Hands-on Gear Review

JJ Cole Broadway Review

Price:   $450.00 List
Pros:  360 degree seat rotation, nice footbrake, simple bassinet conversion, nice quality
Cons:  Heavy, 2-part fold, short seat height, steering hard b/c frame flexes
Bottom line:  Cool swivel seat with easy bassinet conversion but heavy & no locking fold
Editors' Rating:   
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Included Car Seat Compatibility:  JJ Cole Newport, Lamaze Via, & First Years Via 1470, Graco SnugRide, Graco SnugRide 32/35, Infant SafeSeat, Chicco Keyfit & KeyFit 30
Optional Car Seat Adapters:  None
Weight (lbs):  26 lbs
Manufacturer:   JJ Cole

The Skinny

The JJ Cole Broadway has been discontinued.

The JJ Cole Broadway stroller is a good (but not the best) choice for those looking for style and comfort in an urban or suburban setting. Its unique 360 degree swivel seat capability, multiple canopy color choices, as well as its easy conversion to a bassinet make it a fun and functional enticement.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab staff

Last Updated:
Friday
November 8, 2013

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With its full array of canopy colors, 360 degree swivel seat, and easy conversion to bassinet mode, the the Broadway makes strolling babies look cool. It can also fit many different car seat models with its included car seat adapter. However, we find that it lacks some fundamentals like adequate storage space and accessory options. Once we got underneath its flashy exterior, we discovered some flaws.

Performance Comparison


Ease-of-Use


With an average score in this category of 6 of 10, the JJ Cole Broadway seems as if its best use is for shopping at the mall.

2-Piece Fold
The 6-step fold requires the seat to be removed first, this stroller doesn't self-stand once folded or have a fold lock, and the release button is a tricky to use. Unfolding it is much easier, but entails putting the seat back on. There also isn't any kind of sound indicator - like a snap - to let you know that the stroller is fully opened. In total, it's a fairly heavy stroller at 26 lbs. However, because it must be deconstructed into 2 separate pieces for loading and unloading, the heft is divided. Nonetheless, we don't recommend this stroller as a traveling companion.

Tip for folding the stroller: The manufacturer suggests extending the handle from the middle to the full height when folding the stroller in order to ensure that it stays clear of the pedal.
The JJ folds into two parts  the seat and chassis
The JJ folds into two parts, the seat and chassis

Storage is Lacking
This stroller's storage basket is medium-sized and accessible from all sides but not really big enough to fit a large diaper bag. Because the basket is not very deep, contents are prone to falling out while in motion.
The JJ's storage basket is medium-sized and though open from each side  the access isn't large enough to fit a large diaper bag.
The JJ's storage basket is medium-sized and though open from each side, the access isn't large enough to fit a large diaper bag.

Unfortunately a parent tray, child tray, or a cup holder is not available either with purchase or as an accessory. This is a big deal because every other stroller we reviewed has some kind of parent and/or child organizer/tray, either included or sold separately. The closest item we found that's sold separately is a grip for the stroller handlebar from which you can hang a diaper bag. Now, the general rule-of-thumb for safety is that you never hang anything from a stroller's handlebar due to backwards tip-over risk. In our backwards tip over test, the Broadway was loaded to 38 lbs 10 oz of weight (with the child seat forward-facing) before tipping over backwards.
The JJ shown with optional handlebar attachment
The JJ shown with optional handlebar attachment

The sunshade is average in size and has a vinyl peek-a-boo window that has a flap with velcro attachment. The back of the sunshade can be opened for ventilation, but it will sag. Unfortunately, the seat height is very low at 20", so it is likely that your little one will outgrow the Broadway sooner than many other strollers in this review.
Sunshade's peek-a-boo window with Velcro closure
Sunshade's peek-a-boo window with Velcro closure

Nonetheless, there are some nice comfort features. The handlebar is adjustable to a min-max of 38"-41.5". It can also be positioned so as not to interfere when picking Baby up out of the stroller. It also fits nicely next to a cafe or restaurant table.

This stroller comes with a car seat adapter, which fits most car seats, including the Graco Snugride and Chicco Keyfit. The JJ Cole Newport, Lamaze Via and First Years Via I470 car seats all fit in the Broadway frame, without an adapter.

