ABC Design Zoom 2018 Review
In Germany, ABC Design is a highly regarded household name when it comes to baby products, and its pushchairs and car seats have been seen here in the UK for some time now. Its tandem Zoom pushchair - famed for its face-to-face seating option - has recently had a makeover, so we have put it through the Pushchair Expert test.
We would most certainly class this pushchair as stylish with a hint of luxury, especially when paired with any of the many great additional accessories. If storage space is not an issue and you rarely have to venture into tight, crowded places, the Zoom could be a great solution for you.
- Very versatile seating options
- Great sized basket
- Lovely fabrics
- Tall seat units
- Great extendable hoods
- Heavy to steer when fully laden
- Longer chassis needs more careful driving
If you're looking into buying the Zoom, you probably already know that it has multiple seating positions for one child and for two children of the same age or different ages. This versatility means the Zoom can offer something to suit families with siblings or twins. It also offers great flexibility for childcare professionals looking after a variety of children. The choice might even be slightly overwhelming at first, but after a quick flick through the manual we were excited to start trying out as many options as possible!
For twins or babies of the same age you can use the Zoom with:
Two car seats - Maxi-Cosi, Cybex and Kiddy infant carriers will fit using the appropriate adapters; we used the Zoom with Kiddy Evo Lunafix seats and they worked brilliantly on the chassis
Two carrycots - a second bottom carrycot adapter is required but you only need to pop this on once and it is just as easily removed (both carrycots are full size)
Two seat units - these can both parent-face, both world-face or even face each other; something that many parents of twins rave about!
For children of different ages you can use the chassis with:
Car seat and carrycot - you do need the corresponding adapters for compatible car seats
Carrycot and seat unit - the seat can face either way
Car seat and seat unit - again, the seat can face either way.
There is also the option to use the Zoom as a single. It is pretty long as far as single pushchairs go but you do get a LOT of luggage space, especially when you click on the additional Zoom shopping basket in place of one of the seat units. If you have a child who mostly walks but still needs a rest every now and again, we found it handy to attach the ride-on board to the Zoom, but you do have to be prepared to think ahead for corners and when steering due to the length of the pushchair - definitely a set-up better suited to park paths than a busy city centre.
One thing we immediately loved about the Zoom, and which is by no means always the case with tandem pushchairs, is that whichever way we used it, each child had plenty of space to travel comfortably without being cramped by the other passenger.
The chassis of this versatile single or tandem is certainly strong. With its strength does come a bit of weight, as expected with a tandem, but if you are a walker and don't plan on lifting the pushchair in and out of a car on a regular basis then we can't see this being an issue - you do not feel the weight much at all when pushing. The fluid curves of the chassis add a lovely stylish design to a workmanlike buggy.
One thing that we have grown to love about ABC Design pushchairs is the exceptional finish on all of the mechanisms. This model is no different and all the rivets, buttons, levers and edges are perfectly smooth and work just as smoothly too. It's the little finishes like this that really make a difference to the user.
The handlebar on the Zoom can be adjusted with the button in the centre and at its highest setting is 110.5cm - plenty high enough for the tallest of drivers.
The Zoom rolls on four puncture-proof wheels. The front wheels swivel easily to assist with your steering and they all easily pop off for cleaning or storing.
When fully laden with two passengers and up to its maximum weight limit of 30kg, the Zoom inevitably felt on the heavy side. Negotiating kerbs was a challenge in this situation but with smaller babies on board we never struggled with kerbs or bumps in the pavements.
The simple brake pedal is large and really easy to use. You do have to have a quick look for it if you have the carrycot in the back position on the chassis but this really didn't pose an issue.
The basket sits underneath the seating area and is as long as the chassis, which is great news for parents who carry a lot of luggage! Access to the basket is best from the sides of the pushchair and, as with any tandem, the older toddler's feet can take up some of your basket space. We did find the additional Zoom shopping basket a really handy feature and it is a useful extra to buy if you are considering the Zoom. It clips into the place of one of the seat units when you are using the pushchair as a single and almost doubles your storage space instantly. This also means that the second seating space is not made redundant when your older child outgrows the Zoom, which we liked very much.
The chassis of the Zoom is designed in such a way as to allow both children to be on almost the same level and have plenty of space, as well as a great view of the world. Both seats are tall and wide, and very comfortable for babies, toddlers and even younger children. All of the combinations were easy to achieve with the correct adapters and finding the right seating option to suit our children's ages and individual personalities and needs was easy too.
The fabrics covering the seat unit are of such great quality and are probably our favourite feature. They are thickly woven and definitely hardwearing with wipeable areas where they are needed most, to cater for all those muddy wellies and shoes clambering in and out. The five-point harness has coordinating shoulder and crotch pads, too, which add to the comfort level. If you or your child like to have a bumper bar in place, you will be pleased to hear that this opens with a pivoting action, making it easy to get baby in and out of the seat.
The recline is a two-handed job using the buttons on each side of the seat. It would have been great if this had been a one-handed motion as with two children to cater for, simple is always better! However, the seats have a great recline whatever position they are in and neither child is ever hindered by the recline of the other. This was really handy when one child was wide awake and the other fast asleep!
The hood is very large and almost completely covers baby when fully extended. It also has a UPF50+ rating so you can rest easy knowing your children have the best protection from the rays. The parent window can be used when the hood is extended, and water repellent material protects against rain damaging the fabric.
The carrycots are made of the same gorgeous material as the seat units. When using two carrycots, the one closest to the handlebar sits slightly higher than the other using the adapters but you do get a clear view of both babies and the child slightly lower on the frame still has plenty of sunlight and air getting to them. Often carrycots are small and babies outgrow them quickly but these are large, spacious and deep too.
The same great hood shades baby and provides protection from the elements. The handle in the centre of the hood acts as a carry handle when lifting the carrycot on and off the frame. Removing the carrycot has been designed to be done in one fluid movement - press the buttons hidden inside the handle at each side and lift. When not in use, the carrycot can be folded flat for ease of transport and storage.
It is handy that the carrycot is suitable for overnight sleeping so you can use it when going away for the odd night. One less thing to pack is always music to our ears!
To fold the Zoom you must first remove the seats, car seats or carrycots that are on the frame. Any additional adapters can be left in place or removed. The fold has been made simpler than on previous models and we operated it without any problems at all. The pull-up levers on each side of the frame are fuss-free - definitely what parents and caregivers need! Unfolding the pushchair is just as simple with the release of the auto-lock lever next to the right rear wheel.
The overall fold size is, of course, larger than with a single footprint pushchair. You can make it a touch smaller by popping off the wheels. We were easily able to fit the Zoom in one side of the boot of our people carrier and we also managed to fit it in the boot of a standard hatchback car, but it didn't leave much room for any shopping. In compact city cars you may find it a squeeze.
Finding a double pram or pushchair that suits both the user requirements of the parents and the comfort of the children can be tricky. The ABC Design Zoom certainly offers comfort for babies and young children thanks to its spacious carrycots and seat units. The versatility of the seating options mean that there is something to suit every family in a variety of situations. The one downfall of the Zoom is its length. To allow both children to have such a roomy and comfortable ride, the chassis is undeniably long, which in turn makes for a large fold. The long chassis might mean you need to be a little more cautious when driving but the overall push is smooth. We would most certainly class this pushchair as stylish with a hint of luxury, especially when paired with any of the many great additional accessories. If storage space is not an issue and you rarely have to venture into tight, crowded places, the Zoom could be a great solution for you.