She Says… Certified Stroller Stalker

Hi, my name is Kate and I have an addiction. I’m addicted to strollers. I know full well that we are at least 5 months from needing a stroller ourselves, but what can I say? I am a hopeless over-researcher, and now that I am not Googling infertility stuff all day, I have moved on to researching baby products. Specifically, strollers.

In the past, I ogled strollers for the tiny little drooling creatures within them. I didn’t really notice the strollers themselves. But now? Now I give a quick glance to the baby and then stealthily try to eyeball the brand name of the stroller without looking like a total creeper. I notice styling and fabric and wheels, the age of the baby within and the angle at which they are sitting, the accessories like a cup holder and basket for holding stuff, etc. I mentally take note of the name and head straight home to Google to my heart’s content. Reviews, best price, details about the company and where/how the product is made. Seriously, everything. I’m building my own little stroller encyclopedia.

Recently a close friend and mom of 2 sent me a book that she found invaluable for her as a new mom: Baby Bargains. It is an incredible resource that reviews and compares various brands in everything from maternity clothes to rockers to strollers to baby food. They give you websites for purchasing each item, and websites for finding the best deals. As soon as I received it, I skipped ahead to the stroller section. And although I’ve been stroller stalking for a few months now, I had NO IDEA how much I had to learn about strollers. There are umbrella strollers, carriage strollers, lightweight strollers, jogging/sport strollers, all-terrain strollers, and travel systems. There are features like reclining seats, napper bars, seat padding, shock absorbers, and weather protection. There are add-ons and accessories like storage baskets, removable seat cushions, lockable wheels, various wheel sizes and options for steering. While all of this info may have overwhelmed some people, I ate it up. I was in stroller info heaven.

The only problem is — I’m a huge design snob. There is a large part of me that doesn’t give a hoot if the big, unwieldy, plastic stroller with pink butterflies all over it is the most economical and still quite safe; I just won’t be happy pushing it around town. I go everywhere on foot. I walk to work, take the subway into the city, walk my dog twice a day. I am always outside and always on my feet. While we will be purchasing another car for our family once the baby comes, I still expect that the baby and I will spend a LOT of time outside together, and a LOT of time with our stroller. So this is a very important decision. And, snob or not, I have to be happy pushing it around.

So without further ado, here are my top picks of the moment. Keep in mind that this is without having stepped foot in a store to test any of these strollers or look at options beyond what I’ve Googled. We still have along way to go, but these are the front-runners so far.

#1 - Uppa Baby Vista

#2 - Quinny Buzz

#3 - Peg Perego Skate Elite

#4 - Mutsy 4Rider Light

Thoughts? If you have a stroller, what kind is it? What do you like/not like about it? If you don’t have one, which do you like based on picture alone (hee hee, it’s like choosing a wine bottle based on the label!)?

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30 responses to “She Says… Certified Stroller Stalker

  1. I’ve heard from people that they don’t really use the carriage part of the stroller – costs a lot and not really used!

  2. Drool.

    I bought the Peg Perego Skate back in December before we were even pregnant, because I found a great deal on Craigslist and it was in the discontinued green bubbles fabric that I love.

    Some things about the Skate– it’s big and it’s heavy. Now, the Elite that you are looking at is newer than the model I have and I think they made the newer models about 10 lbs lighter! so you may be ok there.

    The wheels are awesome and the ride is smooth– I can totally see myself pushing this around the park or out shopping. PP mentioned that most people don’t use the carriage part and I could see that being true– mostly because these strollers all allow you to snap in a car seat, BUT I totally plan on trying it, especially for longer outings, like when we go to outdoor festivals or see movies in the park, etc.

    The thing I love about the Skate is that it’s all one piece that converts from the carriage to the older child’s seat. Strollers like the Uppa Baby (which I’ve heard is awesome) and the Bugaboo, both have separate bassinets that you have to snap into the frame. I like that the Skate doesn’t have “extra” parts.

    The only problem I see with the Skate is that I would NEVER try to travel with it. I think its size & weight would be a nightmare. So, we’ll be purchasing a light weight Peg Perego umbrella stroller (Probably the PlikoP3) in the same pattern as our Skate and our car seat.

