Founded in 1950 by Nicolaas Quint, Quinny started as a trading company for small baby products in The Hague The Netherlands. Today, Quinny is all about urban life and multicultural living. Often at the cutting edge of design, in 2009 Quinny’s black and white edition hit the streets where Quinny was the first offering all-black strollers. Quinny’s natural habitat is the city but this all terrain pushchair was designed to take the stress out of city life and beyond.
At £450, I’ve bought cheaper second hand cars than Quinny’s Buzz Xtra. But as an avid Quinny advocate I was keen to see how this one would compare to my previous steads. Like it or not, trips out are going to involve a pushchair from now on so you might as well invest in one that’s going to see you through from birth.
Watch our video review
How was it to push?
This Quinny certainly lives up to its nickname ‘the bold explorer’ and if, like us, you’re an outdoorsy family who love walking on different terrain this is definitely a model for you.
The padded seat and suspension mean your tot’s in for a comfy ride wherever you are – be it a muddy towpath or beach pebbles (pictured) – and the sturdy rain cover amply protects the passenger from both wind and rain.
At 6ft 4ins and 5ft 6ins respectively the height adjustable push bar is a must for my husband and I, and this one glides easily up and down at the touch of a button.
How was it to fold?
The Buzz Xtra folds and unfolds swiftly and easily – to fold down you do need two hands to press buttons on either side of the frame and push downwards before securing the safety catch (see video).
But to unfold it’s simply a case of unlocking the safety catch, unhooking a secondary catch around the frame and the chassis automatically unfolds, meaning you could do it while holding your baby.
The seat seems really comfortable in both sitting and horizontal positions, and you can adapt the leg rest to different angles to suit the length and position of your child. The hood comes right over the front of the seat, aiding napping while out and about particularly in the horizontal position, while also acting as an ample sun canopy on sunny days. A proper little chariot!
The from-birth inlay is a firm wedge of fabric covered polystyrene, but it has a limited life span of around three months
How’s the from-birth inlay?
I was slightly bemused with the ‘from-birth inlay’ (pictured below), and I’m not sure this is entirely necessary.
It’s basically a wedge of fabric covered polystyrene which sits in the seat raising the baby up so it can lie flat.
A friend kindly leant me her (good-sized) 7-week-old son to test this feature, but he was too big for it and sat much more comfortably and snugly in the seat itself, with the straps adjusted. If you did opt for the inlay, I think its lifespan is likely to be just a matter of weeks.
How compact is it?
The only problem – and this is really annoying when you’ve been somewhere muddy – is that we had to take both back wheels off to get the chassis in the boot of our car (a reasonably sized Peugeot 208, pictured).
This is definitely something to bear in mind when planning your next foreign holiday – I have taken our old Quinny Buzz on a plane and it wasn’t the most straightforward experience.
I’d also think twice when ‘nipping’ into town: built for the great outdoors, this model isn’t so great when you’re trying to get on and off a bus and in and out of narrow shop doorways.
It’s rather clumsy to manoeuvre in tight spaces and tends to have a mind of its own if you forget to lock the front wheel and lift it front-first up steps or onto the bus.
What about storage?
It’s worth noting that although the storage basket will hold two supermarket carrier bags of shopping, you will need it to leave the rain cover at home, as there isn’t space for both.
So you’ll probably have to forgo one of those shopping bags unless you buy the Quinny box (rrp £39.99 or much less on internet auction sites), a bag which attaches to the chassis between the two back wheels.
The basket on the Quinny Buzz Xtra is quite small and can only fit one bag and the rain cover.
How does it compare to earlier models?
As a Quinny fan there’s no question this is a more refined version of previous models – the buttons are easier to press and certain features, like the bumper bar which sits across the seat, have been improved.
The latter used to be covered with the same foamy material found on the push bar, and which I unwittingly discovered grew live cultures of mould after a summer of ice cream consumption followed by a winter in the garage. The new version is made of simple wipe-clean plastic, just the job.
But at the same time there are good features that have been taken away: there is no longer a window in the hood through which to see your baby when the pushchair is forward facing, meaning you actually have to stop and walk around to the front of the pushchair in order to check on or interact with your tot.
Is it value for money?
It’s also worth remembering that although you may have shelled out less for small car, look after your Quinny carefully and you could see some money back. A bit like a Volkswagen, it’s numerous parts can be replaced – new push bars, wheels, shopping baskets, rain covers and even Quinny logo stickers are easily available on internet auction sites – so when your days behind a pushchair are done you can spruce it up a bit, list it for sale and expect to get as much as £200 back, if not more, depending on the condition and accessories.
In the box:
Adaptors for a Maxi Cosi or Quinny carry cot
The Quinny Buzz Xtra as it comes fresh out of the box
a footmuff, which I’d definitely recommend for the winter (£60)
a cup holder (£9.99)
a parasol (£25)
How was it to assemble?
It took me around 20 minutes to build the pushchair from scratch (pictured) with the help of picture-led instructions. It was a fairly straightforward process, although I would have appreciated being told it’s necessary to take the front wheel off to attach the shopping basket before I’d actually attached the front wheel.
Having only ever used Quinny pushchairs I found the Buzz Xtra a refined, less clumsy version of previous models: it is big and sturdy and although it won’t glide through every tight space, you really can take it on all terrains. The fixtures and fittings are easier to use and operate than older versions and if, like me, you lead an active and varied lifestyle you can rely on this stroller to see you through your pushchair days.