The stroller has come a long way, baby. Some are now more tricked out than cars. A new stroller might have fancy suspension, big fat wheels, clever storage spaces and even gadget attachments. But these buggies can be seriously pricey. Let’s take a stroll down baby lane to examine the options in a range of price points.
You need something lightweight and quick to fold and open. The Maclaren Volo Stroller ($99.99) from AlbeeBaby has all the essentials: rain and sun covers, a carrying strap, removable mesh seats and dual-swivel wheels. Plus, the Volo is just 8.8 pounds. Although it might not have a lot of bells and whistles, it’ll fit in your trunk with no problems, and you’ll be able to open and close it with one hand in a single bound (just like the superhero you are).
You’re an active mom, and you need to run. Take the babe with you! The Baby Jogger 2011 City Mini Single Stroller ($199.99) from Toys R Us is lightweight enough (22 pounds) to push while you jog. It’s got a nice deep hood, and the tricycle-style wheels with front-wheel suspension are good for easy maneuvering. The seat will also recline to nearly flat for when your mini-me needs to take a nap. The only downside is that there’s no cup holder, but there are several pouches to stash a bottle of water or toys if you need to.
The City Slicker
A slim build. A sleek design. And light as a feather. (OK, not really.) But when a 13.7-pound stroller can hold up to 70 pounds of baby, you’re looking at a real contender. The Aprica Presto Stroller ($169.99) from MyStrollers comes with a protective sun visor, and because the seat is situated higher than most strollers, your child will literally have room to grow. Added bonus: There’s more room for your purse and other amenities in the under-seat carrier space. The biggest drawback: You’ll need both hands to fold and unfold the stroller.
The Uptown Girl
Since the Bugaboo brand first appeared on these shores within the last decade, it seems to have reinvented the stroller. Once Americans got a taste of the reversible, collapsible, modifiable possibilities of these Dutch-made buggies, they went crazy for them. The Bugaboo Cameleon ($880), which is sold at Wayfair, is fully customizable and reversible. You can have your baby face you or face the world. When you’re traversing rugged terrain, the handlebar can switch positions to favor the larger wheels at the front. The stroller also comes with a removable bassinet as well as an under-seat bag, mosquito net and rain cover. The Cameleon is a lot of dollars, but you will be able to use it from infancy to 4 years old. Break down the price by day, and it works out to .60 cents a day. Totally worth the splurge.
The Space Cadet
A stroller costing more than $900? What does it do, hover? Well, almost. The baby stroller may have evolved a little bit from its original form factor (coming with more durable cloth material, fat wheels offering a smoother ride and compartments for all the new modern conveniences), but no one has pushed a stroller into the future the way 4moms has with the Origami ($949.98). How technologically futuristic is it? Push a button, and the entire contraption will spring open, ready for use. When you’re done using the Origami, it will then fold back in on itself (check out the Origami Stroller video). Besides that fancy magic trick, the stroller has other nice touches like glowing LED lights around the buttons and safety lights on the stroller’s legs. There’s an LCD screen that measures you how far you’ve walked and how fast you’re moving thanks to a built-in speedometer and odometer. If you invest in a few accessories, you can also use the stroller to charge your cell phone or change the buggy’s seat color to lime green, red or sky blue. Worried that you might forget something before folding the Origami back up? Don’t. The built-in sensors will lock the stroller if you’ve forgotten Lil’ Johnnie in the seat. Seriously expensive but seriously cool.
Tricia Romano is a freelance writer who lives in Seattle. She likes reading on her Kindle and writing for retailmenot.com – the online magazine of RetailMeNot, the No. 1 online coupon site in the world.
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By TRICIA ROMANO