Maneuverability


This stroller received an average 6 of 10 score in Maneuverability. Though the stroller's footprint is compact making it nice in tight places, its frame is pretty flexible so it is harder to steer. The air-less wheels are made of plastic and do not have shock absorbers. Which makes the ride on paved walkways a little bumpy, and on rough terrain or snow, very bumpy; it does better on gravel than grass, however. We also felt insecure taking this stroller up and down stairs and curbs, when crossing over gaps and ledges, which is ultimately why we believe it seems best fit for mall-use.
The double front locking swivel-wheels come in handy on longer walks.
The double front locking swivel-wheels come in handy on longer walks.

Safety


We gave the Broadway a score of 7 of 10 based on our safety testing. The brakes are easy to release and set, but there is quite a lot of play in the frame, some of which comes from the handle. The 5-point harness is nicely padded with easy waist and shoulder adjustments and a nice, easy-to-use buckle. There is no crotch strap adjustment, however.

Overall, it felt pretty stable with an above average sideways tip over test score and an excellent backwards tip over test, refusing to tip until 38 lbs 10 oz of weight were on the handlebar with a 20 lb stunt baby in the seat. If anything, at times, this stroller felt at risk of tipping forwards during our testing. We did not do a forward tip-over test in our review.

Backed by a manufacturer's one-year limited warranty, the JJ Cole Broadway stroller is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and conforms to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F833 Safety Standards.

Quality/Durability


The Broadway scored above average with a 7 of 10 in Quality/Durability. The frame seems a bit too flexible for our tastes, while the inside fabric could prove hard to clean. Conversely, the sunshade is designed with a 100% nylon exterior so it's durable and easier to clean. The storage basket is removable.

Folded Weight/Size


This stroller weighs 26 pounds, the 7th heaviest stroller we tested in our review, and is medium-sized when folded, with the seat removed from the chassis. Though it will fit in most cars, it is best suited for larger trunks, like those found in an SUV or minivan.

The Broadway is able to carry newborns and children up to 50 pounds.

Ease-of-Set-up


We gave the Broadway an overall Ease-of-Set-up score of 2 of 10. This stroller took us 26:46 (min:sec) and it was necessary for us to get online and go the manufacturer's video for help with assembly as the documentation was vague and poor. The seat comes preset for bassinet-mode, so you will need to convert it to regular seat mode if that is what you want.

Best Applications


This stroller is best fit for walking on city or suburban sidewalks or inside malls, where others will admire the sleek design and interesting swivel seat capability. With minimal storage space, this stroller is not great for grocery shopping, and it's even a challenge to fit a large diaper bag. It doesn't come with a cup holder, and you can't buy one separately, either. The solid, plastic wheels are not made for long-distance off-road travel.

Value


For its mid-range price, the JJ Cole Broadway is less expensive than other "hip" strollers, and for the chic it's a good value. Its ability to simply convert into a bassinet, and the ability to face the child in multiple positions are bonuses, and would be most appreciated by urban families who desire adjustability in their stroller during outings. If you like this stroller, however, we recommend your taking a look at our Top Pick for Light and Compact, the Britax B-Agile. It's a high quality, high-functioning stroller, for about $200 less. The biggest difference is that the B-Agile doesn't have a swiveling or reversible seat or a bassinet option. But it can be used with a Britax B-Safe infant car seat until baby is ready to sit in the stroller's seat.

Conclusion


The JJ Cole Broadway stroller has some nifty features and a cool look. It seems best suited for city-dwellers who live in larger spaces. Although it's easy enough to fold and store, it can be heavy and bulky. Unfortunately it can only fold in 2 separate pieces with a chassis that doesn't lock. It definitely doesn't maneuver in tight spaces or over rough terrain with ease, like some other strollers in the same price range.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Broadway is available in just one black/grey drop style, however the standard black, nylon canopy can be swapped with six other modern colors: Plumberry, Sprout, Stone, Nordic Blue, Sassy, and Mars Red.
Six different canopy colors
Six different canopy colors

The only accessories sold separately are: stroller grip attachments, a rain cover (with ventilation holes and elastic bands to secure fit), a car seat arm cushion, color canopies, and their signature bundleme covers for extra warmth, available in 4 different designs (polar, original, arctic, and urban) with matching hat, mittens and booties.
Bundle me accessory on Broadway
Bundle me accessory on Broadway

JJ Cole makes another stroller, the Monroe, which is considerably less expensive (lists at $130), but it is more like an umbrella stroller, designed for babies starting at 6 months of age. The Monroe is available in the same black/grey drop design with multiple canopy color choices, but includes a child tray and small storage bag positioned by the double handles.

Video


Here is a fun, quick video of the Broadway stroller. Shot in NYC, it feels more like a music video than a tutorial.
Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab staff

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Most recent review: November 8, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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