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About Us

Stroller Buying Guide

Spotlight Guide: Stroller Buying Guide

A stroller can make life much easier for a new parent, but with the wide selection of strollers available today, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. A little background knowledge can save you lots of time and energy in choosing a stroller that perfectly complements your lifestyle.

Most strollers fall into one of five categories: lightweight, single, double, travel systems, and jogging. Lightweight strollers, also known as umbrella strollers, typically weigh less than 14 pounds and are the most compact, portable type of stroller. Lightweight strollers usually feature a simple fold and streamlined frame, though many new designs incorporate convenience options that are customary on standard strollers, such as reclining seats, parent cupholders, and underseat storage bags. Because lightweight strollers take up so little space, many parents keep one stashed in their trunk to be prepared for quick outings. Most lightweight strollers are designed for infants who can sit upright unassisted, usually around 6 months, but models that offer a reclining seat may be suitable for younger babies. Lightweight strollers with a high weight limit are also perfect for older toddlers. When shopping for a lightweight stroller, be sure to look for an adjustable sunshade, five-point harness, and an easy-to-use parking brake. The Chicco C6 Stroller is a popular choice in the lightweight stroller category. The C6 offers a multi-position reclining seat and all-wheel suspension for an exceptionally comfortable ride. At a meager 11 pounds, the C6 is a breeze to transport in its custom carry bag, making it very travel-friendly.

Single or standard strollers offer more features and comfort options than lightweight strollers and are usually versatile enough to handle most any condition. Many single strollers offer roomy reclining seats, extra seat padding, adjustable handles, parent and child cupholders, and snack trays, among other features. Single strollers are larger and heavier than lightweight strollers, but the added comfort makes them suitable for newborns and children who tend to take in-stroller naps. These days, many single strollers are compatible with certain car seats to create travel systems, which are discussed later in this guide. For a versatile, quality single stroller that is nimble enough to handle urban environments, the Bugaboo Frog is a stylish choice that features a fabric bassinet to cradle newborns and a reclining seat for use with an older baby. In both the bassinet and seat, children can comfortably lie down or sit up, however uneven the terrain, thanks to the Bugaboo Frog’s innovative horizontal and vertical suspension that allows the stroller to “jump” like a frog over obstacles instead of banging against them.

For parents of multiple small children, double strollers are a lifesaver, and today’s double strollers are more practical and intelligently designed than ever before. Double strollers typically come in side-by-side or tandem seating. Some tandem double strollers also feature swivel seats, so one or both children can look at mom and dad or out at the world. This feature works well to protect a small infant from over-stimulation, while giving big brother or sister the independence of a front-facing seat. If you’ll be using a double stroller with a newborn, look for a model that features at least one seat that is compatible with an infant car seat for travel system-like convenience. The Contours Options Tandem Stroller by Kolcraft is a bestselling double stroller that offers two completely reversible seats and is compatible with many top infant car seat brands. For two older or similarly aged children, a side-by-side double stroller may fit your needs. The lightweight Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather Stroller is a great choice in this category and features reclining seats with an all-weather seat backing that can be rolled up for increased ventilation in the summer or rolled down to block the winter wind. Some double strollers offer a platform for an older child to stand and ride, which combines the convenience of transporting two kids with the maneuverability of a more compact stroller. The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand-On Stroller is 20% lighter than the original Caboose model and features a padded seat for the standing child to take a rest, as well as a neoprene Cool Essentials Parent Organizer for your keys, cell phone, and other necessities.

When it comes to transporting a newborn, many parents opt for the convenience of travel systems, which include a standard single stroller and a compatible infant car seat with a stay-in-car base. The car seat doubles as a baby carrier and can be quickly removed from the car and attached to the stroller without ever having to disturb your sleeping baby. Once your infant outgrows her car seat, the stroller can continue to be used well through toddler and preschool years. The Chicco Cortina KeyFit 30 Travel System is popular for its ease of use, smart features, and great value. The KeyFit 30 infant car seat is rated for infants up to 30 pounds and is one of the easiest car seats to install, thanks to Chicco’s one-pull LATCH adjustment and bubble level guides on the car seat base. The Cortina stroller is also user friendly, with a convenient one-hand fold, one-touch rear brakes, and memory recline seat.

For moms and dads who love being outdoors, jogging strollers are a great choice to make walking and jogging comfortable for both baby and parent. Nowadays, jogging strollers aren’t just for the serious runners. These sturdy, all-terrain strollers have become all the rage with parents who appreciate the sleek look and clever features that modern jogging strollers have to offer. Most jogging strollers feature large, durable tires with resilient suspension that can easily navigate gravel paths or bumpy sidewalks without jarring baby. When shopping for a jogging stroller, always check the manufacturer’s recommended age, as some strollers do not allow sufficient seat recline to accommodate children less than 6 months old. However, many newer jogging strollers do offer full recline as well as a compact fold, making them a great choice as your everyday stroller. One such model is the phil & teds Sport Stroller Buggy – Single, a unique four-in-one stroller that can grow with your family. The stroller is suitable for both newborns and toddlers, and—when baby number two comes around—simply attach the Doubles Kit accessory for a compact tandem double jogging stroller.

And speaking of add-ons, there is no shortage of fantastic stroller accessories that make life on the go easier. Most name brand strollers offer their own accessories tailored specifically for their models, such as the Maclaren Universal Footmuff, perfect for cold climates, and the Joovy Dry & Snug Rain Cover that helps keep the elements at bay. The newest trend for high-end strollers is to offer a chic matching diaper bag that can attach to the stroller, such as the phil & teds Sport Buggy Handbag & Belt or the BOB Stroller Diaper Bag. There are a multitude of other “after market” accessories that will fit various brands of strollers, including the Click ‘n Go Insulated Stroller Cup Holder by Prince Lionheart or the KiddyBoard Maxi Stroller Platform Board, which transforms virtually any stroller into a stand-on double stroller. Before purchasing stroller accessories, always check out the extra goodies that come with your stroller to avoid unnecessary purchases.

A great stroller is a definite must-have for every new parent, and a little research goes a long way in choosing the stroller that best suits your needs. For more information or help in determining which stroller is best suited for you and your baby, call our customer service at 1-888-TOT-BUYS or consult the comparison guide below.

Stroller Comparison Guide

  Lightweight Single Double Travel System Jogging
Suitable for under 6 months* Some models Yes Some models Yes Some models
Compatible with infant car seat - Some Models Some Models Yes Some models
Typically weighs less than 14 pounds Yes - - - -
Seats two children - - Yes - Some Models
Optimal for travel Yes - - Yes -
All-terrain use - - - - Yes

*Age, weight, and height limits differ among models. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific restrictions.

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