Buying Guide to Baby Strollers

In all kinds of weather you will find people out pushing or jogging with baby strollers with infants and toddlers along for the ride. Strollers are great for keeping track of the little ones who are mobile and you are in a crowded store, mall or park. Strollers can be taken on public transportation, or stored in the trunk of a car for that stroll after the car-trip. You would like your stroller to last if you are thinking of having more than one child and you want your child to be safe while riding in it. Strollers can be a major purchase for a family of any income bracket. Strollers come in many types, and price ranges. This buying guide will give you some great features, buying tips and mom viewpoints.

There are six basic types of stroller: standard, umbrella, jogger, carriage, travel system and stroller frame. Moms I know of are interested in several key points when looking to purchase a stroller. One important key point is safety, another is durability, and then there are how many seats – important when you are having multiple babies at once. Then, of course there is the price consideration. During my research many name brands popped up when searching for baby strollers on the Internet. The brands mentioned most often were (in random order): Maclaren, Peg Peredo, Indesina, instep, Combi, Graco, BOBTrailer, Mountain Buggy, Baby Jogger, Zooper, Kolcraft, Chicio, Valco, Bugaboo, Dreamer and Zooper Boogie. The three brands that moms seemed to rave about most were Peg Peredo, Bugaboo, and Graco. I myself had a Graco double stroller.

Construction and features, and prices varied greatly among the brand name of strollers, from the very cheap to the very expensive but well made exclusively designed models. Wheels can be single or double, locking, swivel, large or small. Seats were found available in single, double/twin, triple, quad, quint, and a 6-seats. Some strollers have canopies, some have umbrellas, some have drink and snack trays, some even have a toddler bar. The price often correlated with the quality of construction and the availability of safety features. Decide before shopping how important construction and safety are to you. Make a list of what you need in a stroller with the top priority at the top of your list. For instance if safety is of utmost importance to you, put it at the top of your list. If you are mainly concerned with staying in your budget, put that at the top of your list. This way when you are out shopping, your list will help you to decide between models, everything else being equal, your top list items can be the tiebreaker. I found prices varied from $60 to $800; something for everyone’s budget.

Parents with top of the line taste and budget will be thrilled with the Bugaboo Cameleon Jogger Stroller. When I searched online, I found it in 13 stores with the lowest price on July 22, 2006 to be $879.00 at BabyAge where it was in stock with free shipping. This is a Jogger Stroller type. Features are: single seat, reclining back that has three positions, wheel suspension, reversible and adjustable handle height, rain canopy that is washable, lower storage basket, and a aluminum frame. This stroller is lightweight at 20 lbs. This is the Rolls Royce of strollers for those who do not mind paying top dollar for outstanding safety, quality construction, top-notch craftsmanship and tons of options.

What moms thought of the Bugaboo Cameleon Jogger Stroller: The fleece fabric is easy to clean, quick dry and easy to clean. The fleece cuts down on sweating and helps protect against allergies caused by dust and other airborne particles. They really like the reversible seat and handles; the handlebars are adjustable for height. The front wheels swivel and have suspension that makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces and have sand and snow positioning. The rain cover and mosquito bug net are added comfort. The color choice is great and allows for making your stroller unique. The base comes in a choice of dark gray, bright blue, red or sand. The two front wheels are air-filled, which you use the pump that the stroller comes with to do this. This stroller comes with a well-illustrated manual, and an instructional DVD too. Assembling this stroller is relatively easily and takes approximately 20 minutes from start to finish.

A real mom pleaser is the Peg Perego Pliko P3 Classico Freestyle – Rose Umbrella Stroller. I found 11 stores had this stroller with the lowest price at Babydealz online in stock on 7/21/06 for $189.99 with free shipping. Moms raved about how easy this stroller is to push, that it is lightweight and easy to fold. They found it was easy to insert the car seat. They loved how easy it is to steer and push this stroller. One comment that was of a negative nature was that the basket under the seat was awkward to use as it has high sides. They like the safety of a 5-point harness, to keep baby or toddler safe while riding. Another mom found it confusing to put the carseat onto the frame, but a call to a very helpful customer service, soon answered her questions. This stroller also features: 4 double wheels, a footboard that adjusts several positions (one mom did not recommend having a toddler stand on this without an adult staying right by the stroller holding the handles as the stroller can tip if child stands on the bar without an adult holding the handles), side carrying handle, adult cup holder, light and resistant lacquered aluminum frame. Holds children up to 45 lbs. The only color it comes in is black and rose which looks great together. The dimensions are 86.5 X 53 X 89 cm. Prices ranged for this stroller between $189.99 and $299.00

My personal stroller favorite is the Graco Duo Glider LXI-G Collection, which I used for my newborn and my 18-month-old toddler. I found it online on 7/21/06 for $161.45 with free shipping at Babycenter Store. This stroller was easy to push and I preferred the seats one in front and the other in back instead of side by side. It made it easier to get through most doorways. My toddler was less likely to poke at the baby this way too. This stroller can handle a combined weight of 80 lbs. The seats are a two position front recline, and a 4 position rear recline with full recline in the rear as well. It only takes one hand to fold this stroller and it stands when folded which makes for easy storage in a corner or closet. This stroller is compatible with the Graco snugride infant carseat. The rear seat is elevated and has lots of legroom. The front wheels are lockable and swivel with front suspension. There are removable front and rear canopies with tinted visors. Both seats have removable infant head supports and they also both have removable child’s tray with cup holders. What I really loved about this stroller was the very large and easy to use basket for storage located under the seats. The seat padding is washable and removable and boy was this handy feature for me. The stroller weighs 37 lbs but I found the weight to be evenly distributed and easy to handle. Dimensions of this stroller when open is 35.5″ L X 20″ W X 40″ H. Dimensions when closed is 19″ L X 14″ W X 42″ H

When shopping for a stroller, make sure to have a list of what your stroller needs are for the present as well as for the next couple of years. Shop around for price, delivery and customer service. Always test drive every stroller and pay attention to smoothness of ride, ease of handling, ability to fold and unfold and if you can store it in the trunk of your vehicle or easily take it on public transportation. Other features to examine and compare are durability and craftsmanship of the stroller, safety of harness, wheels and brakes. Check out what materials the frame, seats and wheels are made of for safety and durability. You need a stroller that will last for several years, be safe for your child to ride and sit in, hold all the groceries/diaper bag/baby gear you would normally carry with you, and the stroller must fit into your budget. Shop for the stroller before you need it, so that you can take your time and compare features, ease of use, safety and price. This is one purchase you do not want to rush a purchase decision on. Ask questions of store personnel, other moms, and call the manufacturer and ask about customer service and any product warrantee. If you take your time, research and test-drive your choice of stroller; you will enjoy your purchase and so will your little one.

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