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Hands-on Gear Review

Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight Review

Price:   $299.00 List | $219.99 at Amazon - 26% off
Pros:  Useful parent accesories, easy to push and turn, especially in tight spaces
Cons:  Harder to use and run with
Bottom line:  Disappointing choice that doesn't run straight enough and lacks the ability to fix that
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   Joovy

The Skinny

The Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight is the only jogging stroller from Joovy. This three wheel stroller sports rear wheel suspension, locking swivel front wheel, pneumatic tires, a parent console, and an under seat storage bin. This stroller earned a respectable score for maneuverability and weight and folded size, but it came in under average in most metrics we tested. The Zoom does not offer adjustable tracking, suspension, or handlebar height; features that most of the competition had at least a few of. In addition, it didn't score that well for run-ability and we had some trouble keeping it from veering off course. With the small and hard to use storage bin and no self-standing feature for the stroller, we think this Joovy needs a few upgrades to be considered as a fine jogging stroller.


RELATED REVIEW: The Race for the Best Jogging Stroller of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Wednesday
October 19, 2016

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Sixteen top-ranked strollers were put to the test to find the best jogging style stroller on the market (Thule Chariot Cross 2  Grand Safari  Burley Solstice  Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight  and Mountain Buggy Terrain not shown).
Sixteen top-ranked strollers were put to the test to find the best jogging style stroller on the market (Thule Chariot Cross 2, Grand Safari, Burley Solstice, Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight, and Mountain Buggy Terrain not shown).

The Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight weighs in at 27. 5 pounds, has a one hand fold with an auto-locking feature. This stroller has a parent organizer with zippered pocket and 2 cup holders. It has an easy on/off attachment and it is made of neoprene. The Zoom comes with under seat storage, passenger mesh pockets, tire pump, large adjustable canopy with peek-a-boo window, and seats one child up to 75 pounds. This stroller has 16 inch quick-release rear wheels and a 12-inch front swivel wheel that can lock for jogging. It features rear suspension, single action brakes, and is compatible with a variety of infant car seats with adapter (sold separately) that "click" into place without additional straps. The compatible seats include options from the following brands: Britax, BOB, Graco, Classic and Click Connect, Chicco, UPPAbaby, Maxi-Cosi, Cybex, and Peg Perego.

Performance Comparison


The comparison chart below shows the overall scores for the jogging strollers in this review. The Joovy is shown in blue.


The metric sections below provide details on how the Joovy performed compared to the competition during testing. The metric scores were used to determine overall scores, with an emphasis on run-ability and ease of use.

The lack of adjustable tracking hurt the overall run-ability of the Zoom as it veered off course at speed.
The lack of adjustable tracking hurt the overall run-ability of the Zoom as it veered off course at speed.

Run-ability


The Joovy only scored a 5 of 10 for run-ability, which means it may not be the best option for serious runners, but it is the average score for the group. The high for the metric is a 9 for the Thule Urban Glide and the BOB Revolution Flex both of which won our Editors' Choice awards. The low score is 2 for the hard to use Graco FastAction Fold Jogger. All this being said, we were somewhat surprised that the swivel wheel options scored higher on average than their fixed wheel counterparts that have historically been considered better for serious runners.

The swivel front wheel on the Zoom can be locked in place for running or movement over rougher terrain.
The swivel front wheel on the Zoom can be locked in place for running or movement over rougher terrain.
The Joovy has a locking front swivel wheel, but it does not have adjustable tracking (also something serious runners usually look for). However, despite the lack of adjustability, it does seem to track fairly straight, though there is some extra effort involved to keep it moving straight as it tends to veer off to the side. It also does not have an adjustable handlebar, so this might make it harder to use for taller or shorter parents that fall outside the average height limits. While pushing and running with the front wheel locked it is on average compared to the competition for the ease of tipping and turning. The safety strap on this stroller is nicer than that found on the Burley Solstice, and it can be attached to the handlebar when not in use to keep it out of the way. It is attached low on the frame and it allows the user to choose which wrist to wear it on. Adjustable tracking and handlebar would make this stroller easier to run with.

The Joovy managed fairly well at pop ups and turning tilting and turning with the front wheel locked.
The Joovy managed fairly well at pop ups and turning tilting and turning with the front wheel locked.

