Sleek, modern, space rocket silver AND designed in Paris—how could […]
Sleek, modern, space rocket silver AND designed in Paris—how could I not be excited to receive the Bloom Zen and Yoga?! They just became available in the US so I couldn’t wait to try them.
The Bloom Zen is full-size stroller whose compact fold is the smallest in the world. If you could see my trunk, then you would know how important this is. The Bloom Yoga is a bassinet, bouncer and stroller cradle in one little silver package. It folds and zips into its own carrying case—perfect for trips to visit grandparents.
The Zen stroller and Yoga newborn nest are sold separately but work together brilliantly. Both come in a very attractive silver and black color combination called monochrome.
However, if you want sleek, modern style you have to work for it. The stroller comes with the frame assembled; you add the seat, seat cushions, basket, harness and canopy. Simple enough, right? No. Assembly was far from intuitive—and this is coming from someone who has put together her fair share of IKEA furniture! I’m not saying you need to be a member of MENSA, however you do need a little patience to make sense of the arrow-heavy illustrations. The Yoga was a little less complicated to assemble. You should definitely read the instructions for both.
Learning to fold and unfold the Zen correctly took several tries. It is not a one-handed maneuver as it requires you to flip the entire stroller. The manual recommends holding the frame at a 30 degree angle for the best leverage. Once folded, it stands well on its own and even rolls. Unfortunately, it only rolls straight, so I can’t see myself rolling it far or taking it around too many corners. The Yoga folds and zips up well. It even has a handle for easy transport. With practice, I was able to open and fold the stroller with confidence (even the flip!) and attach the Yoga to the Zen with ease.
The Zen reclines into two positions by unzipping the backrest. Likewise, the Yoga repositions with zippers quickly and easily. I used the Zen with the Yoga attached most of the time because my newborn likes to sleep in the nest during walks. She appreciates the gentle, womb-like jostling these wheels deliver. The large canopy and cradle cover were perfect for wind and sun protection. The Zen handled well on a variety of surfaces from grass to cobblestone to sandy gravel paths. I found it rolled easily and smoothly even at a faster pace. I also noticed that my foot never hit the stroller like it does with others I have used. I have a long stride and continuously kicking the stroller basket can be annoying, not to mention dangerous. The manual does warn that the stroller is not suitable for running, which is not a problem because neither am I. The Zen can safely hold a child from newborn to 44 pounds and the Yoga up to 20 pounds. My newborn fit securely with the padded harnesses.
One of the best features of the stroller is the solar-powered LED headlight. Yes, a headlight on a stroller. For walks at dusk and into the night, the light works like a charm. The driving light stays on and the warning light flashes. The lights are operated by two buttons on the handlebar and the pictures match the headlight and hazard icons in most vehicles. Useful accessories such as a car seat adapter and rain cover are available separately.
If I could add anything it would be casters for maneuverability while folded. Also, I would add a cup holder. This is an $800 stroller and there is no cup holder! If baby and I are out enjoying the Zen and its awesome headlight well into the evening, shouldn’t I be able to have a sip of green tea?
Overall, I am impressed with both products. They are attractive and well made. While the operation is not entirely intuitive, the design is thoughtful and efficient which I think is more important in this case. I would recommend it for modern style, compact folding and the solar-powered headlight! If you need a sturdy yet sleek European travel system, the Bloom Zen and Yoga may be exactly what you’re looking for.
To buy: giggle.com