Are you ready for part II? (if not check out part I) I said that I would take the time to individually review all of the strollers I have personally owned and used. But since this blog is all about traveling with children, I want to look at specific qualities of each stroller in relation to travel. For this reason I have come up with seven criteria that I think will give you the best idea of how the stroller would be traveling. The categories are Travelability, Maneuverability, Sturdiness, Kid Pleasing, Folding, Price, and Weight. So please join me as I take a walk down stroller memory lane, literally.
Maclaren Quest Mod Baby Stroller (2007)
This was the first stroller that I owned, and I used it from the time Ksena was 3 months until I had Kati in 2009. I have to say, I loved it! It wasn’t perfect, but it was great for quick everyday outings. The only major complaint I had was that the hood didn’t extend very far and I would have to use a blanket to keep the sun out of Ksena’s face. It was super light and easy to carry around, and it would fit into the tiniest of car trunks. This stroller seemed pretty comfortable for Ksena, but she rarely would go to sleep in it (the recline is not really enough to accommodate sleeping children), so for all day outings, we always used our BOB. If you are going to buy an upgraded version of an umbrella stroller that will be easy to open and collapse, I would definitely recommend a Maclaren Quest.
The run down on the Maclaren Quest 2007
Travelability: 5/5 quick and easy to open, can be carried or popped into any small trunk
Maneuverability: 4/5 The four rubber tires can make it a bit more difficult to turn or go up and down curbs, but overall pretty great
Sturdiness: 5/5 No problems with the make at all, really easy to clean
Kid Pleasing: 2/5 My daughter liked it, but not enough to take naps in it, even when completely reclined (which made for a cranky baby and mommy).
Folding: 5/5 Super easy!
Price: 3/5 Someone lovingly bought this for me as a gift. I could never have afforded the $300 price tag. Ouch!
Weight: 5/5 At 13 pounds it’s hard to find a lighter stroller with so much style.
Overall Rating: 4.14/5
Would I recommend this stroller? Maybe. For quick outings, it’s awesome. But if you are only going to buy one stroller, I would keep looking.
BOB Revolution Stroller 2008
I am a huge fan of BOBs, which I have previously stated, if you only have one stroller sized child. It is an amazingly easy stroller to push, and I used to use it for exercise on a regular basis on many different types of terrain. It is easy to fold, and even though it is a tad on the heavy side, I had no problems lifting it into my Ford Focus Hatchback (although I did have to take the tires off to get it to fit inside of the trunk). It can turn on a time, and go over any curb ever invented thanks to the awesome shocks. It’s a tad expensive, but in my opinion worth every dollar. In fact, I bought mine on sale, so after owning it for a year, I actually made $60 on it when I sold it on craigslist. They hold their value very well if you keep them looking clean. The sun hood alone is a reason to choose this stroller. You will never have to worry about the sun in your little one’s face. And it reclines to an almost lay down position. Our daughter slept in it all the time.
The run down on the BOB Revolution 2008
Travelability: 4/5 Sorry BOB, I want to give you a 5/5 but you are pretty heavy.
Maneuverability: 5/5 AWESOME!
Sturdiness: 5/5 Very well made. No problems at all. Easy to clean.
Kid Pleasing: 5/5 My daughter never whined about having to get into this stroller.
Folding: 4/5 Easy but a bit heavy.
Price: 4/5 It is pricey, at around $320, but it holds it’s value, and you get what you pay for, in a good way.
Weight: 3/5 At 22 pounds, this might be too heavy for some moms to deal with.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Would I recommend this stroller? Yes!! And if you have no issues with the weight, this stroller is perfect!! However, I would NOT recommend the BOB Revolution Double Stroller. It is way too heavy, and too wide for normal activities like shopping.
Phil & Teds Dash 2009 (with Doubles Kit)
As far as double strollers go, this is by far my favorite, and I did extensive research (including testing out my friends Classic with Doubles Kit) before our purchase. I was actually aiming at buying a Classic, but the online store I purchased it from ran out of the pink Classic I had paid for, so they sent me a red Dash to make up for it. Nice of them, wasn’t it? So that’s how we ended up with our Dash (a stroller we could never afford). My kids love this stroller. It is like a part of our family, and we literally use it for everything since we don’t have a car anymore. There are some problems that we have dealt with in the last two years, but with all the miles on it, it’s a miracle it hasn’t turned to dust yet. The main thing I love about this stroller is the maneuverability, but I’ll get more into that on the run down. Here we go!
Travelability: 5/5 This thing goes everywhere with us, and it can pretty much take on any crazy trip we happen to be on.
Maneuverability: 5/5 It goes up and down curbs in a flash (although the bottom does scrape on the curb a bit while going up), I can take it in between clothes while shopping, and it zooms through crowds of people with no problems at all.
Sturdiness: 3/5 I have had to deal with some serious problems with the plastic backing poking through the bottom of the material. I wouldn’t expect a $600 stroller to have these kinds of issues, but luckily I was able to fix it with some iron on patching fabric and my determined sewing machine. It is kind of hard to clean, and the back panel gets stained from the front tire resting on it when in the folded position.
Kid Pleasing: 5/5 Both of my kids can comfortably sleep in it at the same time, and they are always excited to get in their seats when we go somewhere.
Folding: 4/5 I cannot unfold this thing!! It takes a certain touch while pushing in the button that I simply don’t have. My husband does it for me, and I have honestly been caught a few times not being able to use it because I couldn’t unfold it. I’m not sure the manufacturer is to blame though, it may just be me.
Price: 3/5 This stroller is expensive, coming in around $600 including the doubles kit. But if this is going to serve as your car, you are saving around $16,000 😉
Weight: 5/5 Considering this holds two kids, I think the weight (23 pounds) is awesome.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Would I recommend this stroller? If you can afford it, yes! Although if you’re saving towards a dash… why not save $300 more and get a Vibe or a Verve with all the super awesome features every other stroller maker drools over. Just saying. Of course, you could also buy a Classic for about $450 with the Doubles Kit.
I hope this breakdown was helpful, and here, as promised, is a list of when an umbrella stroller is appropriate:
-When taking a cab, bus, or metro and you will be doing little walking.
-Quick errands (for all practical purposes, let us define quick as less than an hour).
Yeah, that’s about it. You can’t use an umbrella stroller all the time, in my opinion. It’s not super comfy for your little guy, and usually the sun shade (if there is one at all) is not sufficient.
Tune in next week for Part III where I will guide you on how to pick a stroller in a store, or online.
Do you have a product you would like me to review? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And just for fun, THIS is my dream stroller. All of the problems we have had with our Dash have been perfectly worked out in this baby!! Check it out!