An alternate guide to buying a stroller.
The stroller is a reasonably big purchase and one of those that most know little about until the time comes to buy one. It is also one of the items that more likely gets deferred to the dad, given it is a mechanical device and had 4 wheels.
Being the resident expert on cars, enter dad. Unfortunately that is where the similarities to a car end, and I was bedazzled by a huge range of devices and prices with little idea how to proceed. 2 years on I have acquired a good amount of experience with different strollers through our own testing of our product so can give a shortlist to make the choice easier. These are just a short list of the strollers we like, and have direct knowledge of.
Mountain Buggy Terrain AKA The Sporty SUV Stroller (Range Rover)
Main Uses: Jogging, Cruising. Bassinet optional
A really great stroller we both love. It is primarily a Jogging Stroller and for use on bumpy terrain. This is very rugged in construction with large pneumatic tires and a very smooth ride, but its also extremely maneuverable for such a large stroller. What made this stroller stand out for us was the adjustable push-bar. As I am 6’1 and my wife is 5’4 our first running stroller was a BOB. With no adjust PM was able to comfortable use it but I would have to run uncomfortably hunched. Going for a run and leaving pushing the stroller goes against my gentlemanly instincts and so we sold the BOB and found this one. Also great is the swiveling front wheel, this stroller is easy to guide 1 handed while in a moderate paced run.
Its so good for running and has allowed us to really enjoy running together with Isabella that we are making this stroller a Parenthlete Pick.
Bugaboo Cameleon The Luxury Coupe (Audi S5)
Main Uses: Trendy Urban, Bassinet optional
This is one of THE strollers to own in terms of image. Its the one my sister in the UK is eyeing up (she is due April) and she told me if its good enough for Elton John….We do not own this stroller, but have tested friends ones for our Snug² product testing. I can tell you it does live up to the hype, well made, though not as rugged as the Mountain Buggy, its a great stroller for the urban environment. A couple of reasons we did not purchase one (apart from the price) – it does not have that much storage space underneath which we find very useful as a lot of our grocery shopping is done on foot. And it is not expandable to a 2 baby configuration like some of its competitors. Like those Audi Coupes, its stylish, beautifully built – but pricey and compromises on a few practicalities.
Baby Jogger City Select Practical SUV (Acura MDX)
Main Uses: Urban, jogging (occasional), Bassinet optional, very practical
Our first stroller, this one was just coming to the market when Isabella arrived April 2010, and we had a tricky time finding one. Like the Bugaboo its primarily an urban cruiser, but it has the optionality of being able to be used as a jogging stroller. Despite it being made by Baby Jogger I would only recommend this stroller for occasional running as it does not have the larger pneumatic wheels as found on the more specilised running strollers. The reason we choose this stroller, the construction while not as beautiful as the Bugaboo, feels more sturdy. Also it has a lot of space underneath for holding our groceries, and finally it is convertible to a 2 baby configuration. (handy as PM is due in August this year! 🙂 )
The City Select is our recommendation for an all round stroller. Its incredible practical, the only gripes we have about it are that it does not come in that many color options and does not have as large a range of accessories as other competitors.
Maclaren Techno XT Supercompact (Mini)
Main Uses: Urban, traveling, public transport
Its almost essential to own some kind of umbrella stroller in addition to the main one – they are so much lighter and foldable. Especially for city dwellers who will travel quite a bit on the subways and taxi’s. This one is well made and works well. We also tried the Uppa Baby which is incredibly light, but it had an issue with its folding mechanism unexpectedly folding at inconvenient moments such as gong up a curb.
Baby Jogger 2011 Citi Mini Double MiniVan (Toyota Sienna)
Main Uses: Carrying multiple babies without a double deck arrangement.
Another option if you go down the Bugaboo route is to get a twin stroller later on. Friends of ours like the City Select. Although PM may be wishing for a Minivan I’m hoping the Acura MDX will get us through the baby rush hour 🙂 We have yet to try one of these but they seem to offer a better experience for the kids than a double decker arrangement at the expense of practicality. We plan to try the City Select first in a dual baby setup and then decide if a full double width stroller is necessary.