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Hands-on Gear Review
BabyZen Yoyo+ Review
Price: $495.00 List | $495.00 at Amazon
Pros: Easy to push and turn, nice quality, lightweight
Cons: Expensive, not the best napper
Bottom line: Easy to maneuver, stylish, lightweight option that folds small with a big price
The BabyZen Yoyo+ received the coveted Editors' Choice award by earning the highest overall score in our lightweight stroller review, beating out 19 other products. The Yoyo+ has features that made it stand out from the rest in our testing. Maneuverability was this stroller's strong point, and it earned admirable scores in the remaining metrics as well. The Yoyo is easy to push and turn and negotiates small spaces with ease, proving it is prepared for the obstacle course that is city life. With the second highest score for ease of use thanks to its canopy, storage bin, and unique fold, this stroller gets the job done without causing frustration. The big downside to this stroller is the price tag which maybe more than most parents plan to spend for a secondary stroller. While it is arguably worth it (with a nice quality score), some parents may need a comparable option that is more budget friendly. The Recaro EasyLife is almost $300 less but comes with similar features and functionality, plus a higher score for quality and ease of use. However, if you can afford it, you won't be disappointed with the BabyZen Yoyo+ and all it has to offer.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Update - July 2017
Babyzen has released some new colors for the Yoyo+ stroller. In addition to the 6 colors previously available, the shades Ginger and Peppermint have been added to the lineup. The design and function of the Yoyo+ remain the same, and it continues to live up to its Editors' Choice award. The new colors are shown below with Ginger on the left and Peppermint on the right.
Babyzen was founded by five Frenchmen who wanted a lightweight, less bulky stroller for urban living. BabyZen is a high-end brand with sleek designs and higher price tags. Their strollers are designed for the urban lifestyle and travel, with an easy fold and carry for stairs, smaller footprint, and lighter weights. Marketed as "the only stroller you'll ever need" BabyZen has a small stable of 2 stroller options that vary between truly lightweight and more of an all-terrain option.
Looking at the comparison chart below it is easy to see why the BabyZen Yoyo+ earned an Editors' Choice award, with the highest overall score in the group (shown in blue).
The following sections provide more information on the Yoyo+ and how it managed to compare to the competition in each metric we tested. For the most part, the YoYo+ scored well in our tests.
Weight and Folded Size
The Yoyo earned a 7 of 10 for weight and folded size. This stroller weighs 13.5 lbs, but folds into an impressive 3,276 cubic inches.
While not the smallest in the group, there are only 2 smaller, the Quinny Yezz and the GB Pockit. The Yoyo will fit just about anywhere, and comes with a handy travel bag.
Ease of Use
The Yoyo earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which is the second highest score for this metric.
While it may not sound like a high score, only 4 other strollers earned higher marks, including the Recaro EasyLife with a score of 8.
Fold and Unfold
This stroller has a unique fold that moves up and down like a yo-yo. it is initiated with a lever (above left) and sort of folds into thirds, creating a compact package (above right). It is a one-handed fold and it auto-locks and self-stands, though the final product is on the squat side, so it isn't that different than the Yoyo not standing. It isn't the easiest fold, and the convoluted process disappoints compared to other small options like the Quinny Yezz that have simpler folds.
The Yoyo has a nice large brake pedal between the rear wheels that is single action and really easy to use. The pedal is far enough from the wheels for wider feet to press it without the wheel getting in the way, and it is super easy to set and release even for feet wearing sandals.
The Yoyo storage bin holds up to 11 lbs, which is impressive for a lightweight stroller, and significantly higher than the 5 lbs you can put in the Recaro EasyLife. However, we were only able to fit our medium size diaper bag inside. The bin itself is narrow and has good access from the back (above left). This stroller also has a medium size pocket on the back of the canopy for quick access items like a mobile phone or wallet (above right). We like that the zipper keeps items safely inside, compared to the open pockets on the Britax B-Agile 3.
The Yoyo sunshade is medium in size and has an SPF 50+ rating. This canopy has a small vinyl peek-a-boo window near the back of the shade that doesn't have a cover. The window is also not tinted or cross hatched, leaving baby's head exposed to potential sunlight, which sort of defeats the purpose of the shade. While the window is small, we still think it would be better if you could stop the sun from shining in.
The Yoyo has a 5-point harness with easy adjustments and rethread. The buckle is a little stiff and harder for larger hands to operate, but it isn't difficult and definitely better than some of the competition.
The Yoyo seat back reclines with a strap adjustment that is rather difficult to use and may require two hands. The recline itself is only mid-level and not flat enough for truly cozy napping, though little ones can and will fall asleep there if tired. The seat has no real leg rest to speak of, which is a bummer, and is probably more comfortable for longer legs that can reach the foot rest. The seat itself is padded, but a deeper recline would be a better asset than padding for napping.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Yoyo is good from birth with the use of a car seat adapter and an infant car seat carrier. The adapter is sold separately and only works with the Cybex Aton Q in the United States.
Ease of Setup
The Yoyo is the hardest option to assemble taking over 13 minutes with lots of parts and pieces. While you don't need any tools to complete the project, most of the competition comes with more pre-assembled parts than this one.
The Yoyo earned an 8 of 10 for maneuverability. This stroller has single front wheels (above left) and all wheel suspension (above right) that help it traverse almost any kind of surface with relative ease. Unlike the dual wheel counterparts that get pulled off course with random rocks, the Yoyo+ moves smoothly and without a hiccup on flat surfaces. It falters off-road thanks to the narrow wheels, but it was designed for urban living so it isn't a surprise that it doesn't enjoy grass and gravel.
This stroller has a single handlebar that is foam covered and comfortable to hold, we rather like it over the separate handles found on most umbrella strollers and it allows for one-handed pushing when needed. With a padded seat and simple recline the Yoyo is comfortable, but with a hard bottom and no leg rest it isn't going to be the coziest napper on the sidewalk. All-wheel suspension will go a long way to improving the experience for both passenger and pusher.
This stroller earned an 8 of 10 for quality. With an impressive design and high end components the Yoyo brings together materials that work well together to create a fluid moving and sleek looking modern stroller. The Yoyo has what you'd expect of a stroller with this price tag with no missed stitches or rough edges. This stroller is a mixture of sturdy aluminum and plastic with almost no exposed fasteners or flex when pushing. The bearings on the wheels make all the difference and the quality shines through when you use it.
This is a manufacturer video showing the highlights of the stroller in use.
BabyZen doesn't offer much in the way of additional accessories, but it has a few that look pretty cool and can improve the strolling experience for baby and parents.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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