Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Joovy Ergo Caboose Review

Now I am back at work Leo is looked after by his Granny three days out of the week, and in 8 months time he will be joined by his baby cousin. Leo’s Granny suffers with rheumatoid arthritis and often struggles in getting Leo around…Let alone two of them!

Obviously when the time comes we will be in need of a double pushchair that is easily manoeuvrable and easy to operate. Above all else though we need something that will comfortably seat an 8 month old baby and a 2 year old toddler.

Joovy have very kindly sent me the Ergo Caboose tandem stroller to try out with the two little monsters, and the great thing is, is that we can use it from the word go with my newborn nephew thanks to the included car seat adapter that comes as standard.

The Ergo arrived quickly and it was soon sat in my living room waiting to be assembled, I lined out all of the bits and pieces individually so that I could see where to start piecing it together.

What’s in the box?
- The Ergo Caboose
- 4 wheels – 2 back filled air wheels and the front 2 plastic
- Front and rear canopy
- Front Tray
- 2 cup holders
- Universal car seat adapter
- Wheel pump
- Instruction manual

The first thing I did was open up the frame of the Ergo by simply opening up the clip that was keeping the frame folded in place. I then squeezed the Black grips and got the stroller into it’s up right position. The next step was to attach the wheels; this was really simple to do and didn’t take me long. The big air wheels go on the back of the stroller and simply click into place on the side. The smaller wheels go at the front and need to be positioned up right and clicked into place. You will know when they are in properly due to the ‘click’.

It was around this time I turned my attention to the instructions manual for a little bit of guidance on how to proceed next, there is a written manual that directs you through what to do and a series of diagrams.

All in all the assembly didn’t take long and it wasn’t too difficult to work out where everything was supposed to go and how to attach it. I found the best instructions were provided in the written manual and didn’t really find the images incredibly useful.

My first impression of the Ergo Caboose is that the practicality and ease of using the stroller is the over all selling point. When you have two children so close in age, practicality is what actually sells a pushchair to you. To get two kiddies around you need something that ticks all your boxes in function, how the kid’s sit, where they sit and how easy the overall operation of the stroller is.

There are a number of seating options with the Ergo, there is the front seat where you can sit a older baby of about 6 months old upwards into toddlerhood. The seat unit is ergonomically designed with transitional mesh which helps to eliminate pressure points by evenly distributing the child’s weight across the entirety of the mesh seat. Joovy have also been improving the seat recline on this latest model, and it now features a magnetic recline lock so that you can make seat adjustments quickly and easily.

On the front of the main seat unit you have the option of either a tray or cup holders for your little one. We are currently sporting the tray as I thought this may be the more useful option for Leo at present. By squeezing the red grip on the right hand side you can actually swing the tray up so that you can get your little one in and out easily.

You then have the rear seat where your child can sit strapped in or even stand on the built in platform, or both if they like to change their mind, which let’s face it…Kid’s do! The back seat actually flips open and grants easy access to the large storage basket, which is actually huge. You could fit so much in there that you may decide to leave your changing bag at home, just like we did.

With the included universal car seat adapter you can use the Joovy from birth, and what I really like is the positioning of the baby. The car seat adapter attaches so that the baby is facing you and within easy reach, giving you the perfect view of everything that they do.

The car seat adapter should allow you to use most infant car seats; it is more of a perch for the car seat that you clip in to place, like you would in a shopping trolley with a car seat. This is great as if you already have a car seat, you don’t need the added expense of purchasing a new one.

You may have noticed the rather impressive hood that the Ergo Caboose features. This has been specifically improved for this model after all of the customer feedback was taken into consideration. The giant canopy is there to provide sun protection to both the children riding in the tandem and it certainly does keep them covered. There is a zippered open top which allows the child in the back to stand should they wish.

The canopy is rigid and does a great job even when the wind and weather come into the equation. It is not an issue and the canopy just stays put.

Joovy have made another change to this new model and that is the twin piston front suspension which has been added to the front wheels. This new suspension improves the over all performance of the rubber wheels, providing the kiddly winks riding along a smoother ride.

So what do we think?

Over all we think that the Ergo Caboose is really practical, it allows you to sit two children comfortably and safely. What I really like is the included car seat adapter which makes this tandem stroller suitable from day 1. I have found it a little heavy and it does not fit in the boot of my 206 but it is certainly not the heaviest double I have ever come across.

I have found it difficult to get the Ergo up curbs as it is quite bulky but I have got around this by looking for the dropped curbs where possible. Of course with the bulk of the stroller you also get the sturdiness, and this stroller is incredibly sturdy.

We have tried it out with Leo and a little girl his age and with the two of them it did make the Ergo heavier still, but once out and about it is easier to push, and most importantly it kept the two toddlers in their seats! Leo absolutely loves to sit on the rear seat, I think he thinks it’s a hiding place or even a play house! The times I have caught him climbing in it when I have left it up in the hallway!

Putting the stroller up and down is simple and you can fold it with the car seat adapter and everything else on including the canopy. All you need to do is unhook the canopy from the back of the stroller and collapse it forward. Then you can simply push in the button on the right hand side grip, while squeezing and pushing forward so that everything collapses.

So over all I think the Joovy Ergo Caboose is really practical, and the price of £366.00 is very reasonable for the strollers capabilities.

Joovy have a great selection of strollers from singles to doubles, so if you are in the market for a new stroller you should give Joovy a look.

I will leave you with a little video of Leo and I having a little play with the Ergo Caboose, please bare with me as Leo was being a little tinker...As usual! He thinks the Ergo is a fab climbing frame, as you will see!

Disclaimer: I was sent the Ergo Caboose for the purpose of this review. However all views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

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