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Strollers Buying Guide

Things to Look for when Buying a Stroller

BOB revolution stroller

So you’re about to have a baby and you know you need to buy a stroller. Wondering what you should look for in your stroller purchase? Here are some features to think about.


The Seat

Look for a stroller seat with enough width and a high seat-back that reclines fully and is not too high off the ground. The wider, taller and deeper the stroller seat, the more comfortable baby will be during the ride. The lower the child sits, the more stable the stroller. Most seat backs are around 20 inches high, seat bottoms are 10 inches long and knee-to-foot length is typically around 11 to 12 inches.


The 5 Point Harness

Like a seat belt in a car, this series of straps holds the baby or toddler in the stroller. Generally accepted as the safest way to secure a child, the harness has two straps at the shoulders, two at the hips and one at the crotch.


What to Look For: A harness that is easy to lock and unlock with one hand. It should be tamper proof and difficult for the toddler to unlock. Look for padded straps, which are more comfortable for the child, and adjustable sliders that are easy to operate with one hand.


The Frame

Like the frame of a bicycle, the platform that the stroller is built on is very important as it will determine the appearance and durability as well as its ability to carry loads and keep the child safe.


What to Look For: A one-piece unit made of aluminum with welded joints and rounded surfaces is ideal.
What do avoid: Rough edges and joints secured by plastic fittings; spaces or gaps where little hands and feet can slip through and get stuck in.


The Handlebar

The height of a stroller handlebar is a bigger issue with tall parents. When testing a stroller, make sure that your back is not hunched over while you’re pushing the stroller. For parents or caregivers who are not approximately the same height, the best bet is an adjustable handlebar that can go between 32 inches and up to 42 inches (most handlebars are around 40 inches high).


What to Look For: Handlebar height is the distance from your elbow to the ground when standing straight. If your forearm is parallel to the ground as you grip the handlebar while standing straight, the handlebar is the right height for you.


The Brakes

Hand, parking and tether are the three most common brake formats. The better the stroller, the more likely it will have all three options. The most basic (and cheaper) strollers have only one brake format.


Hand Brake

What It Does: Applies stopping power to the front wheel only.
Best For: High-end strollers usually have a hand brake mounted on the handlebar, which makes them ideal for strolling around the city. This kind of brake is not intended to stop a speeding stroller pushed by a fast runner.

Parking Brake

What It Does: Stops a stationary stroller from moving.

Best For: Urban parents who commute with a stroller on the bus or subway; for those who live in hilly cities and stop-and-go frequently, such as those who need to wait up for a walking child or a dog.

Wrist Strap

What It Does: It stops the stroller as a last resort. At one end the strap or tether is fixed to the stroller (usually the rear axle) and to your wrist (usually through a loop) at the other end.


The Storage

Strollers with storage allow on-the-go parents to carry all sorts of things, from groceries to a diaper bag, cell phone and toys for the child. The storage compartment should be easy to access and offer adequate room for you to store essentials. Storage areas are most commonly under-seat basket, side compartments and behind-the-seat pouches.

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