There are a whole lot of aspects and stroller features to choose from. Some are a given on a stroller (wheel type) while some have different options to choose from (color). Below are the most common features and what to consider about each one.
Size and Weight
While this may seem self-explanatory, keep in mind who will be actually handling the stroller. The size and its customizability is particularly important when you have people of different heights using the stroller. If you’ve got, say, a very short mom, and a very tall husband, you’ll want to check out the strollers that have telescoping/adjustable handles that changes height easily and quickly (a feature included with most strollers). Also, where do you plan on using this stroller? A wider, more roomy stroller would be an excellent choice for a stroll in the park. But what about fitting it into the trunk of you compact car?
In addition, the weight is a real consideration. Do you live on the first floor? Do you have a place to your stroller on the first floor of your building? Do you have an elevator? How hard is it to put it in the car? Keep in mind that it’s not just the stroller’s weight, but it’ll have to be moved around with the additional weight of the baby in it, too.
These days strollers are made from a variety of top quality materials including: steel, aluminum, plastic, foam, nylon, cotton, and rubber. Each has its advantages, from sturdiness, durability, and safety, to eco-friendly, fashion sense, and practicality. Keep in mind that while metals tend to be sturdier, plastic absorbs less heat and takes longer to get cold. It really is a matter of personal preference. All strollers, in order to be sold in the USA must pass a variety of safety standards so they are all super-safe, including the materials they are made from. It’s more a question of what you are passionate about. Do you want something that is primarily chic or primarily eco-friendly?
You will want to check out the padding and the actual fabrics in order to choose one. You want something that is comfortable. The material should not rub out too easily on most strollers, but what about its breathability? But comfort is not only important for Baby but for Mom too. While you want your stroller to be roomy and comfy for your little one, you also don’t want something that is going to be difficult to maneuver in and out of narrow doorways if you come across those often.
There are a number of factor contributing to the movement of a stroller. There is height, weight, accessories, and even the wheels. Weigh the pros and cons of each one to choose which advantages you want and which disadvantages you are willing to live with.
There are two kinds of storage, both long term and short term. I want to focus on the “short term” storage. You want to consider the size trunk you have, where you will be keeping it in between uses, and how often you are going to need to open and close it. For those factors you will need to gauge your need in size. You need to be comfortable collapsing and opening the stroller. There all kinds of folds. There are multiple step folds (Bugaboo Donkey), 2 piece folds (Bugaboo Cameleon3), 2 hand folds (Stokke Xplory), 1 step folds (Baby Jogger City Mini Double Strollers, UPPAbaby Cruz), 1 hand folds (Stokke Scoot), 1 piece folds (UPPAbaby Vista, Baby Jogger City Select, Bugaboo Bee, UPPAbaby G-Luxe), and even 1 hand-1 step folds-1 piece folds (Baby Jogger City Mini Single Strollers)!
All strollers sold in the USA are required to pass safety inspection. As such, any stroller you choose will be safe. You may like some of the extra safety features (5 point safety harnesses, fully “clicking” car seat adapters).
Are you planning on having more than one baby or just leaving the option open? There are a number of strollers that can convert from a single to a double, and then back to a single again. You can either buy them as singles or doubles. The convertible stroller option leaves your possibilities open without having to purchase a new stroller if you do have more than one baby.
This category is best personified by all-terrain strollers. While they may be a bit more costly, these strollers give you the option and ability to use your stroller just about anywhere. You can use them for jogging, the park, the mall, city streets and more.
There are a whole lot of accessory options. Before looking through them all, first check what come “in the box” with your stroller. Many strollers come with some accessories and you want to be sure not to buy multiples of the same item. The main categories for stroller accessories are: Bassinets, Car Seat Adapter, Cup Holders & Snack Trays, Footmuffs, Parasols, Parent, Consoles, Rain Covers, Ride Along Boards, Seat Liners, Second Seats, Sun and Bug Shields, Toys, Travel Bags
Wheels play an important part in the smoothness of your stroller’s push. Besides for the actual fabric of the wheel, the size makes a difference. In general, the larger the wheel, the smoother the push.
Wheels are made from different kinds of materials and forms. The most common ones are standard rubber tires, air-filled tires, pneumatic tires, air wheels with sealed ball bearings. Check out this post for more in-depth information and to see a handy chart that clarifies the pros of each kind and which strollers have which tires.
This is a major consideration for most people. While most strollers do recline, there are different systems and abilities that you want to try out. Some strollers have predefined positions, while others are completely customizable. Most strollers will recline almost or completely flat (up to somewhere between 140 and 180 degrees). Before purchasing your stroller check out the different options and see what you are most comfortable with. Just a side note, most umbrella strollers do not recline, but there are some that do (UPPAbaby G-Luxe, Baby Jogger VUE)
This feature is awesome. This allows your baby to either face you or the world, whichever you please at the moment. Most strollers are relatively easy to reverse. This usually entails unlocking the seat, turning it around, and relocking it in. The first stroller with a seat that is reversible without removing it or moving the handle is coming out real soon (Baby Jogger VUE). Check it out here. This is another feature that you want to be comfortable with before you choose your stroller. Go to stores, try them out, and find the one that’s easiest for you.
There are so many colors under the rainbow, and you can find a stroller in just about every one. There are some strollers that only come with one color option, but most usually have at leas 3 or 4. The most common colors are, not surprisingly, black, blue, and red. There are also those that you can change parts of the fabric according to whim (Bugaboo strollers…). While some convertible strollers allows you to coordinate the color of the second seat (Baby Jogger City Select), others don’t (UPPAbaby Vista).
As with any product out there, you can find a stroller in any price range. But there is a method to the madness. The more expensive it is is usually a reflection of a combination of quality and features. But not to worry. Even if you don’t have the means to buy your dream luxury stroller, you can find very comfortable and high quality strollers with basic features at a reasonable price. Check them all out here.