17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Never fear, the stroller goddess is here...

I am the resident stroller goddesss here at Tales. When I had my DS 3 1/2 years ago, I didn't know a thing about strollers (just typing that makes my skin crawl - how could I NOT know or care about strollers? Was there such a time?). After a few initial mistakes and oggling my friends strollers, I was hooked. Marian helped me count the number I have owned the other day - I think we came up with 9 or 10...but I have a feeling that number is higher. I believe it is my DUTY to help all of you with your stroller needs. Face it, if you're a mom, you'll probably need a stroller at some point. Navigating the baby gear market is daunting and mistakes can be costly if you don't know what you need or want.

What do I personally like in a stroller? I prefer umbrellas to all else. They are easier to collapse, take up less room in your car/house and depending on the brand will be tricked out with every feature you could possibly want short of a built in DVD player (I'm working on THAT design, by the way). I am a fan of extendable leg rests for babies 18 months and under - it is more comfortable for their little legs and can help them relax enough to lay back and sleep. I need a decent sized basket, comfortably high handlebars and an overall aestecially pleasing design (I AM a stroller whore, afterall).

What don't I like? These huge, overblown travel system situations put out by manufacturers such as Graco and Evenflo. WAY too much plastic stroller stuff. They take up too much room in the biggest SUV and can be a bear to collapse. New parents (myself included years ago) assume they need an all-in-one contraption, that the infant car seat MUST snap into the stroller. Not so, my friends. Let's roll up our sleeves and dig in.

A great lightweight umbrella stroller: You would be hard pressed to find a better, all purpose, run-it-into-the-ground umbrella stroller than the Maclaren Volo. Weighing a mere 9 pounds, it is suitable for infants 6 months - 40 pounds. You can collapse it easily and sling it over your shoulder, stuff it through the security X-ray at the airport or schlep it up 2 flights of stairs on a NYC subway, kid strapped inside. It doesn't recline or have an extendable leg rest but the seat is generous and comfortable. The handlebars are a comfy pushing height for a 5'4 mom or 6'2 dad, an improvement over cheaper umbrella strollers. You can't go wrong with this stroller. Prices range $100-$130 depending on retailer.

Other worthy umbrella candidates:
  • Silver Cross Micro Stroller. Nearly identical to the Volo but with a more comfortable, padded seat. Also has a pocket for a bottle/cell phone in the sun canopy. Wheels aren't as durable as the Maclaren. Prices range from about $100-$150.
  • Zooper Salsa. Has 2 recline positions, weighs 11 pounds. Nice stroller. Price about $120.

Lightweight-Midweight Strollers: I am torn between two for this title. Duking it out are the Maclaren Techno and the Peg Perego Pliko. Both are umbrella strollers, have extendable leg rests, 4 position reclining seats, good size baskets/pocket storage, sturdy easily turning wheels, adjustable handles and an attractive design. The Maclaren has a larger sunshade/canopy covering more of the baby and has reflective piping making it visible to cars at night. It also has street cred as THE stroller for urban moms.

The Peg Pliko has a padded front bumper that can accomodate most brands of infant car seats. This feature is HUGE in my opinion and one of the main reasons I recently purchased a Pliko over a Techno. The other great thing about the Pliko is the built-in footboard for a toddler to stand on while you push another child in the stroller. My son is too independent to ride in the seat but loves to stand on that footboard while I push his sister. It's awesome. Prices are about the same for both (about $300 at most retailers) but for a stroller that addresses all of your needs from a newborn in a carseat to a toddler, my money is on the Pliko.

Other worthy midweight contenders:

  • Maclaren Quest. Has nearly all the same features as the Techno but about $100 less - a great stroller and you still get the Maclaren name/quality.
  • Inglesina Zippy. Very similar to the Peg Pliko, has the padded armbar and toddler footbar. Also features a patented one-hand folding system that is quite sexy. About $300.
  • Chicco C5. Similar design to Maclaren Quest for half the price. The fabric is rough (in my opinion) and it doesn't turn as well as the Maclarens or Pegs. About $90.

