'The Ickle Bubba Eclipse is well worthy of a 'best buy' title, thanks to its super storage capability in the spacious basket, its ability to transport two children, and the way the seat unit folds away so neatly for storage. The perfect travel system for a growing family.'
Interchangeable carrycot and seat unit
Thoughtful, intuitive design
Integrated ride-on board
Ride-on board is narrow
Flimsy rain cover
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We asked mum of two Catherine Hudson to put the Ickle Bubba Eclipse to the test with her baby daughter, Iris. This versatile travel system has an interchangeable bassinet and child seat unit. We love the built-in ride-on board for toddlers who need to hitch the occasional lift.
The Ickle Bubba Eclipse made our lineup of the best prams for 2023 because it's stylish, practical, and oh-so-cleverly designed. It comes with a carrycot suitable from birth up to around six months and a separate seat unit for use from six months to four years. Depending on the bundle you buy, you can also attach a compatible car seat to the pushchair frame.
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Weighs: 8.6kg | Age: 0-22kg (approx. 4 years)
Our parent tester, Catherine, was excited to try out the Ickle Bubba Eclipse from the moment it arrived. 'It arrived in a pleasingly neat package, which left us wondering if a second box had been forgotten in delivery,' she says. 'In fact, the seat and bassinet unit zip in and out of the same mainframe. This is an ingenious design, as it means incredible space-saving when you're storing the seat unit whilst using the bassinet. Huge bonus points there, since most baby paraphernalia tends to be bulky and tricky to store.'
The Ickle Bubba Eclipse travel system is especially good if you have a preschooler as well as a baby. Our parent tester found the Eclipse helped make life with two little ones that bit easier. 'Life with a newborn has been pretty hectic, especially as Iris has had colic. So being able to get out of the house fast has been paramount, and the Eclipse has really helped with that,' she says.
In particular, our tester likes the zip cover, the adjustable hood, and the Bubba board. 'The zip cover is excellent, especially compared to other pram covers which fasten with poppers and tend to fall off easily,' she says. 'The hood pushes back and pulls up without you needing to press any fiddly buttons. It's a total game-changer being able to do this singlehandedly while holding a screaming, overtired baby. And top marks for the inbuilt Bubba Board. It means I can wave 'buh-bye' to my wobbly buggy board that makes turning corners tricky.'
The Bubba Board is a really handy feature if you have an older child. Especially one who doesn't need a pushchair full-time but who might still like to hitch a lift safely now and again. 'It's astonishing that you can carry a child of up to 22kgs in the pram, plus an additional child of up to 20kg on the board,' says Catherine, our parent reviewer.
'Not forgetting the weight in the pram basket which, by the way, is big enough to hold my satchel-style nappy bag, an additional toddler snack bag, and a bag of spare clothes/medicines etc. I've also got the rain cover and a water bottle. And we still have plenty of room for all those 'toddler treasures' - aka stones - that we collect on our adventures.'
Comfort and features
The Ickle Bubba Eclipse is 'well-worthy' of its listing as our pick of one of the best prams you can buy, according to our parent tester who put it through its paces. And she didn't mince her words. 'The design of the Eclipse is superb - it must have been designed by parents because the small things that can incite the most fury in a busy parent have simply been ironed out,' she says. 'I managed to leave my house without my baby screaming for the first time. Needless to say, the whole family appreciates that. As I walked down the street pushing the pram it was like I could hear sweet music.'
It's the clever design features that make the Eclipse easy and intuitive to use. 'For example, there are no fiddly push buttons for folding and unfolding the supersize UPF 50+ hood,' says Catherine. 'But there are handy buttons that you can push individually to remove the seat. This means no straddling the chassis and getting red-faced while trying to push both buttons at the same time. And the cleverly-positioned seat adaptors, which are at a lower height, mean you can use the Eclipse in pram mode while the toddler hitches a ride.'
And when out without her toddler, our tester loves that the bassinet can be positioned at a comfortable height, meaning less bending to see her baby. 'That was most important in those very early days with a newborn,' she says. 'And even the bumper bar, which I didn't use at first because I thought it would just be in the way, can be swiftly released on either side. That makes putting the baby in or taking her out smooth and hassle-free.'
Value for money
The Ickle Bubba Eclipse is 'superb value for money' in our tester's eyes. 'It makes pram life easy and even enjoyable,' she says. 'I can't sing the praises of the seat unit highly enough. It's so much cosier than open-sided seats. Additionally, if you have ever experienced how hard it is to turn a buggy while using a separate buggy board, you will definitely appreciate the Eclipse. It looks every bit like a premium product, with its cosy footmuff and chic colourway options, but without an intimidating price tag.'
For manoeuvrability and ease of use in both urban and rural environments, the Ickle Bubba Eclipse is hard to beat. 'I can push it around single-handedly with my baby in my arms when she has an attack of colic and needs to be held,' she explains.
'The seat unit isn't suitable for use until six months of age but since Iris is large for her age, we gave it a whirl. Honestly, it has been nothing short of life-changing. The shape of the seat means she is very well supported. Plus, we can easily tilt her back so she isn't entirely upright. The clip-in straps are a doddle, and I don't say that lightly - car seat straps are my actual enemy. For a baby who is impatiently waiting to be able to sit up and see the world, the Ickle Bubba Eclipse is a dream.'
As it's not particularly compact, the Ickle Bubba Eclipse might not be the easiest pram to park in a busy coffee shop. But, our tester adds, not many prams are. She says the benefits of using the Eclipse far outweigh her need to go anywhere that might be a tight squeeze. 'I'm happy to report that it does fit on a London bus, even with another larger pram onboard,' adds Catherine. 'Plus, it even fits through a normal gate on the London Underground. Although I recommend using the wider ones specifically for prams in case you can't push it through in time.'
We're clutching at straws to find any complaints about this pram, but the one thing that didn't wow our tester is the rain cover. 'Since the rest of the pram feels so very premium and sleek, the rain cover feels a little cheap and scrunchy, and hard to fold back up,' she says. 'As we live in the UK, this is a feature I think we will be using a lot so it's a little disappointing.'
In addition, parents of older children might find the Bubba Board a little narrow in depth. 'My toddler has large feet (size 10) for her age, but during testing her foot slipped and stood on the brake which was a bit of a sharp shock for me; and for Iris who was mid-nap!'
However, our tester gives the Ickle Bubba Eclipse full marks and has already recommended it to friends. 'On the nursery run, people have commented on how comfy and cosy the Eclipse looks and there have been many envious glances toward our inbuilt Bubba Board,' she says.
Overall, the Ickle Bubba Eclipse is the perfect pram for a parent who has more than one child. 'That's mainly due to the efficiency and usability of the highly praised Bubba Board, says our tester. 'But more than that, the good-looking Eclipse, with its easy fold and buttons, makes pram life as smooth as possible. Who wouldn't want a large slice of that?'
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As a parenting specialist for more than 15 years, Heidi has written for most national newspapers and for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Mother & Baby where she was the Shopping Editor for six years, looking after regular consumer features including buying guides and gift roundups.
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