How to Shop for a Stroller (2023): Stroller Types, Prices, Brands We Like

How to Shop for a Stroller (2023): Stroller Types, Prices, Brands We Like
Written by Techbot

Double strollers hold double the children—in other words, these fit two kids. They have a higher weight limit, around 100 pounds, to hold two little ones at once.

Convertible strollers can convert from a single stroller to a double. You might need to purchase accessories to set up double mode.

What Features Should You Consider?

Joovy Caboose

Photograph: Joovy

At a minimum, your stroller should include a five-point harness, the current safety standard, which has straps that go over the shoulders and hips and between the legs. Here are a few other features you can consider.

Car seat compatibility. If you already have a car seat and want it to work with your stroller, checking for car seat compatibility can quickly narrow down your list of strollers. But you only need car seat compatibility if you’re using the stroller with a newborn.

Reversible seat. How old is your baby? It’s good practice to have them facing rearward until at least 6 months, and then little ones can switch to facing forward. Check to see whether the seat is reversible if you’ll be strolling with a young baby and can’t add a car seat.

Adjustable handlebar. This sounds unnecessary, but an adjustable handlebar can be key to your comfort while strolling. This is especially true for partners of different heights who can adjust the handlebar to their needs while they stroll.

Storage. Do you want somewhere to place a drink or your phone while you stroll? Or is under-seat storage a big priority? Check whether the company offers add-ons to get the storage you’re looking for. Third-party accessories—from cargo nets and sunshades to phone mounts and stroller cups—also work with a range of strollers.

Fully recline. If you want to be able to lean a stroller back for your kiddo to nap in, look for strollers that can fully recline. Some only have a partial recline, which could be fine for your kiddo’s sleeping needs. Others have a fully reclined mode that’s meant to be a bassinet mode for newborns. Read more below on using a stroller with an infant.

Where Will You Use the Stroller?

Are you frequently walking on slim sidewalks or running on a trail? Some strollers are made for certain activities, like jogging, while others have more compact designs made for city walking. Travel strollers have slim builds since they’re meant to be lightweight enough for breaking down and bringing on trips, but you can also look for brands that promote using them in cities. Those models have a slimmer profile but higher quality (and heavier) frame than typical travel strollers.

How Will You Store the Stroller?

If you’re mainly putting the stroller in your garage and won’t fold it down often, you (probably) don’t have to worry about how small it folds and whether it’s easy to store. But if you need your stroller to fit into a closet or small space, make sure you research just how much it folds down, how large it is when folded and, depending on your storage needs, whether it can remain standing in its folded position. If you’ll be hauling it up staircases, check the weight—you don’t want to be not-so-pleasantly surprised at how heavy it is when you’re also carrying your little one.

Are You Using One for a Newborn?

For newborns and infants, there are two main ways to safely transport them in a stroller: bassinet mode or attaching an infant car seat. Several strollers offer car seat adapters that allow you to connect an infant car seat to the existing stroller, and then you can remove the adapter once your child is big enough to sit in the provided seat, usually around 6 months or when the baby can sit up.

Some everyday and lightweight strollers offer a bassinet mode, allowing the seat to fold down flat so that your infant can lie on its back while you stroll. This is a nice feature for a few months, but don’t let it be a necessity. Especially if you’re often driving and then strolling, it’ll be easier to just pop the infant car seat into the stroller until your little one is big enough to sit in the seat.

There can be a pretty big range in price—some strollers retail for close to a grand. But you should plan to spend around $250 for a solid everyday stroller, and closer to $350 if you want a jogging stroller. If you go cheap, you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly as these have weaker wheels and a poor frame, plus flimsy material on the stroller.  

Thule Shine

Photograph: Thule

We’ve tested dozens of strollers with our kids, and our recommendations vary based on your needs. But if you’re looking for a place to start, we love strollers from Baby Jogger and Joovy. If you have a bigger budget and multiple kids, then look at Thule and Veer. Check out our Best Strollers guide for all our recommendations.

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