Tuesday, 30 April 2019

My Personal Review of 6 Types of Strollers

As a mum of three and a closet #strolleraddict, I have found that there is no perfect stroller that fit all of our family's needs AND budget. The lightweight ones are usually not sturdy enough and the heavy-duty ones are more expensive and not easy for travelling (though I've done it a few times!).

As a result, I found myself getting different types of strollers over the years to fit our needs! Big and small, I've used most of them all 🤣

I have been asked by some readers to review my strollers but as I have so many, I really haven't had time to do a post for each one. I have used about 9 strollers during my 9 years of motherhood and at one point had FIVE strollers in my house! (Now I still have FOUR because we threw away our oldest, 6-year-old stroller) *laughs* 

Here's my personal review of SIX TYPES of STROLLERS and their pros and cons:

[1] Umbrella Strollers

Main Features:
  • Handles look like the handle of an umbrella and the stroller sometimes closes like one, hence the name
  • Usually folds vertically left and right to the centre
  • Double strollers available; seats are usually side by side
  • Some models may be able to add a carseat with purchase of additional adaptors

Common Brands: Peg Perego, McLaren

My Strollers: Ferrari & Peg Perego Plinko Mini

Left: Ferrari stroller (S$169) for my oldest girl;
Right: Peg Perego Plinko Mini (S$369) for my boy. 

We really love both of our umbrella strollers; we've used the Ferrari for 3.5 years and the Peg Perego for 6 years! We have travelled almost everywhere with them by air, road and sea and have had no problems.

PROS
  • Closes vertically, hence does not take up much space in your car boot/ storeroom / etc
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to navigate and push
  • If reclinable, can be suitable for infants 0-6 months
  • Relatively inexpensive (cost about S$200-500)
CONS
  • May have a smaller canopy and/or basket, depending on the model
  • Cannot push with one hand
  • Cannot be closed with one hand
  • The seat only faces front
  • Not cabin size
  • May not be able to stand on its own when closed
  • Require a baby insert to support infants younger than 6 months
  • Usually not suitable for children heavier than 15kg

[2] Full-sized Lightweight Strollers

Main Features:
  • Handle is in the shape of a semi circle and goes from one side of the stroller to the other
  • Usually folds from handle to foot rest (like a caterpillar when it moves) 
  • Double strollers available; seats are usually front and back
  • Some models may be able to add a car seat with purchase of additional adaptors

Common Brands: Combi, Capella, Graco, Britax, Joovy

My Stroller: Bon Bijou Lucas Lightweight Stroller

Left: Easywalker MINI buggy XS (my bro-in-law's) Right: Our Bon Bijou Lucas Lightweight stroller bought at Baby Fair for S$199. 
We like it for the huge canopy and ease of use

Among all my strollers, I probably liked our Bon Bijou the least but to be fair, we did buy the cheapest model with the least specifications (they have better models at a higher price point). This model is not a 'four-wheel drive' and comes with a 5-point harness that requires a PhD in order to buckle them. It's also very bulky when closed.

However, the stroller is very simple to close (one hand also can!) and easy to push. Perfect for my petite mum-in-law 🙂

PROS
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to navigate and push
  • Can be pushed with one hand
  • Easy to close; some models can be closed with one hand
  • Some models allow for seat to face either front or back 
  • If reclinable, can be suitable for infants 0-6 months
  • Depending on the model, may be able to handle a child up to 20kg
CONS
  • Usually has a small basket
  • May not be cabin size
  • Can be bulky when closed
  • May require a baby insert to support infants younger than 6 months

[3] Full-sized Sturdy Strollers

Main Features:
  • Handles are usually adjustable to fit your height (great for taller folks!) 
  • Frame of the stroller and/or wheels are usually larger than average
  • Seats are generally removable so that you can customise the type of seat based on the child's age/size (e.g. bassinet for infants) 
  • Double strollers available; seats are usually front and back
  • Some models may be able to add a car seat with purchase of additional adaptors

Common Brands: Stokke, Bugaboo, Baby Jogger

My Stroller: Baby Jogger City Select

My Baby Jogger City Select
(RRP S$1399 for a double) 

I've done a full review of my Baby Jogger City Select here. Of all my strollers, I love my Baby Jogger the most because of its functionality! I know it's not as light as other strollers but it has the best functions (read my review for more details)!

