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Zoe XL2 Deluxe Stroller Review

Updated June 2017

There has been so much buzz about this stroller, they can’t seem to keep it in stock! We wanted to know if it was really all that, so we picked one up and gave it a whirl.

Yes, a lightweight, side-by-side stroller for $279 (even less if you get the Best vs. the Deluxe) is every parent’s dream.

While the Zoe brand is new to the stroller scene, the founders are not. They’re a small, family business who’ve combined their fashion design expertise along with their baby product experience, and set out to make an affordable, double stroller that parents of twins would love.

xl2-deluxe

One of the best things about this company is that they allow you to test the stroller inside your home, and return it if you aren’t satisfied…care for a stroll in the family room, darling?…

After putting the Zoe XL2 Deluxe to the test, I’m happy to report that it’s great for convenience and travel, however there are some caveats [keep reading…]. While it’s not as sturdy as its heavier, pricier counterparts, I’d still opt for this stroller in my trunk most days of the week.

Size & Weight

Stroller companies know parents crave a lightweight double stroller. This stroller is the lightest general purpose side-by-side on the market. At 16 lbs, it will comply with all airline gate-check weight limits (yes, even on American Airlines, pssh).

For comparison sake, most double strollers are in the 25-35 lb range; similar strollers include the Graco FastAction Fold Duo (36 lbs – yikes) and the Joovy Scooter X2 (32 lbs) — both are double (or more) the weight. The Zoe XL2 Deluxe is even lighter than most umbrella strollers, like the UPPAbaby G-Link (24.5lbs), though technically it is not an umbrella due to the fold.

zoe-x2-lifestyle

At only 29 inches wide, it fits through most standard ADA doorways (though the parent cup holder may pose an obstacle).

Folding & Carrying

When folded, the stroller is extremely compact. Some of you will likely relate to my limited trunk space, so you’ll be happy to know that it can squeeze into the trunk of my Mazda 5… even with the third row seats up!

img_20160902_175153

The quick fold is modeled after Baby Jogger; simply pull up the straps on each seat et voila!! If you have the seat inserts in, you do have to dig under those for the straps. Once folded, the stroller locks itself; it will also stand on its own if the front wheels are facing the correct direction.

xl2-fold

It’s also relatively easy to schlep up stairs, making it an ideal pick for urbanites whose comings and goings require a stair climb.

Storage, Accessories

For a lightweight stroller, the storage basket is surprisingly large. Unlike most doubles, this stroller has one BIG storage basket instead of two smaller ones. Depending on how *stuffed* my diaper bag is, it fits along with couple of other bags below.

If the storage basket is full, your diaper bag can hang over the handlebars without fear of the stroller tipping backward.

zoe xl2 basket

With a recessed rear axle and tall(ish) handlebars, tall parents with a long stride won’t be kicking the back of the stroller, like we do on most. Conversely, if you are petite (under 5’4″), you may find the stroller a bit too tall for you.

The Deluxe version comes with a belly bar, two kid cup holders and one snack holder. We tried out both, my fave are the cup holders and snack cup. These are perfect for when we are out; the twins each have their own sippy and I can pour some snacks in the middle for them to munch on! Note that they do fall off when folded if you aren’t careful putting the stroller in the trunk.

zoe xl2 cup holders and snack cup

Waters and snacks at the ready

Seats & Canopies

The XL2 currently has two models: the Xl2 Best & the XL2 Deluxe. The Deluxe’s canopy has a hidden zipper which holds an additional panel that covers down to the belly bar, meaning the Deluxe boasts four panels to the Best‘s three. The three panels are comparable to the UPPABaby G-Link — no one else has four-panel coverage on a side-by-side. And we parents love coverage, oh yes we do! *The Best is being discontinued soon, FYI…

zoe xl2 deluxe 3 panel canopy

3 panel canopy

Zoe xl2 deluxe 4 panel canopy

4 panel canopy

For all the differences watch this video here and keep in mind you can always upgrade your canopy.

Each canopy is independent and has a peek-a-boo window with magnetic closures and a handy dandy pocket for quick access (phone, keys, sunglasses, bottles…).

xl2-storage-pocket

You can tell the canopies and seats are constructed of high(er) quality fabric, giving you a taste of luxe while remaining on a budget. You can also select from a variety of colors to customize your kiddo’s ride.

zoe-lifestyle

Each seat has a maximum weight limit of 50 lbs, which is super generous for a travel stroller (can we imagine for a moment pushing around 100 lbs of kids and all the additional baggage? Me thinks not). The high weight limit makes it great for traveling with older kids on a late night flight, for example.

