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Hands-on Gear Review
Joovy Room2 ReviewPrice: $150.00 List | $101.99 at Amazon - 32% off
Pros: High quality, more comfortable
Cons: Harder to use, heavy, poor eco-health
Bottom line: High quality, large and heavy design that is harder to use
The Joovy Room2 is a large portable play yard. This product didn't score that well in our review with a heavier weight and larger folded size than most of the competition. The materials and design are higher quality, and the mattress is more comfortable than some of the competition. However, if eco-health is a concern for you, then it isn't the best choice thanks to the potential use of chemical flame retardants. The Room 2 is also harder to use and a choice we don't recommend, even for parents of twins who may be attracted to the optional Nursery Center accessory. Given concerns over the safety of the Nursery Center as a bassinet for twins, we don't see it as a viable choice for infant twins.
For details on our concerns related to using the Room2 with the Nursery Center and sleeping with twins please see the Accessories section below. For more information on preventing sleep-related death please read our article on How to Protect your Infant from SIDS and other Causes of Sleep-related Deaths
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Travel Cribs of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Joovy is a family run company located in both Texas and California.Joovy was started in the USA in 2005 and offers many different types of baby gear from bottles to strollers and play yards. Joovy prides themselves on creating products with original designs and quality construction for products that are both fun and functional.
The comparison chart shown here includes the overall score for the Joovy (in blue) and the other travel cribs we tested for this review.
The sections below include information on the Joovy's performance in each test metric compared to the competition.
Ease of Use
The Room2 earned a 5 of 10 for ease of use. The Room2 is comparatively harder to set up and close than much of the competition. While it has a setup similar to the Graco Pack 'n Play On the Go we tested it is heavier and feels like it has parts swinging around making it difficult to determine the order of what to do. You lock the sides in place (above left) and then press the center down (above right). It took us over 8 minutes for the initial setup out of the box. Repeated setup over time resulted in an average setup time of closer to 2:43 minutes.
The Joovy is spot clean only and this works fairly well, but there are crevices where it will hard to get the gunk out and a vacuum will probably be needed to clean it well. It does come with a sheet that makes cleaning easier. The sheet is fitted and can be removed for machine washing.
The Joovy earned a 2 of 10 for portability thanks to the heaviest weight in the group of over 26 lbs. This is the lowest score in the group for portability and calls into question whether or not parents want to carry this product if they don't have twins. It does come with a carry bag with straps, but the larger folded size is also a problem and it may not fit in smaller spaces. This could be a deal breaker for travel when most parents would need a travel crib or play yard. The weight and size also made it hard for some testers to get the play yard into the carry bag.
This unit does have wheels on one end that make moving the Room from place to place easier.This is handy for around the house but does nothing to improve portability while traveling.
The Joovy earned a 6 of 10 for comfort. The Joovy mattress is about one inch of foam that is soft on top but easily depresses to the hard bottom with very little effort.
Placing baby in the yard is easier on caregivers than some of the competition thanks to the wider opening and lower sides.
The Joovy earned a 10 of 10 for quality. This score is the highest in the group and the metric Joovy scored the best in. The mattress type is not listed and much of the product is made with polyester fiber batting. It has mesh sides and no zippers. The overall fit and finish have an attention to detail and a sturdy design that looks like it can withstand multiples over a longer period of time.
Joovy earned a 1 of 10 for eco-health and fail to disclose what the Room2 is made of. We received no response from Joovy when we inquired on the materials and the inclusion of flame retardants in the materials leaving us to assume that it has them. Flame retardants are not required for this kind of baby gear and we prefer products without them. The Center for Environmental Health keeps a list of most major manufacturers and their use of flame retardants, but Joovy is not included on their current list.
Unfortunately, given the vague language and confusing answers to sleeping questions on the Joovy website, we don't feel that the Nursery Center is intended for overnight, regular sleeping. In an effort to clear up the confusion, we contacted Joovy via email about our concerns and received no reply to date. We also asked their online chat agent and she gave inconsistent answers to our questions on why the bassinet is advertised for napping, but on the Q&A page of the website, it says it is not a crib substitute.
We purchased the divider to get a better idea of how it is constructed and how it works. The divider is plastic covered in nylon (above left) and only the sides zip in place (above right) with the underside loose and open. Given the design, we feel there may be potential safety concerns and sleeping children.
Our observations revealed that this divider is flimsy feeling and moves around, which could lead to entrapment of arms, hand, feet and possibly legs. Also, the hard plastic covered in nylon is not breathable. For these reasons, we don't recommend the nursery center. From our point of view, it is a poorly designed product that is not suitable for overnight or unobserved sleeping. BabyGearLab feels that all sleep should be safe sleep and in our opinion, this makes the Nursery Center an accessory we do not recommend. In short, we expect more from a travel crib than vigilant observation while napping.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
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