The Joie Aire Lite is the second lightweight buggy we have tested – the first was a real budget buggy, which was just appalling (it cost £30 so what was I expecting!?).
My first buggy was a 2009 Bugaboo Bee, and although it was one of the first super compact buggies of its time, it was heavy – I know this from having lived in a flat and having to trek it up and down the stairs.
So I was looking for something in between both for the second time round.
This Joie was literally a joy to see. It came out of the box, and my husband just had to pop on the wheels (after watching a youtube video guide) and the hood, and we were ready to go. Saying that, the instructions booklet wasn’t all that and he said it was a bit tough to grasp.
Is the Joie Aire Lite actually light?
Yes, it really is! The Aire Lite is 4.89kg and it truly feels lighter than that. So much so in fact that I would not be confident in putting any buggy clips on the handle as I’d be really worried the buggy would tip.
Also, the handle bar clicks and moves on different angles, and hanging anything too weighty from the handle bar, especially in certain positions could weaken it.
Does the weight affect its stability?
It does, being so lightweight I do wonder how durable it is – it doesn’t feel particularly durable, but that’s not to say it isn’t, it just feels a little loose, if you know what I mean.
For instance the hood is made of very fine fabric and I fear it would tear a little too easily. My old Bugbaoo Bee was small, but because of its weight it felt really sturdy.
But the Aire Lite doesn’t feel sturdy – it is lightweight plastic, but you can feel that, in comparison.
Saying that, the weightlessness makes it a joy to push and guide. The Bee had the best manoeuvrability I’ve ever tried and the Joie Aire Lite totally lives up to that. My 7-year-old also loved that she could adjust the handle of the Aire Lite to her height and push it about easily.
Tell us more about the Joie Aire Lite manoeuvrability
The Aire Lite handles lovely! As I mentioned above, I’m used to using a first generation Bugaboo Bee, so the Aire Lite had a lot to live up to.
But it passed with flying colours – the Aire Lite glides and twists and turns beautifully and is perfect for manoeuvering around the shops.
The control is superb, with only one setback; it doesn’t handle bumps well. You have to lift it up even the smallest of kerbs or bumps – it simply doesn’t roll up the kerb or pavement easily, and if you’re not careful, it can flip over.
I’m not a massive fan of the ‘double’ tyre as I find there’s just more to trip them up on, but they were fine, solid and did the job!
The brake is operated by one foot lever on the back right wheel of the buggy. Just to reiterate, we connected the basket to the brake cord to keep the cord from sticking out.
I would advise you NOT to do this as when you have stuff in the basket, it pulls on the brake cable making it click on the left wheel, and it’s really annoying! Otherwise the brake pedal is easy to flip on and off.
Saying that, it is a monumental improvement over the only other lightweight (and very cheap) buggy I’ve used. The very basic pushchair simply went in one direction and was like pushing one of those awful shopping trolleys that never go where you want them to!
How is it on public transport?
I took the Joie on the tube and several busses today, and I folded the buggy and stood it on the train.
A word of warning; make sure you put the brake on while it’s folded and stood up, or it will roll over! I had no problems getting on and off the bus, and when we were on the tube, I folded the buggy and slung it over my shoulder as I hiked up the stairs from the platform to the exit, and I didn’t even break a sweat. It’s SO light!
What do you think of the fold system?
10 out of 10 for the folding mechanism. Once, I stood and cried in a car park because I couldn’t get a buggy to fold down – with the Joie, it’s a simple press and flick of a button to get it to fold up and down – incredible!
How compact is the Joie Aire Lite pushchair when folded?
The buggy folds up nice and tidy, its folded dimensions (L47.8xW48xH100.6) are roughly the same as the Mee-Go Feather (L35xW48xH100). However it is quite a bit bigger than the Bee (L85xW45xH32), so it’s not tiny, but fits into my VW Golf boot easy peasy and I love how when it is folded up, it stands upright.
On another upside I could keep this in my or porch/hallway with no worries.
Yes, it reclines to lay almost flat. It doesn’t have fixed recline positions, it’s freeflowing, so you can guide it where you want it to be via a pulley system at the back.
I found the pulley system a little annoying at first, but after using it a couple of times, you easily get the hang of it.
It’s worth noting you need two hands to recline the seat. The most upright position it goes too isn’t actually upright, so I found my daughter would tend to sit forward and not always relax back into the chair when she wanted to see what was happening around her, but I don’t consider this a problem.
