Bugaboo Fox Review
It's been five long years since the last major pushchair launch from Bugaboo, so we were seriously excited to be one of the first to get our hands on the brand-new Fox...
Bugaboo is one of the best known and instantly recognisable buggy brands in the world, with something of a cult following. So what did we make of the all-new addition to the company's menagerie of animal-inspired pushchairs - the eagerly anticipated Fox?
What's in the box?
• Front wheels
• Rear wheels
• Seat frame
• Canopy wires and clamps
• Seat foam
• Seat hardware
• Super harness and footrest
• Bassinet base, mattress and stiffeners
• Underseat basket
• Carry handle
• Bassinet fabrics and apron
• Seat fabrics
• Hood fabrics
• Handlebar and carry handle grips
• Wheel caps
• Suitability: From birth
• Weight: 9.9kg
The Bugaboo Fox is available in several different colour combinations. With two different chassis colours, 13 hood fabric colours, five different seat fabric colours, four different wheel cap options and 3 for the handlebar grips, you really can customise your Fox to make it personal to you.
Bugaboo Fox Review: Chassis
Well, we can start by saying "Wow"! If you are searching for a sleek, stylish pushchair then the Bugaboo Fox is a match. The modern, oh so effortlessly light frame is combined with performance and comfort to create what might be the ultimate chassis.
There's been so much hype surrounding the Bugaboo Fox and its release and now we have it here at our fingertips, we can understand why!
We love the look of the Fox - it's sure to be a hit with style savvy parents. Bugaboo has made it clear that its aim with the Fox is to allow parents to ‘Have it all' - it recognises that parenting doesn't mean that we have to throw style and easy living out of the window!
The chassis as a whole is completely different to anything we have seen before. It's SO smartly designed that it's hard not to fall straight in love with the Fox from the word go. The chassis tubing is more slimline than we have seen from other full-sized pushchairs in the Bugaboo range. With the whole pushchair weighing in at just 9.9kg when complete, the chassis stands at a featherweight 6.3kg. Don't be fooled by its weight; this chassis is rock steady. It is made of aviation grade aluminium - this pushchair is built to last and look beautiful at the same time.
The central joint suspension makes the Fox one of the smoothest pushes we have encountered. Gravel, cobbles, grass, park paths, pavements and potholes - our little testers didn't notice any of it as the ride was so comfortable! What's more, Bugaboo fans and pushchair fanatics will be pleased to know that unlike previous Bugaboo models, there is ZERO PLAY in the chassis of the Fox, making for the most perfect push for the driver and far easier manoeuvring.
The handlebar can easily be adjusted via the signature simple clamp clips on either side of the chassis. This suits a variety of heights for the pushchair driver from the smallest to the very tallest but also makes squeezing into tighter gaps in urban spaces easier too. The addition of a safety strap gives added security to parents on station platforms and pushing next to busy roads. And naturally it isn't just any safety strap – it's a soft cotton webbed safety strap… very Bugaboo! Just to prove its parent-pleaser credentials, the Fox also has an integrated attachment points situated around the chassis to enable easy attachment of accessories such as a parasol, smartphone holder or cup holder, so if you wish you can purchase the cup holder and have your or baby's drinks to hand - or indeed any number of accessory options.
When it came to the wheels, we were again impressed. They're not like any other wheels we have seen in the Bugaboo range before. All of the wheels are large for the smoothest of rides (the front at 8.5" and the rear at 12"). The hard rubber outers rolled with ease and we are pretty sure they would stroll for a lifetime without wearing out. The front suspension gives the passenger a smoother ride over city cobbles and uneven surfaces.
All of the wheels are removable to make storing and cleaning the pushchair easier. Curbs are always something parents have to tackle and the Fox was well balanced and had one of the lightest and easiest curb pops.
The brake is simple and quick to operate and surprisingly sturdy considering it is so light and airy to use, making the constant stop and go of parenting life no problem. And no bruised toes whatsoever! There is even a colour-coded window next to each wheel which is red when the brake is engaged and black when released.
The Fox's large, high-sided basket means there is less of a balancing act involved when piling in shopping and belongings. The basket is so generous we were able to fit the usual parental baggage in there easily, plus a good few carrier bags of shopping as well.
Bugaboo Fox Review: Seat and Carrycot
We are reviewing the aluminum chassis, with grey melange seat fabrics, neon red hood and wood-effect wheels. It's good to know that the melange fabrics on the Fox are 50% recycled and all the other fabrics are 100% recycled - and we wouldn't have been able to tell from their feel or appearance. There are several other colour options including the brand new Fresh White and Birds fabric options.
As with the chassis, detail has not been overlooked. The brand-new Lucid design seat unit uses the same frame for the carrycot and seat fabrics with Lucid strengtheners to provide ergonomic support for baby. The seat is gorgeously padded with that style element peeping through again in the detailing of the stitching. We all know pushchairs can be magnets for dirt and mess so the fabrics are easily removed and are washable.
