Mountain Buggy vs Zoe: Lightweight Travel Strollers

These days, modern parents want a stroller that allows them to travel comfortably and without hassle. And they need to do it both by car and on public transport. To fulfill that need, stroller manufacturers are now producing a broad range of lightweight, more urban-oriented strollers. The downside for parents looking to buy a stroller in this class is that they find themselves somewhat spoilt for choice!

In this article, we help you narrow down your options by reviewing and comparing three popular lightweight umbrella strollers brought to you by Mountain Buggy and Zoe.

Mountain Buggy has been around for a while. Now, it has a well-deserved reputation for producing high-quality, robust strollers that will last you a lifetime. Mountain Buggy was inspired by a father who wanted to take his child with him on hikes along the mountain trails around his home.

Zoe is the new kid on the block in the stroller marketplace. Although this family-run business has a wealth of manufacturing experience, it launched its first stroller very recently in 2015. Zoe aims to provide parents with affordable, expertly-crafted, feature-packed strollers.

Mountain Buggy markets itself as a producer of luxury strollers. In contrast, Zoe’s product range is aimed at families with a smaller budget.

So, let’s take a brief look at the three strollers in question. Then, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of comparing and contrasting them.

Mountain Buggy Nano V2

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller V2 (2016), Ruby
  • Infant car seat ready ; no need to purchase additional adapters
  • Ultra compact size at just 22 inches wide and weighing 13 pounds
  • Travel bag and shoulder carrying strap included

The Mountain Buggy Nano V2 is a super-lightweight umbrella stroller.

For the ultimate in convenience, the Nano V2 folds into a tiny package, measuring just 12 x 22 x 20 inches. Despite its diminutive proportions, the Nano V2 is rugged enough to carry a child of up to 44 pounds. If you have a newborn, no problem! The Nano V2 is car seat compatible, and there’s a soft shell cocoon carrycot available too for newborns.

The folded stroller can be taken onboard most airlines as carry-on luggage. Additionally, it will fit easily into most train and airplane overhead luggage bins.

To check out a video of the Nano V2, click below.

Zoe XL1

Zoe XL1 Best Single Stroller - Everyday Stroller with Canopy
  • EXPANDABLE - This every day single stroller grows from a single to a double (front to back) with an expandable tandem add-on set. This expansion capability means your family can grow without...
  • COMPACT - This high grade convenience stroller for newborns and older is Disney approved and fits nicely in a car trunk as well as some airplane overhead compartments. The one-hand fold...
  • CONVENIENT - Keep snacks and drinks where you need them with a snack holder and cup holder for them and a detachable cup holder for you. The elastic storage basket can carry even more,...

The Zoe XL1 is a lightweight travel stroller that’s marketed as being easy and quick to fold. Nevertheless, it still gives a smooth ride for your passenger and a pleasurable push for you.

The Zoe XL1 is packed with many of the features parents want. However, it doesn’t  skimp on quality, despite its budget price. If you want a super-light stroller that’s perfect for daily use and for travel that has lots of extras and a fabulous sun canopy, this could be the ideal stroller for you.

Here’s a promotional video of the XL1 in action:

Zoe XLC

ZOE XLC Best Lightweight Travel & Everyday Umbrella Stroller System (Red)
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - This high grade stroller is built to last while weighing less than 11 pounds, making it the best stroller for children 3 months or older.
  • COMPACT - This single stroller is Disney approved and airplane ready, from easy rolling to easy folding, and can fit in virtually any plane overhead compartment.
  • EASY FOR TRAVEL -With a tall handle, extra kickspace, a magnetic peekaboo window, and oversized standard wheels, this stroller can handle anything whether you're in the city or on the trail.

The Zoe XLC is a lightweight stroller that’s suitable for easy travel and daily use.

The fold is simple to achieve, and the package you’re left with is exceptionally compact. There’s a generous canopy, and the stroller is easy to push, giving your passenger a super-smooth ride too.

