October 5, 2006

Super-folding Quicksmart Stroller Spotted In Maine

quicksmart_backpack_stroller.jpgWe generally give the Baby Industrial Complex a thorough drubbing around here, but when they get a product right, I'm happy to give it the credit it deserves. In such cases, we then redirect our drub toward the siloed bureaucracies that keep said decent product beyond our grasp.

Exhibit 1: the Quicksmart Backpack Stroller, which is sold in Australia by Safety 1st. [S1 is, of course, part of Dorel (TSX: DII.A, DII.B, NASDAQ: DIIB), along with Quinny, Cosco, Maxi-Cosi, and Bebe Confort].

All the innovation that didn't go into the Backpack Stroller's name went into its design; introduced around 2004, the BS [umm...] is a tiny, three-wheeled marvel that folds in seconds into a little backpack that rivalled the Dorel/Quinny Zapp for folded smallness. [It also rivals those $9 pieces of junk at the drugstore for hilariously useless canopies; or maybe it's really a magazine rack that happens to provide a little shade.]

There's also a four-wheeled model called the Easy Fold. [a vestige of the earlier working title for the Backpack: the Not-So-Easy Fold. Watch the Transformer-worthy, animated folding sequence to see what I mean.] It's small and light, not backpack-small, but still.

Anyway, a couple of folks have emailed about the Quicksmart over the last year or so [shoutout to Mark & Antoine], but then yesterday, DT reader Gretchen dropped a bomb: one strollerhound must have used his one carry-on bag limit for that 22-hr Qantas flight home, because she spotted a Quicksmart at a playgroup stroller parking lot in Bangor, Maine. USA.

Considering the 3-to-4 wheel redesign the Zapp is getting in order to come to the US someday, I doubt Dorel's even considering bringing the current Backpack to the US. Start your transglobal, indemnity-waiver-signing smuggling operations...now.

Quicksmart Backpack Stroller is $AU99 [$US75!], while the Easy Fold is $AU160 [$US120!]
Don't forget that Backpack folding animation [quicksmartideas.com.au]


Hmmmm, "6 easy steps" to fold the backback stroller? That is 4 more than the Quinny Zapp (and the steps on the video looked pretty elaborate, whereas the Zapp folding is 2 simple motions). And the backpack it fits in isn't the nice tailored case the Zapp comes with, and looks pretty bulky.

Sound like I'm biased much?

[sure. meanwhile, do I sound unburdened by the likelihood that I'll ever even see one of these in person, much less buy one? I better put a "FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY" disclaimer on these posts. -ed.]

I saw one of these in Austria yesterday.
A dad of average height was pushing it and he had to walk hunched over like Quasimodo.

Not a cool product.

[another good point, thnx. I've been thinking about that 6-step fold vs the Zapp, and even though this rig is half the price, it's the kind of thing that could get annoying and burn through that warm feeling of 'Hey, I saved $75!' pretty quick -ed.]

Here is another light weight stroller. Its by bebe confort.

The Bebe Confort Vit:
" The cool-looking Vit has a revolutionary one-hand umbrella fold utilising a central shaft. This results in all the (sometimes dirty) wheels folding to one end. The stylish D shaped handle bar also enables one-hand steering."

Suitable from 6 months
Single recline position
Adjustable handle height positions
Assembled dimensions: 105H*75L*52W
Folded dimensions: 91-106H**4L*45W
Weight 4kg


[thanks ana. also a Dorel product, and at 2x as expensive as the Quicksmart, there's one for every price point, if not every mkt -ed.]

I know it's not a backpack stroller, but I'd call my miaModa Cielo a briefcase stroller. I drive a sedan and needed something compact to keep in the car. Plus, it'll be perfect for flights in the overhead. The Cielo is sturdy, which is what the backpack styles were lacking for me. It's got style, you can choose the fabric pattern and it's quality. The miaModa website is miamodainc.com. Check 'em out.

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