The Deluxe version comes with an additional seat pad giving your bubs some extra padding; or as I look at it, a stain and pee barrier (thumbs up). On the downside, the seat pads do slide around, making it difficult to find the straps that slide underneath. This can easily be remedied by removing them.

The seats recline a little bit, but definitely nowhere near flat; thus, it’s not appropriate for the newborn crowd. Babies will at least need head and neck control (approx. 6 months) to use this stroller. It’s not the best for napping kids, though napping is still doable.

Zoe XL2 Deluxe recline

135 degree recline


What this stroller is not –

Let me be very clear: it is not made for all-terrain use. To make the stroller lightweight, they had to sacrifice the wheels, so it’s really at its best when pushed along flat surfaces, like the floor at the mall or airport. You may even have some difficulty steering and going over big bumps on the sidewalk, especially if your kids are heavier. Be advised of this, especially if you’ve been spoiled by using an all-terrain stroller in the past.

Yes, pushing the XL2 on flat surfaces is easy. The front wheels have suspension and the option to lock or swivel depending on what surface you’re strollin’ on. The wheels have a lifetime guarantee; if they break Zoe will replace them at no cost.

You can even get really fancy and get some wheel caps to trick out your ride. The back lock bar is very easy to use, even in sandals.

xl2-wheel-caps

Bottom Line: We now understand what all the buzz is about! They clearly nailed some big requirements with this stroller: lightweight and small footprint, generous canopies, decent storage, a chic design and great accessories. And price! The price makes it a great value.

It has many of the luxuries of a higher-priced stroller for less than $279. You can customize it with different colors, different size canopies, wheel caps, belly bar or the cup/snack holders. It’s not going to feel as sturdy or ride as well as a heavier duty stroller, but this is the trade-off you make for the lightweight. Thus, I wouldn’t use it for regular treks across grass or other places with rough terrain, but it’s great for keeping in the car for errands and a top pick for airline travel. Perfect also for parents of twins (older than 6 months).

Enjoy!

aqua-zoe-xl2

buy-now

This article has 27 comments

  1. I’ve been reading the reviews on Amazon on the Zoe XL2! Glad to see your review here — you’ve noted a lot of the same things I’ve seen in the Amazon reviews. However, I’m still conflicted on what to get! Will be travelling internationally with infant twins (10 months), looking for something that isn’t too bulky at the airport but can still withstand a variety of activities at my destination. Does such a thing exist??

    • Hi Kate!
      The Zoe XL2 is my top choice for international travel. It is perfect to gate check at the airport. Depending on where you are going a SBS might not fit through the doorway (all handicap accessible locations will be fine) but since it is so lightweight you can carry it up stairs easily. It is also a great choice for tropical locations since the canopies cover all the way to the belly bar. I plan on bringing mine to Mexico with us later this month. If you are going “off roading” on a variety of different terrains, this stroller will be more difficult to push but not impossible.

  2. Thanks for the response, Annette! I was also looking at the Maclaren Twin Triumph and the Uppababy G-Link, but at least from a price and weight perspective, the Zoe XL2 beats them. We are about to transition out of our only stroller, the Joovy TwinRoo+ stroller frame, so maybe it’s wishful thinking that I could find something that could work both for travel and even possibly at home, without buying yet another stroller for everyday use. Would love to hear how the Zoe XL2 holds up on your Mexico trip!

  3. I will definitely keep everyone updated! Zoe is working on all-terrain wheels for the XL2, we will test them out and will let you know if they hit the stroller trifecta! (Lightweight, canopies and sturdy wheels!)

  4. I love my Zoe xl2 and use it every day! While the wheels aren’t great for really rough terrain, I’ve rolled this through grass and dirt with no problems. However, I am looking for something that is easier to fold and carry up and down subway steps while holding my girls. Maybe something with a strap? Any recommendations?

    • Hi Kristy!

      I would recommend the Summer Infant 3Dtwo as another lightweight double stroller. This stroller is a tandem umbrella stroller, not SBS. It has a strap that would be helpful for walking up the stairs. Check out our full review here.

      • so when we say “not good on anything but smooth terrain” – what about places like Disneyland, where some of the streets are cobbled? Would love your thoughts! I’m soooo excited about this stroller!

        • Hi Cherie! It can be pushed on cobblestone or other surfaces, the stroller just becomes harder to push. The larger wheels will help make it more manageable. On vacation I took it on the brick roads and sidewalks and it just required an extra umph now and then. Hope that helps! Have fun at Disney – that is next on our list to visit!

