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I bought my Quinny Zapp when my daughter was tiny, after falling in love with one at the registry office when we went to register her birth. As we struggled into the lift with our cumbersome, bulky travel system another new mum zipped (or zapped) in next to us, pushing her tiny pushchair with one hand, fitting into the very small amount of space we'd left beside our four-wheeled monstrosity. I'm not ashamed to admit - I damn near drooled. Three wheels, tiny, obviously lightweight, and with the car seat neatly and firmly attached to the stylish silver frame, it was practical, unusual and everything I now realised I wanted in a pushchair.
Three weeks of nagging eventually persuaded mr monkeybelly, and I ordered and received my gorgeous new buggy, delivered by Kiddicare.com for what I considered to be a bargain £110.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT IT? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. It's tiny: It is the smallest pushchair in the world when folded (measuring only 69x27x30cm), so can fit into the boot of a small hatchback even with the weekly shop, and it doesn't take up loads of room if you're leaving it at nursery/grandparent's house. It's excellent for getting around shopping centres, supermarkets or for days out
2. It turns into a travel system You can fit a maxi-cosi infant car seat by simply sliding it onto the ports built into the frame. These car seats cost, on average, about £90 - but you can find them cheaper in sales. They're really very attractive and worth the money if you can spare it, but the material on the seat doesn't let your baby's skin breathe well, so aren't perfect if you're expecting over the summer months.
3. It's lightweight With an aluminium frame, it's light enough to sling over your shoulder in a bag (you usually get a matching carrying bag with your order). This isn't as daft as it first sounds, if you're thinking you may need the pushchair but don't want to push it all the time you're out.
4. Wheel lock is simple and actually works With a red "stop" button on one side and a grey "go" button on the other, the brakes are excellent - you don't have to push too hard, you don't scuff your shoes trying to catch a lever with the tip of your toe, you won't injure yourself taking the brakes off if you're wearing sandals…and best of all, they work properly - you know that they're on and the pushchair really isn't going to go anywhere, no matter how much your little person fidgets.
5. It's incredibly easy to manoeuvre Even with an 18 month old sitting in this and swinging her feet, wobbling from side to side and generally trying to "help" as much as possible, I can push this one handed and have no worries about veering off. Once you've tried one of these I'd challenge you to find another pushchair that's as pleasant to push! Most of this ease of use is due to the front wheel swivelling 360 degrees, quite an unusual feature.
6. It's easily cleaned The material has a slight sheen to it and can be wiped clean - mine still looks great despite a lot of use
7. There's a wide range of colours to choose from You can currently buy the Zapp brand new in black, capri, strawberry, forest and bright pink. Other colours are available, such as orange, navy and turquoise, but these are no longer in production so would be found in sales or second hand. Matching accessories are available regardless of which colour you choose.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. There isn't a recline feature If your baby likes to doze while you're out this could be a little uncomfortable for him or her. The seat is very upright and can look awkward if your little one is feeling sleepy, as his or her head can end up lolling to one side.
2. Very limited carrying area You can get nets/baskets to attach to this off eBay and other stockists, but the Zapp doesn't come with anything built in. Because it's so light, it's not advisable to hang anything on the handles as this could cause the pushchair to tip.
3. Short wheel-span: An odd point, and only really relevant if you use public transport a lot - the wheels are quite close together (kind of necessary for it to be so small!) This is a benefit for manoeuvring around small spaces (shops, crowded streets, pavements when inconsiderate people have parked on them) but can make getting onto a train a bit of a challenge - the wheel span is just a little too short to be able to get one side onto the train while the other is on the platform. It's ok when there's a kind person around to help, otherwise it can be a little nerve-wracking.
4. You have to take the sun canopy off to fold it If you think it might rain, you need the sun canopy to attach the rain cover to the pushchair. As the Zapp doesn't fold with accessories attached, if you're going out in the car or leaving this pushchair at nursery you have to carry a separate bag with the rain cover and sun canopy. This wouldn't be a problem, but for the fact that the canopy is an awkward shape and size, so can be a little irritating.
5. You need two hands to fold it The folding system is very simple once you've got used to it (just press the numbered buttons in sequence), but it is a little awkward when you're trying to get into the house with a little person who can't walk yet, as you have to press two buttons simultaneously to fold - tricky when you need to hold a tiny person at the same time. Luckily, the Zapp is so small you can easily bring it right into the house and fold it inside, but if the wheels are dirty this isn't the best option!
6. You have to buy a specially made parasol The shape of the frame is unusual, and because of this you have to buy a special parasol to fit it - universal (and cheaper) alternatives simply won't attach. I refused to shell out and resorted to a combination of muslin squares and pegs to shield my little girl from the sun when she was in the car seat - not quite so stylish, but it did the trick. The parasol is available for approximately £25, so a little more expensive than traditional generic styles.
7. The straps aren't height adjustable This isn't an issue when you have an older toddler, but if you have a young or short person the straps are around their ears - not very safe or comfortable!
8. It struggles over uneven ground I'm convinced this pushchair has no suspension at all - if you're on an uneven pavement this is a very bumpy ride for baby! If you're trying to cross an area of rubble or loose stones, you can end up coming to a total stop, as the small solid wheels simply can't cope with this kind of terrain. Trying to get across the second car park of Dudley Zoo my husband and brother-in-law had to pick up the Zapp, with my daughter in situ, and carry her until we got to the pavement. Great fun for her, not so great for the menfolk!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SO, WHO IS THIS GOOD FOR? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'd say that this is an excellent pushchair to use for an infant as a travel system, as it's so much easier to use than a conventional bulky travel system. The 'in-between' stage when your baby has grown out of an infant seat but is still a little too wobbly to handle sitting bolt upright isn't catered for - when my little girl got to this stage I had to buy a cheap stroller with a shopping basket, adjustable straps and recline feature to be able to take her out. However, once your little person has grown a bit more this pushchair comes into its own again, especially for short trips out, going shopping or for days out to attractions where space can be limited.
If you're having a new baby, I would recommend buying this simply for the 8 or so months of bliss you'll have compared to the struggles of a bigger travel system, then you can hold onto it until your baby has grown into it again.
Likewise, if you have a toddler and you're limited on space, this would be great for you - but be aware that you may miss the shopping basket!
I love my Zapp and would bite anyone who tried to make me part with it - but I'm only fond of it as a second, occasionally very convenient, pushchair. If held at gunpoint and told to choose just one, I'd have to abandon the Zapp in favour of a slightly bigger stroller with more practical features.
I love my zapp!! The little niggles are forgivable because of the ease of use in other areas. Your excellent review makes me embarrassed of my pathetic attempt to review the zapp when i was new on Ciao ;o) xxLauraxx
RICHADA 23.11.2007 20:21
Oddly enough we were admiring this same pushchair at a recent wedding. Richard.