The Obaby Zeal is not your average stroller. It holds a few hidden gems that make it unique. We've been taking a closer look...
What's in the box
• Changing bag
• Cup holder
• From birth - 15kg
• Weight: 7.45kg
• Unfolded dimensions: 107 x 52 x 81cm
• Folded dimensions: 105 x 29 x 29cm
• Handle height: 103cm
Available in four colourways: Cottage Rose, Little Princess, Little Prince and Born to Rule.
The Obaby Zeal stroller bundle has an RRP of £219.99 - £349.99
On initially setting up the Obaby Zeal, it appears to be a lovely but fairly standard umbrella stroller. However, the additional boxes containing a carrycot and car seat prove that the Zeal is much more than that - an umbrella-fold that can parent-face with a newborn carrycot AND turn into a travel system by housing an infant carrier!
Once you've recovered from the wow-factor of the travel-system stroller, you can begin to absorb all the other features the Zeal has to offer. We used it daily, popping it in the car, going on school runs and cafe trips, to get to grips with how useful it really was.
The Born to Rule (light grey) colourway that we tested sits on a lightweight aluminium frame and is simple and classy in its overall look. The wheels are capped in white, which gives another 'stand out from the crowd' element. The front swivel wheels are super-nippy and designed for weaving in and out of shops and crowded spaces with ease. We pushed the Zeal on many terrains and - like most strollers and due to the wheel materials - it is clearly best suited to pavements and shopping malls. Over short grass and gravel the pushing was a bit trickier. We did also find that the white rims on the wheels marked easily if we weren't extra careful with our driving through doorways and around corners.
There is a brake pedal on both side of the pushchair; one next to each rear wheel. These pedals are quite small so we found it quite hard on occasions to press them down securely.
The fixed height handles stand at 103cm and are covered in soft foam. They are comfortable to hold and stood at a good angle whilst pushing.
The basket is deep and can probably hold quite a few belongings but in all honesty access is quite difficult from all angles. The best way to squeeze items into the storage space is through the small access holes at the sides. There is certainly no way of fitting bags or sizeable objects into the basket, but small bottles and nappies fitted okay.
The standard seat, as it comes, is nice and roomy with a strong five-point harness, which is height and length adjustable. The included footmuff fits onto the seat and the harness threads neatly through the slots to keep it in place securely. This footmuff can become a liner by zipping off the front and flipping it over onto the soft cotton side. It was great to have these options without having to shell out extra pennies for accessories. The recline on the seat is operated by a traditional squeeze lever and it can lie flat to keep babies of all ages happy and comfortable. There are four recline positions in total and we really liked the upright seating position for inquisitive toddlers to check out everything that was going on.
The hood has a handy zip-open panel, which extends the coverage to shade baby from rays. This was a great feature and we tended to have it extended pretty much all of the time. The peek-a-boo window also came in handy for peering in on baby without disturbing. When first setting up the stroller we didn't think twice about the pattern on the lining of the hood, other than to note that it was very pretty. But when we came to using the stroller we found it one of the most useful features! The pattern had our little one mesmerised and really helped keep her occupied.
The magical part of this stroller is its ability to turn into a pram. The soft carrycot was easy to set up by following the instructions in the box, taking around 10 minutes in all. Lie the pushchair seat flat and take the hood off using the squeeze clasps. Just stand the carrycot in the seat and pop the hood back on in the other direction - it really is that easy! There is a foam chock that sits between the carrycot and stroller seat, which makes sure that the carrycot lies perfectly flat and doesn't tilt. The finished product is a really sumptuous space where a newborn can nestle and be totally sheltered. The type of space that looks so cosy tired parents will wish they could jump in there themselves!
The Zeal's car seat compatibility is also fab for quick shopping trips or school runs. We were really pleasantly surprised at how firmly the car seat adapters fitted to the stroller frame - they were rock steady and felt really secure.
The fold is much like any other umbrella stroller. Pull up the handle at the back of the stroller frame and press down on the small pedal on the right. It compresses down and has an automatic lock to keep the package held together for transportation. If you want to fold when using with the carrycot you do have to remove it from the frame first, but it's just a matter of undoing a few poppers.
The wheel material may show signs of wear quite quickly and the white rims tend to mark when knocked on door frames and corners. It's also a shame that the basket space isn't very accessible but this downfall was almost overlooked in the excitement of the possibility of using the Zeal as a pram with the soft carrycot and as a travel system with the Zeal car seat and adapters.
We give the Obaby Zeal stroller bundle 4 out of 5 stars
Find out more on the Obaby website!