Yoyo-ing around: Week one review of the Babyzen YOYO

Walking is a very useful skill to have. But unfortunately, if you’re a one year old (which Bubby D is), excited bouts of running about are usually interspersed extremely frequently by what I call the ‘doleful kangeroo’. Which is basically where she stands looking dejected, then raises her arms in the air and hops up and down suggestively with a part hopeful, part desperate look on her tiny face, indicating that she’s had enough of walking and wants a mummy-lift instead.

All well and good, when it’s just me, Bubby D and no additional bags of stuff to be lugged around.

Unfortunately that kind of scenario is pretty rare…

…and that means lugging around some kind of pushchair to push her around in when she does get tired.

BUT given that I also have to be nimble enough to run after her and also usually need to hold her hand, it has to be a pushchair that is lightweight, ideally folds small enough to be carried, and can be pushed easily with only one hand available.

So we were delighted to get the opportunity to put the Babyzen YOYO to the test. It looks like it’ll fulfill my needs for a lightweight, compact, easy-to-push solution. But will it actually perform the way it claims to…?

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The box arrives. And although I know, having seen the YOYO demonstrated at a couple of baby shows, that it is a small pushchair, I am still amazed that the box is TINY. And also, easily liftable by my rather elderly neighbour, who kindly took delivery of it for me. Surely there can’t be a fully functioning pushchair in there?

But it turns out there is, and along with it a drawstring travel bag and also absolutely the BEST raincover that I’ve ever had opportunity to meet. It actually feels kind of…silky…to touch, and it doesn’t stick together and refuse to fold into any semblance of compactness like most raincovers. I kind of want it to rain just so that I can try it out.

What isn’t included is instructions.

Which means I need to* figure out how to unfold, fold, recline and cover the pushchair using only my own skills of deduction and reasoning.

After closer examination, it turns out to be pretty simple – there are red bits on the pushchair, and one is obviously the brake (situated on the rear axle, to the right). Two other red bits push in either side of the top of the seat to release the handle, and with a push on clip just above a third red bit (located under the seat) the whole thing folds out quickly and simply into a fully functioning chariot for Bubby D.

And it folds again just as easily – although it is worth noting that the swivel wheels at the front need to be facing outwards for the pushchair to clip together compactly again, something that took me a couple of minutes of scrutiny to figure out.

The recline mechanism is a simple pull-to-the-left-or-the-right strap; and the rounded bar handle of the pushchair, although it doesn’t extend, is high enough that it looks like it’ll have a comfortable pushing position for both short and tall people. The hood can be extended to give a decent amount of coverage from the elements, and also has a handy viewing window in the top. The shopping basket looks quite small – especially given that it attaches to the fairly narrow rear axle which limits its width – and it’s not particularly deep either. A carry handle dangles down into the basket (the handle ends up at the top of the pushchair once it has been folded, allowing you to carry it over your shoulder) and there is also a little round hole in the bottom of it to let crumbs / liquid / mushed up daisies easily be brushed out. Plus, for extra carrying space for readily reachable little bits and pieces, there is a handy mesh netted pocket on the rear of the seat – just big enough for house keys, a snack, and some baby wipes.

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The front swivel wheels have no fixed position and so I’ll be interested to see how they cope on different types of terrain, and they’re solid white with black rims – not a look that I was initially that sold on, but actually they’re growing on me aesthetically speaking.

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So it all seems pretty sturdy and fully functional – time to put it to test with a quick school run to pick up the Wee Man.

Bubby D actually climbs into it herself, allows me to strap her in without argument, and then promptly falls asleep. So it seems it’s got her seal of approval for now, anyway. And despite the lightweight, flimsy and compact material construction of the seat it’s actually incredibly roomy and seemingly comfortable. The recline mechanism operates really well too – smoothly and soundlessly, allowing me to adjust her sleeping position without disturbing her at all.

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The one handed steering gets quickly put to the test too, with the Wee Man clamouring to hold my hand. I have to say, it really steers like a dream – I have no problem pushing it even up hill and on a bit of a camber too. The only thing I would say is beware of sudden sharp turns, as the narrow back axle does mean that the pushchair is less stable than those with a wider, more sturdy wheel base and when whipped around a bit too quickly (particularly on a bit of a slope) it does have a tendency to try and tip over. It might sound a little alarming but it really isn’t, it never actually has tipped and when you consider that the narrow back axle allows the pushchair to fold down so incredibly small then it’s definitely a compromise worth making.

In fact, it folds down so small that it’s officially recognised as being within cabin baggage measurement restrictions – something that I’ll be writing about next week as we test out the YOYO on the way to Dublin 🙂

*ok, I could look up instructions online but I am one of those people that likes to try and figure things out without instructions anyway, so this works quite well for me.

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