JOOVY updates a classic lightweight stroller, but are the changes that great?
The emperor isn’t the only one getting a new groove. The JOOVY New Groove Ultralight Umbrella Stroller has been updated for 2017. It now features UPF fabric, a better recline, the ability to stand on its own, and some new cupholders. It still has the same shape and foldability, although the weight has gone up slightly from the original Groove stroller. This new model may not be as ultralight and may be an inconvenience for shorter parents.
Ultralight, Lightweight, or Medium Weight?
If a manufacturer tells me that a product is light, then I expect it to be that way. That expectation is doubled if they say it’s ultralight. So does this stroller live up to that name? Not really.
Fancy frame. The frame for the Groove is made from aluminum. As we all know, this is a really lightweight and sturdy metal. That makes it perfect for baby equipment. But for the JOOVY New Groove, it doesn’t make it ultralight. The stroller weighs in at 15.7 pounds, compared to the original Groove’s 14 pounds. A pound and a half doesn’t seem like much, but for a stroller that you want to carry around, it makes a big difference.
Carrying capability. Because it’s supposed to be so lightweight, they’ve added a shoulder strap to help haul this thing around. JOOVY says that they’ve positioned the shoulder strap in a specific place to help distribute the weight and make for fuss-free carrying. Well, carrying an awkward 15.7 pound stroller on a tiny nylon strap isn’t exactly fuss-free. I appreciate the thought, but I’ll just lug it around under my arm.
All in all, the New Groove isn’t what I’d consider ultralight. It’s certainly more lightweight than a jogging stroller, but it’s a bit heavier than other convenience type stroller’s we’ve used. With my son in there, I would even go so far as to say I would classify it as a medium weight stroller.
Folding and Standing
Convenience stroller is a funny name. I don’t find fighting with fabric, metal, and plastic to get it folded into a somewhat small and storable shape convenient at all. This buggy is a bit better to deal with, but still needs some work.
Compact and locking fold. JOOVY tries to tell me that this has a compact fold. Now, if I had the time to tuck in all the fabric and streamline the thing once the frame was folded, I’m sure it would be compact. But as it is, it’s a bit messy once folded due to the bulk of the fabric. One great feature is that it does stay locked when folded, so I don’t have to worry about it springing open in the trunk and becoming even less compact. And it is quite easy to fold. I haven’t had a single problem getting this umbrella stroller to open or close, even while chasing down my rambunctious toddler to get him to sit in it.
It can stand up by itself! I’m a bit of a germophobe, so this is such a cool feature! If you’ve ever had to take your stroller on a bus, in an airport, or into a restaurant, then you’ve no doubt cringed when you had to fold it up and lay it on the ground. The New Groove solves that problem. Once folded, there’s a small stand at the bottom that enables the stroller to stand up. It will stay locked into this standing mode until you unlock it and unfold it. It keeps both the handlebars and the seat off of the ground. You won’t even spill your drinks. I love this feature!
You need a stroller that can do fun stuff like this when you are chasing a toddler or preschooler. Check out my Best Stroller for 3, 4, and 5 Year Olds article to see more amazing foldable stroller options.
Bigger, Better Canopy
One of the important upgrades for the New Groove is the larger stroller canopy. It’s removable, adjustable, water resistant, and even reflective. It has some other great features that were really worth creating a new model for.
UPF protection. You’ve heard of SPF, or sun protection factor. But what about UPF? It stands for ultraviolet protection factor. It has to do with the amount of UV light that can go through a fabric and reach the skin. It’s popular for outdoor clothing and equipment, and now it’s becoming more popular for baby gear, too. This pram features a UPF 50 canopy. Not only will baby be shady, but you’ll not have to worry about any extra rays reaching them, even if you are out in the sun for a long time.
Peek-a-boo window. I don’t think that I’ve ever owned a stroller without a peek-a-boo window, and I don’t think I ever will. There is just something to be said for being able to spy on your baby. Even the most trusting of parents do it. The great thing about this window is that it’s in a convenient spot. One of my other strollers had a window that was positioned so strangely that I had to lean over the stroller to look into it. This spy window is right next to the handlebars, so I can easily see my mischievous little guy and he can see me, too.