The size of the seat will stand out as soon as you clamp eyes on the Fox. It is 50cm and our nearly 3-year-old tester still had some headroom left. It is also 36cm wide and a whopping 26cm deep. The depth really does make it the ultimate in comfort for your child when in a seated position.
There is a five-point ‘super harness', which is padded out beautifully with harness pads that were just the right size to protect our tester's little shoulders without being too bulky. The super harness is a stay-open style harness, which was so easy to use by clipping each strap individually into the central white buckle clasp. We loved how this allowed us to place a sleeping baby in and out of the pushchair without disturbing them and rooting for harness straps behind and under them!
The seat unit of the Fox boasts some of our favourite features of this pushchair:
The hood – it's large and it gives excellent coverage when fully extended using the zip-open panel. It almost touches the bottom of the seat unit, keeping baby cool and protected during hot days and to keep out those extra draughts during colder days. We loved how it also shaded baby from the light whilst snoozing. It's worth noting that there's no peek-a-boo window for when your baby is covered by the hood or world-facing. The 100% recyclable hood has a fold of material that hangs down when half way extended. You might find that playful toddlers enjoy fiddling with this! If that bothers you, the melange hood fabrics don't do this, so pick that option.
The bumper bar (or carry handle as called by Bugaboo) is not only lavishly covered in leather with stitch detailing but it pivots on both sides. It is removable on either side by pinching the white buttons together. The bumper bar clips in with metal ends much like a car seat belt. It is not as flexible to angle out of the way as some. The metal ends may not be to every parent's taste as the end of the bumper bar can rest on a toddler's legs when getting them in and out of the seat if it is not folded right out of the way.
The seat was easy to recline using a one-handed motion to three different positions and was smooth enough not to wake baby.
It was easy to flip the seat from parent-facing to world-facing mode with a square button on each side of the seat unit. These are memory buttons, meaning the seat can be removed and turned around using just one hand if you are balancing baby in the other.
One added bonus of the seat was that it is ever so slightly higher than that of many other pushchairs, meaning your child isn't privy to a view of people's legs and reduced to breathing in car exhaust fumes – they get a great view and you get a great view of them also.
The raincover for the Fox is easy to pop on and off and is supple and malleable. It folds back into itself, forming its own little pouch.
The new Lucid seat frame design means that the seat fabrics and carrycot fabrics both attach onto the same frame. The carrycot fabrics are deep and really cocoon baby. It was great to see a carrycot that baby can lie in comfortably up to and over 6 months of age. It was a bit of a ride swapping the fabrics from carrycot to seat, but remember you do only have to do it once!
We also tested the Fox with Bugaboo's wheeled comfort board with seat - an optional accessory that can be purchased separately - attached. With a 6-month-old in the seat unit and a nearly 3-year-old on the board, the Fox still pushed as smoothly as it did without the board. The only niggle was that you did have to navigate around the child and board to reach the brake pedal.
Bugaboo Fox Review: Fold
Folding the Fox can be done in two ways… as a one-piece fold (with either the seat or the carrycot in place) or as a two-piece compact fold which enables easy storage or transportation. We found it pretty simple to operate in both instances.
Unfortunately, two hands are required to operate the fold, so you will have to make sure that you are hands-free before you begin. On each side of the chassis you will see two colour-coded white buttons. Push the buttons in whilst pulling upwards and drop the handlebar towards the floor. Pick the pushchair up by the central barrel and the front wheels will draw into place. Something completely new to Bugaboo is the chassis auto-lock, which you can see clearly as the white twist discs on the inside of the barrel joints.
To unfold the pushchair just twist the memory auto-lock discs and pull the chassis back up into place - you will probably find that two hands is handy for this process too.
Folding with the seat on makes for a bulkier but free-standing fold. Removing the wheels and seat or carrycot meant that the chassis and seat fold down so flat that they can easily be fitted into quite a small car boot.
Bugaboo Fox Review: Conclusion
The Bugaboo Fox is the most usable pushchair we have had here at Pushchair Expert for some time. It totally nails the combination of style, functionality and comfort. It's simple yet lavish, with lots to offer.
It is, however, not perfect. The lack of peek-a-boo window and the hanging material (not an issue with melange fabrics) marr the otherwise brilliant hood and you may not like the bumper bar with its seat belt-style clip, which can be awkward at times.
These issues are a small price to pay. The key is in the tiny details with the Fox - even the raincover gets a round of applause for style and simplicity of use. If you're style-savvy, appreciate the finer details in life and want your baby to travel in absolute comfort then the Fox should be at the top of your wish list. It is beautifully designed, looks fantastic and most crucially is very light and incredibly well engineered.
We give the Bugaboo Fox 5 out of 5 stars.
See more of the Fox over at the Bugaboo website