A guide to the 'Valco Baby Snap' strollers: which Snap is the right one for you (if any)?
Thanks to the popularity and worldwide availability of the Valco Snap strollers, it is easy to lose track between the separate, similarly-named models, making the choice of the right Valco pushchair model for you rather difficult.
I have received many questions about Valco Snap strollers, so hopefully, this detailed overview of the Snap line will help you to decide which (if any) of the Valco strollers is the one for you.
The original Valco Snap is the basic model - and it was originally available only in a three-wheeled version. Later, a four-wheeled model was launched. To distinguish between these two, the tree-wheeler is also known as the Snap 3. This lightweight stroller features easy-to-clean fabrics (not machine washable, however) and a foam-covered handlebar. The dominant color of the Snap 3 is black (since it has a black base on either a silver or a black chassis), but you can choose (and swap as you like) the color of the hood.
Easy to maneuver, easy to maintain, the Snap offers a quick and easy inward fold. Snap, and it's done; hence the name ;-) Like all of the Snap strollers, the recline of the Snap 3 goes to an almost flat position, even though it is not quite 180˚. The strap reclining system can be operated one-handedly (upwards as well as downwards). Another advantage is the simple brake activated and deactivated by pressing from the upper side. The brake unusually tilts to the side (as opposed to up and down, perpendicular to the rear axle), in a "rocking" motion (like a mini sideways-positioned crib).
Initially, the early Snap strollers didn't offer adjustable leg rests. The company later reacted to numerous questions and demands of Snap-positive moms, and the newer versions of the Snap pushchair do feature an adjustable leg rest.
The secret of their low weight is the thinner aluminum chassis and the usage of lightweight material. Therefore, the strollers offer only essential functions and no suspension system to absorb shocks. The lightweight wheels made from EVA foam are sufficient for urban walks. There is a chance, however, that over time, the foam layer will get full of small stones and gravel - ours got full of stones pretty quickly. It doesn't look nice, but the performance of the wheels is not changed much by this occurrence.
The Snap strollers offer enough space, even for a bigger child. Despite the recline being advertised as suitable from birth, a small child will look a bit lost in such a stroller. Therefore, I would recommend the Snap (without the carrycot) mainly for toddlers. For your newborn, be prepared to purchase a sold-separately bassinet or a newborn insert (or insert soft bag).
Although almost identical to the Snap 3, the four-wheeled Valco Snap 4 is more prevalent, probably due to better stability and a force of habit (people somehow prefer four-wheel strollers more). The Snap 4 offers slightly more space for your little one's feet; otherwise, it is just as spacious as the three-wheeler. I am sure you have noticed the Snap 4 in the streets many times, as it definitely has a secure place in a stroller culture of almost every city, town, and village (or a car boot, for that matter).
Thanks to the popularity of the four-wheeled version, the number 4 in its name is often forgotten, with people calling it merely "Valco Snap", Snap 4 being the new standard...
The stroller was released in several limited versions and editions (mainly variations of the canopy), which also inspired other producers of similar strollers.
Both the Snap 3 and the Snap 4 - and, technically, any other Snap stroller - are compatible with a set of wheels with air-filled tires called Sport. By adding the Sport wheels, the stroller becomes more "all-terrain", and the name of the stroller will change too. The Valco Snap (3) becomes the Valco Snap (3) Sport, and the Snap 4 becomes the Valco Snap 4 Sport... etc.
>The inflatable wheels are also available as a part of the bundle with those already offered with the word Sport in their model name. If you notice the Valco Snap Sport in the shop or online, it is a stroller with air-filled wheels instead of the basic foam wheels. The rest of the stroller will be - literally - identical to the basic version.
!!! Don't get confused; the Snap Sport is not suitable for sports. Jogging or in-line skating are activities I wouldn't even try with these strollers - you'll need a dedicated jogger meant for sports use for that.__
Thanks to the low weight and a short base, activities such as jogging or other sports would be too much for the Snap (Sport), risking the joints' weakening and possibly resulting in tipping the stroller with your child over... The Sport wheels are useful for handling uneven yet predominantly urban terrain such as cracked pavements, occasional gravel, or grass. The chassis (with or without Sport wheels) is not made for handling difficult terrain on a regular basis. That would damage the stroller over time.
The Snap 3 and 4 are also available in the premium, more expensive Tailormade version featuring their premium, 'tailor-made' melange fabrics that are less slippery for the child, as well as nicer to look and touch. Apart from that, there is no functional difference between the Snap and the Snap Tailormade lines.
