Hello, This is my first ever blog post, so here goes! My name is Louise and my mum Amanda owns the A3 Baby Barn. In May last year my gorgeous daughter Olive arrived, and after 20 years of wondering what the hell my Mum sold in that big old barn, I suddenly found it quite convenient that she owned a baby shop! Over the past year Olive and I have been product testing for the shop, and giving HONEST feedback about what we’ve found works and what doesn’t. I’m a very up front person, as I’m sure my Mum would tell you, so I would never say a product is fab if it isn’t, and therefore I hope these blog posts can be genuinely informative and helpul to you.
This month it was the turn of light weight strollers! My husband and I were planning a long weekend to Lisbon with friends and wanted to take a light weight buggy instead of our Joolz. We LOVE our Joolz, but after choosing location location location after practicality, we had booked an Airbnb apartment up 5 flights of stairs with no lift – so lightweight was key!
I spent some time looking at the different options the A3 Baby Barn stock and wheeling Olive up and
down the shop to get a feel of how they handle. It seems you can spend anywhere between £59 and £339 so deciding what one was right for me wasn’t easy! I looked at the Joie nitro, Chicco liteway, Green Tom, Combi Urban Walker and the Baby Zen yoyo. Key differences were the fold, two handles or one across the top, the recline, and the weight. The cheapest two (the Joie and Chicco) both had two handles and a traditional ‘umbrella fold, whereas the others all had one handle across the top. A friend had told me that two handles can make it difficult to push one handed, so this was certainly something I wanted to bear in mind. The recline was very important to me as I knew Olive would be napping in there, and I even had hopes of dinners out with her asleep in the buggy (fingers crossed!) The Green Tom is made of 100% recycled plastic, which I love, but it doesn’t fully recline so wasn’t going to be right for me on this trip, and the Babyzen yoyo is so super compact (It folds up to a tiny 52 x 44 x 18 cm!) but is top of the range and felt like a big expense for a buggy I was only really going to use for a few weeks a year.
In the end I did what I always do, and asked the girls in the shop what they would recommend. As I was really only looking for a holiday buggy, they suggested that I try the Joie Nitro (currently reduced from £99 to £59.) They felt it was a really good budget buggy, and for that price I wouldn’t be worried about the airline damaging it, Olive getting suncream all over it, or sand clogging up the wheels. I knew Olive was going to be in it a lot, so I also picked up an Outlook wool pram liner (£40) to make it more cosy and keep her cool (wool is naturally breathable and absorbs moisture helping to regulate temperature.)
Well…. I can honestly say we were thrilled with this buggy! We found the construction although light weight, still to be very functional, and it was so easy to carry and quickly fold down. Ideal for the airport and our impractical (but lovely) 5th floor Lisbon apartment.
The Joie soaked up the undulating terrain of Lisbon’s cobbled streets, and although clearly lacks the suspension of the more expensive buggies, handled well and gave Olive a fairly smooth ride. In fact, the lack of suspension only helped with lulling her to sleep during our day trips out – win win! In full recline mode it quickly became a cosy place for her to nap.
We actually timed her naps and our meals perfectly and ate many meals out with her sleeping soundly next to us– unheard of with a 10 month old! I was concerned that I would find the two handles (rather than the one across I’m used to with my Joolz) frustrating, but it really wasn’t an issue. Yes, it doesn’t handle like the more expensive prams, but that’s like comparing your everyday converse with a pair of Louis Vuitton’s – they do different jobs!
One negative point about the Joie – the hood doesn’t give much coverage. Luckily I had taken my Outlook UV sunshade (that I also use at home with the Joolz), that is breathable allowing air to circulate, while providing shade and the more important UV protection.
So in summary, like with most things in life, there is no one size fits all. What suited me may not be what suits you – but I loved the Joie, and although I thought it would just be a holiday buggy, have already used it since being back in the UK to meet friends in central London (getting on busses with buggies can cause buggy rage so the more compact you and your buggy can be the better!)
Hope you’ve found this useful,
Louise and Olive x x