The Zoe Traveler is a nicer quality umbrella option with a very reasonable price tag in this lineup of contenders. It features a huge canopy, adjustable leg rest, and a recline that is deeper than much of the true umbrella competition. This stroller has under-seat storage, a cup holder for parents, and a smaller fold. While this option is a pound heavier than the old Zoe, it is still lighter than much of the competition. It also has a brake that hurts when you release it wearing sandals or on bare feet. Overall, we really like this lightweight option, and it is one of our favorite strollers across all categories. We think most families will love it as well, which is why it is an option we definitely recommend.Editor's Note: The Zoe Traveler review was updated on December 16th, 2021, with additional information on testing methods, in-depth comparisons, and what we would buy.
Zoe Traveler Review
Pros: Reasonable price, good quality, comfy napping, smaller fold
Cons: Brake hurts the top of uncovered feet, harder to push and turn off-road
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$179 List||$195 List|
$194.99 at Amazon
$149.99 at Amazon
$79.99 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Reasonable price, good quality, comfy napping, smaller fold||Nice maneuverability, compact fold, easy brakes||Easy to carry, lightweight, stands on its own||Inexpensive, easy to use||Very nappable|
|Cons||Brake hurts the top of uncovered feet, harder to push and turn off-road||Limited napping recline, shoulder strap safety concern||Hard to push and turn, not for napping, convoluted fold||Poor quality, harder to maneuver||Heavy and large, harder to transport|
|Bottom Line||A high-scoring, reasonably priced option with nice features suitable for comfortable napping but harder to turn off-road||A nice stroller to push and turn, but average in most other respects||Upright seat with no adjust-ability that can be harder to push on uneven terrain||The cheapest option with disappointing functionality||Average stroller that is harder to carry, stow, and push on rough surfaces|
|Rating Categories||Zoe Traveler||Mountain Buggy Nano||UPPAbaby G-Lite||Kolcraft Cloud Plus||Chicco Liteway|
|Weight Folded Size (35%)|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Zoe Traveler||Mountain Buggy Nano||UPPAbaby G-Lite||Kolcraft Cloud Plus||Chicco Liteway|
|Weight||12 lbs||13.3 lbs||11.8 lbs||12.6 lbs||17.2 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||17.5"W x 23"H x 13"L||21.2"W x 11"H x 20.3"L||13.3"W x 10.8"H x 42.5"L||18.6"W x 11.7"H x 34.7"L||14.9"W x 10.5"H x 46"L|
|Folded Volume||5,233 cu in||4,734 cu in||6,105 cu in||7,551 cu in||7,197 cu in|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 45 lbs
Maximum: 44 lbs
|Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 55 lbs/45"
|Minimum: Not Listed
Maximum: 50 lbs/44"
Maximum: 40 lbs/43"
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||None||Universal Adapter||None||None||None|
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||None||None||None||None||None|
|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||Universal Adapter||None||None||None|
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||40.5"||39.2"||42.3"||38.9"||41"|
|Included Accessories||None||Travel Bag||None||None||None|
|Setup Time||2-5 Min||5-10 Min||2-5 Min||5-10 Min||5-10 Min|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Zoe started as a family-owned company with the goal of offering useful products for families at a reasonable price. They have since sold the company to a larger group, but they still specialize in strollers.
Weight and Folded Size
This stroller is relatively small and lightweight compared to the larger competition, but it isn't the smallest option you can find.
The Zoe weighs 12 lbs and has a folded size of 5,233 cubic inches. If you are looking for a travel-friendly stroller that is also comfortable with valuable features, it is the top of the pack, even if it isn't as small or as lightweight as other competitors.
Ease of Use
For a lighter-weight option, this stroller has many useful features for increasing ease of use or passenger comfort.
Our overall ease of use score is comprised of multiple sub metrics. We place more or less weight on a feature depending on its importance to a stroller's functionality. Our tests show the small differences that make a stroller easy and intuitive vs challenging and annoying to use.
Fold and Unfold
Our fold and unfold tests contribute to 25% of the ease of use score overall. The ideal stroller can be folded with one hand and takes minimal effort. The Traveler checks both boxes and earned one of the tops scores in the group.
The Zoe fold isn't as smooth as some competition, but this doesn't affect the ease of folding; it just takes some jostling to get everything into place. It can be managed with one hand to fold and unfold, and it has an automatic lock, so it won't fall open when you pick it up. It is also easy to carry by the push handle.
