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Quinny Zapp Xtra Review by Best Buggy

The Quinny Zapp Xtra is a fabulous little pushchair. It is a new version of the original Quinny Zapp that has the same compact folding frame but instead of a fabric, non reclining seat, the Xtra has a metal framed fabric seat which is easily attached and removed from the frame using a button at the back of the seat. I have to say it took 4 of us to work this out in the shop but its actually a simple slide of one button and a squeeze of another, and is easy peasy once you know how!

The seat reclines in two positions parent facing, and three positions forward facing making it suitable for a newborn baby. The seat itself is wide and spacious – in fact I found it too wide and flat for my newborn and felt the need to make it more snuggly. So I bought a Bugaboo Cocoon to go inside and to be honest this gave it a carrycot feel which was perfect for a tiny baby. For a young baby, the seat well pushes up and the foot rest pops up to make a flatter surface.

I have to say I loved the styling, the large hood with the pull out sun visor, the lovely comfy strap pads and fabric. It made the Zapp Xtra a really smart pushchair when out and about. I love the small footprint that the Quinny has, so that you don’t feel like you are taking up half the restaurant with pushchair! The fact you can fold the Quinny up and tuck it neatly under a table, or it takes up a small amount of boot, or even footwell space. The main difference between the Zapp and the Zapp Xtra is the fact the seat unit is separate, so it has to be removed before folding and then needs storing separately.

At this point I should say I also have a normal Quinny Zapp which has been much used for my daughter. I bought the Zapp Xtra to use for my son from newborn and to be able to easily interchange between seat and Maxi Cosi car seat so that I didn’t need to remove the fabric from my daughter’s Zapp. To be honest I used the Zapp Xtra chassis almost every day to transport my son in his car seat into activities, but I think the actual seat only left the house twice, partly because my son felt very exposed through the winter months (and we had another pushchair) and partly because of reasons I will discuss next. But my son did used to sleep in the Zapp seat every day and he loved being in the pushchair.

Unlike the normal Quinny Zapp, the Xtra comes with a shopping basket included, and car seat adaptors. It also comes with another set of seat adaptors and for our family this proved to be a real problem area. These are small round adaptors which you add onto the chassis before attaching the seat. So if you wanted to use the car seat adaptors, you would remove these adaptors and then add the car seat adaptors, but if you wanted to swap back to the seat you needed to put these round adaptors back on the chassis before attaching the seat. But where are you expected to then keep these adaptors??? They are only about 5-7cms in diameter and a few cms thick and round. I have to say after my husband misplacing them in the house several times, I made a drawstring bag to keep them in which was attached to the pushchair. It was very secure or so I thought until the day my husband put the adaptors in, didn’t pull the strings and toggle tightly enough and when we were putting the chassis away in a car park in the dark and snow, the adaptors simply rolled out of the bag and were lost forever. Cue approx 2 months worth of chasing Dorel for a new set – they didn’t have a clue which the adaptors were and it took endless phone calls, promises that the adaptors were on the way, even a set of car seat adaptors turned up, before they demanded something extortionate like £35 for a new set and finally sent the correct set out. By this time my son was 6 months old and we hadn’t been able to use the seat through the months I wanted a parent facing pushchair, and I decided to sell the Xtra  because we couldn’t keep paying out £35 every time we lost a set of adaptors and believe me, if you have a Zapp Xtra you will know how hard it is to keep track of them especially if you are in and out of the car, and during one day need to switch between car seat and main seat, or like I did, use the chassis in the car for the car seat and the seat in/around the house. If Dorel are reading this, PLEASE would you consider finding a way to attach these adaptors so that they hang or fix onto the frame when not in use because they are so incredibly easy to lose and too expensive to keep replacing when the seat unit itself is only £100.

The other part of its downfall was the fold. Bearing in mind I already have a Quinny, and had used it for over a year every day, I found the fold on this new pushchair very hard. First of all a Zapp fold (either model) is a 1,2,3 button system. You press in button 1, then button 2, fold the pushchair in half and press forwards button 3. But to do button 3 you need the brake on or else the pushchair slides forwards and its a strange forward motion that I still can’t get used to. But the Zapp Xtra being newer had a very stiff mechanism. I tried WD40 and it didn’t help. Like I said, I did use it every day for 6 months, but in the mud, wind, rain and cold I really got fed up of trying to do push the No 3 button in and several times I just threw the pushchair half folded into the back of the car. I have to say, from my experience an older chassis is actually not a bad thing with a Zapp because it is more loose, and although you wouldn’t get the warranties I would suggest buying a second hand Zapp and adding on the £100 seat unit is actually a good option.

This is where I have a confession to make. This Zapp Xtra was bought for my son from birth. However my elder daughter was absolutely fine in the “normal” Zapp when we first got it at around 10 months old and my intention when my son was a similar age, was to store the metal framed seat and to put a brand new set of Zapp fabrics onto the chassis (£20 on Ebay for seat and hood). It would have meant that the Zapp Xtra then became a ”normal” Zapp which then would have folded with the fabric on it. This would have taken up less space in the car or when travelling. But having the seat gave me a compact pushchair option from birth which is why I bought the Zapp Xtra in the first place.

I have to be honest and say if someone came to me and asked for suggestions for a stroller type parent facing pushchair that would last from birth until their child was walking, then the Quinny Zapp Xtra would be very high on my list of suggestions. For all the issues I had, I really like the Quinny Zapp Xtra. Its a good design, great looking and also practical and small to store. Fantastic for small cars or homes with a lack of storage. I was probably unlucky with the chassis and if a practical solution could be found for keeping the adaptors safe when not in use, then most of my issues would have been solved.

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