I get asked about my stroller a lot. People always comment on it when we’re out and about, too. I have so many friends who got pregnant with their 2nd or 3rd child right around when I got our Joovy Qool, so they started asking me lots of questions about the stroller as well. I’ve been wanting to do a stroller review for a while, but just haven’t had the time to sit down and put one together. I also thought it would be much easier to do it via video so it was visual, but I just don’t have all the necessary video equipment to do that. I may try to do one later, but I don’t currently have any plans to do so yet.
So real quick, before we just jump on in to the review, I want to share a little bit about how I came to find, try, love and buy the Joovy Qool.
When I was looking for a double stroller when I was pregnant with my second, Joshua, I had NO idea these kinds of strollers were out there. I thought Graco was about it unless you wanted a BOB. I had a Graco travel system with Olivia and I honestly loved it. The only thing I didn’t like about it was how loud and clunky the wheels sounded. I originally was looking at the Graco Modes Duo double stroller because we had the single travel system. But I also really wanted something with slightly better wheels. I thought my only other option for a better stroller would be a BOB jogging stroller, but I didn’t need or want something that intense. It was way more than I needed. I’m not a runner or an outdoorsy person, so I really didn’t need something like a BOB. I could not find the Modes Duo stroller at any stores near me to try it out in person, though. So I started researching strollers and a friend told me about a stroller group on Facebook that discussed high end strollers. I joined the group, but still wasn’t convinced I needed something like the strollers they discussed in this group. I just wanted something in between a Graco and BOB.
My husband and I decided to go to Buy Buy Baby in a city about an hour away to try out strollers in person (this was also the only store that had the Graco Modes Duo. I even called them to make sure they had it before we drove out there). The Joovy Stroller was not even really on my radar. I had never really heard anything about Joovy other than my sister’s friend mentioned she had a Joovy stroller and hated it. When we started testing out strollers, I was pretty sure I wanted either the Graco or a City Select by Baby Jogger. A friend has a City Select and loves it, and I had heard nothing but good things about it on the Facebook stroller group, so I was convinced I wanted a City Select. We tried out the Graco Modes Duo and it was AWFUL. Horrible. I could barely push it without a child in it! Once we sat Olivia in the back, I could barely move it. So we switched gears to the more expensive strollers. We tried out the Baby Jogger City Select (I can’t remember if it was just the City Select or City Select Lux). We liked it, but there were a few things I wasn’t crazy about. It was harder to push than I expected, and I could not fold it without Daniel’s help. We tried out the Baby Jogger City Mini GT and it was also okay, but had things I wasn’t wild about. The fold was a little awkward and I wasn’t sure how I felt about a side by side stroller anyway. We tried out a couple other strollers, but I can’t remember what they were. I was not as knowledgeable about strollers and different brands as I am now. I pretty much only knew the specifics about the City Select and Graco Modes Duo at the time we went to Buy Buy Baby. My husband actually had to convince me to even try the Joovy Qool because I was not interested. He was like, “we might as well try it out since we’re here. I am SO glad he made me try it out! I LOVED it. I was shocked. I went home and started doing more research. I was convinced.
I’ll also be putting together a Q&A post about this stroller, but decided to do two separate posts for the Qool. This is the review. It will most likely answer a lot of your questions about the stroller, but I’ve also asked my followers on Instagram what questions they have about the stroller and will answer those exact questions in another post. (Here’s the completed Q&A/FAQs).
I really wanted to take pictures of my stroller for this review, but my life got a little crazy with needing to buy a new washing machine, discovering we have a plumbing issue, and days of snow! So, I hope to take pictures of the stroller and add them later, but for now, I’ve added a few that I could find in my photos.
First off, I just want to make it clear that I am in no way being paid to do this review. So it is truly my honest opinion of the stroller. The good, the bad, and the ugly! I honestly love this stroller. I wish I had known these types of strollers existed when we had Olivia. Though, I still may have gone with the regular travel system because I wasn’t planning on having kids so close in age.
The Joovy Qool is considered a budget-friendly high end stroller (also known as “luxury” stroller). Basically that just means it’s much better quality than a “big box brand” like Graco or Baby Trend, and it’s also a lot more customizable. This is great, but it also means it’s more expensive than a Graco. It can be a single stroller, double stroller and even a triple. You have to buy all the accessories individually to customize it how you want it. It has over 50 different configurations in all with the various accessories/attachments. The stroller frame and one seat is about $400 at the time I’m writing this review (you can find different prices and sales all over – Amazon, Target, Buy Buy Baby, etc.). The other attachments and/or accessories are various prices. You can also find the stroller and accessories on Facebook Marketplace and places like that as well for cheaper. A family member actually blessed us and bought the frame and second seat for us, but the total cost for everything we have is about $700 worth. We have the frame (which comes with one seat), the second seat, car seat attachment, 2 snack trays, and the adapters you need to make it a double. For a comparison, the City Select frame and both seats (not the City Select Lux) is about $720 without any other accessories or anything. The lux is about about $830 for both the frame and two seats without any other accessories.
