review of the joovy balloon stroller

Joovy Balloon Stroller Review

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$299 Retail Value
by Megan Schipsi |

A super lightweight stroller from a reputable brand, at a great price?

Sign me up! The Joovy Balloon stroller is a standard size stroller that really takes the place of having both an infant and toddler stroller. Who wants to have to buy more than one stroller? Not me!

Having a toddler and an infant on the way has made me seek out more choices when it comes to strollers. I used to think the only way I could get a stroller that could accommodate a newborn one moment and a toddler the next would be to pay hundreds for a high end (and huge!) stroller. And I don’t want to have pay extra for a bunch of attachments that the high end brands seem to require!

Amazingly, the Joovy Balloon stroller is exactly what I am looking for and I really recommend it for a lightweight and affordable universal use stroller.

 

The Bassinet Mode is Amazing

What is a bassinet mode?

First of all, the Joovy Balloon is one of the only strollers on the market today that has a bassinet mode… without an extra bassinet attachment! That means that your infant can sleep comfortably in a cozy bassinet, but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on an extra piece of equipment. The Balloon has an extra-broad recline of 160 degrees, which makes this an amazing stroller to use for both infants and toddlers who enjoy a nap while on the go.

Reversible Seat/handle.

Secondly, a mega-bonus: the seat is reversible. I definitely want to keep an eye on my infant when I am pushing the stroller, and I don’t want to have to stop and pull back the canopy each time I feel like checking in. Luckily, the handle easily pops off so you can attach it to the back or the front with little effort.

No Special Attachments. 

Finally, no one wants to be forced to use a special attachment just to let their kid sleep in a stroller. By featuring a nearly flat recline, the Joovy Balloon skips this annoying step and answers the prayers of parents everywhere who just want their child to be able to sleep. Yet, if your child does happen to prefer sleeping in the car seat, the Joovy has a universal car seat adapter so you can easily hook the seat right into the stroller without waking your sleeping infant. A win-win situation if you ask me.

This is one of the requirements to be a best travel system stroller. You’ll see what I’m talking about if you read our best travel system breakdown article.

Incredibly Easy to Carry and Store

Light and Tight.

One of the lightest standard strollers available right now, the Balloon weighs less than 13lbs. This makes it easy to carry and push, especially if you have a heavier toddler sitting in the seat. The tight fold will fit into small spaces, making this Joovy ideal if you have a tiny apartment or a car trunk that doesn’t fit much more than a diaper bag on a typical day.

Space Saver.

In my house space is at a premium. I barely have room for all of the baby gear I need already! And I don’t want to have a stroller just hanging out in my entry way. Luckily the Joovy Balloon fits right into my hall closet (even under the mess of other gear we stuff in there!) so never have to worry about it being in the way.

Features Not Sacrificed.

Since the Joovy Balloon doesn’t weigh much, you might be worried that it is lacking in features. However, that isn’t the case at all. This stroller boasts dual cup holders, an ample cargo basket, and an updated tire system, making for one of the smoothest rides that Joovy has to offer. The low price of this Joovy does not reflect the ample features it comes with!

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The Canopy Covers Everything

Nose to Toes.

The oversized canopy on the Joovy Balloon will cover your entire baby. Yes, from nose to toes and everything else, your baby will be 100% protected from the sun. This peace of mind feature will really help you feel safe when you are out of the house on a sunny day. Since infants can’t wear sunscreen until after they turn 6 months old, the canopy on the Balloon stroller is such a convenient update.

No Extra Blanket Needed

When my toddler was just a newborn, I hated that I had to remember to bring a blanket to shield him from the sun. I remember trying to tie a swaddle over the top of the stroller to keep him covered. It was such a pain! Having such a huge canopy available is such a relief.

Completely Collapsable.

And what if your baby enjoys looking out at the world? No need to worry, the canopy is completely collapsable. And if you are like me and want to change up the style every once in a while, you can always order a new canopy in a different color to compliment your stroller. I love that I can switch it up without spending a fortune!

Brand New Wheels

Recently Redesigned.

So, the Joovy clearly isn’t a jogging stroller, and I don’t expect it to push like one. The wheels are small and the suspension is not what you would find in something made for running. BUT! The entire wheel and suspension system was recently redesigned and it now works so well!

I could push this thing for miles without issue. Even one handed if I needed to keep my other hand on an older kid (or on my iced coffee). The new design fixed some major flaws that were surfacing with older versions of the Joovy Balloon, so it is a good time to buy if this is what you are looking for.

While this will never take the place of a three wheeled jogging stroller, the Balloon does get the job done on almost any surface and at any walking speed.


All of the Features, None of the Expense

Part of the original desire to get a super high end stroller is the fact that I want all of those little extras. I want the cup holders and the giant storage pockets and the lush fabrics and everything in between. Amazingly, the Joovy Balloon includes all of those features, without the huge price tag that you might expect to find.

List of Features.

Cup holders? Check! An array of trendy colors? Yes! Reversible handle? You got it! Car seat adapter? Footrest? Removable bumper bar? All included! I was seriously amazed at just how many features this stroller has.

Best Feature.

Most of all, I love the under seat cargo basket. This thing is huge and it really can hold quite a bit more than any other stroller I have used, especially the jogging stroller that I’m used to. As a result, I end up wanting to use this stroller more since I can store so much!

Super Safe and Secure

Part of me was unsure about the idea of putting a newborn straight into a stroller, without a car seat or bassinet attachment. However, after checking out the Joovy Balloon, I no longer have those reservations.

Certifications.

This stroller feels very sturdy and secure, and it is JPMA certified and meets all ASTM standards. In addition, the canopy offers UPF 50 protection, which made me feel better about how much time we spend outdoors. It can hold a baby as small as 4 lbs., so it really does function as a safe stroller at any age.

Customer Reviews-

4.0 stars, 28 reviews – Walmart.com

4.0 stars, 36 reviews – Target.com

 

Pros-

  • Affordable Price Point
  • Extra Large Canopy
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Bassinet Mode for Infants
  • Great for newborns through 4 years old
  • Redesigned wheels and suspension for an easy push

 

Cons-

  • Shorter parents have a hard time pushing with the parent facing mode
  • Toddlers can’t sit 100% upright
  • Hard to maneuver in parent facing mode
  • Cup holders aren’t the most secure
  • No tray attachment for toddlers

Bottom Line-

It’s a fantastic deal.

 In conclusion, I highly recommend this stroller if you don’t want to put out the big bucks for a top of the line stroller, but you still want all the features that come with the high price tag. The Joovy Balloon is ultra-light, ultra-affordable, and super efficient for newborns, infants, and toddlers. The only thing that I really wish it featured is a tray for toddler snack and drinks, but there are several non-brand universal trays you can try out if want.

You can see from the pictures that this stroller is super toddler friendly. Click to read our article with more strollers like this Joovy Balloon Stroller that work great for older kids.

Buy the latest version. 

If you do buy this stroller, make sure that you are buying the latest version!  In 2016 Joovy redesigned all of the wheels on the Balloon stroller, fixing a pretty severe push issue. Previously, this stroller was pretty hard to handle unless you were on a completely smooth surface. Consequently, I would not recommend buying this stroller used. Luckily, the strollers now being sold are free from tire defects and ready to go! Overall, the Joovy Balloon is a solid choice for anyone who just wants to buy one safe stroller than they can use for years without additional attachments or purchases.

Megan Schipsi
Megan is a parent, teacher, and writer from Phoenix, Arizona. When she isn't blogging, Megan can be found hiking the deserts with her child and two old chihuahuas, teaching at a co-op preschool, or working on her master's degree online.

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