Ready, set, stroll: The complete guide to choosing the best stroller
Do you know your strollers from a travel system? Here’s our complete guide to choosing the best stroller for you.
Choosing the right stroller is an important decision and a big investment for your growing family. Your stroller goes wherever you and baby go and you’ll want it to last them from day one up until they are walking, so choosing a stroller is not a decision you should rush.
It may seem like there’s just too many things to even begin thinking about. So, our team have put together a useful guide that will help you understand what stroller will be best for you and baby.
What’s the big deal?
Your stroller will go everywhere you go. This will be where your child discovers the world around them, takes naps and enjoy learning new sights, smells and sounds. Likewise, your stroller will be your best friend for storing essentials on the go so you don’t have to juggle too much at once. It’s these things you should be considering when you start to put together a budget and list of “must-haves” and “desirables”. Let’s go over this in a little more detail.
Where do I start?
Well first things first, what do you need the stroller for? Is this for a newborn, are you upgrading, do you have twins, are you looking to attach your car seat, do you head out on foot often? When you decide exactly why you need to stroller, you can begin to look at budgets. For example, a lightweight umbrella stroller to use for weekends at the park and storing in the closet isn’t going to be as fully featured as a convertible stroller with multiple ways to travel from car, carrying and strolling. Once you know this for certain, begin looking at the types of stroller available. To help you know more, here’s some quick questions to ask yourself:
How much storage space do I have?
What age /weight will my child be using the stroller (from – to)?
Where will I be using the stroller?
What additional features would I like?
How much weight am I able to navigate?
Answer each of these, then scroll on to learn the type of stroller that will be best for you.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN STROLLERS?
You’re likely to hear of these types the most, so if this is your first stroller or you have little stroller knowledge this is a great place to start.
Convertible (otherwise known as “all purpose” or “standard”) Strollers
These are a typical “all-rounder” style of stroller and can be considered a long-term investment as they are tough, durable and offer the best longevity. As the name suggests, this a stroller full of features and typically comes in a larger size than others, though that doesn’t mean they have to be big or bulky and you can certainly find a size and style that’s suitable. Convertible strollers are commonly known to have multiple seat positions, world and parent facing options, adjustable canopies, large storage baskets and most offer great manoeuvrability thanks to their bulky wheels and sturdy frame.
Top tips – look out for extra perks like cup holders, padded seats, telescopic handlebars, large canopy to protect from unexpected weather (rain or shine) and compatibility with infant car seats. Double back wheels and / or suspension will also mean smoother, simpler navigation across any terrain. Look out for the seat recline, “lie flat” is suitable for newborn passengers.
These are lightweight, with minimal storage and designed for portability, which means you can likely fold and take just about anywhere (think holidays or frequent travel). Umbrella strollers are usually most suitable for children who are able to sit in an upright position independently, therefore are considered a short-term option or a replacement for “on the go”. Parents love umbrella strollers for their slim profile, space saving design and how easy they are to lift in and out of the trunk or store on public transport.
Top tips – check just how compact your umbrella stroller is as you might find they’re suitable for travelling on planes. Some are small enough to fold and store in overhead bins. You might also find additional extras like carrying straps and / or bags, for ultra-portability. Given their simplistic design, umbrella strollers are not typically great for bumpy rides!
Kind of what the name suggests, these strollers are an entire system designed for multiple modes of travel from birth. These multi-functional strollers can also include an infant car seat in the bundle that attaches to the stroller frame, a great solution to transporting your sleeping baby from car to stroller without waking them. When your baby has outgrown the car seat, the stroller can be used independently with the toddler seat included.
Top tips – travel systems are available in most styles of stroller, so you don’t have to sacrifice any of the features you liked about them. You might want to purchase a complete travel system, which includes a carrycot/bassinet as well as the infant car seat and stroller. This option gives you the most flexibility and ways to travel. Consider each part of the travel system independently, although the car seat may be great you also need to ensure the stroller will last with you throughout the duration you desire. It makes no sense to purchase a system that will need a replacement stroller within a year!
Quite literally for those who enjoy an active lifestyle such as jogging. These are also great for rough, unsteady terrain thanks to their oversized wheels, which come as a triangular design rather than the standard four-wheel frame. Jogging strollers are great for absorbing impact through high speeds. The front wheel can either swivel or be fixed in place depending on the journey.
Top tips – although travel system ready, it is recommended you research the guidelines to jogging with your baby. If you are planning to use your stroller at enhanced speeds, be sure to check out the brake system and suspension.