Living on the boat for four years took its toll on a lot of our personal gear. The constant humidity, salt water in the air, and sun damage, can make anything look old in no time. Hopefully that doesn’t apply to my face too much too. 

   With two “babies-to-toddlers” on board this meant that having a stroller with us was almost mandatory for all of those long walks to the grocery store or to get off the boat and out of Eben’s hair while he worked on a project. Because space is limited on a boat our stroller had to fit certain requirements. It had to be light, compact, easy to use, and most of all, affordable. Since we all know the rest of our money was being drained by boat repairs and boat life in general. Well, because of the natural elements, the stroller that we had for all of those years finally started to break down. I looked rugged, with its sunbleached material and rusted hinges. So we said goodbye to it, left it by a roadside dumpster in Luperon, Dominican Republic. And now it is serving someone else, as I saw a lady walk away with it not 5 minutes after we abandoned it. It was finally time for a new one. A bright, shiny, new one.
   I did some research and found that with what was on the market, Joovy best suited all of the above requirements we were looking for. And with two kids now, the idea of a double stroller intrigued me. It didn’t take Eben long to talk me out of that, since no matter the make, a double stroller would be twice as bulky on the boat. But Joovy had the next best option for us. They make their Groove Ultralight, a lightweight umbrella style stroller (with tons of added bells and whistles) and then they have this thing called a Bumprider. It’s an attachment that fits almost any stroller, that hooks on to the back bottom of the stroller, and makes for a free-ride for kid #2. Think of it as a stroller with a skateboard attached to the back. It seemed ideal, that way both kids could be pushed around, the weight wasn’t significantly more, and the bumprider can either be removed so folded up on the the stroller if ever I only had one kids to push around. I wanted them both, right now.
   With the shipping headache of getting it to the DR it took us a while to finally have it in hand. We were trying our best to get it here without paying exorbitant shipping costs, which came out to almost as much as the stroller itself, and well as not having to wait forever for it. In the end, we had to have patience, but got it here for free in a friend’s luggage when she flew in to the DR. When we finally got it, it was like Christmas! A new toy for the whole family to enjoy.
   The stroller is awesome. It’s not often that you will find something the size of an “umbrella” stroller, but has all these extras. To start with its PROS: This stroller has a huge sun cover, which is super important for us since we live in the sun. It has a reclining back rest and adjustable leg rest so that if Ellia gets sleepy she can lie back and snooze. It has pockets inside and out. An outside zippered one for me, and two inside seat ones for the girls’ toys and sippy cups. It folds up small and only weighs 13lbs. The stroller drives well, and the ride is smooth for the little passengers. And the brakes are not something that you have to fight with, they lock and unlock with the flick of a toe. And best of all, not only is it super comfy but it also has the safety of a 5-point harness. Now for the few CONS: It would be great if the shoulder straps could have some sort of padding on them. They look a little uncomfy when baby is trying to fall asleep and has this strap digging into their neck. And in hindsight we would have appreciated telescoping handles, but this is due to the combination of the stoller and bumrider together. (see following paragraph). We are so happy to have this stroller as it exceeds our needs and allows our girls to have some chushy extras on their sweet ride.

Lol, I apologize for Arias’ face in all of these, she was loving the photoshoot!

Ellia fully reclined asking “where my pillow?”

   Now for the Bumprider. I had so many high hopes for this contraption. I thought it would solve all my problems of the girls fighting over who got to get pushed around in the stroller or me having to carry one on my while I pushed the other. The PROS: It is small, you can attach/detach easily, and offer a ride to a second little one without too much hassle. It is a smooth ride, and impressively enough, handles the banged up sidewalks of the DR with no problem. And believe me those are the bumpiest of bumpy, so making those a smooth ride is an astounding feat. The CONS: It gets in the way of normal walking. We have found that with Arias standing on the board, you as a parent find yourself walking in one of three uncomfortable manners. 1) You either waddle with the kid and board between your feet, 2) walk with your entire body off to one side of the stroller to avoid stepping on the bumprider, making it super hard to steer in a straight line, or 3) walk far behind the stroller and bumprider with your arms over extended. This third way actually caused me to get sore fingers, since thats all that could reach the stroller from being so far back, and getting a calf cramp, from walking funny. So I have to say that the bumprider didn’t quite live up to my dreamy expectations.

   You can tell that Joovy’s products are built to live a full life and I can’t wait to see how they hold up to our less than ordinary life. And I know our girls aren’t going to baby it, since even when we are not out for walks it has become one of their favorite toys, pushing eachother around in our Hometel. Or as Arias has discovered, it also makes for a good restraining system for her baby sister. We have had a few incidences of rushing into their room to the sound of screaming, as Ellia is strapped in to the stroller and Arias has abandoned her and moved on to a new game! If only it had two restraining systems, then we could strap them both in and Eben and I could make a run for it! (Just joking, of course).
Joovy generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as you can see, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. 

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back to our “hometel”