The Snap Ultra is the more elaborate sibling of the basic Snap, featuring a reversible seat unit. That makes the seat unit less spacious and narrower, but it's like that with any stroller offering a reversible seat.
The original, basic Ultra version used to have a bucket-type seat at first and also was more colorful in the colorway choices available. Using side buttons on both sides, the bucket-type, 'ergonomic' seat unit was tilted, retaining its L-shape (with the feet of the baby slightly higher). The bonus of the Ultra version was (and it still is, even in the newer version) the double extending XXXL Expanda hood.
After a few years on the market, the original Ultra was discontinued, replaced by the Snap Ultra Tailormade. The backrest and the leg rest of the Ultra Tailormade are both adjustable independently and go to a 'conventional' lie-flat (almost) full recline.
The Snap Ultra Tailormade, as mentioned above, is a more recent improvement of the reversible Snap Ultra. Using straps - the same one-handed strap recline system found in non-Ultra strollers, this version can be reclined pretty much fully. What is more, the Valco Snap Ultra Tailormade brings the new Tailormade upholstery in the form of modern, premium melange, pleasant to touch. Unfortunately, hoods and other accessories of various colors are not to be swapped on this version anymore, so there is no personalization here. On the other hand, the upholstery looks much better and is not slippery for a child to sit on.
The most superior stroller line of the Snap family is the Trend. The longer version of the strollers' name suggests the presence of premium Tailormade fabrics and other exclusive elements such as the luxuriously looking, adjustable leatherette-covered handlebars, a leatherette-covered bumper bar, and the double extending XXXL Expanda hood.
It is fair to say, however, that some moms criticize the Expanda hood of the Snap Trend models for being not well-attached in the back (there are small holes on the sides).
The advantages of the Trend line are numerous, though: a more spacious seat; new, stylish wheels featuring unique spokes and tire profile, fully (and well) covered back part of the hood (noticeable when the seat is in the reclined position), and a chassis in elegant grey.
Although the three-wheeled version of the Snap Trend (Tailormade) does exist, thanks to the popularity of the four-wheeled Snap 4 Trend (Tailormade), and the reversible Snap Ultra Trend, you don't come across the three-wheeler that often in Europe. It is more prominent in its home country, Australia, or in the US.
Compared to the lower Ultra Tailormade version, the also-reversible Snap Ultra Trend comes with a more compact fold that can be done even with the seat still attached. There are also the extra accessories - the elevated bumper bar and apron included to use from newborn. This Bootinet set serves as an alternative to a carrycot for those mum not wanting to store an individual carrycot part. However, a full-featured conventional carrycot is available for the other mums, as well.
The Sport - air-filled wheels version of the Trend stroller line version is available, but by ordering Sport wheels, you can create this version from pretty much all of the Valco strollers - including the superior Trend line. You can, therefore, create or directly buy a Valco Snap Sport Trend Tailormade, a Valco Snap 4 Sport Trend Tailormade, and so on.
However, watch out! The set of air-filled Sport wheels is a bit different for the Trend (compared to the original wheels). Before purchase or placing an order for Sport wheels, always check the compatibility with your type of Snap stroller, or better yet, check with the retailer to not get the wrong set.
Let's not forget about moms of two children with a small age gap or those with twins! The Snap line also offers double strollers (Duo) with side-by-side seats.
The basic Duo stroller, based on the three-wheeled Snap, is the Snap Duo. Compared to the Snap, the Snap Duo has two double front wheels (doubled for better stability). Overall, this double stroller is as functional and agile as its single brother is. For a double, the Snap Duo is quite lightweight. The stroller base frame is usually black, giving you the possibility to mix and match colorful hoods. The Tailormade version comes with premium melange fabrics (just as all of the other tailor-made versions), otherwise offering the same functionality. Bear in mind, the Duo hoods are narrower, and therefore, different from single Snap hoods (you can't mix the two kinds).
Using an elevated apron and bumper bar (bootinet kit), the seat unit(s) of the Ultra Duo are able to transform into an almost-carrycot mode. This inspiring function was also introduced in the most recent, single Snap Ultra Trend stroller, as mentioned above.
