We are finding that one of the most stressful decisions re: baby purchases is picking the right stroller. With so many options to choose from it kinda feels like going shopping for a car! The more I research, the more I come to realize that I won’t get the perfect stroller. Say what? I’m beginning to accept that everything that I could possible want in a stroller does not exist. For example, I’d like a lightweight stroller but I’d also like a stroller with bicycle type tires vs. rubber. Sorry charlie: while some jogger strollers are advertised as light weight they are not nearly as light/compact as non-joggers. I can’t have it both ways so I must prioritize what elements are most important to me in a stroller. The following was helpful to ponder: picture where you will use your stroller the most. Will you be doing a lot of road walking? Do you live close to a mall and see yourself doing most of your walking there? Then pick your stroller based on where you see it getting the most use.
When I considered where I’ll use the stroller the most, I see the stroller spending most of its time doing road walking. We don’t have a mall in our small town. While the stroller may grace a mall at a neighboring town from time to time again, it certainly won’t be a weekly occurrence. I also don’t see me wanting to use a stroller in the grocery store. I picture using a baby carrier or the car seat in the shopping cart (is that still safe/OK?) instead.
Based on what I see us using the stroller for the most – I’m drawn towards a jogger stroller. This may seem strange because I’m NOT a runner. I’m a walker. But it’s the wheels on the jogger that I’m attracted to. The air-filled tires seem so much more durable than the rubber ones. Yes, I understand that with the air-filled ones you can get flat tires so you need to be prepared for that (carry an air pump with you). But the quality of the walk/ride seems significantly smoother with a jogger. Even in the stores I’ve noticed a difference when going over bumps on the tile floor (these “bumps” are nothing compared to sidewalk bumps!). I noticed bumps from the store tile with rubber tire strollers and didn’t notice it with air-filled ones.
All things considered, we are leaning towards a jogger stroller for WALKING. The biggest con for us re: a jogger is its size/weight and if one will even fit nicely in our malibu hatchback.
Now that we’ve narrowed down what type of stroller wheels we are looking for there are still a bunch of other decisions to make. Do we buy a stroller and car seat separately or do we go for a travel system (where both come together)? Price. Oh how I like to “go cheap” and save money on baby gear. But some suggest that the stroller is a purchase worth paying more for if it means increased enjoyment of use. The Baby Trend Jogger is the most affordable. I bought this stroller when on-sale and then later ended up returning it. Why? I loved the price but when I took hubby with me to the store and compared it to other joggers it came out lacking in another category that’s important to us: ease of fold. All the other joggers seemed to be much easier to fold than Baby Trend. (I’ve heard that it’s important to consider how easily the stroller folds up but maybe this doesn’t really matter? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from those with a Baby Trend Jogger!) It’s a shame because with the right sale, we could get a Baby Trend stroller AND car seat (the only car seat that’s compatible with the stroller is the Baby Trend one) for less than $250. That’s significantly less than say the Graco FastAction Fold Connect Jogger + car seat which is on-sale this week for $399 + tax. If you think this is pricey there are many strollers $599 and up and that’s just for the stroller 🙂
What to do…what to do. We want a jogger stroller that’s lightweight (ha!), easy to fold with one hand, will fit in our mid-sized car’s trunk, won’t break the bank, adjustable handlebar would be a perk, and a parents console built in (i.e. cup holders) instead of having to purchase that separately would be great. Remember that we are looking at a jogger stroller not because we run but because we do a lot of outdoor walking. We’d reconsider a stroller with rubber tires IF there’s one that’s super durable for all-terrain walking (the majority of our walking will be paved but occasional sidewalks, bumpy roads, and gravel). Phew. Picking out a baby stroller is no simple task. It may be easier if we were joggers or if we didn’t do so much road walking. Any suggestions or recommendations on strollers? I’m all ears. Thank you!
P.S. While we’d like to have two children, there’s also no guarantees. I’ve done some research and while at first it seemed economical to go with a stroller that converts to a double… this approach wasn’t recommended. The consensus was that the strollers that have the ability to convert to a double are not as good (i.e. durable, functional) as purchasing a strictly double stroller when that time comes. So when purchasing a stroller now, we keep in mind that we may be purchasing a double down the road. Hence not wanting to spend too much on a single stroller at this time (but also wanting to find one that meets our needs for this time in our lives).
P.P.S. Strollers tend to be more expensive in Canada than in the USA. We *could* drive over the boarder to purchase our stroller in the US but the car seat MUST be purchased in Canada (due to regulations).