Archive for July, 2009

Review : The Quinny Buzz Travel System

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

The Quinny Buzz (RRP £ 375) is a fairly stylish piece of kit, you can really tell somebody put some thought into the looks. It’s available in a variety of funky colours (but we went with black, it goes with anything) and has nicely rounded edges.

As a pushchair / stroller / travel system that’s suitable from birth it’s pretty good. It’s sturdy and stable despite its three wheels and its big wheels mean it’s pretty handy off road too. It handles cobbles and gravel without any problems. It’s surprisingly light and you can carry it or man-handle it up steps without too much difficulty.

The straps mean baby is always nice and secure (although ours decided that the padding on these is ideally placed to suck or vomit on). Our little one seems content to fall asleep in the Buzz most of the time, which is probably a high piece of praise…

It’s a light frame and the gas-pressure system makes it easy to unfold. However, it is more bulky than it looks (largely from the wide base and wheels), meaning it can get a bit stuck in confined spaces and requires some disassembly to get in an average size car boot. You won’t be visiting cute oldy worldy shops in it, well, we did and it was an utter pain. Similarly the wide base can make for interesting escapades on trains or in busy public places. Mind out for any stacked displays of goods as you go past too…

The fact that it’s quite expensive and that you then have to pay for extras is the most irksome thing about the Buzz. Car seat and parasol aren’t cheap, and having to pay for the under-slung shopping bag is a cheek – the rear-attaching bag it comes with barely holds the rain cover. Basically the manufacturers make the cash off in two phases, initial purchase and “actually we do need”.

Speaking of the parasol, the hood for the push chair doesn’t cover much, so it’s useful to get the parasol. However the parasol for the Buzz, is a bit inflexible, and you end up having to constantly realign or reattach it if your aim is to actually keep the baby out of the sun.

The Buzz does offer a lot of flexibility though. Your child can face you or face the wide world and as they grow can be sat at different angles, the Buzz can be a pram or more of a pushchair. There’s room for growth with the differing sizes of internal padding and movable footrest, so it’ll last a while. You can also slot in your Maxi-Cosi car seat or a carry cot (though these are, yup, extra).

Overall : The fact that five months in we’re keen to move to a lighter option probably says a lot. It’s a solid and good looking design, but it loses out in some of the practicalities.

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Books for New Dads that don’t Suck : Part 1

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

So, you’ve just discovered you’re due to be a dad. Hurrah! It’s great, if a little daunting, isn’t it? Now if like me your instant reaction was, “I have no idea how this works, I know I’ll get a book!” then you may be looking for a book for new dads.

Unfortunately there’s a problem there, a lot of the info aimed at men isn’t good.

I bemoaned this fact to my partner and she discovered and purchased a copy of Fatherhood: The Truth for me.

I was really pleasantly surprised by it. It’s an honest, thoughtful and funny book about the ups, downs and highlights of fatherhood. What’s nice about it is it isn’t afraid to show the bad stuff, multifaceted worries and doubts. It’s got a nice dry line in humour and a tone that suited me as a cynical optimist. Of course if you’re a new dad, then chapter one is probably the most relevant, but you can read ahead to know what awaits you…

So that’s my recommendation. What books helped you?

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