Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite with Rear Seat Review
Pros: Better maneuverability, good quality, parent console
Cons: Heavier, larger, hard to use storage, higher price
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Joovy is a family company that started in 2005, making it a fairly young company in the baby gear world. They currently offer a variety of baby gear products, including strollers, play yards, walkers, and even bottles and other items for feeding. Joovy strives to use quality construction to create products that are fun, functional, and original in design.
Weight and Folded Size
The Caboose earned a subpar score in this metric. This stroller weighs 23.9 lbs and measures 11,382 cubic inches when folded. Only a few strollers are heavier than the Caboose, and a good handful lighter, making it a poor option if space is at a premium in your car.
Ease of Use
The Caboose earned an average score for ease of use. Thanks to the stroller's hard to access storage and a two-handed fold, the Caboose's score dropped in this metric.
Fold and Unfold
The Caboose is a two-handed fold that requires pulling up simultaneously on levers on either side of the frame (above left). It isn't a difficult fold, but the unfold is easier, by simply lifting the handle. This stroller does not self-stand and has a manual lock (above right).
The Caboose brakes are average to set and release, and they are sandal foot-friendly, even if they are a bit stiff.
The Caboose has under-seat storage that runs the length of the frame. It is medium in size and holds up to 5 lbs, but it has terrible access, and we were not able to fit any diaper bag inside. The only access is between the seats (above left), and with a second seat and child in place, you will be fighting feet to get to the bin. This stroller also has a front seat child's tray with two cup holders (that did not hold any cups we tested), and a parent console made of neoprene with two cup holders and two pockets (above right), which is a rare feature in the review.
Each seat on the Caboose has a different canopy. For the rear seat, a piece of nylon fabric zips to the front canopy. This shade has no sides and goes straight across, preventing taller passengers from sitting in the back seat. The front canopy is nicer and larger, with coverage to the knees, but it lacks a peek-a-boo window.
Both seats on the Caboose offer a 5-point harness. They have side clips that are easy to use for adjusting the crotch and shoulder straps, and the side straps are a double thread adjustment that is easy to tighten, but difficult to loosen. Rethreading the shoulder straps height adjustment is easy by pushing the tabs through the back of the seat.
The passenger seating experience on the Caboose is different for each seat. The front seat has an adjustable leg rest with a rough seam at the end that may cause chaffing on the backs of little legs. The back reclines in 3 positions with a recline bar. The recline is good, considering there is a seat behind it. There is no leg rest for the second seat, but it has a deeper recline adjusted with a pull tab on the back of the seat, which is a little stiff to move back and forth. The rear seat has limited legroom, and feet dangle over the storage access point.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Caboose can accommodate one infant car seat and comes with a universal adapter that works with some seats from the following brands: Baby Trend,
Britax, BOB, Chicco, Combi, Cybex, Evenflo, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Peg Perego, Recaro, Safety 1st, and UPPAbaby.
Ease of Setup
The Caboose took almost 11 minutes to assemble and is the only one that requires a tool. The documentation is good, and the second seat comes with a quick start guide, but it is still more difficult to assemble than the competition.
The Caboose earned a below-average score for maneuverability. While the score is low, none of the strollers scored over average in this metric. This longer stroller feels like a shopping cart and requires advanced planning for turning. It is harder to push, but turning is the real problem, and the whole stroller feels stiff. The handlebar has flex when turning, but it can manage tight spaces better than double-wide strollers, as long as you don't have to turn.
The Caboose earned an above-average, yet not high, score for quality. While it has more flex and exposed fasteners than we like, it comes together fairly well for a sit and stand style product. This stroller has sturdy fabric that isn't soft, and the frame has a simple design that is sturdy but has a utilitarian feel. The overall look and feel are average, but there are options in the group that feel more inspired and sleek.
The manufacturer's video shows some of the more interesting features of the Caboose.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team