The new Zapp X collection has taken the pushchair world by storm. We have tried out the Flex model, read on to reveal all.
What's in the box?
The RRP of the Quinny Zapp Flex is £295
Specifications• Weight: 8.8kg
• Lux Carrycot £185
• From-birth Cocoon £79
• Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus £190
• Bumper Bar £25
• Footmuff £69
• Parasol £29
• Xtra shopping bag £25
• Changing bag £79
• Cup holder £9.99
• Seat liner £35
• Winter liner £39
• Blanket £35
• Airy sun canopy £59
• Mosquito net £25
• Travel bag £29
The Zapp Flex comes in a wide range of 12 standard colours.
You can also build your own Zapp X pushchair using the customisation tool on the Quinny website.
If it's compact, convenient and all-in-one that you're after then the Flex from the new Zapp X collection really will fit the bill.
When you unpack the Zapp Flex from its neat little box, you are sure to be coo-ing over the great new features and design of this stroller (we sure were!). There is a bit of assembly that you need to do before you can use the pushchair, but it's quick and simple. You need to grab the wheels out of their packaging and pop them on - these literally click on with a reassuring noise so you know that they are on securely. And then you need to unfold the pushchair and unfold the separate Flex Seat unit and click the two together. We also had to click the shopping basket to the bottom of the chassis. All in all, by the time we had scanned the manual, it took about 10 minutes start to finish!
If you are familiar with the Zapp or Zapp Xtra pushchair range, you will notice how different the design of this new pushchair is. It really has had a total overhaul on both design and engineering front. Although the bare basics of the shape remains the same, there are several more refined finishing touches which are far prettier and more pleasing to the eye than before!
Depending on which colourway you choose, the Flex comes as standard with either a matt black chassis or an aluminium chassis. Both colours are stylish and classy. We tested the green on graphite colour option, which comes with a matt black frame. It looks sleek but hopefully will be able to withstand the bangs and bumps it might receive when travelling in the boot of the car or on the bus!
The Zapp Flex features the unique handle shape that makes the Zapp pushchair so recognisable. We loved the shape of these handles and found them extremely comfortable to hold. One point we feel could be an issue for taller parents is the handlebar height. The handles felt as if they sat quite low on our average height 5'6" tester, which might be preferable to some parents, but the option to extend the handles to a slightly higher position would have been a great addition feature.
There are three wheels on the Flex model of the new Zapp pushchair. They are really easy to click on and off for storage or to clean by using the little push buttons at the rear of the chassis. The front wheel is clicked off by a button on the underside of the actual front wheel. Just turn the wheel upside down and you will see the button lever that you need to press to remove the front wheel. The front wheel is a double wheel and it adds extra stability to the pushchair, the rear wheels are small in diameter but nice and chunky. They have plenty of hard wearing dark grey rubber around their stylish black rims and are certainly built to withstand miles and miles of strolling on city streets. We loved the stylish look of the wheels, they are really pleasing to the eye and blend in well with the chassis of the stroller.
The brake system on the Zapp Flex is a push button cable brake system operated by foot. Unlike other pushchairs with cable brakes, the cable is enclosed, so you don't need to worry about catching it in the frame or getting your feet tangled in it.
There are two brake buttons (cleverly colour coded), one on either side of the rear wheel chassis. The button next to the left wheel is grey, which you press to release the brake. The button next to the right wheel is red, which you press to engage the brake. We must admit, it was sometimes a challenge to remember which foot to use to press which pedal when we were in a rush and it ended up looking like we were doing a little dance!
The solid sided basket is made a thick material (which matches the colour of your seat unit). It is certainly strong and is held in place by 4 strong hooks, a super strong Velcro strap and two popper loops. It isn't fantastically large, so you can't fit changing bags in there or bags of shopping, but it is deep as stroller baskets go so loose items such as drinks cups, coats or blankets won't jump out. If you needed a bit more space, Quinny do sell an accessory called the Xtra Shopping Bag, which attaches to the back of the pushchair and can hold larger items.
The seat unit on the Flex is the same seat unit that is seen on the Flex Plus model of the Zapp. It is suitable from 6 months old to 15kg (around 3.5 years old). But the stroller chassis itself can be used from birth if you decide to, by pairing it with one of the optional extras such as the From-Birth Cocoon and the Lux Carrycot. It can even be paired with a matching Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus car seat using the included adapters. We loved how you don't have to purchase the car seat adapters separately, which saves money and hassle.
The seat is based around a hinged frame and it cleverly folds with the pushchair. The fabrics are designed after Quinny used the sports industry for inspiration. They are thin, as they have to be to fold so compactly, but strong and the base of the seat is padded to give your little one a comfortable ride. If you would like more padding in your seat, then there is the option of adding one of the lovely Zapp X liners which will really make the seat a cosy and comfortable space for baby.
