It probably sounds a bit mad to some people, but I didn’t like using my Quinny Zapp Limited Edition Black chassis with the Zapp Xtra seat unit on, as the Zapp Xtra seat unit framework is silver (to match the standard Zapp chassis) and I thought it looked odd to have the seat frame silver on an all black chassis. For this reason, my Zapp Xtra seat unit was relegated to the cupboard under the stairs for a while.
Meanwhile, my mother in law, who looks after The Boy sometimes, wasn’t getting on with the Quinny Zapp that I’d got to keep at her house. She didn’t get on with the way it folded and unfolded: She said the seat was ‘too upright’ and made The Boy look like he was going to slip out of it (even though he was always harnessed in when he was in it) and that between the harness and the style of the seat fabric The Boy looked like he was ‘dangling’ and uncomfortable. She didn’t get along with the fact that it’s a three wheeler (because she felt like it was going to tip to one side when she went up and down curbs) and she didn’t feel that it was particularly ‘solid’ if she left The Boy in it when he fell asleep while they were out and she wanted to ‘park’ him indoors and leave him to sleep (even though I kept telling her she shouldn’t do that anyway). She didn’t like it on ‘swivel’ front wheel option because she said it was “like an out of control supermarket trolley” but she didn’t like it locked because it is a three wheeler and it was then difficult to steer. Anyway she went on and on relentlessly about all the reasons she found to hate the £155 pushchair that I’d got to keep at her house, so I took it back again. (I ended up purchasing her a Maxi Cosi Mila, which she loves, more on that at a later point). So now I had a Zapp that was surplus to requirements as well as the Zapp Xtra seat unit.
The Zapp I’d got for my mother in law was a standard silver chassis with Rebel Red fabrics, so the silver chassis matched the seat frame of the Zapp Xtra seat unit and gave me an idea. I took the standard Zapp fabrics off the chassis and put the recline adaptors in place and then took the whole thing to my parents holiday home at the coast the next time we went to visit them there for the day. Folded down, the Zapp chassis fits nicely under one of the sofas and the seat unit stands in the wardrobe in the spare bedroom. Now I’ve got a pushchair there that can be used when we’re there or when my parents take The Boy there for a day or overnight which saves space in the car when you’re making the journey as you don’t need to worry about taking a pushchair, and I’ve freed up the space under my stairs again. My mum likes the Zapp (now she’s figured out the fold and unfold method!) she loves that with the Zapp Xtra seat unit she can have The Boy in ‘grandparent facing’ mode and she loves that she can recline it so easily. I got a Rebel Red Zapp footmuff (to go with the standard fabrics that were on it in the first place) which contrast with the Rocking Black Zapp Xtra seat unit and now even on the chilliest of days The Boy is snug and cosy in the pushchair when his nanny takes him for a cliff top walk after lunch! I also have a Rebel Red parasol and parasol clip for my own Zapp, which I keep in the boot of my car, so if we’re over there and it’s sunny I can use that on the Zapp Xtra as well.
In addition to this, when The Boy and I went to stay with my parents a few weeks ago, they took the Zapp Xtra back to their house from the holiday home for us to use – again it saved space in my car and meant I didn’t have to take a pushchair, but there was one there for us to use and it was compact enough that I stuck it in the boot of my car and it didn’t take up all the room available. I only used it once – when we went to visit a friend and couldn’t park anywhere near their house, so I had to park in a back street quite a distance away and walk to their house – but The Boy was snug and cosy in the footmuff and comfortable in the Zapp Xtra as we trotted about five or ten minutes to their house. I could have managed with him in my arms – just about, he’s quite a weight and a real wriggler – but it was more convenient to have him in the pushchair. Plus when we got to their house after playing for a while and wanting to settle down for a nap, I put The Boy into the Zapp Xtra and he dozed off and had a ten minute cat nap before we went back to the car to go back to my parents house.
For use like this, the Zapp Xtra comes into its own; lightweight, small sized and easy to manoeuvre, it is the ideal urban buggy for getting around. It’s rubbish on rough terrain (at the holiday home, mum goes for walks on the grass and its very bumpy, though that’s generally the point at which The Boy falls asleep I wouldn’t be happy with a young baby being in the Zapp Xtra on that kind of terrain) but it’s smart, nippy and practical for stowing in the car boot and popping into the shops or out to a friends house. I wouldn’t use it for long distance walking just for the fact that it doesn’t seem very comfortable for that – the handlebars are hard plastic which makes my hands hurt after a while, and for LO there isn’t any suspension and the wheels are solid so it’s a fairly rough ride. The addition of the footmuff on the seat unit makes it look a lot more comfy – whether this is imaginary or not – because you can take the front off the Quinny footmuff and leave a cosy, fleece liner on the seat it gives it a softer, more comfortable look. The only downfall of this product is the fact that by adding the Xtra seat unit and providing recline and parent facing options, Quinny have negated the point of the chassis being so small, compact and lightweight – the Xtra seat unit flattens down but doesn’t fold, so as well as the chassis you’ve now got a seat unit to carry around with you. The seat unit doesn’t fit in the travel bag, only the chassis will, so while the chassis can go into the travel bag and is suitable to put in an overhead storage compartment on an aircraft, in a coach or on the train, with the Xtra seat unit as well that isn’t going to be possible. Having said that I’m unsure whether they could develop any way of folding down the seat unit so that it does collapse into something more manageable for travel purposes.
I do like the Quinny Zapp Xtra, but let me put it this way, if it was my only pushchair I wouldn’t be impressed; as my ‘holiday’ pushchair (or at least, the pushchair at the holiday home) it is ideal. My faithful car boot companion will remain to be the standard Quinny Zapp as it does fold up so well and I don’t have a separate seat unit to worry about, and for my long walks, shopping in town, meanders through the countryside and day trips to the beach, you can’t beat the Maxi Cosi Mura 3. Lucky for me that I didn’t have to pick just one!