Stroller Picks for City Dwellers
Choosing a stroller is one of the toughest, most important decisions parents have to make. It's right up there with picking baby names, god parents, and college savings plans.
With hundreds of selections available, things can get pretty overwhelming. The key is to finding out what your specific needs are, then search accordingly. This guide is for city dwellers who maneuver through busy streets and sidewalks, go up and down subway and building stairs, and don't drive a car.
What to Look For
- Lightweight – Visit any website that sells baby gear, and you're faced with the same stroller categories: full-size travel systems, lightweight, jogging, and double or triple versions. Make a beeline for the lightweight section and ignore the rest (unless you have twins or more than one kid, which we'll discuss in a bit).
You need your stroller to be lightweight. You're going to be pushing, opening, closing, lifting, and storing it more than twice a day, so it better be as close to featherweight as possible. If you buy the 40-pound behemoth and all its accessories, you will: A. Hurt yourself, B. Be a nuisance wherever you go, C. Never use it, D. Waste thousands of dollars, E. All of the above.
- Under 20 pounds is great (under 15 is even better) because elevators break and curbs need to be popped.
- Maneuverable – Even more important than weight is maneuverability. Sure, it weighs 6 pounds, but if you're schlepping it around with great effort because the plastic wheels have locked, then it's useless.
Key features to look out for are one-handed steering and wheel suspension. You need to be able to turn on a dime in order to weave through a busy crowd. You want wheels that can take you from smooth concrete to cobblestone and grass without a sweat, suspension and shock absorption to give your baby a smooth ride, and something that pivots into a narrow doorway with one hand while you're holding the door open with the other.
- Easy fold – For those who take buses or subways, you'll want something that closes with one hand, has a carrying strap, and/or can stand on its own. It's hard to juggle carrying a baby while performing a complicated stroller-fold-dance.
- Ample storage – If you're car-less, then you need the Mary Poppins bag of stroller baskets. It's going to lug around your diaper bag, toys, groceries, shopping bags, and miscellaneous things that normally go in car trunks.
Our Stroller Picks
Maclaren is the top purveyor of lightweight, umbrella strollers. This year, they added the Mark II to their lineup. It boasts all-wheel suspension, a large storage basket, and weighs a mere 7.4 pounds. This is the trifecta of the ultimate stroller, assuming you don't need a recline feature.
The UPPAbaby G-Luxe claims to be the best reclining umbrella stroller. It weighs a little over 13 pounds, offers an adjustable footrest in addition to the recline (perfect for little nappers!), a canopy with an extendable SPF 50 sunshade, comes with a cup holder, stands on its own when folded, and has a carrying strap. It comes in lovely, vibrant colors. The UPPAbaby G-Lite is similar, minus the recline, and weighs only 10 lbs.
This stroller is exceedingly popular among city dwellers. It's not the lightest at 16.8 pounds, but it has the features of a full-sized stroller. Its three large wheels with excellent suspension make it highly maneuverable and a dream to push on any terrain. It has the largest canopy out of any stroller, and has peekaboo windows to see your baby. What sets it apart from other strollers is Baby Jogger's convenient, trademark one-handed fold.
This is a luxury product and you can really see the attention put into every detail. The materials and fabric are all top-quality and very durable. The ride is exceptionally smooth, with 4-wheel independent suspension. The stroller is suitable from birth to toddler, with its flat recline, reversible seat, and optional bassinet (although it's still useable without one.) Handlebars and backrest are height adjustable, and the seat is extendable. This stroller is fully customizable – you can choose different colors for the chassis, canopy, seat, and bassinet fabrics.
Buggy Boards and Baby Carriers
Got two kids but don't want a bulky double or tandem stroller? It can be done! Two very young babies? Use a fully reclining stroller + baby carrier. One baby and one toddler or a young kid? Stroller + a buggy board allow the older child to walk around, and hop on when they're tired.
Stroller companies such as Bugaboo, Orbit Baby, Stokke, Britax, Baby Jogger, and UPPAbaby make buggy boards that work specifically with their strollers.
A smart choice is the Lascal Buggy Board, which is a universal buggy board that attaches to almost all strollers. It comes in a Maxi and Mini model. Simply buy extra connectors if you have multiple strollers, and you can use the same board with each one.
A fun option is the Mountain Buggy Freerider stroller board. It’s a kids' scooter that can be attached to most strollers (Mountain Buggy, Phil & Ted's, BOB, Bugaboo), and can be detached and used on its own!
Are you raising kids in the city? Have you found your perfect, lightweight stroller? Share your product recommendations with us!
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