The Mamas & Papas Armadillo has somehow struck a balance between being compact and roomy at the same time. Thanks to its full recline position and adjustable leg rest, your little one can really stretch out and get cozy when they’re napping on the go. Its sturdy frame and superior maneuverability will make any trip with your little one a smooth one. The extra-large canopy will keep your child protected from the sun or rain, and the adjustable leg rest paired with the foam padding on the seat is sure to make long trips comfy. Folding the stroller can be done with one hand in a single swift movement, and the Armadillo can stand on its own when folded. The storage basket is sizeable, too, and accessible from all sides, so it’s easy to get at your supplies.
FOLDING AND CARRYING
Easy folding is a key feature of any stroller, and the Armadillo doesn’t disappoint. With the canopy closed, place one hand on the handlebar and simultaneously slide the yellow trigger to the right and twist the handlebar down to release the lock. Folding the stroller inward will reveal the handlebar at the back of the seat of which you can lift to flatten the rest of the stroller. There’s a clasp on the side to keep it locked while folded.
All of our parent testers agreed that the Armadillo was easy to fold using either one or both hands. Only one of our testers found it challenging with one hand, especially when holding her child with her other arm. The majority of our testers had no problem carrying the folded stroller or fitting it in the trunk or back seat of their vehicle. To unfold, simply undo the lock and pull the handlebar upwards; the wheels pop out into position.
WHEELS, BRAKES AND MANEUVERABILITY
In our field tests, the Armadillo proved to be maneuverable through narrow spaces and corners. It was also easy to steer, whether using one or two hands, thanks to the comfortable foam-grip handlebar. The handlebar, however, is fixed at a height of 40 inches, so you’ll definitely want to try before you buy if you or your partner is on the shorter or taller side.
Although the majority of our parent testers said they were skeptical of the quality of the stroller’s wheels, they all felt the Armadillo maneuvers well over smooth floors and sidewalks. The all-wheel suspension and front-wheel swivel lock make navigating paved roads, gravel and grass more manageable. To engage the front wheel locks, position the front wheels inline with the rear wheels and flip the lock located just above the wheel.
The brake on the Armadillo is very easy to apply and the stroller feels secure when they are engaged. Located on the right rear wheel, step on the red tab to engage and lift underneath it to release. With a width of 22 inches, bringing the stroller aboard public transit isn’t a hassle, and it won’t obstruct other passengers.
RECLINE AND LEG REST
One of the Armadillo’s features that we liked best is the almost-full recline of the seat for your child’s naps. All of our parent testers agreed that this stroller reclines easily, and it can be done with one hand: lift the lever on the back of the seat and pull the back down. To put it back in the upright position, lift the lever again while pulling on the straps. Our parent testers reported their children seemed comfortable in all of the recline positions, and they appreciated the adjustable leg rest positions as an added bonus to recreating a bed-like environment for their child.
“The convenience of a one-handed stroller while travelling is highly valuable. It also folds really easily and the almost-full recline is great for naps on the go.” —Kate, mother of one
Another feature of the Armadillo most celebrated by our parent testers was the extra-large canopy—so whether you’re in direct sunlight or get caught in a little bit of drizzle, your baby will stay covered. The Armadillo comes with a rain cover that easily snaps into place should your travel companion need more protection. The canopy offers UPF 50+ protection, and only one parent felt that their child might get too hot with the canopy fully extended.
Although the Armadillo isn’t designed for reversible seating, the peek-a-boo window provides a wide enough view for a quick check-in, and its magnetic closure is quiet enough that it won’t disturb your sleeping child (sometimes velcro closures can be a bit loud).
While the seat cover and canopy are removable and machine-washable on gentle cycle, our parent testers found that the high-quality materials made it easier just to spot-clean the stroller. They also felt that the durable fabric was less prone to snags and tears. One parent tester commented that the seat would benefit from using mesh or a more breathable fabric for the back area since there aren’t any real openings for air to flow through to ensure your little sleeper doesn’t wake up sweaty.
STORAGE AND ACCESSORIES
If you’ve planned a day of errands with your little one accompanying you, you’ll need a decent amount of storage. The Armadillo storage basket has a maximum weight allowance of 6.6 lb., so you can easily fit in a diaper bag. All but one of our testers agreed that the stroller provided enough storage capacity for a day out and that it was relatively easy to insert and remove items. One parent recommends sliding your diaper bag in from either the front or back of the stroller, as the sides aren’t large enough. Unless you purchase the cup/snack holder separately, the Armadillo has no additional storage features.
The five-point harness left our parent testers feeling that their child was safe and secure. While adjusting the straps—whether for shoulder height or comfort—was easy, our testers did find that assembling the two top pieces of the harness prior to snapping it into the buckle a little difficult. When we were testing it, we found that the buckle definitely requires two hands to put it together and secure. This may be a bit of struggle if your little one is fidgeting, but fastening the harness gets easier with practice. The harness is designed with padding under the crotch buckle to keep your child comfortable.
When it came to reviewing the stroller’s quality, ease of use and value, all of our parent testers rated the stroller from good to very good, and said they would recommend it to other parents or parents-to-be. Although they all agreed the stroller was very easy to use, the majority were less enthusiastic about the value—however, they all said they had a better experience using the Armadillo in comparison to the other strollers they’ve tried. On the whole, the Armadillo is compact and sturdy. Your child’s comfort is important, and with the Armadillo’s incredible recline and adjustable leg rest, we don’t hesitate to give this stroller the Today’s Parent Approved seal.