After being in Mom’s womb for 9 months, the younger ones need a safe & secure place right from the time they come out. While there is no replacement for Mom’s tummy, now the baby has to get something to be most secure and safe while they get out and move along in this world. Many parents hold their babies on their shoulders close to heart. However, the baby needs to be in rested & relaxed position for longer period than being on the shoulders to help their tender bones sooth. Getting a comfy, safe & secure Carrier to let them be with you but not tiering is one of the most important thing for either the Mom/Dad.
Back in the old days, there used to be provisions to carry your baby bed, bassinet or pram placed securely on a set of wheels just like other vehicles, but are moved by pushing these without hurting the baby. These vehicles were called with multiple names like Push Cars, Baby Carriages, Baby Buggy, Prams, etc., which are now commonly termed ‘Baby Strollers’. With advancement in technology, these vehicles are now available in various fashions to suite the needs for all the parents. Be it a Regular Jogger Or a Frequent Traveller Or just a seldom shopper Or just a sprinter, you have specific model from many manufactures to meet your taste. Its now left on us to decide and choose what we need from the vast variety of options available.
Strollers were first developed in early 1733 by William Kent and were meant to be pulled by Goat or Small Pony. Source: Wikipedia
Being a New Parent Or even for an experienced parent, it is not an easy task to keep up with the latest trends around the world or to know about each & every product that you need before hand. Yet times, you may even find it hard to know the basic features of a product before you buy them. That’s when you need a helping hand to let you know ‘What are the Basic Features’ of a product and ‘What more you can expect’ from a product. Getting to know everything might not be sounding possible, but knowing what’s available can at least help you to some extent. This is our little effort to help you in being able to consolidate the information related to Baby Strollers, hope this can help you understand some basics and help you while taking a decision.
In this article, we tried jot down information related to Basic Features that you can expect in Baby Strollers. All the features might not be applicable for every stroller available in the market. Features typically vary based on the model of the stroller and specific intent of the stroller. Eg., Suspension System is needed, but it is more applicable needed for a Jogging Stroller than a regular Lightweight or Umbrella Stroller. So keep reading further to know more about these basics. Make sure you check the manufacturers recommendations for exact age restrictions.
Types of Strollersback to menu ↑
Big brother among various stroller types. These types of strollers are also called Traditional Strollers, Full Size Strollers. Standard Strollers are generally available with a set of all the features that you could think of and would be in need of. These kind of strollers are little bit bigger, yet comfortable for the baby. They mostly contain all features & provide ability to expand and customize as per our needs. Some of these strollers have a fully reclinable seat which can take an infant easily and few others offer ability to fix a bassinet Or Infant Car Seat with help of an adapter and get converted as a Travel System. Lifespan of these strollers is generally longer since you can use these right from the birth and till the baby do not need a stroller. These generally make a Great All Purpose Stroller and mostly available for usage in all terrains.
Why to Choose?
- Nothing to look back.
- Have all the space to carry your needs.
- Easy to use.
- All features like Sunshades, Easy Folding mechanism, Linked Parking Bakes, Multi position reclining seats, etc.,
- Bit heavy.
- Can be costly.
- May have more than what you need yet times, May not be useable with out Infant Car seat.
Best Sellers:back to menu ↑
These strollers are relatively lighter in overall weight of the stroller when compared to any other models. Many a times, these are also considered as Umbrella Strollers. They generally are usable for kids who are able to sit by them self or can hold their head up since most of the seats are not flat reclinable. These days’ strollers do come with ability to accept Infant Car Seats. If you get such a stroller, then you can use this one right from the birth else, suggested at least after 6 months.These strollers typically come with features like Easy Maneuverability, Expandable Canopy, Accessible Storage Space, that generally cab be helpful in immediate need during a vacation trip or shopping mall visit or an evening walk. The typical Umbrella strollers have a handle shape similar to an umbrella (reverse ‘J’) and are most preferred strollers for any travel Or as a Stand by stroller that can always have space in car. They occupy very less space.
Why to Choose?
- Easy to carry
- Relatively cheaper
- Easy maintenance
- Multiple Options to choose from. When chosen correct, these can be your last stroller.
- Many not have all the options you need at all times.
- Not customizable and not durable for longer period.
