Let me start by saying this was our second stroller for our first child, the first being a big, old hand-me-down car seat combo that was clunky but functional. The Keekaroo Karoo has given us all the function, with none of the clunk.
First off, I’m not a handy guy, but this thing was truly a breeze to assemble. No tools! As a bonus, my son loved gnawing on the instruction manual, so I think it’s safe to say we both enjoyed the Karoo right from the beginning.
Here are some of the stroller’s best features:
• Maneuverability: It can get in and out of much tighter quarters than you might think, with relative ease. It is thin, light and compact. Easy to get in and out of doorways, down aisles, etc.
• Shocks: Sounds like a strange thing to brag about, but seriously, the shocks on this bad boy are incredible. I no longer fret about huge divides in the sidewalk. Even stepping off of curbs is no problem. They really make for a smooth, even ride.
• Storage room: The mesh bag underneath provides plenty of room (especially for such a compact stroller) for all your goodies. And there’s a handy storage pouch that hangs down from the handles—great place for your cell phone, wallet, etc. It’s also easy to clip your diaper bag on the handles.
• Appearance: It’s true, looks matter. And I think the Karoo is best described by saying it is simply sleek.
• Comfort: It’s comfortable to push around, sure, but I’m talking more for my son. The seat is well-padded, and the material is comfortable and all-weather-friendly. The safety harness is simple, smart. And it also has padded shoulder straps to make any journey that much more enjoyable. It has an adjustable foot rest that I sometimes put up, just for fun, because he likes to grab on and pretend he’s steering. It also has four different angles, from up all the way and soaking in the sunshine to the 50 degree naptime setting.
• Smart Canopy: Nice, flexible and well-designed, the canopy will protect from sun (and sprinklers), and has a transparent plastic window so you can always keep an eyes on your little one. Or if it’s not sunny, the top easily pulls back. Weatherproof and very durable.
• Locking wheels: All wheels are independently lockable. The front ones we never lock, but a nice feature is the back wheels, specifically their ease of locking. The last thing you want to worry about when you’re either loading or unloading a stroller is it rolling away. Or worse, you take the baby out and have to fumble around with your hands trying to lock it. Not cool. The Karoo is simple to lock, with a logical step-down lock that works every time with ease. Unlocking is equally pain-free.
• Easy opening/closing: As any parent will tell you, this is crucial. I usually go out with my son alone, so this needs to happen with one hand. To open, you simply unclip the snap, then pull the handles toward you. A quick step on the middle spring locks it, and you’re ready to go. That easy. Takedown requires one extra step, a lever you step on before folding it down.
• Transportability: Folded up, the Karoo looks like an oversized umbrella, and it can be carried as such, vertically. Alternatively, there is a carrying handle conveniently located on the side opposite the lock, for easy loading into the trunk, etc.
We started our son in the Karoo right around eight months, when he was ready to sit upright and face the world, and quickly relegated the old stroller to the basement. Overall, it is excellent, but there are a few things that take some getting used to:
• The takedown was tough for me to master at first. It all makes sense and always goes smoothly, right up to the point where you need to get that lock to snap. It doesn’t always want to take, and if it doesn’t click, it just unfolds itself again. I’ve gotten used to just kneeling down now to ensure it locks properly.
• The wheels are just a little small. While compact and fine on uneven terrain, I’ve hit the occasional sidewalk crack that has actually stopped us in our tracks. However, it’s so light and easy to maneuver, that popping the front when needed has just become second nature.
• There are no cupholders. I know, it’s a silly lament, but I’m a guy. It’s even sillier since I now know that stroller cupholders tend to be highly unreliable for beverage conservation. Still, I’d like to have the option to spill my latte all up and down my street.
• Perhaps I have a wider-than-usual gait, because I’ve caught myself on more than one occasion stepping on the back wheels. My wife has not had this problem, though. Could be my height (six feet) versus hers (five-three).
This is, and will continue to be, a great stroller for the three of us. It’s light enough that my wife can carry it without any trouble, and we took it to the airport for that same reason. I like the modern design but also the rugged durability of it. We are going to put a lot of miles on our Karoo. I highly recommend it!
To buy: babiesrus.com