Product Type: Quinny prams, pushchairs and strollers
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A Zapp that reclines... That's a useful Xtra
Quinny Zapp Xtra
Member Name: rlc2281
Quinny Zapp Xtra
Date: 09/03/11, updated on 10/03/11 (811 review reads)
Advantages: Lightweight. Compact. Easy to put up and collapse
Disadvantages: Separate seat unit. Expensive. Small shopping basket.
About 6 months after I bought my Obaby Atlas, the Quinny Zapp Xtra was launched. Now, I always really wanted a Quinny Zapp, but was put off by the fact that it didn't recline and this wasn't going to be suitable for my son who was under 6 months at the time of looking for a lightweight stroller.
- The Orginal Quinny Zapp
Quinny bill the original Zapp as the smallest buggy in the world when it's folded. It really is tiny. Plus it only weighs 8kg and they claim that you can even take it as hand luggage on a plane! I have friends who have this pushchair and absolutely rave about it.
- What's new about the Zapp Xtra?
As I said at the beginning, the original buggy only has one seating position. The new Xtra version has a seat that can not only recline to completely flat (making it suitable from birth), but can also be used parent facing. This was the thing that appealed to me most. As I work full time I don't get to spend as much time with my little boy as I would like, so I was looking forward to being able to have him facing me. However, like the Quinny Buzz, in parent facing mode there are only 2 positions available; completely flat and reclined. While this might be good for a smaller child, my now 16 month old probably couldn't imagine anything worse that not being able to see around him without fighting against the straps, so the parent-facing mode was very short-lived with us and he now faces away every time we use this pushchair. When facing forwards, there are 3 positions; upright, reclined and completely flat.
Along with being able to recline, the seat unit for this buggy is now separate from the frame. This means that it is no longer as compact and is a bit of a pain to put down as you always need to remove the seat. However, this is easily done by using a mechanism on the top of the seat unit and then detaching it from the chassis. The second implication of this is that the travel bag for the original Zapp doesn't fit this newer version in either.
To be honest, this was one of the most disappointing things for me. I bought the pushchair online almost as soon as it was launched so I didn't see it "in the flesh" beforehand. I don't think that the fact it was a separate seat was made clear enough, so I bought it thinking that it would be more similar to the original pushchair, but that it also had the reclining feature (perhaps I was too caught up in the excitement to read the description properly!).
Another change from the original pushchair is the hood. The hood on the newer version is much bigger and extends further forward than that on the original which is great if it's very sunny.
You can use both the original Zapp and the Xtra pushchairs as a travel system by attaching a Maxi Cosi infant carrier, and they include the adapters for this. As my son was 10 months old when I bought this pushchair I've not made use of this function, although I can imagine that it will be very useful if we have a second child as the chassis folds up really small and is much easier to fit in the car than our first pushchair (the Quinny Buzz).
- What I love about the Zapp Xtra
The best thing for me is that this is a lightweight stroller that can be used in a parent-facing position although I think that this could be improved by having another, more upright position in this mode as I think that this is only really suitable for babies of up to about 13/14 months old.
I find this lightweight pushchair very easy to push and steer. I've read reports from people who find it quite unstable, but I've not experienced it myself. I don't tend to load it up with much other than my son though, and if I do have any shopping on the handles then his 12kg weight definitely keeps it in the right position!
The large hood is brilliant. Especially if you think it might rain and you're not going far. I can pull the hood out far enough that I am confident my son would not get very wet if I was caught unexpectedly in the rain without time to get the rain cover on. It also means that I don't feel the need to wrestle with the raincover if I don't have far to get back home or to the car.
It's very easy to recline. The same mechanism at the top of the seat unit that is used to remove the seat is also used to recline (don't worry - it's not possible to remove the seat when you intend to recline it!). This is really unobtrusive to a sleeping child in the pushchair, so I think this is great.
It's very easy to put up and collapse again in 3 steps. I found that the instructions that came with the pushchair weren't great as far as "step 3" was concerned, but I worked it out for myself and actually wasn't very difficult at all! It's slightly annoying that the seat unit is separate, but it's pretty easy to slot into the chassis in both forward-facing and parent-facing modes. As I said before, the seat is easy to remove from the chassis as well, but I find that it does require 2 hands to do so.
I like the fact that the handles aren't very high at 102cm. This might bother some people, but at only 5'3" this is perfect for me. (I've just read on a website that they are, in fact, adjustable, but I'm not convinced by this so I will check when I'm at home later!)
UPDATED TO ADD: Well, I've examined the pushchair and I really can't see how I would change the handle height. So I don't believe them. If anyone knows otherwise please can they tell me how as the low handles bug my husband!
I like the fact that the footmuff I have for the Buzz also fits the Zapp Xtra. This saved me some money as I didn't have to get a new one.
- What I would change about the Zapp Xtra
I should have learnt after owning a Buzz, but Quinny don't do big shopping baskets. It is actually really small and would probably bug me more if I had to do much shopping with it. You can, however put bags over the handles easily which helps with this problem, although after hearing some reports about it tipping over then I would be careful of this if you have a small child.
They don't provide anywhere to store the raincover. This annoys me as it takes up almost all of the (small) shopping basket! It would be much better if they added a pocket to the back of the seat unit to store the raincover in.
I would definitely add another position when in parent-facing mode so that my child could sit upright and face me. I find the 2 positions on offer unsuitable for older babies who want to be able to sit up and look around more easily.
There currently is no travel bag for this buggy. This is annoying as the separate seat unit makes it harder to take on a plane, and also it means that it doesn't fit in the travel bag designed for the original Zapp. As the seat unit fits over the collapsed chassis without being incredibly bulky, with a decent bag to carry it in I wouldn't be put off from taking this abroad with me.
The price. This is an expensive pushchair. I paid £201.99 for it as soon as it came out, and I spent a lot of time looking for the cheapest price I could find.
My next point doesn't entirely fit in this section, but when I bought it there were only 2 colours available; red and black. I would have said that increasing the colour range would be good, but the research I've done while writing this review has taught me that they've already done this and it's now also available in brown, pink, blue and "natural mavis" (?!). The last colour looks like a light green from the photos... I chose red as I already had the Buzz in red which had a matching footmuff that I could also use on the Zapp.
- The Specs
Dimensions: H102 x W50 x D81cm
Dimensions when folded: H95 x W42 x D29cm (plus the seat unit)
The only accessory advertised on the Quinny website is a parasol, however I've not felt the need to buy one of these. Plus, the hood on it is so good that I'm not sure it would be necessary anyway.
It's not mentioned on the website, but the footmuff for the Buzz or the original Zapp is also suitable for use with the new version.
- If you have the original Zapp is it worth getting the new one?
Probably not as you can just buy the Xtra seat unit separately, so you don't have to go to the expense of buying a whole new buggy! The seat unit currently retails for around £100.
- Would I recommend it?
In general, yes. I think that there are still some improvements that could be made and so I am awarding the Quinny Zapp Xtra 3 stars. The biggest two for me would be the upright parent-facing position and a suitable travel bag which would be enough for me to give it 4 stars. A bigger shopping basket would be a good addition too.
Although it says it's suitable from birth I'm not sure I would use it for a baby so young with the seat unit, preferring instead to opt for a completely lie flat option like I have with my Quinny Buzz. However, using the chassis with the infant carrier would be much more convenient than using the Buzz frame for the same purpose. Generally though, as babies shouldn't spend an extended time in a car seat then I would opt to take out my original pram if I was going out for a long time.
Summary: A good evolution of the Quinny Zapp, but with room for more improvement.