- Cheaper the product is, shorter the lifespan.
back to menu ↑
These strollers allow you stroll your 2 kids at the same time in the same stroller instead of having 2 different individual strollers. They generally are available either in Side-By-Side configuration or in Tandem configuration. Even though they are side by side, they fit through most of the standard door ways. These strollers generally range from basic model to premium models and are available with all kinds of features that you need like Large Storage Space, Dual canopies that can work independently, etc., Be sure to check the compatibility of both the infant car seats, while choosing these because, most of the side-by-sides do not allow 2 Infant car seats at the same time. In such case, you either can prefer tandem model or can also try Stroller Frames (only if you wish to use this for the period of infant car seat). Side-By-Side strollers work perfect for kids with lesser age difference.
Why to Choose?
- Great for kids to be engaged
- Easy to use & maintain
- Occupies lesser space than 2 individual strollers
- If age difference is more, you may not be able to choose side by side
- Tandems generally lack good leg room for rear seat.
- You may not be able to fit both the infant car seats in majority of the models.
- Bit costly.
**Not all Side-By-Side Double Strollers would accept 2 Infant Car Seats the same time.
Best Sellers :
- Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger Stroller
- Baby Jogger City Select with 2nd Seat
- Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller
back to menu ↑
Jogging Strollers are designed to help active parents to continue their physical routine with their baby always with them. Their unique design lets you take control of the stroller easily while you continue to burn your calories towards run or jog. These strollers come with aerodynamic design to let air currents pass through and have less resistant. These strollers come with decent suspension system installed either wheels or under the seat. They generally have air filled bicycle styled tires to allow easy and smoother running. They are typically lighter and does come with features like Lockable Front wheel (it is important to have them locked during running), Suspension, Hand Brake to control the speed, extended canopy, etc.
Why to Choose?
- Good for Active parents.
- Most of these models can be re-used for regular strolling as well.
- If using for regular strolling, you may feel discomfort for certain models due to their size
- Do not have compact folding
Consultation with pediatrician is most recommended before starting to use these strollers.
- BOB 2016 Revolution Flex Jogging Stroller
- Baby Jogger Citi Mini Stroller
- Graco Fastaction Fold Jogging Stroller
back to menu ↑
Travel Systems are a bundled package with a compatible Infant Car Seat. These are just like Standard Strollers, but are available with an extra add on. With Standard Strollers, you need to get an Infant Car seat that is compatible with the stroller. But with Travel Systems, this issue is no more, they come as a single package and with all other stuff that are needed. They are great choice if you pick them right. Car Seat safety is key factor while choosing these kind of strollers. If you already have in Infant Car seat, then getting these kind of strollers may not be a good choice. If you don’t have much time to research and buy stroller, a compatible infant car seat, an adapter or seat base and all these things, it is easy to get this package.
Why to Choose?
- Able to get all at once. No need to worry about any compatibilities
- Available with many features just like Standard Strollers.
- Great to start right from birth.
- Generally lack the quality that you expect
- You may need to compromise on the seat weight, which causes issue in the initial days post pregnancy.
- Graco Aire3 Click Connect Travel System
- Baby Trend Ez Ride 5 Travel System
- Britax B-Agile 3/B-Safe 35 Travel System
back to menu ↑
Stroller Frames also known as ‘Infant Car Seat Carriers’. These are just like skeleton of a stroller. They just have a frame that can accept Infant Car Seats directly into the frame. These frames are available either with single seat or double seat and are mostly compatible with any Infant Car Seats. You may need to spend a little more to get an adapter if a particular frame is not compatible with all models. Using these strollers, you can ride 2 Infant Car seats at the same time unlike the Double Strollers. Few of the models allow you to customize your seating positions in multiple ways. These frames do not have longer usage period and are expected to be put aside once the baby outgrown the car seat. On the other hand, they are great for parents who are looking for lightest possible stroller.
Why to Choose?
- Most lightweight option.
- Compatible with major infant car seats
- Lesser lifetime to use this stroller.
- Do not come with all features and not secure enough.
back to menu ↑
How to choose a Stroller?
