I’ve never been keen on the idea of spending a lot of money on prams. The idea of shelling out nearly £1,000 for a travel system makes me feel a little bit ill – although I appreciate for some people the pram is a massive deal. For me I’d rather spend that on, well, everything. If you take into account £300 odd on a car seat you can get most if not all the other things you need with the rest of that grand.
So when it came to choosing a pram for Alexandra we firstly used a second hand Hauck system (from good friends so we knew it was fine!) and then we purchased a Joie Nitro which has never let us down. It’s still going strong, we use it now if we only need a single and we’ll be buying Max one once Alexandra is too old for a pushchair.
So when my nephew Zachary was born and we decided to buy a double pram for Alexandra and him, I was won over by the Joie Twin Aire which Max now uses as well. It’s essentially two Nitros stuck together with some nifty reversible blue and pink inserts (I’m not bothered about gender colours and will happily reverse them if the kids want a different colour when they’re old enough to choose – you’d be amazed how often people still ask what gender the kid is though as if the blue pram insert and blue outfit isn’t giving the game away).
I’ll start with the cons because there are so few:
– It’s quite wide so often you’ll find doorways and shop aisles a little bit of a challenge. If you’re really worried about that then you might want to look at a different option which isn’t side by side.
– When you fold it down it needs to be lifted rather than dragged along because of the positioning of the basket. A minor point but at first we thought the basket was faulty because it sits so low and drags along the ground in the folded down position.
– Each seat lies completely flat so it’s suitable from birth. We bought an insert off Amazon for Max just so it’d feel a little bit less roomy in there but I haven’t been using it when it’s been super warm. I’ve also slightly inclined him because of his reflux which works really well to allow him a comfortable sleep.
– It is so light weight. Once you add two children and all their stuff, it’s obviously fairly heavy but the pram itself isn’t bulky so it pushes and corners beautifully.
– The basket is massive. I can fit everything I need in it. The only slight drawback is if I pop the entire changing bag in there I need to have the seats upright to get it back out but I just take Max out first to save having to move his seat while he’s in it.
– The price. Lots of places do it for £120 but if you shop around some do it for £99 which is the price we got it for doing a price match at Mothercare. You can’t really complain about getting a double for less than £100!
Have you used a Joie? What do you think?
Harriet, Alexandra and Max x
Alexandra and Dylan modelling the Joie Nitro!
When Alexandra was first born we were kindly given a Hauck Condor travel system which we used lots of times – the car seat she’s still occasionally using now and the carrycot part got plently of use. But because it was second hand (but in good condition!) when we got it and because we used it pretty much daily, I didn’t feel confident that it would stand up to the job of taking us through the next stage ie using just the pushchair part now she’s big enough to be sat up on journeys. So off to Mothercare we went with the intention of just testing out a few and seeing what we liked and didn’t like.
As it was, we ended up buying that day after an hour of trying out the Joie Nitro and a couple of others. While we were in store I also googled and read reviews of the Nitro on a few different sites including Amazon and Mothercare’s own website. My Google search also revealed that the discount they had on the Nitro meant it was cheaper than most sites and I couldn’t see it for any less elsewhere so we thought we’d go for it.
The things we liked about the Nitro included:
- How lightweight it is: I want to be able to take a pushchair everywhere, load it into cars, take it on trains and buses, push it along easily even with baby and various shopping bags and changing bags in it. I don’t want something clunky! The Nitro is incredibly light, so much so we queried whether it was up to the job but so far I don’t think it’s flimsy at all.
- Steering: We tried a Maclaren pram and a couple of others too – none of them felt as good to push along as the Joie did. I think the main reason it steers so well is that it’s so light (see above point!). Our Hauck had two handles rather than a bar across and I could only ever steer it using two hands, so I worried a little about picking another one with two handles, but I can actually steer the Joie single-handedly (shall I just say hand a few more times in this sentence?).
- Easy use: We practised putting the Nitro up and down in the shop and determined it really was as easy as pie. To get it up you unclip a little lock on the side and it pops open and clicks when it’s fully up. Then there’s two things (technical description there!) to press to get it down and again it clicks when locked into place. It couldn’t be much simpler really.
- Colour: This clearly is way down in the list of requirements when looking at a pushchair. But really, I’ve got to push the thing around and I want to like its appearance. We’ve got the grey/cerise colour Nitro and in my opinion, it strikes a great balance between those which looks too classy and those which look too plain. It’s colourful without being in your face and girly without shouting about it.
- Height: At just over 5″8 I’m not the smallest of mommies so I don’t want to be stooping over getting a hunchback pushing Alex around. I find this is the perfect height for me!
- Price: Without sounding like complete tight-arses, we didn’t want to shell out hundreds and hundreds on a pushchair, it just didn’t seem necessary when there are so many decent, low-cost options around. We still tested out some pushchairs in the middle price bracket but found that none compared with the Joie in terms of steering and where there were features we liked (such as a transparent window in the hood of a couple), it really wasn’t worth paying an extra £200-£300 for them. Clearly, with a cheaper pushchair you run the risk of it falling apart more easily, but reviews said it was fairly durable, we have a one-year warranty on it and we figured even if we did have to replace it once before Alex is finished with pushchairs, we still wouldn’t have spent as much as others do on just one pram.
So all in all, a couple of weeks into our use of the Nitro we’re very happy with it. I’ve taken it around town, we’ve taken it to National Trust properties and gone round the gardens (although on a bigger walk we’d probably take the sling rather than a pushchair), it’s been on the bus and it’s not let us down yet.
Harriet and Alexandra x