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Photo Credit: gadgetreview.com

Ruh, roh, family biking fans…  We’ve covered Taga Bikes a bunch on GaGaGear, and recently learned that the convertible bike-to-stroller pioneer is notcurrently out of stock” (as indicated on their web site) – they’ve hit pause as a business, awaiting new ownership.

From a partner at Taga, in response to our email:  “Taga is not out of business.  The company is changing owners and the production is currently on hold until the complicated transition is complete.  In the meantime we provide support to our existing customers.”

That there is new ownership in the wings is most likely good news for Taga fans – certainly better than the alternative.  We’re hoping new management brings their stroller-bike transformer concept out here to Portland Oregon!  Portland would absolutely embrace these sort of bikes.  Though recent U.S. economic news might mean some belt-tightening around the nation, you’d never know it from the popularity of bakefiets in our town.  (Check out our favorite family cycle shop Clever Cycles, which just expanded its space for the third time in four mostly recessionary years!)

GaGaGear thanks The Rumor Mill for the tip, and the fine folks at Taga for the swift explanation.  Good luck to all!


Zigo Leader Carrier Bicycle System

Photo Credit: myzigo.com (X2 featured)

Last year, we reported on Taga’s very cool and Transformer-like bike-stroller, which continues to fascinate (the company is undergoing a change in management, temporarily taking it off the market – see more here).  Today, we learned about a key competitor to Taga in this convertible bike space: Zigo®, with flagship product the Zigo® Leader(TM) Carrier Bicycle System.

The Zigo Leader differs from Taga in the basic mechanical proposition.  Taga features a one-piece bike-stroller chassis, where you essentially own one piece of equipment which can be deployed in a bicycle-carrier OR stroller configuration with all the same pieces intact.  Leader is more of a snap-on system, which means you may lose spur of the moment flexibility (where to store the bike part if your route calls for spontaneous strolling?) but also gain single bike mode, which could be great for urban lifestyles.

Strolling mode with Taga looks a bit like Bumbleride meets shopping cart…  Strolling mode with Leader is more equivalent to pushing your Chariot or Burley when detached from the bike.  Overall, Taga’s aesthetic is high end/head turning, making a point of being indoor-appropriate.  Leader comes out of a more active sport tradition, and looks most at home attached to the bicycle.

Priced just shy of $1,400, the Zigo Leader would appeal to folks who want options in family bicycle transport but don’t have space for a full-sized bike + traditional carrier (e.g. Chariot or Burley).  The wow-cool factor isn’t as high as Taga, but there’s definitely a lot of practical-chic caché.

With Taga unavailable for the time being, Zigo has an opportunity to gain traction with the hip urban family biking crowd.  The company also offers a distinct stroller/jogger/bike carrier product, branded the “Mango.”  (See excellent notes on Mango from the company in the Comments section of this post.)  To compete as a true stand-alone with BOB and other active stroller/joggers like Phil N’Teds, we suggest an aesthetic tweak – less of a trailer feel – it can still say “active” but it needs to look like it belongs on the sidewalk as well as the street.

Anyway – exciting to see some U.S. competition in this space!  We’ll be watching…

Here’s something you won’t see on the chi chi baby gear blogs…

We recently had to get out of dodge quickly after our dishwasher caught fire and filled the house with smoke.  It was my first time flying with both toddlers, and I tried to pack light, but was not going to get caught with my pants down!  I am a professional.  Which meant, while hastily salvaging a half dozen belongings from our basement that didn’t smell like burnt plastic and electrical soot, I grabbed my giant carabiner and said a prayer.

I wish someone had taken our picture at the airport.  I had Z’s car seat over one shoulder, Z himself in the Bugaboo Bee, diaper bag stuffed in the stroller basket, Sister H walking, and another backpack with the crucial DVD player and snacks hanging off the back with the carabiner.  Without Z in the seat, the whole thing tipped backward.  But with everyone in place, it was a thing of beauty.

