How To Choose A Stroller – Tot Guide

A great stroller will do more than just get you – and your tot – from A to B: it will simplify your whole life. But choosing one can be totally overwhelming, so we break it down for you.

Bumbleride Era Stroller

If you’re expecting, chances are, you’ve probably thought about the type of stroller you’ll buy.

Maybe you’re envisaging running with your little one – in which case you’ll need a jogging stroller. Maybe you’ll be on lots of coffee dates, meaning you’ll want a stroller that fits easily in and out of small spaces. Or maybe you’ll be hiking and traveling with your baby, so you want a stroller that can – quite literally go off-road.

To help you find the right stroller for your lifestyle, we’ve created a how to choose a stroller cheat sheet that includes:

  • Setting your budget: how much strollers typically cost
  • Chemicals to avoid in strollers
  • Stroller jargon: what does everything mean?
  • Questions to ask when shopping for a stroller

Scroll down to learn more!

 

Setting your budget: how much strollers typically cost

First, let’s talk budget. A high-quality, durable stroller will set you back between $500 and $2,000, if not more. While you can get more economical models, they are generally more lightweight and tend to be better suited for older children, or for use while traveling (as they fold down easily and are compact).

For example, gb has a fantastic range of ultra-lightweight strollers that range from $159 to $250. Some of these models are car seat compatible which means a lot of bang for your buck! The drawback is that they typically only cater for a single rider and don’t offer a ton of storage.

While we know it may be confronting to shell out $2,000 for a stroller, chances are you’ll be able to use it with multiple kids and possibly even sell it when you’re finished. The price tag also means higher quality fabrics, less wear and tear and in the case of the brands we sell: no dangerous chemicals.

 

Chemicals to avoid in strollers

Speaking of dangerous chemicals… At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test.

This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a products’ composition to ensure it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals we avoid. 

When it comes to strollers, we like to steer clear of:

  • PFAS chemicals – Used for water and stain-proofing fabrics, PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a large family of different chemicals that have been shown to cause developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.
  • BPA + BPS (Bisphenols) – Often used in plastics, bisphenols mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, and obesity. BPA is an especially dangerous endocrine disruptor since even small amounts of this chemical have been shown to cause serious reproductive damage, especially when the exposure occurs in utero.
  • PVC – PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, is an incredibly toxic chemical that is harmful to our bodies and to the environment right from the production phase through to disposal. It contains additives like phthalates, lead, cadmium, organotin that are quite toxic and have been linked to asthma, allergies, reproductive problems and cancer.
  • Flame Retardants – Flame retardant chemicals have been linked to endocrine and thyroid disruption, impacts to the immune system, reproductive toxicity, cancer and adverse effects on fetal and child development.

Click here to view the full list of chemicals we avoid and why.

 

Stroller jargon: what does everything mean?

Like cars, strollers come with techy terminology that can help determine which is best for you.

Here’s a quick guide.

Tires:

  • Plastic: These are fine, but if you’re planning on walking a lot, you probably want to skip them. They will find surfaces other than smooth pavements tricky.
  • Air-filled: Durable and safe, and able to withstand changes in terrain.
  • Foam-filled: The Rolls Royce of tires, you’ll find these mostly on luxury strollers. They don’t go flat (obviously) and can handle rough terrains with ease.

Suspension:

  • No suspension: Can only handle smooth surfaces
  • Front/rear suspension only: Can handle bumps and jolts
  • All-wheel suspension: Can go off-road when necessary

Seat configuration:

  • Parent facing: The seat can face the person pushing the stroller
  • World facing: The seat can face away from the person pushing the stroller
  • Full recline: The seat can tilt fully back

 

Questions to ask when shopping for a stroller

When shopping for a stroller, you need to really think about what/where you’re using it.

  • Do you care if it’s car seat compatible? And do you care about WHICH car seat?
  • Does it need to be able to hold multiples or become a double?
  • How will you use the stroller?
  • Do you care if it has a bassinet attachment?
  • Does it need to have an adjustable handlebar for a tall parent?
  • Does it need to be a single fold?
  • How does it brake?
  • Does it need to be able to work with a toddler skateboard or other accessories? 
  • How often will you travel with it?

