How to Choose the Best Stroller
Buying a stroller is something that parents really have to take the time to consider various styles, features, and prices, to find the ideal one. Of course the name brand is something important to consider, but other factors, your lifestyle, price, and the features which are most important to you, should also be considered. Following is a list of the different types of strollers, their features, which type of parent they are meant for, and what differentiates them from others on the list.
Go for a test drive
Before selecting the right stroller, rather than simply consider the type of stroller you need, make sure the strollers are sturdy. If you have a child, bring them to the store with you; if you have weights, or other items you can put in the stroller for a test drive, bring these along as well. Knowing that the stroller can handle the amount of weight you will be carrying in it, that the stroller is mobile, and that it is easy to navigate, are extremely important factors. If you need a tandem stroller, but you bring one home which is difficult to turn on tight corners, or doesn’t ride well through the streets, what’s the point of owning it? A test drive in the store, and taking the stroller around for a few rounds, allows you to determine the dexterity, and ease of use.
Storage (when not in use)
Another factor to consider is how easy the stroller is to store away. When you are shopping, see if there is a single push button feature, or foot knob, for one handed close. Make sure you know how to open and close the stroller, and how easy it is to do. As a parent, you have the child in one hand, your purse, keys, and other items in the other; you need a stroller system that is portable, light in weight, and easy to open and close with one hand, when the other one is occupied.
Which stroller fits your lifestyle?
If you run, or go off road hiking, a jogging stroller is a good option. If you only have one child (and don’t plan on a second in the near future), why do you need a tandem stroller? These, and other questions should be asked, when determining the stroller that best fits your lifestyle. Below are the types of strollers to consider, and how they will fit in to your lifestyle.
These strollers are eventually the only one you will use; but, due to the fact that they lack structure, they are intended for older children, who can sit up. Of course they have a solid base, but don’t recline, and do not have the fancy cup holders and trays. Umbrella does not imply a cover, but rather the age group for children (once they reach three or four years and up), who can sit up without added support.
These are simple strollers. If you want the bells and whistles, you won’t find it here. These are generally cheaper, as they are simple, but they are also meant for the parent who has an older child, that can support their body weight, their neck, and can sit up straight, rather than lying down for longer periods of time.
Of course the tandem stroller is the two seater, for parents with two kids. They are either side by side, or one in front of the other seat. If you want a slimmer style, the stroller where the seats are in front of each other is the ideal option. These strollers usually have canopies, to cover the sun; they tend to have storage below the seats as well. Cup holders, and food trays are an option, and most allow the seats to recline (individually) so you can allow each child their own level of comfort.
If you have two children, these are the only style stroller to carry today, as having two individual strollers would be very tough on a parent. You have to consider the features, where you will use them, and the price you want to pay, to find the right stroller for your kids.
As the name implies, these are for the active parent. They tend to have pneumatic wheels, and lockable back wheels, for down or uphill struggles, on a long jog. Many have cup holders, and a movable food tray, so the child can eat or bring a snack.
Many of these strollers also have a canopy cover, so that they can block the sun out of your child’s eyes. The latest jogging strollers, also have the feature to lay the seat down, so the child can rest. Quick turn system, and rubber grips also help prevent slipping, and sweat, so you don’t lose grip of the handle.
For the parent who loves to exercise, and wants a comfortable, safe, and efficient stroller for this lifestyle, joggers are a great choice.
Travel System Stroller
These strollers usually come with infant seats that snap in to the frame. They allow for ease of transport, and allow you to switch from seat to stroller, with a single snap. Problem with these are their quality; most of these systems are not very well built, and for this reason, you really have to research them if you choose one.
They do tend to have cup holders, and a place for snacks, which is a feature that suits your child during longer trips. If you are always on the go with your child, it might be a good choice; but, if you choose this stroller system, make sure you compare quality, design, and simplicity of use. Also, make it a habit to remove them from the seat when you aren’t traveling. Many parents leave their children in the seat all day, and this can cause problems.
This stroller is meant for the parent who is always on the go, and needs something that can easily transition from a stroller, to a car seat.
These strollers tend to have a push and fold storage system, for you to easily put them away in the car, or home, when not in use. Further, many have reversible seats, allowing the child to lie down flat, if you are walking for extended periods, and they fall asleep. Many are made with plastic frames; if this is the case, move on to a sturdier, better built stroller.
These strollers have cup holders, and small underlay storage, where you can put a purse, changing bag, or other supplies, if you are out for the entire day. This is the traditional stroller system you see most parents, who have one child, with. It is light, transportable, and the fact that the seat reverses, allows you to stick with these strollers for several years, so you might as well invest in a good quality system.
For the parent with one child, who wants a safe frame, and basic, low priced stroller, this is a good option.
Remember the big picture
It is not so much about the features, but sticking to your budget as a parent. There are many customizable features, when it comes to buying a stroller. So, cup holders, food trays, canopies, storage baskets, music player connections, and so forth, are features you can custom add to the stroller. Rather than purchase a stroller based on these features, consider the safety, comfort for your child, and the stroller that is best tailored to them, based on their age (and of course whether you have one or two children). Don’t simply go by the features; rather, look at strollers in your price bracket, and compare the top brands, in the category type that is best suited for your kids. You can add the features at a later time if you really need them.
Stick to the budget
Even if you are on a restrictive budget, you can find a comfortable, and safe stroller for your child. Simply shopping around, and comparing the different types of strollers, is a way to save. You will sometimes find that if you are in between an age range, going with the newer model will cost more, so look at previous models. Or, certain features, colors, and cloth materials, can increase price; rather, look at a basic model.
With so many strollers on the market, you are bound to find something that is comfortable, easy to maneuver, and of course, safe for your children. It is important to look at reputable name brands, but more important, to look at the listed safety features. In many instances, you will find that a lesser known brand, has the same features, and is just as safe as the top name brand, that simply costs more because of design features, and bonus features. So, start with a price range, consider your child’s age and needs, and go from there when buying a stroller, rather than simply looking at the added bonuses available with some manufacturers of strollers.