TheBump.com shares its favorite stroller picks
By Carley Roney, TheBump.com editor-in-chief
You know how they say shopping for a stroller is like shopping for a car? Well, it's true! There's so much to consider, it can be overwhelming! From gas-spring technology and eco-friendly upholstery to 360-degree rotation features, your baby's ride can be as tricked out as a BMW. We’ll tell you how to sort through all the bells and whistles (or in this case -- paparazzi shields and mp3 decks) and figure out what's the best stroller for you.
Key stroller-shopping tips
The first thing you need to do when stroller shopping is to consider your lifestyle. Choosing a stroller can depend on where you live. For example, a city-dweller may want a compact, lightweight one to navigate the public transportation system, whereas a suburbanite may opt for a travel system.
Secondly, test out the stroller in real-life situations. Wear flip-flops to see if those parking brakes really are as easy to set and release, or try holding a bag of groceries in one hand and unfolding and folding the stroller with the other -- if you can’t manage it, then it might not be the right one for you.
Shop around too! Do some research online, as some retailers may offer different price points on the same stroller. Also, ask the manufacturer when a new model may be coming out, since older models (from just last year!) could be significantly discounted.
Lastly, are you planning to have more kids? If so, you might want to consider a stroller that can also accommodate a toddler later on.
Favorite stroller picks
TheBump.com asked their community of moms what their favorite strollers are in each category and narrowed it down to the best of the best.
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Travel system stroller: What is it?
A travel system stroller is a prepackaged stroller set that includes a baby stroller, an infant car seat, and a car-seat base. These strollers make it easier for a parent to move baby from the car to the destination all while he’s strapped into the same carrier.
TheBump.com's travel system stroller picks
The Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe ($270) is a great, inexpensive three-piece travel system. Key features include: a five-point harness, one-handed folding, a deluxe parent storage tray (with two cup holders!), a drop-down storage basket (you can reach your gear even if the seat is fully reclined), a pivoting cup/snack holder, a rotating canopy with a peek-a-boo window and a sun visor that shades baby from any direction. A multiposition, flat-reclining seat with a flip-up bassinet allows baby to rest comfortably anywhere, and a removable infant head support cradles his head and neck. This stroller is appropriate from birth up to 50 pounds, and the stroller system weighs just over 26 pounds.
Although pricier, TheBump.com moms also love the Orbit Infant System ($900). The cool features in this three-piece travel system include an infant car seat, a stroller frame, and a car-seat base, plus a cool 360-degree rotation feature so baby can face the rear, front, or side -- a great option if you want to pull up the stroller to a table at a restaurant! Other Orbit Infant System features include a five-point harness, one-handed folding, eco-friendly upholstery, a sunshade and paparazzi shield, and a removable cargo pad that can be used as a diaper bag too. The infant car seat is airplane- and cab-friendly. This stroller is appropriate from birth up to 22 pounds, and the stroller system weighs approximately 25 pounds.
What TheBump.com moms say about Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe
“I love my Graco Quattro Tour Single AND double! They are a little bigger but have all the features to make any trip an enjoyable one! Big baskets, trays for both kids, big canopies for shade, a very light material that doesn’t get too hot, easy maneuvering, cup holders and compartments for Mom, nice hefty wheels -- and it’s just comfortable!”
What TheBump.com moms say about Orbit Infant System
“The Orbit is pricey but totally worth it if you live in an urban area and need to take public transportation a lot. It's light and you can fold and unfold with one hand. Also, the sunshield and mosquito net come in very handy. I would definitely recommend it.”
“I am also a huge Orbit fan. I live in the burbs and do a lot of driving and walking to places. It is great for both. The swivel option for the infant and toddler seats is amazing (not to mention on the base in the car -- a total back-saver). Just today I was at the farmers’ market and had my daughter in the toddler seat. We were walking along the pond and she wanted to see the ducks. I just spun her around and voila. Let me just say it again...the swivel option for the car seats is awesome. My 18-month-old likes her rear-facing toddler seat. I really think it's because there isn't a huge struggle to get her in there. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.”
Lightweight/umbrella stroller: What is it?
Parents typically want to start using a lightweight/umbrella stroller as soon as possible -- generally when a baby is around four to six months old. These are the smallest and lightest strollers on the market with stripped-down, bare-bones design and compact storage, and tend to be easier to maneuver. Why is it called an umbrella stroller? Because the upside-down J-shaped handles are similar to the handle of an umbrella.
