Easywalker Charley stroller review: A small stroller with big ambitions
Even while being small and compact (8 kg for a reversible model is actually incredibly pleasant), it's not a "rattle" - and it's pretty sturdy. It will surprise you with its extra padded seat, but also its REAL suspension on the rather wide small wheels (at least compared to other models in this category). All this combined makes up for a great driveability.
Someone could mind the small size of the chassis (seemingly rather low to the ground). Still, if you don't give up on this reversible buggy with a first weird impression, many elaborate details and surprising sturdiness may end up changing your mind. An urban mom needing something handy while reversible will be very positively surprised.
+ lay-flat seat
+ high-quality fabrics, leatherette coversand padding - and I personally love the pastel colors
+ even if it doesn't seem so: a rather spacious seat unit with quite a large canopy O_O
+ storage basket size is pleasant - it was actually big enough to hold my older son sitting in it 😀
+ quality joints with metal parts mean longevity while the compactness won't mean rattling or weak chassis
+ practical details - like the integrated bag holders on the handlebar
+ accessories availability - height adapters for the carrycot, child's bumper bar, and other
- not the lowest price - but you get what you pay for
- the bumper bar is sold separately (as well as other accessories) - making the price even higher
- I would make the leg rest longer and cover it with some wipe-clean layer
- the seat unit is lower to the ground, which is not a negative by itself, but tall parents sometimes don't like this
- clicking off the seat unit needs some getting used to - it's not that intuitive, thinking about aligning the signs
- someone could ming the specific design, mainly that of the canopy - I would probably - make it more round to make it pleasing for the general public (and an even larger sun visor would also help)
And in long 😉 :
Easywalker is a brand long known for its quality, functional strollers with a luxurious feel. The Charley, a 'brother' of the flagship Easywalker Harvey full-size bucket-seat pushchair is similar to the larger model in multiple aspects and design details.
The Charley is made to be very lightweight and compact to not be a burden even for a very busy, short-on-space parent. With that, it offers a lie-flat position of the seat unit that some mommies tend to prefer - it's not a bucket (ergonomic) type of seat unit like the seat unit of the Harvey. The Easywalker Charley stroller was released around the beginning of 2019, and from then on, it just got more known and popular with those uniqueness-loving urban parents needing something small and modern but expecting a certain level of uncompromisable quality. That is probably why the Easywalker brand collects feedback from the sellers as well as from the users to integrate enhancements and pimp-ups to their newer collections.
Surprisingly, after quite a noise the Easywalker Harvey2 made (and in the spring 2021, the EW Harvey3 being released), the Charley started to be searched for much more, even though being "lower" (a lower line as well as lower to the ground).
Indeed, the boom of small, compact models is here, and people realize how small size makes it so much easier to move around as well as travel. The Charley ticks this box while offering the advantage of an almost-full size stroller - beginning with a reversible seat.
The really small size and only 8 kg of weight add a smooth and easy manipulation to the frame. The loading and unloading to and from the car are also nice; you will fit the Charley into a small apartment with no problem while the child's comfort is not compromised - and neither is the parent's driving comfort... The quality feel also makes you think that the pushchair may last you more than one child's use.
EW Charley configurability and accessories
The Easywalker Charley can be bought as a stroller-only, and the accessories - even the big parts to attach - the carrycot or the car seat - usually need to be bought separately. It can be an advantage when you already do know what exactly you will be using and what you never used with your first... but a disadvantage for those not knowing much about what they actually need - the mixing and matching their 'gear' could feel like a bit of suffering. It also feels bad to pay for everything extra, I know... A plus would, however, be that you don't pay (a hidden cost when buying a full set) for those accessories that will only be lying around, unused.
From those smaller things (and costs that most of the mums pay), you can get a rain cover and a mosquito net. They look good and work well. The rain cover is usually included with the stroller (seat), but you can buy an extra one if your set didn't have it or you managed to lose it/tear it somehow. I would underline the fact that it's in a very well done = pretty, the raincoat, and the practical zip-close pocket included with it makes the unused accessory stylish and taking up only a very small portion of your basket.
