Open Forum: Pick my stroller!

My beloved Valco double all terrain stroller will be 8 years old in September.  I cried with joy when I got it, because with the booster seat and skateboard attached, I could leave the house for the first time as a mother of 4 under 3.  Just after I got mine, custom from Australia, Julia Roberts announced that she was having twins and ordered one.  See how I roll?  That stroller got me to the playground, the grocery store and eventually back and forth to Kindergarten every day.  It limped along serviceably after our move to the suburbs and carried my Irish twins, and it has been repaired several times, but it is now held together by duct tape and twist ties.

In other words, it’s time.

The world of strollers has changed a lot, and I am having a very hard time deciding what to get.  Here are my considerations:

-I can’t jog with a stroller anymore, because my two preschoolers will be too young to bike along, but at some point in the future I hope to be jogging

-When I walk, I often need all terrain capability

-My next youngest child will be 3.5 when this baby is born, so I don’t exactly need a double, in desperate moments I can probably wear the baby and let him ride.  Another baby soon is unlikely but not impossible.  However, my babies get big fast, so after age 1 I can’t usually wear them often.  So, it needs to be a stroller that an 18 month old could nap in and stay in for an extended time, like an entire little league game, which as you may know, is endless.

-I am willing to pay a little more for something that will last, and also, sorry to admit, for style points.  I have so few accessories in life, I count my stroller and diaper bag among them.  I don’t need the trendiest stroller in the store, but I would like a fun color.

-I would prefer something that opens and closes easily.

-I need a good canopy set up for shade

One thought is to get a snap n go for now to put the car seat in, and wait until the fall to buy a stroller, would you do that?  Or should I go with a system that the car seat can fit into?  I don’t have a car seat, either, so if you have strong opinions on that, feel free.

Right now, I am looking at the new Britax strollers, which are made by BOB, but I have not seen them in person because they are not sold near me.

 

 

  • Kellie “Red”

    We just purchased a sit n stand, and I am very pleased. There are a bunch of different models out there, but we went with an inexpensive one because I think I will buy something different when Josie is a bit bigger and not riding in the stroller in her carseat. We went with the Baby Trend sit n stand because it was inexpensive and super light, but the Joovy Caboose brand was VERY nice (come in different colors and trendier looking), and very functional for an older “toddler” and a newborn. The carseat pops right in (like a snap and go), plus you have room for a rider on the back. Unfortunately, the Joovy Caboose is about twice as expensive as the Baby Trend, and heavier. It is “trendier” looking though, and I’m sure it will hold up better for longer term use. Both the Baby Trend and Joovy Caboose and most sit n stand models take an infant seat on the back, so you could use them as a double for a year with a younger toddler on the front in a “real seat.” So far, I’m loving how light and quick it is to get in and out of the car for errands/soccer etc. with our stroller. It is just like a snap and go, but there is room for Claire and even Gus (they actually both fit on the back seat if Gus stands on the board!) to just hop on and off. It works for now…

  • Kellie “Red”

    A couple more thoughts. 1) The Britax B-Ready and City Mini look REALLY cool, but they are super heavy and much more complicated than a sit n stand. That being said, once set up, they are much nicer to push, sort of like a jogging stroller feel. I think if you were going to be doing a lot of walking, like city living, they would be a very good idea 2) The Joovy Caboose has a bunch of different sit n stand variations. Some are a bit heavier/longer and have more room for the toddler riding on the back. From what I saw at a store near me, there are 3 different “sizes” of the sit n stand made by Joovy (and they all come in different colors). 3) We went to a Babies R Us and they did not have some of these strollers, so we then went to a “Buy Buy Baby” (what a stupid name for a store), and they had lots of models out and a very knowledgeable sales lady. I would highly recommend looking at the models in the store and seeing what you like/don’t like. Some were much heavier than I expected, or were not that easy to fold up and/or open. This is important to me because I was shopping for a stroller that would be going in and out of my car (we already own a biker/jogging stroller that stays in our shed). 4) Keep in mind that now that you live in the suburbs, you will be using your stroller different than you did in the city, perhaps less walking and/or more errands in and out of your car. It is not your car, it is just a stroller, and your use of it will be much less and perhaps temporary. Your needs for a stroller may be much different in a year than they are now. You may want to get two things, one for your car/errands and another for long walks/jogging around your neighborhood or to the pool. 5) Cost–the Britax B-ready and Citi Mini are super expensive. W/o the car seats, both cost well over $600 by the time you are finished purchasing the “essential” add-ons. If you then have to buy a car seat, the cost is around $800. And then you can’t really run with them because they are not a jogger! So if you want to exercise later, you will then need to get something else, like a Bob (the best on the market IMHO). You may want to think about two strollers, one for your car/errands/car seat, and a Bob or something else for long walks/exercise.

