October 4, 2012

Upgrade Alert! - Step2 Whisper Ride II Buggy

I think it's next to impossible to be a parent these days and go without seeing a child being pushed around in a Step2 buggy.  When Kayla was around a year old we acquired the first Whisper Ride Buggy and took it everywhere.  It received quite a bit of love and abuse from Kayla and is now living it's days out entertaining one of our friend's little boys.  

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

A little while back I told you how I am now a Step2 Test Drive Mom and how we've had a lot of their products take up residency in our home over the last four years of Kayla's life.

So I was delighted when I heard that Step2 was sending the new and improved Whisper Ride II Buggy over for me to check out and see what I thought.  When I found this box sitting on my doorstep, I knew I would have an excited child when she came home from preschool.  As you can tell, even though Kayla is nearing the maximum age limit for this cute car I couldn't keep her out of it!

What set the the old Whisper Ride apart from other ride-on kiddie cars was a lack of the deafening crunch of plastic against concrete or pavement because of its cushy tires and its crucial yet often overlooked seat belt.  

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

There was however one thing that I did wish was different on a regular basis though, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.  I would have loved for the original Whisper Ride to have a way to fold down the push handle to make it fit in my trunk easily.  On the old version I would have to remove it each time we went to take to the park or a store,  screw it back on when we got there and then repeat the motions to take it home.  

Naturally, those Step2 people didn't disappoint!   So what's new with the Whisper Ride II ? I'll show you.  For starters, here is what you'll see when you empty out the box.  Sure, I could go for a few less pieces to put together, but you know what?  I like assembling things myself because then I know that it's put together safely for my child and it gives me a chance to learn how all of the features really work.  

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

You're probably wondering how difficult the assembly is on this buggy and if you ask me I'd rate is somewhere between easy and medium difficulty.  Most of that depends on the assembler.  If you're like my husband and can't stand putting things together even if they only require an Allen wrench, then it's medium.

If you're the one in the family who has been putting together baby bouncers, swings or nursery furniture like moi, then this is easy and straightforward.  Look, even Kayla was getting in on the action which usually means that I'll be missing a screw and everything takes five times as long as it should, but we had the Whisper Ride II together in about 20 minutes.

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

So what do I like about the new Whisper Ride II?  Let me start by being selfish and say I love the parent cup holder which is located on the push handle.  Just having a cup holder would have been enough for me, but this one actually swivels to accommodate bumps in the road and keep your drink from spilling on you or your precious cargo below.  Now, where is this feature in my Toyota Highlander, which is supposed to be the ultimate mommy-mobile?

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

Okay, okay, now something for the little one.  How about this anti-finger-smushing trunk?  I'd personally like to thank the Step2 employee who thought of this because I cannot comprehend why there aren't more products with features like this?  By just leaving a little gap between where the hood and body meet, many toddler-tears will be eliminated.   If you have a slightly older child then you know that as toddlers they close things on their hands constantly.  If you're a first timer, trust me - this is good stuff!

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If your child is anything like mine then they are constantly in need of a snack and a drink.  I love that the Whisper Ride II also has dual cup holders for your little one.  The old version only had one.  Plus those super smart baby engineers over at Step2 thought to add drainage holes to the cup holders.  Kayla didn't spill a ton as a toddler but what she did like to do was try to fill the cup holder up with sand and then I got to flip the car over to get it out.  Problem eliminated.

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

Without question, the single most important upgrade in the Whisper Ride II for me was the folding handle.  You can see it folds right up under the buggy.  Instead of having to completely unscrew a 2 to 3 inch screw you just need to give a few firm turns to the red knob to release the handle.  This makes stowing it in a trunk for a trip to Grandma's, the park or the mall (where I see more and more of these in use) very fast and easy.

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

And of course the original reason that so many people chose the first Whisper Ride buggy, the special extra quiet tires still applies to the Whisper Ride II.  As a parent who has pushed around more than my fair share of these ride on toys I honestly can't imagine choosing to bring home one that lacked this feature.

Step2 Whisper Ride II 2 Buggy review, Step2 Test Drive mom, Step2 Whisper Ride 2

If you liked what you saw you can head over to Step2 and take a look at the Whisper Ride II  which comes in this cute pink color and of course in a very manly blue.  It's recommended for ages 18-48 months but I think it's an unbeatable first birthday gift.  There are also lots of other products there which are favorites of mine like their adjustable sand and water table.

If we didn't already have a toy kitchen both inside and outside our home I would be prepping my husband for the fact that I'd be purchasing this amazing Toys R Us exclusive play kitchen this holiday season.  If you have any questions about the Whisper Ride II I'm happy to answer them, otherwise happy shopping!
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