Finding a great stroller is an absolute MUST for any parent. There are so many out there to choose from, so how do you know which one will best suit your needs? When we bought our stroller, I specifically chose one of the infant travel systems simply because I knew that we would be getting our infant in and out of the car a lot and I wanted a stroller to work with the infant seat I had. Also, I didn't want to have to buy an additional stroller once Riley grew out of the infant stage.
Sadly, the infant travel system made it so that I had to compromise what I really wanted in both the infant car seat AND the stroller we bought. Neither of them had the features I really wanted, but I felt that I had to compromise simply to save money and have them work together. Fortunately, Joovy has created the answer to this dilemma and at the same time, has actually made a stroller just perfect for the budding family. Let me introduce you to the Joovy Caboose Stand-On Tandem Stroller!
I was super excited to have the chance to review the Joovy Caboose Stand-On Tandem Stroller for several reasons. First, Riley has long outgrown her infant car seat, yet we are still lugging around the stroller which came as part of the travel system. There are many things that don't work well on that stroller for Riley any longer and I knew we'd all enjoy a stroller more suited to her age now. Riley is in that very independent stage where she wants to walk everywhere, yet she is only 20 months old and physically not able to keep up. Also, everything fascinates her, so walking to check our mail can take up to 30 minutes these days.
I was happy to discover the Caboose, for it has FOUR different ways to transport your child! First, the Caboose actually works with most infant car seats to serve as a carrier for them. Click here to learn more about which infant car seat models the Caboose can accommodate. I thought this was really cool because now you can actually have a top of the line infant car seat, with all of the first rate safety features and not just be locked in to what the infant travel systems have to offer.
Next, you can have your child sit in the very front seat like any other stroller. Then, you can also have your child sit facing the rear on the included bench seat, and finally, a child can stand on the platform facing forward and ride that way too! I knew that with these last three options, Riley was sure to be satisfied. This way, if she's adventurous and wants to walk, we can always have her stand on the platform so as to keep up a normal pace. If she's feeling antsy and wants a different view, she can sit on the bench seat and watch what's going on behind us.
The picture above shows all of the pieces that came out of the box with the Joovy Caboose. The Parent Organizer accessory is also pictured here, but is sold separately. I was impressed with how sturdy and rugged these stroller wheels were. They are of a much higher quality than the wheels on my current stroller. The front wheels actually swivel 360 degrees too, so maneuverability is a snap!
Overall, the Caboose was really easy to assemble. Most of it was already done for you. Actually getting it out of the box and putting the wheels on were the hardest things for me to do. The sealed, ball-bearing wheels required you place a snap pin through the axle on each side to secure the wheels to the stroller. The first snap pin was easy enough to slide in the hole of the axle, but the second pin took some real effort before I could get it in. After that though, installation was a breeze and the entire process only took me 30 minutes!
The pictures above show the extra large canopy while open and closed. There was a large padded area on the front of the canopy which I really liked and it would swivel a full 180 degrees easily. I also appreciated that the canopy was black on the outside so as to block the sun's rays completely. The canopy on our current stroller is a bright green color and the sun penetrates the fabric too much for my liking.
I also thought it was a nice touch to have an adjustable footrest added to the Caboose. We all like to kick back and put our feet up and I would think children are no different. In my opinion, this is just another quality feature the Caboose has thought of in order to keep your little one content on any excursion. The Caboose uses a footrest bar to raise or lower it. I think this is ingenious because the bar is very sturdy and can be locked into either position and it couldn't be simpler to do. I was able to raise or lower the footrest in just 2 seconds!
The seat on the Caboose Stroller can also be inclined or reclined just as easily as the footrest, for the technology used here is the same. In the upper left picture, you can see that the back of the seat has the same metal bar with which to raise or lower it, as well as some mesh pockets for added storage. These would work well to house some of your child's small toys, sippy cups or water bottles.
The upper right picture shows the infant carrier straps which are contained in small pouches on the outside of the stroller seat. These are used to secure an infant carrier to the Caboose, but since I haven't had a use for an infant carrier for some time, I left these neatly rolled up in these pockets. If you'd like to see more about using your infant carrier with the Joovy Caboose, please see this site.
The next thing I inspected was the bench seat which can slide back and forth along the rear rails of the stroller. If you are looking to have a child sit on the bench seat and face backwards, then you are supposed to slide the seat towards the rear of the stroller and secure the seat in that position with the included straps on the bottom of the seat itself.
You can see in the upper left hand picture, how I have the strap wrapped around the frame and secured. Unfortunately, I was disappointed while trying to store the straps back under the seat while not in use. They are supposed to Velcro back under the seat with small pieces of Velcro on the ends of the straps, but the straps are just too short to do this adequately. I could BARELY get both straps adhered at the same time and even then if I touched the straps, one of them seemed to fall down immediately. I would hope that Joovy would make these straps a tad longer in the future so that they could be stored under the seat more easily.
I was also surprised when I noticed that there wasn't really any foot platform sticking out from the bench seat when it was in the rear position. The child sitting on the bench seat facing the rear is supposed to be able to keep his/her feet on the platform the entire time. I don't see how this is possible when the edge of the bench seat comes to the edge of the foot platform, as shown in the bottom right picture. Riley is too young yet to use the bench seat, for the directions specify you are supposed to be at least 2.5 years old before standing on the platform or riding on the bench seat, but for the sake of this review, I tried sitting her on it and her feet didn't seem to stay on the platform very well. They kept sliding off when I pushed her around the house in the stroller.
I also couldn't find a way that the bench seat could be secured while in the forward position. This surprised me because this is the position the bench seat needs to be in when a child is standing on the platform. Without it being able to be secured in some way, it seems that if you hit a bump or turned a corner sharply, etc., that the bench seat could easily slide backwards and hit your child in the legs. I would guess that this would begin to bother the child standing on the platform after a while, though due to Riley's age, I didn't actually try this out and am only speculating.
The upper left picture shows the padded handlebars which the child either riding on the platform or the bench seat should be holding at all times. They seem very comfortable and are located at a good height.
As you can see from the upper right hand picture, this fairly large and extremely versatile stroller folds up really flat! I was happy to discover this and think that it would travel easily in most all vehicles.
Finally, the pictures above show the Parent Organizer accessory which slides onto the handle of the Caboose. It is made of a neoprene fabric which has several pockets perfect for storing water bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, snacks, etc. and even a zippered pouch on the back for your keys, wallet and other more valuable items. I think this is essential to have and would highly recommend purchasing the Parent Organizer for the Caboose. Also, it does not interfere at all with the folding of the stroller, so you don't have to worry about taking it on and off each time.
I think Joovy has really made a terrific stroller with the Caboose Stand-On Tandem Stroller. You can easily carry around an infant carrier/car seat, or two children of differing ages, or give one child many different options as to how they'd like to ride. I am so very happy to be a proud owner of the Caboose and think that it is exactly what we need for Riley so that she's ready for any family excursion, big or small!
Disclosure: I received the Caboose Stand-On Tandem Stroller and Parent Organizer Accessory from Joovy in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!