Midweights to stay away from:

  • Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Stroller. It looks like a Bugaboo but soooo far off the mark. Don't be fooled by the pretty design - this stroller is only approved to hold infants up to 25 pounds (read the stroller carton not the store signage). The seat is very difficult to adjust, it turns poorly and at a price of $250 do you really want to spend money on a stroller your baby may outgrow before their first birthday? Nah...

Double Strollers: I owned the Peg Perego Aria Twin and Maclaren Twin Traveler and got rid of both when I discovered...drumroll please...The Safety First Transit Tandem. Based on the hugely successful British version (the Marco Sky), this is a double tandem stroller on a single umbrella frame. Weighing in at 27 pounds (and this is good for a double), it features a generous canopy, adjustable handles, a rear seat that reclines nearly flat for an infant and a front seat with extendable leg rests, padded arm bar and snack cup for a toddler. But the numero uno reason I LOVE this stroller? It's a breeze to push. It's a double that handles like a single, narrow enough to scoot through aisles and doorways and turns beautifully even when loaded with humanity. The only drawback is the storage basket - it's a joke. You could fit a bottle in there and that's about it, no kidding. But with SO many positives outweighing a piddly basket, this one is a no-brainer and my favorite double yet. I have even inspired several Tales girls to purchase this model. Retails for between $120-$150.

Doubles to stay away from:

  • Peg Perego Aria Twin. Though marketed as a lightweight double stroller, it just feels flimsy and has a terrible turning radius. The canopy is a joke (it covers about 1/2 of your baby's head) and becomes impossible to push if your kids are more than 5 pounds apart (mine were about 20 pounds difference, so forget it - the stroller will pull to the side of your bigger child regardless of what you do). I ditched this stroller after 8 months.
  • Compass Tandem Umbrella Stroller. This one is trying to be like the Safety 1st Transit Tandem and fails miserably. It is much bulkier than the Safety 1st, the seats are lumpy and uncomfortable (you can really feel the bars of the stroller in the rear seat) and while I was testing the stroller it kept collapsing - YIKES. I have yet to see consistent good reviews for this stroller. Pass it up for sure.

Plush (ie: money isn't really an object here...) If you don't mind hauling some of these out of your SUV (size and weight are factors for some of these listed here) and you don't mind parting with some serious cash (come ON, these are strollers) than one of these may be for you. Here are a few favorites that always have me drooling when I see them on the street.

  • Bumbleride. Oh, just so pretty. HEAVY...but so pretty. Loaded with features and because not too many people have it, you'll stand out at the playground. This will set you back almost $400.
  • Valco. A plush carriage on a jogger stroller frame with an independly turning front wheel. One of the ultimate urban-sometimes-I-go-offroading- strollers. Between $400-800 depending on model.
  • Stroll-Air. Same idea as the Bumbleride but even MORE plush. These strollers come with everything but the kitchen sink...but you'll pay for it. Again, oh so pretty...droooool. These will set you back from between $600-$800.
  • Bugaboo. Our list wouldn't be complete without listing Bugaboo. It's nice and comfortable, and the base will accomodate and infant car seat. Plus you'll look like all the other stylish celeb moms out there. But starting at $800, make sure you REALLY want it...

Jogger Strollers. I have no expertise with these and so I don't feel comfortable passing judgement on what works and what doesn't. If you've found the greatest jogging stroller ever, fess up and let's hear it!

There are TONS of strollers and systems out there (the bulk of the uber cool ones are made in Europe - those people know how to make strollers), and although I have owned nearly a dozen, I haven't even scratched the surface. This guide is only as helpful as your comments, ideas and experiences. So feel free to throw your stroller expert hat into the ring - let's find the best stroller for everyone.


