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ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Review

Nice, lightweight umbrella that is easy to use and small when folded
ZOE XL2 BEST v2
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $330 List
Pros:  Easy to use, lightweight, nice quality
Cons:  Harder to push and turn
Manufacturer:   ZOE
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Mar 26, 2018
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 7
  • Weight/Folded Size - 40% 8
  • Ease Of Use - 30% 9
  • Maneuverability - 20% 4
  • Quality - 10% 6

The Skinny

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.

Update 2020
The BEST XL2 has been renamed the ZOE Twin+ and also now comes in a Luxe version that includes several upgrades like thicker fabric, ball bearing wheels and leatherette accents.

Compare to Similar Products

 
ZOE XL2 BEST v2
This Product
ZOE XL2 BEST v2
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Value Award  
Price $330.00 List$500.00 List$350.00 List
$349.99 at Amazon
$100.00 List
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$100.00 List
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Pros Easy to use, lightweight, nice qualityVery small, well-made, adjustable leg restsHigh quality, comfy seats, useful featuresPrice, small, light, easy to stowPrice, lighter weight
Cons Harder to push and turnExpensive, harder to fold, no peek-a-boo windowsHeavier, storage bin access issuesLower quality, harder to useSuper hard to push and turn, poor quality, hard to use
Bottom Line Nice, lightweight umbrella that is easy to use and small when foldedSomewhat pricey umbrella that is well made and fits in tight spacesStylish and high quality choice with useful features for longer tripsBudget friendly option that is easy to carry and fits in small spacesBudget friendly option that is so hard to push and use that the savings isn't worth the frustration
Rating Categories ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Mountain Buggy Nano... UPPAbaby G-Link 2 LX Side by Side Kolcraft Cloud Double
Weight Folded Size (40%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (30%)
9.0
6.0
7.0
3.0
3.0
Maneuverability (20%)
4.0
4.0
5.0
4.0
1.0
Quality (10%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
3.0
2.0
Specs ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Mountain Buggy Nano... UPPAbaby G-Link 2 LX Side by Side Kolcraft Cloud Double
Weight 19.7 lbs 20.3 lbs 21.3 lbs 18.5 lbs 20.1 lbs
Folded Dimensions 32.2"W x 10"H x 28.4"L 28.5"W x 13"H x 20.2"L 18"W x 15"H x 42"L 17"W x 11.5"H x 42"L 16.4"W x 12"H x 43.4"L
Capacity Limits Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 33 lbs
Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 33 lbs
Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 55 lbs/45"
Minimum: Must Have Proper Head and Neck Control
Maximum: 35 lbs
Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 35 lbs/40"
Included Car Seat Compatibility None None None None None
Click-in Car Seat Adapters None None None None None
Strap-in Car Seat Adapters None None None None None
One-handed Fold No No No No Yes
Locking Fold Auto Auto Auto Manual Manual
Self-standing Fold No Yes No No No
Carry Strap No Yes No No No
Handlebar Height - Min/Max 40.7" 39.7" 41.5" 36.8" 38.6"
Sandal-friendly Brake Yes Yes No No Yes
Included Accessories Cup Holder and Snack Cup None None None None
Setup Time 4:06 3:33 4:50 2:53 10:47

Our Analysis and 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 XL2 BEST v2 is a side-by-side lightweight stroller with more...
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is a side-by-side lightweight stroller with more features than your standard umbrella option.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Performance Comparison



Though heavier than the stroller it replaces, the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is...
Though heavier than the stroller it replaces, the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is still one of the lightest in the group and the second smallest.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 weighs 19.7 lbs, making it one of the 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.

Having child snack trays and large canopies, like those found on the...
Having child snack trays and large canopies, like those found on the ZOE XL2 BEST v2, can be good for longer trips or if you plan to use your lightweight stroller regularly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The BEST is one of the easiest options to use in our tests.


Ease of use testing includes folding and features and how easy they are to use on a daily basis.

The ZOE has an automatic lock that works well and holds the stroller...
The ZOE folds with the pull of the unlock straps under the seats.

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 ZOE brakes can be operated by press the side pedal near the...
The ZOE brakes can be operated by press the side pedal near the wheel or the center of the bar.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Brakes


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 storage bin is large with a 10 lb capacity and it fit our...
The bumper bar on the ZOE can be replaced with two cup holders and a...
The side parent cup holder on the ZOE is relatively shallow and...

Storage


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 BEST canopies are large and provide low coverage. They have...
The BEST canopies are large and provide low coverage. They have nicely sized mesh peek-a-boo windows that have covers with magnetic closures.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sunshade


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.

The ZOE has a 5-point harness in each seat with easy to adjust...
The ZOE has a 5-point harness in each seat with easy to adjust straps, shoulder pads, and push-button buckle.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Harness


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 adjustable leg rests, and snack cups on the ZOE can make longer...
The adjustable leg rests, and snack cups on the ZOE can make longer trips more comfortable for little ones.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Seat


The BEST does not have adjustable leg rests but the seatback reclines far enough for comfortable napping.

The push button recline toggle on the ZOE works well and allows for...
The BEST seatback tops can be opened up for additional ventilation...

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.

The maneuverability of the BEST could potentially be improved with...
The maneuverability of the BEST could potentially be improved with single wheels per leg instead of dual wheels. As it is, it earned the second-best score for this metric with a 4 of 10.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Maneuverability


None of the double umbrella options performed well in our tests for maneuverability and the BEST is no exception.


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.

The front swivel wheels on the ZOE can be locked in place for easier...
The front swivel wheels on the ZOE can be locked in place for easier movement over uneven terrain.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 one of the highest scores for this metric.

The BEST has a nice quality to price ratio with a score of 6 of 10...
The BEST has a nice quality to price ratio with a score of 6 of 10, which is over the average.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Quality


This ZOE is nicer than the option it replaced with better quality than some of the lightweight competition with similar prices.


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.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz