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My family of 5 has been through a lot of strollers. With three children, our strollers have each seen their day. As my youngest is out of a baby carrier now, I’ve been looking for a stroller that’s not super bulky, but also can withstand the push and pull. And I think I’ve found it in the Britax Blink.
This is just what my family needs. It sturdy enough to fit my 1 year old, yet lightweight enough to fit my 4 year old as well. I love the storage that it includes, a fun pocket for keys or cell phone in the back, and enough for a diaper bag on the bottom. And it’s got a great sun shade for my child, equip with a see through sun roof! It opens, closes, and stores pretty easy, taking just a few tries to master. It even comes with a storage bag, great for travel.
And aside from manageability, it’s got style. Don’t you just love the lime?! Yes, this is strolling in style! So if you’re looking for an umbrella stroller that’s sturdier than an umbrella, then the Britax Blink is your new toy!
My infant carseat expires in about 3 months… not quite enough time to use the old seat for my new baby. So I’ve been surveying the aisles of Babies R Us, Target, and the like for a new seat.
And, really, if I’m going to get a new seat, I might as well get a travel system to make life easier, right? The Bertini B5 catches my eye time and again at BRU, and not just because its also in my garage. With its sharp-looking fabric of black and white with yellow piping, its certain to be a set you give a second look to as well. (Please, go to the store and take a look yourself, or see my image of the stroller here. Its so much a sharper look in person.)
We’ve tested out the B5 carseat in 3 cars, making sure it fits with ease. (According to Car Passenger Seat Tech Dr. Laura Jana, this is extremely important when selecting a carseat. Always ask to take it outside to your car(s) and make sure its a comfortable fit.) Surprisingly, I could fit the Bertini, a Britax Roundabout and a Britax Marathon 3-across in the second row of my Honda Pilot. The squeeze was extremely tight, but it was doable. In the VW Routan (image here) which I recently tested, I found it difficult to install, but not so much because of the B5′s LATCHs, more because the LATCHes are difficult to access in the Routan. It also fit nicely in our Honda Accord, though only 2 seats will fit in there.
A feature I love in the B5 is the ability to keep the handle in the upright position. This isn’t something all seats do (read your instruction guide because all seats are different) and with 3 kids any little step you can avoid (like clicking the handle down) is a bonus.
The seat features EPP ProTech foam (energy absorbing) and adjustable stay in car base which uses either LATCH and tether. As well you can strap the seat directly into the car. And while it provides more legroom than the average seat (allowing for longer babies and longer use than many seats), it also comes with an insert for smaller babies. The seat has been tested and approved for babies 4 to 35 pounds.
The stroller, which is approved up to 50 pounds, offers a large seat base, huge basket, and an easy-to-collapse one handed release. The highlight to the stroller? It stands upright and clips in the baby seat simply by placing the carrier onto the stroller.
Every so often the same question crops up again on message boards and email lists, in magazine articles and blog posts. It’s tweeted about on twitter and emailed amongst friends:
“What’s the best stroller to take to (insert theme park name here)?”
As a resident of Southern California and mom of four wonderful kids, I spend a lot of time in theme parks. Disneyland, Legoland, Seaworld, The San Diego Zoo, The Long Beach Aquarium, The San Diego Wild Animal Park, Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm… our strollers have rolled many theme park miles. After testing & reviewing dozens of strollers while raising my four kids, I’m still always searching for that holy grail of parent equipment. The perfect theme park stroller!
This summer we’re taking pictures of strollers in theme parks everywhere and inviting you to submit your pictures to our theme park stroller photo stream. Got a favorite stroller, link or theme park stroller advice to share? Leave us a comment below and you will be entered to win on of many theme-park worthy stroller from the experts over at Lets Go Strolling and some of our favorite stroller manufacturers. Looking for additional ways to enter? You got it! Four more ways in fact!
Tweet a link to this article with the #themepkstroller hashtag
Want to see the first stroller we’re giving away? It’s the Maxi Cosi Loola. Read our review of the Maxi Cosi Loola and you’ll see why this sturdy, versatile stroller was our choice for a recent jaunt to Disneyland. One reader will win a Maxi Cosi Loola of their own. Enter by Friday July 17th for your chance to win and make sure to bookmark this post.
My first impression of the Maxi Cosi Loola Stroller is that it was a bit of an odd bird. It’s an umbrella style stroller with a compact fold. But the Loola is in a different class weight and strength-wise. This may be confusing to some consumers, because it is not what we are necessarily familiar with. Take a minute to get to know the Loola though. Different can be a very good thing.
