A stylish, functional stroller that fits your lifestyle is one of the most important items on your new baby checklist. But with so many styles available, how are you supposed to determine which stroller is right for you? Here’s how the different models stack up, and which will work best for your family.
If yours is a multi-tot family, life might be simpler with a set of wheels that can seat your whole brood. Two- to four-seater tandems and side-by-sides let siblings enjoy the ride together—and mean you don’t have to carry two sets of wheels.
Big, stable and sturdy, full-size strollers and carriages provide a spacious compartment for your little rider. Usually equipped with helpful extras such as cup holders and roomy storage bins, full-size strollers, like their smaller counterparts, can often be folded with one hand. Passenger compartments in some models recline to a flat sleeping space and include a means for closing off leg openings.
One type of full-size stroller, called a combo stroller, is designed to morph with your child’s needs, accommodating infant car seats of various makes (via an adapter), a removable bassinet, and a stroller seat, which in some models can be secured facing either forward or backward. Carriages, or prams, resemble old-fashioned baby buggies and generally consist of a flat carry-cot (sometimes removable) atop large, spoked wheels. The basic carriage structure is meant for young infants; however, some manufacturers offer stroller seats that can replace the carry-cot when your baby has outgrown it.
Made for moms and dads who are serious runners, jogging strollers have three air-filled wheels for greater shock absorption off-road and at higher speed, as well as a longer, higher handle that allows more leg and feet clearance for the parent jogging behind it.
All-terrain strollers, though not necessarily intended for running (check the manual), are also often three-wheeled, and have rugged designs and larger tires that can navigate uneven surfaces. Tending to have higher weight limits, jogging and all-terrain strollers are best suited to tots who are at least 6-months-old but may serve your child longer than a standard stroller.
For young infants, the lightest, most convenient strollers are car seat-carrier frames. Universal frame strollers are compatible with most car seat models and allow you to move your sleeping baby from the car to the stroller and back undisturbed.
For children 6 months of age and older who can sit up unassisted, umbrella strollers (so-called for their umbrella-like handles) are a handy, lightweight option. Car seat-carrier frames and umbrella strollers typically have a folding mechanism that’s easy to operate with one hand, and both are compact and expedient for commercial and mass transit, and short car trips to do everyday errands.
By Katherine M. Tomlinson