The Grand Poobah of Stroller Knowledge

I have yet to test-drive the Taga stroller. Give me time.

My patience for things that don’t work the way they are supposed to work is approximately .4 milliseconds. 

I’m working on that. 

(And by “I’m working on that,” what I mean to say is, “I’m not really working on that.”)

But let’s say you’re a brand-spanking-new parent.  Your little one is fresh out of the womb.  Have you slept in a while?  Have you recovered from childbirth?  Is your child happy all day? 

No?  Wait a sec–do you need to run to the store?  Here are a few things that will get really old really quickly:

  • Struggling to open your stroller in a hot parking lot while baby cries. 
  • Struggling to attach car seat to stroller. 
  • Carrying lots of purchases in your hands because stroller doesn’t hold anything but the baby. 
  • Smashing stroller into objects because it doesn’t steer straight when pushed with one hand. 
  • Struggling to collapse stroller. 
  • Struggling to fit stroller into trunk.

SPOILER ALERT:  I am about to solve each of these frustrations for you.

I am going to solve them with gusto.

I am going to solve them with panache.

And you will henceforth and for good reason refer to me as the “Grand PooBah of Stroller Knowledge.”

Let’s begin.

My patience for wordy posts is as limited as my patience for bad strollers, so why don’t I use a choppy, bullet-point format moving forward, hmm?

Five Strollers I Have Purchased and Why I Later Returned Them

 

Peg Perego Aria Oh   ($220)

  • Their advertised “one handed fold” is a crock of shomething. 
  • Attachment of car seat to stroller requires lifting of entire car seat/stroller combo and slamming it to the ground while swearing and spitting.  Social perception consequences are punitive.
  • The “five-point harness” is a joke, and not a funny one.  The buckle that is supposed to secure the shoulder straps behind the child falls off whenever the wind blows in a southeasterly direction.
  • Very bumpy ride when used outdoors.
  • By the time the kid is ready to sit in stroller without the car seat, you’re going to prefer an umbrella stroller over this hunk.
  • Took up too much space in my car.
  • Poor turning radius, and many other cons that I don’t even wish to recollect.
  • Most of my frustrations resulted from high expectations.  For $220, I want bells, people.  I want whistles. 
  • I used this stroller for a few months and then, in an act of sheer consumer genius for expert deal-getters only, I returned it.  Eat my shorts, Aria Oh!

 

Combi Cosmo EX  ($130)

  • In the interest of complete disclosure, several honorable friends rave about this stroller.  I probably didn’t give it a fair shot.  I hit the “reject” button the first time I tried to collapse it. 
  • Collapsing mechanism was mildly annoying.
  • Four wheels make it less maneuverable in stores.
  • Collapsed stroller is too long to store conveniently in car.
  • Again, for $130, gimme gimme more gimme more gimme gimme more

 

Jeep Umbrella Stroller ($40)

  • 3-point harness + shallow seat = Punga made several impressive attempts to nose-dive out of this stroller to touch the wheels.
  • Flimsy.  If I hung something from the back of this, it would have fallen over.
  • Very little storage space.
  • Please tell me they are joking with that sun shade.
  • Why must all these strollers take up so much darn space in the car?  They are all so long and require side-to-side trunk storage in my Subaru Outback, which is not exactly a sports car.  I store my strollers back-to-front, people.  Back-to-front.  Come on!

 

Jeep Liberty Limited All-Terrain Three Wheel Stroller ($180)

  • This was a much-appreciated shower gift from several generous family members.  I returned it because, at first, I didn’t think I needed an all-terrain stroller.  Plus, I had read several reviews that no ATS can hold a candle to the Bob, so if one day I decided that all terrain was important to me, that would probably also be the day I would buy a Bob.

 

BOB Revolution ($390)

  • This is not my number one “all around” stroller recommendation.  But I LOVE THIS STROLLER.  I didn’t want to spend the $380, but a major snow storm was coming and I knew our Aria Oh would never weather the storm.  Yay for impulse buying!  This puppy rides like a dream!
  • This stroller is listed in my “bought then returned” column, and is also one of the two in my “bought then kept” column. 

Although I loved my first Bob, I returned it because I was having an issue with popped tires (six flats!).  The lucky bonus was that I got a much better deal on my second one, and I haven’t had a single flat yet. 

To get the deal, I used my annual REI 20% off coupon (-$78) plus a new REI Visa incentive (-$40) plus my REI member dividend from the previous year (-$40).  In the end, I bought this stroller for $232, plus, with rewards points I will receive $27 back from REI and $14 back from Visa at the end of the year.  Which essentially brought the price of this stroller from $390 to $191.  [Insert celebratory “raise the roof” motion here, along with two quick high-pitched, wolf howl sound effects.]

  • The only detractor from this stroller is that it does take up a lot of space in the trunk, and is a bit heavy/bulky for everyday errands. 

 

I should also mention that for every stroller I purchased and returned, there were at least twenty more that I test-drove in stores, including Maclarens, Phil and Teds, Baby Trends, Chiccos, Uppa Babies, Quinnys, Maxi-Cosis, Eddie Bauers and others.

I also didn’t consider prepackaged Travel Systems because they tend to be bulky and I didn’t want to restrict myself to buying a car seat and a stroller from the same company. 

So which stroller do I recommend for its superior ease of use, cost, maneuverability, compactness, safety, comfort, storage and over-all, down-right, runs-like-a-dream fabulosity?

Did you really think the Grand Poobah of Stroller Knowledge would give away all of her secrets in one blog post? 

