Strollerama!

IMAG3041

Abby’s 1st WDW trip (4 months), Graco Jogger.

Before Abby was born, I didn’t do a ton of stroller research. I mean, we found a great deal on our jogger and infant car seat (this one), and that was that.

We used the stroller here and there those first few months (at Disney once, and on a few dog walks in the neighborhood – seriously, the underbasket has a 15 lb weight limit and so Dug often hitched a ride home in it) but since I babywear (babywore?) I didn’t really use or think about strollers again for a while.

 

At six months, Abby and I started our running routine, and so the jog stroller started to rack up the miles. I discovered that the stroller was easy to fold, but a little cumbersome for keeping in the trunk of the car, so I bought a second ‘casual’ stroller off of zulily (joovy balloon)…because I liked the sunshade and the color.

IMAG0953

12 months, Joovy Balloon.

It wasn’t the smoothest to push over bumps in the sidewalk, but it didn’t really bug me too much – that is, until we visited Disneyland and I rented a City Mini GT from City Stroller Rentals.

 

IMG_0683

17 months, City Mini GT.

I was amazed at how smoothly it rolled, and Abby seemed super comfortable in it, too – and the storage basket? AMAZING! It even fit my huge diaper bag (JuJuBe BFF).

Fast forward to now: with Abby’s sister on the way, it got me thinking about how life will change with two in tow – and more importantly, how I will transport both of them safely and efficiently…yes! A Double Stroller – the minivan of the strolling world.

Naturally, over the past few months, I’ve been poring over tech specifications of strollers, watching tons of YouTube reviews, and, of course, stalking scoping out other parents’ strollers – and, I have narrowed it down to a few…problem is, with no baby store locally, I was lacking the “touch and feel” part of the research.

So, today, after Abby and I had our day’s plans rescheduled, we packed up the car with snacks and drove an hour North to Brandon, where the nearest Buy Buy Baby is – and she served as the toddler model for some strollers I’ve been considering.

And now, without further ado…our totally scientific ratings and reviews of our top 5 favorite strollers:

5. The City Mini Double ($449 MSRP)

cityminiThe City Mini Double was originally in my top three of double strollers. It was a recommendation from several friends, and, based on the looks of it, I was convinced I would like it since I had really loved the single, upgraded version of it (the GT).

PROS: The steering is super smooth, the materials are nice, seatbelt is really easy to figure out, large UV canopy, and the recline is easily managed (you can do it with one hand!). I also love the hard plastic handles on Baby Jogger brand strollers – no squishy foam.

CONS: The underbasket is not as roomy as I imagined it would be (compared to the single) since it has a weird bar going through the middle, and the width – though really comfortable for Abby, was just a bit unwieldy going down the aisles of the store. Since this stroller would be used often for shopping (and Disneying, and dog walking), it could get on my nerves. Additionally, the peek through window on top was secured with loud-ish velcro and plastic that I worry could get smeary/smudgy.

OUR RATING: 3.5/5 – I sometimes see these on Craigslist/Facebook marketplace – I think it could be a good deal if I got a good deal – but at full price, there are just too many things that would bother me.

4. Bumbleride Indie Twin ($739 MSRP)

Okay, so they didn’t have the double version, but I had been curious about this brand because of the rave reviews I have heard from running pals, so we had to check out the single version. Not only is a lightweight and attractive stroller (fun colors!), they’re manufactured with eco fabrics and have more higher end finishes (like magnets for the peek through window instead of velcro) plus – how fun is it that this matches Abby’s bow perfectly?

PROS: Very lightweight and easy to steer! We pushed it with ease, and that color really is just so vibrant.

CONS: Despite the fact that the fabrics are eco-friendly…they felt flimsy to me, and that went for the handle too (squishy foam). Additionally, the double width is actually wider than the Double City Mini.

OUR RATING: 3.5/5 – Might be a good deal if I could find one used (I am following one right now, though it’s still $500 and more than I’d be willing to pay).

3. Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double ($649 MSRP)

summitx2

I keep going back and forth on deciding if we should get a double jogger, or a more casual double – but if we go jogger route, this one keeps creeping up my list. I’ve seen this stroller many times in the Disney parks (it’s a common rental) and I’ve seen quite a few sales on it online, for as low as ~ $522ish, and that’s this year’s model – maybe they’ll be an upgrade soon, which could mean an even better price!

