Joolz Aer stroller review
In a nutshell
A high quality, stylish, ultra-compact, lightweight buggy which unfolds in one second and is perfect for trips to the shops, walks and travel – and sturdy enough for everyday.
What we tested
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.6A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.
- Comfort for child
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
4.7A star rating of 4.7 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Easy to fold and unfold, compact and light, stylish, smooth steering, excellent harness, uses sustainable fabric
- Bumper bar not included, tricky to recline seat with child inside
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The Joolz Aer is a compact and lightweight buggy from Dutch pushchair brand Joolz.
The company promises that the Aer is “more than just a buggy”, positioning it as a premium travel stroller – compact enough to fit in an aeroplane overhead locker. With a one-hand, one-second fold and easy-to-use harness, as well as plenty of additional features, it is designed to make life easier for parents in a hurry.
The Joolz Aer is also aimed at the environmentally conscious as it uses sustainable fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, and, working with Tree Nation, Joolz plants a tree in its ‘Birth Forest’ in Columbia for each pushchair sold. Even the cardboard box it comes in has cut-outs to show how it can be recycled into an aeroplane for your youngster.
With an RRP of £399 it is at the more expensive end of the scale when it comes to travel buggies, alongside the hugely popular Babyzen Yoyo (£399). There are definitely more affordable options, such as the Silver Cross Jet, the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 (£249.99) or the Mountain Buggy Nano, which is under £200. So, the Aer will need to deliver on its promises if it is to justify its price tag.
Donna tested the Joolz Aer with her 7-month-old Daisy around the supermarkets and bumpy country lanes of Gloucestershire. Daisy gets impatient with their current all-terrain beast of a buggy, as she just wants to get going and not wait for it to be set-up.
What were your first impressions?
When I opened the box, I could tell this was a premium buggy. It oozed quality and looked stylish.
I am one of those impatient people who ignores instructions at first to see if I can work things out – and the Aer was easy to set up. It is ready to go from the box, already folded, and I was surprised at how easy it was to open.
It really was a one-hand, one-second opening buggy as the company boasts. Once I had opened it, I did the sensible thing and read the instructions. They are concise and helpful to ensure you are aware of the Aer’s many features and how to use them.
What age is the Joolz Aer suitable for?
As the Aer’s seat doesn't recline completely flat, it is suitable from 6 months (or when your baby can sit up unaided). However, you can get the Aer with a travel cot bundle (£599), which makes it suitable from birth
The Aer buggy is designed for children up to 22kg, which is approximately 4 years, so should last your child a good while.
Did you try the Aer cot?
Joolz launched the Aer cot in March 2021, meaning that the pushchair is now suitable from birth rather than 6 months.
I didn’t try out the travel cot, but it looks like it has some equally well-designed features as the buggy. For example, you can fold the frame with the cot attached – it collapses on itself in an innovative fold that is still fairly compact and easy to carry. Very clever.
What about the Aer’s seat? Travel buggies often have quite snug seats – was the Aer’s comfortable for your child?
The Aer’s seat is 45cm wide, so similar to other compact strollers, and it is generously padded, so it feels comfortable. Daisy is an average size 7-month-old and relaxed into it straight away – she seemed comfortable, snug and secure.
The colour of the seat is described as Refined Black and the fabric looks expensive and stylish. Despite already enduring dribble, sick, messy hands and splashes from the muddy lanes, it is easy to wipe clean and still looks as good as new.
How does the seat recline, and does it recline flat enough for your child?
The seat reclines by using a zip at the back which allows the backrest to recline. You can then adjust the angle of recline by tightening or loosening two straps on the side. At first, it seemed tricky to zip back up with Daisy seated, so I learnt to do it when she was out of it. By reclining the seat, you also allow access to ventilated mesh around the seat, which will be perfect in the summer to give Daisy a bit of breeze on hot days. There is also a handy pocket behind the seat for any keys, valuables or a few toys.
The seat doesn’t lie fully flat, so is not suitable for newborns.
