DECIDING ON AN ECO PRAM
When it came to buying baby stuff for Ada, we were really focused on keeping things simple. Most of the things we had from Levi's baby days had already found a new home or were donated and so almost five years later we were starting from scratch. Most of the big stuff we tried to find second-hand, including our pram. I remember feeling so overwhelmed by buggies and travel systems this time around. The world of prams was a very different one now from 2011 and the amount of choice, add-ons and online reviews was immense and confusing. What did I really need?! It all felt too much so we settled on one from gumtree that looked really pretty but...
It took our trip to Italy for me to finally surrender that we had made the wrong choice of pram. Sure it was pretty, but it just didn't have the stamina for the amount of walking that we were doing. We had the tires blow out on us a couple of (really inconvenient) times over the two weeks we were away and had to scurry to local Italian bicycle shops to get them patched and fixed. Thank goodness for baby-wearing, even if it was 40 degree heat! Lesson learned. Sometimes second-hand items work out, and sometimes they don't. We needed a pram to be reliable as my back-to-work date was looming and we were leaving Ada in the trusty hands of grandparents who would be taking her out and about for walks all the time.
Not long after we came home I was really excited to hear from Joolz, an exciting baby brand from the Netherlands, and they offered to send me one of their prams to check out. It was so timely and so I went about checking out the company and their ethics and values - something that's really important to me before I decide to work with or promote any brand.
I was thrilled to read about their sustainability focus. Their headquarters in Amsterdam is a hub of energy-neutral buildings with hundreds of solar panels, they use completely recyclable packaging and they even plant a tree in Columbia for every pram purchased and registered with them. It sounded great on paper, but I was keen to find out if the product itself was as good as their ethos...
After almost 6 months of using the Joolz Day I can honestly say that this is the best pram we have ever had and here's why:
+ It is so incredibly smooth. Everything about it - from how it manoeuvres on any kind of terrain, how the different parts click in, the extendable handle bar and the hood - everything just glides effortlessly. I also love all the slick leather parts - the handlebar especially.
+ It is so nice to push. You sure do recognise quality when you use a Joolz. It is a pleasure to push and take on walks. We have tramped through muddy forests trails, strolled around cobbled cities and rambled down stony paths and the Joolz can handle it all with ease. I take Ada into town most days when I'm off and there is a stretch of footpath on our route that has so many bumps and dips that I used to dread taking her out with our old pram but I genuinely don't even notice it now.
+ It is easy to put together. The amount of faffing that I have had to do in the past with footmuffs and handles and looping buckles on and off and under and through. Gah! You'd have found me lying on the hall floor in a flummox before, but the Joolz feels intuitive and simple to switch about. You can easily move it to face in or out and recline it to a really lovely flat snoozy position; great for those cranky days when fresh air is the only thing for us all. There is a certain knack to folding it down, but once you do it a couple of times it's like second nature.
+ It is great for us tall folk! I'm 5'8 (ish) and I love that the handlebar is extendable to a height that feels really comfortable for me so I don't have to slouch down to push. No more back aches from walking stooped over a buggy!
+ It is compact. Even though it's a sturdy pram and the base has some weight to it (which is a good thing for safety reasons), it still sits in the boot of our small car really neatly. Everything tucks away with ease and we often have groceries and Levi's bike fitting in around it too.
+ When it's upright, it is properly upright. Ada LOVES being up and seeing all around and the proper upright position is great for those times when you nip into a cafe and all the high chairs are gone because it can slide her right up to a table to join in the fun without being in the way.
+ It has a generous hood. I am really not a fan of rain covers on prams. They are a massive faff and seem to never fit quite right so I absolutely love that the Joolz Day has a really huge hood that extends extra long and gives great coverage. We are prone to fleeting rain showers here in Northern Ireland, so it is so handy to just pop the hood up if we are caught in one until it passes.
Joolz has their own range of car seats but the prams are also compatible with all the big car seat brands too and you can really tailor it to your own spec with stacks of fabric colours and leatherette to choose from.
Trust me, I know how complex the world of baby stuff can be so I really wanted to share our experience with any new parents-to-be who are getting ready to make these important purchases.
These Dutchies at Joolz know what they are doing with design for modern families and I feel really evangelical about it. It is a really well thought through pram with uncompromising style, function and reliability and I am so pleased to be able to promote a brand that is dedicated to building a business that has sustainability in mind as well.
With thanks to Joolz for collaborating with me on this post and to the wonderful Geoff Telford Photography for the images.