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Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite Review

Limited functionality, but best sit and stand in the review
Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $250 List | $249.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to lift and carry, compact fold, easy to stow
Cons:  Accepts one car seat, harder to maneuver, storage is hard to access
Manufacturer:   Joovy
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team  ⋅  Mar 8, 2019
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 17
  • Ease Of Use - 45% 5
  • Maneuverability - 30% 4
  • Weight/Folded Size - 15% 9
  • Quality - 10% 4

The Skinny

The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite is an inline stroller with sit and stand capabilities and a rear seat with additional purchase. This sit and stand product is better than the majority of the strollers of this type thanks to a lighter weight, small fold, and easy to use features. While it wasn't the highest scoring option, it is the highest scoring product for this kind of stroller, and it earned an honorable mention for parents who need a lightweight ride for two passengers of different ages. While the Caboose may not do everything, like accept two car seats, what it does provide it does well and for a budget-friendly price.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Value Award Best Value Award   
Price $250.00 List
$249.99 at Amazon
$400.00 List
$270.28 at Amazon - 32% off
$200.00 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$280.00 List
Check Price at Amazon
$230.00 List
$269.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to lift and carry, compact fold, easy to stowMultiple seating options, accepts 2 car seats, easy to use, priceVery budget friendly, nice maneuverability, jogging potentialGreat protection from elements, easy to access storage, extra convenience featuresEasier to push and turn, lower price
Cons Accepts one car seat, harder to maneuver, storage is hard to accessHarder to push and turn, heavier, lower qualityLower quality materials, noticeable flex and wiggleHarder to push and turn, no car seat compatibilityHeavy, poor car seat attachment
Bottom Line Limited functionality, but best sit and stand in the reviewBetter than average option that offers much for growing families with style similar to higher-end optionsBest on a budget that is easy to push and turn even in small spacesBudget-friendly option with lots of nice features that make it easy to useGood maneuverability for the price but harder to use and very heavy
Rating Categories Caboose Ultralight... Evenflo Pivot Xpand... Baby Trend Expediti... Joovy ScooterX2 wit... Baby Trend Navigator
Ease Of Use (45%)
5.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Maneuverability (30%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
Weight Folded Size (15%)
9.0
4.0
6.0
6.0
2.0
Quality (10%)
4.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Caboose Ultralight... Evenflo Pivot Xpand... Baby Trend Expediti... Joovy ScooterX2 wit... Baby Trend Navigator
Weight 23.4 lbs 34.6 lbs 30.6 lbs 31.4 lbs 39.7 lbs
Folded Dimensions 21.2"W x 11.8"H x 46.5"L 26.7"W x 19.23"H x 32.7"L 32.8"W x 16.5"H x 34"L 29.5"W x 15"H x 38.3"L 32.9"W x 19"H x 34.8"L
Capacity Limits Minimum: 3 mo.
Maximum: 45 lbs/44"
Minimum: Birth Maximum: 55 lbs/38" Minimum: 6 mo.
Maximum: 50 lbs/42"
Minimum: 3 mo.
Maximum: 45 lbs/44"
Minimum: 6 mo.
Maximum: 50 lbs/42"
Included Car Seat Compatibility Baby Trend
Flex-Loc, Latch-Loc
Britax
B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Chaperone
BOB
B-Safe
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Combi
Shuttle 33, Shuttle, Connection
Cybex
Aton, Aton 2, Aton Q
Evenflo
Embrace
Graco
Junior Baby, SafeSeat, Snugride Click Connect 30, 35, 40, SnugRide Classic Connect 22, 32, 35
JJ Cole
Newport
Lamaze
Via
Maxi Cosi
Mico, Mico NXT, Mico AP, Cabriofix, Pebble, Prezi
Mothercare
Travel Tot
Nuna
Pipa
Peg Perego
Primo Viaggio 4-35, Primo Viaggio SIP, Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30
Recaro
Performance Coupe
Safety 1st
onBoard 35, onBoard 35 Air, Designer 22
UPPAbaby
Mesa
Evenflo SafeMax, LiteMax None None Any Baby Trend Infant Car Seat
Click-in Car Seat Adapters None Chicco KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Evenflo SafeMax, LiteMax
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30, 35, SnugRide SnugLock 30, 35
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
None None None
Strap-In Car Seat Adapters Baby Trend
Flex-Loc, Latch-Loc
Britax
B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Chaperone
BOB
B-Safe
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Combi
Shuttle 33, Shuttle, Connection
Cybex
Aton, Aton 2, Aton Q
Evenflo
Embrace
Graco
Junior Baby, SafeSeat, Snugride Click Connect 30, 35, 40, SnugRide Classic Connect 22, 32, 35
JJ Cole
Newport
Lamaze
Via
Maxi Cosi
Mico, Mico NXT, Mico AP, Cabriofix, Pebble, Prezi
Mothercare
Travel Tot
Nuna
Pipa
Peg Perego
Primo Viaggio 4-35, Primo Viaggio SIP, Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30
Recaro
Performance Coupe
Safety 1st
onBoard 35, onBoard 35 Air, Designer 22
UPPAbaby
Mesa
None None None None
Number of Car Seats Accepted 1 2 0 0 2
Recline Front/Left Seat Mid-Level Deep Deep Deep Deep
Recline Rear/Right Seat N/A Deep Deep Deep Deep
Storage Basket Size Medium Extra Large Large Very Large Large
Sun Shade Size Large Medium Small Large Small
One-handed Fold No Yes No Yes No
Locking Fold Manual Auto Manual Manual Manual
Self-standing Fold No Yes Yes No Yes
Handlebar Height - Min/Max 41.8" 33"/44.7" 40.6" 41.9" 41"
Sandal-friendly Brake Yes Yes No Yes No
Included Accessories None None MP3 Speakers None MP3 Speakers
Setup Time 14:23 8:43 9:20 12:13 15:09

