Welcome to our brand new series TCMB Top Picks! We would love to share our favorite things with you and will pick a new topic each time – today we’re talking strollers!
Our team has weighed in with what they love about their strollers. If you’re in the market for a new one, we hope you find a good model below that fits your family!
Bri – Snap ‘N’ Go:
When my husband and I were pregnant with our first child, we lived in a small apartment in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. Given our space constraints and lack of a garage, we needed something other than the popular (for that time) travel system. The stroller had to be small, easily collapsable, lightweight, convenient to store and affordable. Unrelated, it had to have cup holders because what would a crisp, fall walk be without a warm drink from Starbucks? We ended up buying the Snap ‘n Go because it hit all the requirements, and we both really liked using it when our son was born. I appreciate it’s simplicity: a quick release button. I love that it’s a frame: my Chicco car seat pops in and off we go in a matter of seconds (no matter if the baby is sleeping or awake). I like the smallness: my husband and I could still walk side-by-side on those old, narrow city sidewalks.
We’ve since moved to the suburbs and used the Snap ‘n Go when our daughter was born. Our kids are 3 years apart, so my oldest prefers to ride his bike on long walks, reducing our need for a double stroller. It’s held up nicely for a low cost product and I expect to love it just as much when we have our third… whenever that may be.
Melissa – Bob Revolution
Let me start off by saying I am not one to buy name brand items because I think they are the best. Quite frankly, I am more on the opposite end, almost to a fault. I don’t want the “expected” brand, the popular brand or the brand that is “supposed” to be the best. I want something that is just as good for less money…not only because I want a value, but also because I don’t want the trendy item or the item that everyone else has. I know… ridiculous. This BOB Revolution stroller is the exception for me. It was worth every penny. It’s perfect for a jog with your little, a bumpy hike or just a regular old outing to the mall or the zoo. It’s an all-in-one deal…I never had an umbrella stoller or a snap ‘n go. The BOB is great for every age and every situation. The ride is incredibly smooth, it’s not too heavy and it is extremely simple to fold up and transfer in and out of the car.
One of my favorite features is how spacious the seat is for the kids. My kiddos are not small. Both their height and weight have been in the top percentiles since they were infants. The seat on this stroller is so incredibly comfortable for them and even gives them extra wiggle room. My 2 1/2 year old still fits in wonderfully with plenty of room to grow. It also has plenty of storage underneath to put bags, etc. Purchasing a handlebar console is essential. It’s perfect for storing your phone, coffee and your kiddos’ snacks. Truly, the only drawback is the cost of this stroller, but for us, it has been worth every single penny. They are occasionally available on Craigslist, which is a great, less expensive option.
Beth – Maclaren Quest:
I could not love this stroller more! We have a big stroller as well, but I wanted an umbrella stroller that was lightweight, would travel well and was better for short and simple trips. As soon as we could get her in it, our oldest used this one. We took her to Nashville when she was four months old and it was the best for travel – I could fold it up and throw it on the security belt with one hand, all while holding the baby and having no struggles. It rides smoothly, looks adorable, has cozy handles and has a surprising amount of storage for a little stroller. It’s also perfect for when your walker gets bigger and wants to move, but needs to take a seat when those little legs get tired.
Laura – Maxi Cosi Mila:
For our travel stroller, we went with the Maxi Cosi Mila. We keep it in the trunk of our car, and I’m amazed at how often I spontaneously pull it out. It’s sturdy, very roomy for a travel stroller, has a great basket and even a cup holder (not shown in the photo), and it reclines. It opens and closes super easily and stands upright when folded up – perfect for when you’re trying to juggle a baby, diaper bag, shopping bags and more. This stroller is handy to have around for everything from a short trip to the mall or even a longer walk around Lake Nokomis. While it is a more expensive travel stroller option, I’d recommend watching for this to go on sale on baby deal sites and it’ll be worth every penny.
Bert – Kolcraft Umbrella Stroller:
One of my favorite strollers, aside from the travel system, that we use for our infants and their carriers, is our Kolcraft Umbrella Stroller. I had used it sparingly before when it was just my son, but life was less busy back then and he didn’t have any issues sitting in our big Chicco stroller. Now, that he’s older and is involved in more activities, my daughter wants nothing to do with our Chicco stroller. I don’t blame her, it’s not my favorite thing to haul in and out of the car or maneuver around a locker room at swimming lessons. The Kolcraft Umbrella is lightweight, easy to use and contains her so I’m not chasing her around a soccer field or worse yet, on a pool deck! She’s old enough now that I don’t have to carry a diaper bag, so I don’t need extra storage for that. The umbrella stroller is definitely something every family with a 2-year-old and older needs to have!
Beth – Phil and Ted’s Classic Inline:
When I was a nanny, I used a side-by-side Phil and Ted’s Classic double to stroll around with their youngest and my oldest. I loved it, but because of the width, maneuvering it around the mall, grocery stores or crowds was no simple task, plus I wanted a stroller that I could easily use as a single or a double. I absolutely love this stroller. It can be set up in a number of ways. As a single, it’s a great jogger, has attachments so you can use it with an infant seat and also fully reclines for a little one to sleep soundly. I also required real wheels, ones you can pump up, so we could go anywhere – sidewalks, sand, grass, rocks – no problem. Plus, it steers like a dream with one hand, an essential quality when you have a walker to chase (or, let’s be honest, a coffee in hand).