  • I am glad that I have you, the goddess as a friend for much more than your stroller knowledge. Can you wave your goddess wand and make a brand new stroller appear at my doorstep for free?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 7/09/2006 04:50:00 AM  

  • This is great! I hope someone will weigh in on double joggers that they just love. I am about to purchase a double jogger as I loved my single and have put it to great use, but would love some input on doubles if anyone has experience. Thanks!
    posted by Anonymous Mary at 7/09/2006 07:03:00 AM  

  • As outdoor enthusiasts, my hubby and I extensively researched joggers and the Chariot is the best on the market. Not only is it a smooth ride with great shocks but it is interchangable with a stroller, jogger, bike, hiker and even skis. My daughter looks like she's riding in a limo when it's all beefed up on the trail!
    posted by Blogger Amber at 7/09/2006 07:39:00 AM  

  • You own 9 or 10 strollers or more? Why? Do you use all of them for different things, or are some of them ones you haven't gotten rid of yet, or what? That just seems amazing to me. Why does anyone need 10 strollers? Maybe if I lived in NYC I would understand....

    I second the opinion that those all-in-one total carseat/stroller things are a nightmare and a rip-off to new moms. Umbrella strollers are definitely the best things out there - I just didn't know there were so many different kinds. Oh, the ignorance!

    The only thing I would add is that cupholders are a great feature to have on a stroller - moms need a place to put her water bottle/Big Gulp.

    The most important feature for me is how easy it is to collapse, (which you covered). I do not want to be dealing with crying babes in the car and strapping them in, and have it take 10 minutes to get the stroller away.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 7/09/2006 08:53:00 AM  

  • Yeah, those all-in-one huge strollers are a nightmare that most first timers get sucked into. I'm getting rid of mine next week, when my new Silver Cross Mini arrives from the big brown truck! And in RED, Abby will be soooo stylin! Thanks for the advice.
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 7/09/2006 09:11:00 AM  

  • Kage, you know I would gift you a new stroller if I could - nothing makes me happier than to see friends with strollers they love :) Do you still use your Maclaren Global?
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 09:55:00 AM  

  • The Wiz, no I do not currently own 9 or 10 strollers - the most I have at one time is 2-3 - never all of those at one time! But in the course of mommyhood I have owned 9-10...or 12ish? I totally have a problem, I freely admit it. It's not an NYC thing, it's a "chloe" thing.

    And I agree, cupholders are awesome.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 09:58:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 7/09/2006 10:21:00 AM  

  • Here's my two cents:

    For my first ds in San Fran I got the Zooper Boogie and it was perfect for the Marina, but was not a stroller for Suburbia (it weighs a ridiculous 50 Lbs)

    For newborns I like the budget snap and go because its functional, has a huge basket for shopping, and a stable drink holder for your diet coke.

    For my everday I have the maclaren triumph and I love it, but I may have to check out the Pliko.

    My latest double stroller and jogger combo is the Phil and Teds Explorer and I love this stroller because you can use it with a newborn and toddler, its compact, and can be used for recreational jogging/walking. If you are a serious jogger I would get the Bob or the Mountain Buggy Urban Double.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 7/09/2006 10:23:00 AM  

  • chloe, my global was busted on a trip (thank you United Airlines), so I still have the techno that I bought after your convincing...remember when I called you that first day and said: "Guess what, I am pushing my stroller with one hand, while holding my cell phone with the other....!"
    I can't get rid of it b/c I had to sell you-know-what to get it...so even if it has been completely worn into the ground, it is a kage family legend
    posted by Blogger Kage at 7/09/2006 10:42:00 AM  

  • I totally got a Maclaren Quest because of the suggestions of many tales mommies. I really like it. I LOVE using the Universal Car Seat Carrier for newborns. You just snap the car seat in there and go. It is light weight and has a huge basket for shopping. SO CONVENIENT and light weight. They're pretty inexpensive too. I'm so glad I have tales girls to give me the 411 on baby gear.

    Kage, you are the third person recently who told me their stoller was ruined by an airline. How do you avoid this? We are going on a trip to DC in two weeks and if my stroller gets wrecked I'll be so annoyed.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 7/09/2006 01:52:00 PM  

  • I think I a defenintly up there with you on the 9-10 strollers. I ran most of them into the ground or just got rid of them. I hated my graco and other radom ones and loved my three maclarens to death) Now that I do not live in the city anymore and my youngest is almost 4 I no longer use one. But I still miss having something to carry things around in. I often when I am shopping look around and say I am missing something. I then realize that I am missing my stroller. I guess that is what you get for raising 3kids in New York City. I miss it sometimes.
    posted by Blogger Mardell at 7/09/2006 03:41:00 PM  

