Every new parent asks this existential question. Which stroller should I buy? As the stroller is essential to purchase when the baby arrives, it is essential that you have all the information you need to make an informed choice that you will not regret.
However, you can easily get lost in the abundance of models and types of strollers available on the market.
Ovalem has gathered all the factors to consider for this purchase in one place. True to our mission to make your purchasing decisions easier, we invite you to read our stroller buying guide.
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What Is the Perfect Stroller?
All experts agree: unfortunately, there is no such thing as the best universal stroller. There is only the best stroller for your own needs that you have prioritized. Therefore, the ideal stroller will vary from person to person! In fact, only a stroller perfectly adapted to your reality will make a big difference in your appreciation of it.
To assess these needs, consider your living environment, the use you will make of the stroller and finally, your family composition.
In fact, your living environment will weigh heavily in your choice of the ideal stroller. Whether you live in an urban or rural area, whether you use public transit or a car, whether you live in a 3rd floor versus a bungalow, these are all situations that will influence your choice. You will be able to assess the value of the stroller’s weight, size and storage.
Also, how you intend to use your stroller will influence your choice. Will you use it mainly for shopping, city walks, post-partum fitness? This usage will guide you in the type of strollers to be evaluated.
Finally, the present and future composition of your family must be considered. If your wish is to have children close or distant, the choice of an evolving stroller will be more or less relevant. On the other hand, if you are expecting twins, no need to look at single strollers!
Why Is Buying a Stroller Essential?
Whether it’s for a visit to the doctor, shopping or to motivate yourself to stay active after your baby arrives, buying a stroller is a must. You won’t always be able to carry a baby in your arms, especially until he takes his first steps.
However, you don’t necessarily need a high-end stroller to be satisfied. Indeed, depending on the intended use, you can have a stroller at a perfectly reasonable price without having to pay for extras that you won’t use.
Since it is not essential to have 5 models of strollers for all your special occasions, a multipurpose stroller is the most versatile choice.
What Are the Types of Strollers?
The types of strollers have multiplied in the various shops specializing in childcare. Each of its types has its own pros and cons.
Standard Stroller (Classic)
It works great on smooth surfaces like the sidewalk and mall floor. Often equipped with 4 wheels, some models have 3 wheels, which makes them more capable of getting around obstacles.
Its seat is often well padded to ensure the child’s comfort. Also, several features are often included, such as the snack tray, a cup holder for the parent and a large storage space under the stroller.
- Easy to use
- Several features included
- Affordable price
- Less stability on bumpy surfaces
- Less user-friendly to carry
Stroller With Travel System
Many parents are looking for a stroller compatible with their car seat. Popular brands have understood this and offer strollers with a travel system. This involves the combined purchase of a stroller with a car seat easily integrated into the stroller mechanism.
- All-in-one purchase
- Ease of use
- Limited choice
- Often not very compact
- Driving is often less user-friendly
This type is relatively new to the world of strollers. A convertible stroller can be used in different ways, with a bassinet, an infant car seat adapter or a regular seat or even be adapted to accommodate several children in these same ways. In other words, they are so versatile that only the top-of-the-line companies stand out in this type.
- Adapts to the evolution of your family
- High quality
- Few accessories included
What characterizes such a stroller is its air-filled tires and the ability to lock the front wheel for added stability when running. This stroller has an excellent suspension to better absorb shocks and ensure the child’s comfort. A handbrake is also often offered for added security.
- Good suspension
- Tire quality
- Excellent driving
- For children 6 months and older (without infant car seat adapter)
Lightweight, Umbrella and Travel Strollers
This type is the perfect stroller that fits nicely in your luggage. Taking up little space and being ultra-light, the lightweight stroller, also known as an umbrella stroller and travel stroller, is often available at a low price. However, not offering the same comfort as a classic stroller, the light stroller is suitable for small trips and even when traveling.
- Limited comfort
- Low storage space
- Not suitable for infants
As its name suggests, it is a stroller in which you can place 2 children and sometimes even more. Whether for twins or siblings, double strollers are available in different models. Double strollers have evolved over the years and are available in a variety of models ranging from classic to sporty.
- Family size
- Optimal storage
- Several models available
- Few models that can accommodate 2 baby car seats
A stroller frame is a sort of caddy on which we put the infant car seat adapter. Some frames are compatible with one or more models of infant car seat adapters. It is very light and compact and is intended for babies only. This type is less popular, but still attracts a few parents.
- Easy to use
- For baby only
- Restricted infant car seat adapter compatibility
- Limited use
Is There an Ultra-Compact Stroller?
