Monday, August 18, 2008

In search of the perfect stroller

I did what I thought was The Test-Driving of strollers on Friday. My friend Mary went with me and was tremendously helpful in what to look for (in the entire store, not just strollers). However, there are so many options and trade-offs (comfort/cost/weight/size/durability), plus the user reviews I read online just serve to muddy the water. I now realize there will probably be several trips to Babies R Us to do more collapsing and lifting and steering with one hand, and there is probably no such thing as a perfect stroller. For less than a million dollars.

What I value:
  • compact when folded so I can fit other things in the trunk (don't EVEN bring up the minivan option)
  • lightweight (I'm 5'2" and not a weightlifter) AND durable
  • able to accept an infant carseat for when when little Jim Kelly isn't big enough for a regular stroller

My options:

Research continually suggests that I purchase a stroller according to my needs. News flash: I don't have a baby yet, so how do I know what life will be like? Right now I go for walks through the neighborhood. We travel. We eat out a lot. I run errands around town. We fly sometimes. But I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that I may not do things the same way after little Tord comes along. I even have a fantasy that, because Steve and I both work from home, when I need to go to the store I'll go during little Mildred's nap time. In the meantime I continue to research, make spreadsheets, and get frustrated. Comments welcome, but do remember that everybody has different needs and the babies are different as well. Too many factors!


livi girl said...

I liked the travel system a lot. I'm not too fussy about stuff and I'm a minimalist when it comes to baby equipment, so I don't like to buy a lot of extra stuff. The car seat part is great for the first year, especially when he/she is sleeping through all those errands. And then you can continue to use the stoller when the baby outgrows the car seat carrier. We used our stroller up until baby #2 came along (then we upgraded to a 2 seater). We got a very basic travel system (read - we were very poor), so the stroller was pretty lightweight and easy to fold. It didn't have fancy wheels, but I never had trouble on walks, and I walked a lot. Good luck with your choice and remember you don't need the vast majority of the stuff they are selling to new parents. And if you don't like your choice, there's always CraigsList!

The Ousdahls said...

Wow...I must say you are putting a lot of thought into this. I did not, but was very satisfied with my choice...the travel system. Points about this topic to add to all you have will build muscles and get used to carry "heavy" things, so a regular travel system seems to be in the middle and should be easy enough for you to handle. Also, I always looked at it like carry the car seat (which is WAY heavier and awkward than the stroller) helps me work off the extra baby weight. Second, one plus for the travel system compared to a smaller stroller is the Cargo room in it. I can stuff cameras, shopping bags, groceries, in the past even Cooper, purses, and the list goes on. In the airports, pushing this and checking it on your way onto the plane, enables you to only have one thing to take care of...the stroller and it holds everything else =) So, while the travel system is bigger...the size does bring some plusses)

Enjoy making your decision.