The most superior double version is the Snap Duo Trend, which, like the single Trend strollers, also comes with an adjustable, leatherette-covers handlebar and bumper bars. There is also the advantage of more space for the children and the XXXL hoods. All of the wheels of the Duo Trend are single (instead of double in the front). The Snap Duo Trend features non-reversible, forward-facing seats.
According to the manufacturer, Duo models of the Snap line are also compatible with Sport wheels. Again, it is important to find a compatible version, which is often not available. Speak with your retailer about your options.
The LX line
Then there's the Snap LX line released for the Australian and American markets. The LX strollers are pretty much the same in terms of functions and look like the original Snap strollers, 'sporting' the LX add-on in the name to differentiate them from the other countries' versions (I guess they're meant for export). The LX line is not available in many countries, and I don't want to confuse you by unnecessarily talking about them too much since it is not really different from a non-LX model line. We'll better move on and focus on separate components and the compatibility of Valco Snap strollers.
With a few exceptions, almost every Snap stroller is compatible with a carrycot. It is essential to know that corresponding adapters are needed to attach a carrycot to the non-reversible models. The black color dominates on the basic Snap carrycot (also known as the Bassinet) and the basic Snap Ultra carrycot (the Bassinet Q - no adapters needed to attach it to the Ultra models). Once the fabrics of the Snap seat unit are removed, you can add the carrycot.
Apart from the conventional Bassinet, there is the Internal Bassinet - a carrycot-type insert you just put in and onto the reclined Snap seat. You have to do some research to see your options because not all types of carrycots, bassinets, and newborn inserts are available everywhere and/or at all times.
The carrycots of the Ultra and the Trend lines feature a hood with an extra sun visor and matching Tailormade fabrics. The Trend line carrycots come with their own adapters, different from the other carrycots, so don't try to mix and match.
Also with adapters, the Snap Duo is able to handle one or two carrycots too. Again, the seat unit's fabrics need to be removed prior to adding the carrycot(s).
Another alternative, no matter whether we're talking about a single or a double stroller model, is the soft insert carrycot (bag). You will appreciate this option for spring and summer babies, or if you are struggling for storage space, not wanting to store the after-a-few-months-unnecessary hard-base, full-featured Bassinet.
The Car Seat
A different set of adapters is needed for a car seat, which can be attached to the Snap, the Ultra, the Trend, and also the Duo models.
Although universal double adapters for two car seats for the Duo strollers exist, depending on where you live, you may come across adapters for just one seat only (the universal Duo adapter for two car seats at the same time on a Snap Duo model is not available everywhere).
Therefore, potentially, Duo models are suitable for twins from birth, but only if you come across the relevant adapters - otherwise, they'll only be good for close-in-age siblings ;-)
All well-known brands with Maxi-Cosi type of attachments (Cybex, GB, Recaro, BeSafe, Kiddy, Joie, Avionaut, Nuna Pipa, Safety 1st and others) are compatible too. What's more, thanks to the strap attachment system, the Duo can be paired with literally any brand of car seat(s).
The versatile Valco Snap line includes various strollers with different levels of functionality. Packed with good looks, quite a unique design as well as awesomely low weight together with many possibilities of accessorizing and customization, everyone should be able to find something for themselves.
Besides, the Valco Snap strollers offer enough space for toddlers of any age (that requires a stroller, I mean). With the Snaps, you have to bear in mind, though: they are urban, simple, snap&go strollers after all, far from all-terrain strollers… Even paired with the Sport wheels, the Valco Snap line doesn't do well on very rough terrain or if you regularly go over the maximum weight capacity.
Although a higher weight capacity is advertised, adding a sibling board or any extra seats (like a Buggypod) for an older sibling could weaken the plastic joints and contribute to the overall wear and tear of your stroller.
The Valco Snap strollers are probably best suitable for the role of a secondary stroller, taking your older child shopping, or simply out and about… nothing Snap-shaking ;-) (uhm, I meant, world-shaking). Also, don't forget about some regular maintenance, just like with any other stroller, for that matter. (A guide to a stroller's maintenance can be found here).
Overall, a Valco Snap stroller could be a good urban companion. The Snap line being more basic, thus more of a secondary stroller; the Ultra line being better suited even for a younger baby or even as an almost full-featured (but still absolutely urban) stroller system (but count on less space inside); the Trend line being more spacious, functional and stylish - but still kind of a second-type of a stroller for older, bigger children; and finally, the Duo line, well, for two kids, of course, better older than younger, but all depending on how (un)demanding you are 😉