          • thanks a heap!! xoxox I was literally comparing most other brands on amazon and was like “lightbulb!!” check Lucie’s List! #DUH xx

          • Just an update – I bought this stroller!! Did great at Disneyland – the only thing I’ll say is that if you pack your diaper bag and it’s heavy, it will have trouble not dragging on the ground in the basket underneath. Also, I’m 5’9″ and I kept hitting my feet on the bottom lock bar, so you just have to adjust yourself. But I LOVE IT!!

  5. Love the article! I will definitely be purchasing the Zoe stroller now vs maclaren/uppababy. Seems to get the job done for fraction of the price/weight. Is there a projected release date for the all-terrain wheels? I’d love to be a tester for our upcoming Mexico trip lol. We’ll be going to Cancun with 2.5 and 1 yo. Wish us luck!

    • Hi Meghan!
      The all terrain wheels are actually sold out right now, I will get the link up on the article for when they are back in stock. In Mexico the all terrain wheels still were not completely beach compatible and it added 3 lbs (still only 19 lbs) to the stroller (mine was weighed to make sure it was light enough for gate check). But the wheels were great for the airport going into town and walking around the resort each day during nap time! Have a blast in Mexico, you can check out our Travel Gear recs here.

  6. How does it compare to the MacLaren Twin Triumph 2016? Which one is more sturdy? Which one is easier to fold, lift, carry around and especially which one is easier to push and maneuver?

    • Hi Ralph! The Zoe is easier to fold/lift & carry it is over 5lbs lighter than the Twin Triumph. The MacLaren will feel more sturdy due to it’s weight. Both are great for flat surfaces. The Zoe has a larger canopy and storage basket, but the MacLaren has a further seat recline and folds like a traditional umbrella. The Zoe folds in half, thinner than most double umbrellas. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for your feedback. The 2016 edition of the Twin Triumph has now a larger canopy, guess it might be in par with the Zoe. But how well does the Zoe roll and maneuver compared to the Twin Triumph? I have only the single Globetrotter from MacLaren but I found it extremely easy to maneuver. Not sure how much the Twin Triumph is, but assuming similar and I would not want to compromise that front

        • Since the ZOE is so lightweight it compromises on some maneuverability off flat surfaces. If that is top priority I would go with the Twin Triumph!

  7. whoah this weblog is fantastic i love reading your posts.
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  8. Hi there, I was just curious about your experience with the larger wheels for the XL2. Do they make a big difference? Do you think they are worth the upgrade?

    • Hi Cynthia,

      I like the bigger wheels, we haven’t gone back to the smaller wheels since the stroller is still light enough to gate check. They make it easier to maneuver on uneven sidewalks or on grass but still not “all-terrain”. Unless you are always walking mall like flat surfaces, I would upgrade to the bigger tires for an easier push.

  9. Surprised by how lightweight this stroller is. It makes a huge difference. So- the real downside is the wheels not being able to go through any rough terrain? Is that the only big downfall?

    • Hi Ariel! Yes, the only real drawback is the wheels are not great on sand or uneven surfaces. The all-terrain wheels do make a difference but it still best on a flat surface.

  10. Will the larger wheels provide a smooth ride on paved trails? I am definitely leaning towards getting this double stroller for travel, but I also need one for regular walks in the parks.

    • Hi Harry! Even with the larger wheels the Zoe isn’t my pick for walks in the park. As the kids get heavier pushing is going to get harder through the trails. Maybe check out the lightweight Valco Neo Twin. It is about the same weight as most double umbrella strollers with great all-terrain wheels.

  11. I actually already own the Summer 3Dtwo and it was great for a trip to the Bahamas last year when my kids were 1.5 and 3.5. But now we have 3 airport trips coming up in the next year with walk-intensive destinations (San Diego, Disney) and my 4.5 year old is nearing the weight limit and is honestly just too LONG for the 3Dtwo anymore. Bummer, but I’m giving the 3Dtwo to a friend with twins on the way. Long story short, I need a stroller that I can gate check on AMERICAN (boo, American) and will also accommodate an almost 40 lb 5 year old and her 30 lb little sister. I’m thinking this is probably my best option, because even with a lightweight Delta or Dream on Me, we would be pushing the weight limits and the lightest Maclaren is still over 20 lbs. Mind you I’m on my 5th or 6th stroller purchase at this point so I really want to get it right this time!! If I buy this, will I be sad or happy? Thanks 🙂 I LOVE your blog and I’ve used it so much to make buying decisions over the last several years. You rock!

    • Hi Janice! I don’t think you will be disappointed with the Zoe for a travel stroller. It will be a littler harder to push with the heavier kids but still get the job done nicely. They made some updates recently as well to help make the stroller even better. Safe travels!!

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