Maneuverability


The Joovy earned an 8 of 10 for maneuverability, which helps make up for its lower running score. This makes the Joovy easier to push and turn, even if running is a bit harder. The score of 8 ties with the Baby Trend Expedition, BOB Revolution, Schwinn Turismo and the InStep Grand Safari. The high is 9 for the Thule Urban Glide.

The spoked wheel on the Joovy combined with rubber pneumatic tires help make it one of the easiest to push on flat surfaces.
The spoked wheel on the Joovy combined with rubber pneumatic tires help make it one of the easiest to push on flat surfaces.
The Joovy is one of the easiest in the group to push and turn on flat hard surfaces. It is really responsive, almost too responsive as we experienced some tippiness when turning the stroller at speeds (especially with one hand). However, this makes it easier to turn in tight space and negotiate crowded spaces.

Pushing and turning on the Joovy on uneven terrain is a little bit harder than the flat surfaces  but still relatively easy compared to the competition.
Pushing and turning on the Joovy on uneven terrain is a little bit harder than the flat surfaces, but still relatively easy compared to the competition.
Pushing and turning on rougher terrain is a little harder, but not prohibitively difficult. It is a little tougher on grass and gravel, but better than much of the competition. The front wheel seemed to have more problems negotiating the larger rocks than most of the others even when locked. This being said the riding experience for the passenger seemed smoother.

This stroller is easier to pop up curbs than many of the others.

The canopy on the Zoom is not as smooth and nice looking as some of the competition.
The canopy on the Zoom is not as smooth and nice looking as some of the competition.

Ease of Use


The Joovy scored a disappointing 5 of 10 for ease of use, which is below the average for the group of 6. Only 3 strollers in the group scored lower for ease of use, including the Grand Safari, and both Schwinn options. The high for the group is 9 earned by the Burley Solstice.

The peek-a-boo window on the Joovy is a good size and easy to see through  but the hook and loop closures are loud and so small they are somewhat ineffective.
The peek-a-boo window on the Joovy is a good size and easy to see through, but the hook and loop closures are loud and so small they are somewhat ineffective.

The Joovy sunshade is large and offers fairly good coverage down past the knee. The canopy itself sits higher up on the frame than some of the competition so it is less effective at blocking lower setting sun and wind. It has a nice big peek-a-boo window, but the cover has hook and loop closures that can be loud when you want to see the baby but not disturb him. We prefer the magnetic kind like the one found on the Burley. The canopy is similar in size and shape to those found on the BOB strollers, with sturdy bows and mesh ventilation at the seat top.

The bar across the middle of the Joovy storage bin  coupled with the strap down the back  make it a bin that is hard to access and fully utilize.
The bar across the middle of the Joovy storage bin, coupled with the strap down the back, make it a bin that is hard to access and fully utilize.

The Joovy storage bin is sort of disappointing in a group with so many nice options to choose from. This bin is only medium in size compared to the competition and it has a maximum allowable weight of only 5 pounds. The Burley will accept 15 pounds, and the Mountain Buggy Terrain will take 22! We were able to fit our large diaper bag inside, but access is hard to use and only really available from the back unless it is just smaller items from the side. Access is limited thanks to a strap and low bar that goes across the bin.

The mesh inside pockets of the Joovy fit most of our test bottles and sippy cups and are good for snacks or small toys.
The mesh back storage pocket on the Joovy isn't as large as some found on the competition  but it will hold a water bottle and/or your wallet and keys.
 

This stroller also has a large mesh pocket on the back of the seat and inside mesh pockets for the passenger. This Joovy also comes with a parent console that has dual cup holders and a covered pocket for quick access items like your cell phone or keys. The console is a fabric, neoprene console and the covered storage might be too small for larger smartphones. The console has a maximum weight allowance of 5 pounds. All of our test items fit in the cup holders, even the 24-ounce tall water bottle fit and stayed put while strolling. The console itself is removable and washable if spills should occur.

Reclining the seat back on the Joovy is harder than it needs to be requiring two hands and extra time.
Reclining the seat back on the Joovy is harder than it needs to be requiring two hands and extra time.
The Zoom has a short padded leg rest that is not adjustable. It travels down to a foot pad that feels like rubberized mesh and should be easy to hose clean. The seat back reclining feature requires two hands is difficult to recline and more so to raise up. Compared to the easy to use one hand recline of the Burley Solstice it is easy to see why the Burley won an award for ease of use.