Another way the Loola is different? It boasts a reversible seat. I don’t know of any other “umbrella style” stroller on the market that can make this claim. The Loola seat pops on and off easily to switch. The frame can be folded with the seat attached, facing either forward or backward. Carseat adapters for the Maxi Cosi Mico infant car seat come standard with this stroller which makes it very useful for those seeking a stroller “system” as well.
At this point you can already see the comparison to umbrella strollers is not a fair one. Aside from the frame’s fold, and the handle styles, it really departs from the umbrella model. So lets forget for a moment that I said the U-word and have a look at the strollers many other features.
Weighing in at 28 lbs, this stroller rivals some of the SUV strollers out there. To me this is not really a lightweight stroller. I need under 22 lbs for that. The Loola is pretty easy to heft when folded because of the very compact fold. But it’s not for those who think lifting a jug of milk is a workout – check out the Quinny Zapp if that is you! The Loola is a little weighty. There is a plus side to this weighty-ness however. This stroller is also sturdy. It’s not tipping over and it’s not doing that creaky, rickety squeaky thing that so many lightweight strollers do. The thing is solid. Solid as a rock. We took our Loola on a trip to Catalina island and walked to the hotel with luggage hanging off this stroller’s handles. And no, I don’t recommend this practice to anyone else! But since I’m confessing, I’ll also let you know we had no tippy turns on the way to check in. The Loola frame has a somewhat wide stance for a stroller with an umbrella style fold which lends additional stability. We found this comforting with our active son who loves to find ways to climb in and out of the stroller, and test it’s tip factor by leaning way far out this sides. Yes, my youngest was born to “test”!
The Basket under the Loola is generous but not crazy big. You can fit your smaller diaper bag in there or items for a day long outing. No worries since you can safely hang items from the handles as well!
The Loola is does not pass the single pinky steering test. However it is easy and smooth to push (even when my four year old was riding) with two hands and turns tightly. The ride is plush thanks to great shocks. Handlebars are adjusted by rotating the handle “horns”. You accomplish this with the push of a button. We would have liked to see a little extra height on the handles, although oddly it was me that wanted this, and not my six foot husband. The brake is easily activated and deactivated by stepping on a red/blue pedal at the rear of the stroller. One other nice feature – the front rotating wheels can be locked in the non rotating position (for added stability on ice or rough terrain) with the push of a button on the stroller’s frame. No stooping or getting your hands dirty.
The Loola came with a reversible (yay!), well padded seat in a cute blue/chocolate striped pattern that reversed to a solid. The fabric is soft and cushy and also really fashionable! I appreciate that it is easy to remove and wash. My son was quite comfortable riding in this stroller. There is a bumper bar that comes with the seat but we ultimately decided to leave it off as our son loves to climb in and out and was trying to kick it off the whole time it was on (see our pics – he’s a corker!). Fortunately the bumper bar is made to be removeable. It’s handy to have if you want to attach toys, or a snack tray or pouch as this stroller did not come with any food/drink holders. The seat reclines almost completely flat (adjusting to four positions) and the canopy is plenty big enough to shade a sleeping tot. I like the large view window in the back that allowed me to see my son clearly when he was napping. The stroller also comes with a removeable clear rain cover.
The fold on this stroller is relatively fast and easy. You push the side buttons and pull up in the center and viola! It is a telescoping fold and makes for a compact package. Once folded the stroller stands on it’s own which was really handy for us while on Catalina as well. We were hopping on and off boats, in and out of tour buses and this quick fold feature made that much easier for us.
Perhaps the reason I like the Loola so much is because although it has an umbrella-like fold, it has none of the issues that I commonly find bothersome with umbrella strollers. I tend to shy away from them because as much as I like to travel light, I still value the performance of a full size stroller. I have no patience with tippy, non reclining, flimsy feeling strollers. The Loola bridges the gap. It’s in a class of its own. It folds small enough to shove onto the tram at Disneyland, or into a hall closet at your inlaws, and yet it does not require that you sacrifice function and quality when you reach your destination. Bonus points for the (cutely upholstered) reversible seat and the fact that it functions as a system with the Mico carseat.
Compact telescoping fold
Handle-mounted lock to switch easily between fixed or swivel front wheels
Fully compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Mico™ Infant Car Seat
Hoping to get a first look at a brand new upcoming product, the UPPAbaby RumbleSeat? This toddler seat add-on for the UPPAbaby Vista is generating a lot of buzz in stroller shopper circles. It promises to deliver even more from a much beloved stroller. The owners of Let’s Go Strolling are here to give us this exciting sneak peek.