    Can you tell that I just spent two months thinking about this?

  • Mary Alice

    I just saw a joovy at the playground and swooned! I did not know that you could use the car seat on the back and let the toddler have the full stroller, I wonder if that is on all models. I want to go look in person, but I think that makes a lot of sense and would even work well if another baby closely follows.

    It is true about the difference in lifestyle, we don’t walk as much, but we are out of the house for several hours every day, so the stroller does need to be a safe and comfortable place to spend a lot of time.

    I think the caboose option would encourage more walking in the summer, which would be good for me, bc right now the 3 year old whines if he gets tired but also rejects the stroller.

  • http://www.merryaldermandesign.com Merry Alderman

    Alice,
    Since you posted on my site, I had to post on yours… I LOVED my city mini for our first child. It was great all-terrain. I don’t think you can jog with it. You can attach a glider-board for the older child though. We just bought the Britax B-ready and it’s fine for two, but definitely not all-terrain an it is heavy – especially with two kids in it. It’s a work-out just pushing it around.

    Merry

  • KD

    My thought would be to borrow a snap and go for the first couple of months, then get a BOB revolution. If you have big babies, then they will probably outgrow the infant seat quickly so I wouldn’t want to invest much in an infant seat compatible stroller. The BOB revolution is great for rough terrain and for running errands and is very durable. It also comes in orange!

    • Erin

      We have the BOB Ironman, which has the same seats as the Revolution (Rev is better for all-terrain), and our pediatrician said baby was fine to go in it w/out the carseat adapter, at just a few weeks old. We put a rolled up receiving blanket around his head and he was fine without his carseat. Made life a whole lot easier.

  • Lucy

    We have a Sit-n-stand that we love. The stand part is great for a pre-school aged child, and the little jump seat is good for when they get tired. Our 5 year old is still a very slow walker, so it’s great for her to be able to ride for chunks of a walk. Sometimes on a really long walk, even the 8 year old hops on. It’s a lot to push, but 3 can fit: toddler up front, 5 year old on the jump seat facing forward and 8 year old on the standing board. It’s also not too huge to get in and out of the car, which is nice.

  • Juris Mater

    “Another baby soon is unlikely but not impossible.” Did you really just say that? The problem with 3.5 years of space between babies is you start to forget the things a highly-fertile woman should never say:
    “I’ll never have them 12 months apart again.”
    “We can take one chance tonight; my fertility is waning now that I’m in my 30s.”
    “I think I’m actually feeling back to myself after now, and I fit back into my cute clothes.”
    “Another baby soon is unlikely.”

    Have fun : )

  • Katie

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Baby Jogger City Elite Double (it’s not the mini–they are really well liked and popular, but I wanted the more all terrain style). With my first child I had 3 strollers–3! I had the standard travel system with the matching car seat, I had a jogger (junky one) and I had a umbrella stroller when she got a little older. I only wanted one new stroller when the second one came along, so I took a long time in deciding. I briefly considered a sit and stand (my older child was just 3, and didn’t need to ride much), but I realized what I really need this double stroller for was longer ventures (amusement parks, extended days out, longer mall trips) and exercise. So I began to research the double strollers that I had seen with large double wheels in the front. I wanted the versatility of a jogger without the cumbersome large front wheel. Also, my husband is 6′ 5″, so I started there–we wanted a stroller with an adjustable handle (who knew that was so hard to find). The recommendation I found was Baby Jogger–I watched tons of videos and read lots of reviews. I also looked into the Valco . I ended up getting a brand new Baby Jogger on an online close-out sale for around $400, that is the price of their single version!!
    What I love about it:
    My kids aren’t little either, my older daughter now almost 5 (weighing 52 lbs and 46.5 inches) still rides in it comfortably for theme parks, etc… There is lots of good head room for bigger children. The sun canopies are the largest I have seen, so great! The storage below these types of strollers seems to be everyone’s chief complaint, but I haven’t found it to be that big of a deal. My favorite thing is how easy it is to push, and how well it maneuvers in tight spaces. Fits through an average doorway and pivots on a dime. It is also super easy to fold. Two handles in the seat area, and you just pull up–super easy. My 2nd was 5 months when we got it so I didn’t get the car seat attachment or anything, but now we are expecting our third I think I will be investing in that as well as the glider board. My 2nd isn’t a great rider, but my oldest still is, so I figure as long as there are 3 options to ride everyone will be happy. I love this stroller so much that when I exercise, even though I only have one child with me, I use the double stroller. I guess one day I will need a single, but not yet :)
    Oh, on the website, it says this stroller is not made for running, but my husband has jogged with it no problem. Baby Jogger make an extensive line of high performance running strollers so maybe that is why.
    Best of luck!!

