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August 17, 2012
Weekends mean family time here in our house. The four of us generally spend as much time together as we possibly can on the weekends, since we don't get to spend a lot of quality time together during our busy weeks. Therefore, when we go out somewhere, we all go. Whether we are off to a birthday party, a theme park, a shopping trip or just a walk on the trail in the evenings, we are always running somewhere.
Finding the right stroller to fit into our busy weekends has been a bit of a challenge for us. Bryce has always been a good rider, as long as he has a snack or something to play with. Rylie, on the other hand, has never been one to sit still in a stroller. When we are out we let her walk as much as possible, but sometimes we need to get somewhere quick and her little legs just don't go as fast as I would like them to. We need a stroller that Rylie can get in and out of easily, while Bryce rides in comfort for most of the trip.
We bought a huge tandem double stroller when I was pregnant with Bryce, and it worked well for us when he was an infant and Rylie was still small. Now that the kids are bigger, though, it isn't ideal. Someone always has to ride in the back, and that someone usually isn't happy about it. The rear rider can't see much, they get hot, and it isn't easy getting in and out of that rear seat. We also have a smaller double umbrella stroller, but there is no storage area, and now that the kids are bigger, the seats just aren't that comfortable for long periods of time.
The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand-On Tandem Stroller has solved all of our busy weekend stroller woes. It is comfortable for kids who like to ride, and convenient for those who just need to hop on here and there. The Joovy Caboose just got even better with the addition of the Caboose Too Rear Seat, which is an additional seat that snaps on to the back of the stroller frame for those days when everyone needs to ride.
Joovy designs and manufactures "family gear products that are extremely useful, practical, good-looking and FUN". That is the company's goal, and they do a great job of meeting that goal. I don't know how I went so long without knowing about this great, innovative company, but I didn't learn about Joovy until my former writer posted a review of the Joovy Nook Highchair. At first glance I thought the highchair was cool looking, but then I realized how practical and useful it was too. This made me look into other products made by Joovy, and I was equally impressed with everything I saw.
We recently received the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller to review. My husband (as usual) was in charge of putting it together and it was one of the easiest assembly projects he has had. Even though it seemed there were a lot of parts to assemble, everything snapped together easily and no tools were needed.
Along with the Joovy Caboose, we also received the new Caboose Too Rear Seat. This padded seat converts the tandem stand-on stroller to a full double stroller in minutes!
The Caboose Too attached to the Caboose quickly and easily. All we had to do was remove the rear seat waist strap, place the Caboose Too over the sliding rear bench seat and snap the straps around the frame. It went from a tandem stand-on stroller to a double, just like that.
The Joovy Caboose has an oversized canopy, so as long as the child sitting in the Caboose Too is not too tall, the canopy will easily cover both children.
Both the front seat and the Caboose Too have 5 point harness safety straps, which is very important to me. I have heard way too many stories of children falling out of strollers, and this type of harness system will keep my kids safe and secure inside the stroller.
The front seat has a 3 position recline that is easy to move. This is great after a long day out! The Caboose Too rear seat also reclines. You recline the seat by loosening the strap in the back, so you can recline it as much or as little as you want because there are no set positions.
The 4 wheel suspension will give even the rear passenger a smooth ride, and the dual front wheels allow for easy maneuvering through tight spots. The wheels are durable and sturdy and definitely contribute to a smooth ride. The stroller is easy to push, even with both of my kids in it, and I am able to get it in and out of our favorite stores.
I mentioned earlier that Bryce needs a snack or a toy to keep him occupied, so the snack tray is a must on any stroller we own! This snack tray has cup holders that are deep enough so that drinks don't spill, and a large area for snacks or toys. My only issue with this tray (and with the stroller overall) is that you have to completely remove it. It does not have a hinge so you can lift it or move it out of the way to get your child in and out of the stroller, so it does make it a little difficult to get a larger child in without removing it.
One of my favorite features of the Caboose is the parent organizer, which is constructed of washable neoprene. Not only will this help keep my drinks cool, but it will keep them from dripping all over my kid in the stroller. There is a small zippered pouch in the back that is perfect for holding my cell phone, or anything else I need quick access to.
The Caboose Too Rear Seat offers additional support and comfort for children still too young to use the bench seat and the standing platform of the Caboose. I knew that Rylie would want to stand while we were out running errands, so we test drove the Caboose with the seat attached before we headed out for the day. Rylie is almost 42" tall, and you can see that she still fit well in the rear seat, even though it is meant for smaller children.
The Caboose Too would have been perfect for us when the kids were smaller, especially when Bryce was an infant. The Caboose Stroller comes with a Universal Car Seat Adapter, so while his infant seat was nested in the front, Rylie could have sat in the back of the stroller in the comfortable seat. The Caboose Too makes the perfect addition to this stroller for families with twins or two small children. There are so many different riding options!
We took the Caboose Too seat off before heading out for a day of shopping, and that is when I noticed just how large the storage area was. Most double strollers do not have adequate storage room, but this one definitely does! I can store all of our essentials for the day underneath.
The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller weighs only 21 pounds, which is significantly lighter than our 40 pound double stroller that we were currently using. It was easy for me to fold, and super easy for me to lift up into the back of my SUV. That will save my back for sure! If folds up extremely compact for storage, and will even fit into the small trunk of my husband's car.
When we finally arrived at the mall for our test drive, we tested out the rear bench seat for Rylie first. Her legs are pretty long, so when the seat is pushed forward as it is supposed to be when a child is sitting on it, she had to really bend her knees to rest her feet on the plate. It wasn't her favorite position, but it is nice to have the seat available if she doesn't want to stand.
The real fun started when Rylie got to stand up and ride through the mall. She LOVED it! She could see everything, and she could jump off when she needed to look at that pretty pink skirt in her favorite store, or throw money into the fountain. When she was done, she was able to just hop back on.
Bryce was comfortable in the front seat and enjoyed the ride. I like that the Caboose has an adjustable foot rest. You can position it higher like the picture above for smaller children, or drop it down for taller kids like Bryce.
Overall, this stroller is perfect for my family! It gives Bryce a comfortable ride, while Rylie has the freedom to walk some and ride some. She is the big kid in the back, and she is excited to stand and ride when we need to get somewhere quickly. I think this would be a great stroller for any families with multiple children, whether they are different ages like mine, or the same age. The addition of the Caboose Too Rear Seat allows for different seating options for different situations. Other than the fact that the front tray does not swivel or fold down, I love everything about this stroller and I highly recommend it!
The Joovy Caboose Ultralight retails for $269.99 and the Caboose Too for $69.99. I would easily pay full price for the stroller itself, due to the lightweight, compact size and the various seating options it offers for my children. While I do not have much of a need for the Caboose Too, I feel that the price is about average for what I would expect to pay for a high quality stroller accessory that offers so much functionality too.
Visit Joovy online to check out the rest of the FUN family gear they have to offer. While you're there, make sure you sign up for "Club Joovy" (located at the top of the homepage) to receive exclusive discounts and sweepstakes. You can also follow Joovy on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller and the Caboose Too at no cost in order to facilitate this review.