I was excited to try the Mamas and Papas Armadillo stroller because, while I’m familiar with Mamas & Papas, this particular brand was not one that I tested when I selected a stroller before my daughter was born. We live in the city and do a lot of walking so my priorities for a stroller are that it manages the varying terrain of city sidewalks, is as compact as possible to fit into small stores and restaurants, and is, of course, a comfortable ride for the passenger. The Mamas and Papas Armadillo stroller definitely meets these criteria.
When the stroller arrived I was impressed with how small the box is and how little packaging is included inside the box. The only assembly required is snapping the four plastic wheels into place and threading the break cord for the foot break under a Velcro flap before securing the flap. The directions for assembly were straightforward enough, but I must admit that it took me a while to figure out how to close and open the stroller. It is not difficult to do either action, but the instructions that came inside the box were somewhat lacking on these two actions. I should have gone directly to the Mamas and Papas website because they include a video among the product photos that does show how to open and fold the stroller. The video is relatively short and does provide one with a good sense of how the Armadillo stroller works and what its capabilities are. Once you figure it out, it is simple to fold the stroller closed.
The Armadillo is relatively compact when folded; it has a lock to keep it folded and easily fits in the trunk of my car. It is not as small as an umbrella stroller but it offers the function of a full-size stroller with a much smaller footprint. I like that the back of the stroller is plastic and faces outside, while the canvas seat is folded inside; however, the plastic adds quite a bit of weight to the stroller. I wouldn’t classify the stroller as heavy, but because of its weight, I probably wouldn’t take the Armadillo on a trip that involved the subway as I wouldn’t want to carry a toddler and the stroller up/down the stairs. However, it is easy enough to load in and out of a car and up and down a couple of stairs. The only terrain we’ve tested the stroller on so far is city sidewalks and inside stores on concrete or tile. The stroller offers a nice smooth ride and is easy to push and maneuver.
I received the Armadillo in Black Liquorice and I really like the overall look of the stroller. It is comparable in design and appearance to many strollers on the market, especially ones at a much higher price-point. My daughter seemed very comfortable in the seat, and there appears to be plenty of room to grow. According to the Mamas and Papas website, the stroller is designed to fit a child from birth and up to 50 pounds. The adjustable footrest is a really nice feature, and the seat is easy to recline. This allows your baby to be almost completely horizontal, which is great if your baby falls asleep in the stroller. I was able to completely recline my daughter after she fell asleep without waking her, and she slept comfortably while I ran errands.
The only negative comment I have about the function of the stroller is the harness buckle. It is a design that is not common here in the U.S., so on top of being unfamiliar, it is really tricky to manage with a squirmy baby. The top two straps have to interconnect before you can clip into the bottom strap that comes between the passenger’s legs. To line the top two buckles up while your toddler is trying to make a break for it is a challenge to say the least. With practice, I think you may be able to get the hang of the buckle, making it less cumbersome.
My daughter wasted no time in testing the durability of the Armadillo. The seat and canopy fabric is easy to clean, milk and cracker crumbs easily wiped off with a damp cloth and after a couple of spills the stroller still looks good as new. I was impressed that the stroller included a rain cover because not many strollers at this price-point include any accessories. The basket underneath is a nice size, and it is easy to access from the sides of the stroller. The footbrake is easy to use and works as expected. I have not used the stroller with a car seat adapter, but adapters are available for compatibility with Maxi-Cosi, Chicco and Aton car seats.
Overall, I found the Armadillo to be a great single stroller at a very reasonable price-point. I think it offers comfort and style and is very practical for a baby and toddler.
To buy: mamasandpapas.com