How can you find the perfect stroller for your family? Simple, do some research. And when researching is over, test it out! But what should you look for during your research, and what should you be testing on the test run? Here are a few simple tips to help you find your dream stroller.
I recommend finding one stroller that meets all of your needs, and then considering an umbrella stroller for quick errands (like we discussed in Part II of this series). Let’s breakdown what you are looking for.
Comfort: How far does the stroller recline? Would your little one be comfortable enough in this to sleep during nap times? This is an essential need if you are going to be traveling a lot, or even out for day trip
Handling: How smooth will the stroller go up and down curbs? Is it super bumpy when going along anything but asphalt? You want to make sure that it can be pushed around without irritating your son or daughter. Is it easy to turn? Is it narrow enough to go through isles while shopping for clothes or going through the grocery store?
Folding & Fold Size: How hard will it be to fold, and what will the size of it be when folded? You need to think about these things in relation to your trunk space, and also in relation to packing it up to either check in or gate check when traveling by plane. In here I will also add that you need to think about the weight of the stroller, especially if you have back problems. Just something else to consider.
Age Limits: Think about how long this stroller is going to last you. There are strollers that hold infants to 2 year olds, there are also strollers that hold 3 months to 5 years. Decide what age range you are shopping for.
The Sun Hood: Make sure the sun hood actually does what it is supposed to do, keep the sun out of your baby’s face. If you are going to a store, go in the middle of the day, and ask a store associate to accompany you outside the store so you can test it out with your child inside. Listen, if you are looking at handing over $200 to $700 big ones, they should let you test it out.
Now that we’ve looked at all the things you should be thinking about and testing, let’s look at a different way of buying strollers, and the approach to take to make sure you get what you want.
Buying a stroller online:
The good thing about buying things online now a days is that you can read reviews from other happy (or disgruntled) customers that are taking the time to write about their experience with the product because they want to help you out in making your decision! Let’s take a minute and thank all of the online reviewers out there. Dear online reviewers, I commend and appreciate all of your efforts on our behalf! There are always going to be bad reviews of a good product, but just to be safe, I like a 5 to 1 ratio. For every one bad review, there had better be 5 stunning ones. And remember, you get what you pay for. If you are spending within a certain range, you might not get a 5 star stroller. That’s ok. Go with what you need and you will be fine as long as your have properly assessed your goals.
A note on double strollers:
I hate double strollers. It’s not something I try to hide. Graco, I’m sorry, but your idea of what makes a good double stroller hasn’t changed since me and my brother were toddlers. That’s not a good thing. The double wide strollers seem like a better idea, but if you are planning on going inside a store or on a sidewalk in any European country, watch out! It’s just not going to happen. You all know that I am a fan of Phil & Teds solution to the double stroller, and that’s why I own one. Although I have to say I’m not completely opposed to the strollers that have a platform for your larger child to stand on the back, but this isn’t a good solution for long trips out with the stroller because your older child can’t take a nap in that position. In fact, let me put this out there: I challenge you, all you stroller companies, come up with a better idea for families with two small children! The technology is certainly there, and for a price I’m sure most families can afford.
I hope this article helps and you end up with a wonderful stroller that will be a friend of your family for many years. Does anyone have a stroller they are thinking about buying they want me to dig up some info on? What do YOU look for when you shop for a stroller?