So is the pushchair comfy for little ones?
My daughter absolutely loves this buggy – I was a little concerned about the need for the bar across the front of the Aire Lite, but she loved sitting forward and holding on to it – plus it’s so easy to remove if you don’t want it, just a click of a button on either side of the bar, and you’re away.
My girly is almost 3 and quite tall for her age – yet she fits very comfortably in the Joie I’d go so far as to say there’s still plenty of room for her to grow.
She seems very happy and comfy in it, though I found the bar in the seat, which rests just under her knees, could have been a little more padded. You can also extend the seat a few extra inches if need be.
Is the Joie Aire Lite comfrortable to push?
Yes, the handle is great. You can change the angle of it so easily, even my 7 year old could do it much to her glee. So it was the perfect height for her to push around, and with the click of two buttons on either side, I could adjust it so it was perfect for me.
It’s comfy to hold (with soft padding) and because it has so many different variables, it’s probably something to suit everyone.
But I will say when you have to lift the buggy on an escalator, it doesn’t feel as solid or secure as I would like.
The buggy height is standard, and thanks to the moveable handle bars, you can adjust this to your comfort level. My daughter who used the buggy was able to climb in and out with no problems as long as the break was on.
How is interacting with your little ones when in the buggy?
My daughter Jaime LOVES having the hood of this buggy pulled over her – she pulls it herself if I don’t, so I found it hard to chat to her while she has the hood over – I couldn’t hear her and not sure she could hear me, but it’s easy to just unclip and push back, it wasn’t a hindrance at all.
Also, it really keeps the sun out of her eyes, thanks to the handy extra bit of hood at the front of the buggy too.
However, if there was a mesh panel I could see through it and speak to my daughter easier.
What are the basket and storage pockets like?
The basket is a good size, but I find it quite tricky to keep getting my backpack in and out of it as all the sides of the basket are quite high up, so it was hard to slide in and out.
A word to the wise, you can clip the brake wire so it runs through the basket – it keeps it nicely tucked away, but if you have some heavy stuff sat in the basket, this pulls on the brake cable which results in the back left wheel clicking which was super annoying!
Would you recommend it for use from birth?
I’m not 100% convinced I would choose to use this buggy from birth though as although it lies almost flat, I’d prefer to have some kind of bassinet within the buggy for a newborn.
It’s also forward facing and I liked to be able to see my baby at all times while she was in the buggy. Also, as it’s not a specific carry cot/bassinet style buggy, I’m not sure with the slight recline when the buggy is laid flat how comfortable it would be for a newborn, and how easy it would be to keep a newborn strapped in with the 5-point harness.
What age child is the Aire Lite best for?
This buggy is better for an older baby who can sit up (probably from about 8 months onwards) and wants to face the world, especially as the seat doesn’t go as upright as I’d like.
Also, the seatbelt system can be fiddly and I wouldn’t feel 100% happy strapping a baby in using this seat belt – if my baby were in a carry cot, I likely wouldn’t strap her in at all, but with this seat, I feel the baby would have be to held securely.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the buggy?
I’d like to have known about not attaching the brake cable through the basket as it took me ages to figure out why it was making a strange clicking sound. That’s all.
What’s in the box?
Any additional extras?
The colour pack – £50:
2 Chest Pads
Is the Joie Aire Lite value for money?
It’s currently £100 which I think is reasonable, however there are similar Joie products currently on sale at half that price, so you might want to test drive the other versions before splurging on this.
But at £100, I don’t think this expensive at all. I couldn’t find any additional accessories for this buggy, but I’d have loved a cup holder if possible!
I’ve compared this buggy to others around the same price mark, and I think it is good value for money. I’m not sure how durable and long lasting it will be (my Bugaboo Bee is 7 years old and still going strong!) but I think considering the price, you’d be happy for this Aire Lite to last 3 to 4 years. I really feel it’s a worthy purchase though.
Overall, this is a fab super lightweight buggy – if you need to carry it up stairs to a flat, lift it in to a car, have some rickety grandparents pull it about, you won’t struggle or be disappointed.
Perfect for anyone who’s looking to move their baby, who are verging on becoming a toddler, into a lightweight buggy. Excellent as a holiday buggy too.
For a quite compact (freestanding), super lightweight, decent quality buggy, the Joie Aire Lite is excellent. It handles great, is comfy, and looks stylish. Highly recommended.