This stroller is so customizable! It can be a single, double and even a triple stroller. So it can grow as your family grows! I currently use an infant car seat for my baby, while my 2 year old rides in either a seat or the bench. I’ll be putting both kids in the regulars seats here soon, though! And once baby #3 makes his/her debut (not pregnant!), then I can still have all my kids strapped in safely (see more about this in the “Bench” section). There are over 50 configurations with all the different accessories and attachments. That’s a lot of different ways to use this stroller. Here’s a link to Joovy’s website to see all the different configurations. I haven’t used both seats yet, but I’ve used a seat and car seat attachment, as well as the bench and a car seat attachment and I’ve been able to configure those two different options in multiples ways. Here’s a picture of some of the configurations I’ve used. I love this stroller as both a single stroller and a double stroller.
Out of the box assembly
I hate assembling things. When I pulled the Qool out of the box, I was a little intimated, but as I started putting it together, it was very easy. It was together in less than 20 minutes with interruptions from my daughter who was about 20 months old at the time.
Easy to assemble/disassemble or reconfigure
This was the one thing I was most concerned about and now I don’t even think about it because it’s so easy. When I was testing out different strollers in Buy Buy Baby, I hated the thought of having to assemble and disassemble my stroller every time I needed to use it. I wanted something quick and easy, not a hassle. I had difficulties attaching and removing the seats on the City Select and I couldn’t even fold it. Daniel had a hard time with it all, too, but I literally could not fold it. The Qool is so easy to assemble and disassemble. In fact, I was able to attach and remove seats and change the configurations around while holding my phone in my right (dominant) hand to Marco Polo message my friend. The only things I couldn’t really do one-handed was fold it and get it out of my car.
Folding it and unfolding it
This is definitely something I wish was different about this stroller. It’s easy enough to fold and unfold, but it does require two hands to fold it. I miss the ease of the one-handed fold of the Graco Modes. It’s also not a freestanding fold which I really, really miss. Since I was used to folding a stroller one-handed that would stay in an upright position, this was definitely a learning curve. Both Daniel and I have scratched up the front of the frame a little bit from it collapsing quickly to the ground and/or it scrapping the ground while unfolding it. However, the pros outweigh this con in my opinion. Just beware!
Fits in my trunk
Something I did not really even think about when stroller shopping was how it would fit in my car. I completely lucked out that the Qool fits perfectly fine in the trunk of my SUV. These convertible strollers require you to remove most if not all attachments before folding the stroller. Thankfully, I can leave at least one or two attachments on the stroller at all times which is great! I always leave the car seat attachment on the stroller, and sometimes the bench. Usually, I leave both the car seat attachment and the bench on the stroller and put it in the back of my car. In the picture below, you can see how it fits in my trunk, as well as how I usually leave it. Both the car seat attachment, front adapters* and the bench are attached to the stroller and I’ve laid the regular seat on top. The regular seat also has a snack tray attached. *you need these front adapters in order to make it a double – this is usually where my regular seat goes.
How does it handle different terrain?
It handles different terrain really well. It has front suspension which is nice. We have taken it to a farm where there was dirt, hay covered grounds, super uneven and bumpy ground and it handled it very well. It’s definitely not an all terrain stroller, but it can handle a lot more than just sidewalks and pavement. An all terrain stroller would have handled much better, though, without a doubt. While at the farm, there was an area with a much thicker dirt, it was like sand in all honesty, and we could barely push it through it. It made it, but it definitely did not do well in that type of dirt/sand. So you won’t be able to take the Qool to the beach with you, and it’s probably not the best for dirt hiking trials either. I think there are better options out there for hiking trials and things like that. But for a normal stroller for walks, going to the neighborhood park and shopping, this is a fantastic stroller. Very smooth ride. The first time my husband pushed our Qool after we got it, he said, “Oh. This is amazing. I love this. This is so much better than our other stroller. It’s so smooth. Olivia must love this ride.”
