5 questions to ask yourself before you buy a stroller

There are so many strollers out there — and so few stores with a good selection for you to try out in person — that picking the right one for your family can be a long, drawn-out process. But you can drill down on what you’re looking for and eliminate at least some of the possibilities by asking yourself the following 5 questions.

The $800 UPPAbaby VISTA was voted the very best stroller on the market by BabyCenter parents in 2018

This might be the most important question of all, because though there are strollers on the market that can do every single thing you want them to do and quite a bit more, some of them may be more than you can afford.

So when you go looking for a stroller, you may want to set a couple of price points: One that’s what you can absolutely afford, one that’s a stretch, in case you fall madly in love with a stroller or someone (maybe an excited new grandparent-to-be) offers to chip in or buy it for you.

There are decent umbrella strollers in the $40-and-up range; great midrange strollers available for $65-$250; and top-of-the-line models for $300 to $1000 and even more. The more expensive strollers may have better wheels, better suspension, higher quality fabrics, and features like big sun-protecting canopies, detachable bassinets, and reversible seats. On the other hand, the less-expensive strollers are often lighter and easier to carry on trips or public transportation, and may do everything you need them to do.

Graco’s LiteRider LX stroller was voted the best lightweight stroller by BabyCenter parents in 2018 — it’s just $77.

If you’re having your first baby and plan to have no more, a single stroller will do you nicely. If you have one or more children who will still be stroller-age when you have another baby, you’ll need a double or triple stroller, or one that carries more than one child via a second seat or a ride-along standing board.

On the other hand, if you’re not sure if you’re going to have more kids, consider a convertible stroller, which can function as a single stroller and then convert to a double when needed. The UPPAbaby VISTA, pictured above, is one of the more popular convertible strollers on the market, other parent-beloved options include the Britax B-Ready, and the Baby Jogger City Select are two more popular convertible models.

The versatile Britax B-Ready

Are you going on a trip to Europe where you’ll have to carry your stroller up innumerable staircases? Or will you be strolling through areas with smooth-as-silk sidewalks? Do you run, or plan to? Do you like to take long walks in the park? Or will you mainly be using the stroller to get around the grocery store? Do you travel often? Do you go to the beach, or go hiking?

Each of these situations requires a stroller with different capabilities. If you’re going to be hefting your stroller around a lot, a lightweight stroller is a good idea (here are the Best Lightweight Strollers of 2018 according to BabyCenter parents). If you run, you’ll need a jogging stroller — make sure yours is made for running (not all three-wheeled strollers or even those with “jog” in the name are!). If you travel frequently by lane, a stroller like the uber-lightweight fits-in-the-overhead-compartment gb Pockit may work well for you.

The gb Pockit, $178, weighs less than 10 pounds and can handle a child of up to 55 pounds; it has one of the smallest folds on the market.

A house? An apartment? What’s the terrain like around your place? Are the sidewalks bumpy or smooth — or are there sidewalks at all? Do you have to carry your stroller up and down lots of steps? Do you live in a rural area with wide open spaces and plenty of room for even the biggest stroller, or a space-starved city with lots of tight spaces?

If you live in an area with rough or bumpy terrain or go to such places frequently, consider an all-terrain stroller with giant air-filled wheels like BabyCenter parent fave the BOB Revolution Flex Lunar, which is so sturdy that it can roll right onto mountain trails or the beach.

The BOB Revolution Flex Lunar, $370

On the other hand, if you need a sleek and lightweight model for city living, the YOYO+ ($500) is about as tiny and light as it gets, but still has all the oomph and features you need for an everyday stroller. If you need a bargain stroller that’s still city-friendly, the $79 Summer Infant 3D Lite is a great choice — and has a carrying strap that makes it easy to tote.

The Summer Infant 3D Lite

If you have a big ol’ ground floor garage, mudroom, or giant closet where you can roll a stroller in for easy storage, feel free to pick whatever model you like. On the other hand, if you need the stroller to stay in a tiny closet or in your car’s trunk, you’ll need to get a stroller that folds small enough to go wherever you need it to go.

If you have to store your stroller in a place where it might get knocked around a bit, like an alcove or a high-traffic area of your house, consider looking for a stroller that stands securely by itself when folded.

The Chicco Bravo, $230, is known for having an easy fold and stands up when folded.

It’s not easy to pick the perfect stroller — but we hope we helped narrow the field a little.

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