Babble Best Picks: Strollers
One of the biggest purchases for your baby is the stroller, riddled with safety, style, and status issues - as well as affordability, of course, considering some strollers climb above the $1,000 mark. The choices and questions are seemingly endless: How do you accommodate your newborn without wasting money on a short-lived purchase? What are the features you absolutely need? Are luxury strollers really worth it? Can you find a good stroller in the $100 range?
To make your search easier, Babble assembled and test-drove over 30 of the newest strollers - from lightweight umbrella strollers to all-terrain joggers - to find the best of the best for every budget, geographic location, and age group. Did we miss one? Nominate your favorite stroller here.
READERS’ CHOICE | iCandy Peach 2011/iCandy Pear
iCandy is one of the most buzzed about luxury stroller companies, and their newest iCandy Peach is a hot commodity (expected to hit shelves February 2011). We named it as a runner up in several categories, including “Best Value” and “Best Unique” strollers.
It might seem ridiculous to name such an expensive stroller as a “Best Value” runner up, but its best feature is its versatility – taking you through all stages of your first baby’s stroller-using years, and then easily accommodating a second child. As a single, the iCandy Peach is a fantastic luxury stroller. Besides looking sleek and compact (they call it “eye candy” for a reason), it has great features: The foam-filled tires can lock straight or swivel, making it incredibly maneuverable as well as functional. While we wouldn’t recommend such a lightweight stroller for jogging, it can handle rougher terrain like sidewalks, grass, and even light snow in the locked mode. Also, the entire seat easily reclines and reverses, and a newborn bassinet can be purchased to turn it into a carrycot-type pram. When you factor in the large shopping basket, full-coverage canopy, and incredibly compact design, the $899 might seem reasonable.
But what you’re really getting with that price is the ability to turn it into an amazing double stroller, which offers more options in an even more compact design. (You can purchase a second seat and bassinet for the single iCandy Peach). You can face the seats forward or backward, the stacked design is compact and easy-to-maneuver, and the hoods extend to accommodate growing children. You can also buy an infant car seat adaptor to make it a travel system. We didn’t like how low the infant car seat is, leaving the baby to look at nothing more than your legs while you walk. (We prefer the rear-facing infant to be close to mom, like in the Stokke.) Also, like the Bugaboo Cameleon and Stokke Xplory, you have to remove the seat(s) before folding it, which requires more steps. However, the frame breaks down incredibly easily in a two-step movement, and it all fits together compactly.
Note: We also tried the iCandy Pear, which is their other double stroller. However, we found that the new iCandy Peach has so much more maneuverability and better features that there was really no need to purchase the Pear over the Peach. For more double strollers, see our top picks here.
iCandyAmerica, $899 for the single; $199.99 for the main bassinet, $249 for the convertor