    Good luck picking one– I’m a total snob about it, too, so I totally understand. πŸ™‚

  3. Oh, I would be laughing out loud if I weren’t sitting at my desk in my very quiet cubicle farm…because this is totally me, and has been for the past 6 months or so. My husband and I also check out people’s set-ups for traveling with babies whenever we travel. We feel like stalkers. Also, Baby Bargains is the best $12 I’ve spent.

    Anywho…I lusted after the Uppababy Vista for a while, but just couldn’t justify the price. We got lots of advice, including unsolicited advice from other moms at Babies R Us, and decided to go with the snap-n-go stroller frame that holds the infant car seat for the first few months. Then we’re getting the Baby Jogger City Mini as our main stroller after that. We “test drove” it, and loved it. It’s lightweight, and the easiest fold you can find–you just grab a handle, pick it up, and it’s folded.

    I’ve got a month to go though, so haven’t used any of these!

  4. You crack me up. I like #1 and #3. And I always choose my wine by the label.

  5. We have a Phil & Ted’s Sport (midline, they have more expensive ones as well!). I love the versatility of it, it pushes like BUTTER, and folds nicely. They have a pretty nice website, but definitely do some web searching for the best price! I use it for shopping, jogging, walking- pretty much everything. πŸ™‚ Good luck, it feels like such a big purchase, but trust me- we started out with a travel system and HATED IT! Get something you like from the start and save the hassle!

  6. I can’t really say anything about the strollers you have picked other than to make sure and test drive each one before making a choice. You don’t want to end up with a hard-to-turn stroller or one that doesn’t fold up well and takes up your whole car trunk.

    Right now our main, and double, stroller is the Phil & Teds with doubles attachment. We didn’t ever use this with our car seat as it wasn’t compatible, but if you know you will be having another baby down the road, I would for sure check this out. That it goes from a single to a double and back again with just a click of a seat is priceless to me. And that it folds smaller than our full size stroller and handles very well just make it even greater. I wish I had known about this with our first child and saved some money along the way.
    Just another stroller to go and stalk πŸ™‚

  7. I have no idea about strollers, but #2 and #3 look like the baby would fall out of them with that angle.

  8. i need to stop reading your blog!!! it makes me want to have a baby so badly. i love strollers. πŸ™‚ are you going to get a jogging stroller?

  9. I just had a baby and live in an urban area (hoboken,next to nyc) which is something you need to account for. We also drive so we have two strollers. The baby jogger city mini for travel (it is soooo easy to fold) and the uppaaby vista for regular stroller walks around our city. The city mini is great but it can’t handle the sidewalks for extended periods of time and the baby flops around (not good!). Strollers are CONFUSING!!!!

  10. Like others mentioned, the Phil and Ted’s and Baby Jogger brands are worth looking at. I am a nanny and have used just about every stroller out there and Baby Jogger is one of my absolute favorites for day to day use.

    One thing you should definitely look at in conjunction with this purchase is the car seat you are going to choose. For example the Quinny Buzz only works with one (Maxi Cosi Mico) and that seat only holds babies up to the weight of 22 pounds, which if you have a big baby will not get you very far, at which point you will have spent $170 on a seat for 4 months.

    You can get a different bucket seat (some hold up to 35 pounds) and a stroller that it works with or you can get a stroller that can be used from birth such as one with a bassinet (and get whatever car seat you want be it a bucket or convertible that works from birth like a Sunshine Kids Radian–and even though many convertibles say from 5 pounds up, often newborns aren’t quite tall enough but that one in particular is almost always a good fit.)

    I know it is a ton to consider, it is amazing how much goes into just a stroller purchase! I also encourage you to try pushing strollers on real pavement too if you can, with some you can feel every bump in the pavement and forget snow and ice…

  11. When our daughter was an newborn/under than 6 month infant, we used the Snap-n-Go stroller that we would place our Chico car seat into easily. The frame is really light, easy to maneuver in and out of a car (or house), and it is simple to attach/remove the car seat. The only downside is that it hard to use on the sidewalks in the Boston area. You never really notice how uneven the cement/sidewalks are until you are pushing a stroller. It would get stuck a lot, but, still, for her early months, it was perfect and very affordable. I think the Snap-n-Go is around $50 and we didn’t want to spend more than that on something that was so time-limited.

