I recently found myself in need of a lightweight stroller that would live in the back of my car (l knew I was going to pull a serious back muscle if I kept lugging my 32 lb City Select around every day – gah!). I decided to try the Zoe XL1 BEST stroller because it’s super lightweight and offers a ton of features for a decent price.
So I bought one (no, this post is not sponsored). Here’s what I think ~
Zoe XL1 BEST ~ $179
There were two main things I was after: at just 11 lbs, it’s super lightweight, and it also has an enormous sunshade — check out this 4-panel shade…w00t!
This stroller was a cinch to put together right out of the box. All I had to do was click the wheels into the frame and we were ready to roll. This was a nice little perk, since putting together some strollers requires an engineering degree.
The Zoe XL1 Best has 50% larger wheels than the first version did (6 ¼” rear wheels and 5 ⅜” front wheels) to help it handle rougher terrain (this was a complaint of the previous version). With the new version, I’ve had no problem pushing it on pavement, packed dirt, or grass (it rolls really nicely, even when pushing it with one hand). The only surface it hasn’t been able to handle was a loose gravel path we encountered on one of our outings.
Just a note: if you need to roll over rough terrain, you should opt for an all-terrain stroller (this is not one of those…).
Despite the light weight, this stroller is quite stable — even with my diaper bag hanging on the handlebar of the empty stroller, it didn’t tip backwards. What wizardry is this?
The handlebar on this puppy is 40.25” tall. For reference, I’m 5’8 and it feels comfortable to me, though I wouldn’t complain if they were to add a telescoping handle so I could go up another inch or so. Despite my height, my feet don’t kick the bottom rear of the stroller unless I’m taking really long strides.
One thing we love (in general) about the Zoe brand is that you get some sweet extras for things you normally have to pay extra for, including a parent cup holder, a kid cup holder and snack cup (game changer!), and a belly bar.
Younger babies will enjoy holding onto the belly bar, while toddlers will appreciate having their sippies and cheddar bunnies within easy reach (or their toy chickens, in my daughter’s case).
The rear shade (which can be rolled up) includes a pocket which fits a cell phone, keys, and doggy bags (because the dog has needs, too). The basket under this stroller isn’t the largest or the strongest (since it’s made of mesh), but it can fit my whole diaper bag, which is all I can really ask of an 11 lb stroller.
The fabulous sunshade includes a mesh peekaboo window, and the handlebar is nicely padded:
The foot brakes are located above each rear wheel and are simple to use (above).
Note: you need to make sure to push the brakes down all the way, as they aren’t fully engaged until you feel two clicks and can’t push them down any further. Not realizing this at first, I only pushed them halfway and the stroller began to roll — yup, I learned that lesson fast!
I’m a big fan of the seat and harness on the Zoe XL1 Best. The seat holds kids up to 50 lbs and is quite tall; for reference, my very tall 3.5 year old still had 2-3 inches to spare from the top of his head to the canopy. It has a nicely padded harness that’s easy to adjust.
The seat is very easy to recline (its max recline is 165 degrees, which means this seat is for babes 6 months and up — not for newborns).
The Zoe XL1 Best folds easily with one hand – just pull up on the seat handle (which is easy as pie, since it’s so lightweight). You can do this while holding a kid in your other arm if you need to.
Something to note, however, is that this stroller does not have a standing fold to keep the fabrics clean if it’s in your garage – though this won’t matter if you’re keeping it in your trunk.
Optional accessories for the Zoe XL1 BEST include a tandem seat ($129) for a second child that snaps onto the front of the stroller like so:
If you know you’re going to want the second seat, you can save some money by buying the whole shebang, the Zoe Tandem Stroller ($299), instead of buying the tandem seat separately. Bonus: it comes apart so you can use it as a single or a double. For a side-by-side, Zoe also makes the beloved Zoe XL2 Best.
You can also buy a parent console, travel backpack/storage bag, single or double carry straps (so you can wear it over one shoulder or like a backpack), a weather cover, a belly bar cover, and a removable comfort pad/pillow.
Overall, if you’re looking for a super lightweight stroller for daily use and/or travel that offers fabulous sun protection and comes loaded with extras, the Zoe XL1 Best will not disappoint.
The Zoe is one of our favorite travel strollers because it’s super light, simple to fold, and easy to maneuver and push around with one hand – and it does this all without skimping on any of the features parents really need.