When I first saw the 4moms Origami stroller, I knew it would be a hit. It’s a robotic stroller that unfolds like the Autobots getting ready to roll out and has one of the nicest interfaces I’ve ever seen on a stroller (which is saying a lot). Why did it make me so excited? Well, first this stroller will beat the pants off any of those feature-rich Stokkes or Buzzes out there. Pull this thing out on the playground and you are the true Ninja Parent. Bugaboo? Whatever. My kid is riding Optimus Prime.
I’m pleased to report that the buggy is as cool as it looks on video. The one-handed operation is seamless and incredibly satisfying and the fun LCD readout – complete with trip meter, battery level, and external temperature sensor – is just icing on the cake.
4moms is a small company based in Pittsburgh that is making a go of entering the entrenched baby market where Maclaren and Bugaboo are able to make money hand over fist while simply swapping out the seat colors. I’m glad to see some investment in stroller technology and it’s a fascinating product on many levels.
I can’t review this completely right now as my wife will give birth to our newest test subject in March but from our initial tests we found the seat was a bit small for kids 3 years and older (the little girl in the video wasn’t quite comfortable). In terms of handling the buggy corners and takes bumps like a champ and an optional car seat adapter makes it good for the littlest ones. Also, to be clear, there is no way your child will get smashed inside this thing. A sensor disables the closing motor when there is any weight at all in the seat.
There are a few problems, however. First, the Origami is heavy. 4moms has assuaged this a bit by adding a small central wheel on the main front hub that allows you to drag this around like a suitcase. However, lifting it is a chore, even if you have both hands free. There is clearly a lot of gearing in the front to make this work, so I can excuse it to a degree, but don’t plan on toting it around for very long.
This buggy is designed to assist moms and dads who need to hold a crying baby and fold up their buggy at the same time. To that end it performs admirably, if not magically. However, I wouldn’t recommend this for a long sprint down an airport hallway nor would I suggest it get mixed in with the luggage on a flight.
Then there’s the price. At $850 it’s on par with some of the fancier strollers out there but it’s still wildly expensive when compared to an umbrella stroller or the like. My recommendation would be to hit up the rich grandparents.
In the end, these strollers are very cool, have a fairly strong resale value in the Baby Supply Gray Market every parent knows about, and the technology is impressive. Would I recommend it to a general buggy buyer? If you drive a lot and need to get in and out of the car as easily is possible, this thing would be a godsend. If you’re in a walking neighborhood, however, I feel that this might be a bit of overkill, especially at the price. However, if you just want to smoke other parents in the endless stroller arms race, you really can’t go wrong.