When it comes to toddler transport, it feels like we have a lot of options; a three-wheeler ‘sport’ buggy, the trusty travel system and of course, our latest addition, the YippieYo. But we’re still lacking one important addition to our buggy arsenal; a lightweight stroller. You know the thing, something for the small trips around town, one to leave in the grandparent’s car or, most importantly, one to take on holiday. When we were asked to test and review the Joie Pact lightweight stroller, I thought my luck was in. Not only do we get a pushchair to complete our set but I have the perfect excuse to book another holiday. Here’s how we got on…
Joie Pact (Lite) Lightweight Stroller
What is the Joie Pact?
The Joie Pact is designed as a lightweight stroller with a compact fold design. Created with travel in mind, the Pact weighs in at an impressively light 6kg and folds down to only 52.5 x 56.5 x 24cm. Packed full of functionality, the Pact can be fully reclined to a lay flat position, has a huge hood, a decent sized basket and adjustable leg support. It’s well thought out, easy to fold single-handedly and even includes a rain cover, travel bag and car-seat adaptors as standard. That’s right, just like that this little stroller became a travel system.
Tell Me More…
Arriving in a full-colour but tiny box, the immediate fear is that the Pact will take hours to assemble. Not so, the Joie Pact is just that tiny when folded. Simply clip the wheels in to the frame and clip in the bumper bar and you’re ready to go. Inside the box was also a rain cover and adaptors to fit Joie car seats (or others, such as Maxi-Cosi).
Out and about, the Joie Pact performs well. We’ve taken it everywhere with us over the last six weeks; from the beach to the country lanes. The single handed collapse mechanism works smoothly, allowing me to hold my son in one arm and set the buggy up (or put it down) with the other. It’s quick, intuitive and really effective – leaving you with a briefcase sized parcel. The design means you end up with a metal handle to lift it by or a fabric strap to allow you to carry it over your shoulder; ideal for a busy airport.
My son doesn’t look huge in it, unlike some lightweight, travel buggies. The five point harness is small in design but very effective; the shoulder straps stay in place without him being able to wriggle free… a very important factor for a toddler! The seat reclines fully making it suitable from birth or the very rare toddler nap. The recline is controlled by an adjustable strap allowing you a complete range of seat angles. I would say, for us, it doesn’t quite go upright enough. He likes to grip on to the bumper bar and lean forward which can pull the seat forward with him. However, I imagine a more upright back would require a bulkier design, so on balance, it’s totally worth it.
Let’s face it, basket size can make or break your love for any pushchair. The basket on the Joie Pact is surprisingly roomy for a lightweight stroller. We managed to fit my handbag, the change bag, a lunch box and some jumpers in there without it overflowing. It’s a little like a tardis! Not only that but it’s easily accessible, even when the seat is reclined, something that’s often overlooked.
Is It Holiday Friendly?
The Pact is billed as a holiday essential; it even comes complete with a travel bag to zip it into for air travel. It’s weight and size means it rivals some of the top billed travel buggies at a fraction of the price. In my opinion, the UPF 50+ sun canopy makes it a must. It’s huge, giving great coverage for your little one and even pulls down further to give an ‘eyeshade visor’. No more trying to badly position a wobbly parasol. As someone who spent an entire holiday covering their child in factor 50 suncream, I wish I’d had it then.
Since we’ve had the Pact, we’ve not even looked at our travel system, even in heavy rain. Yes, at times, it feels a little too lightweight, but it’s not until you start to use it that you realise just how good it is. In all honesty, I’m a little amazed by it. It’s quickly become a firm favourite in our household, garnering praise from all manner of family members. As my (rather buggy bored) husband put it, just the other day, ‘it really is quite good, isn’t it?’
Joie describe the Pact as ‘a petite parcel designed and engineered to make every day a holiday’ and they’re not lying. My back and shoulders have never felt more relief at not having to lug our rather hefty travel system in and out of the car. Scrap the expensive massages by the pool, it turns out all I needed was to upgrade to a Pact.
If you’re travelling with a toddler, why not check out our essential list of things to consider.