    Then, we got a jogging stroller to run with and to also use whenever we walked her. We are massively in love with our jogging stroller – the BOB Ironman Sport Utility jogging stroller. We really cannot say enough good things about it. It is definitely more bulky, but you do not even notice ANY bumps in the sidewalk with it. Juliet also loves it and it great for running or just a random walk to the store.

    Now that we are going to have two children who are around 17 months apart, we have basically decided to forgo an early stroller and will just use a baby carrier until the infant can go into a big stroller (when he can sit up) and then we will get a double stroller. We are so sad to have to give up our single BOB jogger.

    Also — Baby Bargains is the best book ever. My husband carried it everywhere when I was pregnant with Juliet and I have definitely found him wandering around our house/stores with it in the past couple of weeks.

  12. Ahh, clearly you’ve been wine shopping with me before!!

    I’m a fan of #2, the Quinny Buzz because of the way the wheels are triangulated. But just remember that it’s ultimately what feels best for you all (not what looks pretty to me, ha!!).

  13. Like one of the PPs, we use a car seat adapter (Graco). It has been a LIFESAVER! I don’t know how I’d run errands without it! But I live in an area where you drive everywhere. It’s not great for taking long walks because it has virtually no suspension. We just bought a Baby Trend Expedition Deluxe and plan to use that for walks/jogs once the weather gets nicer. I can’t wait until winter is over so I can start taking walks again!

    PS – My son was colicky, and stroller walks were literally my lifesaver for the first 2 months of his life. I have many hazy memories of going for 6:30 a.m. walks to Starbucks for coffee while on maternity leave.

  14. love it! do you think you will get a jogging stroller as well? i’m kind of on the fence about those things. on the one hand, i definitely want to be one of those moms that runs with her baby, but on the other hand, they are a little large/obnoxious (though maybe i just haven’t stroller stalked enough to find a stylish model!).

  15. Wow! Thank you all so much! So many great comments and suggestions.

    Nellie, I have seen this comment as well, but I think that is generally because a lot of people are using their strollers from their car, so it’s easier just to snap a car seat in. I see us using the stroller right from our house for long walks on uneven sidewalks, so I think a bassinet top may actually be useful for us, since most infants can’t sit upright for the first few months.

    Stef, Your post about buying the Peg Perego before you were even pregnant was one of the funniest things I’ve read. I love that you did that. A woman who knows what she wants! I’m also really glad to hear your comments about it. The big/heavy thing is definitely something to consider. I wonder if the one-piece thing contributes to the weight and bulk? Perhaps the snap-in bassinet tops make it lighter. Not sure… I’ll have to check that out once I go shopping. I’m so glad to hear you still love what you bought!

    Sue, I’m glad I’m not alone πŸ™‚ I know, unfortunately I’ve fallen in love with all the expensive strollers! I didn’t even allow myself to put the Bugaboo on the list because it is just outrageous, and it doesn’t even come with most of the “extras” like the bassinet top like the others I listed do — you have to buy them separately which adds a lot to the cost. I’ve also heard from people who got the snap-n-go for the first few months… I wonder about how smooth the ride will be on the bumpy Boston sidewalks. I guess I have to go test drive!

    Karley, Thanks! And ditto πŸ™‚

    Mary and Christina, Oooh, thanks for the rec! I’ve heard of Phil & Ted’s (and I believe Baby Bargains ranks them pretty high), but I haven’t had a chance to see them in person. Will definitely stalk now.

    Low Fat Lady, I know, right? The designs are very unique. I think most of this style come with a bassinet (or allow a clip-in carseat) because infants can’t sit up straight enough to sit in the seat for the first few months.