For Newborns to Toddlers
This sturdy but lighter stroller has a big weight tolerance, but it also has features that are wee baby friendly. That makes me happy as a mom of a toddler with another on the way! I can use it with either kid.
Bassinet mode and recline. To be honest, I never really used an umbrella stroller until my son was over a year old. Until then, it was usually just easier to click his car seat into a travel system and go. But now, with a new one on the way, I’m taking advantage of the smaller stroller much sooner! This stroller makes it easy because it reclines to nearly flat to go into bassinet mode, which is great for tiny newborns. Just be sure to pack lots of blankets to give them some extra padding because there’s not much in the way of extra support.
My one complaint with this feature is that the lower storage basket is blocked when it’s reclined all the way. When you have a newborn, you have a lot of stuff you have to haul around with you. I can’t hang the diaper bag from the handles of this stroller or the weight will tip the stroller over. That makes it tricky to transport baby and all of the things I need without having to wear the diaper bag.
Seat size. So the seat size is good for little ones, but what about big ones? It fits them great, too! The seat is 14 inches wide. Compared to most 12 inch seats in other umbrella strollers, my toddler has a bit more room to squeeze in, even as he continues to grow. This isn’t the main selling feature by any means, but it makes me happy because I know that I’ll get more mileage out of this stroller.
Moveable footrest. Another swell feature is the adjustable footrest. The manufacturer says that you can place the footrest flat for the bassinet and napping mode, but it also helps extend the leg room for my older son. His feet don’t have to drag down by the wheels because I can buy him some extra space by putting the footrest up. The great news is that I can adjust it however I need to, up flat or down folded, depending on what stage my kids are in.
All the Little Extras
The little things mean a lot when it comes to strollers too. Here are just a few of the little extras that I adore about the JOOVY New Groove Ultralight Umbrella Stroller.
Storage. It has cup holders and storage galore! For baby/toddler, it has two mesh pockets on the inner sides that can hold snacks, toys, or small sippy cups. For mom and dady, the new and improved Groove has two cup holder and a zippered storage pocket. One cup holder is solid and attached to the handlebar, while one is mesh and on the back of the stroller. Finally, there is a decent sized mesh storage basket underneath for holding all of the other baby gear you’ll need.
Water resistant fabric. This goes for both the canopy and the seat. This means that it’s rain proof, spill proof, and potty accident proof. The soft fabric is easily spot cleaned, but for those impossibly big messes, you could remove and wash the seat.
Wheels that go round and round. The wheels have amazing suspension and are bolted to steel legs. Plus, the New Groove’s wheels are a bit larger, so they steer more easily and don’t get jammed into place as much. The back wheels have a break for those necessary stops. I think this was the easiest umbrella stroller to maneuver, hands down.
Good handlebar height. The handlebars are designed to be ergonomic, so you aren’t bending to push the buggy. While that works for some, it doesn’t work for all. This stroller might be really frustrating to shorter parents. I’m 5’7” and my husband is 6’, and we are happy with the positioning of the handlebars. I could definitely see how it would be awkward if you were shorter because the handlebars would practically be at chest height.
- 5 stars, 8 reviews- BuyBuyBaby
- More reviews coming soon as the 2017 version is bought and tried!
- Sturdy, quality design
- Locking fold with standing ability
- Large canopy with UPF protection and window
- Adjustable features for babies or toddlers
- Easy to steer
- Lots of storage
- Not lightweight
- Messy when folded
- No extra padding for newborns
- Recline can block the storage basket
- Handlebars are a bit high for a lot of parents
No umbrella stroller is perfect, but the JOOVY New Groove Ultralight Umbrella Stroller comes pretty close. It has great, sturdy design, although it is a bit heavy. The seat, canopy, footrest, storage, steering, and standing fold are simply amazing. I know that my toddler loves the stroller, but I think my soon-to-arrive newborn would be comfortable in it too. This is a well-made convenience stroller. The price may be a bit high, but you certainly get what you pay for.