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 | Stokke Xplory
We were excited to test the Stokke Xplory, especially since we expressed some doubt at the stroller’s high cost. In fact, the Stokke is the most expensive stroller we tested next to the Inglesina Classica. After trying it, we did find many important features.
We have to admit that when we first put it together, we still weren’t as blown away as we thought we’d be for $1,200. It just doesn’t have the solid, sturdy feel that other luxury strollers have, such as the Bugaboo, iCandy, Mutsy, and Inglesina. It maneuvers beautifully, don’t get us wrong; it just doesn’t feel quite as luxe as we’d expect. However, it is one of the most distinctive looking strollers, and there are very smart reasons for its design.
Our favorite feature about the Stokke – which is a huge selling point – is the adjustable seat. We’re not just talking about the direction or positioning of the seat (although it has one of the most versatile positioning options we’ve seen), but the actual height of the seat. This is most impressive for the rear-facing position because most luxury strollers (like the Bugaboo and iCandy) have infants sitting rather low. With the Stokke, you can raise the seat all the way up, putting baby right up next to mom. This is a huge advantage for small infants. We also like that we could adjust the seat to fit right up next to a restaurant table, making a high chair unnecessary.
Another smart design feature is the attached stroller bag. Instead of a basket (which is usually hard to access), the Stokke comes with a large bag attached to the bottom of the stroller, which can fit anything you could possibly need. Although you’ll have to use it in lieu of a large diaper bag, the advantage is that you can always keep it fully stocked with diapers and other travel necessities.
As for the disadvantages: This might sound silly, but we wish that a $1,200 stroller came with a cup holder (the minimal design is sleek and sophisticated, but a mom needs her Starbucks) instead of charging you $23.95 to add one. We also wish that it didn’t feel so plasticky for such a luxury stroller. And it would be pretty cool if they included their winter and/or summer package (starting at $300 each) in the high price tag – especially since those are true luxury features.
Like other high-end strollers such as the Bugaboo Cameleon and iCandy Peach, you’ll have to remove the seat before folding it down, which makes it less convenient than one-handed breakdowns. We also found that it doesn’t store quite as compactly as its competitors.
All in all, the Stokke has certain features that could make the price tag worth it for you – namely the adjustable seat that accommodates all ages and preferences. We just wish it were a little more affordable. (Note: We only tested the Stokke Xplory stroller, not the newborn attachment.)
Get it from Amazon, $1,049 for the Stokke Xplory stroller; $1,259 for the Stokke Xplory Newborn Stroller