Mamas and Papas Pushchair Review Armadillo Flip vs SolaI love Mamas & Papas, in fact both my current pushchairs are Mamas & Papas. I have the large Sola and a small umbrella stroller, so thought it would be fab to compare the Sola to the newly released Armadillo Flip. As I viewed the Armadillo Flip at an in store event I took all photos there so you could see the buggies side by side.
Even though Archie is two due to his Autistic tendencies he needs to be in a buggy longer than most. He hates being in the small stroller & has a meltdown when we try to user it, hence we are looking for something more compact than our Sola but still a substantial size for his needs. This is why the Flip took my interest. As I have only viewed the Armadillo Flip in store I won’t go into huge detail, only give my opinion on the two.
The Armadillo Flip (l) is more streamline and slimmer than the Sola (r), but that also means that the seat width is smaller too. So if you are planning on using these buggies for a larger baby or toddler then you may prefer the width of the Sola. The Flip does have a longer seat (an extra 2cm), both the back & the foot rest are longer than the Sola. The Sola has been great for our two year old and he still hasn’t outgrown it, so yes it is a bigger buggy but both the are suitable from birth up until 15kg which is around 3-4 years so you will get your usage out of them. They both have adaptors for car seats & carry cots which need to be purchased separately.
We didn’t buy the Sola until Archie was about 13 months so I can’t comment from birth, although Mamas & Papas recommend a carry cot they both do have forward & parent facing seats and lie fully flat. The huge different between them is that with the Sola you cannot fold it down with the seat parent facing, with the Flip there’s no messing around lifting the seat unit off the frame & swapping it round before you can fold it down which would make life so much easier.
Both seats fully recline and the foot rest has various positions, however again with the Flip it is much easier. It’s designed so that you can do everything with one hand, the Sola however has two buttons either side the foot rest so you do need two hands to adjust.
As you can see the Armadillo Flip has an XXXL hood as opposed to the smaller hood of the Sola, personally I’ve never had any issues with the smaller hood but can see how useful the larger one is, especially with younger babies. Sun parasols are just a nightmare & you always struggle to get full coverage especially when you’re out walking so this would be fab. Even more so when the seat is reclined, it would feel like a ‘proper pram’ even without the carry cot.
The basket is also bigger on the Flip, but it’s more sturdier on the Sola as the top of the basket is actually attached to the metal frame the whole way round the basket. It’s still a great size but the only issue I’ve found is when you have a few bits in there it can hit the bottom of steps as you go up or down. The basket on the Armadillo Flip is actually a lot higher so I don’t think you would have the same problem. Another bugbear of mine with the Sola is the brake is in the middle of the frame on the back & sticks out quite far so again is a pain when you’re going up steps as it can put the brake on as you’re coming up, not very thoughtful M&P’s.
As a family we love being outdoors & go away a lot in our campervan. The size of the wheels are great on the Sola and whilst they are smaller on the Flip they are both single wheels so are great for walking & general outdoors terrain. I’ve even used the Sola on a muddy footy pitch when watching my eldest play & it’s pretty easy to push it through the mud you just end up with some stuck to the bottom of the basket!
For me, the absolute winning point is the size of the Armadillo Flip when folded, just look at it compared to the Sola! We have a big car so the size of the buggy was never a really huge issue but as I mentioned we love going away in our campervan & the Sola just takes up so much space. If you have a smaller car the Flip would be perfect, Mamas & Papas even claim it can fit in the boot of a Fiat 500. The Flip can also be folded down just using one hand and it locks into position instantly, with the Sola you have to use two hands then once it is down you then have use an additional clip to lock it into position. If you don’t lock it as soon as you lift it up it re-opens again.
So there’s my thought’s on the two. Personally if I was buying again I would choose the Armadillo Flip over the Sola as it gives you all the benefits of a big buggy with all the advantages of a small buggy, I think it’s well worth the extra £50.