Which Ride On Board Works Best
- What: Stroller boards
- Why: Add extra capacity to your stroller
- Where: Amazon or stroller manufacturer
If you’ve decided to make the investment in a ride on board, you have one decision left to make: a board with one or two wheels. If you buy direct from your stroller’s manufacturer, you probably only get one choice, and you go with it. For quick reference, UppaBaby offers a two-wheel version for their popular Vista stroller, while Bugaboo sells only a one-wheel board. But if you’re debating the choices, here’s what I’ve learned by owning one of each.
The universal Joovy Bumprider board I own sports two wheels. (Sadly, Joovy no longer makes it, so if you see one for sale secondhand, snatch it up.) The two wheel option feels more stable for the kid riding on it, and depending on brand, may offer more room across the board for little feet. Additionally, I find a two wheel version easier to walk with, as I shift my position slightly to the left or right so that my foot goes between the two wheels in my stride. I don’t even notice the shift.
But because both wheels rotate 360 degrees, the wheels sometimes go in opposite directions at the same time. That means, much like a wonky shopping cart, I can’t really move the stroller. I find this problem happening almost exclusively when I’m trying to go backwards and the board is loaded, either with kids or bags. Of course, when empty, I can fold it up and it’s not an issue. You might wonder why I’ve made a habit of walking around backwards with a stroller and a kid on a ride on board. The answer is I don’t, but it happens more often than you might think. For instance, trying to get out of a crowded (or even a tight empty) elevator, or rolling back a few feet to pick up something someone in the stroller dropped.
If you are bumping up and down curbs often or traveling over any other significant bumps in the road, lifting the board evenly so both wheels clear but your kid doesn’t tip off is a learned skill.
The wheel thing is by no means a deal breaker. Even with the occasional hiccup, any board pays for itself time and again to me. But I have come to prefer my one wheel board. Sadly, I own a one wheel board specific to the Bugaboo brand, though I’ve been sorely tempted to try it on another stroller just to see what happens. FYI, the newest Bugaboo wheeled board comes with a detachable seat.
With the one wheel version, I can bump easily up and down curbs, sometimes without even adding any extra oomph with my foot (another learned skill – lifting a loaded board with your foot) or hand. I have no trouble backing up or changing directions because with only one wheel, it never gets stuck going in the opposite direction from a second wheel.
But I do find it harder to adjust my stride to work around the one wheel, which tends to be centered. My particular Bugaboo board can be shifted on the stroller frame towards one side or the other to help offset the stride adjustment. I don’t kick the wheel any more, but I remember a steeper learning curve on my stride adjustment to avoid doing that.
In the end, it probably comes down to availability and cost. The universal board on Amazon has two wheels, and if that’s the only one that works for you, I still say get it. I find both my boards super handy for hauling groceries, luggage or car seats at the airport, as well as the frequent tired child.