TheBump.com's lightweight/umbrella stroller pick
One of the most popular brands in baby gear, Maclaren has a Quest Sport ($245) stroller that is a huge hit with moms. This souped-up lightweight/umbrella stroller takes just five seconds to fold with one hand and has added features that parents love: a five-point harness, four reclining positions, an extra-large water-resistant hood that tilts for extra shading, a rain cover, an adjustable leg rest, lockable front swivel wheels, foot-operated linked parking brakes, a UV-protective viewing window, reflective accents for extra safety at night, a removable and washable seat, and a height-adjustable shoulder harness. Did we mention it’s eco-friendly too? This stroller is appropriate for children from three months up to 55 pounds, and the stroller weighs a light 12 pounds.
What TheBump.com moms say about the Maclaren Quest Sport
“Best lightweight: Maclaren Quest…it's easy to maneuver and is big enough for my tall 20-month-old. Your feet don't kick the wheels, and folds up to nothing!”
“Love my Maclaren Quest!”
Full-size stroller: What is it?
A full-size stroller is similar to a baby carriage, except it’s a stroller that can fold up into a chair for a child to sit in. Parents who don’t opt for a travel system may choose to buy a full-size stroller that can also hold an infant car seat. These strollers tend to be big, solid, and stable!
TheBump.com's full-size stroller pick
The Quinny Buzz 3 ($429) is a futuristic-looking, five-point harness stroller that automatically unfolds with just the push of one button using a gas-spring technique. It has an adjustable handlebar for different-height parents, forward and rear-facing seat options, a lockable front double-swivel wheel, an adjustable footrest, and can recline to three positions. This full-size stroller can also be used as a travel system in combination with a Maxi-Cosi infant car seat and Quinny Dreami bassinet. The Quinny Buzz 3 also includes a bug net, a rain shield, a canopy, and a shopping basket, and can stand upright when folded. The stroller is appropriate as soon as baby can sit upright until he weighs 50 pounds; the stroller weighs 27 pounds.
What TheBump.com moms say about the Quinny Buzz 3
“I am not someone who splurges for name brands; I try to find quality for cheap wherever I can. Yet, after doing tons and tons of research, we bought the Quinny Buzz, and it's totally worth it. If you're urban, it makes life a lot easier to have a quality stroller with air-filled tires that can turn on a dime. To me, it's much more reasonable to spend $500 on a stroller than on a crib, which many moms do without batting an eye.”
Jogging stroller: What is it?
A jogging stroller generally comes in two different types. The traditional jogging stroller has a fixed front wheel, and its wheels are 16 to 20 inches in diameter. A hybrid jogging stroller has a front wheel that can be fixed for running, but also swivels for everyday use.
TheBump.com jogging stroller pick
The Kolcraft Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller ($220) is a traditional jogging stroller. A favorite feature on the stroller is the Music on the Move Parent Tray, where an mp3 player can be plugged in so both parent and baby can listen to music. It includes speakers, an amplifier, and a jack, so you won’t have to worry about listening to music without hearing baby! This stroller also promotes good running form with a height-adjustable handle, 16-inch air-filled tires with an air pump, a rear disc brake that makes for quick stops, and speed and distance meters. Additional features include an adjustable five-point harness, a safety tether and reflectors, as well as a large basket, a water bottle holder (a must when jogging!), and two cargo pockets for storage. This stroller is appropriate for babies from five months (or when a baby can hold his head up) until 45 pounds. The stroller weighs 30 pounds.
What TheBump.com moms say about the Kolcraft Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller
“I got the Kolcraft Jeep Jogging Stroller as a shower gift and it has been awesome. My husband and I are tall and the handle bar is high and very comfortable. The jogger easily glides over bumpy sidewalks and on hiking trails. I don't know what we'd do without it. We take it everywhere. We used it right when our son was born and it should fit him for a long time. His infant seat fit right into the top and now he can sit in the seat by himself.”
Double stroller: What is it?
A double stroller is exactly what it sounds like: a stroller that can handle two children!
TheBump.com's double stroller pick
A favorite double stroller for moms is the Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller Double ($399). The stroller’s patented Quick-Fold technology allows you to fold the stroller in one step, and even though it’s a double, it still fits through standard doorframes (the width is less than 30 inches), a must-have! Other features include lockable, dual swivel front wheels allowing for good maneuverability, an adjustable five-point safety harness with shoulder pads and buckle covers, padded seats that recline to a near-flat position, a vented seat top, and a retractable weather cover. This stroller is appropriate from birth up to 100 pounds, and the stroller weighs 26 pounds.
What TheBump.com moms say about the Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller Double
“We now use the Baby Jogger City Mini and love it.”
“Love my Baby Jogger City Mini Double.”