Now – let’s get some answers.

 

Do you care if it’s car seat compatible? And do you care about WHICH car seat?

 

If you answered YES to those questions then first things first – we suggest choosing your car seat first and then finding which stroller is compatible.

If you’re currently confused and had no idea that a car seat could go on a stroller, take a moment to read our guide on How To Choose A Car Seat. We break down the difference between an infant car seat (sometimes referred to as a capsule) and convertible car seat and explain how infant car seats can work with strollers to be 3-in-1 travel systems.

Alternatively, you could opt for the Doona Car Seat Stroller. Because infants only stay in a capsule for the first six months, it can be convenient (and a space saver) to have the all-in-one Doona. Once they reach six months (or are too heavy/tall to use their capsule), you can then purchase a stroller to suit your needs.

 

Doona infant care seat

 

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller & Base

 

$499

Available in more colors

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Does it need to be able to hold multiples or become a double?

 

Expecting one? Expecting two? Need a way to transport both your newborn and your rambunctious two-year-old? Having one now and want the option to add a seat later?

When it comes to stroller configurations, you pretty much have the following options:

  • Single rider (usually car seat compatible)
  • Single rider + option to add second seat either in carriage or in stadium seating
  • Double rider side by side (Dual car seat & bassinet compatible)
  • Double rider side by side with the option to remove one seat and have a storage basket

Scroll down to see examples of each (that we love!)

 

Single Rider (Car Seat Compatible)

 

Stokke Xplory V6 stroller

 

Stokke XPLORY V6 Stroller

 

$999

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Bugaboo Fox2 Complete Stroller - Black/Black/Fresh White

 

Bugaboo Fox2 Stroller – Fresh White 

 

$1,299

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

 

Single rider + option to add second seat either in carriage

 

 

Nuna DEMI Grow Stroller in Oxford

Nuna DEMI Grow Stroller in Oxford

 

 

Nuna DEMI Grow Stroller in Oxford

 

Nuna DEMI Grow Stroller

 

$799.95

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Double rider side by side (Dual car seat & bassinet compatible)

 

 

Bumbleride 2020 Indie Twin Stroller Dawn Grey

 

Bumbleride 2020 Indie Twin Stroller Matte Black

 

Bumbleride Indie Twin

 

Ranging from $799 to $829

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

 

Bugaboo Donkey 3 Twin Grey

 

 

Bugaboo Donkey 3 Twin Grey

 

Bugaboo Donkey 3 Twin Stroller

 

$1,789

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Double rider side by side with the option to remove one seat and have a storage basket

 

 

Bugaboo Donkey3 Mono Complete Stroller - Aluminum/Grey Melange/Grey Melange

 

Bugaboo Donkey 3 Mono

 

$1,299

Available in more colors

Extension set and second seating sold separately

BUY NOW

 

 

 

How will you use the stroller?

 

Do you intend to run with your baby? You’ll need a jogging stroller like the Bumbleride Speed (no, you can’t run with a regular stroller!). It’s important that you have a lockable front wheel design so you don’t risk tripping and tipping!

The cool thing about the Bumbleride Speed is that it can be used from birth in a variety of ways. Many jogging strollers have locked wheels that don’t allow you to easily walk or jog. The Speed offers locked wheels for running/training, partial swivel for jogging and all-terrain trails and full swivel for city use.

 

 

Bumbleride 2020 Speed Stroller

 

Bumbleride 2020 Speed Stroller

Bumbleride Speed Stroller

 

$599

BUY NOW

 

 

If you’re a city-dwelling family with a need to maneuver tight spaces or love hopping on and off public transport, consider a stroller like the GB Pockit Plus All-City Stroller or Babyzen YOYO 2.

Both tiny yet mighty, they’re car seat compatible and offer that bit extra.

