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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 BEST does not have adjustable leg rests but the seatback reclines far enough for comfortable napping.
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 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.
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 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 one of the highest scores for this metric.
The BEST has a nice quality to price ratio with a score of 6 of 10, which is over the average.
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.