Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System Review
Based in Wales, Ickle Bubba is a brand that makes clever and practical products for parent and child. The Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System definitely fits in with this thinking.
If you are thinking that Ickle Bubba have just popped a car seat on the
original Aurora stroller and re-named it, then think again! There have
been several changes to the Aurora stroller since our last review so we
are keen to give this new Aurora Travel System a whirl to see how it
gets on in our review.
What's in the box?
• Aurora Stroller
• Galaxy Car Seat
• ISOfix base
• Travel Bag
• Sun Canopy
• Window Sun Shields
• Car Seat Adapters
The RRP of the full Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System is £250. If you don't need the ISOfix base, it is £199.
• Weight: Pushchair: 5.5kg
Pushchair with car seat: 8.9kg
• Folded Size: L64cm x W40cm x H21cm
• Suitability: Birth - 15kg
• Aurora Car Seat Adapters - £29.99
• Cosy Toes - £29.99
• Ickle Bubba Changing Mat and Changing Bag £29.00
• Infant Inlay - £29.99
The Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System comes in Pitch Black, Moonlight Grey, Red Sky at Night and Sunshine Yellow.
Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System Review: Chassis
The Aurora stroller itself is ready to roll as soon as you take it out of the box. It comes with a snug travel bag to keep it clean and tidy, which is great if you wanted to take it on a plane or store it away for a little while. All you need to do is release the chassis auto-lock on the side of the pushchair frame and with a flick of the wrist, the pushchair is up and ready for its very first passenger.
The Aurora Travel System is slightly different to the original Aurora stroller, with the main addition being the travel system adapter ports which are on the inside of the pushchair frame (almost where a bumper bar would go). But the handlebar has also had some adjustments since our original Aurora review.
The handlebar on this nippy little travel system is fixed in height at 103cm and comfortable for our 5'6" tester. Although an adjustable handlebar is often something on a parent's wish list, we haven't found it an issue at all. The handlebar is covered in soft padded foam which even after an hour's continuous walking, was comfortable in our hands.
The black chassis looks smart and when you stand behind it, it feels sturdy. The wheels are quirkily centred with a colour that coordinates with the hood of the pushchair. We tested the Red Sky at Night colour and the red wheels were striking and added an extra flair to the look of the overall travel system. The actual performance of the wheels interested us the most and they handled brilliantly over pavements and up and down curbs. The wheels are gifted with dual front suspension, which gives a super smooth ride, more so than you would expect for such a fine framed pushchair.
The brake is operated by two small levers, placed either side of the chassis. Push down to secure the brake and pull up to release. The brake was sturdy and definitely reliable when in use, but we did find the pedals quite small as they were hidden under the rim of the shopping basket. You need to have a good look at what your feet are doing before putting the brake on.
The shopping basket on the Aurora Travel System is one of its excellent features. It's far larger than expected for such a compact folding buggy. The solid frame of the basket gives it strength and it was easily accessible without disturbing the child in the seat.
The main party trick of the Aurora Travel System compared to the Aurora Stroller is the ability to use it with a newborn in the included Ickle Bubba Galaxy car seat to make a fully compatible travel system. The car seat adaptors come in the box. Rather than clipping the adapters onto the frame of the pushchair, the instructions suggest clipping them into the car seat first and then clipping the car seat onto the frame. Although not the usual way, it was simple enough to do and really easy to sort in a hurry. To remove the adapters, you just press in the release button and click them off, remembering to remove them from the car seat too before clipping the car seat onto the ISOfix base in the car. But we soon got the knack!
The ability to use the stroller as part of a travel system is great value for money. The Ickle Bubba Galaxy car seat is a group 0+ infant carrier that is included in the package. It's a great addition if you plan on going on a car based holiday with your little one, if you plan on travelling on a plane with your car seat or even if you just need to do quick school runs. You can click the car seat off your ISOfix base in the car and straight onto the Aurora stroller in a jiffy with the provided adapters. The photographic instructions make it very clear, but the seat needs to be in the lay flat position for the Galaxy car seat to click in securely. To start with, it needed a little wiggle to click the seat in but practice makes perfect and after a week of using the Aurora Travel System we found it a really easy motion to click and unclick the seat from the stroller.
When the Galaxy car seat was attached to the stroller, it was really cosy for baby. Our tester was totally sheltered as the car seat comes complete with a foot cosy and a lycra hood. The lycra hood hooks around the handlebar hinges of the car seat and uses its elasticated hems to cling on to the car seat and handle. We did find that it ‘pinged' off every now and then so tended to use the hood of the actual stroller for shelter.
