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Quinny Zapp Flex Plus Review

Review Overview

Quinny Zapp Flex Plus Review
Expert Reviewer
216 Reviews
Reviewed On: 11 May 2017
Sophie Bell
Expert Reviewer
Sophie's Verdict:
4.5 / 5

We've been putting the newest and most luxurious member of the Quinny Zapp X range through its paces. Read on to see how we've got on...

Review Summary

Summary

This reincarnation of the iconic Zapp pushchair surpasses expectations for what a stroller is capable of. With the 2-way seat and the optional Lux carrycot or the from-birth cocoon, it offers everything that a full-sized travel system does, but in a smaller and more convenient package.

What’s good
  • Really versatile
  • Customisable
  • Parent and world facing
  • Chunky wheels
  • Closed handlebar
What’s not so good
  • Doesn't sit upright in parent facing mode
  • Handlebar not adjustable
Watch our review video:

Review Content

Quinny Zapp Flex Plus Review
Chassis

The Zapp Flex Plus arrives in a neat little box - a reassuring sign that this newest version of the Zapp stroller hasn't relinquished any of its compact and space saving qualities of the previous model.

There's a little bit of assembly required, but this was by no means difficult. We had to click the wheels (we'll talk about how fab these are later!) onto the chassis, unfold the seat unit and click it onto the frame and then clip the sun hood onto the seat frame. There's also the little job of popping the shopping basket onto the bottom of the chassis by hooking it over the strong metal screws and threading it through the hoops and loops on the chassis. We only had to glance at the manual to complete the build and the box is compact and neat enough to pop in the loft or store in a cupboard for if ever you might need to pop the pushchair away again.

Once built, we noticed just how strikingly different the Flex Plus is to the previous Zapp models we have played with; but it somehow still retains those iconic Zapp features which Quinny fans know and love.

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Colours_650

Depending on the colour of Zapp Flex Plus you choose, it comes with either an Aluminium or Black chassis - we are testing the black chassis and against the chunky black and grey wheels it looks very sleek! It seems pretty resistant to wear too, which is always a bonus for a stroller that is likely to be folded and used on trips out and car journeys.

One of the most striking new features of the Zapp Flex Plus is the handlebar - the stroller has a continuous ‘closed' handlebar which appears to be slightly hinged in the centre. The handlebar itself is made from hard wearing plastic and features rubber grips. These grips look and feel great and if you decide to customise a Zapp X pushchair, you can also choose their colour. They are available in graphite, grey, pink or green. Our handlebar grips were pink to match the gorgeous blush seat unit and it definitely added that finishing touch to the styling of the stroller. It would have been great if the handlebar was height adjustable too, but that is just a bonus.

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Chassis

Another exciting new feature of the Flex Plus is the wheels. As pushchair geeks, they had us shrieking with delight when we first caught sight of them in the box. The Flex Plus model of the Zapp is donned with much chunkier wheels that the other models available in the new Zapp X collection. They are broad and chunky and certainly built to withstand miles and miles of strolling on city streets. What's more, there are 4 large wheels on the Flex Plus. They gave the smoothest of pushes even over cracks and cobbles, it also handled beautifully around corners and really felt as though it had a ‘leg at each corner'. For such a light pushchair, the size and number of the wheels really made it feel as though it was glued to the ground.

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Wheels

Quinny have recognised that urban living can mean a lot of stop-starting too. The brake on the Flex Plus is a push button brake system operated by foot. 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 found two brake buttons a little confusing to start with and often got muddled up on which one to press, but we soon figured out ‘Grey for Go and Red for Stop!' and the confusion disappeared after a few days regular use. Plus, one bonus of this system is that you only ever push the buttons down, so you won't have to worry about hurting your toes if you are wearing your best flip-flops! It's certainly a flip-flop, foot saving friendly system!

The basket on the Flex Plus is a solid sided basket made from hard wearing and thick material, which matches the colour of your seat unit. The solid basket is strong and held in place by four strong hooks, a super strong Velcro strap and two popper loops. We were surprised at how strong the basket was and even though its volume wasn't quite big enough to hold a changing bag, it was still capable of holding a multitude of daily essentials and items on a trip to the shop. You just need to remember to access the basket from either side of the stroller and not from the front or back, as the style of the frame doesn't allow you to do so. If you do find that you need more carrying space, Quinny have created the Xtra Shopping Bag, which hooks onto the back of the any of the Zapp X pushchairs.

One thing to note about the Flex Plus frame is that it is quite low to the ground. Going over rough terrain wouldn't be an option in this pushchair and every so often the bottom of the basket and frame would catch on high steps when we were faced with the challenge of bumping up and down them.

Seat

The seat unit on the Flex Plus is suitable from 6 months old to 15kg - around 3.5 years old. But the stroller can be used from birth with a few 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.

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Modes

The seat is based around a hinged frame that cleverly folds with the pushchair. The fabrics are thin and lightweight, with Quinny taking inspiration from the sports industry. It also allows the pushchair to fold so compactly. It's still a strong material though and the base of the seat is padded to give your little one a comfortable ride.

The seat has a five-point harness and can be altered in length using the sliders on the shoulder and 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 which colour codes with the colour of the handlebar grips. 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 get out of their harness unless unclipped by an adult.

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Harness

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 when world facing, and 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 though, as our nosey toddler tester was world facing by the time he was ready to use the most upright seating position.

Quinny_Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Recline_Parent_Facing

You can also change the direction which the Flex Plus 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 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.

Again, the sun hood is made of the same thin material that you might see in the sports industry, 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. 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. This same hood also fits the carrycot should you need it.

If you plan to use the Flex Plus from birth then you will need either the Lux carrycot or From-Birth Cocoon. 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.

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Carrycot
Drivability

The Flex Plus drives with the utmost of stability. With the four large wheels, we have found it sticks to the pavements like the Formula 1 race car of the pushchair world. Its low centre of gravity means weaving in and out of people, objects and shops is no problem at all and the pushchair remains super stable at all times.

We found that the large wheels and the broad tyres paired with the chunky diameter gave a really smooth ride for parent and child. There were no judders when we went over cracks in the pavements and the wheels rolled silently. There is no rattle like we have experienced on other stroller models previously.

Fold

The Zapp is known for its tiny (and very clever) fold. Even though the Flex Plus hosts a wealth of luxury features, it still folds into that fabulous compact package!

The fact that the Flex Plus can be folded with the seat on the frame 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 you 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 3 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!

Zapp_Flex_Plus_Review_Fold

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.

Conclusion

This reincarnation of the iconic Zapp pushchair surpasses expectations for what a stroller is capable of. With the 2-way seat and the optional Lux carrycot or the from-birth cocoon, it offers everything that a full-sized travel system does, but in a smaller and more convenient package.

It is stylishly designed with urban living in mind, however the four large wheels give greater flexibility for all-round use as long as the ground isn't too rutted or wet.

Opting for a Zapp X, the unbelievably generous customisation options give parents the added option of being able to choose handlebars, wheels and colour choices meaning you can make your pushchair pretty much a one-off! You can literally design your own pushchair according to your own preferences, something which we have never come across before in the pushchair world.

Even though the handlebar is not height adjustable (a feature which many parents find handy), we loved the super practical features such as the extendable sun canopy and the fact that the seat folds all-in-one with the pushchair frame, into one of the most compact packages we have seen!

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