We review the Joolz Day with our usual precision, giving it a close-up inspection to find the good and the bad elements that make this stylish pushchair an all time classic or bad karaoke!
The Joolz Day combines muted good looks with subtle stylish Dutch engineering. Their slogan ‘Don't adjust yourself', plays on the idea that whatever your height, shape or size of offspring, the Joolz Day can be adjusted to fit you and your way of life.
Last year, Joolz split from their association with Mamas and Papas to go-it-alone, so they can now be found in many independent retailers under their own brand name.
We first noticed their fantastically styled stand in Cologne and automatically fell in love with the Joolz Nautic, though sadly they won't be releasing this particular special edition in the UK.
From the minute you receive the boxes, the Joolz feel and eye for design is thrust upon you. Even the boxes are printed with their quirky line drawings of the Amsterdam skyline by talented artist Hennie Haworth (Take a look at her wonderful portfolio: http://www.henniehowarth.co.uk/).
What's in the box
The RRP of the Joolz Day is £649
Available in colours: Red, Jeans, White, Silver, Sand and Anthracite
In the frame
The frame and the engineering within it are the deal clincher when you are considering a Joolz Day. Yes, it's extremely attractive with all it's ‘clothes' on but once you have a demonstration from the slick team behind Joolz, it reinforces just how ergonomic the ‘Day' really is.
The Day can be folded with or without the seat unit in place, in fact, I think it's slightly easier to have the seat mounted on the frame to perform the fold, and for everyday storage this is the preferred folding option.
Close the hood, put the seat in the middle recline position then lower the handle to its shortest setting. Two small buttons, the safety catches, under the left and right of the handle allow it to be reduced even further. By gripping the handle and the back of the chair at the same time with one hand, you squeeze the two together to make the seat and handle drop in front of you to end between the back wheels.
Then, by lifting the curved carry bar at the back of the seat unit, swing the front wheels in and under the back axle to allow the pushchair to be stored vertically.
To make a more compact finished fold, remove the seat. Following the same principles as before, push the handle into the frame and release the safety catches. The extra push on the handle that you need to collapse the frame can be achieved by holding the curved carry bar and the handle and pull them together - it needs some muscle to do this, especially if you are vertically challenged - like me! The handle releases and drops down between the back wheels, allowing the front wheels to swing under the back axle as before.
It can then be laid horizontally and with the bumper bar released, the wheels removed (by pushing the button in the centre of the wheel) and the seat unit stacked on the frame with all the bits stored in the hollow of the seat. This is the perfect fold for a smaller boot.
Although the fold is ingeniously simple when you know how, it is not a fold you would master without help from a little instruction. To demonstrate how easy it should look, here is a video of the designer demonstrating the fold.
To open the pushchair, slide the front wheels out and then lift the handle until it clicks into place. Easy!
The large pneumatic back wheels act as the centre of balance for the whole pushchair and because of their size, make mounting kerbs or inclines childsplay. The moulded front wheels rotate 360 degrees or lock straight. The brake is in the middle of the back axle and pivots on or off – whatever shoes you are wearing!
The Joolz logo is embossed in black leather on the bumper bar, the handle and also appears on leather patches on the seat unit and carrycot.
The standard shopping basket attaches beneath the frame. It is constructed in matching fabric to that of the seat unit and carrycot. The hatch/door opening has a brilliant magnetic catch closure and a hole in the front to accommodate the pivot of the brake pedal.
This basket is far from useless, in fact it is quite large, but it has limited access via the hatch/door, especially when either chair or cot units are in place, plus it has the potential to get dirty from shoes applying the brake so close to the fabric.
A rounded rectangle makes up the frame of the chair in the same brushed aluminium as the chassis. The fabric is zipped into this frame to make up the sitting part of the chair – fantastic for washing or if you want to be able to change your colour pack, however at £134 for the seat and £165 for the carrycot, you might not want to do it that often!
We have the silver and sand combination in for testing, an elegant combination. The sand is not a colourway that's so light that it would instantly mark or stain (but I wouldn't recommend ‘Wotsits' or chocolate!) and would cover Summer and Winter without looking out of place in either. The fabric feels like denim with a slight coating and has double stitching on all the structural seams.
The high seating position means the Day is ready to push straight up to a table, eliminating the need to use grubby cafe high chairs or put too much pressure on the back when lifting your child in and out. It can be used in forward or rearward facing positions.
The bumper bar is a knuckled gate opening mechanism...we like this, however, like the chair release buttons they are pressure latches that you press into the casing and then remove with the bar or chair....in other words - nail breakers!
The 3 stage recline of the chair is controlled by buttons either side of the chair. They are stiff and once again - nail breakers, for such a sophisticated pushchair you would expect it to be easier.
The canopy is generous in size, and like the seat fabrics, it zips all around the frame to eliminate any nasty draughts while you're out. The canopy is either up or down, there aren't any degrees of up which I found a little odd for such a large canopy, but it's not something that wouldn't really pose a problem.
The footrest extends via two small buttons under the chair, they are easy to access and use. Contracting the footrest is simply a matter of pushing it up!
Without having had a demonstration, I never would have known that the floor of the seat (where the bum sits) can be lifted to slide a pocket on the base of the footmuff over it, so that the footmuff doesn't slide out of the pushchair...simple and genius. Another flash point when installing your footmuff can be when you are threading it with the harness of your pushchair. To make life a little easier, the shoulder cushions are easily removed by their overlapping Velcro instead of sliding over bulky adjustment buckles.
The carrycot attaches to the chassis in the same way as the chair unit, the solid click notifies you that it is in place and ready-to-go. Matching the seat unit fabric, it also has a brushed aluminium frame that rims the bed and the canopy. The bumper bar transfers between the two units, on the carrycot it acts as a well balanced handle for moving the cot on and off the chassis. Feet on the bottom of the bed and a ventilated mattress allow it to be used as an overnight sleeper. The apron zips in, like the canopy, to give the most protection to your sleeping passenger.
You can't help but fall in love with the Joolz Day, it is good looking, it's very stylish, it moves easily, has great accessories and can used by the tallest or shortest of parents. It's glitches are few but significant enough to irritate when in everyday use; the release buttons on the chair and carrycot should be more sophisticated for a pushchair at this level of quality. Plus, the recline involves a two button procedure at the point of balance where you have the least control of the tilt.
The fold, especially when the chair or the carrycot is absent (i.e. when you are folding it to put it into the car), is trickier than it looks. I'm sure you would master this over time, but I still feel that if it's raining, your child is crying and you are under pressure you would lose patience. You don't have to be Herculean but some strength is required to push the handle that little bit further to reach the point of fold.
The design details go some way to alleviate the niggles, the brushed aluminium finish on the chassis, seat and carrycot, the leather on the handle and the bumper bar and the wheel design combine to shout ‘I have good taste' at passers by! Soak it up because you know that, like having a stone in your shoe, your Day is not quite perfect.