Your stroller needs to do – and be – many things. With so many different brands, models and sizes on the market, the experience is akin to buying a family car. Like cars, we recommend taking a few strollers for a spin before you commit. So, whatever boxes you need to check, we’ve got you covered as you navigate this all-important purchase. Here’s how to test drive a stroller to find one that suits your family’s individual needs.
Test driving a stroller - what are your priorities?
There’s no single stroller that’s perfect for every family and inevitably, you may need to compromise when choosing your everyday workhorse. If you’re not sure where to begin, read our Comprehensive Guide To Baby Strollers. Here are the main points you’ll need to consider:
- Does your stroller need to accommodate your growing family?
- Will you be folding and lifting your stroller regularly?
- Will you be loading your stroller up with groceries and using it for outings?
- Will you be pushing your stroller mainly on sidewalks or using it to offroad on trails or grass?
Does it meet safety standards?
Your perfect stroller should safely and comfortably transport your child and must meet federal safety standards established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. All strollers supplied by PishPosh Baby meet these federal safety standards.
Is it compatible with your infant car seat?
If you’ve already chosen your infant car seat, check if it's compatible with the stroller. Try it on the stroller – is it easy to attach and detach? Many strollers brands also offer car seat adapters for popular car seats, so browse our collection here or get in touch for more advice.
Will it grow with your child?
Make sure your stroller can grow with your little one. Ask yourself these questions:
- Can it accommodate a child aged up to three years and beyond?
- Is the toddler seat roomy and supportive?
- Does it have a deep recline for napping?
- Is there a comfortable upright position so your toddler can take in the view?
- If you plan on having more children in the future, can you fit a balance board on the stroller?
How does it handle?
Both you (and your child!) should feel secure and comfortable when using the stroller. It should feel easy to drive and intuitive to maneuver. Suspension, weight, overall size, handlebar position, wheel size and wheelbase (the distance between the front and back wheels) all contribute to this. You may prefer the sturdiness of a traditional four-wheel design or require the nimbleness of three wheels on a triangular base. Here’s what to try out:
- Get a feel for how the stroller operates. Try turning corners, coming to a sudden stop and negotiating steps and curbs, if possible.
- Give it a little side-to-side shake. Does it feel sturdy or flimsy?
- Remember you’ll be pushing a child, so add some weight to the stroller. Try pushing it around with your shopping bags in the seat (or borrow someone else’s baby!)
- Activate the brake and ensure it holds.
Does it easily fold and unfold?
The easier it is to fold your stroller, the better. If you’re going to be hopping on and off public transport or you live in an apartment up a flight of stairs, you want a stroller that’s designed to be simple and quick to pack up. Here’s what to consider when folding and unfolding a stroller:
- Is the mechanism easy and smooth or stiff and awkward?
- Is it overly confusing?
- Does it require excessive force?
- Does it – ouch! – pinch your fingers?
- Is there a one-hand fold option?
- Can it be folded with the toddler seat attached to the stroller frame? (Trust us, you’re not going to have the time to remove the seat prefold).
How does it feel to carry when folded?
How does the stroller function when it’s folded? Can it sit upright on its own? (Even if it can, don’t leave an adventurous baby or toddler alone with your folded upright stroller as it will tip.)
Does it stay tightly bundled when folded? (There’s nothing more annoying than a folded stroller bursting open.)
Imagine you’re hauling the stroller in and out of the trunk of your car. Is it awkward or overly heavy? Is it obvious where to grab on to carry it? Does it have a carry handle/bag like the Joolz Aer+ or a trolley like the Nuna TRVL?
Is it intuitive and comfortable for everyone to use?
Your ideal stroller will be the one that’s simple to use and pleasant to push by any caregiver, period. Test the following:
- Child harness – is this easy to do up and undo? Do the straps get twisted?
- Adjustable handlebar – are the settings likely to be comfortable for caregivers of different heights, like the Uppababy Vista V2? Are you able to walk comfortably without kicking the stroller wheels?
- Toddler seat recline – does this function smoothly?
- Wheels – big wheels make for an easier ride over rougher terrain and curbs and to bump up and down stairs. They’re not so great if you live in a small space.
- Compact strollers – lightweight, nimble and easy to push, but less comfy over uneven surfaces.
- Canopy – does it offer enough protection from sun and wind?
What’s the storage like?
Is it easy to clean?
Mess seems to stick to small children like glue. Wherever they go, it follows. Take a look at the fabric. Can it be quickly and easily spruced up with some baby wipes or paper towels? Will it stay newer-looking for longer? Will stains show? Can any parts be removed and washed?
Test drive a stroller with PishPosh Baby
Need some expert advice? Head to our showroom in Lakewood, New Jersey, to browse our outstanding stroller collection, test out your favorite models and have all your questions answered. Book your showroom appointment today.