When I found out I was pregnant with Gabe one of the first things I started thinking about was that it would be the perfect opportunity to get a new pushchair. With Toby just turned two when his brother was born I knew we would probably need a double pushchair for longer trips but there would be times when I would only need to push one of the boys. When Cosatto got in touch and asked if I would like to review their new To & Fro 2 in 1 reversible stroller it sounded like it would be a great solution.
So firstly, a bit of information about the To & Fro…
- it’s an umbrella fold stroller suitable from birth
- can be parent or world facing (from birth in both modes)
- adjustable recline
- UPF 50+ sunshade hood with a unique pull through design and different pattern for each mode
- storage pocket and viewing window in hood (world facing mode only)
- converts to a travel system with the addition of the Hold car seat (sold separately) and included adaptors
- comes with reversible foot muff, head hugger, chest pads and rain cover
- auto-lock and free-standing when folded
- height-adjustable handles
- lockable front swivel wheels and all round suspension
- cup holder included
- comes in three colourways – Pitter Patter, Firebird and Charleston
- RRP £290
We were sent the To & Fro in Pitter Patter, and the Hold car seat to go with it. I was quite heavily pregnant when I got it out of the box and I have to admit it wasn’t quite as simple to set up as some other pushchairs I’ve used. Getting the hood on was particularly tricky and actually for the first few times we used it it would pop off whenever the stroller was folded. It turned out I just hadn’t pushed it on far enough to the clip on the frame but it wasn’t the easiest.
The hood is a very clever design though – and it is easy to pull it through to switch it from parent to world facing. I like that the pattern is different on either side too.
A parent facing stroller isn’t something I have seen before and Gabe was certainly comfortable in the seat with the included head hugger. In parent facing mode you do have to use the foot muff (or at least the bottom part of it) as it holds a wedge cushion to make the seat flat. Because of his reflux Gabe never liked being laid completely flat so it is good that in parent facing mode you can incline the seat slightly.
There are a couple of niggles in parent facing mode – firstly, the basket becomes almost completely inaccessible. Cosatto have added zips at the corners of the mesh so you can sort of post a few things in but it really does make it pretty unusable.
The other thing is that the hood doesn’t quite come down over the back of the seat fully leaving a little gap, which would be OK with a bigger child but with a newborn you don’t really want the wind whistling in through the gap.
The stroller can be folded with the seat facing either way but as I mentioned you have to use the foot muff in parent facing mode but I then found the To & Fro very difficult to fold and it ends up being really quite big – as you can see it took up quite a lot of our (messy!) car boot.
Another unique feature for an umbrella fold stroller is that the To & Fro can also be used as a travel system by attaching the Cosatto Hold car seat. You have to put the stroller in world facing mode, then the seat easily attaches to the included adapators.
There is a really nifty feature with the adaptors – when they are not in use you can leave them on the stroller but the spin around so they are neatly tucked out of the way.
In world facing mode the To & Fro performs as you would expect from most umbrella fold strollers. There is a lot of head room – even for my very tall two year old but the seat doesn’t seem very deep which might be a bit of an issue for bigger children.
Gabe was very comfy in there though and now he’s a bit bigger he liked being able to sit up more and see what was going on.
And he was so comfy he fell asleep!
In world facing mode it is also much easier to access the basket but it is still pretty small (as is the norm on umbrella fold strollers). We managed to fit a couple of bottles of milk in there though so it’s fine for popping to the shop.
There’s also a pocket on the back of the hood – perfect for your purse and keys, or for keeping little gloves in. The pocket is hidden under the flap for the viewing window and held closed with a magnet. The viewing window is a great addition – the To & Fro has a really big hood, like all Cosatto pushchairs which is brilliant, but it does make it harder to pop your head round the side to have a look at your wee one so the viewing window solves that problem.
So, in both parent facing and world facing modes the Cosatto To & Fro is a fab stroller, it folds easily, has a very effective clip to keep it closed and a handy carrying handle. I did find it needs to be on a completely level surface for the free-standing foot to work though.
But… I found switching between the two modes was a complete faff! If you set the seat up in world facing mode you have to have the footmuff on and an extra piece of head pad that slots inside the seat back to make it more supportive. To switch to world facing mode, you have to remove the footmuff, which requires unclipping and reclipping the straps, take out the head pad, undo some Velcro, flip the seat back up, then pull the hood through so it’s facing the other way. If you also wanted to adjust the straps – if like me you had been using the stroller parent facing for baby then wanted to use it world facing for a toddler then you also have to re-thread the straps (each seat had its own harness but they are connected at the shoulder so you can’t have them at different heights) which is really fiddly. This is the tab that needs to be pushed through the slot, followed by the clip at the end of the strap and it’s quite a tight fit.
There are lots of great things about the To & Fro – it is really smooth to push and is a comfortable ride with suspension on all four wheels. It’s also easy to push one handed, which is really important if you’ve also got a wayward toddler!
It has height adjustable handles, and comes with the footmuff, head hugger, raincover, car seat adaptors and even a cup holder included! Of course it also comes in Cosatto’s signature bright and bold prints which are just fabulous.
We were also sent the Hold car seat in the same print as our pushchair, along with the isofix base. The base was easy to fit in the car, with handy indicators showing when it is fitted correctly. Gabe seemed very comfortable in the car seat too – we used the infant insert when he was smaller and then more recently have been able to use it without. There is a bit of a knack to tightening the straps – at first I thought I was being a bit daft but I asked a mum at one of my baby groups who had the same seat and she had had the same trouble. It’s a bit hard to describe but you need to pull the straps through from the back of the seat a bit before pulling the strap to tighten them. Other than that small issue it is a great seat and I love that it comes with its own raincover too.
So, overall, for me and my particular situation the Cosatto To & Fro just doesn’t quite deliver. With a baby and a toddler, I was hoping for a stroller I could use with both of them and quickly switch between the two. Even now Gabe is big enough to be world facing I still find it’s a real palaver to change the straps so Toby can use the stroller too. Regularly switching between the two modes, or even adjusting the height of the straps is too much of a faff for me to use the To & Fro with both kids.
However, if you just wanted to use the stroller for one child, to have them parent facing for the first six months or so then change to world facing then the To & Fro could be a great solution for you.
**Disclosure: We were sent the To & Fro in Pitter Patter, a Hold car seat and the compatible isofix base. in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.