I wrote a few weeks ago about needing a stroller that was small, lightweight, and could be easily gate checked. Three things, doesn’t sound like high expectations, right? Nathan and I have test driven more than a handful of strollers since then and today we finally found a winner. More on it later.
I would also like to mention that this is my primary stroller, the mac daddy of mobility and comfort. My point of reference, once you push this bad boy you are spoiled!
We started with the easy and the cheap. The $12.99 umbrella stroller. I was and am still weary of the lap belts. Nathan tends to lean out at a 90° angle to see something below him. So I felt he needed a 5 point belt system. Nonetheless, we tried the umbrella strollers. They are about what you would expect for 13 bucks, more appropriate for a baby doll than a real live baby, but very practical. My biggest gripe aside from the seat belt is the height of the handles, at a whopping 5′ 3″ I was slouching and when we got going, I was kicking the wheels. Fail!
Target had a few we tried, all with potential and varying price tags. But most had the same issues, no 5 pt seat belts, wheel kicking and really terrible steering.
Today we went to Babies R Us (our 3rd store) and I was after the Chicco Capri in Key Lime. It was cute, it had the belt I was looking for and a travel bag. It seemed like we could use it for a good 2 years or so, up to 37 lbs. I got good feedback from real people, not just on-line reviews, though they were mostly positive as well. I was sure I would come home with it. When Nathan and I tried it out today, it was cute, it did have the belt but, it didn’t work for us. Nate is fairly short, the shoulder straps only had one position, with the lap and shoulder straps at their tightest it was far too loose. I know this is just a stroller, not a car seat but I still want him to be secure! We still pushed around the store in it, the wheels drove me crazy! CRAZEE! They didn’t manevure well enough and I kept kicking them. It was dang cute but, Fail. We tried a few more with similar results.
We came home with the Maclaren Volo. This was recommend by my sister in law and of course Amalah raves about the one she has for Noah. There are two things I know for sure, Amy, the queen of everything is usually right. And my sil Shelley has yet to steer me wrong. I love this one! The straps adjust well, three positions for shoulder height, and you can use it up to 55 pounds! That is what, a 5 year old? So we can use it for a very long time. Other features that sold me were how easily it steered, on a dime really, far better than the Chicco, Cosco and Baby Trend. I didn’t kick the wheels, the handle height is comfortable and Nathan seemed to be comfortable (he totally screamed in the baby trend!- I was close to getting this one until I pushed the Volo, it wasn’t too bad) its just 8.5 lbs and has a carrying strap, storage basket which my purse fit in (ya’ll, Mike got me the coveted Coach for my Birthday, I’m so keeping him!)I love it, we had to have it. There are two things about it that were not perfect, it doesn’t recline and there is no cup holder for my mandatory Starbucks me. But, I can buy a clip on one. The Triumph has a recline seat but with it being the only additional feature that the Volo doesn’t offer I wasn’t willing to drop an additional 80 dollars for it.
It’s sort of insane how many products are out there for kids. Maybe some people can just walk in to one store and pick something out, and I can with some things but some of this stuff is too big a deal. I have picked lots of stuff out fast and easy and with no research necessary. But other things, things where safety is concerned I get all itchy, I cant make a quick decision. I saw two pregnant couples zap strollers today without even touching them! I wanted to scream, OMG you could hate that and you don’t even know! You have to at least push it in the store, don’t you? In fact I let a woman borrow Nathan for her test driving (sorry baby) and you know what was funny, we got the exact same stroller! Seriously! She was talking to me and said what a mistake she made by not bringing her daughter with her, her weight is bound to make a difference in its handling. Word! So I may be an over thinker, but I think if you buy the right thing the first time it is worth it. I will report on it later after some actual use outside of BRU. If any of you are still reading this,, you deserve some sort of prize. Did you think the “Boring” disclaimer was a joke? Heh, that will teach ya.