*I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Urbini. I received an Urbini stroller to facilitate my review as well as to thank me for my participation.”*
I know a lot of my readers know my story, but for those who don’t, here is the short version:
At this time last year I was the happy mother of 5 children, my oldest was 17 and my youngest was 7. Life was good, in fact, life was great! We were finally to the point where I could sleep in and not worry about anyone finding matches and burning the house down. I had time to myself, I could shower every day, I could even leave the house for a few hours knowing the teenagers had a good handle on the younger kids. Every one was toilet trained! Life was grand.
And then one day child protective services in a state across the country called us. There was a baby born in not-so-wonderful circumstances and she needed a home and a family. Long story short, 7 years and 5 months after my youngest child was born we took custody of a 6 month old special needs infant.
Fast forward to today and baby girl is about to turn 18 months and while she still has some health concerns, she is by all means a normal toddler. I haven’t slept in since she came to us and the matches are again hidden BUT life is even more perfect.
So where does this story take us? Strollers. Wow have I been exposed to (and used!) a lot of strollers. I’ve used full size, travel systems, umbrella, mid-size, bassinet, double front-to-front, double side-by-side, sit & stand…I’ve owned one of nearly every type of stroller in the last 18 years. It seems like with each baby I had my stroller needs changed. It’s not any different this time. I need a stroller that can accommodate a toddler and her stuff, my stuff, my other kid’s stuff, and carry enough of it to last an entire day since we’re frequent visitors to the Central Florida theme parks.
I was delighted to be offered a chance to try the Urbini Emi Travel System! The “luxury” class of strollers is the one type I’ve never tried and I was dying to know if it met my standards for ease of use and functionality.
Quick facts about the Urbini Emi Travel System:
-The Urbini Emi Travel System includes the lightweight Urbini Sonti infant car seat, equipped with a LATCH system and a 5-point safety harness (more details below!)
-The Urbini Emi Travel System is designed to fold quickly with just one hand
-An extra large basket to hold everything you need and a fully reclining seat with full canopy ensures baby’s comfort on even the sunniest of days
-The adjustable handle means the stroller can be comfortably pushed by folks of all statures
-Front swivel wheels and rear & front suspension allow for a comfortable ride and easy pushing
-Urbini products are sold exclusively at Wal-Mart and currently retails for around $250
Here is my final report, pointing out all of the things I look for in a stroller and if the Urbini Emi Travel System met those requirements. Click on the photos to see a larger version.
To get the negative over with first, there were three relatively minor issues I had that I would expect to read in a review, however, they are not things that would stop me from purchasing this stroller as there were many more positives.
Quick folding is a must for me, it’s hard enough wrangling 6 kids into the van let alone folding and storing a stroller. I recently had to replace a stroller because it’s slide-style folding mechanism stopped sliding. You won’t run into that problem with the Urbini Emi, all you do is pull a belt and the stroller instantly collapses. Unfortunately, however, the process of latching the stroller shut provided some frustration the first few times I used it. The hook and latch fall about 1/2″ apart when the stroller is folded. After a week of use I have the procedure down pat, you fold the stroller and provide a little extra pressure so the latch catches.
Second, I initially didn’t care for how the child tray attaches. The tray itself is great size-wise, and it’s removable so the Sonti infant car seat can be attached, but it doesn’t latch in as securely as I’d like and occasionally pops off when I fold the stroller. As I don’t need to use the Sonti car seat I wish there was a more permanent tray attaching option. Again, after a week of use this isn’t an issue as I am now accustomed to not grabbing the tray during folding.
The third and last thing I am not crazy about it that the stroller doesn’t stand when folded. If you aren’t putting it up immediately after folding, if you’re waiting for a Disney bus for example, it must be held or laid down on the ground. I hate to lay such a pretty stroller down, especially in inclement weather.
OK, with that out of the way there are tons of things I really like about this stroller.
