Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Joovy Caboose (Ultralight): Pros and Cons

I'll get right to the point.

Joovy Caboose Ultralight Tandem Stroller
Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand-On Tandem: The Pros

  • It's smart -- a stroller with a back seat that lets big kids sit or stand. It's less bulky than a double and a lot lighter.
  • With the addition of the carseat adapter, this stroller holds a carseat, making it into an extremely convenient Snap-n-go-like stroller that has an extra seat for the big kid. This was a huge plus for us, as we are still car-less and take lots of cabs.
  • The big kid can sit facing you (with her feet on the platform), sit facing forward (with her feet in the basket), stand facing forward, or sit on her knees facing forward. That's a lot of options for a 2- or 3- or 4- or 5-year-old who likes options.
  • The big kid seat can fit a rather large kid, probably up to age 5. Maybe older. Though I imagine it would make the stroller a bit harder to push if the kid is very heavy.
  • The stroller is easier to push than most doubles, especially tandem (front seat/back seat) doubles. In fact, it is known as a "stroller and a half" not a double stroller.
  • The sun canopy is easily removable -- that's good because you really don't need it if you've got your carseat there.
  • The child tray (which is comes with) is also easily removable -- this will need to come out if you're using your carseat.
Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand-On Tandem: The Cons:
    Joovy Ergo Caboose
  • The basket is decent sized, but not so easily accessible. It would be nice if there were side access, especially when you've got your big kid sitting.
  • The Ultralight model only allows for the carseat to be placed over the front seat, which means that your big kid will only have access to the back seat/platform. The Joovy Caboose Ergo model (which costs about double the Ultralight version) also allows you to snap the carseat over the big kid seat, opening up the actual stroller seat (which is in front) for a very tired big kid who wants to really sit and rest. Of course, you can't blame the cheaper version for not having this option.... (P.S. The Ergo also has a much nicer sun canopy, larger wheels, and an overall nicer design (see picture left). My guess is that it maneuvers better as well.)
  • Joovy Cool Essentials Parent Organizer
  • The stroller pushes really well on flat, level ground. It DOES NOT push well up hills or if you're going laterally across a hill. It is DEFINITELY not a one-hand push and doesn't turn on a dime. 
  • It doesn't come with the rain cover or parent console. These things are available (and the parent console is really nice), but you must pay extra for them. 
  • With the carseat adapter on, the stroller doesn't fit into the trunk of a mid-sized sedan. Fortunately, the carseat adapter comes off pretty easily, but still, it's another step when you're also trying to get two kids into a cab.
Joovy Dry & Snug Rain/Wind Cover
Final thoughts: If you have a kid who enjoys a free ride, then this stroller is a good one because it will allow him/her to sit or stand or occasionally get off and walk. If, however, you have a kid who really doesn't like sitting and ALWAYS wants to walk, then the flexible attitude of the stroller will only reinforce the idea that you don't REALLY need to sit. Maybe most parents of 2-year-olds don't go through this daily fight of trying to get your kid to sit, but if you do, then you'll have little luck with a stroller that enables your kid to get up so easily. Yes, there's a safety strap, but I doubt anyone really uses it.

Suggestion -- If you have a little extra cash, spring for the Joovy Ergo Caboose.

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