2011 Stroller Comparison
Finding the right stroller is one of the first things you'll want to cross off your list when preparing for baby. Not only can it be really expensive, you're going to spend a lot of time hauling it around, loading it into your car or struggling with stairs when no wheelchair ramp is provided. It's really important to find one that meets not only your budget but your lifestyle.
Lifestyle is important because it will determine which stroller is right for you. If you love to run outdoors with baby, you need a three-wheeler. If you live in a colder climate with a lot of snow, you need to ensure that the wheels are big and strong enough to handle those snowy sidewalks. If you live in an urban environment, you need to consider the storage space underneath so there's room for on the go shopping purchases, in addition to your diaper bag.
The following strollers are hybrids or travel systems, which are designed to be pretty much everything you need for your baby from age newborn to toddler.
Our roundup includes what's popular right now and is based on the research I did when looking for a stroller for my own baby (due in July!). Can you guess which one I bought?
1. UppaBaby Vista Stroller, around $800
This is ideal for the Mom who wants quality similar to the Bugaboo but not necessarily the price tag. The frame is aircraft aluminum alloy, so it is not only quite sturdy, but lighter and easier to maneuver. It is adaptable to add a rumble seat so you can have your toddler and newborn riding at the same time, though the rumble seat is purchased separately. The undercarriage storage is bigger than many strollers, which you'll appreciate when loading up with baby gear and/or fresh groceries from the market. Adult cup holder and car seat are sold separately.
* Suitable from Infant to 50 pound toddler
* Easy one step fold with or without the set attached
* Includes both the bassinet and seat (completely interchangeable)
* Pop-out SPF 50 canopy extension
* Bassinet is fully lined with organic soybean fiber and cotton
* Seat is reversible
* Four seat positions
* One button telescopic handle-height adjustment
* Rubber-coated chrome finish tires that never go flat
* Four heel shock absorbing system
* Zip in weather shield and mesh bug shield included
* Weight: about 24 pounds
2. Bugaboo Cameleon, around $1,150
Sometimes referred to as the Cadillac of strollers, Bugaboo is for the Mom who likes a high quality product, but also enjoys the status symbol. This infant to toddler travel system can be used as a bassinet (a bonus for newborns), or a seat. It is car seat adaptable but the car seat is purchased separately. It features a height-adjustable handlebar and adjustable swivel wheel suspension. It's loaded with great features and is very well made, but you have to purchase accessories such as the adult cup holder, car seat adapter and sunshade separately.
* Suitable from Infant to toddler up to 37.5 pounds
* Designed for use with car seat, seat or bassinet
* One tailored fabric set that includes the seat inlay, sun canopy and bassinet apron (the colours are really nice!)
* Mosquito net
* Rain cover
* Three-position tilting seat
* All-terrain wheels
* Folds compactly
* Large water-repellent sun canopy
* Both the seat and basset can be used independently of chassis
* Reversible handlebar for city and rough terrain
* Large storage in under-seat bag
* Weight: about 20 pounds
3. Stokke Xplory Stroller, $1,250 and up
Though it's more expensive than the Bugaboo, this European designed stroller is less known. It does have some interesting features that set it apart from others on the market. The design has the seat a fair bit higher than most strollers. The purpose of the added height is to keep baby up "away from the dust" and to optimize eye contact and bonding between parent and baby. Not only that, but it's high enough to serve as a high chair when dining out! Storage space is limited to the shopping bag featured under the seat. Car seat and car seat adapter sold separately.
* Suitable from infant to 45 pound toddler
* Height adjustable seat brings baby closer to the parents
* Two way facing seat
* Adjustable foot rest as baby grows
* Depth adjustable
* SPF 50 protection is built into the materials
* Retractable visor for extra protection from wind and light
* No cross bar between wheels allowing for longer strides
* Stokke Xplory Rider/sibling board can be attached for older child (sold separately)
* Mosquito net and rain cover included
* Weight: 23 pounds
1. Peg Perego Pliko Switch, around $450
This lightweight stroller allows you to "switch" the seat to face forward or backward. It is two pounds lighter than the previous version and closes easily with or without the seat attached. This Italian designed stroller is both stylish and well made. The car seat is sold separately and the storage space underneath is a bit on the small side.
* Suitable from newborn to 45 pounds
* One hand umbrella-style folding
* Travel System compatible
* All wheels suspension
* Includes adult cup holder
* Weighs 22 pounds
2. Baby Jogger City Select, around $600
This is an extremely versatile stroller. It's ideal for the active parent who likes to run, but has all of the comfort features of other hybrid strollers such as the ability to add a bassinet or second seat. In fact this stroller can be customized into 16 different combinations so you can choose your ideal seating setup! Car seat, bassinet and second seat
are all sold separately.
* Suitable for Infant to 45 pound toddler
* One-step fold technology
* Hand operated parking brake
* 12" forever-air rear and 8" lightweight front wheels with front wheel suspension
* Swivel front wheels lock in place for long distance strolling.
* Multi-position sun canopy with window and adjustable head height
* Seat back storage compartment and large under seat basket
* Weight: 28 pounds
3. Britax B-Ready Stroller, around $530
From the makers of the best-selling child car seat in Europe, this stylish stroller is one of the few on the market that comes in bubblegum pink! It's a great option for premature babies since it accommodates infants as small as 4 pounds. It is highly adaptable for bassinet, regular seat, car seat or adding a second seat. The car seat, bassinet and rain cover are sold separately.
