We were originally going to buy Oscar a trike for his first birthday next month. It was something that we had never got for Zach due to the limited space that we had in our old flat, and so I thought it would be lovely for him to have something that isn't a hand-me-down. Something that is totally unique to him, that his big brother never had. That, and I had no idea what else to get him!
When smarTrike got in touch last week to see if I wanted to try out their brand new folding trike, I couldn't say no! Even though it leaves me in the position of having to think of another present to get Oscar, being able to go to our local country park for the remainder of the summer with Zach on his bike and Oscar on a trike, was too good an opportunity to miss. I just knew they would both love it and I couldn't wait to see.
The smarTfold trike arrived on Friday morning and Zach was desperate to get it out of the box. He even insisted on being in the photo that I took of it before we took it all out – something which never ever happens nowadays!
So, what are the specs of the smarTfold?
The trike is designed to easily collapse down into a compact, lightweight storage mode making it ideal for travelling and transporting. It folds down to 15% of its original size meaning it is perfect for putting in cars, planes or garden sheds! The unique clickable folding design keeps the main body of the trike intact, meaning that no tools are needed to pop it back into trike mode! It easily switches from parent control mode to child control mode and comes with a UV canopy, safety bar, storage bag and eva wheels.
And what do we think of it?
Honestly, it is blooming great!
I almost – almost, didn't need the instructions to put it up! I just kind of went for it and then got a bit stuck half way but still managed to work it out. It was just that according to the instructions, there was a slightly easier way of doing it! It really does just click together though, they weren't lying. It has three wheels, one for the front and two for the back and they just click into place which is fab.
Note – it is important to check that the front wheel is put on the right way round as that's what makes it parent/child control. As we were wandering up the street, every time Oscar moved the handlebars, we ended up careering into a wall. After a few steps of me holding the front wheel off the ground, the other half had a good old look and noticed the pictures on the wheel which signified who would be in control. He took it off, turned it round, put it back on and boom – suddenly I was in control and stopped crashing!
The steering on the trike is really good as it is so light – even with Oscar sitting on it. I was easily able to steer it one handed and the only time I needed to use two hands was to get it up kerbs. Zach also found it really easy to steer and push and had so much fun with it. He ran with it and skipped with it with ease!
The only thing it isn't great at is reversing and also turning whilst stationary. I found that if we had stopped and I wanted to turn it, I would need to move it forwards slightly and then turn it.
The first stage of the 7-in-1 is for 9m+ and the special feature is a comfy foot rest for baby. For 12m+, the foot rest comes off and there are a couple of lower down poles that attach for them to rest their feet on. Once it goes into child control mode, the pedals are put on instead so they can ride it themselves.
When the other half had finished the quick assembly, he said to me that he didn't think Oscar would use the higher foot rest and he was completely right. Once he was on it, every time I popped his feet up into a more chilled out position, he put them down by the sides immediately! He was absolutely fine though and balanced perfectly well.
The seat has a harness style safety belt which is easy to adjust. It kept Oscar in place absolutely fine whilst giving him the freedom to play around with the handlebars. Speaking of handlebars, these too adjust so can be lowered or highered depending on the size of your child.
The hood of the trike is really good. The weather for most of our time over the park was really sunny and for the most part, it kept him completely shaded. And being UV, it made me happy to know he was safe from the beams under it. It also did a pretty good job of keeping the rain off of him when it decided to start spitting. Unfortunately, nothing could have prepared us for the onslaught of wind and rain that was about to hit us and just five minutes from home, we got caught out and had to hide under a tree for shelter!
I know the other half was cursing because I had purposefully walked just a little further down to the canal to take some gorgeous shots for this review and it's because of that, that we got caught out. Everyone got wet – including the trike! But, it was fine and it quickly dried so at least I can say that for the purpose of this review, getting drenched was a good thing! And I got this gorgeous shot!
The other fab thing about this trike is the bag that is attached to the back. It's really quite big and easily fitted a bunch of stuff in it. Usually I would have a changing bag with me but it wasn't practical so I downsized! It held nappies, wipes, suncream, two umbrellas and a baby carrier (just in case he got annoyed with it half way round!). It's great that for trips to the park, I don't need to lug my whole bag with me!
The folding down of it is just as easy as putting it up. It kind of goes in a full circle so make sure you do read the instructions first (or have a look at the video at the end!), but it did all just click into place. The front wheel is the only one that has to be taken off and it very handily fits into the hood. There is then a strap which connects from side to side which holds it all in place and the back wheels are used for transportation – it's just like a wheelie suitcase! It even comes with a protective bag 🙂
So that's what we thought of it, but what about Oscar?
He is so hit and miss with stuff, I never know whether he is going to take a huge dislike or an instant love. If I strap him into his car seat, he moans a little. If I strap him into his pram he moans a little. If I strap him into his highchair, he moans a lot. It seems the boy does not like to be restricted in space! Since this trike has safety straps, I thought they might instantly annoy him and that we would be starting off with tears but I couldn't have been more wrong. He was so excited and only got a tiny but huffy when I had to adjust the straps according to his size.
From the off, he was ready and raring to go and I know he found it doubly exciting that his big brother was on his bike. There is no doubt that Oscar loves to be involved in things, and he especially loves to be doing whatever Zach is doing and so he definitely loved riding along with him.
We were at the park for around about an hour and he was happy the whole time. He didn't once fidget to try and get off. He was sitting, busily taking in his surroundings – the surroundings that were oh so much closer than they usually are. He was pointing here and there, clapping his hands and squealing with delight. Usually when he is in his pram, he becomes quite relaxed, lazing back and just kind of lolling around! With this he was upright, full of attention and taking in the world. He absolutely loved it.
Overall, this new smarTrike is really very good. It's a hit with us and hit with Oscar and I know that if Zach was small enough to ride it, it would be a hit with him too! I love that it folds down because even though we do now have a bigger house, we are still quite limited to space and this will easily fit in the storage unit that we have in the garden. It'll also easily fit in our car so is perfect to take on days out. In fact, we could probably fit it in alongside the pram so we have both things to use should we need to.
On the basis that I was going to buy a trike for Oscar's birthday, I think it's safe to say that I would most probably have ended up buying this one. It is sleek, a gorgeous colour and he found it super comfy. It's also mostly easy to navigate and has a really spacious bag attached to it. As I pointed out, the only negative I could find was the reversing but that really is a minor issue. We definitely love this trike and I would highly recommend it.
Here's a little bit of footage from our walk, of us making #smarTdiscoveries with our boy! There is also a bit of unfolding and re-folding – with me in my pj's (because in order for two people to do filming the kids need to be in bed and I forgot to keep my clothes to hand – #mumlife)
The smarTfold trike is currently available at Argos.
We were sent the smarTfold trike for the purpose of this review. As always, all thought and opinions are my own.