Most popular for their Zoom tandem pushchair, ABC Design have a fine fleet of single pushchairs too. Here we put the brand-new ABC Design Salsa 4 through its paces.
What's in the box?
The ABC Design Salsa 4 comes in Leaf, Race, Mountain, Piano and Walnut.
The frame on the Salsa 4 is brushed aluminium with black, contrasting, functional plastic parts. The Walnut and Piano colourways have a matte black chassis.
The handle is covered in lovely leatherette and fits nicely into the palm. The handle height is adjustable from 99cm to 110cm using the central button - this is huge so fab for taller drivers!
Moving down the frame, the brake is mounted on the right shaft of the rear wheel axle. The brake pedal is a little on the small side and we did find ourselves missing it on a few occasions whilst reaching with a foot to press it on.
To the rear of the pushchair are two large wheels with silver plastic rims and the front wheels are slightly smaller with a swivel function. The hard engineered rubber outers are quite thin but rolled well over pavements and paths. We did find that the wheel trims scratched quite easily with the inevitable knocks on door frames and shopping aisles. It was great to be able to remove the wheels to wash them after a few winter park walks.We also loved the integrated accessory points, which meant we didn't have to fiddle with little clips when using the cupholder or parasol.
The shopping basket, at first glance, is huge and made from the same gorgeous woven fabrics as the seat unit. However when we began to use the basket, we were a little frustrated that the two large bars that support the pushchair frame run straight through the basket, meaning we couldn't fit half as much in as we first thought. If you're clever and nimble with your arms, you can pop smaller bags in between the two metal support bars. When the carrycot or car seat is on the pushchair frame, the basket is a lot more accessible and the bars seemed to prove less of a frustration.
The first thing that struck us with the seat unit on the Salsa 4 is the gorgeous fabrics. They are demure and lusciously woven and a real selling point of the pushchair.
The Salsa 4 package comes with the carrycot complete in the box. The hard-bodied carrycot is nice and long and comes complete with its own UPF 50+ canopy and apron - it is even suitable for overnight sleeping if the need arises. There is a lovely leatherette carry handle in the centre of the carrycot canopy, which made it nice and easy and well balanced to remove the carrycot from the frame without waking a sleeping baby! We loved the zip-open canopy extension on the carrycot, which provided a really sheltered space for baby, especially during the winter months that we tested it in. The carrycot is 35cm wide and our 6-month-old tester found it quite snug but this seemed to give her a nice sense of security and she slept soundly in it.
There is also the option to purchase the comfort seat liner, which makes the seat into a flat comfortable space for your newborn to lie in if you do not wish to use the carrycot.
The chassis of the Salsa 4 is also compatible with plenty of big-brand car seats, as well as ABC Designs own-brand car seats, which we found really handy for short trips and school runs.
When your baby has outgrown the carrycot, you will move onto the seat unit. To remove the carrycot, simply squeeze the buttons in on the handle on each side of the carrycot and then clip your seat frame into place. You can pop the seat onto the chassis in parent-facing or world-facing modes. The seat can be removed and replaced easily using the same carry handles as are used on the carrycot.
Reclining the seat is nice and easy too, although you do need two hands. The circular buttons on each side of the seat unit need to be pressed in simultaneously and the seat tilted to your required angle.
The seat harness is simple and comes complete with lovely chest and crotch strap covers made from the same lavish materials as the seat unit itself.
Just as the carrycot canopy gave great coverage, the pushchair canopy did too. The canopy consists of two panels as well as a final panel that can be unzipped to extend the coverage. On a few occasions we found that the extra hood material got caught in the zip and we needed to be slightly more careful when zipping the canopy back together.
The extendable panel also has a great peek-a-boo window in the hood, fab for checking on cheeky children and snoozing babies without disturbing them too much.
At the bottom end of the seat unit, the footrest can be altered using the round buttons on each side of the seat frame. It was really handy to be able to pop the footrest up when our toddler was sleeping and down again when he was awake.
When our 6-month-old baby was in the seat unit, the Salsa 4 was as light as a feather to push. It did, however, feel on the heavier side to push with our 2-and-a-half year old tester in the seat unit. Kerb-popping became a little more difficult with a fully laden seat unit, mostly down to the longer wheelbase of the pushchair chassis. The higher seat weight limit of 25kg is a real bonus and helps you get the most out of your pushchair in terms of usage over time (as long as you don't have many hills to push up!).
The seat unit also has a gate-opening bumper bar covered in the same lovely leatherette as the handlebar. This was really handy for carrying the seat unit in and out of the car and for our toddler to hold onto while watching the world go by.
Although it had to be done in two separate parts, folding the Salsa was just what we love here at Pushchair Expert - simple!
Remove the seat or carrycot and pop it to one side. In a quick and easy motion, pull up the levers on each side of the handlebar and voila! The pushchair folds down on itself immediately. There is also a chassis auto-lock that keeps the package all in one piece so that nobody gets any trapped fingers.
Unfolding is also pretty simple - just unclip the auto-lock with your finger and thumb, pull the chassis back up into place and pop the seat unit or carrycot back onto the frame.
A more compact fold was achieved by removing the quick-release rear wheels but unless you have a tiny car boot, we doubt this will be necessary.
ABC Design have really delivered on luxury with the fabrics on the Salsa 4. They are thickly woven and feel lavish. An added touch of style was achieved when paired with the complementing accessories such as changing bags and footmuffs. It feels super-stable, thanks to the long wheel base, but this can make steering and going up and down kerbs a bit more difficult when the pushchair seat is fully laden.
The adjustable handlebar gives a great range of height and the shopping basket is a good size too - it's just a shame that the chassis bars running through it inhibit its use slightly.
Altogether, the Salsa 4 is a well styled, uncomplicated pushchair that has been designed to give parent and child the best possible experience when getting out and about.
We give the Salsa 4 by ABC Design 4 out of 5 stars