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Mia Moda Cielo Evolution

October 4, 2008

The Mia Moda Cielo Evolution can be a traveling parent's dream for a stroller. With a super compact fold, the Cielo fits into the smallest vehicle trunks and in the overhead compartment of airplanes.

The first thing we noticed with the Cielo is the amazingly small box that the stroller comes in. Inside the box, the stroller arrives folded down in the compact stroller bag (about the size of a small suitcase). With the size of the folded stroller all neat and compact in the travel bag, we had a feeling we were really going to like this stroller. All we had to do was lift the bag out of the box, take the stroller out of the bag, pop on two wheels and we were ready to go. The set-up couldn't be easier! Falling into our lightweight plus category, the City Mini weighs in at a very reasonable 16.9 lbs. Set on a quality aluminum frame with the one of the fastest and easiest folds around and features for mom and baby alike, the City Mini is one of the best lightweight strollers around.

Weighing in at 17.8 lbs, the stroller was a bit heavier than we expected for the size. Heavier than a standard umbrella stroller, the Cielo packs some sturdiness with it which is the reason for the extra weight. The weight isn't a problem with us though because the compact size allows us to easily travel with it and throw it in and out of our trunk with no problem.

The seat is roomy and has a weight capacity of 40 lbs. It's complete with an adjustable 5-point harness for safety and two flip-up armrests. The seat has a very open design and reminds us of pushing around a chair rather than the fully enclosed baby stroller. Maybe this is what the Europeans mean by a "pushchair"? This is a pushchair, if I've ever seen one! Our testers were very comfortable in the seat and loved having their own armrests. The seat reclines slightly into one other position with a lift of a lever on the back of the seat. It's not a huge recline so this stroller is recommended for 6 months and older. In our opinion, more recline on the seat would make the Cielo Evolution even better.

Instead of the typical basket under the seat, the Cielo Evolution has a large bag which hangs from a frame behind the seat. The bag is large but has a small opening so you will be able to put many of baby's essentials in it but just not a large diaper bag. When the seat is reclined it does block the top of the bag, but Mia Moda thought of everything and put a large zipper down the back of the bag to access it in this situation. We love this attention to detail! The storage bag is also detachable from the stroller so that you can carry it with you as well.

The canopy is large for an umbrella stroller and will sufficiently shade a child. There is a great footrest (not adjustable) because it's low to accommodate larger children more comfortably and allows toddlers to easily climb in and out of the stroller on their own. We love that it comes with a convenient parent cup holder that stays attached when folded but there is no cup holder or snack tray for baby.

The maneuverability on the Cielo Evolution is amazing! Truly a one-handed push! With a unique oval handle that is higher for taller parents (but not adjustable), this stroller turns on a dime. The Cielo Evolution sports two 5 inch wheels in front and two 7 inch wheels in back all made out of a very durable rubber that gives baby a very smooth ride and mom a very easy push. There are also linked brakes on the back wheels.

The truly unique feature of the Cielo Evolution is the compact fold. The fold may take a bit to get used to, but this 3-step fold is easy once you get the hang of it. Fold back the canopy and fold up the armrests. On the handle bar is a small red button and a large grey button that you push at the same time. Those buttons unlock the handlebar so that you can fold it down into the seat. Now, the part that wasn't super clear in the manual is that you have to push the handlebar into the back of the seat with a bit of force to unlock the rest of the stroller frame. You'll know it's unlocked when the seat folds backwards and exposes a large handle in the middle. Pull up on the handle, squeeze the two pieces together and the stroller locks closed. Not too bad! Once you get the hang of it, it takes no time at all! Another nice feature is that the Cielo stands when folded. Plus, it fits easily into the carrying bag to make this a traveling parent's dream.

Unfolding the stroller isn't hard either but it did take some getting used to. It's a quick process but may seem tricky at the beginning. You have to press the red safety button on the side of the stroller. Then press the large carry handle down to get the stroller to start to open up and the wheels move out. At this point, we let go of the carry handle (to avoid getting any pinched fingers) and grab the handlebar and pull up. You have to give it a quick shake to get all the pieces to lock into place. Our video review shows this process to make it easier. We do have one problem with the unfold though. Periodically, the bottom part of the 5 point harness gets caught in the frame of the stroller. When this happens, we don't notice it's caught until we already have our child in the seat. This is a pain because in order to free the 5 point harness we have to take our child out of the seat and start the unfold process.

The Cielo Evolution is available in two colors: Flame (red) or Mint Java (Green/Brown/Tan). It comes with its own travel bag and retails for $179. It has some great features and with its compact fold and maneuverability, we think that it's a fabulous stroller for those moms and dads that love to travel or don't have a lot of room to spare in their trunk for a large stroller.



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