Guava Roam Review + Update

Our son in the Roam at 16 months old.

Around the time our son turned six months old, I started looking for jogging strollers. I swore I was going to get back into running ASAP (that turned out to be wishful thinking on my part… ha! Maybe one day). After an unsuccessful trial with the highly popular but bulky BOB, we decided to take a shot on Guava, a new entrant to the stroller market (but already well respected for their bassinet and floor bed).

I was more than a little concerned about spending $500 on a piece of baby equipment that had less than 50 reviews (if you know me, I’m way into online reviews). However, we were living in a small second floor apartment and driving a Toyota Corolla, so space was at a premium and I was drooling over a jogging stroller that folded to a reasonable size. Plus, Guava has a 30 day guarantee that basically eliminates the risk (this isn’t sponsored, just the truth). I finally pulled the trigger and we bought our Roam.

This is the review that I originally posted on Guava’s website in April of 2021. Scroll to the bottom to see my updated review after nine months of use in four states, on five plane trips, and over six types of terrain.

I’ve had the Roam stroller for about a month now. I waited to review it so that I could spend some time considering all of the pros and cons and give others the most information possible. This is genuinely a great stroller. Is it a perfect stroller? Well, no. I don’t think a perfect stroller exists. A stroller with all of the features you want might be too heavy. A lighter stroller isn’t sturdy enough for jogging. A stroller that can go newborn to older child may not fold small enough for apartment living/travel/smaller cars. The stroller you think would fit your family well might be way over your budget. Overall, I think that the Roam does a great job of maximizing function, comfort, and value, while minimizing some of the natural drawbacks of those things. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be a five star stroller (and it deserves every one of those stars).I’ll start with the obvious draws (for me there were two of them): this is (1) a hybrid stroller, that (2) FOLDS SMALL. My husband and I originally owned a Nuna Mixx Next and a used BOB revolution. My husband hates owning two strollers. He thinks it’s a waste of space (he’s not wrong). We live in a two bedroom apartment with limited storage space, and we drive a Toyota Corolla. We just don’t have room for two giant strollers in our life, even if they are each great strollers for their intended purposes. Owning a stroller that can be used for everyday errands, running, and travel just makes a lot of sense. Now, a hybrid stroller will probably never be as good at each individual function as a single-function stroller would be. Frankly, our Mixx has a slightly smoother push, pivots more easily in tight spaces, and can lay completely flat and transform into a bassinet for a newborn. It also has a huge basket that we’ve used for grocery shopping when baby was little. Our BOB felt a bit more substantial while running and had larger tires. An umbrella stroller would fold super small for traveling on an airplane and fitting into tight spaces during trips to Europe, for example. But some of us have no desire (or room) to own three strollers, and each of those strollers has drawbacks of their own. That beautiful Mixx is HUGE when folded. It takes up more than half of our trunk space and is a pain to try to maneuver into place. It can’t be folded with one hand while holding baby in the other. It’s also pretty heavy. Speaking of heavy, OH MY GOSH THE BOB IS HEAVY. And bulky, and awkward to carry. We live on the second story and I couldn’t carry it up and down the stairs with baby and it wouldn’t fit into the trunk of our car. Why would you own a stroller that you don’t ever want to use? It’s also really hard to clean well (you basically have to hose it down and in the PNW that means you have a stroller that may not dry seven months of the year). An umbrella stroller basically has zero suspension or storage space, limited comfort, and can’t be used for anything but pushing an older baby/child around. Maybe that seemed like a lot of unnecessary information/comparison, but I think that people have some weird idea that they should only own a stroller that does everything better than any other stroller and is also dirt cheap. That stroller does not exist, friends. It is fundamentally impossible. So let’s move on to why the Roam is a great compromise.The Roam is extremely well thought out. Guava paid attention to so many details, like covers that are removable and machine washable (and provide some padding for baby), an easy to use brake, an adjustable handlebar with an EXCELLENT parent organizer that actually stays put and holds onto stuff that you want