We all want an ultra-compact stroller that has multiple features, acceptable storage space for shopping and unbeatable comfort for our baby. Is it realistic?
Choosing a stroller is often a matter of compromise. Recognizing that this is a popular criterion with parents, many companies are investing in research and innovation to design strollers that take up less and less space.
Therefore, yes, a stroller may take up little space in the trunk of your car, but don’t expect ample storage space and the coziest cushion for your child. As they say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too!
I Want an Inexpensive Stroller, Is That Realistic?
The cost of a stroller varies widely. Depending on the type and quality, a stroller can be purchased for tens to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The arrival of a baby often puts a lot of pressure on parents’ wallets and parents are often looking for an inexpensive stroller.
The good news is that you can choose an affordable stroller if you’re willing to make some compromises.
At a low price, you will probably find a suitable and safe stroller. Don’t expect exceptional driving or comfort worthy of a baby La-Z-Boy, however. On the other hand, if it is to do some shopping or your weekly walk, you’re sure to have a lot of fun.
Can I Use My Stroller From Birth?
Some strollers can be used from birth, without an infant car seat adapter and without a bassinet. However, these are not to be found on every street corner.
It is best to rely on the user guide of the selected model to ensure this.
Remember, however, that strollers that can be used safely from birth have a backrest that reclines almost flat. This allows the baby to nap comfortably without leaning forward.
What to Look for When Buying a Stroller
There are several factors to consider when buying your ideal stroller. I’ve identified the main things to look at before taking out your credit card.
First of all, the comfort of the stroller is essential, both for you and your child. Make sure that the seat has the optimum inclination for your child’s age, that the handle can be adjusted and that the seat is properly padded.
Secondly, don’t neglect safety. The brake should be flawlessly effective, the safety buckle should be childproof for even the smartest child, and there should be good stability to avoid setbacks.
Finally, take a look at the different features of your stroller depending on how you intend to use it. Assess how much storage space there is, how safely you can carry your personal belongings and how big it is to ensure proper transportation.
What Safety Features Should I Consider When Buying a Stroller?
The safety of our child in a stroller is paramount. I invite you to read the user’s guide of your stroller to ensure proper use.
First, you must always tie your child on board. This involves a 5-point restraint harness. Securing a child can prevent serious injury if the stroller tips over.
A functional and effective brake is also essential. This is required to prevent your stroller from moving forward without your supervision or to take a break on a hill.
Sun protection should not be overlooked either. Sunlight can cause serious damage to your baby’s sensitive skin. Therefore, it is important that your stroller is equipped with an effective sun visor that filters out UV rays, as well as having wide coverage to ensure your child is fully protected.
Finally, do not forget to register your stroller with the company to be notified in the event of a recall. The registration card is transmitted upon purchase.
Is the Purchase of a Lightweight Stroller Enough?
Most lightweight strollers are poorly suited to an infant’s needs, such as good back support and proper inclination. Unless you do not plan to use your stroller for the first 6 months of your child’s life, the purchase of a lightweight stroller only is not recommended.
If you want to buy a single stroller, I suggest you choose a classic minimalist stroller at a good price. Some strollers of this type are so small and light that they are practically classifiable as lightweight strollers.
I’m Pregnant With Twins, What Should I Look for When Buying a Double Stroller?
You come out of your ultrasound and you hear the good news. It is not a small wonder that has cocooned in your belly, but two! After you came back to Earth, you’re in a state of anxiety. Will 2 berths fit in the room, is the car suitable for 2 car seats, how will I transport them?
No more worries, Ovalem is there to support you in your purchase of the best double stroller to walk in complete peace of mind these babies who will turn heads of passers-by.
First, it must be said that not all double strollers can accommodate 2 infant car seat adapter. If you want to make it easier to use your stroller by quickly inserting car seats to carry your babies around, make sure your model is compatible with this feature.
Given that it is demanding to be a parent of twins, they prefer stroller models that allow quick and easy installation of car seats.
Then, in terms of double strollers, 2 types compete.
This model offers 2 seats with the same features, the same view and the same walking experience. This will help avoid arguments when they are older. This model often offers good handling, although it is wider than the average of strollers in general, thus less obvious in tight spaces. Some parents also do not like their twins to be exposed to the general public and to the comments of the most curious.
This type of stroller gives your babies more privacy. It generally offers more versatility by being able to put your children behind each other or face to face. You may, however, be faced with jealousy rage regarding the front and rear locations. Turning the corners is also less obvious with this model.
To identify which type you are going to choose, it is best to go and have a look at the different models available in order to choose the one that suits you best. Each of these types has advantages and disadvantages. So, it’s up to you to identify what is most important to you.