Don’t rush on getting a stroller because it looks good & fancy or cheap. Consider using the stroller in the store for some time. Try to explore the features, ask the store keeper for a demonstration, if your baby is not yet ready and you are being prepared, get a small toy to understand how well you can control with baby in one hand, make sure your spouse is comfortable as well, walk in the store to know if there is enough legroom.
Strollers average usage varies from 4yrs to 7 yrs based on the purpose of the trip. If it is for a long vacation trip, even older kids are pushed in Umbrella Strollers. So, be sure to choose the right one to meet all your needs for this long period. Many parents try to get 2 strollers one acting as a Primary and other one Secondary & available all time either in the car trunk or handy. In either cases, make sure you consider below points before you finalize the stroller.
Usage – What is the basic use of this stroller? It might sound funny, depending on your answer like as a Primary Stroller or as a Secondary Stroller, your choice may differ a lot. Where is this being used? City limits, sub-urbans, for regular walk?, for shopping? Mostly used In-side or Outside? If you are planing to use this stroller for shopping, regular walk, you may be ok to consider a lightweight stroller. If you plan to walk on rough terrains, you may need to consider Hard Rubber or Air Filled Tires over Smooth plastic tires.
Space – How much storage space you have Vs How much you need while you are on the move. Have a bigger car or smaller apt? Many premium models have a compact fold. If you have a concern on your storage or carrying space, you may need to spend little more to get over this.
Weight – Obvisouly one would look for a light weight, however, ready to compromise on weight if more features are available? If you don’t need to worry about carrying the stroller (when getting it into car or taking out of your house), you can get a decent Standard Stroller with all the cushions.
Age – What is the age of your baby for whom this stroller is being looked for? Make sure you check the age restrictions or limitations as suggest by the manufacturer and adhere to them.
# of Children – Is this being considered for 1st baby? Or 2nd? If 2nd, wish to use a single stroller for both or 2 separate to share the responsibilities? What is the age gap between the children. You need a Sit & Stand type or 2 Sitting models are ok? Not all the double strollers accept 2 Infant Car seats, to you need to check on such factors. Few strollers give you an option to extend them as Sit & Stand models. Strollers like Baby Jogger City Select, can expand from Single to Triple (while Triple is only for standing position) with external accessories.
Budget Vs Style – Want this stroller under the budget with decent style or are you a style lover? Make sure you plan well advance and look out for deals. All major retailers have good deals yet times and make use of coupons and these special deals to suite your style with in your budget. Else, you may end up going beyond your budget limits.
Read Reviews – Make sure you read reviews from websites like this or any other relevant websites. Check reviews on the retailers websites. Check for Recalled products list before you finalize your stroller. Know the basic features and specialities, comparisons of one over the other.
back to menu ↑
While there are many features that new stroller types are coming with, below is a generic and basic list of features that you need to look for in most of the strollers. Few of these features may be limited to the specific types of strollers. You can also read more about the need for these features based on the type of the strollers here. Terminologies used in this many not be standard terminology, we have shorten them to ease the understanding.
Handle/Handlebar: It is one of the most important part of the stroller to be considered since this is the main part you use to control and push your stroller. Look out for various options that can help you and provide more comfort during the ride. Options to look for include,
- Adjustable Height – Some can be adjusted in line, called Telescopic Handlebar, Some can be adjusted pivotable. Check the gallery below for examples.
- Foam padded Handlebar – To provide more comfort during the ride and reduce the pressure.
- Ergonomic shaped Handlebar – To help you have a better control and less impact to your body.
- Handlebars with storage – Some handle bars contain storage space for keys, mobiles, etc., & Cup holders which are also called parent trays. If you don’t find these in your chosen stroller, you can easily cover it by getting external storage units as well.
Click on the images
Harness: A 5-Point Harness system would be an ideal option for any kind of strollers. Few of the strollers are also available with 3-Point Harness System. Though it is ideal to pick a stroller with 5-Point Harness, you can be OK for 3-Point if you are choosing this stroller for elder kids. But, for Jogging Strollers, always prefer a 5-Point. Considering the fact that these are meant for typical movement, it is safe to use only a 5-point system. This would allow your child to be secured to the seat while you run through rough terrains and steep hills/pathways. This systems allows you to secure your baby over the shoulders along with lap straps which let the baby not to jump out or be in any unsafe position. While most of the joggers have this safety harness, It is advised to get an external 5-point harness if your stroller is missing one. You can also get a well-padded harness system to provide more cushion during the ride.