Our Analysis and Test Results

Started in 2005, a family started the company which is now located in Texas and California. Joovy prides itself on designs that are original, functional and created with the quality construction of fun gear for everyday outings. Joovy makes a multitude of different baby products including everything from bottles to strollers.

Performance Comparison



The Caboose has a variety of seating options, but it isn't the...
The Caboose has a variety of seating options, but it isn't the easiest product to use.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Ease of Use


The Joovy Caboose is below-average for ease of use.

Folding the Caboose starts with releasing the stroller by pulling up...
This lever locks the Caboose closed.

Fold and Unfold


The Caboose requires two hands to fold and has three steps. It is average for ease of folding, and you'll need to pull up on the release on both sides at the same time and bend over to finalize fold. It does not self-stand and has a manual lock. Unfolding the stroller is easier, with one hand, one step, and bending to the ground.

The Caboose offers double action brakes that are not sandal foot...
The Caboose offers double action brakes that are not sandal foot friendly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Brakes


The brakes are single-action and are average for ease of setting and releasing. The single-action brakes are favorable and rare on this style of product, a welcome departure.

The Caboose storage bin is roomy, but the access points are so...
The rear seat addition on the Caboose makes the storage bin almost...

Storage


The storage is easier to access with the sliding bench seat than some of the other sit and stand competitors that have almost impossible to access storage. However, if you opt for the Caboose Rear seat, then the access is virtually nil. The maximum allowance of the basket is 5 lbs, and the smaller access opening means it is hard to fit a diaper bag inside. The bin itself is medium in size, but we couldn't fit any diaper bag inside.

The neoprene parent console on the Caboose has storage pockets and...
The Caboose child's tray has dual cup holders and a shallow tray for...

The Caboose has a neoprene parent's console (above left) with 2 cup holder pockets, and Velcro and zipper pockets for smaller items. The pockets are easy to use and can carry about 5 lbs. The holders work well, and the flex of the fabric means even odd-shaped items can fit inside. The child's tray (above right) also works with bottles and sippys, but the holders are shallow, and taller items could fall out.

The canopy on the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite fully open and...
The Canopy on the Caboose close and the seat in the upright position.

Sunshade


The sunshades on the Caboose are the best for the sit and stand style. The front canopy is large and covers most of the baby's head and part of their body. The rear seat doesn't have a true canopy but instead has a piece of fabric that stretches from the front seat and zips onto the frame, covering baby from front to back without side coverage. The rear seat cover will not work with the older child using the rear platform to stand on. Neither cover has a peek-a-boo window or ventilation, but neither is large enough for you to miss them.

The buckle on the Caboose is fairly easy to use, and we liked the...
The buckle on the Caboose is fairly easy to use, and we liked the harness material a lot.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Harness


The Caboose has a 5-point harness for the front seat and a 3-point for the rear bench seat (standard). Both are easy to get on and take off but aren't as easy to adjust as competitors. The shoulder height adjustment has three options and rethreads for height on the front seat, while the rear seat doesn't offer shoulder straps. The crotch straps in both seats are stationary but the length is adjustable. The straps also help connect the car seat and this not ideal as you can't adjust the straps with the car seat in place. You'll need to guess on the strap length and redo the install if it needs adjustment.

