How to choose a baby stroller, selection tips and reviews
Stroller-cradle – a basket mounted on the chassis. Designed for children from birth to one year old. The cradle protects the baby from snow, wind and rain, provides him with space and comfort. This stroller has good cushioning. However, the cradle has large dimensions and weight, which makes it difficult to use it in public transport. In addition, in a house without an elevator, it is difficult to lift it up the stairs.
walking – designed for children who already know how to sit (from 6 months). Such a stroller folds well, has small dimensions and weight, which simplifies its use in public transport. However, sleeping in such a stroller is not very comfortable.
Transformer – a compromise between a cradle and a stroller. The design of the transformer (block) allows you to easily and quickly turn the stroller into a cradle and vice versa. Its dimensions and weight are smaller than those of the cradle, but more than those of the stroller. Such a stroller can be used from the birth of a child up to 3-4 years, however, it is less warm than a classic cradle.
Universal – includes the walking block, a cradle and the chassis. Such a stroller does not provide for transformation, but for the replacement of one block with another, which allows it to be used until the child reaches the age of 3-4 years. However, the universal model is heavier and less maneuverable than a stroller.
Transport system – consists of a cradle, a stroller and a car seat. It will be useful for those who use the car. The car seat can be installed both in the car and on the stroller. The transport system is designed for children from birth to 3-4 years old. The disadvantage is the high cost of such systems.
As a rule, the stroller is designed for one child, but there are models for two or three children. The design of some single strollers allows you to install an additional unit to carry two children in it. A good option for twins or the weather.
There are two types of double and triple strollers:
The seats are installed in parallel – the stroller allows the mother to keep the kids in sight, and the kids themselves provide a full overview and their own space. In addition, these strollers have a large mesh for children’s things. However, the wheelchair is difficult to steer, and its width does not allow the use of an elevator and standard-width doors.
The seats are installed sequentially (train) – a stroller that is more maneuverable and easy to manage, but there is practically no overview panorama for a baby sitting in the back seat. An interesting variant of the “train” is the “limousine stroller”, in which the kids are face to face, which makes it possible for them to communicate.
Number of landing gear points
3 – such strollers (usually three-wheeled) have a triangular frame.
4 – such strollers have a quadrangular frame. Wheels can be single or double. This design is more stable than the tricycle.
6 – the frame of such strollers is also quadrangular, but the total number of support points is six. Wheels can be single or double. This design is the most durable and stable, used in strollers for twins or triplets.
book – the back and seat fold together like the pages of a book when it is closed. This method is found in many strollers and transformers. Strollers have a solid handle, which allows it to be carried with one hand and are often equipped with backrests with the ability to turn the backrest into a horizontal plane. The disadvantage is the greater weight and dimensions than the reed ones.
Important: Some book-fold strollers can stand on their own when assembled, which is convenient for storage.
The cane – the stroller folds in length and, when folded, resembles two canes connected by a seat. Such strollers have two separate handles (require two-handed control) and are rarely equipped with folding backs, so they are only suitable for children who already know how to sit. At the same time, they are distinguished by their low weight, and the folding mechanism itself is simpler than the “book” one.
Important: it is desirable that the stroller folds and unfolds easily.
With one hand – a convenient feature, especially if parents often travel with a child. Thus, when sitting on the bus, you can fold the stroller with one hand, and hold the child with the other.
The wheels are down – found in a stroller-cane when folded. The wheels in this position will not stain passers-by or clothes. In addition, such a stroller is more convenient to roll behind you.
Plastic – are most often found in strollers. They have a small diameter. These wheels are inexpensive, light, but quite noisy. They are very good for flat surfaces, and on rough terrain and in winter, plastic wheels are noticeably inferior to rubber ones.
Rubber – can be small and large (diameter up to 30 cm). Such wheels are heavier than plastic ones, but less noisy and absorb road bumps better. A good option for rough terrain.
Inflatable – come in a diameter of 25-30 cm. These wheels are characterized by high cross-country ability and are best suited for walking in winter or on rough roads. Provide the greatest comfort when using the stroller. Disadvantages: inflatable wheels are heavier than plastic ones and are also very sensitive to punctures. In this case, you will have to change the wheel or camera.