If you want to know more about the world of double strollers, we invite you to take a look at our review of the best double strollers.
Are Stroller Accessories Really Essential?
Depending on how you plan to use your stroller, some accessories may be of interest to you.
If your model does not have a storage tray on the handles, getting one may be a good idea. These trays, also known as organizers, are really handy for storing your phone, keys or sunglasses.
Are you planning to use your stroller for jogging? A bottle holder can be an essential. Make sure, however, that the selected bottle holder is compatible with your reusable water bottle.
Camping enthusiasts? Remember to get a net to protect your child from mosquitoes and other harmful insects. A rain protector is also required to keep your baby warm and dry.
Other accessories are more superfluous, but can still meet your specific needs, such as a holder to hang your cell phone and a drink and snack holder for your toddler.
Make sure the accessory is compatible with the model of your stroller to avoid unpleasant surprises.
I Want to Buy a Used Stroller, What Should I Look At?
Are you looking for a second-hand stroller? Below is a non-exhaustive checklist to help you avoid unpleasant surprises and regrets. Don’t want to forget anything when buying a used stroller? Be sure to check:
- Braking efficiency
- Lack of seat belt wear
- Smoke-free and animal-free living environment
- Impeccable cushion cover with no holes
- Use of wheels
- General stability of the stroller
- Access to the instruction manual
- No recall by the company for the model in question
Maintenance Tips for Your Stroller
As we all agree, the purchase of a stroller can be a significant investment for many of us. Consequently, proper maintenance of your stroller will allow you to extend its lifespan and ensure the integrity of its functionality.
I recommend that you store your stroller indoors after each use to protect it from rain and sun. This will prevent the creation of mold and alteration of the color of the fabric.
Afterwards, thoroughly drying any metal parts will prevent rust from forming. Also, proper wheel maintenance will allow you to maintain good driving. This may involve adding lubricating oil and adjusting the screws from time to time.
Most fabrics can be washed with a cloth that has been soaked in soapy water. Don’t forget to dry the fabric quickly to avoid the creation of mold. This is why some covers can be removed for more efficient cleaning with less effort.
Without performing a complete cleaning after each ride, consider offering your stroller a small occasional cleaning including the previous steps to preserve its quality and extend its lifespan.
What Are the Best Stroller Brands?
There are many brands of strollers available on the market. Virtually all of the leading brands in the world of baby products offer one or more stroller models.
Many parents will turn to world-renowned brands such as Graco, Peg Perego and Britax. This is why these companies offer several models, of all styles, to adapt to the variable needs of parents.
In addition, some higher-end brands are appearing and appeal to parents who are often willing to spend several hundred dollars to ensure their child’s comfort. Brands such as UPPAbaby and Bugaboo are taking an increasing share of the market.
Ovalem’s Advice on Buying the Best Stroller
I made a review of four types of strollers. The types and models evaluated are as follows:
The Best Standard Strollers (Classic)
It is the most popular and best-selling type of stroller worldwide. It’s the multipurpose stroller that comes in all ranges to appeal to as many parents as possible. Indeed, it behaves well, is often equipped with interesting features and has a well-padded seat for the child’s comfort.
I liked the BabyJogger City Mini Gt, the UPPAbaby Cruz and the Britax B-Agile 3. Graco Modes and Peg Perego Booklet also stood out for being among the best standard strollers.
The Best Jogging Strollers
Want to get back in shape with your baby? Whether for jogging or brisk walking, jogging strollers offer air wheels and perfect suspension to ensure comfort for you and your child.
The best models to compare are the Thule Urban Glide 2, the Bob Revolution Flex, the Baby Jogger Summit X3, the Baby Trend Expedition and, finally, the Graco Fast Action Fold. However, I had a preference for the Thule Urban Glide 2.
The Best Double Strollers
Whether it is for walking two or more children of similar ages or for your adorable twins, a double stroller is essential. After choosing the type that best suits your needs, you need to choose the one that fits your ideal double stroller.
I looked at the competition and concluded that UPPAbaby, Thule and BabyJogger were frankly interesting and high quality models. Bob and Chicco also offer distinctive models that can be excellent choices.
The Best Umbrella Strollers
Umbrella stroller, lightweight stroller, travel stroller, all synonyms for the type of stroller that can be carried everywhere without any effort. They are compact, lightweight and often offered at lower prices.
I reviewed different models, the Summer Infant 3D Flip and 3D Lite, the UPPAbaby G-Luxe, the Graco Travelite and the Bily Umbrella. My best pick was the Summer Infant 3D Flip.