Mellow Mummy: A Summer of Buggy Shades Reviewed : Taking life as it comes...

Monday, 4 October 2010

A Summer of Buggy Shades Reviewed

Summer is gone. Boo. So why then am I writing an article all about products designed to protect your little ones from the sun? Well, having spent the summer trialling different types of buggy shade, I have lots of experience which is fresh in my head and now seems like to right time to pass this knowledge on to anyone who is planning a purchase for a winter sun holiday. I'll also remind you all next spring when you might be planning to purchase something for the summer months ahead.

We have tried three different brands of buggy shade over the summer on our two totally different buggies. In case you're interested, we own a Maclaren Triumph and a Mothercare MyChoice.

The Shade-A-Babe

We bought the Shade-A-Babe this time last year for a mediterranean trip. Even then, when Lara was just 3 months old, her little legs rubbed against the harsh fabric over her knees. We bought it because of its UPF50+ sun protection and because it claimed to fit all buggies, ever. It does this through use of extra-long velcro loops which you trim to size; this is all very well but if you, like us, have to swap it between buggies which require two different sizes of velcro, you can't really trim them and they end up flapping around all over the place.

The Shade-A-Babe is the easiest to get your child in and out of as it has a big zip-up opening. It also has an extra level of sun protection over your child's face and it is the only buggy shade we have tried which is genuinely long enough to cover the full length of the Maclaren pushchair. The Shade-a-babe is bulky and the pushchair won't fold with it on so we got very stressed having to put it on and off all the time.

The Shade-a-Babe costs around £30 and they also make them in different colours and sizes to fit double buggies.

The Snoozeshade

The Snoozeshade sells itself more as a mobile blackout blind than a sun shade. It is full length buggy cover that offers UPF50+ sun protection.

We loved the fact that the Snoozeshade is made from a soft elasticated fabric because it was gentler on the legs when/if they rubbed and because it was easy to stretch over the buggy. It is also a lot more compact than the Shade-a-babe and can be folded up into its own little carry case.

We found the (fixed-length) velcro tabs a lot easier to fit and as such, it is more more appealing for when you know you are going to have to take the cover on and off frequently. We were a little disappointed that the Snoozeshade didn't quite reach to the bottom of the pushchair - it looked like it would be a better fit on a pushchair with a slight angled shape to it and it worked well when the MyChoice was in pram-mode.

The Snoozeshade has a very small peek-hole which zips up - I think I'd rather have a bigger opening in case I need to quickly get to my child.

The Snoozeshade costs around £20.

The Kurtis Baby Peace

I recently reviewed the Kurtis Baby Peace on The Family Panel. I liked it but I came to the conclusion that it is much better suited to a pram than a pushchair and that it wasn't very good value for money given the short amount of time that your baby will spend in a pram.

The Baby Peace is much easier to use than the other two shades because it doesn't require you to mess about with velcro. You simply clip the 100% organic cotton cover onto the roof of your buggy using plastic shower-curtain-esque rings. The Baby Peace looks great, offers the same UPF5-+ protection and is less cumbersome than the other two. It is incredibly easy just to push it to one side if you need to reach in to tend your child but it isn't really long enough for use on an upright pushchair.

The Baby Peace costs around £30 and would make a great luxury gift for a newborn.

None of these buggy shades is 100% right for our needs. There is no single one I would say 'yes', that's the one I recommend. I feel they are all lacking a little and could evolve a bit more. In terms of value for money and general ease of use, I tend to prefer the Snoozeshade for a pushchair. In terms of quality and looks, the Baby Peace is my favourite for a pram.

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