 

GB Pockit+All City Black Stroller

GB Pockit Plus All-City Stroller

 

$249.95

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Babyzen Yoyo2 Grey Stroller with Black Frame

Babyzen Yoyo2 Grey Stroller with Black Frame

Babyzen Yoyo2 Grey Stroller with Black Frame

Babyzen YOYO 2 Stroller

 

$499.98

BUY NOW

 

 

If you know you’re going to be hauling your tot, a bag of their favorite toys, sporting equipment and/or a case of wine… you might want to consider an option with a XXL storage basket. Bumbleride’s Era Stroller offers lots of storage space while maintaining a small footprint as well as the functionality of machine-washable fabrics!
Bumbleride 2020 Era Stroller Matte Black

Bumbleride 2020 Era Stroller

Ranging from $659 to $679

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Do you care if it has a bassinet attachment?

 

If you’re not going to use an infant car seat and the stroller you want isn’t suitable for use from birth, you may need to opt for something with a bassinet attachment. A lot of parents love these because they allow their baby to lay flat and sleep both safely and comfortable while out and about.

While it’s not always the case, most of the time, bassinets are sold separately.

However, if you’re not planning on strolling much in the first few months, you could hold off entirely.

Stokke XPLORY Bassinet

Stokke XPLORY V6 Bassinet

 

$324

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Does it need to have an adjustable handlebar for a tall parent?

 

When you’re a parent, the last thing you need is a sore neck and back from hunching over a stroller all day! That’s why it’s wise to check if the stroller you want comes with an adjustable handlebar.

 

Does it need to be a single fold?

 

If you’re someone who can’t stand the idea of breaking your stroller down into 2 – 3 pieces to get it in the car, opt for a single folding stroller!

With that being said – some options offer both, which is great because you can have the convenience of a single fold at home or out as well as the option to break down the stroller into a smaller package for travel or storage.

The Bugaboo Lynx offers this!

 

Bugaboo Lynx Stroller In Aluminum Frame with Blue Melange Fabric

 

Bugaboo Lynx Stroller In Aluminum Frame

 

Bugaboo Lynx Stroller In Aluminum Frame with Steel Blue Fabric

 

Bugaboo Lynx

 

Ranging from $899 to $919

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

How does it brake?

 

When it comes to strollers, you can either have a hand brake or a foot brake. While some people love being able to secure their stroller with their foot, others like having the ease of braking up high.

At the end of the day, they both have their benefits and it’s a personal preference.

 

 

Does it need to be able to work with a toddler skateboard or other accessories?

 

As a parent who had babies 21 months apart, my eldest didn’t want to be strapped in everywhere we went. However, her legs would get tired and she much appreciated getting to catch a ride! If this is important to you, opt for a stroller option like Bugaboo or Babyzen! And note: these accessories are all usually sold separately and require appropriate adaptors.

 

Bugaboo Board Accessory

 

Bugaboo Wheeled Board and Seat with Adaptor

 

$145

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Babyzen Yoyo 2 Ride On Board

 

Babyzen Ride On Board

 

$125

BUY NOW

 

 

Most strollers come with a basket for storing shopping or a diaper bag, but some don’t. If this is a deal-breaker for you, make sure you check before you buy. While many strollers come with their own accessories, don’t worry too much if the stroller you’ve got your heart set on doesn’t have every accessory you want – after all, you can also purchase add-ons like storage bags, bassinets, cup holders, footmuffs and padding if you need to.

 

 

Babyzen Yoyo Footmuff in Grey

Babyzen YOYO Footmuff

 

$124.99

Available in more colors

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Babyzen Yoyo Bag in Grey

Babyzen YOYO+ Bag

$89.99

Available in more colors

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How often will you travel with it?

 

If you’re a frequent traveller with kids in tow, you’ll want to think about a lightweight stroller that’s compact, easy to carry and if it packs up into overhead carry on like the GB Pockit or its most recent incarnation, the GB Pockit Air All Terrain Stroller.

Babyzen’s YOYO 2 is also a fantastic option.

 

 

GB Pockit Stroller

 

GB Pockit Stroller

 

$179.95

BUY NOW

 

 

 

GB Pockit Air All Terrain Blue Grey

GB Pockit Air All Terrain Stroller

 

$159.95

Available in more colors

BUY NOW

 

 

Click here to view and shop

our full range of strollers

 

 

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