* Suitable from 4 pound Infant to 55 pound toddler
* 14 different configurations (can be converted into an in-line double stroller)
* Click and Go integrated infant car seat adapter (works with select Britax infant car seats and bassinet)
* Reversible top seat with three recline positions
* Large under seat storage
* Large canopy with sun visor and ventilation window
* Adjustable handle height
* Comfort ride four-point suspension
* Adult cup holder included
* Rain cover and Britax Chaperone car seat adapter included
* Weight: 26 pounds
1. Evenflo Aura Select Travel System, around $280
This affordable stroller and car seat accommodate infants from five pounds
to 22 pounds (car seat) to toddler weight 50 pounds (stroller). The travel system is designed to integrate the most essential baby gear into one package, including the car seat and car asset base. Things to consider: The car seat won't last long, as baby will quickly outgrow it either by weight or height. It is less compact when folded than some other similar priced strollers. The wheels don't endure a lot of wear and tear.
* Includes Embrace LX Infant Car Seat for babies five to 22 pounds
* Stroller capacity up to 50 pounds
* One-hand fold
* Stroller seat reclines for baby's comfort
* Child pivot tray pivots for easy in and out access
* Oversize storage basket
* Weight: 45 pounds
2. Chicco Cortina Travel System, around $440
This complete travel system includes the car seat and stroller and comes with several key features. This is a one-hand fold, which you'll appreciate in the parking lot with a fussy baby. The frame is aluminum and the seat has a memory recline function so it stays in the position you last left it in before folding. An adjustable, water-repellent, removable canopy is included and there is a large storage basket underneath. The car seat accommodates a four pound baby, which is ideal for preemies. Some possible draw backs: The car seat that's included only accommodates a newborn up to 22 pounds before you need to replace it. The wheels are small and plastic, which means you may need to replace them and they will jam more easily. The storage basket is difficult to access depending on the position of the seat.
* Infant 4lbs to 22lbs (after that point the car seat will need to be upgraded)
* One-hand fold
* Multiple position, fully reclining seat
* Adjustable leg support
* KeyFit infant car seat included
* Weight: 46 pounds
3. Graco Quattro Tour Travel System, around $430
Though Graco car seats are compatible with many of the higher end strollers featured, it's actually included as part of this package. No need to look for a separate conversion kit and car seat! The travel system includes the Quattro Tour Stroller, Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat and a stay in car base. Adult cup holders and child's tray with cup and snack holder are also included. There is plenty of storage underneath. One challenge you may face with this stroller is the smaller plastic wheels that will likely need to be replaced at some point and aren't really designed for Canada's wintry sidewalks. In addition it is somewhat heavier and bulkier than other strollers. Still, it's excellent value for the price.
* Infant to 50lbs (car seat will accommodate up to 35 pounds before you'll need to replace it)
* SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat included
* One-hand gravity fold
* Multi-position flat-recline seat with infant retention
* Parent storage tray with two deep cup holders and pivoting child's tray with cup holder
* Rotating canopy with peek-a-boo window
* Weight: 49 pounds
When you make your selection, consider in advance the accessories you will need to go with it. Many of the high-end strollers do not include car seats or converter kits, which you will absolutely need. If you're a latte lover, a cup holder for you is a must. You may decide to purchase a second stroller at some point, whether it's a jogger for more all terrain adventures (we recommend a Bob or Phil & Ted's), or a simple umbrella stroller for easy convenience.
Moms and Moms to be: Which stroller do you recommend or would you like to buy?
More by Ali
More on Pregnancy, Parenting
I got my uppababy vista from minikids<a href="http://www.minikids.co.uk">Baby Shop</a>
Since I read this article I keep finding myself looking at Pushchair logos to see what moms are using. Graco is extremely popular!!
I just realized no one guessed my stroller correctly. I got the UppaBaby. I'll add my review once I've had a chance to try it with my wee one inside!
Wow! Love all the great advice from Moms here! Please keep it coming. It's so hard finding everything you need for babies when it's your first go because you know pretty much nothing and there are so many things you're supposed to buy and be prepared for. I love seeing which strollers you guys got. No one has guessed mine yet. We obviously won't be able to test it until baby comes but I think it's a pretty sweet ride ;)
Omg I did not know so many specs exist for strollers!! After reading all the specs and seeing the pretty pictures I think you got the Britax B-Ready Stroller or Baby Jogger City Select, mainly because those are my favourite two! :-)
Great Article. We're expecting our second in 8 weeks and we fell inlove with the city select however. I found it too long after visiting our local Babiesrus. I'm sadly one of those moms that get carried away in the mall with my stroller so, we picked up the pretty Britax B-Ready in green & we LOVE it!
We started off with the Graco Travel System and it was good. The stroller has a big basket but it's heavy and awkward. However, I like how you can push the back all the way up so a nice seating position and allow the child to reach the trays comfortably. This is a huge bonus when they are into finger foods and you needed to keep them occupied for a little bit while you do your errands. Also, the car seat snaps on easily for the smaller babies and it's really convenient. The whole travel system is sturdy and it kind of feels like a tank when you push it, but because it's like a tank, it's a pretty safe stroller. :P
I had something similar to the Evenflo Travel System. We used it for all three of our babies. I actually did not find that the wheels were a big problem unless you're really sloshing over uncleared sidewalks (which we didn't even bother). We also took the stroller "off-roading" on forest paths and while not ideal, we were hardly inconvenienced. As for the car seat issue (growing out of), I happened to have a larger seat for 20 pounds and think if I had to do it again I would go the same route. Some of these travel system seats are safest when installed rear-facing, and an older baby hates that. Since the stroller (without the carseat attached) easily accommodates up to 35ish pounds (and front-facing), we really were happy with what we got.
Takoda, yikes that would be my worst nightmare to have a baby on the subway! That's why I'll be working from home in the last couple of weeks. I have a long commute ;).
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