* Prices may differ from that shown
The Joie Brisk stroller is a fairly new product, and the Joie brand on the whole is relatively new to the UK market - within the last year or so. As such there aren't many reviews of their products that can promote their durability or longevity, as most reviews seem to be after having the pushchair for a few days - this review included! However I intend to come back and update my review after a few months to let people know how it's faring!
I decided to buy a second lightweight pushchair (in addition to my Baby Jogger City Mini) for use on the bus and visits to my parents, who live in a first floor flat with not much storage. I'm very happy with my Baby Jogger as my main pushchair, but despite it's easy fold it's not the most compact or lightest to transport, and there are occasions where a slim umbrella buggy is simply more convenient. I generally always prefer a solid flat folding, bar handled pushchair, compared to an umbrella fold buggy which is usually much flimsier feeling and not as comfy for baby - so I was determined to find an umbrella pushchair that was different to the rest.
The Joie Brisk definitely stands out as being different to the rest! The main defining feature to the Brisk has to be the way it folds. It has a one hand, single touch fold, operated by a trigger on the right handle. You simply push the safety button, pull the trigger and collapse it. It's the easiest and most innovative folding umbrella pushchair I've ever used.
Below is the full list of features (according to Joie), each of which I have followed with my own comment/opinion;
*Birth to 15kg
The flat recline option and car seat compatibility make this suitable for use from birth, and it's safety tested up to 15kg, which is up to age 3 years approximately.
*Precision performance lightweight aluminium chassis
Although on paper it's not the lightest pushchair at 8.6kg, it feels very lightweight and streamlined next to my Baby Jogger which is just over 9kg.
*Swift Single Action, one-hand 3D fold
The fold is so simple and easy, and all done with your hand so there's no bits to kick up or push down with your feet.
The handles are foam covered and curved to fit the natural position of your hand when pushing the buggy. They are a comfortable height for both myself at 5ft 6, and my husband at 5ft 11.
*Smooth recline system ensures you won't wake a sleepy baby
The recline is operated by a button/lever type mechanism on the back of the seat, which you squeeze together with your fingers and thumb to release and lower gently. To incline the seat back up you simply push it back upwards.
*Multi-position, flat reclining seat provides backrest recline options
There are several (four or five I think) recline positions which the seat clicks into reassuringly - as opposed to a drawstring recline which doesn't always feel as secure. The seat really can go truly flat and is therefore suitable for a newborn - although I would want to put a liner or cosytoes on first to make it a softer, cosier environment for a newborn.
*Multi-position calf support-2-position leg rest gives two comfy options
The calf support isn't as long as some, and when put up I find half my daughter's lower legs hang off the end. She is 15 months old and small for her age, so I would have expected a calf support to fully support her legs and feet at this age. However the action to move the calf support up and down (via a button either side) feels solid and decisive.
*Large, expandable hood with window and retractable visor provides custom shade options for baby
The hood is a real minus point for me - it's very small and certainly NOT large or particularly expandable. You can flip out a tiny couple of inch wide section, but that's it. It doesn't really offer any coverage or protection from the elements at all, and wouldn't shade the baby from the sun so a parasol or canopy would be essential for Summer. It also feels quite thin and flimsy in comparison to the rest of the stroller.
*SoftTouch 5-point harness system is gentle on baby's skin and adjusts to 3 heights
The harness is made from a super soft cottony type material (it probably is cotton!). This makes it very comfortable for baby - however I could also imagine it not being as hard wearing as a nylon strap. Time will tell if it ends up frayed, but I would say it's much more likely to happen than if it was a nylon strap. Another point to add is that the shoulder and waist straps are not fixed together - you have to interlock them before clipping them into the buckle. This makes it easier to adjust and feed through a cosytoes for example, but does add a few extra seconds to the process and could be difficult with a screaming, wriggling toddler!