Can the Aer seat face both world and parent?
No, the Aer’s seat can only face world. If you buy the cot for your newborn or use a compatible car seat, those face the parent, but the toddler seat can only be fixed forward facing.
What did you think of the harness?
One of the stand-out features about the buggy is the harness system. It is simple and adjusts so easily, which is fantastic with a wriggly baby on board. The round central buckle was a joy to use as each strap in the system clicks in individually and you can easily adjust the shoulder height.
There are no shape-matching exercises needed to connect the buckles for this one, like with many others on the market! There is also no tangling and struggling to get arms in and out as it’s such an easy system to put on and then release your child from.
How do you fold the Joolz Aer – was it as easy as promised by the brand?
The element on the Aer that I keep raving about to friends is the fold system, which is quick, easy, smooth and intuitive.
- You press two buttons in the middle of the handle bar, which you can easily do with one hand.
- Then, with a quick push down, the buggy frame concertinas into a compact shape with nothing catching or getting stuck like on some other buggies.
- Opening it uses the same buttons and, with a quick pull upwards, it is open and ready to go – perfect for little Daisy who gets impatient waiting for me to put my all-terrain together.
With the Aer, it is only seconds before she is strapped in and on the move. As you can open it one-handed, it also helps with those situations when you have a tired or upset child in one hand and quickly need to unfold with the other. You can even fold and store the Aer while holding your baby on your hip, as I discovered a few times in the supermarket car park.
How compact is the Aer folded?
The folded measurements of the Joolz Aer are 53.5 x 45 x 21.cm – the size of a large briefcase – and I was so impressed by the dimensions. I honestly sometimes forget where I have put it, because it’s so easy to store and blends into the background. It stands neatly upright until you need it.
The Joolz Aer is designed to fit in aeroplane overhead cabin lockers but, due to lockdown, I have not been able to jet off to sunnier climates to test that. It’s worth saying, always make sure to check with your airline whether you’re allowed to take it onboard.
How much does the Joolz Aer weigh?
Weighing a mere 6kg, the Joolz Aer is truly lightweight – very much on par with competitors in the category. There are some lighter models out there, such as the GB Pockit (under 5.5kg), but I doubt they will be as sturdy as the Aer.
Does the Aer fit into the boot of your car?
Its compact size also makes the Aer brilliant for my car as it takes up such little room which means I can fit everything in the boot for a change, without wheels or handlebars getting caught up in other things.
What is the Aer like to push and steer?
I never thought I would say this about a pushchair, but this was such fun to push! It really is responsive and quick in comparison to anything I've used before. Yes, this buggy is a great travel stroller because of its size and weight, but it would also make a brilliant everyday stroller because of how well it moves across different surfaces.
The steering on the Joolz Aer is effortless on flat surfaces. It fits through narrow spaces and turns well – which is great when out and about and in shops – and as it is light, it is easy to tip to go onto pavements.
How well does the Joolz Aer cope with different terrain?
I had assumed it would provide a bumpy ride on the lanes around my home, but it didn’t. It coped with them as well as my all-terrain, although being so light it struggled with the potholes – but then again it’s not designed for that. It’s good that it was sturdy enough to cope with lanes, and as it’s easy to carry, I could lift Daisy up into the side to allow the tractors to pass.
What’s the chassis like?
For something so light, the frame feels strong and durable and, like the rest of it, is simple-looking but well-made. It is also easy to clean.
Is the Joolz Aer handle adjustable?
The handle height is 105.5 cm and isn’t adjustable but feels a good height for me at 5’ 5”. It’s not a problem for our household, but it is worth considering or even trying before buying. One shopper on John Lewis’ website, for example, remarked that it felt too high for his wife.
Did you like the hood – does it give enough coverage?
The hood was brilliant for shielding Daisy’s face from the odd moment of glaring sun and rain shower (along with the rain cover it comes with). It will be even better in the summer due to it being so big and having UPF 50 protection to stop the sun’s rays hitting Daisy’s skin. In addition, you can extend it to reveal a mesh panel that allows for extra ventilation and a view of your child.
