When my husband and I were setting up our baby registry, the one baby gear item we hemmed and hawed over was the stroller. At the time, we lived in Brooklyn and didn’t have a car, so we wanted something that felt safe, sturdy, and durable, but was also convenient for city life: good for long walks through parks and streets, feasible to bring on the subway or bus without assistance, and didn’t take up our entire apartment. Our strategy was to ask every local family we knew for their stroller recommendation and cross check it with the most popular strollers that were being sold in NYC baby stores. For months we revisited the stroller sections of stores, weighing our options, pushing various prams around, folding and unfolding them. At home we watched endless videos about our final contenders. It came down to three options and in the end, the Babyzen YOYO won.
This was seven years ago — Babyzen was a new brand and only had one model, the YOYO. Most of our friends with older children (whose opinions I trusted) had the Uppababy Vista or Cruz and loved it. That’s why, if we spotted a YOYO in the wild, my husband would chase the family down while I waddled 20 steps behind to harass them for their review. I think it was the adorable family we approached in Italy during our babymoon that sealed the deal for me. Even as they were navigating cobblestone streets, the family told us what they loved and didn’t love about the stroller, but were emphatic that the pros almost eclipsed the cons.
- Price: $499 for the stroller frame and fabric kit (the seat). For babies younger than 6 months, the newborn pack (which is essentially a bassinet) is $180. Like many strollers, you can buy a full set or pieces (the frame, seat, bassinet, and accessories) a la cart.
- Sizes: One size, but there is a version for newborns (with a bassinet) or 6 months+ (with a seat for babies who are strong and old enough to sit up, and older). There’s also YOYO Connect, which is a special frame that connects to another YOYO stroller frame so that you can push two at the same time.
- Weight: 13.7 lbs
- Dimensions: 20.5 × 17.3 × 7.1 in. when folded
- Frame colors: Black or white
- Fabric colors: Stone (grey), Black, Olive, Ginger (salmon), Aqua, Taupe, and Air France Blue (navy).
- Accessories: They have a huge selection of add-ons, including a parasol, cup holder, mosquito net, rain cover, mittens, foot muff, kick board (with a removable seat), storage bag, skis (yes, really, for light snow), and even replacement handlebars and wheels.
- Who it’s for: All parents with newborns, babies, toddlers, and young children up to 48.5 lbs.
- When to use: Every day, especially for city life and traveling.
- Pro-tip: The YOYO accommodates two to three children, depending on the configuration. It’ll fit two with the standard stroller and kick board or YOYO Connect frame; it fits three if you connect two strollers using the YOYO Connect and add a kick board.
The Babyzen YOYO has all the standard features of many strollers on the market today: 50+ UPF water-resistant fabric, five-point harness (on both the seat and bassinet), reclining back rest, bottom storage basket, canopy window, one-handed maneuverability, car-seat compatibility with an adapter, and loads of other add-ons sold separately. The materials — aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and fiber-glass reinforced plastics — allow it to be both strong and lightweight.
You can fold, unfold, and push the YOYO stroller with only one hand, and it’s light enough to carry on your shoulder (with the attached padded shoulder strap). This makes it convenient for everyday use and perfect for travel.
The storage basket is on the small side compared to other strollers, but honestly, that just made us pack more minimally, so we don’t have many complaints here. There is an additional storage bag attachment you can purchase if you plan on taking the stroller with you to run errands and you need somewhere to stash your groceries.
Cleaning the Babyzen YOYO is pretty easy. The cushioned back rest can get tossed in the washing machine for deep cleans. But because the fabric is water-resistant, you can pretty easily brush off spills with a napkin or flick off dried schmutz with a bristle brush. We’ve also hosed this thing off in our driveway and let it air dry.
Our stroller has gotten pretty banged up after six years of almost daily use, but it still works just as well now as it did when we first got it. Especially the first three years of my eldest’s life, we were walking her 15 minutes to and from daycare Monday through Friday and took her (and the stroller) with us everywhere on weekends.
Some assembly is required. Setting the stroller up was probably our least favorite part, but we followed an instructional video on YouTube and were able to do it fairly easily, if not super quickly. Once it is put together, it’s easy to remove and reassemble the parts that can be thrown in the washing machine.
How I use the Babyzen YOYO stroller for travel & everyday needs
Folding the stroller down with the newborn or age 6+ seat is easy. For flights, we just collapse it before boarding and gate-check it. We don’t even throw it in a travel bag, and honestly, haven’t had any issues that way, because the stroller it locks closed and has a shoulder strap to carry it hands-free. It also stands upright even when folded. For local trips (within driving distance), we can fit this in the trunk of our compact SUV alongside suitcases for a family of four, a guitar, toys, and more.
It was also the perfect stroller for city life. I’ve carried this thing by myself up and down countless flights of stairs to and from the subway with my child clipped inside. (I am a very petite person with limited upper body strength, but I was still able to do this with a fair amount of ease.) When taking the bus, I would tuck my baby in a baby carrier, strap a diaper bag to my back, and sling the folded stroller over my shoulder, because the MTA only allows folded strollers on their buses. It was still doable for me.
I don’t recommend the YOYO, however, if you live in a rural area and will be dealing with a lot of uneven terrain, like unpaved roads, gravel driveways, and tall grassy fields, because the small wheels just don’t glide well over them. Of course if you have the money and want to buy this as a travel stroller on top of a tanker of an everyday stroller, it’s great in that it folds to about the size of a small carry-on suitcase, and leaves room in closets and trunks for plenty of other things.
Pros & cons
- It’s so lightweight.
- It’s easy to fold, carry, and clean.
- The color choices are classic and sophisticated.
- You don’t have to purchase an additional travel stroller.
- It’s got all the bells and whistles you want in a stroller, in a compact size.
- It’s expensive.
- The small, narrow wheels make it not ideal for rocky, gravelly, or uneven terrain.
- You have to buy a separate bassinet for newborns.
The final verdict
Testing strollers is part of my job (there’s, like, five in my garage right now), and while each has its own exceptional qualities and flaws, I always come back to the YOYO. It might not be perfect in every single way — I sometimes wish it had a bigger basket, or that it could handle a gravel driveway a bit better — it’s the most well-rounded stroller I’ve come across.
Of course you should do your own research and see if the YOYO is right for you. Not every family has the same needs. For city or suburban life, if you want a stroller that is actually easy to use and light enough to lift it in and out of a car trunk without breaking your back, the YOYO is a solid stroller that hasn’t let us down yet.
If I could afford it, I would buy this stroller for all my pregnant friends.
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