Quinny Buzz ReviewAll stroller reviews
- Seat design and function
- Child Safety Harness
- Hood or Canopy
- Handle design and function
- Wheels and Brakes
- Fold mechanism
- Conclusion and Rating
Review by: Annabel
The Buzz is a stylish looking pram from the Netherlands based company Quinny. It comes with a host of features intended to make it as practical as it is eye-catching. The Buzz has a reversible seat, adjustable handle, swivel front wheel, adjustable footrest, and of course, a gas-spring mechanism that means it springs open by itself.
The Buzz is in many respects a great pram, however the devil is in the detail, and unfortunately the Buzz is not yet the solution to the search for the perfect pram.
Seat design and function
Seat in most upright position.
First recline position
Most upright position with seat rear facing.
Lowest seat recline in reverse position
The Buzz seat is one molded unit which means the back rest does not recline independently from the seat bottom. Instead the whole seat tilts backwards so that a child's legs are still in a sitting position even when they are lying close to horizontal.
The Quinny website states that the seat on the Buzz "reclines virtually flat, making it suitable for use from birth." The instruction booklet however clearly states that "It is recommended that you do not use the Buzz as a pushchair until your child is able to sit up unassisted, usually at around 6 months", and further "The pushchair seat should not be used with children under 6 months".
A carrycot is available for purchase separately for children under 6 months of age.
The Buzz has a large seat with a flat bottom and a good straight back so that children do not slouch back in it. The bumper is easily removed with a button on each side, and with only one button pressed the bumper opens up and/or out towards you.
It is worth making special note that when forward facing the seat has 3 recline positions, however when facing you the seat only has 2 positions, neither of which is upright.
The footrest adjusts to two positions so that younger children's legs don't dangle down. The footrest is quite short though and my 3 1/2 year old's feet dangled down well below it. Actually when he let them drop right down his feet touched the front wheel.
Buttons are located each side of the seat to both recline and remove the seat. Both buttons need to be pressed simultaneously which makes the seat impossible to recline with one hand. On my Buzz these buttons were incredibly stiff so that it would take two or three goes before I could depress them far enough to tilt or remove the seat. Each time I did change the seat position I was left with large imprints in my fingers from the pressure I had to use. I did not find this improved much after four week of use.
The same buttons are used to remove the seat unit and again I found these very stiff and difficult to use.
The seat unit was also very stiff to put back on. One side seemed to slide in ok but the other always stuck. In my struggle to get both sides in, the tilt disk on one side would move so that the slots were no longer aligned. I would have to put my finger in to depress an internal button and manually move them back into place before again attempting to get the seat on. This was a very tiresome and frustrating process.
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Child safety harness
First step to do up harness.
Like the Zapp, the Buzz harness needs to be done up in two steps. Firstly the two clips from the shoulder straps need to be slotted together to form one unit, then this is fed into the latch from the crotch strap. This is not at all hard to do however a struggling child could make the extra fiddle very frustrating.
There are two sets of slots for the over should harness to come through in order to adjust to the size of a child.
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Hood or Canopy
Hood flap buttoned up.
The Buzz has a good hood that provides decent sun protection. It has side panels a child can see through as well as a viewing window at the back with a flap that can be secured up with a buttoned tab.
There are two separate pieces of frame that run through the fabric and create the structural shape of the hood. The first sits on the outer edge of the hood fabric and the other in the middle. Both of these move independently of each other and in order to fully extend the hood you need to move both of them into position.
The thing is you can't move both at the same time. This means that to extend the hood you can pull on the front piece of frame to fully extend it, and without moving your hand you can keep yanking and the other bit gets pulled along with it.
To close the hood, however, you need to first pull the middle piece of ribbing back (which kind of drags the front piece into place) and then push the front piece back into position. This is not particularly intuitive, and my instinct was always to put my hand at the front of the hood and push it back (the opposite to how I extended it). This meant that I then needed to grab the middle bit and pull it back into place, and then push the front piece back again. This was a three step process to push back the hood!
If you do try to push the two pieces of frame at the same time you get a terrible noise that sounds like the whole thing is about to snap off.