  • Mardell, I think one of the reasons we had so many strollers was the city living - we used to joke that our Maclaren was DS's apartment on wheels. You just don't realize how much you depend on them (hello, grocery shopping?) until you move to the burbs.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 04:32:00 PM  

  • Kage, I am sooooo sorry about your Maclaren Global. I have fond memories of the day we picked out your Triumph - I don't think I had attained "stroller goddess" status yet, but it was still fun to be a part of the decision making process!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 04:33:00 PM  

  • I need to replace our Graco CityLite stroller that we have worn into the ground. It doesn't seem like they make them anymore, but it was a lightweight, easy-to-navigate, narrow stroller we got after moving to NYC. T will be 2 in Sept--what do you recommend? I would like something light and suitable for him, but that could potentially accomodate a baby (should we choose to have any more!) Do any of the Maclarens fit a baby seat?
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 7/09/2006 07:03:00 PM  

  • I have a question for the stroller queen! I have a 40 lb 4 year old and a 30 lb almost 2 year old... can your recommended double acommidate such heavy luggage? What do you think?

    I am so glad you've done the testing because I wanted the Aria and never have gotten it. Sad to say, up until this point we actually pack 2 stollers into our SUV and push them separately!

    I have a Yakima Beetle jogger that I love, bought it on Overstock.com , and a practically antiquated like 5+ year Combi (with then very fashion forward leopard brint on black) that is now an annoying burden to my stroller travels because it's not pushing well anymore.

    And we have a 20 dollar (or was it 10?) walmart umbrelly that I curse the ground it rolls on..
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 7/09/2006 07:35:00 PM  

  • Michelle, I can't say enough good things about the Peg Pliko. DD rides in it now and is nearly 30 pounds - super comfy for her. DS rides on the step on the back but if he chose to ride he'd be comfortable in the seat as well. This stroller will accomodate most brands of infant carriers, should you need that in the future. And it's a light umbrella fold.

    Another great umbrella (that doesn't accomodate the car seat and doesn't have as many bells and whistles) is the Silvercross Mini/Micro I profiled earlier. My good friend has it and I've been impressed every time I've used it - very nice stroller and would be great for T.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 07:45:00 PM  

  • Rachel H, YES, my Safety 1st double WILL haul that heavy humanity...but it won't be an easy push! No stroller will be, pushing 70 pounds of kids! But I recommend it over any other double out there.

    Another option is to get a stroller like the Inglesina Zippy or Peg Perego Pliko that has a toddler step built into the frame for the 4 year old to stand on when he doesn't want to walk anymore - both of these strollers are GREAT. I'll keep looking at some other options that may work for you and post the info shortly...
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 07:47:00 PM  

  • Michelle, the Maclaren Global fits an infant carrier - Kage owned this one so you should chat with her about her views on this model.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/09/2006 07:49:00 PM  

  • Thanks, chloe, for the advice. If you were to throw a MacLaren into the mix, for T now, and for a baby later (if not infant, then a 4-6 month baby), would it be the Techno? Or Quest?
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 7/09/2006 08:11:00 PM  

  • FYI anyone who is interested, I bought the Silver Cross Micro yesterday from Albee Baby (online) for $69- they're closing out last years colors... good deal!
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 7/09/2006 08:35:00 PM  

  • Sell me on a double. My daughter will be 2 in September and a baby due in December. I always figured that when she had to, daughter would just walk. But it seems that I am the last person on earth not to want to invest in a double stroller. Is it really worth it?

    I don't live in a city.
    posted by Blogger a spectator at 7/09/2006 08:59:00 PM  

  • michelle, the global is ok...but clunky compared to the pliko (I know b/c my friend and I just spent HOURS in the store and picked the pliko). The pliko is also (in my mind) the direct competition of your graco...and if you are not doing the city life as much, it is a great one and a logical replacement.

