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Strollers

Thursday, 11 November 2004 | Tags: , , ,

A new baby means a lot of new gear, including one of the most important pieces: a stroller. To purchase the right stroller for your new family, consider your lifestyle and budget. And is it wise to buy used? We find out...

The Basics

  • A five-point harness keeps baby securely strapped in.

  • Brakes (foot or hand), and locking wheels are a good idea for added safety.

  • Lightweight “umbrella” strollers are easy to maneuver and inexpensive, but they aren’t the most durable or comfortable.

  • Car seat strollers allow you to snap the car seat into the stroller base so you don’t have to wake up baby. But babies outgrow this type of stroller quickly.

  • Consider regular upright strollers that can be reclined for sleeping.

  • For twins or two stroller-aged children, a double stroller might be desirable. Keep in mind that side-by-side styles are very difficult to get through shop doors.

  • Tipping over is the most common cause of stroller injury, so look for a wide and sturdy wheelbase. Also, the storage compartment should be located low or under the seat so heavy items won’t tip the stroller.

  • Check that the fabric is washable and offers your baby good insulation.

  • Ensure the canopy is big enough to shield the entire seat from sun and rain.

  • Test drive the stroller around the store and consider these questions:

    • If it’s collapsible, can you do it easily?

    • Does it fit easily in your trunk?

Other Considerations

  • A storage basket comes in handy for toting baby stuff or shopping bags.

  • If you plan to go “off-road”, hiking or jogging, look at jogging strollers with thick rubber wheels. However, these can be difficult to maneuver in urban settings, especially around corners.

Be Aware

  • Strollers often face product recalls, so if you’re buying/receiving a second-hand stroller, be sure to check the Consumer Protection Safety Commission website for alerts: www.cpsc.gov.

  • Nostalgic as they are, old-fashioned carriage strollers can be heavy and difficult to push uphill.

TEST CRITERIA

We tested these strollers for maneuverability and traction:

(Please note: this test was done for The Shopping Bags in the early 2000s. While the models may no longer be available, the shopping tips will still help with your research.)

  • Avalon (umbrella stroller): $14.00
  • Baby Jogger 2: $349.00
  • Graco Travel System Stroller (with detachable car seat): $329.95
  • Pliko Trek (with a rain cover): $359.95

Sturdiness Test

Our testers walked, jogged, and ran a track with an 8lb bag in each stroller:

  • The Avalon didn’t feel sturdy at all on unsteady ground or beyond walking speed.

  • The Baby Jogger 2 was fast, super solid, and fantastic on uneven ground.

  • The Graco felt more like a minivan. It was sturdy, but felt cumbersome.

  • The Pliko Trek passed, but once in a while a wheel went the other way.

Shopping Mall Test

  • The Avalon was the lightest, most compact, and easiest to manouever in the shopping mall.

  • The Baby Jogger 2 wasn’t a favourite for everyday use because it doesn’t turn at all.

  • The Graco didn’t turn easily and didn’t corner well in tight spaces.

  • The Pliko Trek was a little easier to manouever than the other two bigger models.

OUR TOP PICK

Depending where you go, you’ll want a stroller that works for the environment. For outdoor use and off the beaten track, a heavy-duty stroller like the Baby Jogger 2 is great. For indoor use and quick in-and-out shopping trips, the Avalon was easy to use, though it didn’t offer much in the way of comfort for baby.

 

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