  • Katie

    I know I am going to keep thinking of things I love about this stroller. Another one is the seats are really deep, so now that my older one is almost two I am not worried about buckling her if I know she is going to be getting in and out. I’ll try and stop thinking about it now :)

  • Anna

    I love my Baby Trend Sit and Stand that I got cheap on Craigslist (never used!). However, if I were buying a new double now (we don’t live in the city, so it’s mostly for leisurely walks and outings like the zoo, etc.), I’d get this one – be sure to watch the video: http://www.gracobaby.com/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=1812943

  • jocelyn

    i have to put in my vote for the phil&ted’s inline buggy http://philandteds.com/products/push/classic#_specs (various models now available), with doubles attachment. yes, they are a bit pricey, but after my second was born 7 yrs ago, we bought one slightly used on ebay. it has seen us through three kids now, has a weight-limit of 77 lbs. for the double, supported by a very strong and durable frame, and has traveled a dozen international flights (read: VERY durable) and handling by rough baggage loaders. my only problem with it is the fact that it has lasted so well, and with baby #4 coming in two months, and all the improvements they’ve made to the newer models, i have no justification to upgrade to prettier, newer, even more functional model. it’s still in great working condition, even though it shows 7 yrs of being well-used! yes, the main complaint people might have about this stroller is it’s weight at 25 lbs, but that’s also what makes it such a breeze to push. i can push it one-handed with two kids through an airport (or wherever else i need to). i have never used a stroller that steers so precisely and effortlessly. not difficult to open/close once you get the hang of it. so that’s my plug. especially worth the investment with multiple children and the prospect of more! and to be honest, even though we’re on a limited budget, i would not hesitate to pay full price for this stroller (even though i always search for bargains!). it’s the only stroller i’ve used in the last 7 years. no need to buy multiple strollers for different uses. and comes in fun colors too! good luck with your decision!

    • Helen

      Ditto to Jocelyn. We have a Phil and Teds and since we don’t have a car it gets a major workout and stands up to the test! They are expensive but worth it, as they convert easily from single to double and are fairly lightweight for their size. They are very trendy in Australia (basically everyone with two or more children has one) and in the UK (where people seem to have either the P&T or the Jane double). It does steer very well. When I go to the supermarket I can push it with one hand with two children in it, and with the other hand I drag along my shopping cart. They are good for running, too. If we ever had to get another pram I’d get a Phil and Ted’s….hands down!

  • Kate E.

    Ok so I’m not reading all the above comments (sorry gang). But
    1: We have a Joovy caboose, ultralight. I’m somewhat obsessed. I have a canopy and carseat adapter that I don’t really use right now. You are more then welcome to come over and check it out, borrow it for a week.
    2: In some weird ideal world I would probably do that + a Bob jogger. You can get Bob jogger’s used. They are super durable. And then you’d have your jogger option. But I’d wait and see if/when you really want it.
    Good luck. Strollers stress me out. The only one I’ve been truly please with is our Joovy. We used the heck out of it.

  • Jake L Eggleston

    Frankly, for the money, quality and resale (you HAVE to consider this), there is no better stroller than the BOB. The prices have dropped considerably, the quality has improved even more and people are starting to realize more and more that the $1000 celebrity promoted fluffy strollers just don’t hold up.

    Agree? My wife and I have enjoyed BOBs so much over the years that we started our own dedicated site to it that we’d love to share – http://www.GoBOBStroll.com

    You cannot go wrong with these strollers no matter your lifestyle, age or income.


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