Faye Harris and her family put the Bugaboo Bee 3 through its paces
Cult baby brand Bugaboo launched the first model of the Bee back in 2007 and it has been a huge success, especially for city dwellers. The third generation of the inimitable buggy has been a hit with celebrities and now functions as a travel system, with a separate carrycot and adapters for a car seat, so it’s suitable from birth right up to small children.
Until now, I’ve had a combination of an all-singing, all-dancing travel system and an umbrella stroller for quick trips, but I’ve always kept an eye out for the buggy to end all buggies. A tough call – but most of all, I was after a buggy that would suit both a new baby and a toddler, and would even allow me to cart both of them around (using a buggy board) if needs be. I never thought of myself as a ‘Bugaboo parent’, but I have to admit, it was almost love at first use.
The Bee is easily identified by its low-slung, pared back design which cleverly disguises it sturdiness. The minimalist look and small wheels won’t appeal to everyone, but I found this refreshing. With a myriad of colour combinations, it is easy to personalise, and the accessories on offer from Bugaboo are beautifully designed. The extendable hood deals very well with both rain and sunshade, and for cocooning a sleeping baby. The reversible seat looks good in both forward-facing and parent-facing mode.
Practicality and driveability
Given how lightweight the Bee is, it really does perform as well as, if not better, than a bigger travel system, with adapters for a car seat and a separate carrycot that fits on the frame for a newborn. Once you get the hang of the fold, it collapses well and takes up very little space.
The manouverability took me by surprise. For a pushchair with such small wheels, the suspension is incredible, which is just what you need when navigating London’s curbs. It is easy to push with one hand, and even with a buggy board added it still manouvres well.
One small annoyance is the lack of rain protection for the storage basket if your child is in parent-facing mode. But it’s not hard to cover belongings with a plastic bag or similar though, you just need to be prepared, or switch to forward-facing. The basket itself is generous for such a small-looking buggy.
I love the extendable seat that can be easily elongated if you’re using the buggy to switch between a baby and a toddler, like I am. The adjustable seat has a good lie-flat option, but the most upright setting was still not upright enough for me and causes the baby to slump backwards unless I loosen the straps to allow her to sit up. It really depends on her mood as to which she prefers.
A friend told me before I had baby number one to get a Bugaboo Bee, and I wish I’d listened to her advice. My toddler loves using the buggy board (there’s also a handy seat that attaches to it) and my baby is remarkably happy in it, whether awake or asleep. In fact, I’m so pleased with the Bee that my wandering eye has stopped considering other pushchairs. I feel I’ve met my perfect match.