Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Maclaren Quest Zodiac Pushchair

Little Tot may be finding his feet, but walking long distances around town or on holiday is not his favourite idea of fun! He and 20SomethingMum have been putting a Maclaren Quest Zodiac pushchair to the test at home, on trains and on a campsite to find out how it fared.

As a mum, I don't have a great track record with prams or buggies- I generally find them so impossible to fold, that they never ever get folded. As I don't drive, I don't need to fold the buggy constantly, and so have in the past had to wait for the next bus if its one that would require me to fold it.

I set Maclaren the unlikely challenge to provide a buggy suitable for travelling, meaning it needed to be lightweight, comfy for long journeys, able to attach a buggy board to, and ridiculously easy to fold even for me! It would also need to have a bit of storage for nappies, and have a seat that folded down as flat as possible for Little Tot to sleep in if needed.

They told me it was easy to provide just the right buggy, and, as they were also going to be at Camp Bestival hiring out their range for parents for free over the weekend, I was keen to see what they sent.

We tried one of their sporty lightweight buggies, the Quest Zodiac, which was personalised with Little Tots star sign. 

It definitely drew comments from people we walked past, as rather than being a plain buggy it has silver stars and moons design on the the hood and seat. Little Tot didn't complain about being in it- he usually gets bored after an hour and squirms, but the harness, although being a 5 point and ridiculously secure that even the best Mini Houdini would have no chance of escaping from it, wasn't restrictive enough as to be uncomfortable. The brake is easy to click on, and not too stiff- I managed to click it on with one foot. It also has a strong frame which didn't bend when we put a Buggy Board on for Big Tot. 

Its lightweight, and very easy to push, so when we had a few bits on board either shopping and walking up hill, or travel stuff like a big family bag with snacks, spare clothes and shoes, it didn't make a difference.

With regards folding- well, it couldn't be simpler- it folds with just a couple of clicks, and goes almost flat, and has a handy carry handle too similar to ones you find on a sports bag, and as its so lightweight you could carry it on your shoulder painlessly.

The seat, which was comfortably padded, passed the nod off test- Little Tot managed to fall asleep during a concert and slept quite cosily in it for quite a few hours! We were also sent a matching comfort pack pillow, which costs extra, but is kept in place under the childs heads by the straps of the harness. 

The rain cover- usually another cause for minor stress, went on with a few buttons presses and kept Little Tot dry with no gaps.

Even pushing up hill, over bumpy terrain and grass was a breeze for this pushchair.

I think this is probably the best pushchair we have ever owned, and its pushchair number 7 overall that we have tried in either single or double since Big Tot was born.

I can happily give the buggy a massive Family Panel Thumbs Up, and guarantee you wont find a better all rounder.

The Maclaren Quest Zodiac can be purchased at Kiddicare for £140, and comes with a Sovereign Lifetime Guarantee from Maclaren, as well as rain cover included. Extras like the personalised Comfort Pack and Footmuffs are available separately starting at £12.

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