Whether you’re planning a day trip, running errands, or simply taking a stroll around the block, you’ll need a stroller that keeps your baby secure and provides ample room for carrying all your baby gear. When shopping for a stroller, take a good look at how much gear you carry, how often you’ll use the stroller, and the places you plan to use it. If you’re not sure where to begin, you’re in luck. We’ve put together this guide to help you find a stroller with the features that will make your life easier. We’ve also included our top three picks for the strollers we think stand out from the crowd.
Considerations when choosing strollers
The key thing to consider when buying a stroller is the type of stroller that’s right for you.
A standard full-size stroller works for most families because it can be used from infancy into the toddler years. Some are part of a travel system and include a car seat that fits into the stroller. Full-size strollers may also include features like a reclining seat with several positions, extra onboard storage, a snack tray, and a canopy.
These strollers have many of the same features as full-size models but in a smaller package. Their lighter frames make them easier to take on the go. However, they aren’t usually suitable for babies who can’t hold their heads up.
Jogging strollers are large and sturdy, with a single front wheel that is locked into place. Their design makes them more stable at higher speeds and often includes suspension to keep your child comfortable over bumps.
If you need a backup stroller or have a limited budget, umbrella strollers are the smallest and lightest models on the market. What they lack in onboard storage and durability, they make up for in portability.
For families with an infant and a toddler, a double stroller is indispensable. Side-by-side, inline, or sit-n-stand are different types of double strollers. While these strollers can be big, they’re worth it if you don’t want to end up carrying a tired toddler.
Several recline positions can help your child stay comfortable and happy while you’re out. More importantly, a flat position allows a stroller to be used for infants who aren’t strong enough to hold their heads up.
Food, drinks, extra clothes, diapers—tiny humans need a lot of gear. A stroller with onboard storage gives you somewhere to stash everything.
One-hand steering and folding
With a baby, you end up doing a lot of things with one hand. A stroller with one-hand features is easier to manage, especially if you often go out solo with your baby. Price
Umbrella strollers start at less than $20. There’s no onboard storage, but they’re easy to take on the go.
Lightweight strollers fall in the $100 to $400 range, as do some full-size, jogging, and double strollers. You might also find an inexpensive travel system at this price.
Between $400 and $800 are higher-end models with all the bells and whistles like adjustable handles, several recline positions, wide canopies with several positions, and adjustable footrests.
For over $800, you’ll find top-of-the-line travel systems and jogging strollers that double as bike trailers.
Q. Are stroller canopies easy to adjust?
A. Most canopies can be used in more than one position, and many feature several fold-out panels. However, single-panel canopies don’t offer as much coverage or adjustability.
Q. Can stroller seat covers be machine-washed?
A. Some seat covers are removable and machine-washable. However, some can only be wiped clean. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on proper cleaning and maintenance before buying a stroller.
Strollers we recommend
Best of the best: UPPAbaby Vista Stroller
Our take: Part of a travel system, UPPAbaby’s Vista stroller provides amazing versatility and will take your child from infancy through toddlerhood. If you’re willing to make an investment, this stroller gives you every perk, along with impressive durability.
What we like: We love all the seating options (back-facing, forward-facing, bassinet), which allow you to use this stroller from the moment you leave the hospital with your baby. The onboard storage holds an impressive 30 pounds. The frame can accept an UPPAbaby car seat or those of two other manufacturers with the right adaptors, adding to this stroller’s versatility.
What we dislike: You’ll have to stick to the sidewalk as the wheels don’t handle rain or rough terrain very well.
Best bang for your buck: Graco Roomfor2 Click Connect Stand and Ride Stroller
Our take: Built for an infant and a busy toddler, Graco’s Roomfor2 stroller comes at an affordable price yet includes some excellent features.
What we like: You can’t beat one-hand maneuvering to navigate in a crowd. This stroller gives toddlers room to move so they don’t get bored on your days out. We like the parent tray for holding drinks and snacks, too.
What we dislike: The single canopy can’t cover both kids.
Choice 3: BOB Revolution Flex Stroller
Our take: For the active parent who wants to take the baby on faster-paced adventures, BOB’s Revolution Flex stroller offers great stability and versatility. This jogging stroller comes as part of a travel system, which lets you use it from the time your baby’s born through toddler and pre-school years.
What we like: Despite its size, it’s easy to fold down and compact. We also love the adjustable canopy because it keeps little ones well-protected come rain or shine.
What we dislike: It’s a bit pricey, but for a travel system that includes a jogging stroller, we think it’s worth the extra.
Stacey L. Nash is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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