Swivel – the wheels rotate around a vertical axis, which significantly increases the maneuverability of the stroller when driving on a smooth surface. To turn in the right direction, it is enough to apply a little effort.
Important: The front wheels of some strollers (normal or tricycle) can rotate 360 degrees.
Removable – Wheels can be removed without the use of tools. As a rule, these are single inflatable wheels, which, in the event of a puncture, can be removed to simplify their repair. In addition, in strollers with removable wheels, you can install rubber wheels in winter and plastic ones in summer.
fixed – swivel wheels that can be fixed in one position. This feature is useful when driving over uneven terrain in a park or forest.
Diameter (within 5.5-50 cm)
small (up to 15 cm) – as a rule, they are double and are found on the lightest strollers. Advantage – high maneuverability. The disadvantages are low cross-country ability and difficulty in using in winter. Such wheels can be found in strollers.
Medium (15-25 cm) – combine cross-country ability and maneuverability.
Large (from 25 cm) – are installed on heavy strollers – transformers, cradles and universal models. Advantage – high permeability. The best option for uneven terrain with bumps and potholes, or when frequently overcoming obstacles (curbs, etc.).
Single – there is one wheel on the landing gear support. This design is the most common.
Paired – there are two wheels on the chassis support, which gives the structure increased stability.
The design of the wheel rim determines its rigidity and strength. There are metal and plastic rims. Metal is stronger than plastic, but weighs more.
3 – strollers have an original design, but some models are less stable than four-wheeled counterparts. In addition, such strollers cannot be used on a ramp.
4 – a classic version that attracts with its reliability and ease of use. Occurs most often.
6 – differ from four-wheeled by dual front or rear wheels. This design is typical for walking sticks and transport systems. Dual front wheels are usually swivel.
8 – differ from six-wheeled ones in that they have dual not only front, but also rear wheels.
9 or 12 – can be found in double or triple strollers.
The shock-absorbing system serves to reduce vibrations and shocks when the stroller is moving. There are two types of such a system:
- spring – durable and strong system based on a spring mechanism. Occurs most often.
- articulated – allows you to rock the stroller in different directions, which is convenient when rocking the child to sleep. It is based on a hinged mount made of leather straps or plastic. Found in universal strollers.
Footboard height – allows you to change the height of the step on which the baby’s legs are located. The height of the footrest is adjusted based on the height of the child, and in some strollers it can become an “extension” of the seat, increasing the length of the bed.
Handle height – allows you to change the height of the handle (handles of the stroller-cane). The adjustment is especially relevant if the person walking with the stroller is short or very tall.
flip handle – is installed in two opposite directions and makes it possible to change the position of the child relative to the road (facing the road or facing an adult). The walking block at the same time remains motionless. This will protect the child from the wind or turn him to an interesting sight without changing the direction of movement.
Repositioning the block with the back / face – makes it possible to rotate the walking block or cradle around a vertical axis. Performs the function of a flip handle, but the handle itself remains motionless.
Block height adjustment – makes it possible to change the height of the unit on the stroller frame. At the same time, different options have their advantages: with a low installation, the stroller will be more stable, which is especially important on uneven roads, and with a high installation, the child will be closer to the accompanying person.
Hand brake – in addition to the mandatory foot brake, some strollers are equipped with a hand brake, which increases the safety of the baby.
Tilt adjustment – allows you to change the position of the back of the stroller relative to its seat to ensure the comfort of the child, both during sleep and when awake (it will make it easier for him to see). Usually strollers have three such positions – for wakefulness, rest and sleep.
Horizontal position – allows you to translate the back of the stroller into a horizontal plane to put the child to sleep. The back of the stroller should recline 180 degrees. If you are planning for your child to sometimes sleep in a stroller, pay attention to the presence of such a function. It is not available on all models.
The cradle is best suited for babies from birth up to 6 months, when they can sit up on their own.
Handle – used for easy transfer of the cradle. It is attached to the outer sides of the cradle and has an arched shape. There are both hard and soft handles.
Possibility of installation – provided in strollers-cradles and universal versions of strollers. In some models of strollers, it is also possible to install a separately purchased carrycot on the chassis.
