Stroller Shopping: Best Urban Strollers for Getting Around the City
So you've found yourself living in the city with a baby on the way, or maybe you've already got kids. First of all, being an urban parent does have its challenges, but the rewards of living in a place chock-full of culture, art and life are unbeatable. Where else can you go to find in a 1 km radius a grocery store, a farmers market, a community centre, an ocean front walking path, a Kids Science Centre, a coffee shop, a pub and a Liquor store? The answer is my neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver, but most city centres have most amenities within walking distance of your home too.
Now you're on a serious hunt to find the best city stroller on the market. One that can transport your newborn/baby/toddler on the bus, the train, busy sidewalks and shops, while folding up into a tiny frame to fit in your tiny closet. You might not find a stroller that fits all the things you're looking for, but it's important that you arm yourself with stroller research and your personal stroller wants/needs to save yourself the hassle, the time and the money it takes when making such an important decision.
Troubled Transportation Tales of Urban Parenting
I thought it might be helpful/entertaining to share with you some of my most challenging transportation-related experiences of being a parent in the city. My kids aren't even old enough for kindergarden yet, so I bet there will be more stories rolling in....
On the first day of my sons dance class, I loaded up my 2 year old son and my newborn into my Phil and Teds Classic stroller and made a b-line for the bus lineup. I gave myself an extra 45 minutes, just in case things didn't work out. I waited for 45 minutes only to be passed by not 3 but 4 buses. When the 4th bus arrived, it loaded all the passengers in line, except for me and my crew. When I asked the driver why I couldn't come on the bus, he told me that if I wasn't willing to fold my stroller up and carry my newborn baby and my 2 year old onto the bus, then he just didn't have room for me. At this point I gave up. I started to cry a bit and my son was crying because he was about to miss his first dance class (which he was pretty excited about).
*In hindsight, maybe I just picked a bad bus route. We ended up taking the seabus for future dance class days and had a most pleasant experience on the water, looking at other boats, birds and people.
Don't get me wrong, trains are great and everything. But there are a lot of logistics when getting a stroller (or a wheelchair for that matter) on and off safely and efficiently. There are many train experiences that stand out in my mind. The most memorable (but not fun) memories were me lugging the stroller with 2 small kids up and down multiple flights of stairs to access the train, on days when the elevator was not in working order. Thank goodness for big tires! I was very grateful when strangers stepped in to help me carry the stroller.
Phil and Teds Smart Buggy
Best Lightweight Stroller: Phil and Teds Smart Buggy
Phil and Teds Smart
Now let's get started on the best city stroller reviews!
The Phil and Teds Smart Buggy is not only pretty, but is very city compatible. The winner of best lightweight stroller in 2011 on babble.com, this sporty, sleek ride is carseat compatible (fits with Graco Snugride), basinette compatible and has a seat that can be forward or rear facing.
Parents in the city who want a stroller that really stands out.
- Thanks to a new "colour your way" option put out by Phil and Teds, you can choose from over 200 colour combinations for this stroller.
- The Smart stroller has a "follow-the-sun" hood that ensure the sun is blocked out at any angle. You can buy different coloured sun hoods too!
- The lightweight aluminium frame is only 18 lbs and is less than 22 inches, so you can easily fit into tight spaces like between bus and train doors, in busy sidewalks and grocery store aisles.
- Easy to fold (just one switch) and glides into a compact fold, making it easy to store and to carry.
- The Aerocore seat has a spongy centre, a structured core and it's hypo-allergenic, waterproof and UV resistant (won't fade from sun). There are 2 seat recline positions, so your little one can nap comfortably. 5 point harness for safety!
- The tires are airless and there is rear suspension, which allows for easier pushing and handling.
Birth to 33 lbs
Mountain Buggy Mini
The MB Mini Stroller has all the bells and whistles. If you're looking for a stroller that grows with your baby and can accommodate older toddlers, this is a great one. Also, the one handed fold allows parents to easily get on and off of trains and buses.
City parents on the go.
- New wheel technology that allow tires to adapt to city terrain.
- Large sun canopy with built-in mesh sun visor.
- Freerider ( an attachable scooter) compatible with connector (both sold separately)
- Upright to flat lie (for infants) breathable, mesh seat with rollaway fabric option. Fabric zips off easily for quick cleaning.
- One hand fast fold with auto frame-lock that allows stroller to stand when folded.
- Lightweight stroller-only 17 lbs.
Infant to 44 lbs.
The UPPAbaby Vista is a real crowd pleaser. The Cadillac for for your baby. Many new and seasoned parents from the city I've talked to have used and loved this smart and savvy stroller. The Vista stroller is great because it grows with your family and has the capability of accommodating up to 3 kids, without growing wider. Do you know what the best part of the UPPAbaby stroller is (in my opinion)? The large, underneath storage basket. When taking the stroller shopping with you, trust me, you want to have some storage available for items you pick up along the way: the market, the butcher, the pharmacist, the liquor store (I once stored a 24 pack of beer and groceries in my stroller storage basket).
Smart and savvy parents who need to get around in the city and the country.
- The seat can be rear or forward facing. The full sized toddler seat has an SPF 50 drop down shade that can be reclined 180 degrees.
- The aerated bassinet seat can be used in the stroller and in the home (you can buy a compatible bassinet stand).
- Option of second seat and scooter attachment.
- One step fold and stroller stands on its own when folded.
- Shock absorbing front and rear suspension.
- Smooth rolling, "no flat" foam and rubber tires.
- Zip in weather shield (sold separately)
- Adjustable handlebars with the touch of one button.
- Floating arch "no kick" axle
- With seat or bassinet, the stroller weighs 25 lbs.
- Birth to 50 lbs
Shopping strollers: Which is best?
Phil and Teds Smart
4 airless tires; rear suspension
Seats can be rear or forward facing; carseat/basinette compatible
Folds easily with one switch; folds compactly for easy storage and carrying
Mountain Buggy MIni
3 airless tires
Seat is forward facing. Carseat, bassinete and scooter compatable.
One hand fast fold with an auto frame lock which allows stroller to stand upright.
4 "no flat" foam and rubber tires
Seats can be rear or forward facing. Carseat, bassinete, second seat and scooter compatable
One step fold. Stroller sits upright when folded, for easy storage