It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE babywearing advocate, and use this method of transportation whenever out and about with my 13 month old Son. That said, when he was approaching 10 months old I recognised that as much as I adored babywearing, Eco also had to get used to being in a pushchair, not only so Daddy and Grandma can take him out without me being by his side, but also to give my babywearing Son a different experience of seeing the world around him.
When the opportunity arose to review a Joie Pushchair (pronounced Joy, yes I pronounced it incorrectly too!) my choice after meeting with their representatives at last year’s Baby Show in Kensington Olympia I couldn’t be more thankful and took them up on their offer.
Key Features I Was Looking For
Suddenly I found myself submerged in a whole new world I knew nothing about. Was there really a difference between a Pram, Pushchair, Buggy and a Travel System? I had to get educated, and fast!
Some of the key features I was looking for in a pushchair for Eco was the following:-
- It had to be compact – I live in a two bedroom flat and use public transport frequently as I do not have a car at present. This means that the pushchair had to be light enough to carry up and down two flights of stairs and fold down easily for storage purposes.
- Ideally Rear and Forward Facing – I like to be able to see my Son at all times so a pushchair with the ability to be rear and world facing appealed to me.
- A large shopping basket – I tend to pick up groceries every other day, usually carrying a rucksack on my back with Eco worn on my hip or facing me but admit it’s becoming harder now that Eco weighs 10.5 kg! Having a pushchair with a large shopping basket would make trips to our local supermarket more practical.
With those three key features in mind I set about comparing the different pushchairs on offer from Joie, and whilst the Chrome 2 had most of the features I was looking for, it was faaar too big and heavy for my liking.
The second best option was the Litetrax 4. It is classed as a full featured pushchair so is suitable from birth to preschool (approx 3-4 years), had 4 different reclining positions and had all of the features I was looking for apart from one. It was forward facing only!
My anxiety at not having view of my baby was put at ease upon discovering that the oversized expandable hood can be unzipped to reveal a mesh window which looks over the seated child.
It was this feature that was the deal breaker in me choosing the Litetrax 4 in colour Rust (a burnt orange) to review.
Initial Thoughts of Joie Litetrax 4
We have been in receipt of this pushchair just before Christmas 2016 but we didn’t use it straight away.
Upon unboxing in mid January I found the assembly very straight forward and simple to follow using the instructions leaflet provided.
Our Litetrax 4 was ready to use within 15 mins, that included taking regular breaks to attend to an inquisitive natured Eco, who wanted to get out of his carseat to investigate this new piece of equipment in our home.
I took him out for his 1st stroll around the park a few days later and whilst he was initially excited at this new experience, the novelty wore off after approximately 10 minutes and cried until I eventually took him out and wore him in my carrier.
I was anticipating this reaction he’s only ever been worn. He clearly had to take time to adjust and get used to this new and unfamiliar way of transportation.
Fast forward a few months and Eco is now happy and content in his Litetrax 4. The longest he’s spent in it to date was 2 hours on a shopping trip and he didn’t fuss once.
Pros and Cons of Joie Litetrax 4
Like with all products there will be things that you love as well as things you may feel can be improved. Here’s what we loved….
- It is extremely affordable – Most pushchairs on the market with full features usually retails at £400+. The Joie Litetrax 4 comes with the same full features as well as a matching footmuff and raincover for a great price of £199.00, thus ensuring one does not break the bank when choosing such a vital piece of baby equipment. It’s worth pointing out that footmuffs and raincovers from other pushchair brands are generally sold separately as an add on to the pushchair so this really is a GREAT deal!
- It is incredibly light to push – Despite the Litetrax 4 weighing 10kg and the addition of my Son’s weight (another 10.5kg) I found it incredibly light to push and the steering effortless thanks to its front swivel wheels with swivel lock and all round suspension.
- It has a mesh window – Knowing I can still see my Son with the Canopy down to protect him from the elements is a MAJOR plus for me and one of the reasons that swayed me to choose this particular pushchair to review with Eco.
- It folds down within seconds! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this feature. Not only is it great for storing in my small two bedroom flat, it is also incredibly useful should we ever need to fold down our pushchair to make way for another pushchair or wheelchair user when on the bus.
- It has a large shopping basket. Hurrah for this feature as my poor back was beginning to feel the strain of wearing my Son AND carrying grocery shopping tandem style. I’ve even transported our dismantled jumperoo that we donated to our local children’s centre with it.
There are only two minor things I feel can be improved to make the Litetrax 4 a 10/10 pushchair and these are based purely on my own personal experiences. So here’s our suggested improvements…
The handle bars do not adjust to accommodate various heights – This isn’t a problem for me as I’m quite short measuring 5ft 45 inches tall but isn’t ideal for those who are much taller than I, including my O/H who is 6ft1.
It does not stand upright when folded – It maybe just me that has hasn’t quite figured out how to make the pushchair stand independently once folded (I take back this comment if this is the case!) but must admit it can be extremely annoying hearing a crash when I’ve just settled Eco for his daytime nap or worse in the middle of the night only to discover our Litetrax 4 has fallen down once again after being propped up against the wall in the spare room.
Like I said, these are my only small gripes I have. It is otherwise a fantastic pushchair to own at such an affordable price! After testing this for a few months we give the Joie Litetrax 4 a score of 8/10. I can see why this pushchairjoie-litetrax-4-review-a-full-featured-and-extremely-affordable-pushchair and we cannot recommend it enough!
For more information about Joie, they can be found online via their website, by visiting their Facebook page or by simply following them on Twitter.
Disclaimer: My Son and I was sent this pushchair in exchange for a review. This is NOT a sponsored post and no money has been exchanged. As always, my thoughts and opinions are honest and entirely my own.