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Shopping Guide for Best Strollers

Getting your baby out and about town is not only good for the baby, it’s good for you. Strollers can be expensive, however, and complicated. You don’t want to discover too late that the model that looked so perfect on your baby-shower registry is actually too heavy to lift in and out of your car trunk or too wide to fit through your doorway.

Choosing the right stroller makes outings with your baby or toddler easier, and lets you focus on what’s important — your kid. But with hundreds of strollers available, how do you find the right one for you and your child?

That’s where we come in! At BestReviews, we’re dedicated to reviewing products honestly and without bias. We say no to free samples and manufacturer perks in exchange for a good review. We do our own testing, talk to experts in the field, and gather feedback from actual owners of the product in question.

So if you are ready to buy a stroller, check out the matrix above, where you'll find important details about five of the best strollers on the market.

But if you want to learn more about choosing and using strollers in general, read on. Baby, get ready. It’s time to get rolling.

Strollers offer different features to satisfy different needs. Popular stroller features include a padded/adjustable reclining seat, a car-seat adapter, and “accessory adapters” such as snack trays. Some strollers come with an enhanced suspension system for the smoothest possible ride.

Types of Strollers

There are several types of strollers available, each with their own set of pros and cons. As they are geared toward slightly different uses, you may find it practical to own more than one.

Types

Full-Size Strollers

This is the most popular type of stroller and one of the most requested by moms-to-be. Most have a variety of features, such as padded seats that recline to several positions, including flat, which is crucial for the youngest babies.

Other features include storage baskets, canopies, cup holders, snack trays, adjustable handles, and the ability to face the baby forward or backward. Your child gets a comfortable ride, and you get a stroller that is easy to push.

Pros: This is the best type of stroller for your baby from newborn through the toddler years. Handy features make these strollers a treat for both you and the baby, and there are models available for any budget.

Cons: These strollers can be heavy and bulky. If you use public transportation, have to climb stairs, or have very limited storage space, you might find a full-size stroller difficult to use.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

UPPAbaby Vista Stroller

Features

You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a desirable feature that’s not included with the UPPAbaby Vista 2017 stroller. The full-size seat can face forward or backward and offers several reclining positions. There's an included bassinet (with breathable pad and removable liner) that transforms the stroller into a baby carriage. A “rumble seat” is an available add-on seating option, but it costs extra. The extendable sunshade offers SPF 50 protection. Rain and bug shields are also included. The frame will accept the company’s own MESA infant car seat, or, with the right adaptors, those from Chicco and Maxi-Cosi. Finally, there’s a big storage tray that can hold up to 30 pounds.

Types

Lightweight Strollers

If you take the bus, subway, or train with your toddler, you don’t want to struggle with a heavy stroller while holding onto your busy child.

Lightweight strollers — similar to full-size strollers but smaller and with a lighter frame — are perfect for older babies or toddlers. They recline enough to keep a sleeping child snug and provide a secure, comfortable ride for a child sitting upright.

Pros: With many of the same features as full-size strollers, lightweight strollers are perfect for urban moms who need to wheel the baby around town.

Cons: These strollers aren’t suitable for babies younger than six months, as the seat generally does not recline far enough.

Kelle
EXPERT CONSULTANT

Kelle is a certified teacher, a leader of multiple children’s organizations, and a mother of two small children. Her professional network of colleagues and extensive knowledge of baby/child-related products makes her a valuable resource here at BestReviews. When she’s not caring for children or studying products, you may find Kelle engaging in watersports and other exercise.


Kelle  |  Teacher and Child Care Professional
Types

Umbrella Strollers

If you just need a very lightweight stroller for quick trips to the store or for when your toddler gets tired and cranky, then an umbrella stroller is ideal. These small, collapsible strollers are little more than a fabric seat and back over a lightweight frame, and they usually weigh less than 12 pounds.

These strollers are not for infants but for older babies and toddlers. There is usually little storage or extras on these strollers.

Pros: Umbrella strollers are very inexpensive. They are excellent for visits to amusement parks, malls, or other areas where your older baby or toddler won’t need to ride in a stroller the whole time but is likely to eventually get tired.

Cons: The cheapest umbrella strollers can be flimsy and many do not have any storage basket.

If you use your stroller a lot, look for foam-filled tires. These tend to be the most durable and most comfortable for your child.

Staff
BestReviews
Types

Travel-System Strollers

If you frequently get in and out of the car with a baby still young enough to be in an infant seat, you know how frustrating it can be to transfer your sleeping baby back and forth from car seat to stroller.

A travel system solves that problem by combining a stroller with an infant car seat. The car-seat base remains anchored in your car, while the seat detaches and fastens into the stroller frame. Once your child outgrows the infant seat, the stroller can be used on its own for a comfortable, smooth ride.

Pros: These convenient strollers make moving a sleeping baby much easier and can be an economical way to purchase both a stroller and car seat.

Cons: Travel-system strollers tend to be heavy, which may add to the dilemma rather than solve it.

EXPERT TIP

Check for compatibility between your stroller and car seat. Many models work together even if bought separately. You could also consider an all-in-one travel system or an infant car seat carrier – both make traveling with a baby much simpler.


Kelle  | Teacher and Child Care Professional
Types

Car-Seat Stroller Frames

These lightweight, inexpensive strollers are the equivalent of an umbrella stroller for the newborn set. This stroller is a frame that holds your infant car seat.

You can lift a sleeping baby out of the car without waking him or her, clip the car seat right onto the stroller frame, wheel the baby around town, and then transfer the little guy or girl back to the car without a fuss.

