Back in February, Graco selected me & Sam to test the Graco Symbio B. Since then, we have been pushing it to the limit in the hope of finding out exactly what it is and is not capable of. Today is the final day of our Symbio B testing. This post is a summary of some of the adventures we have taken it on and how it did.
Unboxing And Setting Up
I made a video blog showing what was in the box and how to set it up. Remember I am pregnant with baby number 2, so the unboxing and building took me a bit longer than most. Here’s the video in case you missed it first time round!
It was very easy to set up compared to other pushchairs I have had, and the instructions were clear and easy to follow too. It definitely passed this test.
The Raincover Challenge
I am useless when it comes to putting raincovers on in a hurry. It’s a bit of a standing joke with friends and family. The Symbio B raincover is really simple to put on though, and looks great once in place.
The GrannyGeek Test
I let my Mum (GrannyGeek) take charge of the Graco Symbio B for a while, and then we made a video to share her thoughts.
I think GrannyGeek approved!
I was asked how much space the Symbio B takes up in my boot, so I made a video to show this. Alas, my baby brain caused me to wipe this off my camera before I’d uploaded it, but I can tell you this much – it fits easily into the boot of my Vauxahll Insignia. (Though that is a large boot)! The folded measurements are: 79 x 35 x 58cm. I tried the Symbio B in my sister’s R Reg VW Polo just for comparison, and while it did fit, there was little room left over for shopping – unless you removed the parcel shelf. For me, it passed the test. If you have a smaller car, check the measurements work for you before you buy.
Lots of people have said the air tyres would put them off buying the Symbio B. So last week, I decided it would be a good idea to take the pushchair somewhere really likely to cause a puncture, so I could make a video of how to repair one of the air tyres. We went to the park and parked on a really uneven gravel covered part. The tyres survived this no problem. We walked round the park’s nature trail – basically a dirt path with rocks, branches and uneven slopes to deal with. This trail was around 1.5 miles long. The Symbio B’s tyres came out unscathed. Next up, we went to the park’s lake and walked round that. This has various terrains – concrete paths, muddy paths, gravel and the odd step too.
The Symbio B’s tyres remained in tact! By this point, my back and hips were protesting, so we had to cut short our attempts to cause a flat tyre! The Symbio B definitely passed this test!
My son, Sam hates supermarket trolleys with a passion. He refuses to sit in the seats for any longer than 2 minutes. This means I generally leave him in his pushchair and carry a basket. It can be a nightmare to steer some trolleys one handed, but this is something I do at least 3 times a week. As long as the Symbio B is in front facing mode, with the air tyres at the front, I can navigate the Supermarket one handed with no problems at all! The limited basket space also helps me curb my spending – Hubby approves of this!! It takes corners easily, I can get in close to the shelves to avoid the bad drivers who crash into you when you least expect it too! It definitely passed this test!
The one thing about the Symbio B which niggles me is the limited storage space. For me, this is a real issue on days out. We went on a picnic when the weather was nice, and I ended up wearing a rucksack to carry our picnic blanket and sandwiches. I have purchased a pram hook now so my Symbio B can hold extra bags, so I have now resolved this issue. It is worth thinking ahead though if you are going on a day out – your nappy bag will go over the handle bar, but if you need the rain cover, there is no storage space left in the basket, so you may need another bag to hold drinks, coats, changes of clothes etc. Everything else gets huge thumbs up for days out. It is lighter than most pushchairs, easy to push, great to steer, it has a tight turning circle so you can take sharp corners easily, and the flip handle is great when your baby gets a bit fussy. For me, the Symbio B passes on the days out front too.
It is no secret I hate shopping. I always have, and no doubt I always will. I hate crowds of people, I hate people pushing and shoving, and now I am a mum, I especially hate people who cut up prams and expect you to be able to stop in half a nano-second when they cut in front of you. The Symbio B is easier to take shopping than any other pushchair I have owned. The fact it is so easy to steer, and it takes corners so tightly has saved my sanity on more than 1 occasion. The limited basket space can be a bit of an issue if you want to buy lots, but I generally take hubby along to hold the bags, so no points are lost here. Once again, the Symbio B passed the test.
I don’t use public transport very often, but have taken the Symbio B on the Metrolink (Manchester’s Tram network). I had no problems at all here. There are plenty of spaces for prams, and the brakes held Sam securely in place while the tram was moving. Full marks here. I would like to mention that buses could pose more of an issue if you have to fold the pram to get on board. As the pushchair seat comes off the chassis to fold, you might struggle if you’re by yourself. You have to take the seat unit off (which needs 2 hands) to collapse the chassis. Obviously, you can’t do this while you are holding your baby. So if you use buses a lot, this is definitely something to think about. I never use buses, so for me, the Symbio B passes the test once again.
All in all, the Graco Symbio B is definitely my favourite pushchair to date. (I have owned 4 now, and tested many more). I have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone!