Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Quinny Zapp & Maxi-Cosi Pebble

As much as I adore the Maxi-CosiMura Plus, for taking out in the car it just isn’t a practical option for me every time. For instance if I’m popping to the shops with Baby A, the Mura Plus chassis and the Folding Carrycot takes up all my boot space, so I’d have to put my shopping in the car itself.

It’s times like this that the Quinny Zapp comes into its own. I have a 2010 Limited Edition Black Zapp chassis and like all Zapp’s, it came as standard with the adaptors to use the Maxi-Cosi carseat with it. The original style Zapp isn’t suitable from birth and there isn’t a carrycot accessory for use with it, so the only way of using this product for a baby under six months is to use in combination with the carseat. Please Note: Original style Quinny Zapp is no longer offered for sale in the UK. 

Baby A travelling in style; Maxi-Cosi Pebble 2015 Denim Hearts with matching Footmuff
Used in combination with Quinny Zapp 2010 Limited Edition Black chassis

Included in the box with Quinny Zapp is the Zapp raincover, Zapp shopping basket and Zapp adaptors which are used for Maxi-Cosi carseats only – There is no carrycot option suitable for use on the Zapp chassis.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m not a fan of babies being in carseats too much – they’re designed for safe car travel, not for baby to be crammed into all day every day, and Maxi-Cosi recommends no more than 2 hours in the carseat before baby is given the opportunity to lie flat, stretch about and generally wiggle freely for a minimum of 20 minutes. However sometimes, it is handy to attach the carseat to a chassis. It saves me struggling to carry the carseat for a start – my back doesn’t take kindly to carrying it too much; and it provides a smoother journey for baby, rather than the bouncing of the carseat being carried about.

The Quinny Zapp chassis folds down very compact and is incredibly lightweight, thus making it the ideal ‘car’ pushchair for me. I leave it in the boot and basically forget it is there. Those times I need it though it is invaluable.

With hard rubber compound wheels the Zapp is notorious for the ‘clunk clunk’ noise as you’re pushing it – every change in surface, every crack in the pavement, you can hear with this one; subtle and quiet it is not. However the three wheel design with front rotating swivel wheel (which can be locked if preferred) does make it lovely and smooth to push over smooth surfaces. If you’re in a shopping mall it’s like cutting through butter with a warm knife, and you can turn a full circle on a ten pence piece – if you’re off for a trek through the woods or live in an area with a lot of cobblestone streets, possibly not the wisest choice. You do have to be careful with the Zapp; it is very lightweight, so don’t try to go up or down curbs by tipping it onto the front wheel unit – again, I would say common sense dictates that you tip it onto the two back wheels to distribute the weight before attempting curbs, but it’s a habit I got into years ago when using the pushchair with J and perhaps not something everyone would automatically think of. Quinny do not recommend that you hang any items over this chassis, particularly because it is so lightweight there is a very real risk of additional weight, particularly over the hand grip connector bar, making the product tip. Again I will hold my hands up and say that I have hung a nappy bag over the handlebars many times, in fact when J was pushchair age I deliberately overloaded the Zapp without him in it to try and make it tip, and I failed to do so until I literally pulled on the weight hanging from the handlebars, but to err on the side of caution Quinny will advise you strongly against doing this. I hang bags on the chassis at my own discretion and when in use  I would not let go of the handlebars.

The Zapp has a small shopping basket which to be honest isn’t particularly useful for carrying much more than your raincover and perhaps a small drinks bottle, but hey we’re not talking about a pushchair designed for walking to the supermarket and doing your weekly shop with, we’re talking about a compact, lightweight run-around designed for convenience and ease of use.

The Zapp model I have is the 2010 model so it has three steps to fold / unfold – newer models have an additional fourth step to make it easier, but to be honest I’ve never had an issue. Despite not being used since J was three, when I got the Zapp chassis out of storage I gave it a thorough clean with furniture polish and a soft cloth and it was as good as new (Note: Do not use oil based lubricants to clean your chassis as they can leave sticky residue which can then attract more dirt and debris which causes friction, creating problems with fold / unfold action) I have developed quite a neat knack with my Zapp chassis of clicking button one, pressing button two and flicking the chassis outward snapping both side knuckles locked solid and bringing number 3 section up and into locked position in one fluid movement.

The Zapp chassis has left Brake Off pedal and a bright red right Brake On pedal. I’ve always found the brakes on the Zapp very strong and reliable, but sometimes the Brake Off doesn’t release the brakes the whole way and as you start walking you notice the pushchair feels heavier than normal and the rear wheels aren’t turning properly. Whenever this has happened I have just put the brakes back on again and then pressed the Brake Off pedal more definitely and it has resolved the issue.

As I have the raincover for  the carseat (compatible with Pebble Plus, Pebble and CabrioFix models) this makes the Pebble and Zapp combination very handy, as even in bad weather I can add the carseat and off we go with no fuss and I don’t have to worry about Baby A getting soggy. As a rule he falls asleep in the carseat the moment we drive anywhere, and being able to remove him from the car and get to where I’m going without disturbing him is a definite bonus for me. The other week Daddy P and I had an appointment at the bank – Baby A fell asleep in the carseat in the front room before we’d even got him into the car; we drove to the bank, put the carseat on the chassis and went in for our appointment, came out and popped into a couple of shops, returned to the car and put him back in and drove home and he only woke up when we parked up again at home, so he didn’t even notice we’d been out at all.

The Pebble carseat has memory buttons on it, which means when you’re using it in combination with a Maxi-Cosi or Quinny chassis you can press the buttons and they’ll stay depressed until you lift it off the chassis – meaning you can do this one handed which is dead handy. When putting the carseat onto the chassis there is an audible ‘click’ noise when it is correctly positioned and locked in place, which is reassuring and gives confidence that you’ve got it all set up properly.

I’ll continue to use the Zapp combined with the Pebble in this way until Baby A is too big for the Pebble, when I’ll put the Zapp fabric back into the chassis and use that instead. It doesn’t have a recline or parent facing option, so it isn’t suitable for children under six months old, but it remains for me the ideal ‘car’ pushchair as the addition of the seat fabric and sun canopy makes little difference to the overall size of the pushchair when folded. You can also get a Zapp travel bag which keeps the product neat and tidy and can be used for the standard Zapp or the Zapp Xtra 2 model and which makes it easier to carry as well (the bag as a carry handle)

 Peace N Love

Mummy P

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