I can honestly say I've been looking forward to reviewing the Quinny Senzz since winning the Dorel challenge at the Harrogate show which involved folding and unfolding the Senzz at speed. Now I get a chance to take a closer look at what the Senzz really has to offer.
Dutch pushchair manufacturer, Quinny, is not a prolific producer of new models, but when they do release a pushchair you can be sure it has been well designed and is likely to stand the test of time. For instance the popular Buzz is improved every year and has some iconic colourways that really carve individuality out from the usual, everyday, run-of-the-mill colours. Will the Senzz keep Quinny at the top of their game?
Well, the Senzz is a front facing pushchair that hits the middle ground inbetween the Buzz and the Zapp. It's not the super-lux but relatively bulky Buzz (RRP £395) and it's not the nippy, quick-trip stroller that is the Zapp Xtra (RRP £225). This middle ground was initially a confusing place for me, but on further inspection, I see a place for the Senzz, predominantly because of its fold and it's versatility.
What's in the Box
The RRP of the Quinny Senzz is £255
Unique is the word that sums up the frame - I have not seen this type of fold in any other pushchair. It's fabulous when you get there, but the execution of this fold is not an instant knowledge. The buttons to start the process are apparent; a safety catch along the left side of the frame and the squeeze button in the handle, break the frame at the join – it's after that where most newbies will get stuck as it doesn't seem to want to move.
The ‘knack' lies in lifting and tilting the chair onto its front wheels, you can then see the pushchair concertina in front of you. It takes a couple of attempts before this becomes achievable and a few more before you can assume that you've ‘got it'!
An automatic latch keeps the pushchair shut in this 71cm tall x 62cm wide x 20cm deep configuration. Folded, it stands independently or can be easily transported via the carry handle that is concealed under the calf rest (it becomes obvious when the pushchair is folded). At only 8.4kg it is easy and comfortable to lift or convey. To open, simply unclip the latch and shake out (like a duvet) and you are ready to go.
The handle is not height adjustable but does come up to a whopping 103cm tall, which combined with the elimination of a back axle gives taller parents the room they need to push comfortably. Gripping the rubber coated metal handle too firmly will result in sore palms after prolonged use, the flat rectangle shape of the tubular frame isn't very sympathetic to ‘Fairy-soft' hands.
Being an urban stroller/pushchair the Quinny Senzz's wheels are quite small, the front and the back being only 15cms diameter. The front swivel can be locked when traversing rough ground, but it is definitely not an ‘off-roader'.
The brake is controlled by two, one-touch buttons; the right applies - the left releases, possible to achieve barefoot, let alone in flip-flops. The waffle weave basket is very shallow with little headroom for shopping, it would struggle to fit a whole bag.
The seat can be detached from the frame but you would only do this to attach a carrycot or car seat to complete the travel system. A latch on the back of the seat can be unclipped allowing it to be lifted off This compact unit can then be stowed until you are ready to use it. Otherwise the seat remains in place, like a stroller.
The only downside to this pushchair is that it doesn't have a parent facing mode, which, for many parents is still one of their requirements even when their child has reached the optimum 6 months. However the forward facing seat has all the perks in the recline of the Buzz - a handle at the top of seat gives you complete control over the three positions.
The fabric is soft and slightly plasticised to make it easy to wipe down. The toddler proof, five-point harness has shoulder padding matching the chair. The canopy is average in size with a viewing window to see your child when laying down. It won't provide a great deal of protection from drafts even with the windstoppers included in the package, there is plenty of room between the canopy and the seat.
The seat is ample in size with enough room to accommodate the largest children. The base is 35cms wide by 25cms deep and the back height reaches 45cms! An average four year old would not be uncomfortable in the Senzz.
What I love about the Senzz is the fact that it has all the versatility of a stroller but the added perks of a larger, more expensive model.
Compared to the Buzz; it matches in recline and comfort, it's cheaper and folds smaller. On the downside, it doesn't have a parent facing option and the colour range is limited.
Compared to the Zapp Xtra; is not a two unit stroller thus more compact when folded, it takes a carrycot and it compares well in price - Zapp Xtra £225 vs Senzz £255.
It I don't like the rectangular shape of the handle or the shallow basket but you have to bear in mind that these downsides contribute to the excellent fold which can be a little tricky to master however it's compact and light when you get there.
It seems the Quinny Senzz is a mixture of compromises; any dislikes can be outweighed by the finished fold and the price, both of which are very appealing.