    Beth, checking the stroller right when you board the plane has always worked out (I think it didn't for Krista thought). Mine was busted when I checked it with bags just AS IS. I think you can buy hard cases for strollers....I guess that would be worth it if you traveled a lot. Because I didn't properly store it, the airlines would not even offer any reimbursement/replacement/compensation
    posted by Blogger Kage at 7/10/2006 05:12:00 AM  

  • Michelle, both the Quest and Techno are very very similar...but with a $100 price difference. If it were me, I'd probalby just get the Quest and feel good about it.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/10/2006 07:48:00 AM  

  • A Spectator who doesn't want a double - that's cool...if you don't want to go anywhere! No seriously, if your daughter is a very confident walker and won't really stray from your side than you probably don't need a double stroller. My son is now 3 1/2 and about 4 months ago stopped riding in a stroller because I could trust him to walk and listen (sometimes mutually exclusive abilities in a 3 year old). It just depends on how your daughter is doing and how much you want to get out.

    I'm out everyday and it doesn't matter if I'm in the city or in the suburbs, we just like to get out of the house. So having a stroller that could strap BOTH crazy kids in was very important for me.

    And if you decide to get a double, my number one recommendation still stands - the Safety 1st Transit Tandem.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/10/2006 07:52:00 AM  

  • How early can you put a baby in a stroller without their car seat? 6 months?
    (I know I can probably look online or read a book for this answer, but it won't come with a chloe stroller recommendation)
    We're heading back to NYC when my son will be a little over 5 months. We will be there for 10 days, so I would like an actual stroller rather than lugging something to snap his carseat into. Is that possible?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 7/10/2006 08:56:00 AM  

  • Melissa - It may depend on the size of your baby. Chloe I'm sure knows more about this. Supposedly my DS is able to ride in his Quest now, but he is still so itty bitty (he's a small baby though) and looks like he's gonna fall out whenever I put him in it - even with the seat reclined. Maybe take your DS to a store and try him in a few?
    posted by Blogger Beth at 7/10/2006 09:24:00 AM  

  • RE: baby in stroller without carseat - it depends mostly on your stroller. I put Max in his Pliko (fully reclined) when he was about 3 weeks old, with one of those inserts that cradles the head, etc. There was no way I was going on the subway with the stroller AND the carseat. But if your stroller won't recline, you need to wait longer, until they can more comfortably hold their head up.
    posted by Blogger marian at 7/10/2006 10:02:00 AM  

  • meliss, the subway will be a nightmare with both, like marian said. When are you coming? Will I see you. there is a new girl in our hood named Melissa, and at playgroup on Fri a fellow mom said: Look, there is melissa, and I FULLY expected to see you...it was so weird.

    Anyway, I think 5 months is PLENTy old for stroller without carseat, my opp though.

    And you should probably bring the bjorn too (for your dh to wear of course) just for ease in travel.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 7/10/2006 11:40:00 AM  

  • I've got a Phil & Ted's e3 double, purchased back in the days when we lived in Boston, which I adore. It is so versatile and durable.

    In the car, I've got a Combi Savvy Soho which is extremely lightweight, folds small, but also reclines, has a nice basket & canopy.

    I've been lusting after the Peg Perego P3 Pliko, but since we've recently moved to Utah where we use strollers so rarely (so sad for another admitted stroller whore like myself), my dh thinks it's an unnecessary expense.
    posted by Blogger Liesl at 7/10/2006 11:51:00 AM  

  • Melissa - by 5 months little L. should be in good shape to ride in the stroller, no car seat needed. I agree with Beth, take him to the store and try him out in a few. I don't think you could go wrong with a Peg Pliko or several Maclaren Models - either of these brands will be helpful in UT or in NYC (subway included).

    As far as tiny infants in strollers, I usually wore mine in the Bjorn until they hit about 3 months and by then we were BOTH ready for the stroller. But I had sizeable babies at 3 months (both were 14 lbs at 3 months) so the strollers didn't seem to swallow them up. And you can do what Marian suggested, using an insert that cradles the head/body.

    And bring the Bjorn on your trip - it's a lifesaver!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/10/2006 01:15:00 PM  

  • Done. I will begin my stroller shopping! Definitely planning to bring the Bjorn. BTW, I have the one with the back support, which is heaven. If any of you don't have it, get it.
    Thanks for the tips!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 7/10/2006 03:46:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the great review! As a soon-to-be dad, I have to say I'm very likely to get the Maclaren Volo, after 6 months.