We’ll hope this video will be helpful to those of you trying to decide if it is the right set-up for you. Please leave feedback and let us know what you think of our newest blogging method. Like it? Hate our camera/editing work? Want to see more? less? Any comments are super helpful and appreciated!
- Best for younger toddlers or smaller pre-schoolers
- We’re sure kids will get used to it but it might be a hard sell for your toddler in the beginning due to the limited visability
- Great option for adding occasional seating to a reversible stroller
- Don’t plan on using it much with your carseat!
- We hope UPPAbaby will add zippers to recline the seat in the next generation (ala the Phil and Ted’s Sport Doubles Kit)
Written by the Baby Gear Guru’s of www.LetsGoStrolling.com where they know how to make parents lives with babies easier and better. Shop the best selection of strollers, diaper bags, baby gear and more with their knowledgeable customer service.
Baby Jogger turned the umbrella stroller world on it’s head with the release of its new Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller. It’s lightweight, got full recline, fabulous canopies, and a super easy fold. Who wouldn’t want this great combinations of features over the typical umbrella stroller? That’s what we though when it debuted about 1 1/2 years ago.
It turns out there are plenty of parents who don’t even want to tote around 17 lbs (for a single) when there are lightweight umbrella strollers that are 11 lbs or 13 lbs. They don’t have the same slew of features but they are even easier to lift up onto the bus or tote onto the subway.
Well Baby Jogger is back once again – now to capture the super lightweight market. They announced the release of their Baby Jogger City Micro stroller set to hit the world June 2009.
This is the word on the street in terms of features (and some compromises). It will have the same Baby Jogger City Quick-Fold Technology and accessory-mounting bracket system (presumably this means it will fit the bumper bar, snack tray, and carseat adaptor) that work with the other City Series strollers. It will have 6″ lightweight quick-release wheels, a 5-point safety harness, a comfort rounded handlebar with wipe-clean grip, a 50 lb weight limit, and a rear parking brake. These are pretty much similar to the Baby Jogger City Mini stroller features.
Now here’s what different. The City Micro will have only a 2 position recline angle, a smaller 2 position sun canopy (with clear view window) instead of the city mini generous 3 panel canopy. It will be have single color fabrics that are much brighter (confirmed colors are Kiwi (lime green), Ocean (teal blue) and Slate (Grey). It will also be cheaper – the MSRP will be $159.99, $80 less than the City Mini Single! And presumably it will also be lighter – but we don’t know how much yet.
Although images are floating around on the web, Baby Jogger requested we don’t publish them since they haven’t finalized everything yet. We’ll publish them as soon as we can!
Written by the Baby Gear Guru’s of www.LetsGoStrolling.com where they know how to make parents lives with babies easier and better. Shop the best selection of strollers, diaper bags, baby gear and more with their knowledgeable customer service.
We had a blast last weekend, taking the kids to one of my favorite Orange County beaches, and one of Paul Frank’s favorites as well. Not everyone realizes that Julius the Monkey is an OC home boy, and we love our Monkey here in the OC! Their love of all things Paul Frank is the one thing my kids, aged 1-12, can all agree upon. My boys have Paul Frank vinyl sticker wall art in their bedroom and the girls consider their Julius sweatshirts and tees their “good clothes”.
If you are planning a visit to the OC, you really should consider going to Crystal Cove. This beach is a state park and has a collection of rustic kitschy beachfront cabins that you can rent out. It may take some dedication to get a reservation though. Cabins are released once a month, via online reservation and it is first come, first served!
Crystal Cove beach boasts gentle waves, fabulous white sand, and creature filled tidal pools that are easy to explore. If you are feeling a little peckish, you can dine at the Beachcomber restaurant, which offers patio dining, practically on the sand. There is usually a two to three hour wait for a late breakfast or lunch at the Beachcomber, so submit your name when you arrive at the beach. They will hand you a pager to let you know when your table is ready. It’s possible to drop off near the beach at Crystal Cove, but you will have to park your car across the Pacific coast highway in the parking lot. Take the shuttle down to the beach or walk along the picturesque trail that cuts under the highway via tunnel.
I’ve learned, as a beach-going mama that not all strollers take easily to the sand. Bugaboos are a great beach pick, however. They are very easy to manuever on the sand, just tilt back and roll on rear wheels only. Bugaboos offer great comfort and style (personalized by your own fabric choices), and with the Paul Frank cover, my Bug made me smile even more at the crashing waves. One more nice thing about the extra fabric seat cover set? When your little monkey smears banana all over his seatcover? You can pop it in the wash!
My love of Paul Frank is ironic really. I’m not much of a label mom, nor do I usually purchase “character” wear. But with Julius the monkey and all his funny pals, there’s a certain wry wit, combined with awesome graphic design that gets past all my brand/character barriers. I love the way the new cover looks on my denim bug. It’s very sunny, fun and eye catching.
