I hated shopping for a pram/pushchair/travel system and found the whole thing way too overwhelming because I had no fucking clue what I actually needed, or what I should be looking for in a pram, buggy or car seat.
But for something that’s only going to get crisps, shit and vomit mashed into it, we didn’t want to spend huge sums of money and a travel system seemed the way for us to go.
After shopping around, we finally settled on the Ickle Bubba Stomp V4, which we bought for around £400 from Child and Baby Store thanks to some strategic vouchering and a special offer.
Child and Baby Store
Can’t praise them enough. Allowed us to take advantage of their special offer, but delayed delivery until closer to our due date. They were bloody brilliant to deal with.
What do you get for your money?
Even when not on special offer, you get a lot of bang for your buck with the V4. The travel system includes:
- Chassis base
- Carrycot, apron and hood
- Pushchair seat unit, liner and hood
- Isofix compatible Galaxy 0+ car seat, footwarmer and hood
- Galaxy Isofix base
- Stroller footmuff
- Changing bag and mat
- Two sun shades for your car
No complaints here. Turned up when they said it would. Unfortunately the box had been severely damaged in transit, but there was no damage to the contents.
What I didn’t like
My biggest issue with the system is that everything needs two hands to do.
Want to take out the car seat? Needs two hands. Want to remove the carrycot from the chassis? Two hands. Want to collapse the chassis? You guessed it, two hands. That’s not the best thing ever when you’re juggling a tiny human being who just pooped everywhere.
“On one occasion it took two of us more than 20 minutes to get the damn thing out of the car.”
I also found the car seat particularly difficult – it was not even remotely keen to be removed from the Isofix base, and on one occasion it took two of us more than 20 minutes to get the damn thing out of the car.
Thankfully, once it had been used a little everything started to ease up and it became easier to put in and out of the car.
Unfortunately, the lever that releases the car seat from the base is really flimsy. Ours began to show signs of strain after just a few weeks and it’s now half-way to snapping off entirely.
I contacted Ickle Bubba about it, who said that it didn’t affect the safety of the seat and they’d send me a new one when it was entirely broken.
While it is fairly easy to fold the chassis, it’s still a pretty big frame. It only fits in the boot of my Renault if I remove the wheels from it – although that’s easy enough to do.
What I did like
It looks fantastic and we do get a lot of comments from people when we’re out and about with it. The coppery frame and the green contrast nicely and sets it apart from others on the market.
It’s comfy to push thanks to the faux leather handle, easy to steer and feels really safe and sturdy.
“The coppery frame and the green contrast nicely and sets it apart from others on the market.”
The wheels are puncture-proof and while they struggle on our shingle drive, they’ve handled everything else that I’ve had to throw at them.
The shopping tray is a decent size. It’s functional, comfy and as far as I can tell my little girl has no complaints about it (although she did spew up some milk in it the other day.)
The extras that came with it were good to – the changing bag is a good size and the changing mat and sun shades were a nice touch.
I had a shakey start with the Ickle Bubba – the tightness of the car seat caused some real difficulties for us and made the anxiety of taking our little girl out in the early days a lot worse.
That said, once it had started to loosen up and I’d got used to it, I became more of a fan.
The flimsy release lever on the Isofix base is disappointing, though. Although the V4 is good value for money, it’s still not super-cheap and you’d expect it to last more than a few weeks before bits started snapping and wearing out.
The Stomp V4 is robust and versatile enough, but the fact that you need two hands to perform most functions is problematic if you’re out and about on your own and I suspect it’ll put some people off buying it.
Still, that said, if that isn’t important to you the Stomp is really good value for money.
The Ickle Bubba Stomp V4 Travel system currently retails for £599.