I first heard about the BabyZen YOYO a year ago, when friends of mine used it to travel overseas to visit the UK with their three year old. However, since they live in Dubai, I couldn’t try it for myself. I recently asked the team behind BabyZen if I could borrow one for our upcoming holiday and see from a purely travel perspective, does this stroller match the hype? Can it really fit in into an airplane overhead locker? Can I fold, unfold, push with one hand? Would I be allowed it on as hand luggage? BabyZen kindly agreed to lend me the YOYO + with the 6 month plus option, for 4 weeks – which perfectly incorporated our recent trip to Portugal. (To compare other lightweight travel strollers see here.)
The Plus model builds on the original design with a bigger shopping basket, sturdier chassis, improved suspension and longer sun hood. There is an option for the 0+ insert to use from newborn too.
As soon as the stroller arrived, I eagerly unpacked the black and taupe fabric option. The pushchair comes with a travel bag and rain cover. Take a look at the video below to see exactly how small and compact it really is. (52 x 44 x 18cm when folded and approx 6.6kg)
YouTube clip of the BabyZen YOYO plus
The stroller has a shoulder strap attached, so it can be easily and quickly transported. It’s first road test was an early 4am start with two other suitcases, a cabin bag, a Trunki, and a changing bag. Needless to say, loading the taxi was seamless as we could manage between us all this – plus holding a baby in one go.
At the airport, it was only my second time using a stroller through all the formalities. I do (did) prefer a baby carrier but my youngest is now 20 months and becoming rather heavy. The BabyZen was an absolute breeze to use. Matilda happily sat in it during a very long bag drop queue, and we whizzed through security. At Luton, you don’t need to fold the buggy up to put through the X-ray machine, but even if I had to, the whole process takes seconds.
Once airside, we breezed though to the gate, walked down some steps to board the plane. At the aircraft steps I removed my daughter from the stroller and folded it up really quickly, slung it over my shoulder and marched up the steps with her in my arms. It easily slotted in with the other bags too.
Arriving into Faro was when the stroller REALLY came into its own for me. As per normal M, had fallen asleep on our final approach which was not really surprising considering our 4am wake-up. This time, I simply whipped the pushchair from the stowage, walked a few steps off the plane, used one hand to unfold the pram, and transported her into the YOYO. I even had a fellow Mummy ask me on the way to baggage reclaim, where I had picked up my stroller. She was amazed that it could fold up the size of hand luggage. (Hers arrived at oversize luggage quite promptly). I did need two hands to initially start the folding up process -the two white buttons near the hood need to be pressed at the same time, but the next stage of actually folding up mechanism can be done with one hand.
On holiday, the BabyZen YOYO was really put to the test with steep inclines and descents (the brake definitely works!), and with the numerous cobbled streets not only at our resort, but all around Carvoeiro in Portugal too. It easily reclines by releasing a strap at the back if you want little one to have a nap. The canopy comes with a UPF 50+ sun protection; giving extra peace of mind.
Verdict: The team at BabyZen have really nailed it with this pushchair. It’s the perfect stroller for family travel as well as a good contender for an everyday pram. The convenience of having it on the plane as hand luggage made travelling through an airport a complete breeze.
For latest prices of the updated Babyzen Yoyo 2 check here
You may be interested in reading about some other strollers parents have tried.
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