As I already mentioned in the Downsides (-) part, the bumper bar is sold separately, so you will pay for that if you plan on using it. Some shops, however, do offer it for free (or some small sum) with certain stroller set combinations, which is a very nice offer to take advantage of. I was also told that the Charley stroller's next generation could have it included - since mothers complained and asked for it a lot.
You can also opt for an original Easywalker sibling skate - a kiddy board for an older sibling to stand and ride on. Truth be told, I wouldn't use a small stroller like this regularly with such an extra load on the rear axle - you may be weakening it over time.
The height adapters are also a nice accessory that mainly the taller daddies will be happy for, I assume - the Charley is a smaller model, after all. Height adapters to have your child closer will certainly make bonding easier - and the view better.
Another option you will probably think of are the car seat adapters. The Charley offers a possibility of the Maxi-Cosi/Cybex type of adapters, making it possible to attach the Maxi-Cosi, Cybex, but also the Kiddy, Recaro, Nuna, Joie, and other known car seat brands. If you plan on using the Charley from birth, you probably will be using these as well.
The larger-in-site from-birth accessories include the full-featured foldable carrycot with a thick, comfy, breathable mattress and an apron (you can match the carrycot to the color of your Charley, or mix&match another color, if you feel like it), a car seat of your choosing - corresponding adapters** are needed, or an insert Soft Cot cocoon with extra padding in the head area.
The Soft Cot would be a very nice option for a spring baby when you don't need the full-size hard-base bassinet. Also, it will work as a kind of footmuff for the first year or so. Dimension-wise, the cocoon insert Soft Cot measures 74x35 cm inside
The Soft Cot is also usable for the Easywalker Buggy XS travel stroller.
The carrycot's internal measurements (mattress size) 74 x 32,5 cm. You'll click it on with included height adapters (the carrycot would otherwise be super low to the ground). I also want to underline the veeery comfortable, thick padding inside - and its mattress boasts a thickness of 3 cm, which is far above average. Nice detailing like the soft zipper cover flap to protect the fragile baby leg skin or the simple removing the carrycot thanks to one lever in the center front part (no two side buttons) make the manipulation with the bassinet very pleasant - and the size of the carrycot is absolutely acceptable for the usual half-year (six months) of use.
The carrycot canopy is made a little larger thanks to the visor, but that I would make even bigger if I were designing. The bigger the sun visor (or overall, the hood) is, the better - and combined with the highest possible apron (which I would also make even larger if I could, at the moment, it's rather average), that would make the best protection of the baby even in winter. I did like the wide but not too open viewing/ventilation window in the back - it allows for the air to flow through while the sun is not shining straight on the baby.
With the carrycot's height adapter, you can even click on the Harvey bucket-type seat unit onto the Charley chassis - and yes, it works just as good as with the Charley seat, maneuvering-wise 😉 The manufacturer, of course, doesn't recommend such use, but since we tested both the Charley and the Harvey strollers, I was tempted to try. If you get the Charley and realize you need a bucket seat for your child, you do have options.
We tried the carrycot in winter with our three-month-old tester Richard. He was wrapped in a large, thick footmuff - and fit in there just fine. He slept most of the time and wasn't too exposed to the cold. And the carrycot-removing lever was a great securing point of the leg cover, which might otherwise be pushed away with the baby's legs and the thick, fluffy footmuff inside.
Features and characteristics of the Charley pushchair
The seat unit/pushchair mode of the Charley features a super-nice weight so pleasant to push around, and the look with the bold-looking canopy is truly quite unique.
The quality can be felt - with the fabrics as well as in those sturdy metal joints, and it's quite something for this category. I haven't seen such with any other similarly sized stroller.
