Babyzen YOYO+

Retail: $499.00 (+ Optional Newborn Pack: $225.00)
Age: 0+
Manufacturer DescriptionYOYO+ folds and unfolds, is carried like a bag and is one-hand driving, fits just about anywhere, is easily stored, and can be taken as hand luggage*. Now, the all-in-one stroller for parents on the move has its very own car seat and lets big brothers and sisters have a ride sitting or standing on the brand new, super convenient YOYO+ board. Make your life easier! With a YOYO+ stroller, it’s never been easier to meet up with friends for a drink, catch a cab, hop onto the subway, or fly to the other end of the world.

From Birth to Toddler: From birth, baby lies parent-facing and never leaves your sight. BABYZEN YOYO+ comes with a totally flat carrycot for infants, a 5-point harness, a 2-position pop up canopy, a foot cover and a headrest. From 6 months and using the same frame, simply swap 0+ newborn fabrics for 6+ fabrics, and sit baby up to face the road. Time for him/her to discover the world! The YOYO+ backrest can be inclined to 145° in several positions, and features comfortable padding with a 5-point harness.

Why This Sh!t Worked For Us:
With it’s umbrella stroller-equivalent convenience, the YOYO+ by the French brand, BABYZEN, is some favorite sh!t in our household. With 20 stamps and one foreign visa in Sydney’s passport before she was two years old, we’ve whittled our domestic and international travel down to a science that works for us (check out our travel hacks and modify them to fit your family).

You won’t need to read the rest of this review if BABYZEN’s delightfully-Parisian animated marketing video is enough to convince you of the value of this stroller; it was enough for me. But be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for an important instructional video on seamless execution of the one-handed open, fold and transport technique. If you choose this stroller, a few key steps will save you a lot of headaches in the airport security line.

A lightweight frame (6.2-6.6 kg) with a convenient shoulder strap, approval for stowage in the overhead bins of most aircraft (52 x 44 x 18cm when collapsed), and one-hand folding, unfolding and driving are what we consider the YOYO+‘s biggest assets for comfortable travel. The 4-wheel suspension, 360-degree spin and one-handed driving* prove critical in navigating crowded terminals or long check-in and security lines with additional items in tow.

(*This will resonate with anyone who has ever tried to push and pivot a two-handle umbrella stroller with one hand.)

A parent-facing, flat bassinet from birth and an outward-facing seat with 145 degrees of recline for babies, six months and up, make this stroller a longterm travel solution for frequent flyers; you can buy one or the other or both. Included with your purchase is a standard transport bag and a rain cover.

The YOYO+ stroller base and many of its accessories are available in a variety of colors. The removable and machine washable fabrics are a godsend after a day at the beach or weeks in the New York City streets. For those in cooler climates, their footmuff is now purportedly even softer, prettier and more comfortable than the older version we bought; I’m more so jealous that it now comes with a small duffle bag for stylish travel storage in lieu of the clear, plastic drawstring bag we received. Skip the fancier YOYO+ stroller travel bag and just use the standard transport bag that’s included. It’s useful for protecting your other carry-on luggage from dusty wheels when you slide it into the overhead bin. The undercarriage has sufficient storage space for a lightweight stroller, but it’s not a convenient catch-all during travel in which it’s necessary to open and fold the stroller often.

We have not bought nor tried the 0+ newborn fabrics. By the time the YOYO+ appeared on our parenting radar, Sydney was nearly a year old, and we had already invested in the Bugaboo Comfort Transport Bag (for our large stroller), plus a Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Deluxe and J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Car Seat Backpack (both for the car seat) — all of which we carted back and forth from New York City to Los Angeles and up and down the east coast before the YOYO+ changed the way we travel.