Unfortunately, the XLC is not compatible with infant car seats. And you can’t use it with a bassinet either, making the stroller unsuitable for very young babies. However, if you want a reasonably priced stroller for a child over six months of age, the XLC could be what you’re looking for.

To take a closer look at the Zoe XLC super-easy fold in action, check out this video.

Mountain Buggy Nano V2 vs. Zoe XL1, Zoe XLC: Features that matter most

Now, let’s compare and contrast the Mountain Buggy Nano V2 with its competitors from Zoe.

Weight and folded dimensions

The folded dimensions of the Nano V2 are 22 x 21 x 11 inches. You get a handy storage bag with a shoulder strap too. The stroller weighs just 13 pounds, making it a breeze to carry around and lift in and out of your car trunk.

In comparison, the Zoe XL1 and the XLC weigh a mere 11 pounds. The XLC measures 22 x 17.5 x 6 inches. The XL1 comes up slightly larger when folded at 26 x 20.25 x 7.5 inches.

The seat

The Nano V2 has a generous seat with a long seat back to canopy distance. So, it can accommodate a tall child weighing up to 44 pounds. There’s a strap-operated recline, although the seat won’t lie completely flat. So on its own, it’s not suitable for a newborn. A mesh panel behind the seat recline allows for good air circulation. That is a significant consideration if you live in an area with a warm climate. For inclement weather, you can buy Mountain Buggy’s All Weather Cover Pack, rain cover, and bug net.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller V2 (2016), Ruby

The Nano V2 has an adjustable three-point safety harness with a child-proof buckle. For extra comfort and support, there’s an adjustable footrest.

The Zoe XL1 has a very generous seat and will take a child up to 50 pounds, which is impressive for such a lightweight stroller. Also, there’s plenty of room from the back of the seat to the top of the canopy, so this stroller is great for taller kids. The five-point safety harness is very well-padded and is easy to adjust. Like the Nano V2, the XL1’s seat doesn’t recline flat, so you can’t use the seat alone for a newborn baby.

Zoe XL1 Best Single Stroller - Everyday Stroller with Canopy

The XLC is not suitable for infants because, like the Nano V2 and XL1, the seat doesn’t recline completely flat. Also, the stroller is not compatible with any infant car seats, and you can’t get a bassinet attachment either. However, if you want a lightweight, easy-to-push stroller for a toddler, the XLC could be the one for you. The seat is quite shallow and is smaller than that on the Nano V2. Also, the seat is set at a slight angle, which may cause a large child to slide down. To keep your passenger securely in their seat there’s a safety harness, and the adjustable footrest helps too.

ZOE XLC Best Lightweight Travel & Everyday Umbrella Stroller System (Red)

Car seat compatibility

The Nano V2 uses a strap system to hold the car seat in position, so you don’t need special adapters to create a travel system. That makes the Nano V2 immediately compatible with all major car seat brands, which is excellent news if you want to use your stroller for a newborn baby.

The two Zoe strollers are not compatible with a car seat, so they can’t be used for newborns.

The fold

The Nano V2 has a compact fold that’s small enough to allow you to take the stroller onto an airplane as hand luggage. Also, the Nano V2 will fit into most train and airplane overhead luggage lockers with no problem.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller V2 (2016), Ruby

The Zoe XL1 and XLC are both very easy to fold one-handed. All you need to do is pull on the seat handle, which you can do while anchoring your child with your other hand if necessary.

Handling

Mountain Buggy originally made their name by creating all-terrain strollers that could be used off-road. It should, therefore, come as no surprise to learn that the Nano V2 has a rear-wheel suspension system that helps the stroller glide smoothly over uneven ground, including cobblestones and broken sidewalks. The Nano V2 has a pedal-style, one-step footbrake that’s easy to operate and is flip-flop-friendly.

The Zoe XL1 handles superbly, thanks to its light weight. However, although it will negotiate uneven sidewalks and grass, this isn’t an all-terrain stroller, and you may find that it struggles on very rough ground, sand, and snow. The XL1 has a footbrake that’s simple to operate and is flip-flop-friendly.

