Stroller Specifications

Features That Matter To MeStroller Features Joovy Handlbars

  • What: Stroller assets
  • When: Birth and beyond
  • Why: Some things matter more than others
  • Where: Any brand of stroller

In case you haven’t noticed, I have very strong feelings about strollers. I either love or hate them. I’ve been searching for the perfect stroller – one that can go anywhere and handle anything – since I got pregnant with my first child. Seven years later, I still haven’t found the perfect stroller, but I have discovered the features that matter most to me. In no particular order, here they are.

Brakes seem obvious, but I not only want brakes to be a feature, I want the brake to be obvious. I don’t want my husband or parents or anyone else not using the brake because they can’t figure it out. And I don’t want to break the brake trying to unlock it. The brake mechanism needs to be painfully obvious or sensibly common.

Stroller Features Bugaboo Brake

Bugaboo Frog: The thumb brake is not intuitive. I almost broke it the first time I tried it.

Stroller Features Motion Brake

B.O.B. Motion: Foot brakes are easier to find and use.

I also place high value on a flat reclining seat. You can’t use a stroller without a decent recline until your infant reaches six months of age. And I like to use my stroller for those first six months, when they can’t complain in words about being stuck in the stroller. I want to get all the months I can out of my purchase. But more importantly, once they can ride in the stroller, I want it to be as nap-friendly as possible. For me that means a full recline option, even if I don’t use it.

Stroller Features Bugaboo Recline

Bugaboo Frog: It reclines flat, even though it only has three positions

Stroller Features Motion Storage

B.O.B. Motion: It reclines flat and has infinite positions.

Stroller Features Joovy Recline

Joovy Ultralight: It reclines almost flat.

I need to maneuver the entire loaded stroller with only one hand. I have three kids, and even if I manage to put two in the stroller or one in a stroller and one in a carrier, I have to have my other hand free to hold onto the third child. At the airport, I like to have a hand for my roller board suitcase or beverage or any number of other things. Leaning on a stroller to push it with my elbows is not a good look for me. This feature can get frustrating because an easy one-handed push isn’t often included on a list of attributes when shopping online, unlike a full recline or other features might be. You have to try a stroller out in person to know for sure. As a quick reference, I’ve noticed strollers with a single handlebar rather than two separate handles tend to have a better one-handed push. But I haven’t tried every stroller out there, and there could be some exceptions.

Stroller Features Bugaboo Handlebar

Bugaboo Frog: Single handlebar makes one-handed pushing easy.

Stroller Features Joovy Handlebars 2

Joovy Ultralight: Two handles require two hands for pushing.

I need storage. And I need the storage to be both accessible and a decent size. It doesn’t have to have room for an entire kid there, but if it wouldn’t say, hold my cat or a bag of groceries, what’s the point? I’m not pushing a stroller so I can haul everything else on my back. I’m unloading my burden onto wheels to make my life simpler. I need storage I can shove things in and out of quickly and easily.

Stroller Features Motion Storage 3

B.O.B. Motion: This isn’t enough storage. You can squish more in coming from the sides, but what’s the point?

Stroller Features Bugaboo Storage

Bugaboo Frog: You can see I keep tons of random stuff in there because I can still fit a bag of groceries on top of it all.

Stroller Features Joovy Storage

Joovy Ultralight: The storage basket is large and easy to access.

I love extra capacity, and I don’t mean the kind where my husband shoves a kid into the storage compartment. I mean the kind that comes with an additional seat or a board to ride on the back. I have three young kids. I want to push as many of them at once as possible, or we are never going to get anywhere, much less on time. I don’t like side-by-side stroller models, as I find it nearly impossible to get them in and out of doorways. And I like using doors. I don’t like parking my stroller outside and unloading two kids just so I can run in and grab something necessary, like food.

Stroller Features Motion Ride on Board

B.O.B. Motion: I attach a Joovy Bumprider board to increase capacity.

Stroller Features Bugaboo Ride On Board

Bugaboo Frog: I attached a custom Bugaboo ride on board, which flips up and stores when not in use.

I’ve already harped about storage, but it turns out my kids want it, too. And I prefer pockets on the inside of the seat for my kids. That means they stash all their goodies in the pockets. Instead of rooting around for the source of the bad smell later, I can empty the pockets after each ride and prevent smells and other things from escaping.

Stroller Features Joovy Sunshade

Joovy Ultralight: The Joovy is the only one of my three strollers that has pockets for my kids, one on either side made from mesh.

I also feel strongly about a sunshade. A canopy that only covers the top of their hand, but doesn’t actually block rain or sun seems silly to me. I like a sunshade that creates a cocoon out of my stroller, whether it’s for keeping my kids dry and comfortable or creating a dark nap environment. I also want a peekaboo window in the sunshade so I can see my child even with the shade fully extended.

Stroller Features Bugaboo Shade

Bugaboo Frog: The sunshade has tons of coverage but no peekaboo window.

Stroller Features Motion Shade

B.O.B. Motion: The sunshade extends out over the stroller and has a peekaboo window.

Stroller Features Joovy Sunshade 2

Joovy Ultralight: The sunshade has an extra extension and features a peekaboo window.

Last, but definitely least, I need a stroller that can handle all kinds of terrain. I don’t need to handle snow or ice on a regular basis, but I won’t complain if the stroller can handle that. I do need to be able to navigate the cracks and uneven sidewalks that plague my neighborhood, as well as a curb. If I have to lift the stroller by hand every time we encounter a curb, I will not have a long relationship with that stroller.

Stroller Features Bugaboo Wheels

Bugaboo Frog: The all-terrain wheels can handle anything, even snow and sand.

Stroller Features Motion Wheels

B.O.B. Motion: The air-filled tires can handle even the biggest bumps and off-road adventures.

Stroller Features Joovy Wheels

Joovy Ultralight: The plastic molded wheels are best for indoor, smooth surfaces.

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