    Tami, Looks great! I will definitely add it to the list when we get to that point.

    caitlin, Ha! Sorry πŸ™‚ I know, it’s so easy to drool over the stuff that goes along with having a baby! I think somewhere down the line we will get a jogging stroller, but most joggers are not suitable for infants (since they often have three wheels and jostle the baby around quite a bit), so I think we’ll wait on that purchase and see what we really need. Also, I do most of my running at the gym (I’m a huge baby about being too hot, too cold, etc.), and the vet said it’s not great to run our dog too much, so it may be that I will spend my time walking with the baby/dog, and running at the gym. Not sure yet.

    Robin, Yes! That’s exactly what I think we’ll do — the UppaBaby or something similar for our long walks/errands, and a lightweight one for car trips and traveling. So glad that has worked for you! And yes, THEY ARE.

    Nicole N., Thank you! You sure know your strollers πŸ™‚ Want to be our nanny? Yes, the carseat issue complicates the stroller choice even more… currently I’m thinking we’ll get a nice stroller with bassinet option and maybe a light frame to clip the carseat into. And somewhere in the future maybe we will get another umbrella stroller (perhaps a double when we’re on to kid #2!). Thanks again, your advice is great!

    perrack, Great to know what worked for you. We have friends with a BOB and they love theirs too. Something else to consider! I do worry about the snap-n-go on the sidewalks since we will be walking outside so often in the New England weather, but it certainly is an economical and practical choice.

    Sarah, πŸ™‚ Yep, wine labels get me every time. Apparently so does sleek stroller design.

    Alison, Good to know, I might be spending even more time with this stroller than I realize!

    haya, See my answer to Caitlin re: a jogging stroller. I agree that they are often big and obnoxious… but if it gets me to go for a run and take the baby with me, it’s worth every penny!

  16. I had NO idea about any thing “baby” until my SIL got pregnant last year–the choices and options AMAZE ME! As an avid googler myself…I really had to restrain myself from googling all of the options you listed above–since i’m not pregnant with no plans for it in the next year or two!
    So…based on looks alone I like number 1 and number 3.

  17. We have two strollers, although honestly? We bought one – it’s a Kolcraft that swivels so the baby could face us – and we won another on a blog giveaway – it’s the Micralite Toro.

    First, and above all, honestly? We’ve used the stroller MAYBE, maybe, a dozen times. Maybe. If that. I doubt we’ve used it that often. It is so much easier to wear Charlotte in the wrap or a sling than it is to unfold a bulky stroller – and she sleeps better against me (and I can kiss her more easily – sigh) than when she was in a car-seat. But she was never like those angelic sleeping babies you see in car-seats, she’s always been a car-seat hater lol.

    Of the two, though, if I had to pick, I’d say the Micralite is a far superior stroller. We’ve only used the Kolcraft once and I don’t think we’ll ever use it again. We’ll probably donate it in another month or two lol. The Micralite is sturdier, easier to navigate, and easier to push. Also, it has this warm insulating thing that can cover her feet, which is so cool because that way she doesn’t get as cold.

  18. I just ordered the Uppababy Vista 2010 in Maya, the limited edition yellow color. I did test drive it at a baby boutique in town and let me say it handles really well. I also have a few friends with Vistas that assure me that they handle great even with a kiddo in tow.

  19. I’m not even going to be pregnant for a few years and I research strollers! Haha is that weird?

    Friends of ours have a Quinny, which I’ve used when babysitting, and it’s great. When you check them out in the store, see if you can close it up with one hand – test how light it is. It’s also awesome to have the carseat snap right in to the base. I’ve also heard that people buy the bassinet attachment, and they never use it. Just an FYI. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you pick!

  20. Have you thought about baby carriers too? I thought we’d use our stroller a ton, but it’s hardly gotten any use. our carriers are practically worn out though.

  21. You are such a cute addict!!!

  22. I’m strongly considering the 2010 uppavista. Just wish that I could find a really great coupon/deal . . .

  23. slowmiles, Ha! Yes, I know that feeling. Thanks for your vote… I think I agree.