The weight and weight distribution will be a great help when loading the stroller in your car, pushing it uphill, and the overall manipulation... Another plus is the well-designed center of gravity - and that with the seat in both directions, which is not an easy thing to achieve. You can push the Charley even with one hand only; I could do that easily even though our main tester - 2.5-year-old Ferdinand, is not a 'small' child.
One of the most important things about the stroller would, therefore, for sure be "fuss-free handling" - no burdening you in any way, maneuverability-wise.
If you match this model with the right lifestyle, it's going to be a gem in an almost luxurious, eye-catching kind of way, making the pastels underline your presence on the street. The white color of the wheels is also a non-traditional, cool look, and a nice change in the number of grey and black stroller chassis one normally sees everywhere...
The handle is rounded, PU leather-covered, and kind of wide - which makes for a nice, comfy grip even when pushing for a longer time. You can adjust it telescopically, and it goes quite high, high-enough even for taller parents. Extremely tall parents won't be super happy with this model - since it's a small one, and they tend to prefer larger, taller strollers overall, I noticed. I am 176 cm tall, and I felt okay with it - no kicking the rear axle or not enough handlebar height appeared to be happening.
The handlebar has multiple positions it can be stopped in - you need to click it in the right place and secure it with side clasps, similarly to Bugaboo strollers. You do, however, need to fit the right place to be able to secure it, but with a few tries, you will get a knack for it (I did).
I normally had the handle two clicks under the maximum height, and in the lowest position, my older sons were able to push their brother.
You will need both hands to adjust the handlebar, though. When clicked where it should, it feels sturdy and is not loose - and it's very quiet, to add to it. No rattling.
An advantage to note are the bag holder details on the sides of the handle, making your bag secured in place without sliding down the handlebar.
When folding the buggy, you will be grateful for the small protruding detail in the center of the handlebar, protecting the leatherette from being scratched by the floor when the Charley stands upright in its folded state.
Here, it's also very important to acknowledge how much a right handlebar position helps you with pushing. This is not only the case of the Charley but any stroller in general. To have it right, always use the first right position after a "too low" one - meaning the first that feels good after a position that feels too low for you. This right one will make it so much easier to pop up a curb... so it's better to have it like this than too high, which "fights against you" in such situations. Also, for those taller moms, sometimes that's the reason to prefer rotating (as opposed to telescoping) handlebars - to have it angled a little bit downwards helps immensely with the center of gravity and optimizes the force you need to exercise to lift the front of the stroller.
The hood looks small-ish at the first glance - or at least shorter than it is if you look at the promotional photographs. Even I was counting on a smaller-in-size canopy when getting the Charley, and I took it as a price to pay for the strollers' small size overall.
It's actually not the case - after extending it, it's robust and protective enough; it's just the shape that is maybe a bit weird.
Since it moves with the backrest when you recline the seat, it makes the Charley more open in the laying position, but I think it's acceptable even then. The possibility to adjust the canopy height-wise also helps lots - push it closer to your child's head, and a nice shade is in there immediately. Putting it higher up creates extra space for those taller toddlers.
After opening it as it goes, you'll have two different ventilation parts - the window you can see even if not extended is opened/closed quietly, but the other, visible when the hood is extended, is then open-only.
This is a negative point in winter when you do need an extended canopy but not really the freezing air flowing in. The mesh is, however, very thickly woven, so at least it shouldn't rain through it.
I am very glad for the sun visor being a feature of the hood, but as with the carrycot, I would make it longer - the longest possible :-D as usually. You never complain about a sun shield being too long, but at certain angles, it can be too short, the hood, and a large sun visor can help, then.
I also want to appreciate the materials and fabrics used - they are thick, high-quality, nice to touch, nice, and light-colored. I don't think the color will fade over time; it seems long-lasting. I love the inside detail of a different kind of textile - feels like a soft hoodie, making the whole more interestingly-looking as well as interesting for the kid.
The seat unit
The reversible seat is, for its size, quite elaborate. The soft padding will be appreciated (not only) with a smaller baby in the seat - or a child that naps regularly in it. The size is also a 'small' surprise - my 14kg son that will soon be three years old and fits in it just fine, even though you cannot really expect too much space all around.