The Joovy looks slight in stature compared to the bulkier competition.
The Joovy canopy extends down past the knee and the seat back reclines fairly close to flat.
 
The photos above show the Zoom with the seat back upright and canopy closed (left) and the seat back fully reclined and the canopy fully open (right).

The Zoom comes standard with the parent console and handheld tire pump for quick inflation on the go.

The Joovy scored below average for quality in this review with stiff competition.
The Joovy scored below average for quality in this review with stiff competition.

Quality


Joovy earned a 7 of 10 for quality, once again scoring below average, which is 8 for the group. It did manage to tie with the Baby Jogger Summit X3. The high score for quality is a perfect 10 for the Thule Glide, while the lowest score is 5 for the Schwinn Arrow and the InStep, two strollers made by the same manufacturer with different minor details.

The Zoom has sturdy feeling fabric that is a little coarse feeling and not as nice on the skin as some of the competition. The seat and leg rest have a little less padding than we like to see in a jogger, but it does offer soft straps which will be nice for summer days when they will likely make contact with bare skin. The Joovy has a sturdy frame that has less flex in it than much of the competition, but it has more exposed fasteners that make the overall fit and finish not as sleek as the Thule strollers.

The wheels on the Zoom are all quick release options  and feel and look nicely made.
The wheels on the Zoom are all quick release options, and feel and look nicely made.

The wheels on this stroller are spoked aluminum, which is different than most of the top scorers in this review that had dense plastic wheels. The tires are pneumatic rubber, and there seems to be more wobble in the wheel connection point on this stroller than the nicer options we reviewed.

The Joovy handlebar is a fixed height bar at 41 inches from the ground. The bar is average in size with a firm foam cover to help make it more comfortable to hold and push against. The handlebar could be improved it were a little larger in diameter and if it had a curve to it for better ergonomics. In addition, given the popularity of an adjustable handlebar, and the fact that it is found on most of the higher end models like the Thule and BOB options, we think Joovy would do well by changing this bar to one with adjustable height to better accommodate parents of different statures.

This stroller has rear suspension that is not too stiff and not adjustable. The overall ride comfort level is good thanks to the sling style seat and shocks, but it could be made better with more padding in the seat or padding on the harness shoulder straps. The fabric is spot clean only and shouldn't be removed.

This stroller has a 2-year warranty.

Safety


For safety, the Zoom earned a 5 of 10 tying with the Baby Trend Expedition, Chicco Tre, Graco FastAction Fold, Mountain Buggy and the Thule Urban Glide. The average for the metric is 6, putting the Joovy once again below the average for the group. The high score is 7 for the Baby Jogger Summit X3, Thule Chariot Cross 2 and the Thule Glide.

The Zoom brakes are very stiff and not sandal foot friendly.
The Zoom brakes are very stiff and not sandal foot friendly.

The Joovy brakes are single action brakes that are difficult to use whether you are setting them or releasing. The pedals are not sandal foot friendly and are very stiff. The brakes only have 0.5 inches of play when they are set properly, and they have fairly poor sliding resistance when pressure is applied while the brakes are set.

The Zoom parent console is one of only a few in the competition and the cup holders were definitely the best we tested.
The Zoom parent console is one of only a few in the competition and the cup holders were definitely the best we tested.

The Joovy has dual cup holders in the neoprene parent console. The cup holders are fairly deep and seemed to retain our test items with ease, even over uneven terrain. We did not experience items falling out of the holders, and determined there is no safety concern for these cup holders or their placement.

The straps on the Joovy harness pop out when the buckle is depressed making it one of the easier one hand operations in the review.
The straps on the Joovy harness pop out when the buckle is depressed making it one of the easier one hand operations in the review.

The 5-point harness on the Zoom is one of the easier options to use, coming in just below the Burley in our tests for harness use. This harness is easier to take off than put on, but both operations are easy. The straps pop out of the buckle when released, so it can be operated with one hand to open. This harness has a variety of shoulder height options and an adjustable crotch strap.

While lighter and smaller than some of the high ranking competition  it would be really nice if the Zoom could self-stand when folded.
While lighter and smaller than some of the high ranking competition, it would be really nice if the Zoom could self-stand when folded.

Weight and Folded Size


The Joovy earned a 7 for weight and folded size. This is a tie score with 6 other strollers in the group and better than the average of 6. The high is only an 8 for the Urban Glide and Glide.