Click on the image to see Harness System in action
Brakes: Brake system is ideally created and mostly available only during Parking the stroller. These should not be mistaken as regular brakes for other kind of vehicles. Very few (among Jogging) strollers have a brake system that can get the stroller into halting position or slow down on a steep road. These Brake systems are available in multiple ways,
- Foot Operated Linked Brake System – A single connecting bar goes between the 2 rear wheels and can be operated from rear center part of the stroller. Very comfortable & easy to operate.
- Foot Operated Brake System – Will have 2 controls, back of each rear wheel. Easy to operate, but experts indicate this can cause some parents to forget activating other brake and can result in improper parking of the stroller. Mostly available in all kinds of strollers.
- Hand Operated Brake System – Is mostly available in Jogging Strollers in connection to the handle bar and is used to slow down the stroller but not during parking or immediate stopping of the stroller. Few models like Baby Jogger City Select also have these but use for Parking & not for stopping the moving stroller.
- Automated Brake System – This is a very unique brake system which is available only in Phil & Ted Navigator Style stroller. This allows the stroller from moving, if you take off your hands from the stroller. Not a common option to look for.
Click on the images
Wheels / Tires: While it is possible to overlook this aspect of the stroller, it is still an important part considering the fact that you use these kind of strollers across all terrains. A larger wheel can help avoiding unnecessary wobbling and provides a smoother ride. Choosing a stroller with a Pneumatic tires makes it easier to push. They provide a great cushion for the vehicle when going over rough roads. Decent size of a larger wheel would be at a minimum of 12 inches (mostly applicable for Jogger Strollers). In summary,
- Pneumatic Tires – Mostly applicable for Jogging Strollers. Though they give more maintenance in terms of ensuring proper air pressure all time, they are must to consider if you are preferring Joggers. These tires help the stroller to be usable on All Terrain. Not common in other models.
- Hard Plastic Tires – Mostly applicable for all kinds of strollers, majorly for Umbrella Strollers. Strollers with these kinds of strollers limit the usage to smoother terrains. They get easily worn out if used in rough terrains.
- Lockable Swivel Wheels – Most of the strollers come with Front wheels Swivel feature. This helps for easy maneuverability during the pushing. However, if you have a need to walk straight for longer distance, it is good to lock the front wheels. So choose the one which has locking feature, but not only locked front wheel. While this is most commonly available in all kinds of strollers. Joggers also come with only locked front wheels, so check before you buy.
- Dual Wheels – Models like Graco provide dual front wheels or yet times dual all wheels. These kind of wheel combinations help you to achieve a better grip and form a base when the suspension system is missing. Though they provide good base, they could cause discomfort during steering of the stroller.
- Bicycle Style Tires – Applicable for Jogging Stroller specifically. Having a bigger sized wheels help easy push of the stroller during run. So, if possible check for the strollers with big Bicycle Style Front wheel and small sized wheels on the rear end.
Adjustable Seat: Seating position is one other important aspect when it comes to basic features list. If you are looking for a Standard stroller you may have a fully reclinable seats, few umbrella stroller may have only partial reclining seats, etc., Many manufactures like Kolcraft, Baby Jogger now-a-days come with unique and advance features like reversible seats (unlike reversible handlebars in the past). Check for multiple seat configurations , easy control of seat reclining, easy car seat setting up. Premium models do have small storage space made of mesh on either sides of the seat.
- Multiple Reclining Positions – A preconfigured set of positions that baby seat can recline. Even if it is fully reclinable, you can recline these in seats in steps and stop at particular angles, but these are pre determined by the manufacturer.
- Infinite Reclining Positions – These kind of seats can recline to any level and stop at any level. Unlike the preconfigured levels, they give your more control and options than the previous model. Look out of options like single hand control to be able to lock the location easily.
- Reversible Seats – These are not common in all kinds of strollers or all manufacturers. Baby Jogger Vue has got this feature which falls under Umbrella Strollers category.
