New Petite&Mars Royal 2021 review: a pimped-up beauty with a 'royal' canopy
This time, we tested the Petite&Mars Royal in the renewed 2021 version. We even had the limited Heritage Voda edition! The "sailor" / water theme of the colorway, the droplet pattern on the bottom side of the canopy, and the stripe seat liner included in the package were complemented by a matching droplet-patterned glass bottle that is stylish while reusable to protect the environment. There are quite a few accessories included, actually. So what else surprised us? What we liked about it, and what could be better? Read in our full Petite&Mars Royal 2021 full pushchair review below.
The pros and cons of the Petite&Mars Royal 2021 pushchair:
+ a huge canopy with a quiet magnetic peek-a-boo window
+ a long seat surface measurement with a high, 25kg maximum weight capacity suitable even for a 4yo
+ many mums will like the inward fold that protects the seat fabrics from getting dirty (similar to theValco Snap)
+ one-hand folding system
+ a large matching nappy bag, seat liner, and a leg cover included with the pushchair
+ new, enhanced rubber wheels with tread that don't get full of stones and will tackle light terrain (e.g., grass)
+ longer harness belts that fit even large toddlers
+ adjustable - pivoting - handlebar that helps the center of gravity
+ elegant leatherette accents (not only) on the handle and bumper bar covers that make the cleaning and maintenance of the stroller easier
+ all-wheel suspension chassis with large rear springs
- it's not the lightest nor the smallest pushchair (but it's still light and compact enough even for a smaller car boot)
- belly bar doesn't open fully, just about 90 degrees (so you need to be careful not to let your kid push all its weight on it while getting in the seat to not break the joint)
- the sitting position is not completely upright, but that is not to be expected with a strap recline (it is not slanted, either - it's much more upright than, e.g., Britax's B-Agile or B-Motion lines; my son didn't slide down once in the seat and sat comfortably in it)
- rain cover is not included (it is sold separately, and it's good to say that most universal raincoats fit OK on it)
- the fabrics are not cotton-like, but even if polyester, they're breathable enough
AND IN LONG 😉
Comparing the advantages and the downsides of the Royal, you can see at first sight that the new P&M Royal has a veeery nice price-performance ratio. Similar to the Petite&Mars Street+ stroller we fully reviewed here as well, this pushchair will surprise you with its extra roomy seat that comfortably accommodates even a four-year-old. Another huge plus is the huge canopy that covers your child fully even when in the lie-flat position.
ROYAL 2021 new features and updates
As I've already mentioned, the Royal was updated for 2021. o fit larger toddlers more comfortably, the harness belts were made longer, and sleeker-looking, and the canopy now features a peek-a-boo window.
What is more, the viewing window is silent - with a magnetic closure.
The wheels are covered with rubber in the Royal 2021 edition. They are, therefore, more terrain capable and more durable than before. I wouldn't get the Petite&Mars Royal for heavy terrain, of course, but the usual grass, gravel, bumps, and holes we tackled easy enough.
The leatherette covers of the handle and bumper bar are also updated - the nice brown underlines the style very nicely. 😍
The last new thing to mention will be the stylish new colorways available in the 2021 generation - the moms of little girls will love the pastel-toned Rose Pink with the flower pattern on the inside part of the canopy as well as on the seat liner included...
We tested the new limited edition Heritage Aqua, inspired the life's, world's, everything's basic - water. To raise awareness, the Heritage Aqua is made out of recycled fabrics and includes a reusable glass bottle to match the design with the lovely droplet pattern.
The ROYAL 2021 configurability and accessories
The original Petite&Mars Royal as well as renewed Petite&Mars Royal 2021 are a pushchair-only stroller, no pram or travel-system with car seat configuration being available. The lie-flat position is deep, however, and it IS possible to out a small baby inside because of that. The seat is rather spacious, on the other hand, so I would advise putting a cocoon or a newborn padded liner inside if you'd want to use it pretty much from birth.
I see the Royal as a stroller best for larger toddlers (six months to one year and up) and for parents needing something that will last while being less bulky than a full-featured pram.
Accessories-wise, you won't really need much to buy separately. There's the changing bag, reversible seat liner, an apron (leg cover), and the glass bottle if opting for the Heritage Aqua version included. Optionally, a rain cover or a universal cup holder can be purchased to complement the basic accessories package.
ROYAL 2021 FEATURES
The first thing I did with the P&M Royal was folding it in the car to get it home. The easy, inward folding system reminded me strongly of the Valco Baby Snap line, and while loading it in my tiny car boot, I actually thought it's pretty lightweight, considering the huge seat space. There are lighter strollers, of course - the weight of the Royal is a bit over 9 kg - but it's still a very nice weight for what you get.