We somehow made it through security, after which Z decided he’d stay shoeless.  So shoes (thanks to their little ankle loops) were added to the carabiner.  Ten minutes later, a hoodie came off.  Looped onto our friend with the shoes.  Down the gangway, time to gate check the stroller and board the plane – quick and easy, since the carabiner kept stray items in check.  And no little shoes lost on the plane – added Sister’s to the mix and kept ’em all together, no worries.   Changing planes, same deal – don’t want to carry it?  Just clip it on.

Fancy strollers and diaper bags sell “valet clips” – but really, don’t you just need a giant carabiner – or two?  I think I got mine at the Fred Meyer checkout as an impulse buy in place of mints.  Dare I suggest this as an offbeat baby shower gift?  They should cost about $8 a piece, and you want at least 7″ x 3″ to fit around most stroller tubing.

Someday perhaps you’ll take up rock climbing.  But in the meantime, you’ll just rock.

E-Z Step Universal Stroller Wheeled Board Amazon.com

E-Z Step | Photo Credit: Amazon.com

We’ve talked a bit on GaGaGear about single-to-double convertible strollers (from BabyJogger and Bugaboo) – but if your toddlers are spaced so a double just isn’t practical, consider adding wheels off the back.  Several top manufacturers offer what’s termed a “strollerboard” or “buggy board” which can be snapped on to the back of the main stroller chassis to accommodate a standing rider. 

I finally unpacked mine today (Bugaboo Universal, attaching to my Bee) almost *a year* after purchasing it, and it was the perfect solution for a day at the Zoo with my two toddlers.  I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this earlier!

Before buying, consider the make and features of the single stroller supplying the ride.  Some models, like the E-Z Step, claim universal attachment for a wide variety of brands; others, like Bugaboo’s or UPPAbaby’s, are universal only within a brand.  While the branded boards tend to be more expensive, they were also designed with your stroller in mind (and will also look the part) – off-brand boards will always look (and possibly behave) more like an add-on.

Umbrella strollers may not be good candidates for a buggy board if the handles do not telescope – it could be incredibly awkward to push a heavier load from an already stooped posture, especially with a toddler sandwiched in between.  Strollers with two-handed push may also find themselves tripping over the board – it helps to have a single pushbar so you can walk off to the side if needed (especially with a single-wheel model like the Bugaboo).

Bugaboo Universal Wheeled Board with Bee | Amazon

Bugaboo Universal | Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Read reviews closely before making a purchase – a few off-brand models have suffered recurring customer complaints and disturbing breakages.  It seems as though safety is easiest to accomplish 1:1 with the brand – true universal models seem to rely on velcro-type fasteners to account for varying chassis width, whereas Bugaboo and UPPAbaby (for instance) designed specific attachments for a custom fit.

E-Z Step Universal Stroller Wheel Board – $59.95 on Amazon

UPPAbaby PiggyBack Ride Along Board – $89.15 on Amazon

Bugaboo Universal Wheeled Board -$100.00 on Amazon

In the weeks leading up to her 3rd birthday, our daughter became suddenly and fiercely attached to the idea of riding a scooter.  We were a bit skeptical (it was wintertime, after all, which would put the scooting mostly indoors), but she persisted, driving us to spend many late nights on-line, researching wheeled possibilities for the toddler set.

We ultimately settled on KickboardUSA’s Mini Kick scooter, and after two months’ scooting (indoor AND out) cannot recommend it enough.  Mini Kick is specifically designed for beginning riders – it’s low to the ground and features 3 wheels (2 in front!) for greater stability, yet maintains a decent turning radius for navigating the living room furniture.  It has a smooth, quiet glide, and is light enough for our 3 year old to lift and maneuver off the ground when necessary.

Scooting on Mini Kick seems completely intuitive to the child – our daughter has essentially taught herself how to scoot, steer and brake while we sat back and marveled.  The only bummer is the flexible plastic footing – while totally functional and key to this beautiful concept, it doesn’t support the weight of an adult, so we can’t get in on the fun.

Mini Kick costs $79.99 through KickboardUSA.com and comes in an array of candy colors – we got orange, though I’m sure our daughter would have preferred hot pink.

The rumor mill continues to swirl around Bugaboo’s vaunted new double stroller, The Donkey.  In September, Fast Company’s Design staff gave it an info-packed preview but held off on any real judgment.  Read Co.Design’s article here, then return to GaGaGear for our thoughts, which continue below.

