BOB Jogging Strollers – Review

December 14th, 2009

BOB Revolution Stroller

BOB Revolution Stroller

BOB is, arguably, the best jogging stroller brand on the market today. The question is not whether or not to buy one, but rather which one is right for you and your lifestyle. As a retailer that sells tons of these strollers, we get this question every day. So, here’s what you need to know about BOB and how to go about choosing the right jogging stroller for your needs.

If you are a hard core runner, the BOB Sport Utility Stroller (SUS)

or the BOB Ironman Stroller will be a popular choice. What matters to runners is weight, stability and durability. The stroller needs to roll smoothly, be able to stand up to the hundreds of miles that you’re going to put on it over the next few years, and be as lightweight as possible.  Both of these BOB Stroller models have these features in spades. The 16-inch aluminum wheels help keep the overall weight down to 20.4 pounds on the Ironman and 21.1 pounds on the D’Luxe SUS. They both have fixed front wheels to add much needed stability, a necessity when using the stroller primarily as a jogging stroller. 

The BOB Revolution was a welcomed addition to the BOB family a few years ago. It’s the swivel-wheeled version of the Sport Utility Stroller that BOB is best-known for. It was created for parents that want the performance of a jogging stroller combined with flexibility and versatility of a standard everday stroller. If you like to walk on the beach, through the park, up a mountain, and through the tiny aisles at the supermarket, then the BOB Revolution Stroller

is a great choice for you. The front swivel wheel enables you to maneuver just about anywhere. Lock it in place and you’ll have the stability needed to go for a long walk and a light jog.

BOB Ironman Duallie Stroller

BOB Ironman Duallie Stroller

The BOB Revolution also comes in a 12″AW (All-Wheel) version

. Instead of the 2 large 16 inch back wheels on the standard Revolution, the AW features 12 inch aluminum back wheels, to match the front swivel wheel. The result is a lighter stroller with increased maneuverability. Simply put, a smaller wheel means a smaller turning radius. So, it takes less space to turn, allowing you to steer through even tighter spaces. The smaller wheels also take up much less space in your car trunk.

All BOB stroller models are available as Duallies (double stroller) as well.  You will compromise a bit  on performance, but with 2 kids you must be used to compromise by now! All BOB Duallie Strollers

fit through standard doorways, making it just as easy to get around with two kids as you were accustomed to with one. BOB is one of the very few stroller brands to offer such versatility.

So, remember, the scale from hardcore runner to casual stroller starts with the Ironman (large, fixed wheels), and follows with the SUS, the Revolution, and finally the Revolution AW (small wheels with a swivel).

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Kushies Shangrila Activity Mat Review

December 10th, 2009

Kushies Shangrila Mat & Arch

Kushies Shangrila Mat & Arch

This was the best Activity play mat on the market (according to our customer reviews and sales volume figures), but then the Kushies Shangrila Acitivity Mat

took a 6 month hiatus…Even though the mat was a top seller, there were numerous reported defects. Mostly, it was the mat arches that kept braking off.  Kushies took it off the market for a little while to iron out the manufacturing issues. Now the mat is back and it’s better and stronger than ever!

My younger son, Hudson, has been looking at, and crawling  all around this thing since he was born. What makes it such a great mat, and better than all the others is its versatility and simplicity. First off, the mat is reversible. On one side, it features a black and white pattern of shapes and other designs. The black and white contrast is great for early childhood development. Also, babies are color blind at first anyhow. The other side is a soft plush mat filled with various colors and detachable toys (secured with Velcro tabs). This side is great once your child becomes more interactive.

The mat can be used on it’s own or with the arches, giving you the option of limiting the amount of stimlulation your child gets at one time. It also allows you to use the mat in the park or at the beach (don’t worry, it’s easy to clean).

Kushies Bobble Teether Toys

Kushies Bobble Teether Toys

The Arches get attached with Velcro on all four corners as well, making it really easy to put on and take off. Kushies  includes a few teething toys as well. these can be clipped onto the arches through the plastic ring at the top, or simply velcroed to the arches around the mat. As I’m writing this, I am realizing that Kushies really loves Velcro! Joking aside, we prefer it over hard snaps. It provides a smoother surface and a stronger hold. 

Kushies also sells a few clip-on teether & toy sets

that can be used with the Shangrila Mat & Arch, making it an even better buy.



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Beaba BabyCook Food Processor Review

December 8th, 2009

Beaba Babycook Food Processor

Beaba Babycook Food Processor

Our youngest son, Hudson, is finally ready for solid food, so we cracked open the Beaba Babycook

box last weekend and started making our own baby food. This thing is great!

You might be asking yourself why you’d shell out $149 for another version of the food processor you have sitting in your basement or tucked away behind the pots and pans in your kitchen. I know I did… All I can say is that it’s worth the money and is much different than the blender you’ve already got.

