Soon after finding out I was pregnant, I started researching baby gear, especially strollers and car seats. I used Lucie's List a lot for suggestions and reviews. I very quickly decided on an infant car seat and convertible car seat without too much thought.
But when it came to strollers, I hit a brick wall. I didn't want to end up with 3 different strollers for different purposes cluttering our home, like I read about in so many Amazon reviews and baby gear threads. I wanted to buy one stroller for multiple uses that would last through multiple children. Is that too much to ask for?
Then there was the dream stroller that just looks so cool, but is really impractical for our lifestyle (out of our price range, heavy, bulky, etc.). My favorite thing about the Stokke Xplory is that baby sits much higher than in regular strollers and can double as a high chair at restaurants. Chic, but PASS.
Ultimately, I decided I wanted a stroller that is easy to use for running quick errands but could also survive a trip to Disneyland or other family vacations. (Ability to go over cobblestones in Italy would be awesome, but I think baby-wearing would be more practical in that situation.) I made a list of possible candidates and read a lot about each one, but I knew that we'd have to "test drive" them before making a decision. I approached my husband with my wish list:
- Compact i.e. folds up like an umbrella stroller (I have a small trunk.)
- Durable wheels and tires that can go over moderate terrain
- Baby can face either direction
- Infant car seat compatible
- Easily collapsible
The problem is, there really isn't one stroller out there that has everything I want. No matter which stroller we choose, it won't be perfect. And that's OK.
The only strollers that can go over moderate to heavy terrain are either very bulky travel systems or jogging strollers, neither of which is good for every day use like running errands. (I asked my husband if he planned on jogging with the baby and he said no, and since I certainly won't be jogging with the baby, a jogging stroller is unnecessary for us.)
Isaiah briefly considered making our baby a stroller himself (it's the mechanical engineer in him who was up for the challenge), but house renovations got in the way, so his stroller project will have to wait for a future baby. Off we went to a baby store where we spent over an hour scrutinizing over every stroller. We narrowed it down to the City Mini by Baby Jogger and the Si by Peg-Perego. But there were other contenders. Here are the pros and cons for each one:
1. City Mini -- moderate weight, smooth ride, easiest to collapse, BUT too bulky for my trunk and baby can only face out
2. Britax B-Ready -- good looking, baby can face either direction, car seat compatible, large wheels, collapses with moderate ease, BUT heavy and bulky
3. Bugaboo Bee -- nice looking, wheels have good suspension, car seat compatible, BUT terribly designed collapsing mechanism, heavy, and expensive
4. Si -- lightweight, folds like umbrella stroller, car seat compatible, Italian made, BUT limited to flat terrain and baby can only face out (unless in infant car seat)
5. Britax B-Nimble -- moderate weight, easily collapsible, nice handles, car seat compatible, BUT seemed to have a weaker frame with flimsy wheels
6. Inglesina Avio -- nice looking, easily collapsible, car seat compatible, stands when folded and easily dragged through the airport, made in Italy, BUT heavy and bulky and expensive
If I had a roomier trunk, more upper body strength and more money, I'd also consider the City Versa by Baby Jogger. It is compact and easily collapsible like the City Mini, but baby can face either way!
We decided on the Si because of its moderate price and because I'll be the one who uses it the most and I need something light, compact, and sturdy. I'll let you know how it works out for us...
And because it's Thanksgiving today, Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful that I even have a choice when it comes to buying baby gear. Feeling blessed! Past Thanksgiving posts here.