I did manage to fit it into my small Kia Picanto trunk - I did remove the rear wheels, though. I don't think I had to, I just wanted the fitting to be easier (and it was).
The Petite&Mars Royal, therefore, felt lightweight and reasonably compact, to begin with.
Later on, with my four-year-old son, I also realized the Petite&Mars Royal is also agile. I did not kick the rear axle; the maneuvering and steering were comfortable to me; I did not struggle getting up a curb (I am specifically sensitive about that :-D)... I have to underline the nice pivoting handlebar, which helps the driving and maneuverability considerably.
The handle height setting should, for your best driving experience, be set on the lowest position that feels comfortable to you.
The rubber wheels with suspension were able to go over pretty much everything we "bumped" into. In any case, the stroller is pretty much all-terrain for any normal-parent, usual-walks purposes.
You WILL hear the front wheels on cobblestones, as you will do with pretty much all wheels - if it's not huge air-filled tires, the material simply does rattle a bit.
The last I would call the Petite&Mars Royal 2021 pushchair is comfortable, in particular, for a larger child as well. The long seat measurement, the extra-large hood, the lie-flat recline possibility, and the long leg rest will make the life of a parent easier. Especially so if you need something smaller and compact while not wanting to compromise on space and comfort for the baby (and yourself).
Look-wise… Of course, the fact you do or don't like it will always be very subjective. I did like the Royal a lot, though - it felt elegant enough while being playful as well. The design is more functional than luxurious, but it's still clean and striking in its own way. The nice little details make it even better (like the magnetic window closure, the internal pattern, the eco-leather handlebar and belly bar...). There are also small things that do reflect it not being a designer stroller - the velcro integrated into the seat to quickly attach the apron is, however, at least a practical, if not a designer, solution.
The fabrics made from recycled polyester are what they are - not the softest - but my little one didn't get sweaty inside, even on a hot day. The textiles made out of recycled PET bottles are eco-aware and environment-friendly at the same time, which is great (many larger brands do the same, look at Easywalker). The patterns I simply LOVED - it's a thing with, for example, the Cossatto brand strollers as well, and hipster moms will understand why... ;-) To add to it, the patterns do stimulate the child's sight and brain as well - so much better than some plain inside fabric...
The Royal's PU-leather-covered handle and bumper bar is, as I already mentioned, a stylish (and easy to wipe-clean) option. The rotating height adjustment is a design I prefer - it does help the center of gravity, thus the steering, a lot, while making it possible to adjust the handle to your needs. I had it in the lower-middle position, and I am 176 cm. My dear (188 cm) had it in the higher position and never complained about kicking the stroller while walking, so no problem there. Any non-extreme height shouldn't have a problem with the handlebar height from my point of view.
Super tall 195 cm+ people should try any pushchair handle before purchasing, of course - this goes for any stroller situation.
The sun canopy
The stroller's hood is one of the best features. It's not just great-looking with patterns inside but also incredibly large. You can, of course, shorten it if you need to as well (e.g., in case the child wants to see more or it's not that sunny). The substantial, thicker sun visor helps and can be folded in if you don't need it, but it's not such a clean look after doing that. The newly added viewing window is also a practical thing to have, and it adds practicality on being a ventilation mesh part as well.
The rear part of the canopy is secured with velcro to the back so it wouldn't just hang - a reasonable design solution. I missed a pocket in there but that's a small thing, really.
... my seven-year-old also wanted to try the Royal. He could fit in! Of course, he doesn't really use a stroller anymore, but it's a nice reference to have.
The seat: internal measurements and features
Seat-space allowed a 4-year-old to nap inside without his head falling down - true stroller for toddlers. No problem with fitting inside nor with maneuvering, even with a child getting close to the - high - maximum weight capacity.
The seat internal dimensions are generous - the seatback with 46.5 cm height and still a lot of space to the top of the canopy, combined with a nice long leg rest and a width of 37.5 cm are good even for a toddler in a winter footmuff.
The velcro under the seat liner is maybe a simple choice, but it's not in the way and allows for an easy leg cover securing, which should be using the stroller in winter easier.
The five-point harness
The safety harness belt is pretty much the usual five-point harness you already know from any other average stroller. They're long enough even for a bigger kid. No problem with using the, - they hold well, they're easy to do while not that easy to open for the child (no running away 😀)
It IS a puzzle-system buckle, but it's not that loose kind, so it wasn't too hard putting it all together.
The bumper bar
The child's bumper bar is quite simple and leatherette-covered. It can be opened to the side as well as completely removed.
