The Zapp was brought to market as the smallest folded pushchair available. It’s what made me buy one. I liked the idea that you could put it in a bag and get on a plane with it. (In actual fact I’ve never been allowed to just walk it on the plane: I suspect I needed to be holding a First Class ticket to do that.) I much preferred it in terms of design to the cheaper Petit Star Zia, though an obvious shortfall was the inability of the Zapp to recline. Fast forward a few years and I am now a Quinnycaster, gifted with my very own new model Zapp Xtra and tasked with putting it through its paces. For me, this meant two things in particular: firstly to see how the new model compared to the old, to check out the fabulous Quinny design elements that make the Zapp stand out and secondly to compare the new fully-reclinable model with the Petite Star Zia. Unfortunately I never got a response from Zia HQ so my second wish will have to wait a touch longer. I can, however, put the Zapps back-to-back on a platter for you to enjoy.
For clarity, the Green Zapp in these pictures is the original design, circa 2009. The Red Zapp is the feisty Xtra with new design features, circa 2010.
Fold: you can see from the folded frames that there is very little difference between Zapp and Xtra. The Xtra has a second piece: the seat of the pushchair, which enables the recline function but which really takes away from the small and simple design.
Basket: a fabulous addition to the new Xtra is the basket, which clips on quite simply to the frame. I assume that this can be bought by Zapp owners to fit existing pushchairs. It’s small as far as baskets go, but it does hold the raincover when not in use, folds up with the frame and is jolly useful for day to day buts and bobs of shopping, though not your big family shop.
Hood: because Quinny have designed an entirely separate seat, they have made some adjustments to the hood, which now functions much better than the old one. It feels more rigid when up, gives better coverage, even before you unfold the newly added sun-shade, and doesn’t fold back on itself as the older one does. The sunshade, which folds forward from the hood, is a really super addition that a lot of pushchairs have now. They really make a difference when screening your child’s eyes from the low-lying sun. They’ve taken away the viewing panel in the hood but that’s something I never really used anyway.
Footrest: another major design change for the better in my opinion. I just love the pop-in pop-out footrest. It means better feet-resting for children whether big or small.
Straps: these are easier to remove and adjust in the Xtra, good because when you added the footmuff to the Zapp it got jolly hard to be able to do the straps up at all. The padding also has a popper that snaps them onto the straps which means that the shoulder pads don’t slide down, leaving your child’s neck to be rubbed by the straps.
Raincover: another element that has benefitted from a redesign, this feels much more robust, actually stays attached to the pushchair and even covers the whole of the frame unlike the Zapp original which is, quite frankly, not good enough.
Seat: There’s not much to say about the Zapp, since it’s a seat that does what it should: allows children to sit in it. The new seat is of course better by definition, because it is both forward and rear facing and has a total of five recline positions. Frankly, I don’t think this is needed, and I don’t know that I have found the parent-facing function a necessity either. It comes down to what you want your pushchair to do.
Overall: The Zapp is a good pushchair. The Zapp Xtra is better. It feels more solid, more robust, and didn’t trip even when empty and loaded with coats whilst we sat eating at Pizza Express. It has a better hood, better raincover, better footrest. Even the fabric feels somehow more expensive and worthy, though that may just be because it’s late and I’m tired. It really is a much-improved version of the original. The one area it falls short on is size: by creating a two-part pushchair with multi-recline, Quinny have taken a big gamble. Do you want recline or do you want a teeny tiny pushchair?
That said, I’d take the new over the old every time: there are so many other things that are better. I think that they could have done something about the handles which, though a nice shape, are uncomfortable when using for a while on both models. I think they could revisit the recline question and come up with another alternative. But I think that they make yummy pushchairs. I also think that Petite Star Zia should let me borrow one of their pushchairs for a day, so if you know anyone who might be able to help, get in touch!
Disclosure: I am a Quinnycaster and have been given a Zapp to roadtest and review. For further information, please see the Quinnycaster link on my sidebar or go to the Quinnycasters website.