After 12 years in the business there isn’t much Obaby doesn’t make.
The British nursery brand has everything from buggies, baby furniture and car seats to highchairs, changing bags and travel cots.
Part of its latest catalogue is the Chase 3 wheeler ZigZag travel system. Like the iCandy Peach 3, Jané Epic & Matrix travel system or Cosatto Giggle 2 New Wave, the compact Chase converts from a carrycot to a parent and world-facing stroller in seconds. And it’s designed to be the only buggy you’ll need from birth well into toddlerhood.
Unfortunately the review didn’t get off to the greatest start as we discovered one of the carrycot adaptors was faulty. But on contacting Obaby customer service, which was great, we received new ones the next day without quibble. Hiccup over, we found the new adaptors worked perfectly.
The Obaby Chase is sold around its pneumatic fold system, tell us about it.
I love it. The chassis practically folds and unfolds by itself you simply press a button, lift a lever, and then give it a quick push or pull to open or close it. There’s not even any swearing involved!
The Chase is also sold on its ability to convert easily from a carrycot model to a seated stroller, is that true?
It took just seconds to switch between the two modes thanks to the easy to use click-in-and-out adaptors. It also comes with car seat adaptors that make it equally easy to place your carseat (either a Maxi Cosi or an Obaby brand model) on the chassis too.
Tell us about the carrycot?
It’s a generous length (approx 78cm inside), my four-month-old daughter fitted comfortably with room to spare. In fact, she liked the padded mattress so much, she slept in it happily within five minutes of our first outing.
The carrycot hood offers ample cover from sun and showers, although it only has two positions, fully up or fully down.
I particularly like the well-fitting rain cover, which has a clever central zip for easy access – perfect for checking or soothing your baby on the go without taking the whole thing off.
What about the seat unit?
I tested the seat unit with my three-year-old toddler. He’s a bit on the tall side, and at the optimum age recommended for the buggy, but he did fit into the seat – although it was a snug fit.
But this shows the stroller lives up to its promise of lasting the first three years of your child’s life.
He liked the adjustable leg rest and found the chest straps with shoulder pads made the five-point harness more comfortable than his usual Maclaren.
The bumper can be quickly removed at a click of a button, and the hood came down well over my toddler’s face (helpful when you’re trying to get your little one to sleep).
However the biggest stand-out feature is the fact the seat is fully reclinable – going almost flat in both forward and rear-facing modes.
Is it easy to push?
Yes, it really is. I usually use a Bugaboo Bee, and I’ve always found other buggies to be sluggish in comparison. But the Chase was surprisingly lightweight and could turn on a dime, even in carrycot mode.
This is in part thanks to the swivelling front wheel – a real bonus in London where people, dogs and cars can come out of nowhere.
Does it fare well on different terrains?
Yes, we tested the Chase on both city streets and in the park, and it handled them all admirably.
Saying that, the carrycot felt a little see-saw like without a child in, but once my baby was snuggled inside to weigh it down, it wasn’t too bouncy over cobbles or heavy-going on grass.
The chunky wheels also made bouncing down steps and high kerbs a breeze, although the fairly low basket will get scuffed.
Size-wise it can’t squeeze down the narrow aisle of a bus, but it will fit neatly through the middle doors and park neatly in the area reserved for buggies (and as any parent knows, anything that helps avoid disapproving stares from other passengers is a bonus!)
Tell us about the brakes.
Situated on the rear right-hand wheel, the single foot-operated brake was actually my least favourite part of the Chase.
While it stopped the stroller firmly in its tracks, it is fairly small, meaning that it was easy to put on, but tricky to take off.
And I often need a couple of attempts to release it, especially on softer surfaces. A larger foot pedal wouldn’t go amiss.
How’s the Chase 3 wheeler ZigZag weight?
At 10.3kg the aluminium frame makes it lighter than many similar models, and I was able to carry it over short distances (such as the steps leading up to my house) on my own. But it’s not as light as my Bugaboo Bee or other ‘lightweight’ pushchairs on the market.
How easy it is to store?
Very. Folded down, the chassis is around 81x48x40cm. We have a smallish Honda Jazz, and the Chase (chassis plus either the carrycot or seat) fitted neatly inside with room to spare. The carrycot can fold completely flat, but this is a bit of a faff, so you’d probably only want to bother doing this for long journeys or holidays.
What is the basket like?
The basket is perhaps the biggest drawback. The three-wheeled design means there’s not a lot of room left underneath the chassis for storage.
Obaby have obviously tried their best – there’s a round basket (that fits the ‘pompom’ style free changing bag) plus a slip-in bag-style basket at the back.
But you’ll need to clip on an extra buggy bag to store more than the bare essentials.
Is it durable?
In my opinion, yes. With the possible exception of the brake, it feels sturdy and well-made, and at around £399.99, you get a lot for your money.
As my toddler showed, the stroller should comfortably accommodate your little one for well over three years.
What’s in the box?
- Stroller seat
- Carrycot adaptors
- Maxi Cosi car seat adaptors
- Grab bar
- Changing bag
- Head hugger and shoulder pads
- Two-way fleece footmuff
Any additional extras?
- Obaby 0+ car seat with adaptors
- Obaby Isofix base
How easy is it to assemble?
Thanks to the refreshingly comprehensive instructions, the Chase chassis took just eight minutes to assemble, and we were ready to hit the road in well under half an hour.
“An easy-to-use, versatile, good value birth-to-toddler travel solution with both designer looks and innovative features