A little while back I talked about what we were looking for in a pram for our first baby, due at the end of next week! We wrote a list of the most important features we wanted, as well as extras we could live without, but would be ‘nice to have’.
After lots of research, test drives and an incident with a test dummy, we finally settled on the Joolz Geo Mono in Parrot Blue…ta da!
So the Joolz Geo is a new design, released by Joolz in February/March this year in Australia. The biggest change with this pram from the existing Joolz Day model is the fact it can convert to a double pram quickly and easily, giving lots of flexibility for the future. By removing the basket and replacing with either the second seat or second bassinet, below the existing seat or bassinet, this pram caters for two children, from newborn twins, a newborn and toddler, or even two toddlers. Both the upper and lower seat positions can also carry a maxi-cosi capsule when adapters are fitted.
A lot of families with two young children find that a dedicated double is more suitable when children are close in age or if they are both older, as these models (generally side by side configurations) tend to be more spacious and accept higher weight limits per seat. But since we are only at the beginning of our parenting journey and don’t yet know how close or far apart our children will be in age, the ability to quickly convert our existing pram for the occasional tired toddler could be all we need in the future.
The Geo also accepts a toddler board on the back, so should we be graced with 3 little people close in age, we could potentially transport them all on this one pram! The telescopic handle could be extended to give more stride space in this instance, just one example of the design philosophy behind the Joolz, where the pram is designed around those using it.
Aside from the ability to alter the seating configurations, this pram caught our eye because its just so damn pretty! Joolz is a Dutch company, renowned for their product design and I think the Geo is a beautiful streamlined and minimalist pram that almost hides some of its best features. The zips, tabs and buttons that attach accessories, hide vents in the hood, adjust seating positions and even the folding mechanisms are placed in logical locations, but are not features that overshadow the overall appearance.
Here is a list of some of the main characteristics that we looked for in a pram that the Joolz Geo has in spades:
Basket size – As you can see in the images above, the basket on the Geo is HUGE! However… as soon as you add a second seat, that basket is gone and extra accessories are needed to store anything at all on the pram (side packs are sold for this exact purpose).
Easy to fold – When the seat is installed, the Geo folds in one piece, otherwise, the bassinet needs to be removed first before folding the chassis. We compared the fold of the Joolz to other prams in its class and found the Geo to be the simplest, its really just two buttons and a flick of the wrists, no bending or secondary folds required, same to re-assemble. The Geo also has a locking clip to keep the pram folded – surprisingly this feature was lacking on the next best contender in our pram search, so if the wrong part of the pram was grasped when lifting into the car, whoops, whole thing unfolds on you in the carpark (Yep, I’m talking about the Bugaboo Buffalo)!
Durable – the Geo has suspension in all 4 wheels and 4 air filled tyres, making for a smooth, gentle ride for our little passenger over bumpy terrain. The tyres can go flat after a while, so a bike pump will be necessary, however, air filled are generally more durable than foam filled tyres if you are covering many outdoor miles.
The one main compromise that we made with the Joolz Geo is weight, this is not a light pram. With the bassinet attached, the whole thing weighs over 14kg! Even the chassis and basket alone weights 10kg and with the seat attached, its 13.3kg to lift into the car. however, when you are out and about, the smooth steering and ergonomic design means all this weight can be pushed with one hand, so doesn’t feel as unwieldy as other much lighter prams can feel (I’m looking at you Baby Jogger!).
So we purchased just a couple of accessories for our Geo (ok, so all the accessories), including: UV sun shade, tailored rain cover, side pack, Maxi Cosi adaptors, sleeping bag and the cup holder. I have the following comments on each of these:
Sun Shade – This nifty little accessory snaps onto he main hood, firstly adding one extra panel (similar to the extendable hood on a Bugaboo), but zipped up inside this is a full coverage UV/mosquito net that slips over the whole bassinet or seat, instead of clipping a dinky muslin cloth to the pram. The one con of this item is its only available in black, so doesn’t coordinate so well with my stylish navy pram 😦
Rain Cover – Ive honestly been too scared to take this out of its neat little zip pouch in case I can never get it back in, the pouch itself could be clipped to the side of the pram of thrown into the cavernous basket should rain be on the horizon.
Side Pack – This clips to the side of the frame in either bassinet or seat mode, providing extra storage if the basket is full (say for a picnic or day at the beach) or when the second seat is installed. I haven’t tried to load the side pack up with items yet, but I have a feeling it looks like it holds more than it actually will, its very padded, like a soft cooler bag. Again, thesis a universal accessory, so only comes in black, boo.
Capsule Adaptors – The Joolz prams will only accept adaptors for Maxi Cosi branded car seats, in Australia this includes the Mico and Mico AP (even though these are not specified on their website). The adaptors are very easy to use and just clip into the same slots as the bassinet and seat components do.
Sleeping Bag – This was a free promo accessory for July when we ordered the pram. The sleeping bag fits on the seat component only (perfect as we will only start using the seat come winter 2016) and looks to be very cosy! The sleeping bags are colour coded accessories, so we have a Parrot Blue one to match our pram fabrics, yay!
Cup Holder – Design Fail! We were very surprised to find that because of a slightly different telescopic handle set up between the Joolz Day and the new Geo, the cup holder does not slot onto the frame like it does on the original pram model. There are two possible alternatives – the cup holder can be attached to the frame further down towards the wheels and facing out (easily accessed by little hands and increasing the pram’s width) or by removing the frame clip and hanging the cup holder from one of the built in bag hooks on the inside of the handle (thereby making the bag hooks unusable for, you know….a bag?). Not ideal!
We spoke with a demonstrator at the Joolz exhibit at the recent Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s expo in Melbourne and they mentioned that this issue had been raised with the designers and potentially a second, redesigned frame clip would be included for Geo owners in future cup holder designs. It’s great to know Joolz are onto the issue and working on a solution, based on customer feedback, its just surprising that for a company that prides themselves on good product design, that this occurred in the first place.
All in all, we are very happy with the Joolz Geo so far, without ever having tested it with a passenger that is! The pram looks good, functions well and meets all of the criteria we set out when first researching the perfect pram for our family. Only time will tell how well it stands up to day to day use and if the features we selected end up being the most important.
Check back in for updates on how we go with the Joolz Geo and if we love it as much as we hope we will!