PROS: This stroller pushes like a dream! I love the smoothness! There is also a nice hand brake, nice wide seats that can be reclined way back (there are no carseat adapters, but it can go wayyy back, even for babies), and the sunshade goes wayyyy down to protect the little riders. Of course, as a BabyJogger product, it has the nice hard molded plastic handles (and they’re easily adjustable).

CONS: This stroller’s width is even more than the other “side by sides” – and it has that same weird dividing bar down in the under basket – will Dug fit?

OUR RATING: 4/5 – If we decide to go jogger, this is my pick.

2. Uppababy Vista Double ($1,059 MSRP)

uppa2So, we didn’t try out the “double” of this stroller either, but as a adjustable system, the double is actually this stroller + a toddler “rumble” seat to be attached with separately purchased adapters, so this was a good simulation to test out the build, materials, etc.

If you have not been in the stroller buying game for a while – yes, that price was not a typo. This is one of the higher end strollers of the baby world, and for good reason – the materials are top notch (see that leather wrapped belly bar?)

Due to its popularity, there are so many colorways/versions of this stroller, which is a good thing, as far as finding this stroller pre-loved, or even new as a older (2014, 2015, 2016 model) but even those are spendy.

But back to our little review…

PROS: The materials are soo nice! From the solid, yet superlight frame, to the lovely fabrics on the seat and sun visor…this is just a pretty, pretty stroller. Also, the bassinet is included in purchase (so you can move the seat to go with it, then two seats when the time comes). The underbasket was also SO roomy – definitely the best of the bunch! Plus, lots of extras come with – including bug and rain shields!

CONS: I didn’t love the seatbelt. Once I tried fastening and unfastening a few times, it was fine, but it wasn’t immediately obvious to me the first try. Also, when configuring this stroller as a double, the placement just felt a little off…and our infant seat is not compatible, if we wanted the option of attaching it.

OUR RATING: 4/5 -beautiful, but that price is the main turn-off.

1. Baby Jogger Double City Select Lux ($829 MSRP)

cityselectluxIn the Internet world, this is the most often compared stroller to the Uppababy Vista, and to be honest, I was sure I’d prefer the Uppababy, but after Abby took a seat in this one – we both had the same reaction!

From the solid feeling of the adjustable handlebar, to the premium materials, and the obvious comfort of the rider…we loved this one!

PROS: The single verison of this includes a jump seat, which is kind of neat, though for longer trips we’d definitely want to purchase the second seat (which, by the way is the same size as the first seat, unlike Uppababy’s which features lightly smaller specs for it’s rumble seat). Also, if we wanted to use the infant seat (Abby’s sister is getting Abby’s hand me down, as it is still new enough, and was only used 6 months before Abby moved on to a convertible car seat), you can purchase an adapter to attach it.

CONS: The actual frame of this stroller is a bit long and all the extras are that…extra charges (child tray, cup holder, rain cover, etc).

OUR RATING: 4.8/5 – I love this one the most, and am following prices on this one as I see it as a good investment if I can get about $100 knocked off to buy brand new.

Honorable Mentions:

austlen.jpg The Austlen Entourage – this is a relative newcomer to the stroller game, and is $800+. I saw several video reviews of this one, as it kind of morphs from a stroller, to a double, to a cart, wagon, etc. It’s just a little bit of everything – and also, too confusing for me! Too many configurations – and the wheels seemed a bit flimsy for all the claims of its capability. I liked the lux finishes, but the primary seat was weirdly shallow and Abby did not seem as comfortable as she did in the previous strollers.

Thule Urban Glide –  I had been looking at this stroller (the double version) but they didn’t have that in the store, so we tried the single. I loved the feel and narrow build, so this one would definitely be a contender for a future jogger purchase, but it had the dreaded foam handle and I didn’t love the seatbelt on this one, either. I did love the little side pockets, though!

Now, I am glad we still have some time to hunt for the best deals on strollers, but I am so glad to have more hands-on research under my belt.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s