When you have one or two small children, finding a great stroller is a fairly easy task. You make a list of priorities (see my post with 15 things to consider when stroller shopping), maybe take a few for a test drive around the store, and bish bash bosh you're done. But when you have 3 children needing a stroller, there are less options but things are more complicated with important considerations such as double wide or tandem, and seats for all or combo of seats / baby wearing / ride-on board.
When you're talking triple strollers, or even double strollers with an add-on for the third child, you can't avoid the fact that it is going to be an absolute beast: huge, heavy, and a major head turner! But for parents of twins, triplets, or Irish twins/triplets, it's just something you have to come to terms with.
Thankfully there are a few decent options out there and I am thrilled to be working with Joovy to introduce you to their Big Caboose triple stroller, which my crew and I have seriously fallen in love with!
What I Love about the Joovy Big Caboose
The Seats: The 2 full seats are much more upright than many stroller seats (actually, more than any stroller I have used!), which gives the kids a great view, so they're not struggling to pull themselves upright with the belly bar. The 2 seats are also "stadium seating" as I like to call them, so the kid in the 2nd row can see over the first, and you can see both of them (the backs of their heads anyway) while pushing. It's functional and adorable!
The Under Basket: The basket is huge!!! It has a max load of 10 pounds which means you can't load it up with a weeks' worth of groceries (though you may be able to create some kind of hack here to give it more support), and there's no one giant space to access it from so you can't stuff your humongous double diaper bag down there, but it holds a LOT!! I've been packing 3 smaller bags of stuff that i can access from between each seat - one bag for diapers / wipes / extra clothes, one for snacks, and one for toys. That way, we just pull out one bag at a time, much simpler!
3rd Child Flexibility: At the back of the stroller, there's a built in bench (with 3-point lap belt) and ride on board. A toddler or older child (45 pounds max) has great flexibility to sit or stand here without being in the way of the stroller pusher's stride (which is my big pet peeve with the sit/stand ride on boards that attach separately - they're always in my way!!!!). When the back seat is reclined, it'll leave the child sitting in the back a bit hunched over, but it's not a huge deal. There's also a 3rd option which is great when you have triplets - you can purchase the Caboose Rear Seat and install on the back bench seat, giving the Big Caboose 3 fully functioning forward facing seats!!
The Spectacle: Let's face it, this stroller is an eye turner! If you have 3 small children (especially twins or triplets), you're probably used to hearing "You've sure got your hands full!!!" 10 times a day. You will not be incognito pushing this stroller. There is no flying under the radar with the Big Caboose. But you know what? Personally, I love it! I love the comments, the smiles, the "WOW, SUPER MOM!!!" shout outs!
The Canopies: While not the largest on the market, they are pretty big and each of the 2 regular seats has an independent canopy that can be opened, closed, and pulled forward or backward, which is great because you can move them to block the sun no matter what angle it's coming in from! They also snap in and out easily, so if you don't need them just pull them out and give your kids an even better view!!
But, let's not kid ourselves. There is no PERFECT stroller. They all have their pros and cons and we have to decide for ourselves what our priorities and deal breakers are. The Joovy Big Caboose is narrow (21.5" wide), which is a great selling point, but it is also LONG (55" in use, 63" when folded). This means it's a bit of a beast to maneuver. Corners are a full body workout and pushing on slightly tilted surfaces will have your triceps cut like a mother (pun intended!!!) in no time. Popping up and over curbs and steps is a no-no (but it actually does really well with large door lips, side walk cracks, etc etc). If you're an itty bitty 4'10" 80 pound mama, this might not be the best stroller for you, but it's still worth taking it for a test drive to be sure! For me, it's not the best push, but it's no big deal. Let's get real. It's a 34 pound stroller (similar weight to all the doubles), so with my 3 kids and our stuff in there we're talking pushing 100 pounds or so around. Ain't no stroller out there that's gonna have a dream push with this kind of weight. There's no double or triple (that I've seen) allowing you a luxurious one-handed push while you sip a latte or hold an umbrella. If you disagree, well, you know how to reach me - I'm more than happy to do a review of your magical unicorn of a stroller LOL!!
Another semi-negative aspect of the stroller is that the seats only have 2 position recline and they don't lay back very far. My 10 month old twins have been napping just fine in them, but they get in that head-tilted-over kind of position that freaks me out. But I do love how upright they are in their most vertical position for awake time, which trumps sleeping position in my book!
I was nervous that the Big Caboose wouldn't fit into my building's tiny elevator, or through the very tight turn in my apartment's entry way. Surprisingly, it fit just fine!! It's been kicking ass strollering through the mean streets of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn - I've had it for a couple of weeks so far and haven't had to do the "turn of shame" for not being able to fit somewhere (it's happened with my double-wide on numerous occasions). I know the nabe, so I know which cross streets to avoid (the ones with no curb cutout). Yes, it does well in the city, I can attest to that! The front wheels can lock, helping you out a bit if pushing on grass or gravel, but I imagine it's still be quite difficult. If you're a suburban mama looking for a stroller to take to the mall, this is perfect - space for the kids and the shopping bags, it'll have a fabulous push on those beautifully level department store floors, and it'll be narrow enough to navigate through racks and what not! Just measure your trunk carefully to make sure this bad boy will fit! It does collapse in one piece, which is nice!
In a nutshell, the Joovy Big Caboose is an AMAZING triple stroller that accommodates 3 children (front and middle seats are good for ages 6 months up to 40 pounds, or from birth with the included car seat adaptors; back seat is good up to 45 pounds). It also has great accessories - coming with 2 trays, and extras available for purchase: parent console, rain cover, and rear seat (as mentioned above). It retails for $399.99 on Joovy's website, Amazon, and plenty of baby stores (call ahead to check if they have available for test driving). The optional rear seat goes for about $60.
Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased - I'm no sellout!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)