There is no beating around the bush, babies – despite their small stature – cost big bucks. I mean you will spend over $500 in diapers alone in the first year. One of the biggest purchase though is your stroller. Once you include add ons and extras, strollers can cost thousands of dollars, and with how many different strollers are on the market it can be an overwhelming experience. Thankfully I did a lot of research so you don’t have to!
Here are some of the top things to consider when purchasing a stroller
What kind of stroller do you want
Did you know that there are six different kinds of strollers. Yes, you heard that right SIX.
- Full-sized stroller: This is the stroller that will last from infant to toddler – durable and sturdy but on the bulky side
- Lightweight or umbrella stroller: Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but is lightweight and great for on the go
- Jogging stroller: Great for people who are on the go and taking the stroller on different terrain. The wheels are usually large and the suspension is better
- Double stroller: Twins? Planning to grow your family soon? This stroller basically speaks for itself
- Car seat carrier: Wheels and a frame so you can just add the car seat to create a stroller
- Travel system: Easy to connect travel system where the carseat can click into the stroller. But many strollers will offer an adapter so that you can use it with a car seat.
So the first step to narrowing down what stroller to purchase is figuring out what kind you want. In order to figure that out you need to consider which one fits your lifestyle best, you need to ask some questions- which brings me to the next point.
Where will you use the stroller
Some strollers can be really big and bulky, not idea for narrow streets. Others can have smaller tires, not great for off road trails. Both of these were important for me to consider since I live in Squamish and I knew I wanted a stroller that would be idea for trails.
How easy is it to use
I knew I wanted to stay active with a baby. I had all these visions of us running on trails together – but realized that would’t be doable if the stroller wasn’t easy to push or hard to navigate. I needed to make sure the stroller was smooth. After doing some research and narrowing down my choices, I decided to go to the local baby shop to try out the different makes and models to make sure the ones I liked were easy to maneuver and handled turns with ease.
How easy is it to fold and unfold
I knew a lot of the time I would be on my own with the baby and so I wanted to make sure even with my hands full I knew how to fold and unfold the stroller so I wasn’t ever stuck. In doing my research many strollers boasted about one hand folds, but back to the stroller being easy to use, it is important to test out the folding capabilities, because what might be advertised as “one hand fold” might not actually be the case for us normal folk.
How long do you plan to use it
While you might pay more upfront costs for certain models, they could prove to be more affordable in the long run if they can grow with your child. Certain models can adapt with infant carseats and then carry your child in their toddler years as well.
How important is weight to you
Strollers can be heavy and when you are carrying a baby in a car seat as well – especially if you have a baby in the 97th percentile like mine, well it adds up. But here is the thing some of the more durable jogging strollers are heavier in weight – you just have to decide what is more important to you in the long run.
Helpful features to look at when purchasing a stroller
- Safety features: There are certain safety features that all strollers need to abide by, but for us this was a top priority when narrowing down our options – we didn’t want just the basic safety feature
- Quality wheels: Living in Squamish we wanted to make sure that the wheels were durable. The stroller was going to have to survive trails and gravel roads so we wanted something that was built to last
- Storage: A lot of strollers have some great add on options for drink and snack holders, but something that was important to us was how much storage the stroller had so it would make our lives easier when we were on the go.
- Sun/weather canopy: Some strollers require you to purchase canopies separately, others come with some of these already attached to the stroller.
What it boils down to
At the end of the day, you really have to decide what are your pros and cons because unfortunately there is no holy grail of strollers that will meet all of your wants and needs. Some points to really consider are cost, what budget are you comfortable with? Lifestyle, what kind of stroller do you need for what you want to do? And longevity – can this stroller grow with my family? Some of even these key points might require some sacrifice, for example we wanted a jogging stroller for our outdoorsy lifestyle, but we also love to travel – quite the predicament. We narrowed it down to three options, the Thule, Nuna, and Uppababy. At the end of the day the ability to be active on trails with our baby won out and we went with the Thule Urban Glide 2 all terrain stroller and the Nuna car seat with an adapter.
It took hour and hours of research, multiple trips to baby stores, and test driving our neighbours gear but I am so happy with our decision because I get to go jogging and hiking with my baby daily and being out in nature with him is the best feeling in the world.
I know trying to find the right stroller can be overwhelming but I hope that these tips will help make your choice for this big investment a little easier.
Good luck mommas,