What are the wheels like?
I have only had a buggy with huge wheels before, so imagined the small wheels on the Joolz Aer would lead to a bumpy ride – but how wrong I was. The wheels are great. As I mentioned earlier, they provide such a smooth ride in shops and around town but are also sturdy enough for country walks. The wheel lock is handy for particularly rough or stony paths.
How good are the brakes on the Aer?
The brake is near the rear wheels and simple to put on when needed. There is nothing complicated about it and you just click it on and off with your foot.
Is the basket big enough for your needs?
Baskets can often be an afterthought on travel buggies, barely holding a pack of wipes, let alone a changing bag. But the Aer’s basket is surprisingly big and can store many essentials. It is easy to throw things in in a hurry and it keeps them in there securely. I’ve used it for several shopping trips and was surprised how much I could fit in. The manual recommends a load limit of 5kg.
Is the Aer car seat compatible?
Yes, you can buy car seat adaptors that are compatible with a huge range of car seats, from Joolz to Maxi-Cosi, Cybex and Joie, and many in between. This is great, as it makes the buggy even more flexible allowing parents to combine it with their infant carrier.
What’s in the box?
- Joolz Aer buggy
- Instruction manual
- Travel pouch (red)
Joolz also encourage you to recycle the box and have cut-out shapes on the box to help you convert it into an aeroplane, fitting in the with Aer theme.
What are the additional accessories that you can buy?
On the Joolz website you can buy different accessories to enhance the buggy including:
- a bumper bar (£37.95)
- car seat adapters (£42.95)
- footmuffs in different colours (£89.95)
- handlebar organiser (£42.95)
- mosquito net (£24.95)
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing the Aer pushchair?
I just wish my friends who had children before me had stopped me getting a huge travel system and told me to get a buggy like this. The only thing missing for me personally is a bumper bar, as Daisy likes to hold one, but you can buy these and I will be doing so. It doesn’t need one and works fine without, but for me it will be useful.
One trick I have learnt to do with the Aer, is to zip up the reclining seat before folding it away. If you don’t, you can’t do it when it’s in its compact shape and the top of the seat sticks out. It’s not a big issue but if you want it to be as compact as possible and look neat when folded, it needs doing.
Who would this pushchair be most useful for?
Before I used it, with the name Aer and aeroplane images on the travel pouch I assumed it was a travel stroller for those who holiday regularly or to be put away for certain occasions. After using it for a few weeks, however, I have discovered this is a fantastic everyday buggy and one I will be using for many years because of how sturdy it is.
I have swapped my all-singing, all-dancing all-terrain for the Joolz Aer as it is a joy to use. I live in the country and love how compact it is and how it doesn’t take up my whole car boot. I used to live in London, however, so I know it’d be great for city dwellers who use public transport due to its weight and compact size when folded. It’d be easy to take on the bus, tube or train whether you are carrying it or using it to push your child.
Is the Aer pushchair worth the money?
At £399, the Joolz Aer may seem expensive (especially when you haven’t heard of the brand before) but as soon as you see it and feel it, you understand its price tag. It looks modern and feels like a durable top-range buggy which will last a long time. It looks stylish too. It also has many parent-friendly features to justify the price such as a super easy fold system, its light weight and a good-size basket. It certainly seems to be a popular option for many users – with parents on John Lewis online giving it 5 out of 5-star reviews, unanimously praising its quality and ease of use.
Where can I buy the Joolz Aer?
The Joolz Aer is compact, lightweight, stylish and modern. Despite being so light, it is robust and sturdy, looks and feels expensive and equally useful in the city as the country, It is so much more than a travel buggy. Definitely worth considering as an everyday buggy investment.
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Both seats suitable from birth||Yes|
|Child weight||Up to 18kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Front wheels||Four-wheel suspension and lockable swivel|