A little niggle of mine would be that the gate-opening feature only opens about 90 degrees, not completely. With a very lively child who'd hang on this, it could possibly get broken, in my opinion - but the mom will be watching and all will be fine ;-) My hubby was more stressed than I was, truth to be told.
To me, the P&M Royal felt like a lightweight stroller more than anything else, and as such, you can't expect a heavy-weight ultra-sturdy workhorse. The sturdiness was, in any case, good - no squeaking or rattling that I know of, and the driving characteristics were also to be praised.
We were using it in urban conditions for the most part, and as a city pram, I can only recommend it for the price. It will be OK on terrain if the terrain is occasional and not brutal...
The folding and unfolding
The folding system is one-handed ad easy. Given the stroller size, I did use two hands most of the time. The process consists of use your thumb to release the main middle button, push the button with the rest of your fingers, and push the handle forward.
The fold makes the seat go inward, which many parents prefer to keep the seat clean.
The folded pushchair is secured to not open by an auto-locking latch. To open the stroller, you need to open the side latch and shake the stroller open - it's a quick process.
The folded size is pretty compact and doable for smaller car trunks as well, even if maybe not the smallest in the category. If searching for a super-small, cabin-luggage friendly buggy, this one might not be it, however.
To save space in my Kia Picanto, I did remove the wheels, which is a simple task (just push the button and pull them out).
The wheels and their suspension
The 2021 wheel tires are made of rubber with tread, which is a change from the EVA foam of the generations before 2021. The driving, turning, and even bumps were absolutely doable with these wheels. Their low weight I also take as a nice advantage - along with the puncture-free design and a stylish look as well as enhanced durability (no stones in the outer layer).
The suspension system, even if not a rocking one, works well for shock-absorbing. All four wheels are equipped with shock-absorbers.
The central brake of the Petite&Mars Royal 2021 is the same as the one of the original Royal - it's a "cradle" brake activated as well as deactivated by pushing it from the top. That means no ruined shoes 😎 The brake is located in the center of the rear axle, and it wasn't in the way - no kicking the brake.
All worked well with the brake. It brakes, and it's flip-flop friendly. What more to ask for? 😉
The storage basket
I was happy with the size as well as the accessibility of the underslung shopping basket. The basket space is generous, and it's not a closable basket (which I prefer), so you will fit almost anything necessary inside.
If I were to enhance the storage basket, I would add elasticated sides, maybe, to make the access even better. A small separate pocket would also be a nice addition. These are, in any case, small things and not a it's not really a problem of the basket to not have those.
Taking all the pros and cons, features, accessories include, and the price of the stroller, the Petite&Mars Royal 2021 would get a 90 % rating from me. I wasn't expecting it, but I am actually surprised how nice it felt to use it 😊 And my little boy was happy in it as well. The overall functionality was good, and the push was nice - I can honestly recommend this stroller to any mum wanting something that will last until the last days of needing a stroller!
To compare it with similar-category stroller models, I see the Pteite&Mars Royal as a complementary stroller to the already-reviewed Petite&Mars Street+ Air, and an alternative to urban parents also wanting an ultra-large canopy. The Street Air has maybe the inflatable wheels and a larger = sturdier even frame over Royal, so an all-terrain-er feel. The Royal, on the other hand, features a larger hood, an inward fold, and it's a bit lighter and more compact.
Compared to the Valco Snap line similar to the Royal in the folding style, the Royal is maybe heavier but much sturdier and equipped with shock absorbers (there's no suspension in Valco Baby strollers unfortunately). So the Royal will last longer and better, and without any stones in the wheel tyres.
The popular Joie Litetrax and Joie ytrax also feel like the competition here, and their pros include a thicker padding as well as larger baskets... The Royal is, on the other hand, MUCH more spacious and with a longer sear surface WHILE being lighter.
It's all about what you need and what you like. Think about stroller priorities when choosing the right one for you and your family 😉 If your baby is tiny and petite, and accessories are not on your list of needs, you may prefer a smaller buggy instead.
SUMMARY IN NUMBERS:
Dimensions - unfolded: 108x57x87 cm
Dimensions - folded: 75x57x28cm
Handlebar height: 96 - 106 cm
Seat unit dimensions: 46,5 cm (backrest), 37,5 x 22 cm (sitting surface), 96 cm (laying surface length)
Internal carrycot dimensions - mattress: 74x32,5
Front wheel diameter: 17 cm ~ 7 inch
Rear wheel diameter: 24 cm ~ 10 inch
Shopping basket dimensions: 40 x 35 x 17 cm
Main seat weight capacity: 22 kg
Basket weight capacity: 3 kg
This was an unpaid review describing the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the Petite&Mars Royal (2021) pushchair, 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.