The double’s kit comes with attachments for a baby carseat and a second seat that can go behind the front seat OR on top! You can let baby sleep soundly lying flat, with the toddler seat on top – this also raises them up a bit higher and they love the vantage point! If you want baby in the front or you want to put the carseat on top, your toddler can sit in the back. I was a bit worried that whoever was in the back got the raw end of the deal, but my girls fight over the backseat, so no problem! I will say that it looks a bit light on storage space, but you can easily use a mommy hook to hold bags and you can buy saddle bags that attach to the side near the wheels for extra storage. We are big mall-walkers, so a skinny stroller that we could grow with, can hold both of my girls and has wheels that take us anywhere makes it the best piece of gear we own!
Baby Jogger City Select:
Laura uses hers as a single:
I’m a big fan of our Baby Jogger City Select. It’s actually a double stroller – we purchased it with the thought that we’d like to have our children close together, and I’m a planner, so well, you do the math. While it is a bit larger than single stroller, most people can’t tell that it’s made to be a double when just being used as a single.
It’s already come in handy: with our friend’s and family’s children, I can easily pop in the second seat when I need it with no major headache. It has a nice, deep basket for storing things, and I love that it has tons of seat positions – the baby can face out or face you – which is how my son sits all the time because I can’t stop looking at him. It’s a smooth ride for both baby and your hands, and it is perfect for everything from the sidewalks around my house to gravel paths in the park. Definitely get the “parent console” too.
Nealy uses hers as a double:
We needed a double stroller, so we decided to go with the Baby Jogger City Select. Hands down, the best double stroller in my opinion. We bought the carseat adaptor (to go with our Maxi Cosi carseat), which has been super convenient – especially in the Minnesota winters when we don’t want to take baby out of the carseat. It is a little heavy/large, but what double-stroller isn’t big and bulky? I do get lots of compliments on it and questions about it wherever I go.
It is easy to push and has great rubber tires (like a bike). We’ve taken this stroller on hikes, in the sand, to the mall, and even on a plane. It’s been great.
It is on the pricy side, but in my opinion it is worth the extra money. Especially if you will be using it for multiple children.
Cate – Mountain Buggy Urban Double:
When I learned I was having twins, one of the first things I did was to research strollers. I knew my older daughter would be 4 by the time they were born, so I wasn’t interested in a triple stroller. And after spotting a kid at the mall yanking the hair of the sibling in front of them in a front/back stroller, I determined that a side by side was right for me.
Honja – Baby Trend Sit-in-Stand:
We bought this when my oldest had just turned 3 and we had our 2nd baby. We initially bought a Peg Perego double stroller from Craigslist, but it was very used, too used to work properly. We were planning a Disney World trip and wanted a double stroller that accommodated our infant seat as well.
I believe there are fancier strollers on the market, but we didn’t want to pay too terribly much. I have been very pleased with this one and VERY pleased about the cost. Side x side double strollers are better for power walking, but the front/back models are the best for malls, crowds, MN State Fair and Disney World (our 2 major double stroller locations!).
We still have the option to remove the second full seat, but my 5 1/2 year old will still recline and even nap on long days – so no way!
I made an extra bag that can attach onto the back handle. Often double strollers lack storage space, but this solved all our problems there. It is only needed on trips, the bottom basket is perfect for walks to the park and smaller outings.
Amber: Valco Baby Tri-Mode EX Twin:
I’m not exaggerating when I say my stroller is my sanity! I have three kids under three, and my stroller is the only way I’m able to easily and safely get out of the house on my own with all three.
I have a Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin. Valco Baby is based out of Australia. It’s not as well known in the United States as some brands, but the quality of their products is unbelievable. When I started my search for a triple stroller, I wanted something that was easy to maneuver through doorways, was durable, would accommodate the twins starting as newborns, and that I was able to jog with. I was so happy to be able to find a stroller that did all of these things and more. I love that it fits through any standard doorway, and it can serve as a double, triple (as pictured here), or quadruple (with the addition of a hitchhiker attachment that can be purchased seperately).
The toddler seat, or “joey seat” as they call it, is detachable, which I love. For our family, it works perfectly because my oldest feels special leading the pack, while his little sisters ride behind him. It has TONS of storage pockets, and is super easy to fold down and put in the car. It has head supports for newborns, so my twins have been riding in it since they were only a few weeks old. It is a very smooth ride, so I was never worried about it being too bumpy for them, even when they were tiny. The canopies also provide full coverage and protect them completely from the sun. The pedal brake is super convenient, and the fact that it has two wheels in front and two in back make it really easy to go over rough terrain. I’ve never gotten stuck with it.
The only negative I can think of is that it takes up quite a bit of space in the back of the car, but that’s a sacrifice that I am totally okay with. I am able to take my kids just about anywhere because I know I’ll be able to safely transport them. As I mentioned before, Valco Baby makes very high quality products, so it’s a bit of an investment, but one that I can confidently say is worth it. If you want to learn more about this stroller, there is a great review done by Baby Gizmo that I’d highly encourage you to check out!
We’d love to hear your ideas for TCMB Top Picks: Tell us what you’d like us to weigh in on!