1. This stroller is a lifetime stroller, converting from a bassinet to a toddler stroller with ease. The zip-style recline allows for complete customization of baby’s position and allows for full vertical and horizontal positioning, as well as every angle between.
2. The Urbini Emi has an adjustable push bar! While most strollers are designed for tall people The Urbini Emi is easy for short people like me to push without our arms going numb.
3. The 5 point harness is of such quality that my little Houdini can’t undo the clasp like she can in her smaller stroller. It does take a bit of finagling to get the straps clipped at first, especially with a cranky toddler (not that I know what it’s like to have a cranky toddler..nuh uh, not me…) but you’ll quickly catch on.
4. A standard child sippy cup fits in the tray, which is highly unusual these days!
5. The stroller’s canopy clicks into place, making it difficult for toddlers to push it up, as mine always does in her other stroller. This is an important feature for me as we live in a sunny, rainy climate.
6. Speaking of rain, this stroller has excellent rain coverage without needing a separate rain cover. The canopy folds down to cover 75% of the stroller and if you’re using the infant seat your baby will be totally covered with the car seat and stroller canopy. In anything but a heavy rainstorm your child will be safe from the elements.
7. The basket is a good size, I’ve taken to carrying all of baby girl’s stuff around in a backpack and it fits easily. It’s a little harder to stuff a full-size diaper back in there, but not impossible.It also features a zippered pocket for the things you may want to access quickly without having to dig through the basket. This is the perfect place to keep a spare diaper and to stick your keys when you’re on a long walk.
8. This stroller truly offers the convenience and comfort of a full-size stroller with the maneuverability of a smaller stroller.
9. The Urbini Emi handles very well, especially when cornering. It has a very solid feel and the wheels don’t leave the ground when cutting a close, fast corner.
10. The stroller is very well balanced, so even while jogging behind it with a 22lb toddler in the seat it’s very easy to push. It glides easily over grass, bumpy asphalt, and uneven pavement.
As mentioned previously, the Urbini Emi Travel System comes with an Urbini Sonti car seat. The Sonti fits children 4-35lbs and 32″ which is a fantastic range! Unfortunately I was unable to use the car seat because while baby girl is only 22lbs she is 32.5″, exceeding the recommended height range.
While I was’t able to use the car seat, I can tell you that it’s a very good infant car seat, very comparable to the very expensive Chicco KeyFit 35 we used for baby girl when she was an infant.
The seat comes with a latch system that is far superior to the rear-facing toddler seat baby girl uses now. Instead of using the basic latch clips used in less expensive car seats that are difficult to unlatch, the Sonti has clips that work like a seat belt with a button to unlatch, making the base very easy to transfer to a different vehicle. The latches are safely stored in the base of the car seat when the seat isn’t in use.
The car seat is very simple to move from the base to the stroller and is one of the lighter car seats I’ve handled. The Sonti car seat is also one of the easiest car seats I’ve installed and features a very simple color-coded indicator on the side to tell you if it’s installed at the proper angle. Safely installing car seats often leaves me muttering very not-so-nice words but I didn’t have that experience at all with the Sonti. The Sonti fit well in both my middle row bucket seat and the third row bucket seat. The Sonti is on the narrow side, making it the perfect seat to sandwich between the two booster seats used by my sons.
The Urbini Emi Travel System is a great stroller from the minute you take it out of the box to the minute you fold it up after a long day. While there is a small learning curve, the convenience features of this travel system soon make up for it.
The Urbini Emi Travel System isn’t just a luxury stroller, it’s a lifetime stroller! The price tag may seem a little steep but this is a travel system, with a high-quality and high weight range car seat, that will last you through the preschool years (it can carry kids up to 50 lbs!) and will last through multiple kids.
Here are some videos of the Urbini Emi in action. As you can see, the stroller is light enough that even my kids can push it with ease.
(sorry I don’t have fancy videos for you guys. One of these days I anticipate having enough time to mess around with editing but alas, today was not that day. Don’t look at me like that, it’s a miracle the kids wore shoes today, know what I’m sayin’??)