Bugaboo Donkey: Single + Storage

Our Take:

Before getting into it, you should know how heavily we at GaGaGear are anticipating Bugaboo’s double stroller.  We’re big fans of the Bee (own it), which really delivers for urban strolling in addition to turning heads with its elegant design.  So let’s just say expectations are high.  Now for the (p)review…

Frankly, from what we’re seeing, it’s hard to judge whether Donkey’s really got kick.  First of all, the name is terrible – why pick a moniker so loaded on the back end?  (But then Bugaboo’s names have never really made any sense to us, other than the Bee.)  Better make sure it performs, or the recall headlines won’t be pretty.

Second, the would-be-iconic design proposition of a “stretch” conversion seems in itself a stretch.  Sure, it might be clever for adding that double, but forcing a single into a wide and unbalanced stance in the name of storage just doesn’t make sense to this mom.  (Not to mention two kids is two times the gear – and how much storage?  Wondering how the basket area underneath will be affected by the expansion mechanism.)  Pushing a Maclaren Twin Techno for just a month with 30 pounds on one side and 15 on the other was so sketchy, we just threw our baby in the Ergo and continued to push our toddler in the Bee.  Donkey’s horizontal push bar would make a difference over Maclaren’s two handles, but it’s hard to see how this is going to ride smoothly as a single stroller, especially one-handed (latte-handed?).

Bugaboo Donkey: Expanded

Maybe it’s really a smooth and simple operation as advertised…but any solution that requires parents to assemble, disassemble or otherwise configure their stroller instead of just popping it open or shut could be missing the point.  The more kids you have, the simpler you need this stuff to be!  One-step fold was Bugaboo’s weak spot with both the Frog and Cameleon, but they solved it brilliantly with the Bee.  Seems like they’re back to a series of steps with Donkey, which is a shame.  Not to mention the simple truth: more moving parts means more potential points of failure.  Donkey’s designers do a good job disguising the complexity here – we’ll need to get hands-on to know for sure…  But we wonder whether expanding – which was certainly the harder solution to design – is ultimately preferable to snapping on along the lines of Baby Jogger’s City Select, which we profiled in 2010.  (Or maybe Baby Jogger just protected the heck out of that IP?)

Here’s our theory on why baby gear purchasing drops off so dramatically as families grow.  Moms aren’t magically sprouting more hands so they can do more with less.  The more kids we have, the simpler gear has to be to hold our attention.  And there simply isn’t simple gear for twins and multiple young children in a family.

For years, the double stroller world has been wide open for innovation.  And with the debut of the Donkey, it still is…?

NEW PHOTO 3/8: Bugaboo Donkey, showing two bassinets installed rear-facing…

Bugaboo Donkey all configurations

Bugaboo Donkey | Photo Credit: bugaboo.com

Here’s a great one for the “wish they had that years ago” list: Guava Family’s ingenious inflatable GoCrib.

GoCrib is basically the “fast and light” version of a pack n’play – similar to Phil N’Ted’s Traveller, but with strong inflatable technology born from kiteboarding! (You’re getting excited now, aren’t you?  It really is cool.)

Guava Family GoCrib

Photo Credit: guavafamily.com

Here’s the deal: Kiteboarding kites have a rigid-inflatable leading edge that gives them a lightweight, yet solid frame when setup, but allows them to pack down into a small backpack when not in use. This is the key: Big and rigid when in use, small and compact when not.  GoCrib has no hinges and no mechanisms – it’s safe for tiny fingers, and simple to set up.

GoCrib has all of the features that a portable crib should: Strong and Safe. Light and Ultra-Portable. Fast and Easy. Fun and Inviting.  It’s great for camping, air travel, beach days, grandma’s house, the backyard, the front porch…  Packed away, it weighs just 10 lbs, including the pump, and you get your hands back!  How great is that?

You can get GoCrib directly from Guava Family online, for $249.99 with free shipping.

We are jonesing to carry it in our OpenSky store – perhaps if we launch a successful Comments campaign?  Petition Guava Family below on our behalf!



  • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
  • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
  • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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