You need a baby stroller to take your baby to different places – whether it be a walk in the park or a trip to the mall or the department store.
Let us take a look at the different kinds of strollers and the best options you have in each area.
- Travel Systems and frames – Car seat manufacturers realized that the 300 million stroller market is a big pie to miss out and they started creating travel systems that include car seats and frames to carry these car seats. There are two options for parents intending to attach the car seat to a stroller
- Simple stroller frames – frames that you can snap your infant car seat on to form a stroller.
- Travel Systems – These are multi-piece sets which includes stroller, infant car seats, car seat bases etc
The differences are as follows
- Travel system strollers are usually feature-packed whereas stroller frames are bare bones
- Travel system strollers are usually heavy, take up a lot of space and not convenient to use. Frames on the other hand are lighter and compact.
- Buying a car seat and frame can work out to be much cheaper than buying a travel system.
I definitely will recommend a car seat stroller – there are so many occasions when the baby is all cozy and sleeping in the car seat and disturbing him or her to transfer to a bassinet car seat is undesirable. This works decently for 6 months or so.
I would only recommend the stroller frame system systems that are simple frames to which the car seats can be attached without much fuss. These are much lighter and should suffice in most cases. These frame strollers are compact and not very expensive. This is super beneficial for mothers who have gone through c-sections. Please note that there are strollers to which a car seat will connect with a simple click(the bets option) and some which needs to be well strapped. The strapping system is really cumbersome and I would not recommend it.
Here are some things that you should look for in your car seat stroller
- Attaching the car seat should be easy.
- Should be safe and secure in its attachments, brakes should be easy to put on.
- Should be easy to fold and should have some accompanying parent console
- Should be easy to roll along and manoeuvre
- Should be as light as possible – without sacrificing the above expectations.
Recommendations for Lightweight Travels Systems
I am not recommending the Baby Trend Snap N Go which is the universal solution as it needs modifications and adjustments with straps which I am in favor of avoiding. Instead look for lighweight frames that go with the car seats that you are using
- For Graco – For Graco I recommend the Snugrider Elite which works well with all the classic connect and click connect models.
- For Chicco KeyFitt 30 – I would recommend the Chicco Caddy or the Liteway Plus.
- For Britax car seats you only have the full fledged B-Agile travel system.
- Pege Perego – The Synergy Stroller is recommended travel system with this car seat.
You will find that the Graco and Chicco offer the best options and this is one of the reasons why i have recommended the corresponding car seats. With the travel systems you are taking a risk as it might be too heavy to use for the first several months – which could force you to buy an additional frame.
2. Light weight strollers – Along with the stroller frames, a purchase of a light weight stroller should be enough for most parents. The lightweight strollers can be the super light umbrella strollers or the more advanced lightweight strollers with a lot of other features that most parents will need for young babies. There are two stages at which parents generally opt for these kind of strollers.
- The parent is ready to move on from the car seat travel systems to a lighter one that is still firm and durable. I recommend the more advanced lightweight strollers to such parents as they are probably not looking to supplement with another regular stroller in the near future. This is typically useful for people who travel a lot and who need a stroller that is lightweight enough but is also sturdy and has a lot of the features.
- There is another set of parents who have bought a heavyweight regular stroller and need a lightweight one for quick trips. For such parents the umbrella stroller is recommended.
The umbrella strollers are very light and can be folded up easily. Their quality is low, and will not work for babies younger than 6 months old. Even with all that it is only useful for quick trips to the store and stuff, would not use it for longer trips.
Here are my recommended ones – again not recommended for babies more for toddlers.
The lightweight strollers on the other hand come with all the convenient features such as canopy etc. Now I understand that people want their strollers to be as lightweight as possible but have all the features of a regular stroller so that they don’t have need to look for any more strollers in the future.
They should ideally be under 12 pounds and the ones that I liked best were
Best Budget Option
- Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller, Black – 12 pounds – This is undoubtedly teh best budget option available in the market today and does the job.
Mid -Range, high quality option
- UPPAbaby G-Lite 2015 -11 pounds -The G-Lite is one of the more popular lightweight strollers in the mid price range.
- Inglesina Net Stroller, Black -11 pounds Another great lightweight stroller with a lot of features – such as the ability to fold with one hand and a cup holder. The manoeuvrability is lower and the brakes are not the best. The ride is pretty smooth and it comes with a shoulder strap as well. The seat pad is removable and washable.
- ZOE XL1 BEST Xtra Lightweight Stroller –
At 10 pounds this is quite light and is one of the
Best Quality But Expensive
- UPPAbaby 2015 G-Luxe Stroller – Not for the budget minded but it is definitely the top choice if you are looking for one stroller that will be enough for most of your needs but is also lightweight and more portable- portable enough to be slung over your shoulders. It has a great sunshade which is one of the weak areas of umbrella strollers, and a neat storage basket. The adjustable leg rest is a big plus as well. It however requires both hands to fold and is a little larger than other umbrella strollers.
