By Nicky Chow
Getting ready to set off on a worldwide adventure shouldn’t be hamstrung by a hefty pushchair. Thankfully our Acro buggy is our lightest and most compact buggy – perfect for trips away. It can even be stored in its own travel bag. To put it to the test, we gave one to Nicky and family for their recent trip to Hong Kong. Was it the holiday lifesaver they needed? Find out for yourself.
In October this year we took Aoibhe on a plane for the first time. Having spent 11 months with Aoibhe it’s clear that my favourite mode of baby transport has got to be babywearing. Aoibhe loves it and, for me, it gives us a special bond. After reviewing the Armadillo City² I am yet to be convinced of the need for a second pram. That said, I wasn’t going to embark on 15 hours of flying with a 3-hour transit, in the largest airport in the world, armed only with a carrier! I’m keen but not crazy!
The Acro is advertised as a compact pushchair and they weren’t kidding. It comes all neatly folded and in its own bag with a shoulder strap. Now, this is a pram, right? That thing you put babies in to push around? So why would you want to carry it on your shoulder like a bag? I hear you ask. Well it’s not just to make it double as a trendy fashion accessory. The answer will come later.
Out of the bag, without looking at the instructions, this was not as quick, not as obvious and certainly not as easy as the Armadillo City2 to set up. Although when you’ve done it once it’s easier the next time and soon becomes second nature.
The pram itself is very narrow, upright and incredibly agile. I speed-karted Aoibhe around my flat and the Acro handled like a premium German Saloon! It has larger rear wheels and the small front wheels are doubled up for stability. The seating position is very upright and is not lie-flat and more of an airplane seat recline. The under-seat basket is very small as to be expected but did accommodate 6 of Aoibhe’s cuddly toys which she had to have for the journey. The hood is massive and provides ample shade. To fold and put it back in the bag, again it’s not as quick as the Armadillo City2 but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s not a problem.
So, to our journey. We started at Glasgow Airport with the Acro in the bag until we got past security. Mainly because I wanted to see if it fit in the scanner tray. It did! See, compact! I should add at this point that the Acro is small enough to take on the flight as hand luggage, that’s why it comes in a bag, it’s luggage as well as a pram. This was key for us as we planned on using it during transit in Dubai.
Following the security check, we brought out the Acro and Aoibhe was happily pushed along the airport, front-facing with a view. Those who read my last review, may remember that I’m not a big fan of front-facing prams, however as we used this solely indoors and there was no adverse weather, this was totally fine. She enjoyed it so much that we decided to keep Aoibhe in the Acro to board the flight. It was all level access as we entered the docking arm of the Boeing 777. I didn’t know if the Acro was small enough to get unobstructed all the way to my seat but I thought I’d give it a go. On the plane we went and we were pleasantly surprised that we cleared the business class aisle width with ease. However, that’s where the fun ended. As soon as we reached the less generous economy class aisle it was clear we weren’t getting much further! A clear indication if any that I should be flying business class! So, there I was, holding back the boarding queue trying to fold a pram up! Luckily, I had a cute baby with me to divert the glances of disapproval! After the Acro was folded, it fit easily into the overhead luggage compartment. Phew!
As we landed in Dubai, learning from recent experience, we kept the Acro in the bag until we cleared economy class and the plane for good measure. Dubai Airport Terminal 3 is the largest airport terminal in the world and you literally feel you are walking for miles to get to your gate, so the Acro came in super handy and it was equally easy to store on the Airbus A380 for our onward journey to Hong Kong. Beyond the airport though I didn’t use the Acro in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the sixth most overcrowded city in the world with a population of 7.5 million and around 5 million daily tourists. Definitely a place for babywearing and not a pram, no matter how small or good.
I think the Acro is a great travel buggy, despite its many joints needed for folding, it’s robust enough to use practically. I think it’s perfect for a city break or as a transit pram like we used it. An area of improvement might be to give the storage bag some wheels so it could be used as a trolley when folded. As light and as trendy as it looks, it does get heavy after a while! Secondly, Aoibhe is quite small so her legs don’t reach the foot rest, something adjustable here would also be useful.
Overall, I would give the Acro 4 out of 5, this could well be the second pram that we need.
So if you’re planning to jet set with your little one in tow, you can’t go far wrong with our light, compact Acro buggy. Overcrowded Hong Kong or not, it was clearly helpful to Nicky and Aoibhe as they navigated the busy airport and plane with ease. And that’s half the battle on holiday…
If you’re looking for a light, compact second buggy then we have a range of them to choose from, suiting your lifestyle where you like to go.