Today Georgia and I went on our first solo shopping trip to Milton Keynes, so I decided to try out our pushchair seat that has just been sitting in our spare room rather than using our MaxiCosi car seat. I was planning on being there for a few hours and car seats aren’t recommended to be used for over 2 hours straight, so I needed an alternative.

I would have taken our carrycot… but quite frankly it wouldn’t fit in my boot as is quite bulky. I have a new Fiat Punto and to get my pushchair in my boot already involved storing it sideways and not having the parcel shelf on. Had I known that I can’t fit a standard sized pushchair sitting down in my boot, I may have got a different car and investigated boot sizes more thoroughly.

Our pushchair is a Mamas and Papas Sola2 in black. It had raving reviews and after trying it out in the shop, seemed like a really good pushchair.

As this was the first time that I’ve managed to use the carrycot, the pushchair part and the car seat, I thought it’s time to review it!

Sola2 pushchair review from shopping trip

Mamas and Papas Sola pushchairBeing able to navigate maze-like shops and quickly out maneuver oncoming toddlers is important for any shopping trip. As well as seemingly being able to turn on the spot to avoid walking into people, it’s also really handy to get in and out of lifts without raising a reversing signal. It’s also really easy to push one-handed while keeping the maneuverability  – I find this handy for when an extra hand is needed to hold shopping!

But, when the going gets tough – such as on wobbly paths on the walk to the car park – I locked the wheels in place to provide more stability.

The basket is also a great size to add my new buys.

Pushchair seat

The pushchair seat is suitable from birth and although she seemed to be swamped by the harness and wobble about in it a bit even with the straps pulled to their tightest, we weren’t planning on racing anywhere or having any collisions, so it seemed fine. Georgia slept really well in it too, so it must be comfortable! The seat can also be swapped from being mummy-facing to forward-facing for when she’s a bit older by simply lifting the seat up and turning it round to click back into place – couldn’t be simpler.

I also love that I was able to customise my Sola pushchair seat with a liner. Not only will this save my pushchair to make sure it can be used again and allow any accidents to be dealt with quickly, but it also looks really lovely and makes it more personal.

The carrycot

We inherited a carrycot base for the Sola from a family member and have so far used it when walking locally. I find it really bulky to take with us in the car, so we’ve always just made do with the car seat or now the pushchair seat! However, when I have used it locally, Georgia loves it and has fallen asleep quickly. It’s also ridiculously cute to use and reminds me of a classic pram, but with added maneuverability. As she’s quite a long girl, I don’t think she’s going to fit in it for 6 months so had we been starting from scratch, I don’t think I’d buy one for the times that we have used it.

Adapting to car seats

We’ve used our Cabriofix Maxi Cosi car seat with our pushchair on countless occasions. With the handy adapters which we bought separately, I can click the car seat out of her Isofix base in the car and straight into the pushchair without any faff. This helps a lot especially when she’s asleep (which is a lot of the time) as means that I don’t need to wake her for a quick trip to the shops.

General negative points

So far, I’ve loved using the Sola, with the only negative points being that it’s hard to get in my boot – which is more my fault than the pushchairs. It’s also a bit heavy to lug in and out of the car – again, this may be due to my lack of muscles, but isn’t unmanageable.

It’s been on long country walks as well as shopping trips and dealt with both really well, allowing me to focus more on Georgia without worrying about the chair.

Update at 20 months old…

I thought it would be useful to revisit this post now that Georgia is 20 months old. I still love my Sola2, but I have to admit that the heaviness of storing it and taking up room in my boot did outweigh its benefits once she began to walk. I still use the liner though!! At this stage, I just wanted a small pushchair that could fit in my boot and I found the Armadillo city- I wrote a review about it here and it’s such a great ‘next stage’ pushchair. I’d still highly recommend the Sola2 and it’s still in excellent working condition so if you’re looking for long walks as it’s fab. But if you are looking for a fairly inexpensive pushchair for toddlers that doesn’t take up much room then the Armadillo is fab.