Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight Jogging Stroller Review
February 26, 2017
● Very smooth ride
● Extra-wide canopy
● Generous storage basket
● Awkward to carry when folded
● Handlebar is not adjustable
● Has foot brake only
Joovy’s latest jogger—which is several hundred dollars cheaper than some high-end jogging strollers—glides and steers easily, even on gravel, and offers great sun protection. It also has roomy storage and comes with a parent console.
Rating: 4 stars
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As a former triathlete, I love to run, but having a jogging stroller in Brooklyn, NY, was out of the question—even the most streamlined versions were too bulky and heavy. There was just no way to store one, let alone lug one down from our third-floor walkup apartment and still have enough energy to exercise. But now that my family has relocated to Minneapolis, I’ve been looking forward to trying to run with my daughter. We’re living in a duplex blocks away from a great lakeside path, and I see jogging strollers everywhere. Many parents here seem to use them as their regular stroller for walks to the park or around the neighborhood. Because I’m easing back into the whole running thing (and am expecting our second baby), I knew I needed a jogger that can switch from a fixed to swivel front wheel so I can also stop to walk. I was also looking for something as lightweight as possible.
The Zoom 360 weighs just under 26 pounds, which despite the “Ultralight” name, is pretty average for a jogging stroller ( Ed Note: The lightest joggers on the market are closer to 20 pounds). Its aluminum frame does weigh slightly less other jogger favorites like the BOB Revolution Flex (which is a little over 26 pounds). Joovy seems to have dubbed this version “Ultralight” because the company shaved off 10 percent of the weight from its previous jogger edition.
The Zoom’s 12-inch air-filled front tire can be locked in place so it’s stable and safe for running, but can also be set to swivel so you can use the stroller for walking workouts or post-run errands. The switch is down by the front wheel, so you do need to stop and kneel to change the setting. The 16-inch back tires—which, like the front tire, you pump up with air like bike tires—make the jogger dramatically easier and smoother to push than a regular stroller.
While some joggers include hand brakes, the Zoom’s only brake is a foot bar. The brake is easy to use when wearing running shoes but tough to release in flip flops, and the stroller has a strap that attaches to your wrist in case it runs away from you.
The roomy stroller seat doesn’t sit super upright, but it does recline pretty far back. However, while the stroller’s manual says it can carry kids up to 75 pounds, its 20-inch seat back height may be a tight fit for older or taller children. My little one is just 2 years old and already uses the harness in its second-highest setting, even though her feet don’t reach the footrest. The adjustable five-point harness isn’t padded at all, but it doesn’t seem to bother my little passenger. The canopy extends pretty far, providing lots of shade, and has a peekabboo window in back.
The Zoom 360 comes with a handy neoprene parent console that has two cup holders and a zippered pouch for keys, and underneath the stroller seat is a large storage basket—you can easily stow supplies or even groceries. The stroller is also marked with reflective tape for evening runs. Note that Joovy doesn’t make a rain cover for this stroller.
When I first took the Zoom 360 out, I was surprised at how quickly it moved along a gravel surface without me having to work to push it, and the shock absorbers kept it gliding over the bumps. My daughter immediately loved the comfortable seat, interior mesh pockets for her snack stash, and the high perch the large back wheels provide. She falls asleep easily while riding in the jogger, even on rough terrain.
As long as I don’t need to maneuver through narrow doorways, I’ve quickly come to prefer the Zoom 360 over my regular stroller, even if I’m just going for a walk. It takes so little effort to keep it moving along the sidewalk.
To fold the stroller, you do need two hands, but it’s pretty easy: just lift the flap labeled “fold” and pull the cord. The wheels are all quick-release, so the stroller is pretty compact when collapsed—it can even fit in a crowded car trunk. However, the folded stroller doesn’t have a handle or strap to pick it up with, so it’s awkward and heavy to carry any real distance.
The stroller’s design allows for a high, comfortable ride for baby and creates plenty of room under the seat. At 46-inches tall (or 3 feet, 10 inches), the non-adjustable handlebar is very comfortable for both me and my husband, although we’re on the taller side (5 feet, 9 inches and 6 feet, 1 inch, respectively), so I’m not sure what the experience would be like for shorter parents.
Joovy offers car seat adapters for this stroller that are compatible with many brands, including Britax B-Safe and the Graco Classic and Click Connect lines ( sold separately for $40). The Zoom’s guidelines say it can be used from birth with a car seat and with babies as young as 3 months with the stroller’s seat fully reclined.
The Zoom 360 is an excellent and affordable option for joggers or parents who want to take their strollers offroad for walks on gravel paths or grass. Serious runners may want to pay more for a jogger with hand brakes or a fancier suspension system, but Joovy offers a great all-around jogging stroller for parents looking to stay fit.