When we decided we needed a new double stroller, there were many, many strollers to choose from. We already had a full-sized double stroller, and although we love the full sized one, it was bulky for our needs. With so many different models and features to choose from, we started our search by deciding what exactly our needs were. We have a 2-year-old who needs to be in the stroller on most outings. We have a 4-year-old who likes to walk next to the stroller. However if we take a long walk in the park or go to an amusement park for the day, he needs to be able to sit down when his legs get tired. We also have a 6-year-old who doesn’t necessarily need a place to sit, but may enjoy a ride at times.
What drew us to the Joovy Caboose VaryLight Stand-on Tandem Stroller were the seat in the front for our youngest daughter and the bench in the back for our middle and oldest children. Both our 4-year-old 6-year-old can comfortably sit on the bench in the back or stand on the footrest. Having the bench feature instead of a full second seat allows for older children who have outgrown a traditional stroller seat to rest and ride along comfortably. (Worth noting: The stroller is car seat compatible and can accommodate up to two car seats. We didn’t use this feature, but it’s nice to know it’s an option!)
The Caboose VaryLight is shorter in length than a full-size double stroller, which makes it easy to maneuver even with the older children on the back. When pushing it with just one child, the stroller can be “shortened” for even greater maneuverability.
The basket underneath the stroller provides plenty of room for a diaper bag, snacks, etc. The front seat has a snack tray, or you can switch it out for a cup holder on one armrest and a snack holder on the other. When using the snack tray for the front seat, the additional cup holder and snack cup can be used in the back for the person sitting on the bench. This is the way we have our stroller configured most of the time, and it works out well. I was very impressed with the large size of the canopy for the front seat passenger. It offers plenty of shade, even when the seat is in the reclined position.
When the stroller arrived at our house, I took everything out of the box, and there were several parts that needed to be assembled. The first booklet I came across was a series of numbered pictures showing step-by-step how to assemble the stroller. The pictures were difficult to follow. Often times it was tough to even figure out what was pictured, let alone how to put the part together correctly. Nevertheless, I was able to assemble the stroller with little frustration. The complete assembly time was about 10 minutes, as any parent who has assembled baby gear knows, is not very long.
My children wanted to try it out right away, so I very quickly learned how to operate and adjust the buckles. This was a breeze. After a few adjustments, we were off on a walk around the cul-de-sac. The kids loved the stroller! When we got back from our walk, I was busy putting all of the packaging back in the box and low and behold, there was a second booklet with step-by-step instructions written out. In my haste to put together our new “toy,” I overlooked this set of instructions. I’m not sure why the written instructions aren’t typed under the coordinating picture, or at the very least, apart of the same booklet as the pictures—the two go hand-in-hand and make assembly much easier.
We use the stroller very frequently. In fact, I keep it in my trunk at all times, so we have it at a moment’s notice. It is a great stroller, and it seats the kids comfortably. However, if I could be picky and make a few tweaks, here’s what they would be:
This stroller folds down nicely, but it is bulky. One trick is to convert it to the smaller configuration, and then fold it—this helps it fit into my minivan more easily. Also, the snack tray sticks out quite a bit, so I tend to take the tray off before putting it in my trunk for a better fit. This isn’t a big deal, but it is an extra step.
That’s it! We’re otherwise very pleased with the VaryLight and its various options for passengers. It’s a welcome addition to our family!
Where to buy: joovy.com