Pros: The stroller frame is lightweight and folds up to fit in the trunk of your car. These handy devices make it easy to move a sleeping baby from car to stroller and back again without disturbing the baby’s sleep.

Cons: Once your child outgrows the infant car seat, you’ll also be done with the car-seat stroller frame.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Graco Roomfor2 Click Connect

Compatibility

Graco’s Roomfor2 Click Connect might seem like a basic double stroller, but there are plenty of common-sense features built in that will suit parents on a budget. It’s lightweight, folds easily with one hand, and is compact enough to fit in the trunk of most small cars. It’s also compatible with Graco’s Classic Connect and Click Connect infant car seats, giving it added versatility. For many owners, it provides a simple, effective way to get an infant and toddler around town.

Types

Jogging Strollers

There’s no need to give up your daily jog or run just because you have a baby. Your child will love to come along and can cheer you on, enjoy the fresh air, or take a nap while happily riding in a jogging stroller.

Jogging strollers have three wheels, and the front wheel is locked to prevent dangerous wobbling or drifting during a run. Jogging strollers also have a handbrake for safety, good suspension to keep your child comfortable, and large, sturdy wheels for a smooth and easy ride.

Pros: Jogging strollers make it easy to keep up with your exercise, and they also handle rugged terrain, hills, curbs, and rough pavement with aplomb.

Cons: These strollers are typically heavy, don’t fold up easily, are bulky and difficult to turn, and are expensive. They are not designed for babies younger than six months.

DID YOU KNOW?

Maneuverability and portability are important considerations when selecting a stroller. A swiveling front wheel may be ideal for some consumers, while others may prefer a stroller that folds without fuss.

Types

All-Terrain Strollers

If you like to be outdoors and want your baby to experience the park, the beach, easy hiking paths, or bumpy roads — but you aren’t going to actually jog with the stroller — you need an all-terrain stroller.

These sporty-looking strollers have three oversized tires that easily roll over just about any surface. Unlike a jogging stroller, these don’t have a fixed front wheel and generally have larger storage baskets and other features similar to full-size strollers.

Pros: This is an excellent choice of stroller for an active family.

Cons: Like jogging strollers, all-terrain strollers are heavy and bulky and not always easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Most are not suited to babies younger than six months.

EXPERT TIP

Use plastic links to hang colorful toys on the stroller bumper bar. The toys keep baby entertained and help develop visual, cognitive, and motor skills.


Kelle  | Teacher and Child Care Professional
Types

Double Strollers

If you have double the fun with twins, or you have an infant and a toddler, you know how tough it can be to transport both of them when there is just one of you. Level the playing field with a double stroller that holds both your children safely and comfortably.

Some of these strollers hold the children side by side; others place one child in front of the other. Often you can recline each child individually, and there is usually a storage basket and other handy features similar to a single stroller.

Pros: If you have two children in their stroller years, these are very convenient.

Cons: Side-by-side double strollers are difficult to maneuver, and any double stroller is going to be heavy, hard to fold, and expensive.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Graco Roomfor2 Click Connect

Design

Given that it will hold two children of up to 50 pounds, it’s perhaps surprising to hear so many owners say how easy the Graco Roomfor2 is to maneuver. The wheels are a little smaller than those of some competitors, which makes it more suitable for town than uneven terrain. Not only is it one of the most affordable strollers on our list, it arguably has one of the most comprehensive feature lists. It’s certainly on par with strollers that cost a lot more.

Guidelines for Buying a Stroller

Shopping for a stroller can be overwhelming, with so many types and styles available. You want your child to be safe and comfortable, and you also want the stroller to be easy to maneuver, easy to fold, and light enough for you to get it in and out of your car.

Here are some general guidelines for stroller-buying.

  • Safety is a must. Be sure the stroller frame is sturdy and locks into place with an audible click to avoid an accidental tumble. A five-point harness is standard on most strollers, other than umbrella strollers. Brakes should lock and unlock easily. Choose a stroller that is certified by the JPMA, which means the model meets a wide range of safety guidelines.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

As is the case with most baby gear, be wary of purchasing secondhand products if you don’t know their history. While it can save you money, it isn’t always safe.

  • Look for a stroller that is easy to push, turn, fold and unfold, and lift high enough to place in your car’s trunk.

  • The handle should reach your waist. If it’s height-adjustable, that’s even better.

  • The wider the tires on your stroller, the better it will be on rough surfaces. If you live in a rural area, look for a stroller with big tires.

  • If you live in a hot area and your baby gets fussy when warm, attach a battery-operated fan to the stroller to cool him or her down for cheap.

EXPERT TIP

Before buying a stroller, take into account everything you hope it will carry beyond your child. Some strollers offer much more storage space than others.


Kelle  | Teacher and Child Care Professional
  • A large storage basket makes long outings with a baby much easier, as does a canopy that protects the baby’s delicate eyes and skin from the sun.

  • Babies are adorable, but they are also messy. A removable fabric cover makes a stroller easy to keep clean.

  • Several levels of recline make a stroller more comfortable for tired little ones. If you’ll be pushing your newborn in the stroller, it needs to recline flat.

Test all the main features of a stroller before buying, such as the brakes, the maneuverability, the adjustable handlebars, and the canopy.

What About Price?

With so many types of strollers available, there is a huge range of prices.

You can pick up a cheap umbrella stroller for $20, or you can spend over $1,000 on a designer full-size stroller with every bell and whistle imaginable.

For most people, however, it’s reasonable to spend $25 to $50 for a sturdy umbrella stroller and $100 to $300 for the other varieties.

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