February 8, 2011

Inglesina Avio Stroller

Objects of Italian design are pretty swanky and sophisticated, don't you think?  Whether you're admiring an Alfa Romeo or Venetian hand-blown glass, or even dipping into a jar of Nutella, you must admit that many of the finer things in life are Italian.

I can now include strollers in that category.  I recently had a chance to try out a smooth-as-butter stroller, the Inglesina Avio, designed in Italy but also available here in the US.
Since we live in town and have just one car, we get a lot of use out of our strollers, up and down curbs, through alleys, on pitted sidewalks, and even sometimes through grassy areas of the park.
While we're happy with our current full-sized stroller, I abhor our Combi Flare, which we often take with us on quick outings out of town, since it's so compact.  The Combi is awkward, handles curbs and bumps terribly, and is basically the opposite of the Inglesina Avio, other than its size.  Both strollers fold up very compactly, and the Avio is easy enough for even a pregnant lady to fold and lift into the car trunk.
Plus the Avio comes with so many options and sweet colors.
While winter is not the most ideal time for testing out a stroller, the Inglesina Avio held its own quite well on our snowy streets and sidewalks.  The rubberized wheels provided good traction on icy surfaces as well as made my son's ride cushiony-soft.  It really cut through the snow like it was butter.
While the price is way out of our budget (at $499), the stroller is very high quality, both the assembly and the fabrics used.  I love the extra large canopy, which is great for sun protection and even for kids who nap in their strollers.  No more blankets clothespinned to the top.
Pros
  • Rides smoothly
  • One-hand folding (though I'm still learning how to do this one-handed)
  • Extremely easy to push, even with one hand
  • Seat is cushy and wide
  • Seat easily reclines
  • Generously-sized canopy, larger than other strollers--great for wind and light rain
  • Viewing window on the canopy, so you can peek in on your child while walking
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • Easy to maneuver over bumps and curves 
  • Harness is easy to buckle (just 2 clicks for the 5 anchoring points) 
  • Includes adaptors for optional bassinet or to accommodate an infant car seat
  • Waterproof material on the seat and canopy, which seems easy to take off for washing

Cons
  • High price
  • Foot rest is not entirely comfortable for larger kids 
  • No tray for the child (not convenient for drinks and snacks)
  • Cup holder in a weird position (at the back bottom of the stroller)
  • Under-carriage basket is accessible from the front, not the back. Not so convenient for parents
We really enjoy using this stroller, and can't wait to give it a more vigorous test-drive in warmer weather. I plan on taking it along with us to Disney World next month, where it will definitely get a workout.  While it fits nicely in our trunk, I'm sure it will be even easier to stow on the airplane and on the Disney buses and monorail.

You can buy your own Inglesina Avio at Diapers.com.  By entering the promo code AVIOFAST at checkout, you can receive a free fast table chair with your order.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Inglesina and received an Avio stroller to facilitate this review.

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