Since becoming a dad, I’m happy to admit that I’ve developed a bit of a fetish for travel systems, pushchairs, strollers, buggies, prams or whatever else you want to call them.
We’ve had a travel system ever since Baby L was born which has been great, but it isn’t really designed to be compact and lightweight. I’ve therefore recently been looking at a few strollers which would do a different job to the travel system and give us a different option – something that could be used for quick trips out or when boot space was at a premium, for instance.
I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to loan the BabyZen YOYO 6+ Buggy and try it out for a few weeks. I remember seeing a video of the YOYO in action a few months ago and was amazed at how compact it folded and how quickly it could be opened up. This meant that I had high hopes for the stroller and was eager to put it through its paces. Below is my review of the buggy.
The product is described as:
The YOYO is a lightweight buggy packed with innovation: spectacular folding, comfort, smooth ride, sleek design… you have to see it to believe it. Perfect for urban parents and fantastic for travellers, the Yoyo buggy is the new name for mobility. Features include:
- Most compact buggy ever imagined (52 x 44 x 18 cm when folded), and first stroller in the world to fully comply with size recommendation for cabin baggage
- 4-wheel suspension
- Exclusive “soft-drive” system: no need to lock the front swivel wheel, even on rough terrain.
- Folding, unfolding and driving, all one-handed
- Reclinable backrest, removable and washable fabrics
- Comfortable seat pad and 5-point harness
- Featherweight (only 5.8 kg); comes with a shoulder strap
- Suitable from 6 months up to 15kg
- Choose a black or white chassis
- Black, red and blue fabrics available
You know the scene in Mary Poppins where our favourite singing babysitter reaches into her bag and pulls out loads of stuff that don’t look like they’d fit? Well that’s what it felt like when I took delivery of the YOYO. The box that it came in looked too small to house a pushchair, so I was a little unsure as to whether I’d been sent what I expected! However, on opening the box, my fears were put at ease as I pulled out the various BabyZen branded goodies – this included the carry bag (with folded pushchair inside), a rain cover in a handy bag and the instruction manual.
I was immediately surprised at how compact the pushchair was when folded. I expected it to be small, but was amazed that this thing in front of me was an actual pushchair. Like an excited child, rather than spend two minutes reading the instructions, I jumped straight in to try and figure it out myself. I pressed a few buttons and moved a few bits which transformed the folded plastic, metal and cloth into a real life pushchair – although it didn’t quite open like the video I’d previously seen! I therefore lost a few ‘man points’ by taking a look at the instruction book, which clearly explained what I should have done. I re-folded the pushchair, and after a few more attempts, was able to open the pushchair within seconds.
The YOYO really is easy to open and close. There is a clip which holds the pushchair together when folded – to open it up, you simply undo the clip then throw the pushchair out in front of you by holding the handlebars (just don’t let go!). The YOYO is designed in a way that the weight automatically opens the pushchair when it is flung, meaning that it can be done with one hand. To fold the pushchair, you press two buttons either side of the handlebars in order to push them down, then press the handle at the bottom of the YOYO which allows it to be folded back up on itself. The best way to see the YOYO in action is to watch my Instagram video below which shows it being opened and closed all within 10 seconds!
The YOYO also comes with a number of other cool features. It has a strap which means you can carry the pushchair over your shoulder like a bag when it is folded, which is great if you are holding other things in your hands. It has a large hood which can be put up or down depending on the weather or if the little one is trying to sleep – when down, there is also a little ‘peep hole’ (not in a voyeuristic, pervy way!) which allows you to check on the sprog when they are in the pushchair. The YOYO also comes with a 5-point harness which ensures the baby is comfortable and safe, as well as a seat which reclines by adjusting a strap on the back.
We tried the YOYO in a number of different situations and found that it was excellent no matter where we took it. This included walks around the block with the dog, across grass and loose gravel when we were doing a bit of off-roading and on the high street with inconsiderate shoppers. The YOYO was very lightweight, handled well and was easy to manoeuvre – everything we were looking for in a secondary pushchair.
The best thing about the YOYO though is how small if folds, particularly when taking it in the car – it took up hardly any of our boot space which is something we’ve struggled with when taking our travel system in the car with us. The YOYO is actually the only pushchair you can take onto a plane as hand luggage which just goes to show how compact it is.
Overall, the YOYO was fantastic, however I did have one or two little niggles which I think mainly come down to personal preference. I found the buckle a little difficult to clip together – the idea is that you take the left strap and right strap, fit the two together and then clip into the buckle. However, it took a little while to figure this out, meaning it is not the most intuitive or easiest buckle I’ve ever used. Although the seat reclines, it doesn’t go flat which I think is important when you’re trying to get a baby to sleep when out and about. Finally, it also felt a little strange having Baby L face away from us – she has only ever been parent-facing, so having her forward-facing wasn’t ideal. However, as mentioned, this really is a preference and the ‘peep hole’ at the top of the hood does help with this.
The YOYO costs £319.00 for the 6 months + version and is available from a number of websites including Whitestep and Amazon. Like most baby products, there are a huge number of alternatives on the market (ranging from approx. £50 all the way up to £500 ish) so it all comes down to your requirements and budget. I believe that with something like this, you get what you pay for, and having used it, I’d be happy to spend £300 safe in the knowledge that this would last us for years and do exactly what we needed it to do.
However, there is no question that £300 is a lot of money, particularly if you’ve already splashed out on other baby travel paraphernalia such as a car seat, travel system, baby carrier etc. It is therefore important to figure out in advance what you need and how you will use it. In retrospect, we would probably not spend so much on a travel system as something like the YOYO has the ability to make the pushchair part of a travel system redundant.
We loved the BabyZen YOYO and was gutted when we had to send it back. It exceeded my expectations and I’d have no qualms about recommending it to others. Baby L appeared comfortable in the buggy and was well secured with the harness, although the buckle takes a bit of getting used to. I was also surprised at how sturdy the stroller was on different types of ground – path, grass, stone etc – as I thought it may struggle as the wheels didn’t look particularly huge.
The fact that the buggy folds so compact, then opens so easily, is truly amazing. The pushchair is no more than a small suitcase in size, which make is ideal for small cars, going on holiday and when dealing with public transport. I also loved the fact that it opened quickly and easily by basically throwing the stroller in front of you. The YOYO is a truly great compact buggy and one I’d love to get my hands on again in the future!
The DADventurer Star Rating
5 out of 5
N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The YOYO buggy was sent to me by BabyZen with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for a temporary loan of the product.