We have four kids, and I am a little embarrassed to say this, but we have tried four different prams before we found one that really worked for us. Our first was purchased when we were excited young parents, and it was lightweight and really compact when folded. However, it was one of those with a really upright seat (which meant the kid had to be belted, or he would topple out), and Junior J absolutely refused to sit in it. Since we only had one kid then, we ended up baby-wearing him instead, so we sold off Pram number 1.
We were wiser and more well-informed when we bought Pram number 2, this time with one toddler and one baby in mind. It was a lifesaver when we moved to Germany, since it had a attachable wheel-board for the toddler. This pram went a long way with us literally, seeing us through more than 10 countries. It was laden with groceries from the farmer's market each week. It rattled across the cobbled paths in the old cities that we explored, it's small wheels sometimes getting stuck in the cobbled stones. However, I found the pram challenging to manage when I was on my own with two littles, since it was rather heavy, and closing the pram required both hands. I always had to put the baby in the carrier, unload all my groceries on the ground, close the pram, and then lug the pram into the apartment while still carrying the baby. I really built up my arm muscles with that pram!
We knew Pram number 2 would be too heavy for me to manage when we returned to SG and had our third kid. I was bringing all three out for co-ops at the zoo on my own, and I didn't drive. So we decided to buy a pre-loved lightweight pram, one of those which could be opened and closed with just one hand. Enter Pram number 3, which again served us really well. I would wheel Lil J in the pram while baby-wearing Small J. We would load the pram up with all our stuff: lunchboxes for our meals, our water bottles, and all the various other things little people need, like change of clothes and diapers. Most of the stuff had to be hung from the pram handle, since the basket under the pram was tiny. The thing is, lightweight prams have a tendency to be rather flimsy. Each time the toddler crawled out of the pram, it would flip over due to the weight of our bags! I grew to be quite adept at pre-empting when the toddler would escape, and would do a quick shift of our bags over to the pram seat.
Then came Baby J, and the chance to try Pram number 4, a BABYZEN YOYO+. After using this for the past few months, I have to say this pram is the best one for our needs right now.
Firstly, to be out and about with four, you'll need a relatively lightweight pram, especially if you are taking public transport. When you board a taxi or a bus, you'll need to hold little hands and carry what feels like a truckload of things. The last thing you want is to have to lug a heavy pram on top of everything! The YOYO+ weighs slightly over 6 kg (depending on the version), and that is quite manageable on top of carrying bags and a baby. The pram comes with a carry strap, which makes it even easier to carry about, especially if you have to board a bus.
Speaking of carrying, this stroller closes up to be amazingly small: 52 cm in height, and 44 cm in width. This means the stroller is easy to load and unload from the boot of a car (compared to other lightweight prams which tend to be longer, requiring you to swing the closed pram at a larger angle to to get it in and out of the boot). It takes up less car boot space, and can be brought up on the bus easily. It's smaller than cabin luggage size, which means you can actually bring the stroller on board a plane as hand luggage, and use it all the way to the plane door!
|Photo source: BabyZen|
One key distinguishing feature of the YOYO+ is how easily it can be folded up, something essential if you take public transport, or are moving about with a few kids. You don't want to be struggling with a pram, while trying to keep an eye on the kids at a bus-stop next to a busy road! Opening the stroller is a breeze since you more or less just need to flip open the stroller. Closing it requires two steps (you can see how it works here), of which the first step requires both your hands to fold the top handlebar down. However, this step can be done while the child is still seated in the pram, while the second step only requires one hand. Folding this is so much easier compared to our previous pram! Being able to fold the top handlebar down has an extra advantage of allowing the pram to fit into tight spaces like in a cafe or restaurant, while allowing your child to stay seated inside.
Even though it is lightweight, the stroller is still sturdy, and can take weights of up to 18 kg. It's 4-wheel suspension means a comfortable ride, with less of the bumping that we used to get with our lightweight pram. Trips outdoors are much smoother.
The YOYO+ boasts of a larger basket compared to the older model. The bars running across the frame mean that you cannot fit bulky, inflexible objects underneath, such as a bag of library books. However, the basket is certainly roomier than many other lightweight prams. The stroller canopies come with UPF 50+ solar protection, as well as rain shields that provide full coverage.
The stroller uses a single brake, which is a lot safer and more convenient than those with separate brakes on either side. I remember how our other stroller with a double-brake used to swivel when I forgot to brake one side! The hubby did find the brake pedal a little small (and thus a little harder to locate) compared to one of our previous strollers, but this issue is minor compared to all the good points the BABYZEN YOYO+ has to offer.
Of course, the YOYO+ has many other features that you find in good prams, such as a five point seat-belt, and the option of adding car seat adaptors to fit an infant car seat on the frame. These features aside, I really loved how all the fabric components are removable, and machine-washable (I know this makes me sound so aunty, but having to hand-wash pram fabrics can be such a pain, so this aspect really makes the YOYO+ a winner for me!).
Baby J is now no longer content to lie down in the stroller, so we'll be switching out the 0+ seat for the 6+ seat this weekend. These seats can be purchased separately, which is great because you only buy what you need!
All in all, we are loving our BABYZEN YOYO+. It has won over even the fussy hubby, who tends to have really high expectations when it comes to these things. I've caught him repeatedly saying "I love this pram!" each time he folds or unfolds the YOYO+, so you know the stroller must be good! Our friends who use the stroller all rave about it, and you can read more reviews over at Life's Tiny Miracles, as well as Jayme's blog.
The BABYZEN YOYO+ can be purchased from Mothercare. For those who are keen, Mothercare would be running a promotion at the upcoming SuperMom Bazaar:
Date: 12-14 August (Fri-Sun)
Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Hall 403 to 406) [Available at Mothercare booth (G01 – G19)]
Each purchase of a YOYO+ stroller bundle (consisting of the frame, 0+ nest and 6+ seat) at the bazaar entitles you to a free travel bag for the stroller (worth $119) and insect net (worth $39).
For more information or promotions, please visit the BabyZen Singapore FB page.
Disclaimer: We were sponsored a YOYO+ for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.