The seat harness is a five point harness and can be altered in size by using the sliders on the waist straps. You can also alter the harness by height as your child grows by threading the harness through the height slots on the back of the seat unit. The harness pads are not made from material as we are used to seeing, but instead they are made from rubber. We thought this a little ‘out there' at first but after just a few uses of the stroller with a wriggly toddler, we soon discovered how ingenious these rubber harness pads were. They are non-slip and keep the shoulder straps in place perfectly and make it difficult for your wriggly baby to slip out of their harness unless unclipped by an adult.
The recline on the seat is operated by the button at the top of the seat frame. It reclines to three positions for sleep, rest and play. In parent facing mode, the seat can either be in sleep or rest mode. It doesn't sit up fully in parent facing mode. We didn't find this an issue however, as our nosey toddler was facing the world by the time he was ready to use the most upright seating position.
You can also change the direction which the Flex seat unit faces. To do this you use the same button as you do to recline the seat, however this time you will notice the small clip to the right hand side of the button. Flick this button to the right with your thumb whilst you squeeze the recline button right in - this releases the seat unit from the frame at the central hinges. You do need to tease the seat unit off with your hands around the hinged area but once you have the hang of it, it is relatively easy. Just click the seat back down into the position you or baby prefers.
The sun hood is also made of this sports inspired, thin material which allows it to fold neatly and be less bulky when the pushchair is folded. Don't let the thickness of the material fool you, it is still UPF50+ rated and offers baby great protection from the sun. It's actually really breathable too, allowing lots of fresh air to flow through to baby without it feeling breezy or cold. In the centre of the hood panel you will find a zip which allows you to extend the hood to provide even more coverage for baby.
If you plan to use the Zapp Flex from birth then you will need either the Lux Carrycot, From-Birth Cocoon or Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus. We tested out the Lux carrycot and were amazed at how ‘lux' but light it was. It weighs just 3KG, so you don't even notice that you are carrying it around when it comes to transporting it on and off the pushchair. The material is so sumptuously soft that you can't help but have a little stroke of it and the fabrics are breathable too, so are safe and cosy for baby. You can change the colour of the sun canopy on the carrycot to your own preference. To remove the carrycot from the frame, you only actually need one hand - which is a real bonus, especially if you have a bag to carry or the hand of another child to hold.
The main differences between the drive of this model and the Flex Plus model is that this pushchair has 3 wheels. The three wheeled drive means that the Flex is really manoeuvrable and is able to slalom in and out of shop aisles easily. Turning corners was a breeze, even when laden with a 3 year old child. Popping up and down curbs was simple and the pushchair always felt steady. It is however quite low slung, so we had to be careful not to catch the bottom of the pushchair frame on steeper steps and deeper curbs.The handle bars are perfectly positioned to give you the best possible control over the stroller and what we love is that even though the stroller has two separate handlebars, there is a linking bar between them, which means you can still steer the Flex with just one hand when needed.
The fact that the Flex can be folded with the seat on the frame (in the world facing position) left us giving a big thumbs up! It's so much simpler and easier than removing things from the frame and fumbling around with them whilst your try to fit things into your car boot.It does take a bit of practice to master the fold. A seasoned pro can do it in three seconds flat, whereas the first time you try, it might take more like three minutes. We recommend a good practice session before your first outing so that you aren't caught short with a grumpy baby or an appointment to get to! That said, the finished product is well worth it!
There are three clearly labelled steps to the fold and unfold. To fold: Step 1: Fold the seat unit forwards (and in half!) by pressing in the recline lever and flicking the switch to the right simultaneously. Step 2: Use the levers on either side of the chassis and flick them upwards. This releases the handlebar which then folds forwards towards the floor. Step 3: With your foot on the gripper, push forward and squeeze the side of the pushchair inwards. Everything will lock itself into place into a crazily small package for such a full featuring stroller!
To unlock, just reverse the steps. The main point being to push in the grey circular button (labelled with a number 1) as this is the lock button which locks and releases the chassis lock on the stroller.
The two-way, reclining seat and the optional inclusion of the Lux Carrycot or the From-Birth Cocoon mean that the Flex can be used from birth. The included car seat adapters mean you can also use your Maxi-Cosi car seat on the frame as part of a fuss-free travel system.
The new Zapp X collection really does give something for everyone. The Flex model is agile, nippy but still boasts a host of great features which make it far more appealing to parents than a basic stroller.
Style is definitely a big feature and the huge choice of 12 colour combinations is a feast for the eyes and offers far more choice than any other stroller range that we know of.It would have been great if the handlebars sat a little higher and the seat was able to sit slightly more upright in a parent facing position, but you can't have it all and the Flex redeems itself with its fantastic compact fold.
The Zapp Flex will easily serve your family from birth right up until your child no longer needs a stroller.