We’ve reviewed full size strollers, jogging strollers and umbrella strollers but how do you know which one(s) you need and when? Hopefully, this handy stroller buying guide will help you sort through all the different types of strollers out there and allow you to find the one(s) best for your family.
Before heading stroller shopping, determine these two important details:
1) What you want to use the stroller(s) for – jogging, long walks, navigating the urban jungle, etc.
2) Budget – how much do you want to spend?
Full Size Strollers: The full size stroller comes in many shapes and sizes but generally speaking all full size strollers have sturdy frames, shocks and suspension that provide a smooth ride and decent maneuverability. All full size strollers have similar characteristics, most of which allow use from newborn into the toddler years. Look for these strollers to have reclining seats, the ability to morph into several configurations, a large canopy as well as ample storage space for mom and dad. One other perk is that most full size strollers have an adapter to allow an infant seat to work within the frame. Keep in mind, the heavier weight, bulkier frame and larger wheels on full size strollers does not make for as compact and easy of a fold as some other stroller types. Shown: Bugaboo Camelon.
Jogging / All Terrain Strollers: Jogging and all terrain strollers typically have three wheels with the ability to lock the front wheel. The beauty of jogging strollers are their stable frame, ease of pushing and smooth ride. The unflattering side of jogging strollers are their generally larger frame and less compact fold than some other stroller types. Don’t be fooled by the name though as jogging stroller function very well as a “full size stroller” for some, albeit mostly suburbanites but it’s worth mentioning. If you do choose this option to function as a full size stroller be wary of those with a fixed front wheel as their maneuverability is severely limited (but they are the best for jogging!). Shown: BOB Revolution CE
Lightweight / Umbrella Strollers: Umbrella strollers are the bare bones of strollers with less features and options than other stroller types. Most often, umbrella strollers are for children six months and older due to the fact the seats do not recline enough to accommodate an infant as well as most models lack the head support and seat padding necessary for infants. The biggest perk of umbrella strollers are their lightweight and convenience which makes them great for traveling and running around town. Due to their compact nature umbrella strollers don’t offer as smooth or comfy of as ride as other strollers. Typically, umbrella strollers are a great second stroller to a more substantial primary stroller. Shown: Uppa Baby G-Lite
Car Seat Stroller Frames: Also known as “Snap N Go” strollers these are as the name implies – stroller frames to snap your car seat into. Like umbrella strollers, these are lightweight, convenient and easily stow in your trunk. The frame is bare bones meaning no smooth shocks to cushion the ride. Once your child outgrows their infant seat these strollers can no longer be used. The Snap N Go tends to be budget friendly and probably a worthy investment due to its ease of use. Shown: Graco SnugRide Stroller Frame
Travel Systems: Travels systems are “packaged deals” and usually include an infant car seat and stroller. Travels systems also have a Snap N Go feature allowing you to use the infant car seat as a stroller but these systems also provide a stroller that can be used after your child outgrows the infant car seat. From a budget perspective, travel systems are well priced and work for various lifestyles. However, pay close attention to the stroller that is included. Parent reviews of strollers in travel systems are unfavorable at times knocking all brands for the quality of the stroller. The stroller does tend to be on the bigger and bulkier side and may not function as well for you as other stroller types. Shown: Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System
Double or Triple Strollers: Obviously, these strollers allow parents to push two or three kids at once. These strollers can either be tandem or side by side. Generally speaking tandem models are easier to maneuver but usually provide less legroom than side by side models. In turn, side by side models may create a more comfy ride but take up more space as you cruise down the sidewalk (maybe not the best for a busy, urban environment). Look for some of the full size strollers to convert to a double stroller. Shown: Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double
All that information is great but what strollers do you need?
The truth is, you may need more than one stroller. Check out the Registry Guides for more specifics but our suggestions:
– A full size stroller with good shocks and maneuverability.
– An Umbrell Stroller for use when the child is older
– If you have a car – the Snap N Go to be kept in the car
– A jogging stroller or full size stroller depending on your lifestyle
– An Umbrella Stroller for use when the child is older
– The Snap N Go to be kept in the car
– A Travel System with a sturdy stroller
Personally speaking, I was adamantly against buying multiple strollers for both space and budget reasons. However, we ended up with three – a full size stroller and lightweight/umbrella stroller. The only stroller that remains permanently in our small condo is the full size stroller. The lightweight stroller stays in my car for errands as well as helps transport Eloise to and from the garage when I have more to carry (ie, groceries). I can easily snap her infant seat into the stroller and the groceries/cargo below in the basket or a free hand and make one trip up to our condo which = happy mama and baby! Even though I was opposed to multiple strollers our stroller “situation” works perfectly for us.
There you have is a detailed Stroller Buying Guide – so tell us, what stroller(s) are you registering for? Or which do you have that you would recommend?