He seemed comfy in it even though it's not a bucket-type seat unit, which he got used to it before. He did, however, missed the bumper bar a little bit. I recommend getting one because of seeing he would use one.
|Easywalker Charley stroller seat unit with a two-and-a-half year old boy}}
Internal dimensions-wise, the seat is absolutely acceptable, and even though my son was born over 4 kg (so he's certainly not a small kid), it would last us up to his circa 3 years, as I could see. The seat measurements are as follows: the backrest is 48cm tall, the sitting surface is 33x23 cm, and the overall length of the sleeping surface is 84.5 cm. All very fine for a compact, reversible model.
I would probably only change the leg rest length - a longer one would be for sure nicer for a child that often naps in the seat (which ours doesn't do much these days). Also, a wipe-clean layer on the leg rest would also be a nice addition, in my opinion - even though it's only a small detail.
We did try the seat with our 4yo Felix as well, and he did fit relatively ok in it, but of course, not for everyday use, I think. He doesn't use a stroller anymore, so it's not a problem, but it's a nice reference to have. Our six-year-old could get in it, but it looked funny already.
EW Charley pushchair with a 6yo
The height-adjustable, five-point-harness are softly padded while the padding is secured in place with extra snap fastenings - so it doesn't always slide down when you take the child out. I would maybe make the central strap between the baby's legs longer (for easier use when it's cold outside and the child is in thick clothes) - but that's only a small thing to reproach.
I like the buckle clasp mechanism - no puzzle pieces, woohoo! You can click the upper straps into the buckle even one by one, first one side, then the other. Simple, effective, nothing overcomplicated 👏.
I would like to say I also love the fabrics of the seat. Maybe it's a bit lighter in color - making wrinkles to those moms whose kids do get dirty easily (yes, mine are like that too), but the cleaning is rather easy and quick, just a wet wipe or a bit of scrubbing. I truly like the padding that is even newborn-friendly. The minimalist lines and nothing too overdone make the whole Charley pushchair look smart, stylish, and modern.
The chassis is truly unique - if you look at it closely. The design reminds me of Harvey, of course, but also the British Hybrid from BabyStyle. The weight is distributed mainly to the front of the frame, which is metal and reinforced, and the joints are also made sturdy. Nothing feels cheap or weak. That is probably why this small stroller can manage 20 kg in the seat (if you fill such a child into the seat, that is) and 5 kg more in the shopping basket.
We were mainly testing on the usual urban sidewalks (which means quite some terrain since they are not in great shape around where we live 💪).
Even though smaller (15.5 cm in the front, 17.5 cm in the back), the wheels are quite wide for their size, and they went through usual obstacles well. They didn't get full of stones, and the overall performance was surprisingly good. The suspension (that you actually can feel) helps quite a lot here; you can (gently) rock the baby in it if you want. Nothing much, but I find it incredible for such a lightweight stroller.
I admit - we took the Charley into a real, hardcore forest once we visited the grandma. It's not a terrain stroller, but pulling it behind me on the rear wheels, we could go on any off-road - and it was a real off-road!
For me, this trip made it the most all-terrain mini-stroller I saw. The width of 51 cm makes it also great for maneuvering in very narrow aisles in shops, etc. - so the use is most certainly versatile.
The fold is not complicated, but the process takes both hands and a few steps.
First, you need to fold and line up the seat and the handlebar. Next - the grabbing and pulling of the under-seat handle and a release button. This should be one-handed but didn't feel smooth enough, so I usually needed both of my hands. You may get used to it better and may be doing in one-handedly, though.
The seat needs to be folded in half, and it can be done with the seat forward- as well as rearward-facing. Even with the seat attached it's really compact after folding (folded measurements are 65 × 51 × 27 cm) - you will certainly be able to fold it in your car boot even if it's a small one - and even with some shopping.
