10 Best Umbrella Strollers | March 2017
- shock absorbing front wheels
- locking rear wheels
- not self-standing when folded
- mesh side walls provide ventilation
- handlebar initiated folding
- smartly placed pedal brakes
- removable cupholder for parents
- simple one-handed folding
- comfortable padded handles
- comes with a custom carry bag
- effortless 2-step folding system
- meets carry-on luggage requirements
- lockable front swivel wheel
- harness is easy to adjust
- fully padded leg rest
- removable rear canopy flap
- lightweight and easy to carry
- available in four bright colors
- easy to remove fabric and seat pad
- includes a cupholder
- high performance wheels
Around The Town Or Far Afield: On The Go With Kids
Over the course of the 20th Century, the way in which the parent perceived the child underwent a dramatic shift in many parts of the world. Children, previously perceived largely as commodities to be cared for primarily as preparation for a life of productive work, began to be treated with more care and affection. Along with this increased emotional connection came increased stress and concern for the wellbeing of the child; in fact, in some circles parenthood was often described as something of a crisis. While this is perhaps an extreme take on the perception of familial life, indeed the transition to life with children does bring myriad challenges and complications. Fortunately the 21st Century is an era rich with tools, toys, and how to books aplenty, all of which are geared toward ameliorating much of the pressure the parent confronts. These come in the form of everything from ergonomic high chairs to WiFi baby monitors. It's easier than ever to make the home a place conducive to safely and successfully rearing children.
When it comes to traveling with small children, anything that can save you a few seconds and reduce your stress level by a notch is a precious commodity. And that holds true whether you're rushing to complete an afternoon's errands with a talkative toddler in tow or if you are trying to get to the airport and across the country with your dyspeptic infant. From the modular stroller travel system to the efficient bottle warmer to the pop-up pack-and-play crib, the modern parent has plenty of technologically advanced gear to help him or her handle life with a small child, and the savvy parent takes fine advantage of these items.
One of these items is the classic umbrella stroller. Far from the flimsy, wobbly umbrella strollers seen trundling around amusement parks or shopping malls in decades past, many modern umbrella strollers are rugged, reliable, stable, and smooth. And yet many of today's umbrella strollers weigh not a pound more than those rickety trundlers from a few years back.
Choosing The Right Umbrella Stroller
An umbrella stroller, almost by definition, is not intended to be a heavy duty travel system. These strollers are designed to be lightweight, compact and maneuverable, and easily stored away when not in use. While there are a few umbrella strollers out there which are suitable for all day use and could serve as your family's only stroller (this is especially true for people living in urban areas where storage space is likely at a premium and where most walks involve paved surfaces), it's more likely that your umbrella stroller will be one of two strollers you own.
And that's a bonus, not a problem. By accepting right from the beginning of your research process that you will likely end up with an umbrella stroller and a separate, larger stroller (one that can be used for jogging, that can accommodate a bassinet-style attachment, etc.) you liberate yourself: your umbrella stroller does not have to serve all purposes, but rather has to be perfect for two primary uses.
The first reason most people opt for umbrella strollers is for use during short trips. Umbrella strollers collapse fast for tossing into the trunk and pop open in seconds, ready to roll down the street or through the store. Choose a stroller that's large enough to comfortably accommodate your kid and has a storage space for some groceries or a cupholder for your coffee, that looks great and will be admired by friends and strangers alike, whatever is important to you.
The second reason families use umbrella strollers is to make long distance travel easier. Most umbrella strollers can be gate checked for flights or tucked into the overhead gear rack in trains. If hassle-free travel is your primary concern, worry less about accessories and more about a solid chassis that can stand up to hours of daily use and about a hood that will reliable bock the sun and rain when you're far afield.
In short, as with most products in the parenting category, you should first consider your family's lifestyle and your child's needs, then consider which strollers are suitable. Don't fall in love with a stroller and then hope it packs flat enough for the overhead bin, in other words.
Umbrella Stroller Pro Tips
Buying an umbrella stroller that doesn't come with the right accessories is like buying a car that's missing its radio or A/C: it still works, but you'll never be fully satisfied. One of the first accessories to consider is the travel bag. Most umbrella strollers have a purpose-built travel bag that snugly and securely stores them for that trip under the plane or bus or among the bags in the back of your car. A few umbrella strollers do not, though, and that will mean buying a generic travel bag that will never perfectly fit or fully protect your stroller. If you and your children travel frequently, a good umbrella stroller travel bag is a must.
Many umbrella strollers come rain covers, and in areas prone to inclement weather, these are imperative for the comfort of your child. An umbrella stroller's included shade will do little to protect against precipitation, so don't think of your stroller as ready for use in any sort of foul weather until you have purchased an additional cover.
As for additional accessories like cup holders, handle bags, and snack trays, they might not be necessary, but you and your youngster will surely appreciate them. Think beyond the base unit before you buy.