The hood clips on and off the frame very easily and also slides up and down the frame to allow for taller children. I found however that it slipped down to the lower position very easily.
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Handle design and function
Handle height adjust button.
The handle on the Buzz easily extends by pushing in the large button in the middle of the handle and then pulling up. There are 4 different positions, and as the handle extends away as well as up, a good distance is created away from the pram for those with a longer stride.
The only problem I had with the handle is the positioning of the extension button in the middle. This is where I like to grasp a pram for maximum control when steering one handed and the button did tend to get in the way.
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Zippered storage pocket on back of seat.
The Buzz has no storage basket as such. Instead the "Buzz box" -a zippered bag, hangs off the frame down below the seat. The Buzz box is a fairly compact bag that will carry a maximum of 5kg or 11 pounds.
The Buzz Box is fairly small for a pram the size of the Buzz although it is quite handy the way it zips up and clips on and off the frame so easily. I tended to pack it with essentials like I would a nappy bag and for me it was big enough for this purpose. It doesn't leave any room for your shopping though. The pram is not particularly tippy so I was able to hang a few things off the handles when out shopping.
One problem I had with the Buzz Box is that I tended to kick it when I walked. I'm not very tall and don't have a particularly long stride but it did get in my way (I had no problems at all when it was not attached to the frame).
The other slightly annoying thing is when you fold the pram the Buzz Box rubs on the ground and can get fairly dirty. This is avoidable if you take it off the pram before folding however this adds one more step to the whole process.
As well as the Buzz Box there is a zippered storage pocket on the back of the seat. The fabric is quite firm over this area though and this pocket will only fit fairly flat objects.
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Wheels and Brakes
Front swivel wheel.
The air filled rear wheels of the Buzz are 32 cm or 12.5 inches in diameter. They have great suspension and handle uneven terrain with ease.
The front swivel wheel is hard plastic and 17cm or 6.6 inches in diameter. The suspension on this wheel is not as good and its smaller size means it can get caught in rough terrain. The pram tips back very easily however so that the rear wheels can be used to go over bumps. I found that I quickly got used to this and really enjoyed pushing the Buzz over any bumps in my path.
The front wheel can be easily locked and both the front and rear wheels are easy to remove.
The brakes are set out the same way as on the Zapp. To apply the brakes you push down on the red lever on top of the right wheel, and to release you push the grey lever on the left wheel. Unlike with the Zapp, I found the brakes never quite worked on the first attempt. I would press down on the lever and the left wheel would lock but not the right. On the second or third attempt the wheels would lock and the pram became fairly stable. The release button worked easily enough.
I suspect that I didn't quite have the right action on the brakes although after 4 weeks I would have thought that stepping on a button was straightforward enough. I certainly didn't have the same problem with the Zapp.
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Strap to hold Buzz when folded.
To fold the Buzz you need to simultaneously press buttons either side of the seat unit. Once the frame has unlocked (but before letting go of the buttons) you need to push down and forward in the direction of the front wheel. Probably the best way of doing this is to stand to the side of the pram and after unlocking the frame, keep pushing on the points where the buttons are located. If you stand behind the pram, since you have your hands on each of the fold buttons you need to use your stomach to get the fold started before you can remove your hands from the buttons.
Apart from the ungainliness of it, I have two problems with the Buzz fold. The first is that the fold buttons are very stiff and need to be pressed very firmly. If they are not completely depressed the pram makes a crunching noise which sounds like the pram is about to snap into pieces.
The second problem is the pressure needed to close the frame. Most prams fall shut and need to be lifted open. However because of the gas lift unfold the Buzz works in the opposite manner. It is not a huge effort that is needed, but it is pushing against some resistance. Furthermore the push needs to be in the right direction. Rather than pushing down you need to push forward towards the front wheel. Definitely something that takes a bit of getting used to.
One thing to note is that the Buzz will only fold when the seat is in the forward facing and upright position. If you mostly use the seat in the reverse position then it would be quicker to remove the seat and put the pram in your car as two pieces than to take the seat off, put it back on facing outwards and then adjust it so that it is upright.
