In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Review

Nice, lightweight umbrella that is easy to use and small when folded
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $330 List | $250 at Amazon
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 10
  • 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.


Compare to Similar Products

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 features than your standard umbrella option.
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is a side-by-side lightweight stroller with more features than your standard umbrella option.

Performance Comparison


The ZOE Best replaces the ZOE Deluxe but its overall score is lower thanks to a heavier weight compared to its predecessor.


The information below includes performance details for the ZOE in our tests.

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.
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.

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 earns an 8 of 10, with a weight of 19.7 lbs, making the third 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 ZOE XL2 BEST v2  can be good for longer trips or if you plan to use your lightweight stroller regularly.
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.

Ease of Use


The BEST is the easiest options we tested earning a 9 of 10.


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 together for standing.
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 wheel or the center of the bar.
The ZOE brakes can be operated by press the side pedal near the wheel or the center of the bar.

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 large diaper bag.
The bumper bar on the ZOE can be replaced with two cup holders and a middle snack tray. This feature is fairly uncommon for an umbrella stroller.
The side parent cup holder on the ZOE is relatively shallow and poorly placed with a chance of spilling items onto passengers.

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

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

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

Seat


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

The push button recline toggle on the ZOE works well and allows for infinite recline possibilities.
The BEST seatback tops can be opened up for additional ventilation. However  doing this will make the canopy pockets useless.


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. It earned an 8 of 10 in this metric where the high is only 9.

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.
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.

Maneuverability


None of the double umbrella options performed well in tests for maneuverability and the BEST is no exception with a 4 of 10 for ease of pushing and turning.


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

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 the second highest score for this metric.

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

Quality


This ZOE is nicer than the option it replaced with a 6 of 10 for quality.


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