We've completed an in depth review of the Galaxy car seat and you can watch our video here.
Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System Review: Seat
The padded seat liner is spongy and seemed very comfortable for our little one, reaching past the end of the seat to keep their legs away from anything hard. The seat back of the stroller measures only 40cm, which isn't very tall. Even a 9 month old tester's head seemed to be at the top of the seat back. However there is plenty of clearance between the top of the seat and the hood for taller babies and toddlers, there just won't be the same head support from the seat back if they fancy a nap whilst on the go.
After just a week of daily use of the Aurora Travel System, we have fallen in love with the harness system on the stroller. The 5 point harness is so easy to secure and adjust. It meant fuss free loading and unloading when we tested with a wriggly 19 month old in and out of the stroller! Just pop the two teeth together and secure them into the clasp and press the large red button to release. The pull cords on either side of baby's waist can be adjusted to perfection by one little tug and released again with the flick of your thumb! Such a simple design that was so, so welcome on busy trips out!
To recline the seat, there is strap system. Press the button on the clasp and loosen to lower the seat and pull the cord to get it back up. We could never manage to operate this with just one hand with the weight of baby in the seat but it was an easy procedure nevertheless. The lay flat position was exactly that making it fab for newborns and sleeping babies. The footrest can be adjusted to a horizontal position for when babies are napping which also gives the seat 6cm of extra length too.
The hood of the Aurora Travel System is as unique as the colour coded wheels. It is made from a fabulous stretchy (almost lycra- like) material. When fully extended, it gives amazing coverage which we found great to protect baby in the strong winter sun that we tested the stroller out in. Sometimes the coverage was so much that our passenger complained that they couldn't see, so we used the toggle to secure the hood to the halfway position.
Just below the hood on the back of the seat is a handy storage pouch which we found great for keeping keys and that all important pack of baby wipes in. That way your most treasured possessions can be kept to hand and you won't have to fumble in the basket or changing bag.
Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System Review: Drivability
The nippy wheels, lightweight frame and compact fold mean the Aurora travel system is perfectly designed for travelling and urban living. The dual suspension on the front swivel wheels gave a smooth ride for baby and push for the driver over pavements and indoors. It was easy (in fact almost effortless!) to pop curbs and the stroller felt strong and capable. We loved how light and smooth the Aurora Travel System felt to push with and without the car seat in-situ.
Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System Review: Fold
Small folding pushchairs seem to be trending recently and the Aurora Travel System doesn't disappoint in the fold department. It folds slightly differently to the original Aurora stroller that we reviewed back in the summer of 2016 which is mainly down to the slightly different handlebar design on the Travel System.
To start the fold, slide the top button on the top on the handlebar to the side with your thumb and squeeze the button that handily rests in the palm of your hand. The stroller will concertina down into a neat package and clicks together with the automatic lock on the side of the frame. The package isn't small enough to go in the overhead locker of plane but it's small enough to sling over your shoulder and very easy to carry when needed on day trips.
The fold package measures L64cm x W40cm x H21cm, which is pretty small in terms of strollers and we were thankful of the extra space in the small boot of our test car, a Nissan Micra. We tended to store the stroller in the footwell of the car as it was quicker and easier to grab when getting in and out of the car in a hurry, that way the whole boot was free for the food shop too.To unfold the pushchair, just release to auto-lock and with the flick of your wrist, the whole pushchair clicks up again. It really was that simple!
Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System Review: Conclusion
The Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System adds an extra dimension to the Aurora's roots as a small folding urban travel pushchair. The ability to use the stroller with the Galaxy car seat offers parents a versatility that isn't always an option with other lightweight strollers on the market. You can now comfortably use it from birth. The updated handlebar design gives the Aurora a strong and sturdy feel as well as making the fold fuss free.The seat back is on the short side meaning older babies and toddlers might not feel comfortable napping for too long in the stroller whilst out and about, but this can be combated slightly by reclining the seat and propping the adjustable footrest to the horizontal position.
The fact that the whole travel system comes as one package offers great value for money and the option of using other popular brands of car seat on the stroller frame too, is an additional feature that will be appreciated by many. We also love the fact that it now comes with an extended four year warranty for ultimate peace of mind!The stylish and individual looks of the Aurora stroller will definitely turn heads as you stroll thanks to the sleek and stylish frame and the fun colour coded wheels.
The Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System certainly offers parents versatility and practicality when travelling.
We give the Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System 4 out of 5 stars