Thule Sleek Review
The Sleek is a brand-new flexible pushchair from Swedish company Thule. This multi-configuration, single-to-tandem pushchair has undergone the Pushchair Expert test, so let's see how it performed.
What's in the box
The RRP of the Thule Sleek is £780, or £960 with the Bassinet included.
• Weight: 12.7kg
• Folded size: 83 x 60.5 x 42cm
• Suitability: From birth to 15kg
• Bassinet £230
• Sibling Seat £270
• Glider Board £90
• Snack Tray £37
• Footmuff £140
• Seat Liner £37
• Mesh Cover £37
• Bassinet Mesh Cover £37
• Rain Cover £45
• Bassinet Rain Cover £45
• Changing Bag £90
• Organiser £40
• Cup Holder £18
• Car Seat Adaptor for Maxi-Cosi £37
• Car Seat Adaptor for Chicco £37
• Travel Bag £120
• Adaptor Kit £45
The Sleek is available in three colours: Grey Melange, Midnight Black and Navy Blue.
Thule Sleek Review: Chassis
Thule describes the Sleek as a flexible stroller designed to help you to share city adventures with your child. The initial build is really quite straightforward and didn't take hours of our time or significant brain power. We have to admit, once all set up, the Sleek struck us as more of an all-terrain, all-round pushchair rather than a city stroller, but its appearance is individual and industrial chic. It is most definitely a ‘Big City Buggy'. We were excited to put this Swedish-engineered pushchair to the test.
The four large, no-puncture foam-filled tyres are brilliant. The size and substantial build of the wheels meant that wherever we pushed the Sleek, it never struggled. Strolling on pavements is smooth and effortless but even pushing on surfaces such as gravel driveways and grass (where some other pushchairs would struggle) the Sleek moved really well and didn't stall at all. Perhaps this is down to the useful shock absorbers, which are stealthily disguised just above the rear wheels. There is the option to lock the front swivelling wheels into a fixed position but the Sleek pushed so well on tougher terrain that we didn't need to do this.
We were really pleased with the reflective rims around the wheels when pushing in the darker months and they really offered reassurance when we were pushing next to busy roads and public transport platforms. These may be a minor detail overall, but it's the finer details that make the difference to individual families.All parents need storage and this pushchair certainly delivers in the basket department. The large basket spans the undercarriage of the pushchair and has a zippable cover to keep all of your belongings safe, dry and protected whilst you are out and about. We can't exaggerate enough how fabulous this basket set-up is. There is a flip-open rear compartment, which provides an easy-access entry to pop things in or take them out without unzipping the whole cover.
The Sleek's brake system is a simple push-down pedal in the centre of the rear axle. It's nice and firm and there is an audible click, so you know that you have done it correctly.
The handle is covered with leatherette and feels lovely. It's quite a chunky handlebar as they go, which sits really comfortably in the palm of your hand. The handlebar adjusts in height by flipping open the clips on each side of the pushchair frame and moving the handle up or down to your desired height before securing the clips back in place. It has a fantastic range for the tallest and smallest of pushchair drivers - a real back-saver!
Thule Sleek Review: Bassinet
If you want to use the Sleek from birth, you'll need to purchase the Bassinet as newborn babies should lie flat to aid the correct development of their spine and internal organs.
We were really pleasantly surprised at the size of the Bassinet. It is really spacious and had more than enough room for a baby of 6 months of age to lie in there without feeling cramped.
The Bassinet has its own hood and apron. The hood extends up and clicks into place firmly. It is made of UPF 50+ fabrics and we found during testing that the additional visor on the front was really useful to shade baby from the low winter sun. The panel at the back of the hood zips open to allow air to flow through to baby's sleeping space, which we were really pleased to see, and the apron secures against the hood with magnets so there are no noisy velcro sounds to disturb those important naps!One thing we definitely appreciated about the Bassinet is that the raincover comes included in the box so there is no extra expense in buying additional accessories. It also comes with adaptors, which will be really handy if/when you add another child to your family as they allow the Bassinet to be used on the Sleek chassis as a pushchair for two.
