ZOE XL2 BEST v2 ReviewPrice: $330.00 List | $349.99 at Amazon
Pros: Easy to use, lightweight, nice quality
Cons: Harder to push and turn
Bottom line: Nice, lightweight umbrella that is easy to use and small when folded
Folded Dimensions: 32.2"W x 10"H x 28.4"L
Capacity Limits: Minimum: 3 months Maximum: 33 lbs
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is a lightweight double stroller with plenty of bells and whistles parents are looking for. This stroller sports under seat storage, child cup holders, bumper bars, and parent cup holder. The BEST is the third lightest and second smallest stroller in the review making it a good choice if space is limited or you have difficulty lifting heavier items. We think this stroller is easy to use with features that work well and are rather intuitive. This stroller does not accept any infant car seats and its maneuverability isn't the "best" with the dual front wheel design that we find usually causes difficulty pushing and turning. However, this stroller has a lot going for it and is the top-ranked option in this review making it a good choice for most families.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
In November 2015, a family with over 60 years in the juvenile products field started the ZOE company with the goal of designing quality products at an affordable price. The designs for their strollers include as many bells and whistles as possible so parents won't incur added expense buying much-needed accessories.
The ZOE Best replaces the ZOE Deluxe but its overall score is lower thanks to a heavier weight compared to its predecessor.
The information below includes performance details for the ZOE in our tests.
Weight and Folded Size
The BEST weighs about 2 lbs more than its predecessor which is shame in a category of gear where weight rules. The BEST earns an 8 of 10, with a weight of 19.7 lbs, making the third lightest in the group.
When folded, the BEST measures 9,145 cubic inches which is a decrease in size from the DELUXE and the second smallest in the group. These measurements make the BEST a good choice if your car is small or you value a lower weight over other things.
Ease of Use
The BEST is the easiest options we tested earning a 9 of 10.
Ease of use testing includes folding and features and how easy they are to use on a daily basis.
Fold and Unfold
The BEST has a one or two-handed easy fold with an automatic lock (above left) and self-stand. The self-stand can be tricky if the wheels are in the wrong direction but you only need to pull the straps under the seat pad to fold (above right). Unfolding requires releasing the lock and opening until it locks into place.
The BEST has single action brakes on a long bar across the back that makes setting and releasing very easy. The brake is smooth on both sides making it sandal foot friendly.
The BEST has a large under seat storage bin with elastic back access (above left). The basket has a 10 lb weight limit and fits our large diaper bag. Each canopy has a pocket with hook and loop closure on the back. The passengers have a bumper bar or cup holders (above middle) for sippy cups and snacks and parents have a single cup holder (above right). The parent cup holder is shallow and we worry the depth and placement could cause spills on the passenger.
The canopies are extra large and extend below the knee with very low coverage. The peek-a-boo windows are mesh with magnetic closures on the covers. The third segment of the canopy can be removed when not in use.
Each seat on the BEST has a 5-point harness. The harnesses are easy to adjust and rethread without much hassle. The buckle works well and depresses easily.
The BEST does not have adjustable leg rests but the seat back reclines far enough for comfortable napping.
The adjustment toggle (above left) is smooth and has infinite angle possibilities with additional ventilation (above right) at the top for hotter weather.
Ease of Setup
The BEST has simple clear instructions and took us just over 4 minutes to set up. It earned an 8 of 10 in this metric where the high is only 9.
None of the double umbrella options performed well in tests for maneuverability and the BEST is no exception with a 4 of 10 for ease of pushing and turning.
This stroller has 4 wheels in the front with dual wheels on each leg. We have found this design usually results in poor maneuverability and being difficult to turn.
Despite the ability to lock the front wheels in place, this stroller continued to have difficulty on anything but paved surfaces. This stroller had difficulty with doorways and couldn't make it through some of our test doors. While not all that impressive, it may be fair to note it has the second highest score for this metric.
This ZOE is nicer than the option it replaced with a 6 of 10 for quality.
The BEST has an aluminum frame with canvas cover. The fabric isn't that soft but it fits the frame well and looks nice. Everything lines up well on this stroller with nice connections and average flex for an umbrella stroller. The wheels are foam filled plastic and slightly larger and more substantial than the previous wheels.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
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Hands-on Gear Review