to have on hand. It has all kinds of pockets for storage and a pretty roomy basket underneath. It’s easy to fold (a bit stiff at first but slowly getting better), and it can actually be “locked” in a folded position. It has a leash that’s a reasonable length (why would I want my stroller to be three feet in from of me? I wouldn’t! So why are jogging stroller leashes so dang long on other strollers?!). It has that beautiful, beautiful toggle to lock and unlock the front wheel so you don’t have to constantly bend down and switch it back and forth. It has basically the best canopy ever (it’s firm enough to stay in whatever position you put it in, whether fully extended or partially or fully folded back, but it isn’t stiff at all). It has great suspension and it’s pretty darn stylish. Baby seems very comfortable in the seat, and the straps are all easily adjusted. It has a smooth push and maneuvers well. We’ve used it for everything from jogs around the park to Target trips. It does well off road (I wouldn’t use it for trail running or running through the grass, but I’m not sure if there’s any stroller in existence with good enough suspension for me to run through bumpy terrain with my precious cargo). We haven’t really used the recline feature but it seems handy. Despite being fairly large and roomy for baby, it’s not overly heavy. It has a slender build (I know I just said it was large but somehow it has lots of room for baby but is only about as wide as my husband. Like magic.) that makes it fit well in smaller gaps between cars, etc.. AND IT FOLDS SMALL. Oh my gosh, the fold is the best part. It tucks right into our Corolla’s trunk and still leaves at least two thirds of the trunk free for groceries or luggage or anything else. This is just an excellent stroller. Maybe it could benefit from a few things, like being slightly more maneuverable side to side (like be able to pivot with barely any room). But to accomplish that it would have to be wider… and then it would take up more space in the trunk… and not be able to slide through gaps in other runners or cars… You see the problem? You have to compromise somewhere, and I think that Guava picked all the right places. YOU CANNOT HAVE EVERYTHING. But the Roam gives you A LOT.After buying the Roam, we sold our BOB. The BOB is a great stroller with a lot of great features. We may own one again someday. But we aren’t pro runners (we don’t regularly run more than six or seven miles at a time, and basically always run on a paved path with baby) and we just don’t have the storage space for a single use stroller that’s so big and has so many drawbacks. We still have our Mixx sitting in our storage unit while we debate what to do with it. We may hang onto it for when we eventually move into a house and want a stroller that stays open in the garage for everyday walks and a stroller in the car for errands (which would definitely be the Roam. Best fit in the car, hands down!!). Then again, we may sell the Mixx and get the Nuna carseat adapter for the Roam when we have baby #2 (babies should not spend a lot of time in the carseat, but we didn’t go out a lot when our baby was a newborn so we may be fine). Either way, the Roam is here to stay. It’s a fantastic stroller at a good value.We hope to use it for many years to come. If in the future we find some issue with it, I will attempt to update this review.TL;DR: If you’re looking for a quality, multi-use stroller with a thoughtful, space-conscious design, this is probably the stroller for you. If you’re looking to only ever own one stroller but enjoy running or traveling to places where you don’t want to carry baby all day long, this is probably the stroller for you. If you want a stylish stroller that won’t break the bank and you don’t have a big trunk, this is probably the stroller for you. It’s not perfect, but man is it good.P.S. Guava Family, if you wanted to come out with a travel bag for this stroller that would be awesome. Please and thank you.


Well, Guava did come out with a travel bag (more than one, in fact). I’ll do a separate post about the travel bag we picked as well as all of the other accessory options and the process for cleaning the Roam (with some before/after pictures) next week.

Clearly, prior me could’ve benefitted from being a little more generous with the return key (short paragraphs are a reader’s best friend!). As far as the stroller itself goes, here are some thoughts I wanted to add:

The Roam has held up really, really well for how much we’ve used it. It’s used at least once a day and sometimes three or four times. We mostly use it for running errands or going on walks, though Paul occasionally uses it for a run. It’s pretty dirty at this point from trekking through mud and our son snacking on the go, so it definitely needs to be cleaned and I’m excited to test its machine washability.

