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Luxury vs Convenience: The Babyzen YoYo vs the UPPAbaby G-Luxe Umbrella Stroller

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UPPAbaby G-Luxe and BabyZen YoYo lightweight strollersOk, so this title may be a little bit misleading: both the Babyzen YoYo Stroller and the well-loved UPPAbaby G-Luxe Umbrella Stroller offer terrific comfort for kids and convenience for parents on the go. Every family will need a sturdy lightweight stroller as their child gets older and becomes more mobile, and these are two of our faves.

The thing about your average lightweight/umbrella stroller is, while it’s made to carry on a strap over your shoulder, and this should be super convenient, it can feel cumbersome instead. Imagine a package like a bag of golf clubs or bats on your shoulder – rigid and sharp with a long profile, so you have to worry about hitting someone every time you turn around. Granted, being able to tote your umbrella stroller this way when your independent growing child starts zooming around on their own is a godsend, but it’s not exactly FUN to carry.

Enter the BabyZen YoYo! If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about this video?

BabyZen YoYo stroller foldedNote the compact fold, the one-handed operation, and how the stroller is made to ride on a shoulder strap when it’s folded, so you can tote your baby on your other hip.

Traveling by plane? It gets even better: the BabyZen YoYo is the first stroller in the world that’s fully compliant with the guidelines for cabin baggage dimensions. That isn’t just clever advertising, either – Rennie Dyball from People Magazine gave it a try!

To enable that crazy-cool fold, the YoYo has a series of interconnected hinges that you would think would add major weight, but miraculously, they don’t: the YoYo weighs a full three pounds less than the UPPAbaby G-Luxe!

But let’s not oversell the YoYo off the bat, because the UPPAbaby G-Luxe provides some tough competition. This G-Luxe is one of the most luxurious, fully-featured umbrella strollers that we sell, and among the most dependable, easy-to-use, and easy-to-store strollers on the market. Yes, it has a traditional fold and weighs a smidge more, but you’re going to love the 3-UPPAbaby G-Luxe Umbrella Strollerposition, push-button recline, the cup holder, the double wheels, the adjustable footrest, and the lush and plushy seat fabrics. Not only is the seat padding incredibly comfy – definitely a level above the YoYo – but you can still use the G-Luxe when the removable fabric set is in the wash, since there’s still seat fabric underneath, safely attached to the harness.

Both strollers have 50+ SPF sunshades, shoulder carry straps, easy-to-wash seat fabrics, footbrakes, non-extendable handles, and easy folds; the YoYo also comes with a rain cover.

When you get into the nitty-gritty of each feature, though, you truly get to know each of these strollers, so I tested them side-by-side (which is also something you’ll want to do at our stores):

  • Sun canopies: These are both strollers that are made for outdoor environments like amusement parks, and they offer reasonable protection (although it’s hardly 100%, so don’t forget the sunscreen!). The YoYo’s canopy is a little shorter, covering less length extending out towards the front, but has a cocooning shape that adds a bit more protection in front. The G-Luxe is a bit longer, with a tent-like feel that definitely covers your child’s head but leaves some room for the sun to peek under. Both, fortunately, have a piece extending downward to protect baby’s face from the sun’s rays.
  • Shoulder carrying: Both strollers have a handy shoulder strap, but this is where the YoYo’s compact footprint really shines! It feels like you’re carrying a relatively rigid tote instead of a bag full of baseball bats; I’ve had people compare the footprint to a backpack full of schoolbooks, and it feels smaller than it looks. The weight distribution will keep the stroller from slipping off of your shoulder, more so than the G-Luxe.
  • Handlebars: We love the single handlebar on the YoYo! Umbrella strollers usually have the dual “umbrella” handlebars, but the YoYo has one elegant, curved piece. This gives you way more leverage for one-handed steering, and puts you a little further away from the stroller than the G-Luxe, offering more comfort for taller folks with long strides.
  • Handling on and off-road: Neither of these strollers is remotely meant for all-terrain strolling, but let’s be real – every now and then you’re going to encounter an unexpected rough patch, right? So let’s see how these two do on and off the beaten path.

The YoYo doesn’t have a front wheel lock, which would add more stability on rougher surfaces. However, it does have dense, soft, foam-filled wheels that feel more high-end than those of the G-Luxe, and offered a smoother push on the brick, grass, and tiles in and around the Prudential Mall. I attribute the G-Luxe’s bumpiness to the double wheel structure, as well as the grooves in the wheels that don’t offer as much traction as they should.

Both strollers felt similar to push with the 25 pound weight I had in the stroller, but the YoYo was a little easier one-handed and it tended to glide away from me a little less. With repeated wear on the wheels I can imagine the glide of the G-Luxe may disappear over time, but it just tended to roll faster than I was walking and sometimes slip away from me.

Finally: at the Drool Baby Expo this past week, I chatted with Glen from BabyZen, and learned a bit more about what’s coming up for the YoYo. They’re going to be releasing a new fabric set that lets you transform your stroller seat into a bassinet and back again – super cool! This would be a major game-changer, since none of our other umbrella strollers do this.

The UPPAbaby G-Luxe is a dependable favorite, and the BabyZen YoYo is the new kid on the block, but they both are loaded with features we know you’ll love. Which of these lightweight strollers is right for you? I hope this blog gave you a good start on your decision, but the best way to find out is always to come over to one of our stores for a stroller test drive!

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