Good looking and at a price small enough to make you look twice, the Obaby ZeZu Pramette travel system offers you the benefits of a travel system, minus the need for a carrycot. But it has niggles you need to be aware of.
The search for the perfect baby transport solution can be a nightmare, juggling the need for safety, style, comfort, flexibility and, of course, cost. It’s particularly tough for a first-time mum who doesn’t know what her little bundle will need nine months down the line. The Obaby ZeZu Pramette travel system certainly seems to be the answer, but can one product really do so much for so many? The answer is, “Well, nearly.”
The Obaby ZeZu Pramette bounded onto the market at the end of 2008 seeming to offer sexy good looks on a par with the Quinny, Bugaboo or i-Candy combined with clever design that meets the needs of a fragile newborn as well as a boisterous toddler. It even has a wrist strap so sporty mum can feel safe using it. Plus, at only £350 (£279.99 for the stroller and £69.99 for the car seat), it claims to beat similar travel systems hands-down on price. It can transform from pram to stroller, and the additional easy click car seat turns it into a travel system.
Obaby are justifiably proud of the crafty design – it allows you to have all the above without needing a separate carrycot yet and can still fold up reasonably small. But this isn’t quite the magic wand of travel systems. It does tick many boxes, but, as with all compromises, some features fall short of perfect.
What we love
I was very excited to unpack the box and promised 7-week-old Cormac a new, improved outing experience shortly.
He was delighted not to have to wait too long for the ZeZu to be up and running. Even without detailed instructions, going from packed cardboard box to working travel system is swift and logical.
Being a nosey sort of chap Cormac was delighted to be parent-facing and, in stroller mode, for the ability to change his angle simply and smoothly.
The ZeZu’s big plus is its flexibility allowing the pram to easily convert to a stroller and be used in either direction. The handles are also a doddle to adjust giving a comfortable ‘push’ while the pneumatic wheels gave Cormac a well-sprung ride, even at the hands of his 7 and 9-year-old brothers.
It certainly feels like a more expensive piece of equipment with both a sturdy, positive feel and intelligent features, such as a viewing window in the hood and a clip to lock the frame shut while folded.
As our usual trip is a trek to school where I don’t take a bag or, if I’m lucky, a coat, the best feature for me was the pocket in the hood for my phone and keys.
What to watch out for
Here’s where your mum’s saying about not being able to have your cake and eat it starts to ring true. The Obaby ZeZu Pramette travel system has a few fairly significant niggles.
Cormac at 7 weeks is a fairly sturdy chap, but his head was wobbling around considerably even on a flat pavement. We solved this by stuffing a rolled-up blanket around him, but that detracted somewhat from the sleek good looks.
Head-wobble was also the trouble with the car seat – this time its angle when strapped in meant the little fellow spent much of his first journey with his face lolling forward onto his chest.
The ZeZu does fold up fairly small, that’s true, but only if you take off the wheels and the bumper bar each time. They’re easy to use and not a big chore, but I found it irritating after just a few trips out.
The other irritation – and this only took two outings and a broken nail to join the list – is the fiddly safety strap that requires posting clips through stiff fabric openings every time you use it. Grr.
Who is Obaby ZeZu Pramette travel system best for?
Cash-conscious new mums who wants multitasking equipment that still looks good.
The Obaby ZeZu Pramette travel system offers an excellent price and versatility without compromising on looks. If you don’t mind head-wobble, infuriating straps and deconstructing it with every fold-down, this travel system could a budget-conscious option worth considering.