2. Mclaren Techno XT – This is for those looking for a upmarket luxury features in their lightweight stroller and are ok with paying more. It has the shock absorbing capabilities usually found in luxury strollers and also is equipped with height adjustable handles, extendable canopy as well as storage pockets among other things.
3. Full size or deluxe strollers – These strollers are by no means light but I preferred these once the kids were over 6 months old. Again i wish to stress that lightweight strollers are sufficient but somehow these felt more secure. Like someone said – these are like the SUVs among strollers, and people buy these for their babies for similar reasons as they buy SUVs for themeslves over cars.
My top recommended deluxe strollers
1. Baby Jogger City Mini-
I bought both the single city mini and the multiple city mini and other than the fact that they are a little heavy, I have never regretted the fact.
- With the car seat adaptors available – if all you want to buy is one stroller, this one tops the list hands down.
- For 250 bucks this provides very good value for money.
- The stroller protects the baby well from sun an shade.
- Easy to collapse and carry
- Adjustable 5 point safety harness
- Wide variety of accessories
- A little on the heavier side so I would not recommend for the first six months, even with the adaptor
- The seats are always in recline so some kids may not like once they are older.
This is much more expensive than the City Mini but is probably one of the best deluxe strollers available in the market today. Its rugged independent suspension system allows it to handle any terrain. It is also equipped with a large storage, giant canopy, passenger stow pockets, adjustable handlebar, rubber tires and is a very versatile stroller than can even be used for jogging. If you are an outdoors person – this is truly the stroller to get. The Bob Motion is a cheaper but good stroller.
3. Britax B Agile 3 wheel stroller
A cheaper replica of the City Mini is the Britax B Agile 3 wheel stroller. I would still prefer the City Mini but if you dont want to pay the premium, then the B-Agile travel system is perfect. It comes as a package including the well rated Britax Bsafe car seat.
Best Jogging Stroller
A lot of mothers I know could not wait to get back to their exercise routines after pregnancy and they discovered that jogging was the best option to grab that hour of exercise without having to rely on somebody else to take care of the baby during that time.
The regular stroller may look sturdy enough but are strongly recommended not to be used for jogging. The joggers have a different construction – with three big bicycle tires and lighweight frames with shock absorbing capabilities. The larger wheels facilitate movement across uneven surfaces and the tires resemble bicycle tires.
However I personally do not recommend using jogging strollers till the baby is at least 1 yr old – which is what paediatricians recommend as they are not in favor of subjecting the baby to shocks at a young age.
Key Features to Consider
- Opt for fixed front wheels as opposed to swivel wheels if you want to use this just for jogging, and plan to run miles. The swivel wheel allows the stroller to be multifunctional but makes it less suitable for running. My advice- look for swivel wheels that can be locked into one position. DO NOT choose a jogger that has swivel wheels that cannot be locked.
- Rims can be metal or plastic- Metal rims are more practical but plastic rims are more aesthetically pleasing. Choose metal rims if the primary purpose of this stroller is jogging. My reco – look for metal rims. Looks are not as important as utility.
- Wheel size – If you are just jogging in the city the 12″ wheel size should be sufficient. For rougher surfaces choose bigger wheels and the 20′ wheel is basically useful on all surfaces, but less effective to manoeuvre in cities. The Tire tread should be rougher and width should be more if you are jogging on all kinds of surfaces.
- Brakes – This is a choice which will be very difficult. The hand brakes are better in controlling the vehicle but are available only in fixed wheel strollers which means that others would have to do with foot brakes which means that you cannot run too fast if you want to keep control.
- Shock absorbers – Choose only ones that have shock absorbers.
- Reclined position – Do not choose strollers that allow the baby to sit up straight as it not an effective shock absorption position.
Why Choose a Jogger even if you are not into running?
The option to go for a the run is a great option to have – even if you never eventually use it. Parenthood is often a constrained experience and being able to get out in the outdoors is a liberating feeling.
Jogging style strollers are usually durable, rugged, and versatile. They are normally made with higher quality materials and might be some of the only options if you are looking for pneumatic tires on your stroller. In addition, even if you don’t jog now you might find that getting out of the house with baby and having the option to jog is a great way to stay positive, bond with baby, lose the baby weight, and increase positive thinking. While standard strollers are usually made with a lot of plastic or heavier materials and can be heavy to fold and lug around, jogging products are often lighter, take up less space when folded, and still have the creature comforts you might be looking for like a storage bin or cup holders. Some parents find that the right jogger can act as their only stroller or at least their main one; the BOB Revolution Flex, Baby Trend Expedition , and Thule Urban Glide are all good examples of strollers you might be able to use on a daily basis.