    Sarah, Great points about a carrier or sling instead of a stroller. I plan to use both (we’ll see, of course, which the baby prefers!). Since the baby will be born in August, I do wonder about getting all hot and sweaty under a carrier. In hot weather I can see the advantage (for both of us) of being able to put him/her down for awhile. In addition, if we’re running errands or I’m on my way to work, I often have a lot of “stuff” (gym bag, computer bag, purse, lunch, etc. I’m a total bag lady), so I like the idea of being able to stash my bags under the baby’s seat as we stroll. But, as you said, a carrier keeps the baby within kissing distance which is a huge plus! We’ll definitely be getting a Bjorn or something similar, as well as a sling, and I’m open to all options.

    S1B, Yay! I’m so glad you found the UppaBaby easy to maneuver and good enough to purchase. It’s very quickly becoming my #1 pick. In fact, I may just be in love (and that yellow color is great!). Good pick πŸ™‚

    Lisa, Good call on the closing with one hand. I imagine I’m going to have to learn how to do a lot of things with one hand soon! Oh, and stroller stalking before you get pregnant is TOTALLY acceptable in my book. Totally.

    crystal, Ah, another vote for baby wearing/carrying. See my answer to Sarah above.

    Courtney F, Why thank you! It’s not such a bad addiction, I must say.

    jones, Good to hear! You have a great eye for design/art, so I’m glad we’re eyeing the same stroller. I hear you on the coupon… it is a bit pricey. I keep telling myself it’s a deal because of all the “extras” it comes with. And it kind of is, considering other comparable strollers. But still, it’s a pretty penny.

  24. I’ve been obsessing over this too πŸ™‚ It’s so confusing!! I’m leaning towards the bugaboo, I’m with you and a sucker for appearance. I do a ton of walking (5-10 miles each weekend day most of the time), so I want one that handles really well in NYC. Also I’m going to use the bassinet feature for her to sleep in the first few months in our bedroom, it’s the only one that’s really meant for that. Also my hubby is over 6’0″ so the adjustable handlebar is incredibly necessary since he’s half a foot taller than me! We’re going to get a lightweight maclaren for subways/buses/travel. And then I’m getting the infant graco snugfit that will fit into the bugaboo. Why do these tiny little babies need so much stuff?! πŸ™‚

  25. omg ur so sweet u bring me to tears! ur going to be such a great mommy…my husbands name is Benjamin too! aren’t they the greatest. You are making me so excited about having babies! im only 22 so we have lots of time, but your so precious!!!:D the first stroller is my favourite one:D congrats on the baby….is it kicking yet? what names do you have picked out? do you want to know the sex of the baby?

  26. i’m a little late on the uptake, but we have a BOB Revolution. i will admit that i chose it after walking through the southport area of chicago and seeing all of the trendy moms with their BOBs. i wanted to be trendy, too! someone gave us a snap-n-go before i had lydia, and i refused to use it. i am a snob. πŸ™‚

    i will say this: lydia weighed 22 lbs. at 6 months and is almost 26 now at close to a year. make sure the weight limits are realistic. from there, really, get the one that you think is the cutest!

  27. This is a total description of me!!! I am a stroller-stalker to the max! haha whenever I go out I am always checking out what other parents are using, an personally ive owned more than 20 strollers an my son is only 19 mths!!! Ive had Bugaboos, Maclarens, Bobs, Baby Joggers an sooo many more! I will say though my current one an ONLY one I will ever use from now on is my Orbit Baby G2 Stroller!!!! I LOVE this thing, it is so well made an absolutely beautiful to look at an push, the only down side is its very expensive it was hard forking over $1000 for it but its so worth every penny. It gets so much attention no one even pays attention to the fact there is a baby in there lol. If you want a stroller to last FOREVER an something very easy to store an fit in an truck the Orbit Baby G2 Stroller is for you!!!! Happy Stroller Shopping πŸ™‚

  28. I own the Peg Skate. I saw some people saying that people do not use the pram part of the stroller. I think that is completely untrue. If you have the room in your car, then it is very useful when you are going to be out a full day or even when going for a walk. My son hates his infant seat so much, and loves the pram. It was well worth the money!!! I for one LOVE IT!!

  29. this is so funny !!! my name is kate also!!! just like you iam obssesed with strollers!! im 6 months preg!! and today i finnally got my stroller!! the green quinny you posted !!

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