Brica is a company that my family is pretty familiar with. I’ve noticed that Brica often likes to fill in the gaps when it comes to some of the more oddball stuff that parents are interested for their babies. It’s not necessarily that Brica specializes in oddities. I just find that more often than not, when there’s something a bit off the wall, I can usually recommend a Brica product to parents because they’ve already thought of it.
It should really come as no surprise that the product I’m reviewing today is a Brica innovation too. The Brica Smartmove car seat carrier is a bit odd looking. It looks like a dolly or hand truck, yet it has a very specific purpose.
What is the Brica Smartmove?
Brica Smartmove is a car seat transporter. Why would you need to transport a car seat? As somebody that has been reviewing, testing and install car seats for many years, they aren’t always the lightest thing in the world to carry. When you consider that infant 3-in-1 seats often come with bells, whistles and a heavy base, they can get up there. The car seat we use in our SUV, for example, is somewhere between 40-45 pounds according to the manufacturer’s website and after hauling it around a lot, I’m definitely not disputing that.
So picture this: You’re on your way to catch a flight. Somehow, you need to get your luggage from the car to check-in along with your car seat and your semi-mobile child. You also need to figure out a way to check your stroller through since you need that too. Have you figured out the solution to this puzzle yet? If the answer is “Bring extra people to help you get to check-in” have you figured out what you’re doing to do on the other side?
That’s where a device like the Brica Smartmove comes in. Out of the package, it comes completely flat, which is a good glimpse into the storage possibilities of this thing. With little effort, you can extend the wheels and the bed of the device. Straps allow you to clip your car seat into place and then you sit your child down like you normally would. From there, you can then pull your Smartmove along like a rolling bag, or you can face it forward and push it like a makeshift stroller. Since you can use any car seat with this, you can basically turn anything that fits into that makeshift stroller.
The whole thing comes attached together in one easy to fold in/out piece and again can sit flat for easy storage. If cargo space is a necessity, this definitely works to cut down the amount of trunk space normally used up while traveling by a stroller. In addition, you don’t have to check in a stroller any longer if you go this route, which means that it’ll pay for itself after a while with the baggage fees you save. In addition, since it folds flat and doesn’t take up a lot of room in general, you can just stow it into an overhead bin or (if it will fit) your own luggage. It’s pretty light weight (about 8 pounds) and is made of very sturdy, high grade metal. The base itself is about 40cm wide, which means that you should comfortably be able to sit most (if not all) seats down into the base to strap in.
The ins and outs of Brica Smartmove
Brica Smartmove is a complete urban/road device. I’ve spoken about how this can be a good makeshift option for a travel stroller. However, if your travel needs waver toward needing a jogging stroller, then you’ll probably have to go back to square one.
While the Smartmove comes on wheels and has a sturdy base and great gripping technology for the seat itself, it’s not really going to get you far on non-urban terrain. The rollers themselves are basically oversized rollerblade wheels and there aren’t really any shocks or shock absorption capabilities so unless you plan on using that secondary stroller idea in lots of malls or theme parks, stick to the travel convenience it brings to the table. In the video, you’ll see that I was pushing it through a bit of light snow and it operated just fine.
The nicest thing I found about the Brica Smartmove was that didn’t require any assembly. From the moment you rip the wrapping off, it’s ready to go. The top handle operates like any piece of rolling luggage. You simply press a button and pull or push in the handle. To operate the base, you just pull it downward or push it back up when you’re done. The wheels go in tune with the force you put on the base so you don’t have to worry about tending to them separately. Given the size and tread on the wheels, I don’t think you’ll ever get to the point where you’ve worn them down completely but if you do, it looks like they can be replaced pretty easily.
Is the Brica Smartmove a…smart purchase?
The Brica Smartmove isn’t for everybody. If you’re like my wife and I and don’t plan on traveling on planes until our kid is old enough to sit in (at most) a backless booster, you definitely don’t need this. A backless booster is 10 pounds at most and by the time your child’s able to sit in there, they can probably just walk next to you at the airport anyway.
Brica Smartmove is more for the traveling parents that need hands free access while going through busy places like airports so that they aren’t stalled by other moving pieces. This also helps make you taking your own carseat on vacations a reality since you never can quite trust a seat you’re getting from a third party or rental car company to have the same eye on safety that you’ve taken with your own seat. The fact that the wheels and the entire unit folds so flat is a big bonus, considering this easily tucks into an overhead bin as a result. The added benefit of possibly seating your child in this and doubling as a makeshift stroller through transit means you won’t risk missing connections or even chasing after them. All you have to do is strap the seat into the Smartmove, strap them into the seat and go.
However, if it’s just a lot of travel within the city or road trips, it’s a little harder to justify. Granted, if your road trips will require a lot of stroller walking and your child is still in that age, this is a good solution. By using the carseat and the Smartmove as a makeshift stroller, you can save the space required to pack a real one. However, that’s really only a good solution in dry weather since strollers have canopies and wet weather protection and this doesn’t. It also only works if your child is out of infant seats because I don’t really think this is a good idea if your child is less than a year old.
Overall, the Brica Smartmove is a good idea but only in select circumstances. This is well worth the price if you need a sturdy and reliable option to help you tote your car seat around while traveling around and/or you need a makeshift stroller option while trying to pack lightly. This isn’t really something you’d use day to day and I don’t think it’s something you’d even want to buy to replace your stroller in general. With it being a similar setup to a dolly, your child won’t get the benefit of cup holders and you won’t get the benefit of storage space under the stroller seat.
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