I’d like to say that I made a careful and considered choice when it came to picking a pram. The truth is, like so many decisions in my life, I simply rushed in like the proverbial kid in a sweet shop. I think we visited the usual shops once each and had a play about but soon realised that buying a pram was like a crash course in complex engineering. Quite quickly our focus changed from “ooh, look how fabulous that is” to “HOW MUCH?!?” and “How does this bloody thing fold down?”. Then, it happened, one rainy March evening, 30 minutes before closing time we accidentally stumbled across the Joie Chrome.
Cost! For the entire travel system – car seat, chassis, cot and pram seat (which comes complete with cosy toes and raincovers for the cot and pram and the car seat adapters) we paid £240. Seeing as our budget was tiny this was good value to us as our only new large purchase.
Easy to steer one handed, which for reasons known only to my husband was an essential requirement for a pram. To be fair to him this does come in handy when shopping with a basket.
The pram seat can be parent or world facing. it also folds down with the pram seat attached facing either way which for the lazy parent (i.e. me) is perfect.
The basket is large and easy to get to regardless of which attachment is on top of the pram.
It fits in my tiny 11 year old Renault Clio boot without having to take it to pieces – granted very little fits in there with it (maybe 4 bags of shopping packed around it).
It was by far the easiest pram we stumbled across to figure out. It is not high-tech. There is a handle height adjuster, a fold mechanism and a simple (and non shoe scuffing) push down brake. We managed to figure it all out without a sales assistant having to come over and rescue us from it!
The car seat is a total pain in the bum to attach/ unclip from the chassis unless you have fingers of steel. I consider myself quite strong but I defy you not to struggle with the weight of the car seat plus your bundle of joy resting solely on the tips of your fingers while you try and hook your arm under the carry handle. Seriously Joie – what were you thinking?
The suspension is minimal and is not helped by the hard rubber wheels. I live in a suburb of a large city. I did not realise that there were so many lumps and bumps in our local pavements until I saw T’s head bouncing up and down in the carry cot. I have seen newer models with moulded tyres which do look much better equipped for the rugged suburban pavements…
Colour packs aren’t available for my model which is a shame as I get bored very quickly and have my head turned by the shiny and lovely Bugaboo colour packs.
The harness for the pram seat is a bit of a faff (though I can see the logic behind it), the harness strap covers do not stay on which is a little frustrating having to put them back on constantly and the cosy toes is quite low down on T, and she is not a long baby by any stretch of the imagination!
Pricewise I don’t think you can quibble with the Joie Chrome. It offers excellent value for money and some well thought out, simple designs. I cannot in all honesty recommend this version of the Chrome, simply because of the bumpy ride – hell hath no fury like a new mother who has been walking her non-napping baby for miles in the hope of lulling them to sleep only to be thwarted by an bump in the road…. However if you are looking for a travel system I would urge you to hunt out the latest new and improved version as Joie have started to address some of these early design flaws, particularly the suspension and tyres.