See you here Monday, my friends.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you find your stroller purchase to be as complicated as mine?

Do you have any stroller experiences to share?

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14 responses to “The Grand Poobah of Stroller Knowledge

  1. I’ve gone through several. I got a Zooper Jazz the first time around and it BROKE. Very frustrating.

    Right now I have a Cybex Onyx and I LOVE IT. Like, with the passion of a thousand burning suns. It is definitely not an all-terrain stroller though. Best on concrete.

    • Maria–thanks for commenting! I had never heard of a Zooper Jazz so I just googled it…from what I can tell, it doesn’t look like they even sell it anymore. That must have been so frustrating!

      And the Cybex–a thousand burning suns!! Haha–love that!!

  2. Happily Hydrated

    Now, will you buy those platform shoes too, when you test drive the Taga? 🙂 That looks like the way to go and environmentally friendly too. Just add the wheels from the Bob Revolution and a pretty heavy Parka and you’re even good to go for the heavy snowstorms.
    My stroller of choice was the little step 2 driving car, it slid right into our small compact cars trunk and my little ones LOVED zooming around the stores in it. Happy kid! Happy Mommy!!

    • Hahahahaha–YES OF COURSE I’ll be wearing the platform shoes! It’s only right.

      I never even considered the little step 2 as an errands stroller. Love this idea!!

  3. Happily Hydrated

    P.S. May I suggest a bike helmet for the Taga.

  4. I have a BOB Revolution as well and love it! I agree with you that it is bulky and heavy but it does turn on a dime.
    I also have a Graco Snugrider which is essentially a “snap and go”. I LOVE this because if baby is sleeping in the car during errands, I don’t have to wake him nor do I have to wrestle with the stroller to open. It’s lightweight, compact and PRACTICAL!
    I realize when the baby outgrows his carseat, so will my love for this.

    P.S. In case your wondering, I am one of Terri’s friends 🙂

    • Marissa! Thanks so much for checking in! Yes, I know exactly who you are…I’m about to “friend” you on facebook right now. 🙂

      Love the stroller thoughts! Sounds like the Bob + Snap-n-go combo is working well for you! 🙂

  5. I don’t have any babies, but love the Taga bike stroller. I see stuff like that and wonder why didn’t I think of that?

    One day strollers will be a distant memory and you will be thinking of your 16yr old and what car to get them. *gulp*

  6. You know why you didn’t think of the Taga, Angelia? Because it will never sell! Hahaha.

    Oh my goodness…what the heck am I going to do when my son is 16? I’ve already put way more time into this stroller decision than I put into my own car purchase. Hahaha.

  7. I’m expecting my special stroller delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday! I can’t wait!! I believe you’ll be commenting on the same stroller in Monday’s blog so I won’t spoil it 🙂

    When did you take the little guy for his first walk? I need to get out and get some sun (for myself) and was thinking of testing out the stroller in the next week or so. Too soon? Just have to avoid the sun 🙂

    • Hey T– it might be a good idea to run this by the pediatrician, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe for you to take the little guy outside (with a sun shade, of course!) A little fresh air is good for the soul!

  8. Korynne McHugh

    Oh boy do I have a stroller saga as well! I started off with a travel system which i hated the stroller just seamed so junky but was great for newborn, then I bought $90.00 chicco stroller for its size and weight. It served the purpose but there was no love. I also had someone give me a jogging stroller as a hand me down, when Liam was 11 months old I was pushing him in a 5k in Bristol with crazy winds, the stroller would hardly move and a girl next to me was pushing a BOB stroller one handed. She switched strollers with me for a few minutes and it was magic, this complete stranger said to me I feel sorry for you. I bought the Bob revolutionary stroller the next week brand new off ebay for $250.00 that was quite the deal. It has been fantastic ever since. But it doesn’t end there….Now I was expectating Baby # 2 so I bought the Phil & Teds sport $400.00 in the pretty red color and got the car seat adapter and the doubles kit. It was working out quite well, until my desired for a double running stroller came to me! I got rid of all the strollers except the BOB, Phil & Ted and the small Chicco. I felt like Liam was a little tight in the Phil & ted with the baby in there too, but it was great for cruising down isles and shopping but not great for running since you had to stand so far back it was akward. So a Pinky Dinky Doo would say ” I had my big idea!”I would sell my Phil & Teds on Craigslist and buy a double BOB. We had an aquintance at area BOB dealer who said he would get it for 40% off for us so in theory I sell my Phil & Ted and use the money to buy this $549.00 stroller and get 40% off. I sold the Phil & Ted and was ready to get double Bob, which would be my new running partner, at last minute he backed out and said they are really watching what people are buying with their discounts. So there went my deal. Now I was double sad, sold a stroller I liked to not get the stroller I wanted. So I decided you know what I will buy a double jogger off a craigslist and be done with it! So I paid $200.00 for a schwinn which is the biggest piece of crap ever, can’t run with it because it shakes so bad I can barely walk fast. One year later still upset I didn’t fork out the money for the double Bob! I am now stuck with crappy schwinn double jogger, my chicco which is a bit small and my fantastic Bob that only holds one child! That makes 6 strollers I have owned in 4 years. Maybe I will buy the City mini and get the taga long board. I think now that my kids are almost 4 1/2 and 2 I probably should just pass on the double Bob despite the fact that my husband is a hardcore runner and I like to run too!

    • Korynne! That is more than a stroller saga. That is the greek tragedy of stroller stories!! So sad!!

      The idea of addressing the stroller dilemma again for a double-stroller makes me nauseous.

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