The First Wheels City Twin has just been released in Australia, although it has been available in the Europe for some time. This pram is a double version of the City Twin Elite, and offers all the same features of the single model. The outstanding feature of this twin pram is the ability to change the direction of the seat units independent of each other. So whilst a baby can be rear facing, looking at mum, an older sibling can be facing out, seeing the world. There are only a handful of prams available in the world that offer this feature, and the First Wheels City Twin does a very good job of incorporating this highly desirable feature into a workable pram.
I would like to extend a big thank-you to TGA Baby, the Australian distributors of the First Wheels City Twin for letting me use this pram for a few days while I road tested it.
|Model Reviewed:||City Twin 2008|
|Edited By:||Sally Marshall|
Seat design and function
The most obvious feature the City Twin offers over other twin prams is the ability to independently change the direction of the seats. This is an incredibly useful feature for children of all ages. The most obvious configuration is for a young child to face the person pushing the pram, whilst an older child can look out. Another scenario where this pram really comes into its own is to separate children of any age so that they cannot annoy one another. Once one child is facing forward they are almost completely separated from the child sitting next to them who is facing back. Of course both children can face forward, or back if desired, and to add even more flexibility, a carrycot can be placed on one or both sides to comfortably transport newborns.
The seats are a good size, and wider than is found on many twin prams. The seats adjust to 3 positions by simultaneously pushing in the round buttons on either side of the seat and then tilting the seat back. The seats are easily removed by simultaneously pushing the rectangular buttons on either side of the seat. To remove the carry cot, A metal U-shaped bar under the bassinet first needs to be pulled out, then the same rectangular buttons used on the seat units remove the bassinet.
The front bumper swivels 90 degrees when one side is released from the seat, to help get a child in and out. The clips to release the bumper are a bit stiff however, and as only one side has the swivel mechanism, you have to be careful to release the right side. The bumper can be removed completely if required.
Child safety harness
The City Twin harness is a little bit fiddly to use. The right waist strap must pass through a loop in the crotch strap before clicking into the left waist strap. There is a circle of fabric that covers the harness, I guess so that the plastic does not rub on a child, however I found this difficult to use and preferred to use the harness without it.
There is only one set of harness slots in the back of the seat. The length of the harness is however very easy to adjust.
Hood or Canopy
The City Twin has a hood that provides fair sun protection. Unfortunately the hood makes a clicking noise as it opens and closes. The hood does not have any kind of viewing window, although it has a handy zip pocket on the back. The hoods can be removed if desired.
The hood on the bassinet also makes a clicking noise, however it cannot be removed from the bassinet.
Handle design and function
The City Twin has a comfortable foam handle which easily adjusts to suit people of differing heights.
Highest position: 106 cm (41.7 in)
Lowest position: 65 cm (25.6 in)
The City Twin has two separate baskets, which are quite small for such a large pram. They can also be tricky to access when the seat is rear facing and upright. There are no issues once the seat is reclined, or when it is in the forward facing position.
The large rear wheels and rear suspension provide a smooth ride over rough terrain. The small front swivel wheels stumbled over a few obstacles, but generally did a good job of negotiating the terrain.
The front wheels can be locked, and the rear wheels can be quickly removed at the press of a button.
The City Twin has a lovely oversized brake pedal in the middle of the back axel. The brake was easy to flick up and down with my foot and worked well at keeping the pram stationary.
Both seats of the City Twin must be removed before it can be folded. This is easily done be clicking on both large white buttons and lifting the seat off. To remove the bassinet, a lock underneath the bassinet must be released before using the large white buttons as with the seat unit.
Once the seats are off the chassis, the primary lock is released by pushing down on the hook shaped button on the centre handlebar. After doing this, pulling up the two hooks on the outside handlebars releases the secondary lock, and the chassis easily collapses.
Having to remove the seats means that the City Twin fold is not particularly quick, but it is very straightforward and easy to do.
The City Twin is a large unit when folded, and you would need to check the dimensions of your car boot carefully to make sure it fits inside.
I trialled the City Twin over gravel, bluestone and grass paths and overall I was very impressed with how it handled. The small front wheels stopped us in our tracks a couple of times when going over 1 inch rises in the footpath, but that is to be expected of any pram with small wheels up the front. The pram pulled downhill only slightly on sloped sidewalks, but the large handle made it easy to comfortably counter the pull of the pram.
At the shopping centre on a smooth floor the City Twin was a dream to push. It glided along with very little effort. The size was an issue in some smaller shops, although I didn't find a shop I couldn't get into. No doubt though there will be shops/offices that this pram will not be able to enter.
Like any twin pram, the City Twin is large, but it is the width which will be of concern to most people. At 80 cm the City Twin simply won't fit through some doorways. The City Twin is also very large when folded. There was not a lot of room left when I put it in the back of my Subaru Liberty wagon.
At 17.7 kg (38.9 lbs) the City Twin is heavy, however since both seat units need to be removed to fold the pram, the weight is quite manageable.
Width: 80 cm (31.5 in)
Height (handle highest position) (41.7 in)
Folded dimensions(frame with wheels only)
Width: 80 cm (31.5 in)
Length: 85.5 cm (33.7 in)
Height: 36 cm (14.2 in)
Folded dimensions(frame with seat unit or bassinet)
Width: 80 cm (31.5 in)
Length: 91 cm (35.8 in)
Height(seats without bumpers):52 cm (20.5 in)
Height(seats with bumpers):62 cm (24.4 in)
Each seat unit: 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs)
Bassinet: 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs)
Frame (including wheels): 11.1 kg (24.4 lbs)
Total (with two seat units): 17.7 kg (38.9 lbs)
The City Twin comes with two rain covers included. These fit the seats independently so that they can be used with the seats in any configuration. The same rain cover also fits over the bassinet.
Optional accessories include the bassinet (which comes with its own insect net), sleeping bag, parasol, nappy(diaper) bag, air pump, and adaptors for attaching a car seat (not available in Australia). "Funky Gear" accessories such as seat liners and hoods in contrasting colours are also available in some markets to jazz up the look of the pram.
I found the using City Twin a very enjoyable experience. I really can't overemphasise how much I loved being able to change the seating arrangements to suit my needs. The pram certainly has its down sides -for most people these will be the width and the size of the pram when folded. But for those who really want the flexibility this pram offers with the seating arrangements, the negatives will be worth it.
- Fantastic combinations of seat positions possible
- One or two bassinets can be used for newborns
- Pram handles well on rough terrain, and is super easy to manoeuvre on smooth surfaces
- Rain covers are separate so they can be used with the seats/bassinets in any position
- Hood makes clicking noise when used.
- Extremely wide pram that will not fit through some doorways.
- Pram takes up a lot of room when folded.
- Underseat baskets are small and can be hard to access