If your older child is a walking toddler when your next baby is born, chances are you’ve shopped for a double stroller, and been horrified at the semi-truck you’d be forced to schlepp around.
Good news! The Stroller-and-a-Half might just be your answer! It allows you to tote a small child in a standard stroller seat, and offers a smaller backseat ride for the sometimes toddler hitchhiker. The Joovy Caboose Ultralight offers all the style and convenience of a standard stroller, with the added bonus of a double ride without the added bulk.
Let’s start out with how the Caboose Ultralight is different than the original Caboose. First, and most importantly, the Ultralight is 5 lbs lighter than the Caboose! Five pounds is a big difference in the world of strollers! The Ultralight is only 21 lbs making it easy to transport! In fact, the Ultralight is the lightest stroller-and-a-half that you can buy! Second, the Ultralight has a larger canopy and basket than the original. Third, the Ultralight has a 3 position recline vs. the 2 position recline of the original. Finally, the Ultralight has 4 wheels suspension and a linked rear brake which the original does not.
We’ve road tested the Joovy Caboose Ultralight with all manner of kids, and found the perfect combination in a child that can sit upright in the front stroller seat (six months or more), and an older toddler that is happy for the ride, but is mature enough not to jump off without warning (two-and-half years and more). While the stroller will work with other combinations – newborns can ride when their car seat carrier is attached, older children can hop on the back seat – if you have the above combination, it is your best bet!
The Joovy Ultralight has a nice, normal front seat, with a solid 5-point harness that accommodates children up to 45 lbs, a good amount of padding, and even a snack tray with two built-in tray cup holders. A new improvement for the 2010 Ultralight model is the addition of a third recline position. The seat reclines farther back now (not close to flat though!) so your child can take a nap easier. Back riders can stand on a platform, face forward and see over their little sister or brother, or relax on a small bench seat of their own. It is important to note that if the front seat is reclined all the way, the rear child will have to stand as the front seat will completely block access to the rear bench.
We honestly would have taken any kind of seat in the rear, having carried a weary toddler before while pushing a single stroller with our nose — but are still pleased by the Joovy’s back seat. The rear bench is great for when our older riders need a rest plus it slides out of the way when the child wants to stand. The back rider also has special curved handles to hang onto. Most children we tried it with loved riding along, although younger toddlers can jump off fairly easily, so choose your back riders wisely.
The Joovy Ultralight comes with a large, removable canopy (larger than the canopy on the original Caboose!) – large enough to cover both riders actually. The stroller also has a new larger basket with outer mesh side pockets for 2010. We were able to fit a large diaper bag down in the basket but like other stroller-and-a-half strollers, the basket will be hard to access when there is a backseat rider. You can access the basket for smaller items from the sides but for larger items such as a diaper bag you will have to remove your rear rider from the stroller.
The Ultralight also comes with the Joovy Parent Organizer that includes two cup holders, compartments and even a zippered section, all in a cool, coordinating black neoprene.
Folding the stroller is easy to do with two hands. Lift two levers and push the handlebar forward until it folds down. It does not have a standing fold. The Ultralight folds up to about the size of a single full-size stroller and has a manual lock to keep it closed. Note: Removing the canopy when it is folded will make the stroller a bit shorter when fitting it in smaller trunks. Unfolding the stroller is very simple as well – unlock the manual lock and pull it open. Opens in no time at all!
The Joovy Ultralight is surprisingly easy to push. Takes corners well. And while not as easy as a single stroller, is far, far better than many doubles we’ve pushed. It sports 7 inch foam tires, 4 wheel suspension for a smooth ride for your passengers and a linked rear brake. While the stroller won’t tackle grass or playground mulch easily with two riders aboard, it does maneuver easily on flat surfaces.
The Joovy Ultralight works with almost every infant car seat carrier on the market, and can be used up to 90 pounds (45 lbs in the front and 45 lbs in the back). It clocks in at 21 lbs which is very, very light for a stroller for 2. In fact, once you start using the Joovy, you might retire your double stroller altogether. Gladly.
To watch my full video review of the Joovy Caboose Ultralight 2010, click on the video below: