10 Best Strollers | December 2016
- baby tray can pivot out of the way
- items fall out of basket easily
- cupholders are too shallow
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- easy to carry with one hand
- infants may slip when seated upright
- peekaboo window has no cover
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- padded seat with vented top
- reclines to a near flat position
- very little wiggle room in seat
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- feels extremely sturdy
- fold handle doubles as carry handle
- baby seat does not recline
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- anti-shock front wheels
- rear wheels lock for incline stops
- difficult to use on stairs
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- sleek minimalist design
- lightweight 18-pound frame
- does not have a footrest
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- cargo compartment can zip closed
- wide range of seating angles
- easy to modify harness
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- 5-point harness system
- made with eco-friendly materials
- adequate shade coverage
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
- accepts bob infant car seat adapters
- spacious lower compartment
- high impact wheels for all terrains
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- 50-pound weight capacity
- front swivel wheel is lockable
- one-step quick-fold design
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
It's More Than Just A Baby Wheelbarrow
When I was a kid–probably just out of the stroller myself–I encountered my first wheelbarrow. I thought it was a big metal stroller. I don't have a clear memory of this, but if the family lore is to be believed, I climbed into the thing and waited to be pushed.
Of course, it was my big sister who found me there, and she was more than delighted to take me for a spin. I'm sure you can guess what happened next: the wheelbarrow tips and baby goes flying.
So, it turns out you can't just put a baby in a wheelbarrow and expect to cart him or her around safely. And that's where strollers come in.
They work largely on the same concept of the wheelbarrow. You attach a carrying basket to a wheeled base and you've got the basics.
If you don't want your tykes catapulting through the air like yours truly, you'd probably put some straps in there to hold the little one in place.
You don't want them crying incessantly about how uncomfortable the rusty metal is either, so you might throw some padding in there to keep them comfy and quiet, maybe throw a sunshade on top to save their skin.
Now we're closing in on the familiar design. Add some extra wheels and a locking brake to keep it from rolling away on you, maybe a more comfortable, adjustable handle for you to push it along.
The good news is you've just imagined yourself a stroller. The bad news is you've lost yourself a perfectly good wheelbarrow. No matter. When the kid grows out of the stroller, you can always use it for yard work.
Babies On The Run
Parenting has changed a lot since I was in diapers. I'm sure it will have changed even more by the time I'm back in them.
Parents today generally have more ways to be active than they did in the 80s, and the expectations that their activities have placed on stroller design have led to some very exciting developments.
A lot of strollers today, including three of the strollers in our top five, are built specifically to handle the demands of a jogging mother or father without disturbing the baby.
These strollers come with advanced shocks, more aerodynamic shapes, and thicker, more durable wheels.
Even the strollers that aren't necessarily meant to endure triathlons are being built lighter and more convertible than ever before. Customers want options, healthy or not, and some of these single strollers can be reconfigured to carry multiple kids, to lay your kids flat for the ultimate nap, or to serve as a gourmet dining station.
If you've already got the little one floating around, consider their height and weight so you can get a stroller that'll last you more than a year or two, and consider their temperament, as that will determine whether you even can take him or her out for a little run with you.
If he or she hasn't popped out yet, you really only have to consider your own activity level. Even if it's just that you like to take more walks in the park than the average parent, those bigger wheels might come in handy.
Pushing Kids Around For Nearly 400 Years
It was an esteemed English landscape artist and furniture designer who designed the first baby carriage in early 1730s.
He did so to fulfill the request of the Duke of Devonshire, and the early design was actually meant to be pulled along by a small pack animal like a goat or a donkey. Try getting away with that today!
These early strollers, which wouldn't be called strollers until the 1950s, were predominantly made of wood or wicker, with heavy, expensive brass fittings and joints.
Despite some more crude design elements, many baby carriages had features like brakes and umbrella holders as early as the 1830s.
They only began to get lighter and more modern in the late 19th century, when reversible baskets and hinged wheels were added.
The supremely inexpensive design of the so-called umbrella stroller came along in the 1960s, thanks to a clever aeronautical engineer and his travel-weary wife. It's a popular design despite its lack of safety features, and it's still sneered at by wealthier, more privileged parents today.