One of the things I was worried about when it came to having 2 children was the pushchair situation. Piglet is at that awkward in between stage where he can walk quite far, and wants to walk too, but often it is too far or he’s too slow or it’s simply not safe to have him running free. Team that with a baby that quite likes to be carried and I had visions of pushing around an empty double pram with one child strapped to my chest and the other running wild.
Maxi-Cosi released the Zelia in November 2017 and I was quite excited as it seemed that it may just fit the bill for me. The Zelia is designed to suit your baby from birth up to around 3.5 years old (15kg). It has a 2-in-1 seat unit which allows you to swap from carrycot to seat with just a few clicks, and can fold down in one if you like, or two if you prefer. Weighing only 9.6kg it is definitely on the lighter end of the pushchair scale, and is suitable for use with Maxi-Cosi car seats. Retailing at around £260 it is a lot more affordable that many of the travel systems out there, so I was looking forward to seeing how it worked in practice.
My first impressions were really good. I managed to get the Zelia all set up within about 10 minutes, even in our over crowded spare bedroom. It didn’t take me long to work out how to get it up and down and make the change from carrycot to seat. I found using the pram very intuitive and, although I have had over 2 years of practice with pushchairs by this point, I am confident even a first time parent would be able to get to grips with it in no time at all.
Our first outing with the Zelia was to Stonehaven, where my mum, Piggie, JJ and I wanted to go for a walk. I was also road testing a car that day which had an exceptionally small boot – the last thing you need with young children – but thanks to how small the Zelia folds I was able to fit it in quite comfortably and even got the changing bag in too.
I used the carry cot set-up first, as of course Piglet was keen to get running on the beach. If you were using the Zelia for just one child you would remove the straps to make it as flat as comfortable, however I was keen to have the option to pop Piglet in later so I left them in but lay a blanket over them so it would be comfortable for JJ. He seemed quite happy with that set up and it didn’t take him long to dose off.
As the carrycot becomes the seat unit later, I found it had plenty space for JJ. Despite his early arrival, he is quite big but there was plenty space for him to stretch out and I think he’ll continue to get use of it in that set up for a while yet.
The front wheels of the Zelia can either be locked in a forward position, or a quick flick of a switch on each one allows them to swivel for rougher terrains. The boardwalk along the edge of the beach is a bit bumpy, so I allowed the wheels to swivel and turn as much as the needed and the result was a relatively smooth ride for JJ. Although it handled the slightly uneven terrain, the Zelia is described as an urban pushchair and it is not designed for a lot of off-road action so that is something to bare in mind if you like to go on more adventurous walks.
Piglet mostly played on the beach with Granny, but when he came back to me I found it really quick to adjust the height of the handle on the Zelia down so that he can be a good big brother and push it with me. We reached the harbour and watched the boats while big black clouds rolled over us. Keen to avoid the rain, I took JJ out of the pram and Granny got him in to the carrier to walk back. I changed the carrycot in to a seat so that I could get Piglet back sharpish.
Even next to the waters edge and having to keep a close eye on a roaming Piglet I was able to make the change really quickly. There are 2 sets of clips to fasten, and then you simple rotate the seat more upright and it’s done. You can use it either parent facing or forward facing, however it’s worth noting that the Zelia can only be folded in 1 piece if the seat is in the forward facing position.
Piglet is 2 and a half years old and weighs around 14kg. Although he was below the maximum weight for the pushchair he was physically a bit too big for it. Although he technically fit in to the seat, the straps were too far down for him even in their highest position. I wouldn’t say he is exceptionally tall for his age so I would have to say that the estimated maximum age of 3 and a half was a bit optimistic of Maxi-Cosi. That said – he didn’t let it stop him from getting comfortable and by the time we had legged it back to the car to seek shelter in a cafe he was just about asleep.
Would I recommend it?
All things considered, I absolutely would. For city living it ticks all the boxes for me and I much prefer it to the more expensive pram I used with Piglet. I like the option to fold it in 1 or 2 pieces, the conversion from carrycot to seat and the good size of the basket underneath for all the bits and pieces I seem to end up taking out with us.
The price is a huge bonus and is well below many other travel systems on the market, while still boasting many of the same features. Although it doesn’t quite fit my ideal, I would definitely recommend any new parents consider it for their baby. It looks good, is easy to use and is affordable – you can’t ask for more than that!
I was given a Maxi-Cosi Zelia for the purposes of carrying out an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.
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