Anyone who tries to be all things to all people is going to come up short, and usually in more ways than one. You can’t be your kid’s best friend and a steady parental presence at the same time. You can’t spend all your time looking out for your friends and never taking care of yourself. And so on.
In a good number of years of testing out kid and parenting gear, I’ve found the same holds true when it comes to products. The 12-position tactical baby carrier that’s suitable for newborns through preschool is too complex and confusing to configure. A stroller that tries to be full-sized yet lightweight is often flimsy and unwieldy. A car seat that’s super compact is often hard to install and doesn’t feel safe and secure enough. And so on.
To that end, today we’re talking about a decidedly compact, lightweight stroller and a decidedly large, secure car seat. With these two pieces of hardware (and a car into which to secure said seat, of course), my 21-month-old daughter is ready to roam the world. With her parents, I mean.
The Babyzen YOYO+ stroller is probably too small to be your family’s only stroller. Its weight limit tops out at 33 pounds. It doesn’t do great on gravel, dirt paths, or other rougher terrain. In short, it’s not a full-sized stroller. But hey, it’s not trying to be. What the YOYO+ is trying to be is a compact, folding travel stroller that will make the first few years of parenting so… much… easier.
Babyzen YOYO+ Stroller
This stroller weighs in at all of 12.8 pounds, and it folds down small enough to fit into even a modest-sized overhead bin on a plane. The seat is plenty large for a toddler, and it can be outfitted with a large, warm footmuff for colder weather, a footmuff you don’t need to remove to pack down the stroller. The under-seat storage area is also pleasantly capacious, easily holding a couple grocery bags or what have you.
Everything you’d expect from a high-quality compact stroller is in place here, from the adjustable seatback to the five-point safety harness to a good sunshade. What will amaze you, once you master the folding and unfolding, is just how small this thing really does pack down, and how you can whip it open and ready to roll with one hand in about two seconds.
Now to pivot to a car seat that’s anything but small, but that makes sense considering the Evenflo Gold SensorSafe EveryStage convertible car seat can be used by kids from the newborn days up to around age 10. Yeah, a decade. Four pounds up to 120 pounds.
Evenflo EveryStage DLX 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
That range alone is pretty amazing, but it’s not unique – there are plenty of good convertible car seats out there. This one, however, has a built-in sensor that can pair with a phone app and alert you if the buckle opens, if the cabin temperature is too warm for safety, or if the child has been still for too long and you need to check in.
The age range – and all the adjustments you make to ensure your child’s safety and comfort, from seat angle to removable cushions – and that sensor alone already make this car seat worth your money, but they still aren’t my favorite part. It’s the installation hardware. If you have installed car seats before, you know it’s a serious pain. Until you use this one. The EveryStage uses a ratcheting EasyClick system that secures the seat into a vehicle’s LATCH anchor points with a few simple back-and-forth motions on a little lever. EvenFlo’s own website says “it takes just 60 seconds” to get the seat installed securely, but that’s inaccurate. I can have this seat locked into place in half that time or less. And that, folks, is what sets it apart and above.
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