Taking it out of the box, it’s pretty easy to assemble. There aren’t many parts to it, just the blade, splash lid, cover, spoon/spatula, and steaming basket. It took 2 minutes to put together. It comes with a cooking guide/Recipe book which is very basic, but gives you a good idea of how to steam and blend as well as some ideas on what to cook for your little one.

What makes the Beaba Babycook so unique is that it steams and blends your food in the same blending bowl. The steaming feature can be used to soften raw vegetables to prepare them for blending, or to defrost baby food that you have already made. Steaming time is determined by the amount of water you put into the Beaba. There is a chart in the recipe book to help guide you with that. We started by steaming raw carrots in our Beaba, then blending them…all with the flick of a switch! The Babycook has one dial, with 2 settings; “Blend” and “Steam”, so it’s hard to screw it up.

Beaba Babycook Multiportions Tray

Beaba Babycook Multiportions Tray

Beaba also makes the Multiportions Tray

, a soft plastic tupperware tray with air tight lid to store and freeze your baby food in seven 1/4 cup portion sizes. Once frozen, the soft plastic compartments make it really easy to push and pop each portion out. If you opt not to get the tray, any household tupperware will work just fine.

Overall, this is a great machine. It will save you money by not having to buy all that expensive baby food. It’s also much heathier for your child and comforting for you to know exactly what you’re feeding them.




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Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller Review

December 7th, 2009

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller

Pampered Tot is one of the largest Bugaboo Retailers in the USA. As a Dad to two young boys, I have had a 2006Bugaboo Cameleon for 4 years, and a 2009 Bugaboo Cameleon

for the past 6 months. With my experience as both a parent using one, and a retailer selling them, my goal is to give you enough practical information to help you decide if the Cameleon is right for you.

Let’s start with the version or model, since so many of our customers seem to be worried and confused about getting the latest Bugaboo Cameleon on the market. The significant model change was in the 2008 model year. In 2008, Bugaboo added foam wheels (replacing the air filled ones) and easier height adjustment clips for the handlebar (previously a fly-nut that you had to twist). They have not made any changes to the stroller in 2009 or 2010 (aside from the Bugaboo RED Special Edition Stroller which has a black Chassis).  So, any Cameleon made in 2007 or before is an older model. Anything made in or after 2008 is the new model.

The Bugaboo Cameleon comes in 4 Standard Base Colors (Sand, Red, Dark Grey, and Dark Brown) and one special edition Bugaboo RED Denim Base. These 5 Base colors can be matched up with any of the 9 Tailored Fabric Set colors to provide 45 possible color combinations.

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller with Accessories

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller with Accessories

What about functionality? Well, there isn’t much this thing can’t do. The stroller seat and bassinet can be placed on the stroller chassis in either direction, so you can have your child forward or backwards facing. Although, with the movable handle bar, there’s no need to move the seat. Unique to Bugaboo, the Cameleon (and Frog) stroller handlbar can flip forward or back, allowing you to change your child’s position and view without having to remove them from the stroller! It’s a bit harder to push when the larger fixed tires are in front, but it’s a nice feature to have when you want to change your child’s position without disturbing them. Shocks on the front wheels makes for a really smooth ride, not matter where you are. Large rear tires allow you to take this stroller anywhere. We take ours to the park, beach, and on unpaved terrain. It performs well on all surfaces. Add a height-adjustable handlbar for those really tall parents, and you’ve got a complete and comfortable ride for both child and parent.

We get asked about the bassinet feature quite a bit. It’s important to note that the bassinet and stroller seat share the same stroller seat frame. So, you will not be using both at the same time. Parents should be using bassinet and infant car seat (with a Bugaboo Car Seat Adatper) for the first 3 to 9 months, depending on the size of your child and their willingness to use them. Once they are big enough for the stroller seat, you will remove the bassinet from the seat frame and install the stroller seat fabric to it. It’s quick and easy, although not quick and easy enough to switch between the two, so be sure you are ready for the stroller seat before removing the bassinet.

There are so many accessories for this stroller, so you have to break them down into want vs. need. What you really need is a  Cup Holder

and, most importantly, the Car Seat Adapter . The cup holder is pretty self explanatory; It’s great for a coffee or a baby bottle. For the car seat adapter, you have 3 choices; The Graco SnugRide, Maxi Cosi Mico, and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP adapter. Bugaboo created all 3 so that parents could choose from amoung the best selection of car seats on the market.

Bugaboo Cameleon Footmuffs

Bugaboo Cameleon Footmuffs

The footmuff

is essential if you live in a cold climate. We thought we could get away with blankets instead. However, even in Southern California winters, the footmuff is a great item to have. The bottom half of the footmuff stays on the stroller seat like a seat linner (the seat straps poke through it, so they can be used with the footmuff), while the top half just zips up around the seat, creating a warm sealed sleeping bag.

