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Wednesday - 21 October 2020

Battle of the Prams

Edwards & Co Oscar MX vs Thule Spring comparison
Head-to-head battle of New Zealand’s favourite $899 everyday strollers.

Edwards & Co Oscar MX vs Thule Spring

It’s not that long ago, that I wouldn’t have dreamt about writing a pram review. I’m a new dad and a pram is a pram; I mean, how different can they be, really?

So I absolutely fobbed off any conversation and decision-making over pram purchases to the mothering department; I honestly could not have cared less if I tried. Turns out, I probably should have!

Flying the Kiwi flag – Edwards & Co.

Edwards & Co Oscar MX pram review
The Edwards & Co. Oscar MX pram was designed right here in Aotearoa from start to finish.

Hailing from Auckland’s North Shore, anyone who has even glanced at parenting topics on social media over the past years could not have missed Edwards & Co. If there is one company doing Facetagram right, it’s these guys! All the cool parents rock into the party pushing an Edwards & Co pram… oh and maybe a kid in it, I guess… and make sure you tag ‘em on your social feed so you can be just as cool as the hottest #influencer mum or dad right now. I’m not knocking it; I’m guilty of it too! I even made the Edwards & Co feed myself when they thieved my photo (without asking, but it’s okay, you can have it). I mean – how cool is that! I’m practically just as cool as what’s her face from that thing on TV!

At the pinnacle of the Edwards & Co range is the Oscar MX pram. It ticks most boxes for most people and it’s designed right here in Aotearoa! It oozes cool factor, it’s one of the best looking prams ever created and you’re supporting local by buying it. It costs $899 and it’s awesome!

The challenger – Thule Spring

Thule Spring pram review

Now Thule I know! If you want the best ski box, bike rack or near-enough any lifestyle accessory for your car, you’d raise some eyebrows if you chose anything other than Thule from most people “in the know” about these things. I had no idea they made prams though! Well turns out they do and, by all accounts, they’re just as good at making prams as they are making car accessories!

Thule’s take on the everyday pram is the Thule Spring, also valued at $899 and it is everything you expect a Thule to be.

Heat 1: Design

Both Edwards & Co Oscar MX and the Thule Spring are right up there when it comes to stunning contemporary product design. The Oscar MX comes in black and “smoke” colour, but the Spring needs three pages of scrolling options on the Foray website so if you can’t find a suitable colour from that range, I’ll be honest, you might want to take a moment to have a wee chat with your-own-self about your life priorities. The Thule Spring’s clean, Nordic, design language is both practical and elegant so it comes as no surprise the Thule Spring stroller won the iF Design Gold Award 2020.

Winner

I’ll have to go with the experts at iF World Design Guide on this and give the points to the Thule Spring, but when it comes to looks it’s always everyone’s personal choice.

Heat 2: Practicality

Both my wife and I love the fact that we can flip the Oscar MX seat to face out to the world or face us when we just want to stare at the most beautiful baby in the history of beautiful babies (barf bucket warning…. oh, too late, sorry). This is an absolute stroke of brilliance from the Edwards & Co design team.

Edwards & Co Oscar MX pram versatility
Edwards & Co. Oscar MX gives you the choice to stare at your baby while walking, if that’s your thing.

This one feature, in fact, weighs so much in my wife’s list of priorities that I’m compelled to give Edwards & Co a practicality point before we even move across to look at the Thule Spring.

Thule Spring folds easily with one hand and takes little room in the boot of a SEAT Ateca.

Now, as the dad in our bubble, practicality to me is somewhat different. I’m always late and I’m always carrying everything in one go so I appreciate the fact that I can have the baby in one hand and fold the pram and put it in my boot with the other in one motion. You’d have to be quite the wizard to pull that off with the Oscar MX. The Thule Spring also takes a lot less space in my boot so there’s more room for life’s other essentials.

Edwards & Co Oscar MX will not fit into a 2020 Toyota Yaris.
The Edwards & Co. Oscar MX won’t fit into a 2020 Toyota Yaris boot… that said, if you have kids, that’s not the car for you anyway.

In terms of navigating around shops and tight spaces, the two are as good as each other and very practical when you are out and about, but the Oscar MX really doesn’t like unpaved surfaces whereas the Thule Spring is easy to push on a gravel path. If your own life scenario involves gravel paths, stop reading now and buy the Thule; you’ll be glad you did.

Winner

This one is a tie. Mum loves the Oscar MX whereas the dad is absolutely in the Thule camp.

Heat 3: Build Quality

Okay, we know Thule won’t put their name on anything that isn’t both engineered and built to absolute perfection and this is abundantly clear from the moment you open the box and assemble the pram. Everything is built to exact measurements using the very best materials. I remember my first walk around town with the Thule Spring and watched a 1995 Holden Rustbucket GT rattle its way past us and I thought the pram would come out on top in a crash between that car and the Thule. What a weird and morbid thought and thankfully we didn’t find out whether I was right, but the point remains; The Thule Spring is an exceptional piece of build and engineering.

Build quality is without a doubt Edwards & Co’s biggest downfall. Even without comparison, it is a flimsy pram that looks nice, but seems it has been built by the cheapest Chinese factory one could find. This is not a dig at Chinese manufacturing; both of these prams were made there, but only one came with quality control.

The Edwards & Co. Oscar MX isn’t built to perfection.

Where the Thule is stable and smooth, the Edwards & Co Oscar MX falls far behind in comfort for both dad and the kid.

Winner

Thule Spring all day long.

Heat 4: Customer Service

Both get an A+ for responsiveness and care. Edwards & Co have replaced the flimsy foot brake plastic without argument for us, although the new one is just the same as the original so the poor build problem remains.

Thule’s New Zealand partner, Foray, was also quick to respond to queries and even took a proactive approach by contacting me when they found out their courier was running late.

Winner

Tie – Both companies are reputable and stand proud behind their products.

FINAL VERDICT

Just tallying up the scores, we arrive at a 4-2 win for the Thule Spring and it absolutely is the better of the $899 prams on show today. Edwards & Co Oscar MX is a worthy stroller, no doubt about that, and its party trick of being able to flip the seat to face the pusher is a stroke of genius, but the Thule Spring is a pushchair that’s made so much better than the Oscar MX, that it isn’t fair fight from a quality-conscious dad’s point of view.

If you can overlook the build quality and you want to have the same stroller as seemingly all Kiwi influencers, by all means buy the Oscar MX and you can count on a lot of #likes on your posts, but if you want a pram that’s been built to last and feels like the Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Volvo (you get the idea) of push-chairs, you spend your money on the Thule Spring; it is the far superior product.

Winner: Thule Spring

More information:

Winner: Thule Spring from Foray
Runner-up: Edwards & Co. Oscar MX

Setti Mulari
Nerd. Dad. Probably lived in more countries than you. Will stop to stare at nice cars.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Omg why didn’t you write this a year ago when I needed the heads up? Our drive isn’t even gravel but the Oscar can’t handle it. Hubby says it’s the pram version of the Princess finding a pea under 100 mattresses lol

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