Monday, August 8, 2011

which stroller is best?

Uncle Edmund pushing David in his stroller in Downtown Colorado Springs, July 2011

Ultimately of course, that question of "which stroller is best?" depends on the family and how they will want to use it but a friend with a son a little younger than mine recently asked me advice on what stroller to get after the infant "snap and go" stroller days.

I really do love the snap and go and when the first one we bought off craigslist for $20 bucks broke after many months of use and quite a few airplane trips, I was so very excited to find another one at a Just Between Friends consignment sale for $3!!!

The stroller that we use now that David is bigger is the Peg Perego Aria.

Before we got this stroller we thought long and hard, read reviews online and asked lots of questions of other parents. We also "test drove" strollers at Babies R Us since they had a big selection that we could actually practice folding, push around, etc.

Since I really appreciated advice and thoughts from real live parents when I was shopping I thought I would write a post of my own for anyone else who's looking.

In no way is this a paid review. All opinions & photos are strictly my own.

David at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Colorado Springs, July 2011

Sweetie, David and me walking across the bridge that spans the Royal Gorge on a very windy day! Colorado, July 2011

David at the Horticultural Arts Society's annual plant sale
Colorado Springs, May 2011

Here's what I like about the stroller:

the color (orange is my favorite color)

that the canopy pulls way down low and really provides good coverage for our fair skinned baby boy in this super intense high altitude sun

that the canopy has a little mesh/plastic "window" that I can look down into and see him and yet still provides good shade

that it is truly a "one hand" stroller as far as folding it up and unfolding it (more on unfolding in what I don't like)

that it handles really well as far as turns, bumps, etc. (a little bit more about bumps in what I don't like)

that it's very lightweight

that the basket is among the roomiest and most accessible for throwing things into and getting stuff out of of the baskets that we saw on strollers at babies r us when we went

that it is very easy to recline and it reclines nearly 100% horizontal - David isn't really a stroller napper but he did nap in it once and if I remember correctly, I've even changed a diaper in this thing (I really despise changing diapers in public restrooms - I'm not sure how it's going to go for me when I am taking my potty training little boy into the public bathroom.)

that there is a tray in the front for David for toys/snacks with two cup holders for him for me to put toys or his cup down in

that even when we've taken David for ice cream (dairy free fruit sorbet for him with his allergy) and his stroller has gotten sticky, we have been able to just spray it off with the hose in the backyard and let it dry and it has cleaned up great!

That the strap configuration allows David a lot of freedom of movement while still keeping him secure in the stroller.

That the handle is adjustable in height.

Before I list the things I don't like as well, I have to tell you a little bit about the next several photos. The week before we moved away from Dallas, I met up with two of my other mom friends and we went stroller skating! It was an absolute blast. I really loved it and it was a great workout. Interskate in Lewisville has stroller skating on Wednesday mornings. It is very inexpensive, air conditioned and a great way to work-out, visit with your friends and have fun with your kids. David loved it!

I am *really* hoping one of the skating rinks here already does it although I haven't seen it on their websites or at least that maybe I could talk them into it!

Here's what I don't like as much:

That when I am at a place where they do not have a ramp and I have to lift the stroller and carry it up/down some stairs, I don't feel like there are very good, sturdy places to grab on easily

That the cup holder for the parent/stroller pusher is really more suited for a water bottle and not an actual cup and is kind of hard to get the bottle in and out of

That there isn't any sort of tray for the parent/stroller pusher like I was used to with the snap and go for setting my phone, sunglasses, whatever . . .

It is easy to unfold and yet at the same time, I still sometimes feel like I can't quite get the hang of unfolding it. It's like it just unfolds so super easily once it unlatches or something but sometimes it feels stuck and I'm not sure quite what combination of holding in the button and kind of flipping my arm out to try . . . (not sure if that makes good sense written out but if you could see me do it, you'd know)

When we lived in Dallas and I was mostly using the stroller inside (malls, grocery store, airport, etc.) or in parking lots it was a breeze to "drive". Here in Colorado I have used it more outdoors, walking in our neighborhood, over uneven sidewalks, on dirt trails, etc. Now I must say that I don't think any stroller that is not a jogging stroller would do better in these types of environments but sometimes now I wish I had a jogging stroller when I never thought I would ever need/want one when we were stroller shopping since I don't jog! Just something to take into consideration.

That even though overall I like the strap configuration, it is a little "fiddly" to get him buckled in making sure that you have the straps all out from underneath him and turned correctly.

David at a park in Frisco, TX March 2011
photo by Adrian

So there you have it, definitely more things I like than don't and I would probably get it again from the choices available.

Happy shopping & strolling!



Karen said...

And what I like best about this stroller is the little red-headed boy inside it! But unfortunately, he doesn't come with the stroller. You have to provide your own cutie.

Kori said...

I will add that I agree for 1)big basket (the more kids you hvae the more this is required!) and 2) not only should it fold or unfold one handed, but it's a big bonus if you can fold it and get it into the vehicle while holding stroller occupant on the other hip! So many are heavy but the makers are getting smarter and the strollers are getting lighter.
Never heard of stroller skating. That is fun! But I would guess if they don't provide a day for it they may allow it at other times? Here the skate rink has little pvc pipe things that younger kids can use like a walker to lean on and push in front of them while learning to balance. And they let little kids bring in their ride on toys to use also. So I can't imagine a mom pushing a stroller is much different! :-)