    So, do you have a suggestion about what to do for an infant up to 6 months? Before you can use the Volvo?

    Thanks again!
    posted by Anonymous Paul at 7/10/2006 08:47:00 PM  

  • Thanks for putting in the time to post this great stroller overview.

    I have had The Maclaren Techno for almost 4 years now and I can't say enough good things about it. I really love it. I think it needs new wheels but considering it has probably a few thousand miles on it, it has done very well. It doesn't recline all the way so It's not great for younger babies (less than 5 months), but it is great for naps in the stroller.

    I also have the Safety First double--thanks to you Chloe. And I love it too. It is so compact. I can take it anywhere and stow it anywhere. I would say it major downfalls are:
    1.It doesn't have a lot of cargo space.
    2. The back seat can't handle a larger child (I would say a 2 year old at the oldest).
    So, Rachel H, I am not sure this one is right for you. Your kids might grow out of it quickly.

    I have an almost 4 year old and a 10m old. I don't use the double stroller all the time because my oldest is old enough to walk and is a good listener, but I still use it when I go shopping, or for a long walk with dh, or when I'm at disneyland (you can also rent there). It is nice to not have to worry about them wandering about in these situations. But, you have to look at your patterns and see if it would be any use in your own situation. I would suggest the Safety First if you do end up getting one.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 7/10/2006 09:18:00 PM  

  • "the Chariot is the best on the market. Not only is it a smooth ride with great shocks but it is interchangable with a stroller, jogger, bike, hiker and even skis."

    We checked out the Chariot too, but ended up getting a Burley bike trailer. This years models have a really nice (and reasonably priced) jogging attachment. The popularity of Chariot really forced Burley to fix a few things in their design that I didn't like as much as the Chariot but the deciding factor for us was storage space. I can fit 3+ bags of groceries in that thing and it sure is handy when that's your only mode of transport. Other bonus of bike/stroller, it folds almost completely flat including wheels that remove in a snap. A good one set us back about $400, well worth it.
    I completely strayed from the actual topic at hand, but I'm sure you'll forgive me.
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 7/10/2006 09:59:00 PM  

  • okay, if anyone (hopefully) is still reading this, here's my dillema, my DD, the older child, sometimes gets a "I still want to be the baby thing" , so if I buy the pliko or zippy I am afraid she'll be like fighting over who gets to "sit" in it. So if anyone who has one is reading, could you please tell me if this has been a problem or not?
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 7/11/2006 08:58:00 AM  

  • Rachel H:
    My DS was the same way and he is now Four and my other ds is one. I wanted the Pliko and he wanted a seat, so I got the Phil and Teds explorer so he could have his seat (www.rightstart.com) and I could have a jog/double stroller if I needed it. I think I would have used the Pliko more but I switch off between my Maclaren and Explorer and it works for me right now.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 7/11/2006 10:06:00 AM  

  • Chloe - do you review car seats too?

    I'm expecting my first baby in January and was leaning toward a travel system (that's what EVERY retailer has been selling me on) but your review completely changed my mind.

    This being my first child I'm astounded by how many strollers and car seats you need to go through to raise a child - am I naive to say I was suprised that they haven't come up with a "one system solves all" solution?

    I'd love to see what you have to say about car seats!
    posted by Anonymous EmilyS at 7/12/2006 01:09:00 PM  

  • EmilyS, unfortunately I don't have a ton of car seat recommendations - I wish that I did! I'm happy with my current Safety 1st Integra (I think that's what it's called) for DD; my son sits in a built in booster seat in our van (thank you Chrysler Town & Country for built in child seats). I used a HUGE Evenflo infant to toddler (up to 40 pounds) car seat that was fine but way too heavy (I changed cars and airlines a number of times with it and it was just too heavy).

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably have gotten the Britax series since they really are the best on the market. Zinone, you've got one right? Anyone else happy with their Britax or another car seat?
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/12/2006 05:38:00 PM  

  • Paul, if you're still reading this, for an infant younger than 6 months, the Maclaren Techno is useable from birth (according to their specifications); the Maclaren Quest is suitable from 3 months. Peg Pliko is also suitable from birth.