The Sun Canopy

is a great add-on; not a neccessary purchase. However, if summer days are stiffling, your child will appreciate the extra ventilation of the side and top mesh windows. They’ll also appriciate being able to look through them, as it brings in some light and a provides a bit of a view! They come in 9 different colors, so it’s also a relatively inexpensive way to change the look of your Cameleon.

The Sun Shade

and Parasol are both meant to do the same thing; block the rays. However, they do so very differently. The Sun Shade is great because is blocks/protects your child no matter where your stroller is facing. It encloses your child in a cacoon-like pocket, completely sheltered from the

Bugaboo Cameleon Sun Canopy & Sun Shade

Bugaboo Cameleon Sun Canopy & Sun Shade

elements. It’s a little hard to see into the “caccoon” to check on your child, but easy for them to see out. The Bugaboo Parasol is great at shielding your child from the sun, but requires constant adjusting if you are moving in different directions. So, the sun shade is great because it doesn’t require any adjusting. However, if you want to see your child and have better airflow for them, I would recommend the parasol. We used the sun shade when our kids were born (they slept all the time, so it was great to have full coverage), and the parasol when they got a little older and wanted to look around.

The Wheeled Board

is great if you have 2 kids, or if your child gets restless and wants to stand up. Bugaboo just came out with a Universal Wheeled Board, which can be used with any Bugaboo Stroller. Installing it is really easy (2 plastic brackets, no screws). When using it, your child stands in back of the stroller and through the handle bar. The Wheeled Board gets in the way of your walking stride, so you will have to walk with a shorter stride or a little off to the side. When not in use there is a bungy cord draw string to pull it up, much like a draw-bridge so you are able to walk normally behind your stroller again.

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller (Folded without wheels)

Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller (Folded without wheels)

So how big is it, really? Well, it’s not small, but it will fit into most 4-door and even hatchback car trunks. The 2-piece fold is a little frustrating at first, but shouldn’t deter you from buying one. After 2 or 3 tries, you won’t even notice it anymore. It’s easy to open, easy to put away, and rolls through the tightest spots at the supermarket and small retail shops. The underseat bag looks tiny, but is deceivingly massive. It’s a little tough to access, but has enough room to store just about anything you need for a quick stroll or a long day away from home. 

Hopefully, this has answered many of your questions about the Bugaboo Cameleon. In the 4 years that we’ve had ours, we’ve never had an issue with it. It’s a stylish workhorse. However, if you do have an issue, the stroller comes with a  great 2-year warranty (and the customer service is excellent).

Overall, the Bugaboo Cameleon is a great stroller. Very expensive…but worth the $979 price tag (I can’t believe I just wrote that…).

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Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair Review

December 3rd, 2009

Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair

Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair

The Tripp Trapp Chair

from Stokke is not your typical high chair. In fact, it hardly looks like one at all. If you’re looking for the tray you will looking for a while, and that’s because the Tripp Trapp doesn’t have one! The whole idea behind the design of the Stokke Tripp Trapp is to bring families closer together, by enabling everyone to eat at the dinner table. That’s right, even your 8 month old baby will be part of the dinner conversation, as the Tripp Trapp pushes right up to the table, much the same as any dinner chair. If you think it could get a little messy, make sure to get a Table Top , Stokke’s version of the ultimate child placemat. It comes with 6 printed plastic inserts featuring different patterns, designed to enhance your child’s developmental skills. It also provides a topic for fun dinner conversation. The Stokke Baby Set allows children as young as 6 months old to join the dinner table.

At $249, it’s pricey for a high chair. However, what most parents don’t realize is that the Stokke Tripp Trapp is weight tested up to 200 pounds. Therefore, it can be used by parents as well! The stength of the chair allows kids to use it as a desk chair when they’re done with it at the dinner table. It can be used with the Stokke CARE Changing Table

(which turns into a desk ). When you weigh these benefits, it actually a bargain!

Stokke Tripp Trapp Table Top

Stokke Tripp Trapp Table Top

The Tripp Trapp comes in 10 cool colors to match your dining room, or to provide contrast to make a bold statement. Parents can also choose from several fun chair cushion choices, making the Tripp Trapp the most stylish high chair we’ve ever seen.

There are several height adjustment options for both the seat and the footrest, accomodating the growth of your child for years to come.

At Pampered Tot, we sell hundreds of these every month, and for good reason. It’s built well, made in Slovenia of solid wood. It has more uses than just a typical high chair. It’s also really easy to clean.  There are no plastic parts with hard-to-clean and hard-to-reach nooks and crevices. It’s also not a huge eye soar. The chair blends into the decor of your home, instead of created a whole new theme.

Sleak, stylish, and unbelievably practical, this chair gets high marks from us. As a store owner and as a parent with 2 kids and 2 Tripp Trapp Chairs, I give this product and the  Norwegian company that designed and built it very high marks. 