A special fabric bag with handles, often with a hard bottom. The child is put into it and placed together with the bag in the stroller. Carrying, as a rule, is included in the delivery of transforming strollers. This accessory provides additional warmth, protects the child from the wind. Carrying is very convenient when transporting the baby from the stroller to the room.
hard bottom – protects the child’s spine from the load. A hard bottom carrier is recommended for newborn babies.
The car seat is included in the transport system and is used to transport children (from birth to a year) weighing up to 10-13 kg. The car seat can also be purchased separately.
Mountable – Provided in transport systems and in most universal strollers. At the same time, the car seat itself (in transport systems) can be installed not on the chassis, but on the walking block.
Important: a quality chair should have a steel base, soft finishes on the edges, 5 attachment points to the seat, soft, wide and durable straps. It should be remembered that special devices – adapters – are required to install car seats.
Transport system: transformer + car seat
When choosing a stroller, you should pay attention to the material of the hood.
- fabric – is most common, as a rule, it is waterproof and easy to wash.
- leather or leatherette – spectacular in appearance, but more dense and poorly breathable.
The hood can also be trimmed with fur, which provides additional insulation for the stroller. You can find combined models made of fabric, trimmed with fur or trimmed with leather inserts.
Whole (solid) – U-shaped frame or other similar design. This handle is easy to operate with one or two hands.
Horn (double) – two separate handles, not connected by jumpers to each other. Convenient to operate with two hands.
If you live in a multi-storey building with an elevator, then before purchasing a stroller, you must measure the width of the doorway of the apartment, and then the depth and width of the elevator. It is important to pay attention to the compactness of the stroller when folded (important for families with a car).
The seat should be deep so that the baby is comfortable. Choosing a stroller, you should proceed from the height of the child. The depth of the seat also depends on the type of stroller, for example, for a stroller, it ranges from 15-86 cm, and for transformers it ranges from 24 to 30 cm.
This indicator is especially important in the winter season, when a warmly dressed baby takes up more space in the stroller. When purchasing a stroller, you should answer the question whether the child will fit in the stroller in a warm blanket (envelope) or overalls. The seat width of the walking block varies from 20 to 66 cm, and for transformers – from 30 to 40 cm.
The weight of the stroller (this includes the cradle, chassis, seat unit, etc.) ranges from 2.9 to 37 kg, depending on the model. For example, cradles weigh more than strollers.
- cradle weight – from 3 to 9 kg (without chassis);
- car seat weight – from 2.5 to 4.8 kg;
- transformer weight – from 6.1 to 20.5 kg (without chassis).
When choosing a stroller, you should proceed from your physical strength, since a situation is possible (for example, a breakdown of the elevator) in which you need to carry both the child and the heavy stroller while climbing the stairs. It is also important how often you have to bring in and take out the stroller. On the other hand, a stroller that is too light will be less stable.
Important: it is worth paying attention to the material of the chassis frame (steel, aluminum, carbon). A steel frame is the cheapest, but has a lot of weight, an aluminum frame is lighter and does not corrode, but costs more, a carbon frame is highly rigid and is the lightest.
This parameter means the distance between the wheels of one axle. It can be up to 85 cm. If the stroller has three wheels or with axles of different widths, then the value of the widest axle is indicated. The width of the chassis is important when transporting the stroller in an elevator or if the ramp at the entrance of your house has two rails. It is desirable that the width of the stroller chassis and the distance between the rails match.
Maximum child weight
The maximum allowable weight of the baby, which is designed for a particular stroller. This parameter varies from 3 to 32 kg. It should be remembered that if you use a stroller that is not designed for the weight of the child being transported, then it may fail. Therefore, when choosing a stroller, it is advisable to take into account the time of its use and how much the weight of the baby will increase.
Crossbar (bumper) in front – an arched handrail that serves as a support for the child and increases his safety during the trip. In addition, toys can be attached to it. The crossbar can be either wide (with a stand) or narrow. However, the child will have to be raised high every time to put him in the stroller.
Removable crossbar (bumper) – more convenient than a fixed one, since the child does not need to be raised high to get into the stroller. It is enough to remove the crossbar, seat the child and fix it again.
viewing window – made of transparent material and is located in the sun visor or hood of the stroller. This window allows the person accompanying the stroller to monitor the child.
