For today's guest review, new and first-time mom Andrea shares about her experience using the Joovy Roo Infant Car Seat Frame Stroller with her 1-month old daughter, Summer.

{read all our Joovy product reviews}

Testing Parameters:

Product: Joovy Roo Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame

Time Frame: 2 Weeks

Location: Atlanta

 

We couldn't wait to test out our Joovy Roo Infant Car Seat Frame Stroller immediately after bringing our daughter, Summer, home from the hospital in April.  For one, the thought of experimenting with our larger, "all-purpose" stroller completely intimidated me right after coming home.  We were in need of something simple, that I could use right away with Summer for quick errands, pediatrician visits, grabbing meals, etc.  After all, Atlanta is mostly a driving city, so I needed something lightweight, and easy to maneuver in and out of stores and in and out of my car frequently.  We received a Graco SnugRide 35 infant car seat off our baby registry, which was perfect, because the Joovy Roo can accommodate select Graco, Chicco, and Peg Perego infant car seats.

 

the roo out of the box

My husband, Thad, challenged me to set up the Joovy Roo all by myself when it arrived.  I must say, I'm glad I gave it a go on my own, because set-up was simple.  The frame arrives already assembled and you just snap the wheels and cup holder tray into place.  
 

The day after we got home from the hospital, we were forced to venture out into the real world to meet with our pediatrician.  I was admitedly nervous about how to get Summer from the parking lot to the doctor's office!  The Joovy Roo made the process much easier than I thought.  The Roo is lightweight (even for me, recovering from a c-section) allowing for easy storage in and out of the car.  It weighs just over 16 lbs. and can accommodate up to 35 lbs.  You can unfold it with one hand, without having to press any buttons.  Snapping the car seat into the stroller frame is easy.  You will hear a "click" sound alerting you that the car seat is secure and in the correct position.  
To fold the Roo back up, there are two easy, red buttons on the handlebar that you press at the same time (only one hand needed), and it folds in a snap.  A simple, red latch keeps the Roo folded tightly together for easy, compact storage back into your car.  
  
The obvious difference between the Roo and other "Snap n' Go" stroller models, is the side facing position of the car seat.  I was curious about this unique position, and did some browsing on Joovy's site to find out their reasoning behind the side mount:  

"The Roo’s side mount allows for easy and close access when you are seated at a table as you can ‘parallel park’ the Roo close without the handle getting in your way. This is helpful when you stop to feed the baby, are at a restaurant or simply interacting while seated."

I found this interesting, so we tested it out a few days later when we ventured out for lunch and a trip to the mall.  While sitting among tight quarters at a lunch cafe, we were able to pull Summer up next to us as if she was sitting in her own "chair" right at the table with us.  There wasn't a stroller handlebar in the way, and it provided us with easy access to her at all times.  I really like the side access feature for this reason.  My husband and I love to eat at restaurants around town, and this feature makes it easier and more convenient for Summer to join us, and for us to interact with her throughout the meal.  
 

We also found the Roo's maneuverability to be excellent, with its front swivel wheels (which you can also lock if necessary), and rear wheel brakes, for when you are on uneven terrain and need the stroller to stay put in one place.  I am easily able to open doors with one hand, while pushing the stroller through with the other hand, since it is very lightweight and the swivel wheels make it extra easy to maneuver through tight spaces.  

As mentioned, the click-in design for placing the car seat in the frame is simple, however, I did experience a little trouble at first when pulling the car seat out of the stroller frame.  You should be able to release it simply by pulling the car seat release lever, but sometimes I would have trouble coordinating pulling up on the lever, while at the same time, getting the car seat to release from the frame.  After some practice though, I now know to listen for a distinct release "click" to know the car seat is fully released and ready for me to lift from the frame.  It's kind of nice to know the car seat won't come off the frame without a strong, coordinated release pull of the lever.

Another feature I love about the Roo is the built in cup holder/bottle holder tray (containing 4 cup holders total).  It sits below the car seat so if any liquid spills from the drinks, it won't spill on your baby.  I love that!  While sitting lower on the stroller frame, the cup holders are still within reaching distance for easy access.  Below the carrier is a basket for carrying your diaper bag, or other essential items.  I found that my diaper bag is too big to squeeze in the basket if the car seat is already locked into place, so I have to put it into the basket before the car seat.  I have to remember to take out my important items (cell phone, wallet, keys), and place them in the cup holder/organizer tray first, or else they can be pretty difficult to access once the car seat is in place.  I usually end up carrying my diaper bag around my shoulder, due to its larger size, leaving space in the carrier to fit a few smaller shopping bags, a jacket, etc.        

The price of the Joovy Roo is $99.99 which is on par with most current "Snap n' Go" stroller frame models.  There are some out there that cost a little more, and some that cost a little less.  In my opinion, the Joovy Roo is worth the price.  We love it and are using it daily, several times a day, and it stays in the trunk of our car at all times.  If you are in the market for an easy to use, compact car seat frame stroller, with an innovative, side-facing design, the Roo is definitely the stroller for you.

 

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Disclosure: Joovy provided us with a Roo frame stroller for this review (LEVEL 1). I was not compensated for this post and, as always, opinions are honest and my own. Read my full product review policy and disclosure here.

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Posted
AuthorJodi Kendall
Categoriesfamily