Easy to push and steer
This stroller is so easy to push and steer. Double strollers are like pushing/steering giant buses, but not the Qool. I frequently push and steer with one hand while it’s in double mode. It’s so smooth, it glides. I have very rarely had issues getting it through aisles or crowds. I can easily maneuver it through almost any situation. We’ve gone through stores like Claire’s and Hot Topic, and while a bit tricky, we made it! I think both these stores have extremely tight walkways and/or aisles. We’ve taken it through malls, shopping centers, the zoo, a farm, parks, etc. and it’s been very easy to push/steer and maneuver! In fact, this was one of the reasons why Daniel liked this stroller so much and why he didn’t really flinch at the price. If you know my husband, he is very frugal and doesn’t like to spend money unless it’s necessary. He very rarely splurges on things. I tease him a lot about this, but in all honestly I am extremely thankful for how he stewards our money. It’s the biggest reason I am able to stay home without needing to supplement our income. Just wanted to throw in a random little brag on my hubby 🙂
The picture below, you can see me pushing it with the car seat attachment in the very front with the bench seat. This was on the farm for the pumpkin festival, and as you can see, it’s bumpy, uneven ground. It did great!
I won’t lie… this stroller is heavy. According to Joovy’s website it’s 30lbs. But I’m only 5’0″ and don’t find it to be a pain to lift, carry, and get in/out of my trunk. It’s heavy, but I wouldn’t say it’s bulky. I also think ALL double strollers are heavy. I mean, they’re big. This stroller is solid and built to last. The wheels are great! Very large so they make for a smooth ride and easy to use on various terrain. It’s not an all terrain stroller, so if you’re into hiking or want to take it to the beach, this is probably not the stroller for you. We took it to a farm for a pumpkin festival in October, and it did great until we tried to push it through a sand-like dirt. It made it through it, but it was hard to push in that sand. It’s done great otherwise! It smoothly goes over bumps and uneven ground. I’ve heard some people in the stroller group say that they felt like the Qool was flimsy or not very sturdy, but I have no idea why they think that. I honestly think some of these people just have it in their heads that because it’s a budget-friendly higher end stroller and less expensive than a Baby Jogger or Uppababy that they think it must be “cheap.” But it’s not. It’s study and solid.
Handlebar It has a nice, comfortable leatherette handlebar that is adjustable. The handlebar is telescopic so it can easily be adjusted to fit different heights which is great since I’m 5’0″ and hubby is 6’3″.
I love the basket on the Qool. It’s large and can hold up to 25lbs.
I do think the seats are on the smaller side, but they really aren’t small compared to other stroller like the Qool. I think that’s why side by sides are so popular – they seem to have bigger seats. However, Olivia loves riding in the stroller and has never complained about feeling cramped or anything. And the canopy arches up high where there is still a lot of room under there for a child’s head. The seat reclines all the way back, so even a smaller baby could easily ride in the seat in my opinion (though I’ve never tried myself). Each seat can hold up to 55lbs each. That’s a high weight capacity, and one of the highest for strollers like it. Also, the seats recline to a totally flat position. So a baby or child could take a very comfy nap while strolling.
Let’s take a moment to take about the sun shades/canopies on these seats. They are AMAZING! They’re large and also offer UV protection and are expandable. They also have like a parent peek-a-boo area on the canopy so you can peek in on the kiddos. This mesh peek-a-boo area also allows for ventilation. LOVE the canopy!
The bench seat is amazing! To my knowledge, it is the only stroller that can be a triple stroller with all three kids buckled in by a sit belt of some kind. One exception would be the Zoe strollers. They are a lightweight stroller that can be converted to a quad stroller with all four seats being totally normal, regular seats. It’s not a wagon either! However, back to the Qool… I LOVE this bench seat! I had people recommend sit and stand strollers, but I honestly didn’t care for the idea of my barely 2 year old standing on a board, or even riding on a board attached to the back of a stroller without being buckled in. Maybe that’s fine for an older child, but not a 2 year old in my opinion. And Olivia is very well behaved, but I still just don’t like the idea of a rider board. I love that she can be strapped in safely while riding on the bench! The bench seat all has handles on the sides where your child can hold onto the bench seat. So if we’re going up hill, Olivia can hold onto the bench and feel extra safe (if you look at the picture above of us on the farm, you can see Olivia holding onto the sides). It also has a footrest, but Olivia likes to keep her feet underneath it. The option to have this bench seat is definitely something worth to consider when stroller shopping.
In conclusion, I absolutely love this stroller. I have zero regrets buying it, and I highly recommend it. If you want to take it for jogs, hiking or off-roading, this is not the best stroller. But if you are looking for an everyday use stroller, look no further!