For those who prefer to check their infant car seat at the departure gate (and decrease the risk of baggage mishandling between the check-in counter, cargo hold and baggage claim) or to allow their infant to continue sleeping in the car seat throughout the airport, the Travelmate Deluxe — which also fits into most overhead bins and retails for $149 — is a much more affordable means of dragging a car seat+sleeping infant combo from curbside to gate or vice versa. The extra few minutes necessary to attach and detach the car seat to this little trolley can be cumbersome, but it was worth not having to strain our arms and backs while lugging our own car seat+sleeping infant combo across expansive terminals.

Our full review of the Travelmate Deluxe is available here; however, an infant car seat-compatible lightweight stroller is our recommendation for maximum ease and comfort while navigating an airport with a baby. A list of infant car seats that are compatible with the YOYO+ car seat adapters is available on their website.

Convertible car seats cannot be attached to the YOYO+. When Sydney could no longer travel safely in an infant car seat, we hauled a (much larger, yet lighter) convertible car seat through airports in a J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Car Seat Backpack. Meanwhile, we took advantage of the YOYO+‘s 145-degree recline when Sydney was sleepy. Whether we were traveling with the infant car seat or once we moved onto a larger model, the YOYO+ allowed us to leave the large stroller and its transport bag at home.

We’ll eventually add the newborn fabrics for the eventual baby #2, and the YOYO+ will be the only stroller with which we travel. So, anyone want to buy a used Bugaboo Comfort Transport Bag? (Check out our our travel hacks for nifty ways to pad the extra space in the stroller transport bag with additional baby loot before you check it in at the airline counter; there are some — though not many — benefits of traveling with a larger stroller.)

While the YOYO+ is one of the sturdier lightweight strollers on the market and has better shock absorption than most of the umbrella strollers we’ve test driven, we do have to note that after extensive international travel, our own YOYO+ has begun to creak and moan within less than a year of ownership. Its audible protests are largely drowned out by the noise of New York City streets and busy airports, but I’d imagine they’d be quite noticeable on a quiet country road. I guess it just depends on how often you use it.

As city dwellers — who spend most of our time on foot — we purchased a Bugaboo Cameleon3 for the daily wear-and-tear of New York City’s cobblestone streets and uneven pavement. Its sturdy, foam-filled tires and extra wheel suspension offer a smoother ride — at least in my opinion, which is solely based on observation since Sydney has been largely unavailable for comment. The tougher fabrics on larger strollers are also helpful for those consistently subjected to pedestrian-induced exposure to the elements (particularly in winter). The Bugaboo Cameleon3 will remain our primary stroller while we live in Manhattan and mostly walk from place to place; however, when I know I’m getting on the subway with Sydney, I just flip the YOYO+ out of our hall closet and roll.

Speaking of flipping the YOYO+ out (and back in), the completion of key steps in the following order are critical for execution of the seamless one-handed open and fold:

  1. Spin front wheels back.
  2. Lock stroller break.
  3. Use two hands to release the canopy and handle bar and lower them backward until they click into their collapsed position.
  4. Then, proceed to the front of the stroller and unharness and pick up baby.
  5. Return to the back of the stroller, and with a free hand, click the rear release valve and lift stroller to fully collapse (if you want to carry it over your shoulder, lower it back to the ground, and pick it up by the shoulder strap).

The entire 1:41 video is a very helpful visual user guide if you don’t enjoy reading instruction manuals, but pay particular attention to the order of steps to open and close the stroller.

NOTE: Cabin luggage standards may vary depending on airlines. Since 2012, the YOYO and YOYO+ strollers are accepted or recognized as cabin luggage by most airline companies. However, cabin luggage standards may vary according to the airline and BABYZEN, therefore, recommends checking with your chosen airline before travelling for the latest applicable cabin luggage allowance.


Reviews on Other Products Mentioned in this Post

Bugaboo Cameleon3 (COMING SOON)
Bugaboo Comfort Transport Bag
Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Deluxe
J.L. Childress Ultimate Padded Car Seat Backpack (COMING SOON)
YOYO+ Newborn Fabrics (COMING SOON)
YOYO+ Stroller Muff (COMING SOON)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s