I never thought I would own more than one stroller, let alone two, three, four, or…gasp!…FIVE! Yes, we are now the owners of five strollers. To be fair, it’s really four strollers and a pushable plastic car, but that’s effectively a stroller. I saw them all parked in a row in our covered patio the other day and almost cried. I contemplated getting rid of some. I went through their merits one by one in my head until I came to the sinking realization that the most prudent course of action for the time being is to keep all five strollers.
Why We are Stroller Aficionados – Here’s a bit about how owning all these strollers has helped us maximize our experience in our urban, walkable area.
- They Encourage Walking – Living in an urban, walkable neighborhood, stollers are a necessary tool to get us out and about. We stay active, the kids love to take in the world going by, and even our dog gets to occasionally come along.
- They Corral Kiddos – This one is super obvious, but it is also a lifesaver and a reason we have more than one stroller type. Our older son has gone through various stages of stroller rebellion, so having different types for different occasions has helped us keep him happy and in tow. He often wants to walk on his own but isn’t old enough yet to make it very far or to be completely trusted not to dash out into the street.
- They Are Great Pack Mules – With the right stroller, we can make the rounds to the farmers’ market, coffee shop, grocery store, and maybe a random yard sale and carry all our wares home on foot. Cargo space, stroller hooks, diaper bags, and even throwing an item or two in with the kiddos can go a very long way in terms of carrying things.
The Fabulous Five – Since we’ve used all these suckers a LOT, we may as well give you our two cents about what we like and don’t like about each one. But first, a word about how we procured this many strollers without spending an arm and a leg. We were lucky enough to be gifted these strollers either directly or gifted funds to buy them. We also bought three of these used. We encouraged family to gift us money in some cases so we could make dollars go as far as possible by buying used gear.
- Single Stroller with Car Seat Adapter – We have the Britax Affinity Stroller which we use with a Britax car seat. The air-filled tires have made this great for a light jogging stroller and for taking on dirt walking paths. The cargo space underneath is decent but a bit hard to access.
- Single Umbrella Stroller – We have the McClaren Mark II stroller which is one of the lightest weight but fairly heavy duty umbrella strollers you can find. It has a very large shade awning, is pretty tall for taller parents, and has a built in shoulder strap that makes it easy to fold up and throw over your shoulder when the fussy toddler protests riding in it. I don’t love that like most umbrella strollers, you need two hands to adequately steer this thing.
- Single Push Car – When the grandparents were visiting, they witnessed our oldest start screaming bloody murder every time we put him in the stroller. As a result, they graciously offered to buy him the Step 2 Whisper Ride II Ride On Push Car and a clamp-on Sport-Brella to go with it for shade. He still loves this thing and it can accommodate pretty tall kids with their knees bent. Our one gripe is that it’s too easy for the rider to stick a foot or even a hand out onto the ground and drag said limb dangerously along the ground all over town. Also, we didn’t end up using the umbrella much – we found that a good baseball cap usually did the trick.
- Double Stroller with Dual-Recline for Infants – When number 2 came along, we had no idea what type of double stroller to buy. Having a Britax car seat proved somewhat limiting in terms of car seat double stroller options. However, even if I didn’t get one with a car seat adapter, I wanted one with full recline for an infant that could also fit a very tall toddler. This proved even more limiting. We were down to a Bob jogging stroller, which was going to be way too large for our small urban spaces, or the Citi Mini Double. We ended up with an older, used version of the City Mini Double Stroller. It has exceeded our expectations. Our favorite feature with this one is that our older son was able to sweetly hold only his little baby brother’s foot from his seat, of his own accord. Awww.
- Double Stroller with Sit-Stand Functionality – When #2 got a little bigger and we didn’t need full recline for him, we wanted to get something lighter weight and easier to push around that also let our oldest have the flexibility to sit or stand. We opted for the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stroller. Even though it’s one of the lightest sit-stand strollers you can buy, it still feels fairly clunky to push around. The handlebar is very tall and is not adjustable, and the cargo space can only be accessed if the toddler gets off the seat first. However, it does do the trick for sit-stand flexibility and the shad canopies are excellent.
There you have it, folks. Five strollers. All with different features and purposes. There is one to fit every occasion from a jog with one kid to a walk with two. There is also one to fit every toddler mood or baby nap cycle, or the various combos thereof. We can of course pair the single strollers with one of the multiple baby carriers we own as well, and still take both kiddos out at once. See our post on Tips for Hiking with Young Kids for more info on the carriers and packs we have!
For now, we’ll keep these suckers and take full advantage of the flexibility they offer us. That doesn’t mean I’m not itching for the day when we can start getting rid of some of these though!