Removable cover – a very important and useful function, since from time to time the cover gets dirty and needs to be washed. This is especially true for light-colored strollers.
Seat belts – prevent the child from falling out of the stroller when descending curbs or stairs, and also help to keep overly active children in place. Seat belts should be in any type of stroller, and it is important for parents not to forget to fasten them. There are several types of belts:
- 3-point – two straps go over the shoulders, and one between the legs of the baby. The clasp is located in the abdomen;
- 5-point – two additional belts are added to the three belts in the waist area. Such a system is more reliable, since it is more difficult for the baby to free himself;
- inguinal – found in wheelchairs with a bumper. The result is a design reminiscent of 3-point belts: a bumper acts as a waist belt, and a crotch belt is placed between the baby’s legs.
Important: the central locking of the seat belts must have a special system (hard lock) that will not allow the child to unfasten it on their own.
Belt pad – soft pads reduce friction, thereby providing comfort to the child, fastened with seat belts.
Basket – located at the bottom of the stroller. You can put purchases, things, children’s toys in it. All types of strollers are equipped with baskets, with the exception of walking models that fold with a cane. Depending on the material, there are two types of baskets – fabric and metal. The metal version is more durable, but interferes with the exit from high curbs and overcoming obstacles.
sun visor – Protects the child from bright light and sunlight. Some strollers do not have such a visor, but it can be purchased separately.
mosquito net – protects the child from insects, which is especially important during sleep. The mesh can be built into the hood of the stroller, supplied or sold separately.
rear tray – a horizontal shelf that is attached to the handle or between the handles. You can put a drink or put small items on this tray.
Built-in speakers – are located in the hood of the stroller, have a cable for connecting a player or other audio device. Lullabies, tutorials, audio books (such as fairy tales), etc. can be played through these speakers.
coaster – stand for a glass, bottle or other container, located on the parent handle.
LED lights – helps to notice the stroller in the dark, thereby increasing the safety of movement.
Step for an older child – located at the back of the stroller, on which the older child can stand if he gets tired during the walk. A good option when the difference between the kids is small.
Raincoat – a cape made of waterproof material that protects the baby from strong wind and rain. The cape can be built into the hood of the stroller, come with the package or be sold separately.
Cape on legs – Protects from the wind and warms the child’s legs. Included with some models and sold separately.
Umbrella – protects the child from the bright sun and can be used instead of a visor or be its complement. Included with some models and sold separately.
Bag for things – You can put toys, diapers, food for the baby in it. Hangs on the handle of the stroller. Included with some models and sold separately.
Warm envelope for newborns – protects the arms and legs of a child born in autumn or winter from cold and wind. Included with some strollers. It can also be purchased separately.
Pump – relevant for strollers with inflatable wheels.
- When purchasing a stroller, you should answer the question until what age of the child will it be used.
- It is worth taking a closer look at the stroller. Pay attention to the convenience of the handles, check the course of the wheels, their turns, whether they creak.
- A very important point is washing the stroller. The fabric of the stroller should be of high quality and easy to clean. The fabric parts of the stroller must come unfastened.
The group of the cheapest strollers is made up of no-name products, which are categorically not recommended to be purchased. These strollers break down quickly, make a lot of noise on uneven surfaces, and are hard to push.
Inexpensive models include strollers of Chinese and local brands Baby Care, Geoby, Little Trek, Sagittarius. They have an acceptable quality, which is enough on average for one season: often weak depreciation, the frames are rather heavy, ill-conceived little things, for example, a non-removable cover, etc. What is important, universal models are especially affordable.
Strollers of the brands AKO, Lonex, Caramelo, Roan, Baby Design are distinguished by good quality at a reasonable price. Among the shortcomings, one can note the small dimensions of the seats, sometimes the large weight of the strollers and insufficient cross-country ability.
The leaders among stroller manufacturers are Peg Perego, Chicco, Inglesina, Silvercross, Bebecar, Adamex. The lightest aluminum frames, excellent wheelbase and shock absorption, as well as cross-country ability and maneuverability – all these features make the operation of such strollers easy and enjoyable. Of the features, it is worth noting a particularly attractive design, wear-resistant materials that are easy to wash.