The fold has unfortunately gotten stiffer rather than smoother with time (I sent an email to the Guava customer service reps who have always been so friendly and responsive and I’ll include any tips they share for loosening it back up in my next post). It has also sustained some unfortunately pretty visible scrapes and scuffs over time. I think the style of stroller and the fold make that sort of unavoidable, but I wonder if the matte gray finish on it (which is very stylish in my opinion) makes that kind of thing more obvious. The canopy also got scraped up on the flights we took before they came out with their travel bags. Since then, our regular use has turned the scrapes into little holes near one of the corners (sob).

Despite any minor damage that might occur (which the travel bag will prevent so I highly recommend getting one), the Roam is a great stroller for travel/flying. We’ve used it on multiple flights and it’s especially nice because we use a carseat on the plane, so rather than lugging the carseat through the airport we can wear baby through the airport and transport the carseat by attaching it to the stroller and pushing it through to the boarding gate (this works even with convertible carseats, you just thread a luggage strap through the carseat’s forward facing belt path, around the back of the stroller, and it will stay put). The whole thing disassembles and reassembles pretty quickly so getting through security isn’t much of an issue, and I’ve successfully done the whole thing solo with baby without any problems. It even fits through the x-ray machines at some of the airports we’ve gone through, though others will have you leave it open and check it by hand.

I still think the size of the stroller is ideal! Our son is now 17 months old, 33 inches tall and 30 pounds and he has plenty of room to grow. The way the stroller is designed means that he always has calf/foot support and he can sit fully upright, which is what he prefers. We have used the recline function for diaper or outfit changes and it works great. If your baby will nap on the go I’m sure the recline function would come in handy for that, too (though it does NOT recline fully for a newborn and should only be used with a carseat and compatible adapter until your baby has enough neck strength to protect their airway).

The basket is big enough to fit a fairly large diaper bag, jacket, some shoes that baby takes off and throws on the sidewalk during a stroll, etc. but not really big enough for grocery shopping for a family. It will fit a few boxes of snacks, some yogurt, etc. but it will not accommodate an enormous size pack of Pampers diapers (the basket of our Nuna actually did, crazily enough), and accessing items sometimes requires you to pull out everything else in the basket.

We have used our Nuna a few times since my original review. I still like it, but my husband and I both prefer the Roam. The Roam pushes as smooth as (if not smoother than) the Mixx, it has a sturdier/more comfortable seat for baby, and it takes up way less space. I do think the Mixx is very stylish and I appreciate that it has a bassinet mode for newborns, a reversible seat in case you want baby to face you, and a huge basket. It also folds smoother (but needs two hands to fold). I think those are the only areas where the Mixx has the Roam beat. Everything else (including price) is more impressive with the Roam. With our next baby, we plan to purchase the Nuna carseat adapter for the Roam to see if we can make it our all-purpose stroller.

I think the Roam lives up to its promise of being a great all-terrain stroller, as well. We’ve used it on pavement, grass, dirt, trails, snow/ice, and sand. The only one it struggled with was the dry sand. We took the Roam with us to Bear Lake and while it handled the more compact wet sand pretty well (the wheels turned, but it did require more effort than something like pavement or even grass), the dry sand prevented the wheels from turning at all and pushing it was a nightmare. That being said, I think that’s probably a universal problem with strollers at the beach and you should just be smarter than I was and use a carrier.

Our son in the Roam at 13 months old.

All in all, I still HIGHLY recommend the Roam to anyone who has limited space or only wants to own one stroller. Although it’s pricier than some, it’s also far more reasonable than many of the higher end stroller on the market and it offers much more bang for your buck, in my opinion. The included parent organizer is excellent, the accessory lineup is impressive, and Guava customer service is fantastic. Now I just have to hope that my prayers to the universe are being answered and they’re working on a double!