The protective detail on the handlebar saves the eco-leather from scratching - a nice little detail. A folded Charley automatically locks, preventing random unfolding, and stands by itself for easier storage.
The wheel size is good for what it is. They feature individual suspension, while the rear springs are hidden (but you can feel it well enough).
The chassis shape helps and boosts the natural suspension and shock-absorption while leaving the stroller sturdy enough. We were able to tackle any kind of usual problems - like potholes, bumps, and so on, without the chassis weakening (or getting noisy). Of course, a hole bigger than the wheel will make the wheel get stuck in it, but that's physics.
The lifting of the stroller was ok; the center of gravity is well-positioned. The wheel-locking mechanism works fine (you click a lever upwards over each of the wheels); it's only really useful for a lot of grass-walking or some real, harsh terrain.
The brake is flip-flop friendly, activated as well as deactivated by stepping over it from the top (it's a 'cradle' form, not hard to operate). The center position felt scary at first - I was afraid to be constantly kicking into it - but I wasn't, so all good 😌
For such a small stroller, the basket size is generous, and it's also easily accessible.
The basket being a bit protruding in the rear part makes the space for loading it seem bigger, and we even managed to load it with my other son in case of a feet-hurting emergency. Of course, you are not supposed to use it like that, but you can't help yourself with a tired child(ren) 😉
And the storage basket stood up pretty much any load we put inside, so I can honestly say it's sturdy and well made (aaand spacious). If I were looking for downsides, it would be the brake too close to the basket, making me dirtying up the outer basket fabric with my foot when activating the brake. Basket measurements: length 45 cm x width 43 cm x depth in the center part 16,5 cm.
We tested the Charley mainly because I got tons of questions about it, and people searching for something small logically got interested in such a special-lokoing compact stroller model.
>And me, loving the smaller, compact strollers, got to love this little non-burdening vehicle. Just a few small disadvantages are balanced with so many plus sides a city mom will be so grateful for - that is, of course, depending on you needing those advantages of a small model!
A huge tank like a Britax Go Big is uncomparable in terrain-abilities and overall robustness and suspension, but that's a large stroller with completely different pros and cons! You, needing something handy and the tiniest possible - and counting in the making small = making simpler - might be finding a perfect small stroller with fantastic details and very nice suspension.
I WOULD definitely buy it even right from birth - of course, if having a baby and still being a city mother. For a spring baby, I would certainly think of the soft carrycot, saving even more space (and money).
Although, it's really a nice choice even as an 'after-carrycot' pushchair with a baby getting out of the closed-up bassinet, going to see the world from a seat. A nice use case would also be for those who travel a lot - its size is very much acceptable while offering all the bells and whistles of full-size seats. And the Charley will also work as an addition to an all-terrain jogger/three-wheeler if you do need a lighter - reversible - stroller to add to that.
Don't forget, I am taking into account that I am rating a compact model - and I am not searching for real all-terrain capability or features not expected from a small urban model.
If you take the Charley for what it is, you will find out that in it's smallness, it's a great stroller.**
EASYWALKER CHARLEY SUMMARY IN NUMBERS, DIMENSIONS, AND MEASUREMENTS:
Dimensions - unfolded: 104x51x92 cm
Dimensions - folded: 65x51x27 cm
Handlebar height: 83-105
Seat unit dimensions: 48 cm (backrest), 33 x 23 cm (sitting surface), 84,5 cm (laying surface length)
Internal carrycot dimensions - mattress: 74x32,5
Front wheel diameter: 15,5 cm ~ 5.8 inch
Rear wheel diameter: 17,5 cm ~ 6.7 inch
Shopping basket dimensions: 45x43x16,5 cm
Seat unit weight capacity: 20 kg
Basket weight capacity: 5 kg
This was an unpaid review describing the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the Easywalker Charley stroller system, and it is based solely on our own experience. The aim was to provide honest information for moms thinking about purchasing this or any other stroller.