Having said that, I've ever packed this double stroller in a luggage and brought it to Melbourne. We have also loaded it into the boot of our sedan car and brought it on a road trip to Malacca (see it in action here). It was so useful as it could comfortably support both my kids as well as all our barang

PROS
  • Easy to push; height of stroller is comfortable for taller people
  • Some models can be pushed with one hand
  • Large canopy and/or basket
  • Very sturdy and does not topple easily
  • Usually allow for seat to face either front or back 
  • Suitable for infants 0-6 months as a bassinet can be added or the seat can be reclined 
  • Usually able to handle children heavier than 15kg
CONS
  • Not lightweight
  • Not cabin size
  • May be difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces
  • Cannot be closed flat; can be bulky when closed
  • Cannot be closed with one hand
  • If seat/s can be removed, it may require some practice to open and close the stroller
  • Can be expensive depending on the model

[4] Travel System Strollers

Main Features:
  • Most full-sized stroller listed above can add a carseat with additional adaptors to turn it into a travel system stroller. 
  • Useful for carrying baby in and out of the car without waking the baby

Common Brands: Cybex, Quinny

My Stroller: Quinny Zapp

Quinny Zapp with additional Zapp Xtra seat bought at only S$180 on Lazada
Before and after adding the carseat

All Quinny strollers are directly compatible with Maxi Cosi carseats (adaptors are included with purchase of the stroller) , hence we decided to buy one to match our existing Maxi Cosi carseat that we got from a friend. We compared the older, most basic model of the Quinny Zapp with newer models and felt that the older model fits our needs best as it was cheapest and the least bulky.

I have to say, I used to think Travel System Strollers are a waste of money because the baby can only sit in the carseat for at most till 14 months old. However, now that I have a baby who is a light-sleeper, I really appreciate the fact that I don't have to wake her when I move her from the car to the stroller or vice versa! It's really very convenient if you have a car or travel by cab/private hire cars.

PROS
  • Easy to navigate and push
  • Very sturdy and does not topple easily
  • Suitable for infants 0-6 months
  • Very convenient; able to move the baby in and out of the car without waking the baby
CONS
  • May require additional adaptors to convert existing stroller to a travel system, which may cost extra 
  • Older siblings will not be able to sit in stroller when the carseat is fitted on the stroller
  • Not lightweight
  • Not cabin size
  • Cannot be closed flat; can be bulky when closed
  • Cannot be closed with one hand
  • If seat/s can be removed, it may require some practice to open and close the stroller
  • Can be expensive depending on the model

[5] Compact Strollers

Main Features:
  • Folds flat and small, sometimes even small enough to fit into your bag
  • Double stroller not available

Common Brands: GoodBaby Pockit Stroller, Babyzen Yoyo

My Stroller: CocoLatte Pockit Stroller

My Cocolatte Pockit stroller
(Bought in 2016 for S$199) 
How the stroller looks like when opened
When closed, it fits nicely into my recycle bag

I've done a full review of my Pockit stroller here.

When I bought this stroller in 2016, they only had strollers that can't be reclined. In recent years, GoodBaby and Cocolatte have released newer models that not only can be reclined, but, depending on the model, may also fit a carseat if you add the necessary adaptors. However, this means that the price of the newer Pockit models is almost double of what I paid ($350+ vs $199). Nevertheless, I think it's a good investment if you commute via public transport or travel overseas a lot. It's so compact and light that you can carry it with one hand when its closed! I love to bring mine for our overseas trips! 😊

PROS
  • Very lightweight
  • Cabin size
  • Usually small enough to fit into your backpack/ big totebag
  • Does not take up space in your car boot/ storeroom/ etc
  • If reclinable, can be suitable for infants 0-6 months
CONS
  • Usually has a small canopy and/or basket
  • For the Pockit, it cannot be closed with one hand and requires some practice to open and close the stroller
  • The seat only faces front
  • Handles usually cannot support weight, e.g. diaper bags
  • If seat cannot be reclined, it's not suitable for infants 0-6 months
  • Require a baby insert to support infants younger than 6 months
  • Usually not suitable for children heavier than 15kg
  • Can be expensive depending on the model

[6] Toddler-Only Strollers

Main Features:
  • Basic stroller that can't be reclined and does not have a 5-point harness as it is meant for toddlers

Common Brands: Seababy, Jiji

My Strollers: Latido, Seababy

Our Latido and Seababy strollers bought in 2012-2013

I personally don't like toddler-only strollers as they are difficult to push and not very safe (usually only 3-point harness). I think we sold these two away not long after the mum-in-law got them as we found pushing my very heavy, preschool-aged, oldest girl very difficult. I'm sure they have made better strollers since then but I will still only buy full strollers.

PROS
  • Very lightweight
  • Does not take up space in your car boot/ storeroom/ etc
  • Relatively inexpensive (usually cost less than S$200)
CONS
  • Small canopy and basket
  • Seat cannot recline; hence not suitable for babies younger than 6 months
  • Depending on the model, may not be able to close flat
  • Handles usually cannot support weight, e.g. diaper bags
  • May be difficult to navigate and push
  • Not suitable for children heavier than 15kg

~~~~~~~

There are two types of strollers I've never tried:
  1. Jogging (because I hate jogging) 
  2. Car Seat Carrier, i.e. car seats that convert directly into a stroller, e.g. Doona (I have no need of this as I have a travel system stroller) 
~~~~~~~

Hopefully this was helpful to you! Happy shopping for the right stroller/s for your family! 😄
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