- Multi Seat Configurations – These are not for a stroller seat, but if you are preferring a Double Stroller Frame Or a Double Tandem Stroller, look out for options on how many configurations are possible. Strollers like Baby Jogger City Select allows 16 different configurations & Joovy Twin Roo+ Double Stroller Frame allows 4 different configurations.
Canopy: One other feature that you should not be ignoring. In order to protect your kids from the bright sun, or a bad wind, you need to have proper covering to the stroller. Many strollers these days are available with a very quality fabric with UV 50+ protection. They provide decent protection from harmful UV rays even on a sunny day. Check out for options like,
- Expandable Canopy – Most of the canopies start small and come with an ability to expand downwards as & when needed. This can ensure that the baby is not covered un necessarily and have better visibility to his/her surroundings. These kind of canopies have a Zipper control mostly in middle of the canopy to let you expand when needed. This area is some times covered with mesh or sometimes covered with normal fabric. If you can find one with a Mesh covered Expandable Canopy (like Bugaboo Cameleon Breezy Sun Canopy), it can provide more comfort. Certain Umbrella Stroller have Locked sides on the canopy to have a better firmness.
- Removable Canopy – You may not be abel to use certain strollers if your kids grows bit taller yet times. In such cases, you may still be ok to use the stroller with out the canopy. So if this is available, it can add a little more life to your stroller.
- Ratcheting Canopy – If you like a stroller which is good, but do not have an expandable canopy, check out at least if it can ratchet? Meaning move up & down hinged to the sides of the stroller as-is. This option will help you to block the sun light/rays or wind coming straight towards the baby’s face. These kind of canopies are relatively smaller and easy to move along & adjust.
- Canopy with Sun Visor – A canopy as such can block the sun rays, but a mesh built sun visor can give more comfort to your baby, as they can enjoy the surroundings while being protected. Strollers like Summer Infant 3D have a pop out sun visor to close or open as needed.
- Canopy with Peek-A-Boo Window – Since the baby is covered with the canopy, it is hard to know what’s happening beneath the canopy for the parents. Peek-A-Boo window yet comes with a mesh or a plastic seal on top of the canopy and help parents to be abel to see everything in the stroller. Few strollers do come with 2 Peek-A-Boo windows, but 1 is most common is needed.
Car Seat Adapter & Configuration : If you prefer to get a Travel System, this is mostly taken care of the product by itself. If you want to choose a Stroller that can fit your Infant Car seat, yet times you may not find the compatible stroller right away. That’s when you can try looking for alternative options by getting a Car Seat Adapter. Most of the Infant Car Seats do fit into the standard Car Seat Adapters either in Click N Go configuration or Strap N Go mode. They are mostly not provided by the manufacturers and may need to be purchased separately. Even without a Car Seat adapter, the infant car seat can be attached to the stroller in either modes. Pick the one which has a Click N Go configuration. This helps you to snap the car seat easily than spending time on strapping the car seat.
Check out ‘All About Travel Systems‘ for a glimpse of these configurations.
Storage Space: When you are out with your baby, even it is a short trip, you need to ensure that you packed everything in the stroller or diaper bag and have these always handy. If you pick a stroller which has lesser storage space, you may end up buying a Diaper bag or external storage unit and end up carrying more load. Instead ensure that your stroller have good storage space can help you save money and efforts as well. A Standard or Full Size stroller or a Travel System generally have very large Storage space to suite you needs and this space is majorly available either below the baby seat or behind the seat some times. Be sure to check out other things like,
- All Side Accessible Storage Space – Make sure the storage unit is accessible from all sides. In general jogging strollers have lesser ability to access this under seat storage space from front side of the stroller.
- Expandable Storage Space – Few of the stroller or stroller frame like Chicco Caddy come with ability to expand your storage space a little more than it is with the help of a zipper controlled console. This might not be a common thing you can find in most of the strollers, but who knows, other manufactures may get this sooner.
- Closed Storage Space – One other unique feature that we came across during our research is ability to close/cover the storage space. This feature ideally causes more bad than good. If you close, you may be limited on the space available, and not easily able to reach out unless you halt, etc., However, we feel it to be a great feature when it comes to Jogger Strollers because the usage is limited & if you run in woods, you end up saving a lot effort on cleaning the stroller at a later time. Thule Urban Glide Sport is one such model.
