Our Walk on the Stroller Side wraps up today with reviews of the The Quinny Buzz stroller, the Brooks Pond Buggy Blanket and the Stroll Away.
By Maura Keating
The Quinny Buzz is a thing of beauty. There’s nothing extra. There’s no fabric that sags or bunches, nothing to distract you from a gorgeous stroller and the extra-gorgeous Baby inside. This is a stroller with great lines and a fabulous look. Heads will turn. The Buzz offers a smooth 3-wheeled ride in almost every terrain, from the beach to the mall. The pneumatic tires and front and back wheel suspension are fabulous on bumpy city streets and make hopping curbs a breeze. This stroller truly can “turn on a dime.” To entertain my son, I often drive my stroller like a race car. This is the first stroller that responds like a race car.
The Buzz features a gas spring that powers an automatic unfold. It’s pretty cool, kinda like magic, and makes for a great party trick. Simply unhook the safety strap (that keeps the Buzz from unfolding magically in your car) and give the handlebar a little tap with one hand (no magic wand necessary) and the Buzz springs into being. Whenever I launched the Buzz in public, I was tempted to include a little flourish or “Ta Da!” What every stroller really needs is an automatic fold and the Buzz doesn’t have one of those …yet. To fold, the Buzz requires both hands and a bit of effort, but once you’ve done it a few times, the fold gets easier and you get used to the crunching noise that sounds like you’re breaking the stroller. (Don’t worry, you’re not.) The Buzz folds very compactly without the wheels. I am too lazy to remove wheels, so the Buzz takes up most of my trunk. Since it has a low profile, I can still pile plenty of groceries on top of the stroller. It fits well in the closet, but requires its own dedicated floor space.
The telescoping handle is easy to adjust with a button in the middle of the lightly foam-padded handlebar. The handle is a straight 45 (ish) degree angle, making it hard to stash a diaper bag on the handle bars (and not recommended in the manual, anyway). The safety straps are easy to adjust, but a bit of a pain in every day use with a toddler. The Buzz requires that you align the left and right strap buckles together first before connecting them into the center buckle. Several testers found this could be a problem with a less than willing rider. I liked the Buzz brake system–press the red brake with your foot on the left to brake, press the grey brake on the right to release. My husband (and another male tester) had problems with the brakes at first, but only because they weren’t depressing the brake all of the way down.
The Buzz comes standard with a rain cover and a windscreen. I had never tried a rain cover with a stroller before (I prefer to use baby carriers and umbrellas in stormy weather), but my son thought that the rain cover was nifty. He loved watching the rain bead up on the outside and I loved that the rain cover fit the stroller perfectly. It was easy to attach and easy to get my son in AND out of the stroller with the cover attached. An adapter can be used to attach a Maxi-Cosi car seat or a Quinny Dreami carrycot, neither of which we tested. The detachable sun canopy is of average size and provided enough coverage on a standard walk. When my son naps in a stroller, he prefers the top down, so I had to cover the Buzz with a blanket to compensate–a problem if it’s windy. A little window at the top enables you to check in while you’re walking and two vents on the side keep air circulating.
The Buzz seat can be removed to face backward, as well as forward. This feature is ideal for infants who are more interested than you than the outside world or for toddlers who like to mix it up. The Buzz’s seat adjusts to two positions: the standard sit and a semi-reclined sit. Because the toddler seat is one piece, the entire seat reclines backward, elevating a child’s legs. The recline was too slight for some testers and their napper’s preferences. The seat fabric reminds me of a Wet Suit fabric. It is strong with a little give to it and seems durable. I would be a little worried that the seat might be hot in the summer, but we didn’t have a chance to test above 80 degrees. According to the Quinny web site, the seat fabric is machine washable on a hand washing cycle. Since our washing machine predates this feature, I hand washed the seat with good results. The Buzz’s storage basket is on the smaller side and shallow. I found that I needed to keep a bag under the stroller or packages and smaller bags would fall out of the basket.
The Buzz stroller is recommended only for children above six months, or until a child is sitting independently. Quinny recommends pairing the Buzz with the Dreami Carrycot (bassinet) or the Maxi-Cosi car seat for younger children (both sold separately). I found this requirement strange since even if you buy the optional carrycot for a younger child, the child might theoretically grow out of the Carrycot before the child is ready for the standard seat.
The Quinny Buzz stirs up excitement wherever it goes and lives up most of its hype. With its unique look and great tricks like a one handed unfold and superior steering, you’ll be showing off your stroller as much as the Baby riding inside.
The Quinny Buzz, $549.99. To find a Quinny stroller near you, click on the “Where to buy” link at www.quinny.com.
Will It Fit In My Car*?: Folded Dimensions: 65x52x15 cm (without wheels), 80x20x60cm (with wheels); Stroller Weight: 26.4 lbs.
Age & Weight Requirements: For children 6 mos. to 4 years and up to 50 lbs.
Color Palette: Black, Sulpher, Capri, Pink or Juice.
* Information provided by manufacturer
DEAL: Mod Mama is offering free shipping for the Quinny Buzz. Mention KIDOINFO to receive discount. Expiration date is May 31, 2008
locally: 16 S. Angell Street, Providence, RI