E, for the first year of her life wasn’t a fan of strollers. She wanted to be worn or carried. And, I wore her all the time! In fact people would comment about not having a baby attached to me when they saw me without her.
I still like to wear her, but now that she’s getting bigger and my baby bump is getting bigger, it’s harder. So, she’s been strolling more lately. Fortunately, she likes them now. Like when she sees them she starts squealing and saying “up” and gesturing to get in them.
Thanks to the fine people at Combi sending us the Catalyst, we’ve been testing out a new one.
The Combi Catalyst has so many options built right into it, making it a stroller you can use from newborn all the way to a 50-lb toddler (although, my almost 5 year old isn’t quite 50 pounds, she’s a little too big for it, but has gone for a couple rides in it, too just because she can).
You can use the Combi Catalyst as a travel system with many compatible infant carseats/carriers. The universal infant car seat adapter, is included, and compatible with the Combi Shuttle infant car seat, and other major brands, to create a travel system. You can also use it as a bassinet stroller without any additional pieces. Just recline the seat down and undo a buckle and it’s a bassinet (which can be adjusted very easily to face either direction). It lays completely flat
Or you can convert the bassinet to a large, cushioned toddler stroller. Facing out (like above) or facing the pusher. It allows for three seating positions as well as an adjustable recline.
It seems this is becoming more standard on strollers, but the Combi Catalyst also has an adjustable, 5-point harness system and removable shoulder and buckle comfort pads. It’s easy enough to buckle that our 6 year old can help out and do it. Other strollers I’ve used have to have your hands a certain way and the buckle has to be just so or you fight with it. Not the case here.
Because of the telescoping handle-height adjustment, that same 6 year old can push her sister around in the stroller (with close supervision). The seat is much lower on this than other strollers, so the 6 year old can actually see over the canopy when pushing it.
Each wheel has it’s own suspension and has front-lock swivel wheels absorb bumps and provide for a smooth ride. And although the wheels seem wider, it fits easily though one of the narrower doorways in our house.
Not shows in the single step brake pedal locks and unlocks both rear wheels. This is so much easier than locking both wheel individually. Especially in a small space.
To give you an idea of how low the handle goes, look at E reaching the handle and trying to give the stroller a push.
It has a nice ventilation window in the oversized canopy to allow for a cool baby and also taking a peak at them (and them peaking at you, too). And, a very large storage basket underneath. It fits our backpack that we use as a diaper bag no problem. It’s a little shallower that others I’ve had, so you’d want to make sure things are in there well so nothing falls out.
Here’s Mr. Serious giving the stroller a push. He’s 6’3″. While the telescoping handle brings the handle out further (and prevents him kicking the wheels), we’d like to see the handle come out at more of an angle, thus making making it taller. He felt like the handle was a little too short. When I pushed the stroller (I’m only 5’5″) I liked the handle all the way out, too.
This definitely isn’t the smallest stroller for folding. It goes pretty flat (and it’s easy to take that bar off), but still takes up quite a bit of room.
One think you’ll notice missing is a parent console and tray for the child. We’ve had strollers with and without them, and I can say they really are important. Especially for the parents to be able to put keys, phone and water when going for a walk. We don’t use a child tray as often, but when it’s an option, E does like putting a drink in hers, too.
What we really like about the Combi Catalyst:
- reclines and adjusts to a full bassinet
- has a large sunshade
- large, easy to access basket
- can face the kid forward or backwards with amazing ease
- seat reclines
- handle is adjustable
- 5 point harness
- single step lock for both rear wheels
What we’d like to see improved on the Combi Catalyst:
- angle of handle so it comes up higher for taller people
- harder to clear a large curb when putting weight on telescoping handle to lift front up (not sure how to fix this as it seems common with telescoping handles)
- a way for it to easily fold up smaller
- addition of a parent console
- addition of a tray for kiddo
Overall, this is a very nice stroller with so many options. It can take you from newborn all the way to growing out of a stroller which is nice.
*I was sent a floor model to facilitate the review. All thoughts are my own. No compensation was received.