When you have a baby or toddler, the accumulation of stuff is inevitable. Because it is so important, each stroller's storage score is worth 25% of the overall ease of use score. Having a convenient place to stow essential items can be invaluable when you are in the airport or wandering around Disneyland. The Zoe doesn't have the best storage capacity and scored near the bottom of the group.
The Zoe storage bin is a mesh fabric with a solid bottom. It will hold a small diaper bag or jacket, but it isn't likely to fit a full day's worth of supplies. The manufacturer doesn't specify the weight limit. This bin is small, and the access isn't great. The opening has elastic around the upper edges, but a back crossbar limits how far down you can pull the mesh. It also has a pocket on the seatback, but it won't hold much more than your keys or a phone, and a phone will prevent the velcro from closing.
The Zoe brake pedal is a single pedal tab in the center of the axel. The pedal is easy to press down to set, and there isn't much play or movement when set. To release, you need to use the top of your foot to lift the pedal, and it is not very foot-friendly and could potentially cause discomfort depending on your footwear. We usually prefer brakes that have a press to set and press to release.
The sunshade on the Zoe is somewhat big for this kind of product as some lightweight strollers have very small canopies or none at all. The canopy has a fold-out extension and has a mesh peek-a-boo window with a magnet cover. There is a zippered extension in the back. However, it still isn't very big even when fully extended, but it will come down low enough to block the sun from a baby's face. It also oddly curves around near the baby's face and can feel somewhat like putting their head inside a bubble.
The Zoe has a 5-point harness with a rethread shoulder height adjustment (standard in umbrella strollers). The shoulder and waist straps on this harness are super easy to adjust. However, the crotch strap is not adjustable and is far longer than the competition. This strap could make fitting the harness for smaller children a challenge. The straps do not loosen over time, so at least if you achieve a snug fit, it should remain so. The buckle is stiffer than the competition but still manageable with two hands.
The seat on the Traveler reclines more than most traditional umbrella strollers we've tested. The recline adjustment is easy to operate with one hand to recline, but you will need two hands to bring it upright again. The recline is about 45 degrees and enough for comfortable napping for most children. This Zoe also includes an adjustable leg rest, which helps increase comfort for smaller passengers. It has average padding and two settings.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Traveler is not compatible with any infant car seat.
Ease of Setup
The Traveler has an assembly time between 2 and 5 minutes. You unfold the stroller, snap on the wheels and canopy, and you are good to go. The instructions are a combination of words and pictures that are easy to understand and helpful.
The Traveler isn't the best traveler across various surfaces, but in fairness, none of the true umbrella products are. At the very least, it has the single wheel per leg design we prefer over the two wheels on each leg design that makes pushing very challenging.
The shorter wheelbase easily handles tight corners, but that is likely where the maneuverability pluses end. The wheels don't roll as easily as they should, and there seems to be some resistance, especially compared to the easy push of the BabyZen Yoyo2.
This stroller is one of the most difficult in the group to push through grass and gravel. It almost wouldn't budge in our tests, and we ended up pulling it backward in several instances. If you plan to traverse through greenbelts or parks regularly, this may not be the right option for you.
The Zoe is pretty good quality for a stroller that costs less than average in this review, but its score for this metric is still below average.
We like the look and feel of this Zoe, and it feels sturdy for a lightweight product. The plastic wheels are small and narrow resulting in pushing trouble during testing. The frame is basic and not as sleek as some of the competition, but it doesn't feel rickety either.
The fabric is a small weave canvas that is average in softness and durability. The canopy looks wrinkled even when fully extended. The harness has padding around the shoulders and the crotch strap, with wide fabric rather than the usual strip of webbing. It is not padded but probably more comfortable due to its width. The basket material is a rubbery mesh that feels sturdy but will likely not hold its shape and may snag easily.
Should You Buy the Zoe Traveler?
After testing more than 50 lightweight strollers, the Zoe Traveler is one of our favorites. Although it is not the highest quality product we laid hands on, it has very easy-to-use features, respectably small weight, and folded size, and is one of the more affordable options out there. We think this is a good choice for most families, especially those buying this as a secondary stroller and want to stick to a stricter budget.
What Other Umbrella Strollers Should You Consider?
If weight and size are your top priorities, the Zoe is hard to beat. Only the GB Pockit and UPPAbaby G-Lite received better scores in this metric. If you are ok with a stroller that is a bit heavier and a few steps up in price, the BabyZen Yoyo2 is one of our favorite options in this category and is a top-quality product.
— Wendy Schmitz and the BabyGearLab Review Team
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More