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.”
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!
- 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?