Looking for the perfect stroller? The following tips can help you narrow your search.
Is it possible to find a stroller that’s reliable, compact, user-friendly, and easy to maneuver? Absolutely! Here are some important criteria to consider before making your purchase.
What type of stroller should you choose?
Before picking a stroller, think about your needs: will you be taking your baby for walks in the park or treks in the woods? Consider the stroller’s weight, especially if you don’t live on the ground floor. Does your home lack storage space? You might want a stroller that’s compact when folded. Here are the three main types of strollers on the market.
In this category, you’ll find relatively light and compact models, as well as larger strollers with roomy storage baskets. With a traditional stroller, the seat is permanently attached to the frame, which means you can’t turn your baby to face you. You can attach an infant car seat to most traditional strollers using a car seat adapter. Warning: Car seat brands can be incompatible with certain stroller models. To avoid confusion, some manufacturers sell a travel system—a stroller and compatible car seat set. Travel systems are a good deal, since a car seat alone costs $300 on average.
Convertible strollers have a reversible seat so your baby can face you during your walk. You can even replace it with a baby carriage or infant car seat. Some high-end models with multiple configurations allow you to attach a second seat, transforming your single stroller into a double. Convertible strollers are generally quite heavy. They can also be expensive depending on which accessories you choose (e.g., baby carriage, car seat).
Umbrella strollers are lightweight, compact, and very small when folded. Airlines will even accept certain models as carry-on luggage. These simple strollers are convenient for frequent travellers who don’t want to drag around a large, cumbersome model. However, since they tend to have smaller wheels, your child will probably be less comfortable and have a bumpier ride than they would in a traditional or convertible stroller. Many umbrella strollers have a sun shade, a footrest, and a reclining seat. You can also find more affordable, pared-down versions that don’t have these features.
Features to look for in a stroller
Have you pinpointed the best type of stroller for you and your child? Now all you need to do is choose a model based on our recommendations. Make sure to look for the following key features.
- Wheels and suspension
The front wheels should measure at least 17.5–20 cm (7–8 in.) and the back wheels at least 22.5–25 cm (9–10 in.) to roll smoothly on rough terrain. Larger wheels will also roll more easily through snow. The suspension absorbs bumps in the road and helps keep your child comfortable.
- Weight and size
Opt for a 9–13 kg (20–28.6 lb.) traditional or convertible stroller, or a roughly 5 kg (11 lb.) umbrella stroller. You’ll find models measuring 55–67.5 cm (22–27 in.) wide. Strollers at the upper end of this range are relatively bulky. Note that a standard door is approximately 30 in. wide.
- Folded size
Some models are easy to disassemble (wheels and seat) and can be stored in a small space.
Make sure your chosen stroller has a basket that can hold your diaper bag and some groceries.
- Travel system
Travel system strollers come with a compatible car seat and base.
- Five-point safety harness and reclining seat
At the store, take a moment to try out the safety harness and reclining seat, as you will be using these features regularly.
- Important accessories
Add-ons like snack trays, stroller boards, stroller bags, and rain covers are often only compatible with a specific brand or model. They can also be pricey, so make sure to do the math before choosing your stroller.
Strollers for runners and rugged terrain
- Jogging strollers
If you want to run with your baby, look for a stroller that has three extra-large pneumatic wheels measuring at least 40 cm (16 in.). Make sure it has a locking front wheel to ensure the stroller doesn’t swerve while you’re running. Furthermore, the handlebar should be long enough to allow plenty of leg room.
- All-terrain strollers
Larger than traditional strollers, all-terrain models have studded, sometimes pneumatic wheels. They should have a solid suspension to keep your baby comfortable on bumpy, rugged trails. Be careful, this type of stroller is relatively heavy.
Things to keep in mind
When choosing a stroller, think about your needs and how you plan to use it.
You’ll find three main types on the market: traditional, convertible, and umbrella strollers.
There are several features to consider before buying a stroller, including wheel size, suspension, weight, and dimensions (particularly relative to your storage space).
Research and copywriting: Charles Désy, Protégez-Vous
Web adaptation: The Naître et grandir team
Photos: GettyImages/Orbon Alija and Halfpoint