Pushchairs have become an inevitable phase of every child and parents’ life. For the first two-three years, we spend a long time pushing them around until the time when finally little ones can move around well and far enough that they are not needed any more. Except if your child has a chronic health condition or disability that limit how well or how far they can walk. There’s a great selection of wheelchairs for children, but what about children who are capable of doing some walking, just not all the walking?
Cass has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and she suffers many (partial) dislocations of ankles, knees and hips that instantly impact her mobility. Up until the age of three, picking her up and carrying her, using a sling or a standard push chair worked just fine, but when she outgrew these, there weren’t many options to choose from. The Ottobock Eco-buggy appealed to us for multiple reasons – it was lightweight and folds up to a small footprint (easy to fit into the boot of the car), it had a recline setting for when she was tired that made her more comfortable, it was highly maneuverable on sand, grass, gravel and tarmac and it passed for a pushchair in the sea of pushchairs we encountered on our travels – never worth a strange look or second glance. She could hop in and out as she needed to and when not in use, it’s easily abandoned in buggy parks or left in the car. Perfect.
The Ergohacks Verdict
The Ottobock Eco-Buggy has served us well over the last three years and it still lives in the boot of our car. It’s slightly worse for wear, but still in great working condition and as its footrests are height adjustable, it’s grown with her. It’s top notch quality, durable and flexible, yet lightweight and folds to a fairly small size. It’s easy to push, easy to steer and in a pinch, lightweight enough to carry it and her up a flight of stairs. It can be used efficiently, comfortably and with surprisingly little exertion.
As a parent looking for a stroller to help transport my daughter who still occasionally needs a pushchair, I look for three things. Something tough, simple, easy to drive. Ideally it should be collapsible and easy to put up and fold down. The Eco-Buggy is all of this. It also has the additional advantage of looking like a stroller and not a wheelchair, which has helped my daughter feel more comfortable using it as she has gotten older. We have been using ours for three years and it has stood up perfectly to everything thrown at it and apart from a couple of scratches looks nearly brand new. Our little one loves hers as it means she can ride during the boring bits and save her strength for the important things on a day out. Like feeding giraffes and goats. Highly recommended.
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Price: ± £420 (excluding VAT)
Optional extras: Several accessories and variations are available, including padding, lateral support, sun canopy, buggy board and footstraps when purchased from adaptive equipment sites.
Ottobock is a German prosthetics company created after the First World War. They are among the world leaders in prosthetic technology and are responsible for a large number of recent innovations. The company has over 4000 employees worldwide and has a revenue of around half a billion dollars a year. They were a major sponsor of the London 2012 Paralympics and run multiple programs helping victims of natural disaster and assault to access prosthetics.
The Eco-Buggy Stroller from Ottobock fills this gap. Think of it as a stroller for bigger kids and with its ability to take up to 50kg, it can be used until about age 11. The chair is tough and simple. It has an adjustable back with one recline setting and an optional waist belt. The footrest is height adjustable and can be swung out of the way to help the rider get in. The back wheels are fixed with separately lockable brakes and the front are switchable between fixed or swivelling.
Underneath is a small storage pouch large enough to hold a small bag or coat. When you don’t need it or for transport the chair folds down to a relatively small package with a built in velcro strap to stop it opening. In use the rider has a comfortable stable seat and as a driver I found it surprisingly manoeuvrable on many surfaces in any weather.
Seat Depth: 30cm
Seat Height: 55cm
Seat Width: 35cm
Backrest angle: 90 to 110 degrees
Folded measurements: 30 x 40 x 12cm
Fabric colour: Blue
Frame colour: Black
Seat edge to footrest distance: 20 – 34 cm
We based our Ergohacks Verdict on three years of using the Ottobock Eco Buggy. This article was first published on 8 September 2015 and last updated on 28 June 2017.