Stroller Buying Guide
Buying a stroller is one of the most important purchases you’ll make for your baby, and it can be pretty complicated. It’s a large upfront investment and will likely be used from birth to age five, so you want to get it right. And does it seem like there are thousands of options out there? There are. But don’t stress! I’m here to make it as simple as possible and help you find what’s right for your lifestyle. No two families are the same, so there’s no universal perfect stroller.
This stroller buying guide will help you discover what features and specs matter to you and which aren’t priorities. Happy strolling!
If you’re having twins, you’ll need a double stroller right away, but if you’re only expecting one child, capacity is still something to consider. Do you plan on having another child in 1-3 years? If so, you may want a stroller that can grow with your family. We started out with the Uppababy Vista with our first, knowing that we wanted a couple more kids in the coming years. As we had more kids, we bought the additional attachments and now we use it as a triple stroller!
Cost was definitely an issue for us when we were shopping for our first baby. We opted to cut costs by buying inexpensive clothing and using cloth diapers, so that we could spend more liberally on our baby gear. I suggest spending the most on the things you’ll use the most, and a stroller will certainly last the longest of all your baby gear and is worth the investment.
If you plan to use your stroller every day and for various activities, the size and weight will be more important factors. Consider that each time you use your stroller, you must take it out of the car trunk, and once it’s collapsed you will need to carry it occasionally. Petite moms will find larger strollers burdensome, so look for a lightweight stroller under 20lbs. My friend who is only five feet tall swears by the Baby Jogger City Mini.
Tall moms (like me) will find themselves constantly kicking the back wheels of the stroller if they don’t get a stroller with an extendable handle, like the Uppababy Vista. If you are using your stroller mainly for walks to the park or to use at the mall, then width isn’t very crucial, but if you’re planning to use your stroller for daily errands, you want to make sure you can get in and out of narrow doorways and aisles easily.
Your ideal stroller should fit your lifestyle, so think about what you’ll be using it for. If the stroller is mainly for jogging and outdoor use, consider a jogging stroller. If you’re looking for a stroller that’s easy to pack away for travel, think about a basic umbrella stroller like the Mountain Buggy Nano or the Guzzie & Guss Sandpiper Umbrella. If you’ll be using your stroller outside during the winter, you’ll want to stay away from strollers with three wheels as they can be difficult on uneven ground. For winter walking, it’s best if the stroller you choose has large enough wheels to power through snow and sleet. The Baby Jogger City Select and the Uppababy Vista are both great examples of large wheeled strollers for all terrain.
Almost all strollers have an undercarriage basket for storage. If you’re using your stroller for errands, you’ll want a large amount of storage, if it’s merely to transport you from a to b, this isn’t a big deal. We use our stroller in lieu of our car most days, so I wanted a large storage bin in my stroller.
A stroller is a necessity, so function should come first. But there’s no reason to sacrifice style! I use my stroller every single day, so I definitely put some thought into the aesthetics when I chose ours. I caution all moms to stick with neutral colours for baby gear. I was so tempted to buy everything pink for our daughter, who was our first, but I was glad when our son came along that I stuck with neutrals! Neutrals also help with re-sale value, should you opt to sell your stroller once you’re finished with it.
Emily is a lifestyle blogger based in Montréal. She has three kids under age five, a slight latte addiction, and a tendency to overgram everything she loves. Find her on ournestinthecity.com where she writes about natural parenting, urban life, travel, and anything tasty.