Sunday, January 19, 2014

Joovy TooFold Verdict: Too Cool!

The Joovy TooFold
Full disclosure: Joovy was kind enough to give me a VERY generous discount on their brand new stroller - the TooFold.  As always, the following opinions are all my own...

Asher crusin' in his Joovy TooFold
I became fascinated with the Joovy TooFold a couple weeks ago while planning for an upcoming vacation to Marco Island, Florida.  I was debating on which of our hundreds of strollers to bring...ha.  Typically when we fly, I bring our trusty single Maclaren umbrella stroller and I'll beautifully bungee-cord our Lascal Buggy Board to it so we can at least allow two out of our three kids to "ride."  The bungee-cord thing can be obnoxious to have to mess with, but it does the job fine.  Of course I started to think about yet another issue - once we land, we will be going to a home on the beach...quite literally two doors down from the entrance to Tiger Tail Beach.  Sand + umbrella strollers = do not pass go, do not collect $100.  What I *really* wanted to bring was our (massive) Bugaboo Donkey, which is even advertised as being sand and snow friendly.  But as nice as the Donkey is, it is no match for tiny rental car trunks.  Nope.  We need something that is lightweight and folds like an umbrella stroller, but with the durability of an all-terrain stroller...oh, yes, and the ability to somehow carry not one but two children.  Enter the Joovy TooFold.

TooFold assembly process
I chose to purchase just the stroller, although there is the option to purchase a great second seat, making it a true double (the ride on board can not be used while the second seat is in use).  The TooFold came folded and *mostly* assembled, only requiring installation of the front and back wheels and the seat padding.  Within a few minutes, we were on our way in one of the coolest looking strollers on the block.

The learning curve for folding and unfolding as well as using the integrated ride-on board (yes, you read that correctly) was fairly short.  I love that this stroller utilizes the basic chassis for the Micralite Fastfold Superlite, but the TooFold manages to make the Superlite even better by giving your older child a fun place to ride.

Vera, in her "sharkly shoes," testing out the board
Speaking of the ride-on board, it is definitely one of my all time favorites (and yes, that even includes my beloved Orbit and its' double ride on boards!)  As you can see here, it is a fairly tall board, sitting on top of the 12 inch air-filled back tires.  I have found that this gives my older kids a far better view and also (and this is a big one) prevents me from kicking the board when it is in use - love that.

Thoroughly enjoying the great recline
The seat has a 45lb weight limit and an active/upright position as well as a resting/reclined position.  The ride-on board has a 45lb weight limit, which is sad because our oldest, Cole, is already 44lbs at 4.5 years old.  So the entire stroller has a 90lb grand total weight limit.  As you have already seen, he more than happy to run along side, however...

TooFold with waterproof shopping bag (and sunshade extension)
I was immediately impressed with the TooFold if only because of what all was included in the box.  When you purchase the stroller you not only get the basic stroller plus seat pad, you also get a sunshade extension (similar to the "Protect-a-Bub" sunshades that we have for our Maclaren umbrella strollers), portable air pump for the tires, and a massive shopping bag that easily attaches to the back of the stroller while the ride-on board is down.

"O" shaped handlebars
2 handlebars
As with many umbrella strollers, the TooFold has front wheels that can easily lock straight for more rough terrain.  The brake is easy to operate and certainly "flip flop friendly."  Another detail I especially love is the versatility of the handlebars (as pictured above) - not only can you easily adjust the height by moving the handlebars up or down, but you also have the ability to rotate those handlebars and essentially go from a seamless "O" shape (nice for pushing one handed) to the more stereotypical 2 handlebars (great for shopping when you need a place to hang lightweight bags), and anywhere in between!

Vera (2.5yrs - 28lbs) and Cole (4.5yrs - 44lbs)
Now let's talk about stability.  True, it is certainly a very back-heavy stroller.  Like an umbrella stroller, you are going to need to be cautious about what you let hang from the handlebars.  I have noticed, however, that flipping out the ride-on board really creates a lower center of gravity and helps to stabilize the stroller much more.  Our almost one year old weighs in at a very tiny 17 pounds and so I am accustomed to this back-heavy phenomenon with our umbrella strollers.

Asher: a little man with a serious face (and future symphony director).
Are there *any* cons to this stroller?  Sure.  The basket underneath is fairly shallow and is obstructed by a strap that allows it to fold so compactly.  Of course Joovy mostly remedies this by giving you the huge, waterproof shopping bag that can be attached to the stroller or carried separately.  Another "con" might be the smaller sunshade, but again, Joovy gives you a sunshade extension that is very easily attached and removed.

TooFold with sunshade extension (and shopping bag)
I hope to update you all again in March after our beach vacation with some pictures of the TooFold on the beach.  I have a feeling it will do great, especially if I tip it backwards and "drag" it through (similar to how you would with the Bugaboo Donkey).  Stay tuned for the update...

Full disclosure: Joovy was kind enough to give me a VERY generous discount on their brand new stroller - the TooFold.  As always, the opinions above are my own.

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