*** Just a heads up…I do not usually do reviews, this is just an honest opinion from one mom to another about a product that I was blessed to find and I am so excited to share with you! I did not get any payment / compensation for writing this review.***
In the months leading up to our big trip from SA to Belgium I spent a lot of time researching the perfect travel stroller. I knew I would be taking my Ubuntu Baba carrier, but I also wanted to have a stroller that folds up really small and handles easily with one hand. I read many many blogs, but most of the strollers that were reviewed were not available in South Africa. If they were available, it was mainly in baby-boutiques, and the price-tags reflected that. I prayed about it and decided to forget about it for a while.
One morning while scrolling Facebook, a random stroller caught my eye from one of the “suggested posts”. It was a brand new South African company, Banimal Kind Creatures, that was only launched in May 2018, but the stroller looked a lot like one of the top-range strollers I have been researching. On further inspection I also found it was for sale at a very affordable price. I sent them a message via their Facebook company page to hear more, and they were quick to reply and very caring. (The customer care is amazing and just keeps getting better!)
Within a week my stroller was delivered fully assembled in a teeny-tiny box. Yes, it folds that small! It weighs only 6kg! The material of the seat and canopy is of a good quality and looks stylish and neat. We chose the grey model and love the melange as it hides spills and spots! It is easy to clean with a wet cloth and after 2 months of use it still looks like new. The frame feels sturdy and there are not a lot of gadgets that can break. It comes with a carry-bag and a cup holder. We ditched the cup holder as it makes the stroller more bulky when folded.
The canopy has good coverage, it kept most of the seat dry during a European-rainstorm and it keeps the sun out of Eran’s eyes. There is also a peek-hole in the canopy which comes in very handy if you want to see if baby is asleep yet. The storage basket looks deceptively small, but it can hold a 6-pack 1 litre milk containers (or beer here in Belgium 😉) and the Ubuntu Baba carrier fits perfectly!
We could not wait for Daddy to get home so that we could all go for a “test-drive”. The stroller opens with a quick shake (possible with one hand) and Eran sits in it quite comfortably. He likes holding / chewing the handle bar, and it its possible to fold the stroller with this bar in place. You can change the seat position from upright to flat with one hand, but need a second hand to put it back to the upright position. It reclines to about 150 degrees which is more than enough for baby to take a nice nap. Eran is quite tall, so his feet does dangle from the edge when he is sleeping, but it does not seem to bother him at all.
Closing the stroller is a little bit more tricky, but after a few practise-tries you get the hang of it. Just make sure there is nothing in the storage basket and that the canopy is fully folded before attempting to close the rest. Unfortunately this is not a one-hand process. Once folded the stroller is really compact and easy to fit into most plane/train luggage racks or cupboards, keeping the isles clear and my house neat. There is also a carry-strap fitted on the stroller which has come in very handy when Eran is in the carrier and we have to hop from train-to-metro-to-bus quickly. We live on the second story with very small, windy stairs and no lift, so it is also very convenient to get the stroller in and out of the apartment.
The wheels are solid and handle all sorts of surfaces well. We have tested it on grass, dirt, tar, pavements, carpets, woodchips and tiles and it is really easy to steer with one hand. The handle bar is also quite high, which is an important point for us as we are a tall family. Even the Grannies and Grandpas where able to operate the stroller with ease.
This little stroller is packed full of punch and we have used it for much more than just travelling! It works well on shopping trips and saves a lot of boot space! The price also makes it perfect to have as a backup stroller in dad / granny’s car. (Most of the other travel strollers I was looking at retailed between R4000-R8000, the Banimal is currently on sale for R1899!!) It is now available online and in Baby Boom stores so you can look and feel and steer for yourself! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.