The Zoe XLC has small wheels but still handles pretty well, and the rear wheel suspension system smooths out most bumps. That said, this stroller is not designed to cope with very challenging terrain. The XLC has a neat footbrake that you can operate while wearing open-toed sandals or flip-flops.

Handlebar

The Nano V2 has a single handlebar that allows for one-handed steering and easy maneuvering through restricted spaces. Unfortunately, the handlebar isn’t adjustable, which isn’t unusual for an umbrella stroller. However, the height seems to be fine for parents of average height.

The Zoe XL1 and XLC both have a fixed handlebar that, at just over 40 inches in height, comfortably accommodates most parents, unless you are exceptionally tall.

When pushing all of these stroller models, taller parents won’t have an issue with catching their feet on the stroller chassis, even while striding out.

Canopy

The Nano V2 has an excellent sun canopy that’s extendable via a flip-out sun visor, which is perfect for keeping the sun off your passenger. One small issue that some parents have mentioned is that the sun canopy catches their knuckles on the handlebar. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it can become irritating, especially during a long walk.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller V2 (2016), Ruby

The Zoe XL1 has a pretty decent-sized canopy, which boasts a peek-a-boo window with silent, magnetic closures.

Zoe XL1 Best Single Stroller - Everyday Stroller with Canopy

The canopy on the Zoe XLC stroller is bigger than the one on the Nano V2, and its four panels give superb sun protection. Also, there’s a peek-a-boo window with a silent magnetic closure that’s perfect if you like to keep an eye on your child while you’re strolling.

Storage

The Nano V2 has an underseat storage basket that’s a decent size for this type of stroller. If you want more storage space, the Nano V2 is robust enough to accommodate a couple of bags on stroller hooks.

The Zoe XL1 gives you lots of useful extras, including a parent cup holder, a child’s cup holder, and a snack cup. There’s a pocket on the back of the canopy that will take your phone, keys, and other small items. The underseat basket isn’t massive and is made of mesh, but it will comfortably fit a diaper bag.

The Zoe XLC provides you with a good amount of underseat storage that will comfortably accommodate a diaper bag and perhaps a blanket or spare coat.

Optional accessories

Zoe has included a selection of optional accessories that you can buy to customize the XL1 and XLC. If you have a second child, you might want to buy the tandem seat. Also, there’s a parent console, storage bag/travel backpack, double or single carry straps, a rain cover, belly bar cover, and removable comfort pillow. There’s also a buddy board for an older child.

There’s a range of optional extras that you can buy to go with the Nano V2, including:

  • Premium infant car seat
  • Newborn cocoon
  • Sleeping bag
  • Travel bag
  • All-weather cover set
  • Freerider stroller board
  • Nano carry bag

Colors

The Zoe XLC and XL1 both come in eight pretty colors, including red, blue, grey, lime green, purple, and black. In comparison, the Nano V2 is available in black and navy. There’s also a limited edition print for 2019, representing the Chinese Year of the Pig.

Wrapping it up

If you’re looking for a robust, well-made, yet lightweight stroller that’s perfect for travel on public transport and by car, the Nano V2 could be the ideal option for you. Neither of the Zoe strollers we’ve featured in this guide can be used with a child car seat.

However, both the XLC and XL1 can fold into a light, compact package. So you can take it on public transport or fit in your car trunk with no problem. Therefore, if you have a toddler and you don’t want to break the bank, you may find a Zoe stroller is the better choice for your needs.

All these strollers offer good underseat storage, although the XL1 does have an extra pocket for small items. Again, each of the strollers we featured has a large sun canopy, although the Zoe XL1 and XLC both outstrip the Nano V2 in this area.

Of the two brands, you get more accessories included with the XL1, and there are lots of extras you can choose to buy if you want to customize your Zoe stroller.

So, although we think all three models are great value for money, your own needs will determine which stroller is the best deal for you and your family.