Thule Sleek Review: Seat
The seat is suitable for babies from 6 months all the way up until they reach 15kg in weight (our 3-year-old tester is still not quite touching 15kg to give you a gauge of how long the pushchair will last you). It clicks onto the chassis in the forward or rear-facing position. You press the clearly visible black circles inwards to remove the seat unit.The seat is a good height and although the width is adequate, it measures 30cm at the shoulders where other pushchairs on the market offer a shoulder width of 32.5cm. The seat back is a fabulous 63cm, which allows plenty of room for growing toddlers to use the seat when needed. The Sleek seat can be reclined using the simple one-hand lever on the back. There are three positions to choose from and our little testers always felt comfortable whether sleeping, resting or playing. We were really taken by the fabrics of the Sleek. They are bold and workmanlike but still have an element of quality and class to them. They always wiped well when the pushchair passenger had the occasional spillage, which is of course inevitable with children on the go!
After using the Sleek for quite a while, we came across two points to note about the seat. The first is the harness. The 5-point system has an eye-catching blue buckle that is easy and simple to release with one firm press, but fastening the harness was a bit more tasking. The straps each attach to the central buckle independently and the waist straps often jumped or slipped out of their position before were were quick enough to secure the shoulder straps into place. Patience was key in this instance!
The second point to bear in mind concerns the adjustable calf rest. We expected this to come up further than it did so that babies and younger toddlers could sit and rest their legs. In fact, its highest setting is as seen in our pictures, which left our toddler sitting at a touch more of an angle than we would have preferred. She wasn't sitting as far ‘into' the seat as we would have desired.
The hood is a fantastic size and offers good shade protection. It moves smoothly but securely and is nice and quiet so shouldn't disturb a sleeping baby. The hood is made from a lovely thick material, which has a UPF 50+ protection factor and when fully extended offers a great calm and cosy place for your little one to snuggle up no matter where you are. The zip-open panel reveals a ventilated mesh panel, which was great to get fresh air into baby and on sunny days.
There is a bumper bar on the seat, which we found really easy to use. It is covered in the same lovely leatherette as the handlebar and has the bonus of being gate opening and rotating so it can be opened with one hand and swivelled to the side, making getting a child in and out of the seat much easier.
Thule Sleek Review: As a Double
A huge advantage of the Sleek is its versatility. It can become a double pushchair with ease and can even be used to transport three children if you needed. There are so many possible configurations and we had great fun trying them all out. We counted 15 ways that the Sleek could be set up in total - that's pretty impressive!
Transforming the single Sleek into a pushchair for two is actually really simple. The Bassinet or additional Sibling Seat both come with the adapters needed to attach them to the frame.
The instructions are really clear as to where the adapters need to be clicked and they aren't knuckle-breaking to secure into place.
A huge positive about using the Sleek as a Duo or Twin pushchair is that you can still access and use ALL of your basket space, something we have never seen before at Pushchair Expert. This makes such a difference to parents as we all know that double the children means double the luggage!
We also loved how both children could experience a full view of the world around them thanks to the cinema-style seating set-up. There was never an instance of one child being confined to the ‘lower' or less advantaged seat. This held great weight with us as parents.If you want to travel with three children then the specially designed Thule Glider Board clicks onto the rear of the pram for the sibling to stand on and hitch a ride.
Thule Sleek Review: Fold
Urban living requires a pushchair that can fold easily as you never know when you might need to collapse it down to get on public transport or store in the corner of a cafe. The Sleek is certainly simple to fold and this can be done with the seat unit in place too. When travelling in Twin or Duo mode, we did have to remove the Bassinets/Sibling Seat but the main seat was always able to stay in place.
To fold, simply pull up the triggers on the sides of the chassis. It is not a one-handed process, so you will have to make sure that your babies are safely secured elsewhere. There is an auto-lock on the frame that holds the pushchair together when folded, and this automatically releases when you pull the triggers to open it up again. The final fold package is quite large for an urban pushchair (83cm tall and 42cm wide) and it is also reasonably heavy to lift and transport - a far cry from how light it feels when being pushed.
Thule Sleek Review: Our Verdict
The Thule Sleek is undoubtedly versatile and extremely clever. It's a fantastic option for families who may choose to expand in the future thanks to its seemingly endless configurations. Although labelled as a compact urban pushchair, don't be fooled into thinking the Sleek can't handle the rougher terrain of dog walks on parkland and tracks - it can and it did!
The fabulous-sized basket means you can shop to your heart's content or carry all the luggage you might need for your day trip with the whole family.
The seat unit is tall and will certainly last you the course of your child's pushchair years. Those with limited house or car boot space might not favour the Sleek as the overall folded package is large for an urban pushchair, but you will be hard pushed to find a double or twin pushchair with a smaller fold.
The Sleek is a workmanlike but stylish urban pushchair that will be a great all-rounder for many families.
We give the Thule Sleek 4.5 out of 5 stars