*Shoulder harness covers
The shoulder harness pads are made from the same material as the seat and hood (soft nylon canvas) and offer a little extra comfort factor. Though the fact that the shoulder and waist straps aren't connected could mean they slip off and get lost at some point...
*Large storage basket-holds plenty of personal items
The basket is a really decent size for a stroller of this type, and would fit several bags of shopping inside. As with all umbrella folds however, the seat does restrict access when fully reclined.
*Front wheel suspension gives a smoother ride on rough surfaces
The front wheels were a worry for me initially, as they look quite thin and delicate and like they may not withstand any bumps in the pavement. However I have been pleasantly surprised as they have handled rougher pavements with ease, and most importantly with no damage.
*Single, stylish, front swivel wheels lock in place when needed
The wheels lock easily via a lever, and seem very solid despite being single wheels. I've previously had other single front wheeled pushchairs which have not been solid and "splayed" with use. The Brisk's wheels so far seem to be holding up well. They do look far more stylish and modern than traditional double front wheels.
*Manual fold lock
The pushchair has a clip which locks it in place when collapsed - this is very handy if you are in a rush or need to do it one-handed whilst juggling a baby and bags in the other hand, getting on public transport etc.
*Single step, ShoeSaver brakes keep your shoes scuff free
There is a large foot pedal brake on the right rear wheel, which is very easy to push up and down with your foot, and it clicks nicely to let you know it's securely locked.
The carry handle on the side of the pushchair is rubberised for comfort, and makes it much easier to carry up and down stairs for example.
*Pairs perfectly with all Joie Group 0+ car seats (available separately)
The Brisk can be used with a car seat by flipping up the calf support, reclining the seat flat and clicking the car seat into place. Only Joie brand car seats are compatible however.
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Another big minus point for me in addition to the poor hood, has to be the included raincover. The raincover is framed with two bones of hard flexible plastic, which makes it incredibly difficult to fold and bulky to store when not used. It also has numerous velcro and popper strap points to connect it to the pushchair frame - which may make it secure in a gale, but it takes AGES to attach it! If there was a sudden torrential downpour the poor child would be drenched before I'd got the raincover fully attached. It's also impossible to access the child without unpopping and un-velcroing numerous points first, so it's a huge hassle if, for example, they are sick, or take their shoes off, or can't reach something they've dropped etc. It also doesn't come down far enough, so an older child either has to hold their feet up or get wet feet! It does fit the pushchair well though, aside from all the other negatives.
One other minor quibble is that the wheels are quite hard plasticy material, rather than rubbery. This means that they rattle along the ground quite noisily, and on slightly rough paths I'm quite self conscious by the sound!
Also the seat is much more "open" than my Baby Jogger and my baby isn't as cosy in it - although she enjoys being able to see out more and interact with others. She always sleeps well in the Baby Jogger, but hasn't slept in the Brisk yet, which I think says a lot. I think that's probably because the suspension isn't as soft on the Brisk and makes for a harder ride, plus the hood doesn't shield her from the light.
So overall, the Joie Brisk seems to be a great umbrella folding pushchair for the price. It's very solid and sturdy, yet super lightweight to push and steer, and easy to fold and store. The only real negatives being the small hood and faffy bulky raincover - which I can live with as a spare/travelling pushchair. I'm not sure I could have it as an everyday pushchair though.
Pushchair accessories included: Chest pads. Detachable hood. Bumper bar. Shopping basket. Raincover. Footmuff. General information: Aluminium chassis. Adjustable calf support. Adjustable leg rest. Linked brakes. Dual wheel suspension. Handle height 101cm. Swivel and lock wheels - front wheels only. 4 wheeler. 5 point harness. Forward facing seat. 1 hand recline adjustment. 5 recline positions. Folding specifications: Carry strap. Folded size L99, W28, D32cm. 1 hand umbrella fold. Pushchair specifications: Suitable for children up to 15kg. Suitable from birth to 3 years. Weight 8.5kg. Size W45, D95cm. Compatible with Joie infant carrier car seats.