The rear wheels on the Joovy are also quick release with a mechanism inside he brake components.
The rear wheels on the Joovy are also quick release with a mechanism inside he brake components.

The Zoom weighs in at 25.9 pounds. This is neither heavy nor light for this group of products that ranged from 20.4 pounds for the Thule Glide to 32.9 pounds for the Thule Chariot Cross 2 with Jog Kit. Jogging strollers are often heavier than standard strollers, but given the three wheel design, we have found several that are lighter. When folded the Joovy is 14,515 cubic inches, making it one of the smallest in the group. It can be made slightly smaller by removing the quick release wheels. Only 4 strollers are smaller than the Joovy, including Baby Trend Expedition and the Baby Jogger Summit. The largest stroller is the Thule Chariot Cross 2 once again at 42,998 cubic inches. However, the Cross is a double stroller with features and design that make it good for jogging, strolling, sledding, and as a trailer for a bike.

The Joovy safety lock on the fold is under the seat and prevents the stroller from being accidentally folded.
The Fold tab on the seat bottom helps direct parents to the folding mechanism on the Joovy.
The easy pull handle on the Joovy folds the product in half.
 

The photos above show the folding component for the Joovy from left to right they are the release lever, the fold tab that indicates when the pull strap is, and the pull strap.

The fold lock on the Joovy is not automatic and requires parents to latch it themselves.
The fold lock on the Joovy is not automatic and requires parents to latch it themselves.

The Joovy Zoom is fairly easy to fold and unfold earning an 8 of 10 for our testing in for folding. This stroller is easy to fold, but it does require two hands and 3 steps. It does not have an auto-lock or self-stand, so it is somewhat limited in how helpful it will be on the go. It folds similarly to some of the standard strollers with a pull handle on the seat and a release lever elsewhere. Unfolding is about as easy with 2 hands and 2 steps. We prefer strollers that self-stand and auto-lock to make it easier on parents to manage and stow them.

Ease of Setup



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The Joovy took almost 6 minutes to setup from start to finish including taking it out of the box. It scored an 8 of 10 for this metric with good documentation and no tools required for the assembly. The easiest stroller in this review to assemble is the Thule Urban Glide that had great documentation and an intuitive build. Six different strollers earned the low score of 6 for the group, making the joggers easier to put together than many of the standard strollers.

In a category with so much competition  it was hard for the Joovy to compete making it one that likely doesn't have a best application.
In a category with so much competition, it was hard for the Joovy to compete making it one that likely doesn't have a best application.

Best Applications


Parents that like the Joovy brand might be interested in this stroller. We do like many of the Joovy strollers and have given them awards in other categories, but this one simply failed to impress in a category filled with such stiff competition. With an overall score of 60, which is below average, it is hard to find a best application for this stroller no matter what your strolling goals are.

Value


The Joovy Zoom has a list price of almost $300. This is about average for the group and about $100 less that the list price of several of the award-winning products that scored significantly higher. The most expensive product in this review is the Top Pick Thule Chariot Cross 2 with a list price of $775. That being said, being able to purchase an Editor's Choice product like the Thule Urban Glide or the Top Pick for ease of use Burley Solstice for only about $100 more than this Joovy is a no-brainer given how much higher they ranked and how much easier they are to use.

The Joovy scored below average for the metric and had difficulty keeping up with the designs of other models.
The Joovy scored below average for the metric and had difficulty keeping up with the designs of other models.

Conclusion


The Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight is an interesting jogger by Joovy. This 3 wheel aluminum framed stroller has a nice canopy and parent console with some of the best cup holders we have ever seen. Unfortunately, it didn't get a very good score for run-ability and its fold lacks an auto-lock and self-stand capabilities. Combining these results with the small storage bin that is hard to access and the Zoom disappoints in almost every metric. If this stroller had a few more features and functions like an adjustable handlebar and tracking, self-stand, or nicer recline it might be a real contender. As it stands it is not a stroller we recommend.

Other Versions and Accessories


Joovy makes a lot of other strollers and we have reviewed many of them with a varied amount of love and disappointment. This, however, is the only jogging stroller that Joovy makes and we just didn't like it as much as we do their Joovy Scooter X2 and the Joovy TwinRoo+.

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Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: October 19, 2016
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