    Hope this helps!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/12/2006 05:43:00 PM  

  • EmilyS.,
    I currently use the Britax Marathon for my 21 month old and love it. It is fairly easy to install and is very secure and comfy and it is a convertible car seat. We have been using this car seat since she was about 8 months. Also it will last until they ae 65 lbs (probably move to a booster before then but hey, I am definitely going to get my use out of it). Also the cover is machine washable - nice when your child decides to barf in the car.

    Before the Britax, we used a Peg Perego (I think the Primo Viaggo). Great infant car seat and the patterns are at all babyish. Again we loved this car seat and it was very easy to get in and out of our car. I felt our little baby (a preemie) was very secure in the car seat also.

    IMO, the car seat is the place to get the best. You will use it for a long time and you might as well be happy with what you choose. Also, most baby stores will install the car seat into your car.

    Another pointer, depending on what kind of car you have, make sure that the car seat is compatible with your make and model. Most car companies have this info so definitely check - especially with all the different LATCH systems out there.

    On the subject of strollers, I have to say that we splurged on the Bugaboo and just love it. OUr infant car seat snapped onto the base plus we had the bassinet feature (used quite a lot at first). Definitely a great stroller to off-road with - does great in the sand and dirt. We are very glad we slurged. Now just don't know what we will do now that #2 is on the way.
    posted by Blogger Elise at 7/12/2006 09:04:00 PM  

  • Chloe, your stroller knowledge truly amazes me!

    I really love our latest (and hopefully LAST!) stroller: the MacLaren Volvo and back up your praise of it! It has been a great stroller in DC for my 18 month old and I love how easy it is to carry around when he wants to get out and wander a bit. In fact, it was stolen a couple of months ago from our front lawn (I only went inside for a second!) and I promptly replaced it. I tried it out on a NYC snow day last winter and it didn't hold up very well. It wouldn't be sturdy enough for city living (holding groceries and dealing with snow)...which I think you already mentioned.

    I also agree that travel systems generally suck. I really regret buying one and we used it for about 6 months before switching over to a MacLaren. It truly is amazing how many strollers you can go through living in a city!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 7/13/2006 09:19:00 AM  

  • Jen, that sucks about your stroller getting stolen. Maclarens are awesome. Followed closely by Peg Plikos (my newest discovery)!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 7/13/2006 07:37:00 PM  

  • we splurged for the Bugaboo after finding everything else too clunky or flimsy, and then realizing it had the most awesome ability- to let the kid face the parent! Ours was $600, 2 years ago, and more than we paid for rent at the time. Probably worth it.

    Thanks for the tips though- we're expecting baby #3 a mere 19 months after #2 and suddenly I may need a double. I've been resisting but with that small gap and worsening physical strength for slinging/backpacking, I think a double stroller may be in order.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 7/17/2006 03:27:00 PM  

  • WOW!! Thank you so much for all your amazing advice! I'm having my first baby at the end of November and have been getting overwhelmed all the car seat/stroller options. After reading all the comments I'm sold on the the Peg Perego Pliko stroller.

    My debate is still on the car seat. I'm debating between the Britax Companion or the Britax Decathlon? Any suggestions? How well does a convertible car seat work with a newborn?
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/12/2006 11:15:00 AM  

  • WOW!! Thank you so much for all your amazing advice! I'm having my first baby at the end of November and have been getting overwhelmed all the car seat/stroller options. After reading all the comments I'm sold on the the Peg Perego Pliko stroller.

    My debate is still on the car seat. I'm debating between the Britax Companion or the Britax Decathlon? Any suggestions? How well does a convertible car seat work with a newborn?
    posted by Blogger saraj at 9/12/2006 11:16:00 AM  

  • saraj - I am glad you found this post helpful. We hope you come around more!