Legroom (Behind the stroller): Watch out for this very carefully. This is one of the factor that could impact your usage. When we were strolling our Travel System (Baby Trend EZ Ride), it always hit the brake system commonly. As long as you get used to a stroller, this may be a hurting factor for you. Be sure to push the stroller for few minutes at least in the shop before you buy it. You can get an extension to handlebar to get over this as well. Check out ‘Strollers Accessories Guide’ to know more about this.
Expandability: Not a big thing to worry about, you may end up spending almost same amount even with expansion or buying a new one once your new one is in the world. Depending on your choice, you may consider this as a major or minor factor. If you are going to have a new baby sooner (like with lesser age different between both) you may be ok to pick a stroller like Baby Jogger City Select. These kind of strollers let you buy them as a Single Stroller now and add a second seat when needed. You may save little amount, and may be a great thing because, you need not get used to a new stroller again. Some strollers offer ability to connect an external product to enable your older on to stand and stroller with the stroller at the same time.
back to menu ↑
Extension Stroller Boards
Safety Guidelines: Most of the strollers are jpma certified and abide to the rules and regulations posed by the country laws. Be sure to check out ‘Recall Products’ list from every manufacturer’s website before you finalize the purchase. For more information on general safety information, read out article on Safety Guidelines.
Folding: One last important feature before we get to the optionals is Foldability. Almost all of the models are expected to take more space when they are folded. It is most important to understand how much space you have got at your house or in your car before finalizing the stroller. Stroller Frames generally take lesser space, but you need consider the Infant Car Seat space in to account. Next best compact is Umbrella Strollers. Rest of the strollers do take some space for sure.
While occupying space is a thing to worry, ability & Ease to Fold will be the primary concern. You can fold them in many different ways. Each manufacturer has got their own patent techniques these days & they are differing based on the models as well. These are named differently here just to make our self clear, but look out for options which says One-Hand Fold, Quick Fold. (Keep in mind, One Hand fold does not always mean only one hand, this is the reason, we named them different in here)
- One Hand Squeeze to Fold – You see a knob or level in middle of the stroller some where either in the seat or below the seat .Upon squeezing and with a pull, the stroller gets closed/folded. Example – Thule Urban Gilde
- Pull To Fold – You see a strap in middle of the stroller seat and up on pulling this strap, the stroller gets closed/folded
- 2 Step Fold – With a Tap on bottom of the stroller & a pull from front, the stroller get folded, almost one handed..
- Power Fold – 4Moms’ Origami Stroller comes with a unique concept called ‘Power Folding’ which lets the stroller fold or open automatically with a button click.
Click above images to see the folds in action.
Other Optional Features:
Below are some extra features that you may try find. Above list takes care of every basic need. This list is beyond those basic. They may just increase the cost overall, but can be purchased separate as well.
Parent Tray – To keep things handy for parent. Key holder, Mobile Holder, Cup Holder, etc.,
Snack Tray – To keep things in reach for babies. Most applicable and available for standard strollers.
Safety Strap – To keep the stroller always with in reach during running/jogging. Available/Applicable for Jogging Strollers
Carry Strap:To easily carry the stroller over the shoulder. Available & applicable for umbrella strollers.
Leg Rest – To help baby place their feet secured instead of hanging which could serious impact. Available mostly in Umbrella & Jogging Strollers.
Rain Cover – To safe guard baby from getting drenched in the rain. Few manufacturers provide this as part of their premium pricing.
Washability – No biggy, just check if the fabric is removable, washable and breathable. Check out ‘How to Maintain Baby Stroller‘
Built of the stroller – Picking an Aluminum frame can ensure light weight and easy maintenance.
Depending on the type of stroller, all of the features may not be available in all the strollers, but if you want to have a feature which is not available by default with your model or product, you can try to purchase it as a separate add on. Check out our ‘Baby Strollers Accessories Guide‘ for more information on the types of accessories available in market.
While Baby Strollers help you in being able to stroll or push your baby easily which is more comfort for you and your baby. You may also want to consider taking a look at Baby Carriers. However, these carriers are good in the early days may be until 6 months and you may still need to get a stroller after that. Read our article ‘Baby Stroller Vs Baby Carrier‘ if you wanna give a thought.