall people 6'0-6'2. Don't mind spending a little more, but want something that has the flexability of a Bugaboo without the weight. Will the Micralite meet these expectations?

Did weeks of "research" before opting for the Micralite.
It met the critera we had - lightweight, large wheels and easy to fold and store.

We have a large height discepancy (5' and 6'1 respectively) and can adjust the handle bar. It's adjusted with a clipped on allan key, loosening and tightening two screws on top of the handle bars so not instant but not too difficult either. Got the newborn version with the carrycot and it's a really well put together piece of kit.

Shop around - we got it from the glasgow pram centre who price matched the best price we found on the web and have good customer service. One downside is that the instructions are amoungst the worst I've ever seen. However a couple of minutes fiddling with it will show how it works.

Overall a well designed and solid piece of engineering that just happens to be a stroller!

Is there anyone in the Toronto Area that has a Micralite? Would you be willing to meet me so I could try it up close?
How can I get it in the USA or Canada?

Where'd you find instructions on assembly of the Micralite Newborn Carrycot? mine didin't come with any.

The FastFold is a true lightweight stroller that can be operated with one hand; folding and pushing around. Do note that there is a newer model with lightweight wheels and easier folding mechanisim.

We bought a red FastFold from London and we love it! We had an Inglesina Zippy before but FastFold is definitely much better! More practical than a Maclaren too. :)

Ken Loon,
Where did you take the Micralite to , from London? We're going to England from US and my daughter wants us to bring one back for her. The size is over the max airline size and we'll have a $100 excess baggage charge IF they'll carry it. Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Fay

We are keen on the Micralite, but wonder if the fact it doesn't recline much is a problem ? Also, has anyone used the carrycot? It looks tiny? The Micralite definitely looks the lightest, most practical thing otherwise.

Hi Helen,

Not a problem at all. The Quinny Zapp is worse. The carrycot is actually very spacious. It is the best so far...

We're pretty close to purchasing the Micralite, but it seems that the major UK websites won't ship to the U.S.

Has anyone here bought one online and had it shipped to the U.S.? thanks

I just bought one on eBay. The problem is that shipping cost me over half what the stroller cost! GLTC (http://www.gltc.co.uk/) will ship to the U.S. as well.

I love my Micralite. It's great to be able to push it easily on the bus through the narrow aisle. One hand push easy. Once you get the hang of it, you can fold it very quickly. Don't like: 1) it reclines very little, I think my 6-month-old would appreciate a flatter surface for napping. 2) High shipping costs.

I am very interested in the Micralite. Looks very ideal - lightweight, easy to fold up for bus/subway/stairs, yet sturdy.
I live in NY and am wondering if I have problems with it, where can I take it for repairs? Anyone in NYC have this stroller? And would you recommend it over the Bugaboo?

To answer Sarah's question, I have a good friend in Bklyn, NY who loves their Micralite and said b'cause of it's back bigger tires, it is easy to pull it up and down the subway stairs w/ her baby in it. (who is now 1 yr.)

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