Once the Buzz is folded there is a strap with fasteners on the handle that fastens through a buckle on the bottom of the frame to keep the pram closed. The Buzz does fold compactly and this makes it quite easy to lift into the car boot despite its weight.
Of course the great thing about the Buzz is not so much its fold, but its unfold. True to Quinny's claims it really does spring open by itself. Personally I'd rather pull it up and have the pram weigh 1kg less, but it certainly is a fancy touch and quite handy at times.
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ManoeuvrabilityThe Buzz is a great pram to manoeuvre. With a small child it easily steers with one hand although with a larger child this is a little bit more difficult (in part because of the placement of the handle adjust button in the middle of the handle). The wide wheel base does make it a little cumbersome at the shops but the smooth ride well makes up for this.
The Buzz really comes into its own on uneven terrain. The smaller front wheel does not always handle bumps so well, however the rear suspension is terrific and with minimal effort the pram will tip back allowing the back wheels to manage large bumps with ease. I easily climbed a flight of 10 stairs pulling the pram up on its back wheels. This seemed just as easy as taking the long trip around to the ramp.
Like the Zapp, the front wheel of the Buzz is made from hard plastic and makes quite a racket when out on the pavement. It's not the sort of sound you expect from such an expensive stroller -it's kind of like a Porsche spluttering as it goes along!
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SizeThe Buzz weighs 12kg which in my books is starting to get fairly heavy. Its compact fold does, however, make it easy to lift and I managed to get it onto a bus holding the folded Buzz in one arm and my 1 year old in the other.
At 67cm the Buzz is also a very wide pram.
The official Buzz website gives the folded dimension of the Buzz without wheels as 65 x 52 x 15cm and folded with wheels 80 x 20 x 60cm. I have emailed Quinny and they have admitted that these measurements are incorrect.
The new measurements they have given me are:
Without wheels and seat unit: 70cm length x 50cm width x 11cm height.
With seat unit and wheels: 82cm length x 67cm width x 32cm height.
These still differ from my own measurements which are:
Without wheels and seat unit: 70cm length x 60cm width x 11cm height.
With seat unit and wheels: 100cm length (footrest up) or 104cm length (footrest down) x 67cm width x 32cm height.
It might also be worth noting for those who are measuring in order to fit the Buzz into a small boot, that the folded height measurement of 32cm is without the bumper attached. It is closer to 38cm with the bumper still on the pram.
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Rain cover (included).
Car seat adaptors for Maxi Cosi seat.
The Buzz comes with the Buzz Box (storage bag), wheel pump, rain cover and car seat converter clips for the Max Cosi car seat.
Available separately is the Dreami carrycot and a footmuff.
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Summary and Rating
- Large comfortable seat unit
- Great steering and manoeuvrability
- Excellent suspension on rear wheels
- Can be folded in one piece
- Nice compact fold
- One handed gas lift unfold mechanism
- Seat unit does not sit upright when facing you
- Seat adjust/remove buttons extremely stiff to push
- Seat needs to be facing out and in upright position in order to fold pram with seat unit attached.
- Fold buttons also very stiff.
- Some effort needed to 'push' pram into folded position.
- Storage (Buzz Box) small and gets in the way of legs when walking
- Wide wheel base
- Suspension not so great on front wheel.
- Hood has strange adjust mechanism.
ConclusionOverall the Buzz is a good quality pram that looks stylish and manoeuvres well. The large back wheels and rear suspension handle rough terrain and even steps with ease while the front swivel wheel allows the Buzz to glide around on even ground. The seat, harness and hood are functional and the compact fold and gas lift unfold make the Buzz practical to use every day.
The Buzz's shortcomings are fairly minor, although they do start to add up. Quality issues such as the very stiff fold and seat adjust buttons are frustrating to deal with after paying so much for the pram. Other annoying features include the hood adjust mechanism, limited storage, and wide wheel base.
Perhaps if the Buzz didn't cost so much money the bar would not be set so high. It's a great pram, but in my books it's not the superb vehicle I expected for my $900 Australian.
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