Graco Mirage Travel System

10:15

What with this pregnancy now being over half way through, and the need to buy things becoming more urgent (especially before I get too big to move), we went out and bought the Graco Mirage Travel System the other day and I just had to share it with you.

The one thing I knew when I was thinking of buying a pram/pushchair for the little one, was that I wanted it to be a travel system. For any of you that don't know what a travel system is, it is basically a pushchair that is suitable for use from birth which also comes with the car seat. The car seat attaches to the pram giving you a secure place for the baby as a newborn, whilst also allowing them to face you and giving you a better opportunity to transfer them smoothly between pushchair and car.

Then, when your newborn grows too big for the carseat, the pushchair can be used on it's own from birth to three years of age making it a long lasting and cost effective alternative to just buying a pram or pushchair individually.

The Combined Travel System


My initial impressions of the travel system, as a whole, is that it provides a very safe and secure environment for your baby. The car seat clicks nicely on to the tray at the front of the pushchair and can only be detached by pressing the button underneath the tray (something that took me a while to figure out!)

There is an individual hood for both the car seat and the pushchair which, when combined, means that you can completely cover the baby providing them with that much needed bit of darkness for sleeping whilst still being able to see them through the viewing panel on the top.

The rain cover that comes with the Graco Mirage Travel System is, in itself, pretty impressive and covers all of the areas that you could possibly hope to protect from the rain. With a large section extending round the back and side of the travel system and then the rest of the cover extending over the top, this will ensure that the baby is kept warm and dry whilst you get soaked.

My only slight issue with the rain cover is that the rather large white label on the top covers the viewing panel which you would normally be able to see baby through. However, having tested it, you can also fold down the hood on the pushchair side underneath the rain cover, ensuring that you can still see baby when the weather is poor.

Practicality 


The Graco Mirage Travel System is a relatively small travel system, with a large basket at the bottom which you could fit a decent sized bag in, and two ways of collapsing it depending on your preference.

The main way of collapsing the system is to remove the car seat and then use the handle (which you can see in the photograph at the top of this page) to twist and collapse the pram as a whole. Alternatively, there are two smaller handles either side of the pushchair which allow you to lift and collapse the pram at the same time - keeping the top section of the pushchair away from the ground and coming particularly in useful if the ground is wet.

The travel system also comes with the standard brake on the back wheels, which lock the system in place and stop it from rolling away from you. There is also quite a handy feature on the front wheels, which allow you to lock them in to the front facing position making it easier to navigate difficult terrain such as cobbles or grass and help to prevent any damage to the wheels.

The only downside of the practicality of this travel system, for me, was that some of the parts are quite difficult to clip on or put together when you initially start using it. Now, that may not be a problem for some people, and it may ease off as you use the system more and more. However if you struggle in the strength area (like me) then it may prove difficult to put together without some help.

The Pushchair Section


The pushchair section of the Graco Mirage travel system also has a number of useful features - including a cushion which pads the child's shoulders and head and adjustable straps that you can raise as your child gets older.

The pushchair section can be used from birth, as well as the car seat, however this does mean that the baby is facing away from you instead and that you would need to get a nice cozy foot-muff to keep them warm. 

There are a number of different seating positions also available - allowing you to have the baby lying down as recommended when they are a newborn, and then allowing them to sit up and look around as they get older.



The travel system also has a "sitting up straight" option, which is one step further than the usual sitting position found on prams. This is designed for younger children whose spines are still developing - the idea being that, by sitting them a bit higher than the normal position, it ensures that the entire of their back (particularly the bottom section) is supported and encourages their backs to strengthen naturally.

As you can see, the pushchair also has a nice little tray for drinks, food and the occasional toy - making it ideal for entertaining a toddler as you are on the move and adding that extra little bit of security and protection around the child.

The Car Seat


Last, but not least, is the car seat section. This section is a Group 0+ car seat, meaning that it suitable for use from birth to 13kg and it comes with a handy little spirit level on the side which indicates whether the seat is at the correct angle or not.

The car seat comes with a head rest which is ideal for the younger baby, keeping them warm and cosy whilst protecting their head and neck. This can be removed as the child gets older and grows, being replaced with the cushions on either side of the seat higher up. The straps are also adjustable, allowing you to pull them tighter through the strap you can see at the bottom and to ensure that the child is secure.

The seat is relatively light - I found it easy to lift at least - and the arm can be locked in place so that the seat does not swing all over the place. It is also quite easy to belt in to the car, with the seat belt going over the lap section and then round the back of the seat to keep it secure and in place. Having dealt with some quite complicated seats in the past, it is nice to have a relatively easy one to use which will help mums get the children in to the car with minimal fuss and, I feel, be particularly useful if the child is in the seat at the time.

Overall, I am very impressed with the Graco Mirage travel system. Not only is it a bargain, at just £130.00 from Babies R Us, it feels sturdy and secure, whilst also being comfortable for the baby.

Have you had any experience with the Graco Mirage at all? If so, please let me know what you thought in the comments below!

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