Engaging the Caboose recline on the front seat isn't as easy as it...
Engaging the Caboose recline on the front seat isn't as easy as it looks or should be.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Seat


The front seat reclines with one hand and has three positions. It is a little harder to use than it should be and it doesn't lay flat enough to be cozy. The rear seat does not recline at all, and you won't be able to recline the front seat if the rear bench seat has a child in it.

The Caboose can accept one infant car seat of various brands.
The Caboose can accept one infant car seat of various brands.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Car Seat Compatibility


The Caboose can be used with one infant car seat and is compatible with some seats from the following brands: Baby Trend, Britax/BOB, Chicco, Cybex, Evenflo, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Peg Perego, Safety 1st, and UPPAbaby. We tested the Caboose with the Britax B-Safe 35, Chicco Keyfit 30, Cybex Aton 2, Evenflo Embrace, Graco Click Connect 35, Graco Click Connect 40, and the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30.

None of the adapters need assembly, but you need to remove the child's tray to attach them. All of the infant seats are the strap-in connections, and they can be installed incorrectly if the straps are not properly secured. We worry some parents will forget the strap or choose not to use it making this design a potential safety concern.

None of the seats were very easy to install or remove, but they were all secure once attached. All of the seats scored the same in our tests, and we wouldn't really recommend one over the other.

The footrest on the Caboose's front seat is adjustable and comes up...
The footrest on the Caboose's front seat is adjustable and comes up far enough for baby to lay almost flat with leg support.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Setup





The Caboose did not score well for ease of setup, with a setup time over 14 minutes. However, the documentation is good, and we like the quick start guide with useful illustrations. It isn't as clear as it could be, but the number of things you need to put it together is the real problem.

The Caboose has the dual plastic front wheels that make pushing and...
The Caboose has the dual plastic front wheels that make pushing and turning a chore.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Maneuverability


The Caboose is not a stand out in maneuverability.
The front wheels on the Caboose can be locked in place if necessary...
The front wheels on the Caboose can be locked in place if necessary for better control over uneven surfaces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

None of the sit and stand models impress in the maneuverability department. This stroller is narrower which makes getting around in tight areas easier, but the plastic wheels and dual front wheel design make pushing it more difficult than it should be and some testers kicked the back of the stroller when pushing. It continues to struggle off-road needing extra strength on the grass and stopping dead on gravel. It is probably best to keep this option on hard and flat surfaces.

The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite is the lightest stroller in...
The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite is the lightest stroller in this review and the third smallest when folded.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Weight and Folded Size


The Caboose is the lightest option in our tests of double strollers with a total weight of 23.4 lbs. The Caboose is also relatively small when folded with one of the smallest folded measurements in the group at 11,634 cubic inches. Being light and small gives the Caboose an edge for the weight and folded size.

The Caboose only scored a 4 out of 10 for quality, this is the...
The Caboose only scored a 4 out of 10 for quality, this is the second to the lowest score in this metric.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


The Caboose only earned a 4 of 10 for quality, which is just 1 point above the low of 3 for the group. While this product isn't a high disappointment, it isn't that impressive either. For a Joovy product, it scored low, but it manages a higher score than the majority of similar options. This stroller has a heavier canvas that feels durable, but it isn't very soft. The hemstitching falls right on the edge of the seat behind the knee of some toddlers, and it could chafe. The material along the edge also feels like it will snag easily. We like the harness material (very soft and supple), but the seat only has average padding for comfort.

The Caboose is as lightweight as many double umbrella strollers.
The Caboose is as lightweight as many double umbrella strollers.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

The frame has an umbrella style feel and is utilitarian looking without smooth and appealing lines. The overall fit and finish are on the dull side, and the components and plastic wheels have a cheap feel that impacts the overall design. The handlebar is not adjustable and is narrow and flat, which doesn't feel that good in the hand and might cause fatigue on longer trips.

The stroller has stiff front and rear shocks, and the front seat is hard with minimal padding. The back seat is a hard bench with light padding and no seat back, so comfort for that passenger is even less than the front.

The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite is a lightweight stroller for...
The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite is a lightweight stroller for two that can accept on infant car seat.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Twins


The Caboose is not the best bet for twins given the disparity between seats and the lack of car seat attachment for two. While it is a nice option for parents who have an active older child and a younger one, it accepts only one infant car seat making it impossible to use with two babies of the same age, and even if you purchase it for twins large enough to fit in the seats, they will likely disagree over who gets to stand and who gets to nap.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team