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2010 Quinny Buzz 3-Wheel Stroller

December 2nd, 2009

New 2010 Quinny Buzz 3-Wheeled Stroller

New 2010 Quinny Buzz 3-Wheeled Stroller

So many of our customers are calling in and asking us when the new 2010 Quinny Buzz 3-wheeled strollers are coming in, and what’s different about them. So, here’s what we know;

The new Quinny Buzz

and Maxi Cosi Mico car seats will be available between late December and mid-January 2010.

Quinny lowered its price for the stroller to $499 (down from $579), a smart move given the state of the economy. The price reduction was made possible by removing a few less needed accessories from the box, such as the bug net and rain cover. Since most people don’t use these at all, why pay for them! At the $499 price, these should be flying off the shelf. Based on the emails and calls we’ve been receiving about them, we expect sales to be really strong.

The 2009 model was offered in a 3-wheel and 4-wheel configuration. The 2010 model will only be available as a 3-wheeled stroller, with an option to convert it to a 4-wheeled stroller by purchasing the 4-Wheel Accessory

 for $89.95.

New 2010 Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat in Choco Mint

New 2010 Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat in Choco Mint

If you find the standard stroller seat be be too small for your child, Quinny came out with the Buzz XL Seat

, which is a stroller seat made with a thinner layer of foam material to create more space for your toddler.

The Maxi Cosi Mico Car Seat has remained unchanged for 2010. The have added 2 new colors to help match up with the new Buzz; Breen and Choco Mint.

All-in-all, Quinny is moving in the right direction. The color selection for both the Buzz and the Mico are quite refreshing. At a more moderate price of $499, the Buzz is a very appealing choice. 

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Orbit Baby Stroller Review- The New G2

December 1st, 2009

New Orbit Baby G2 in Ruby Red

New Orbit Baby G2 in Ruby Red

Many of our customers have been asking about the new Orbit Baby Stroller Collection

, known as the G2 or Second Generation, so here’s the situation; Orbit Baby is taking their wildly successful stroller line and giving it a bit of a facelift. They are expanding the color pallet from 2 to 3 colors by introducing Ruby Red into the mix, and they nailed it. The color is perfect…a great addition.

For all you Orbit Baby Stroller fans out there, you’ll need to be patient. The G2 collection is only coming out in Mid-February to early March 2010. Unitl then, stock of the G1 (current version) will be hard to come by. So, if you are expecting your child within the next 10 weeks, you better hurry and get one! If you have a few months to go, holding out for the G2 will give you the following new features;

The Stroller Chassis will feautre a solid cream color, a larger cupholder, slightly different handlebar adjustments, lockable front wheels, foam filled tires (no more tire pumps needed!) and their new patent-pending QuadShock system which Orbit Baby claims is the most advanced stroller shock system on the market.

New to the  Stroller Seat, Orbit Baby has added a custom reversible infant insert (with hard outer shell so that it can be used from birth), a removeable support bar with detachable snack tray, an extendable and removable footrest and, the most impressive “3D Rotation”, the world’s first rotate -and-recline interface. Yes, that’s right parents,  you can go from forward facing incline to a rear-facing  reclined position with one easy motion. This is the only stroller seat on the market that can do this. This feature is sure to grab the attention of any Bugaboo Cameleon 

or Stokke Xplory  buyer out there and give them some food for thought.

The Bassinet will be a little deeper and offer a removable apron. The Toddler Car Seat and Car Seat Base will remain unchanged from the G1 model.

All in all, I think Orbit Baby is making some significant strides forward in the ever-competitive luxury stroller market. Being an engineering-minded company, their products are always thoughtfully designed and offer great features that every parent is looking for when buying a stroller.

UPDATE: The New G2 line is finally available for Pre-Order

!

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Maclaren Stroller Recall

November 25th, 2009

Quest Sport Coffee Brown with Blue

We have had several inquiries lately about the Maclaren stroller recall, so I thought I would weigh in on the topic and help shed some light.

The issue is with all 9 Maclaren stroller models, new and old.

The recall was voluntary and it was issued because 12 kids had their finger tips amputated when their little fingers got stuck in the side hinges during the stroller unfolding process. When it comes to child safety, we must all take caution. However, please keep in mind that this issue was caused during the folding and unfolding process, not while strolling. So, parents, take the appropriate measures to fix the issue, but please don’t panic. Your stroller is fine, you just need to contact your retailer or Maclaren directly to have them send you a package of hinge covers.

Maclaren is providing all retailers and stroller owners with a package of 2 Hinge Covers. When installing them, it sufficiently covers/blocks the hinge area, preventing kids from getting their fingers caught. 

Once you have these and install them, you are ready to roll again!

Maclaren is a great brand, and they make great products. I stand by them as a parent and retail store owner.

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