    This is actually from ZInone:

    I have the Britax Marathon. And the only thing I can say about it is that I thought I was going to be able to use it from infancy as my only car seat til they were 60 lbs. That is not the case. It is a GREAT car seat for babies that are 9 months and older, but I had to buy an infant one too! So don't think you will be able to get away with one, cuz that isn't the case, they are just too tiny for it and it doesn't recline like an infant one, not to mention when it is rear facing, unless you have a gigantic car it doesn't fit. It hits the front seats too much.

    I hope that helps.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/12/2006 02:42:00 PM  

  • We are looking for a stroller for our pending arrival in December. Based on your recommendations, we're definately going to do an umbrella-style; likely one of the Mclarens. We'll have to see.

    One key selling point for me (and for my wife) is that the stroller handles are long enough for me to feel comfortable pushing the stroller. At 6'4", I don't want the handles to be too low so I have to bend over to push. My wife doesn't want that either, or she's afraid SHE'LL be pushing the stroller!! :)
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/20/2006 03:19:00 PM  

  • I love your insight into the stroller world! I have decided to get a Pliko P3 since I have heard such great things about that stroller. (I am so with you on the "Just Say No to Humongous Travel Systems" thinking.) Any suggestions on an infant car seat to go with the Pliko? I don't want to get the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio since its heavy, expensive, and I've read other bad things about it as well.
    However, I do want something that will work with the Pliko until my little one can just sit in the stroller on her own.
    I am considering the Chicco Key Fit or the Combi Connection.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 11/29/2006 02:23:00 PM  

  • Hi,
    I noticed that someone posted about the Chariot Carrier on here. We got one for our three month old and we take him out cross-country skiing. He loves the thing... sleeps the whole time and only complains when we stop moving.

    We got a double...so we wouldn't have to get another when we have baby #2. We also had to get the infant sling to place inside... it's great... we havn't gotten the stroller wheels yet.

    I have to say that its large but when you remove the handlebar and wheels (easy) and place inside and fold it takes up about as much space in my subaru as my Graco :( (Ya..got sucked into the matching things)

    I would recomend this for someone with two older kids to tote...if you have the space.. you can get two small wheels for the front instead of the jogger wheel if you want more of a stroller feel.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 12/20/2006 08:33:00 AM  

  • about the Phil and Ted's Sport... great idea, but fails in many areas. The 5pt harness has 4 separate buckles- very annoying. The backseat is practically unusualy if front seat is reclined at all. The backseat recline feature is a big waste, unless a little baby is sitting in it bc otherwise, the metal bar goes right across their forehead. The backseat is a pain in the A** to take off- u have to wiggle and jiggle and mess with it to get it off. Great stroller for strolls, if u can park it in your garage. Not ideal for your car!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/19/2007 08:41:00 AM  

  • For tall people- the Maclaren Techno XT is great because it has adjustable handles. I am 6' tall and my husband 6'5'' and it works for both of us. It also reclines fully so baby can lay- you can use it from birth. If you make the last upgrade to the Techno XLR it is compatible with most infant carseats too.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8/03/2007 05:08:00 PM  

  • I love my Tike Tech ATX All Terrain stroller. Its the three-wheeled kind. I bought it because it was the only three-wheeled stroller that has adjustable handlebars (my husband is a foot taller than I am), a large canopy (we live in the desert), fully-reclinable and lightweight (at only 18 lbs). It also has real tires, like a bicycle. It is one of the cheaper jogging strollers out there. The only downside is that its huge and doesn't fit in the trunk of our Toyota Corolla. It just barely fits in the front seat, but only with a lot of shoving and swearing. I don't know what we'll do when we have another baby.
    posted by Blogger Nancy at 10/02/2007 08:33:00 AM  

  • The new Maclaren techno XLR does it all. It even comes with a universal carseat adaptor bar. I would buy this stroller hands down over any other stroller out there. My first stroller was a Maclaren XL and it is still going strong 6 years later. I love it.
    posted by Blogger jp at 2/19/2008 06:14:00 PM  

  • WOW!! Thank you so much for all your amazing advice! I'm having my first baby at the end of November and have been getting overwhelmed all the car seat/stroller options. After reading all the comments I'm sold on the the Peg Perego Pliko stroller.
    posted by Anonymous Angelika at 5/30/2010 09:40:00 PM  

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