Search for your seatcover at your favorite Bugaboo retailer. If you’re lucky to live in So Cal, I have more good news for you. Mark your calendar for the first ever Bugaboo Warehouse sale, taking place in Culver City CA on 4/25. The address is GMT Studios: Stage 3, 5751 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City CA 90230. Cash, Visa and MC will be accepted. Strollers will be up to 50% off and accessories will be marked as much as 80% off!
In summary, a researcher at the University of Dundee in Scotland did observational studies of 2,700 infant/caregiver pairs and then conducted a controlled experiment. She studied at the interactions and conversations between caregivers and babies/toddlers in rear- and forward-facing strollers.
Her findings? She found that caregivers both talked to children in rear-facing strollers twice as much! They also laughed more with the children and the children laughed more as well!
Apparently forward-facing strollers are a much more recent invention due to the manufacturing requirements of making lighter, easier-to-fold strollers at the end of the 20th century. Fascinating!
So should you spring for a reversible seat stroller based on this research? That is totally up to you and your budget but we have found that many children are happier to sit longer in a stroller if they can interact with their parents. So whether your goal is more baby-bonding time or longer walks with a happier child, it might be worth taking a second look at some of the great new reversible options on the market these days!
As of this past week, all of my kids are walkers. I can see that my days as a stroller pushing mama are numbered. My boys are 4 and 1. They are active and love to explore. But at the end of a long play session at the neighborhood park, day at the beach or lap around the mall, they want to sit down and get taken for a ride. We still need a stroller that can carry the kids and our stuff, but we’ve moved from a fulltime stroller mode to a parttime one. We’re moving faster and travelling farther and wider and as such, we’re streamlining and trying to lighten our load.
We asked friends, family and several stroller experts to tell us the best all around double stroller for an active family on the go. We wanted lightweight, versatile, easy to push and most important – easy to fold in a hurry! We wanted this stroller to be great for neighborhood strolls but also easy to throw in the car for trips to the mall, farmers market etc. It didn’t have to be an all terrain vehicle or perform as a jogger but it did have to stand up to bumpy sidewalks, sports fields and brisk walks for fitness. It had to be comfy enough for a nap during an all day outing. We also wanted something with a reasonable price tag, since most people (like us) are streamlining their budgets these days as well.
The winner? Baby Jogger’s City Mini Double did all we asked and more. I only wish I’d found this stroller a litter earlier on. When it comes to a double stroller for us now, it really is the City Mini Double… or nothing!
Continue reading for the all the juicy details, slide show and video of this stroller’s amazing fold. [More...]
The Baby Jogger City Mini is an absolute pleasure to push. Even loaded with my brawny 4yo and 1 year old toddler, the stroller spins nimbly and does not feel heavy to steer. This was probably the first thing I noticed about the City Mini, when compared with other doubles that can be cumbersome or weighty. The stroller itself is very lightweight, with locking, quick release stroller wheels. The wheels are not air filled – the are a much lighter weight EVA tire, but this is not as issue for the push/ride as the stroller has an excellent suspension system and the wheels have sealed bearings that keep the ride super smooth, even on bumpy pavement. The handle is a textured rubbery material with a nice easy grip that I appreciated. It seems extremely durable – not prone to nicking and scarring and cracking like foam can be.
Note: The handle height on this stroller is not adjustable. I found the height to be comfortable for me at 5 “6″ and my husband who is 6 ft tall was also comfortable. My sitter at 5 “3″ also was pleased with the stroller and did not find the handle uncomfortable. It might be a little high however for women closer to 5 ft tall.
The seats on the Baby Jogger City Mini Double both recline fully, and seperately. This makes the stroller suitable for use from infancy onwards (wish we’d had one sooner!) The seats are padded and the five point harnesses (with no pinch buckles) are also nicely padded. I love the clever venting around the seat so that when it is fully reclined, air can still circulate – the baby is in a private little mesh “tent”. If the weather is inclement, or breezy, or you want to give your child a little more shade, the mesh can be quickly covered by an attached fabric cover. Over sized independent canopies also offer ample shade and protection from the elements. The fabric seat covers are durable, removable and washable.
My active baby is very content and comfortable to sit in this stroller (when he must be confined!), but more surprisingly, my four and half yr old who is pushing the charts at the 99%ile for height is also able to sit comfortably and even snooze in this stroller. Unless your child is a true giant, this stroller should also see you through all your strolling years as well.
Accessories and storage:
The stroller offers a generous basket underneath with room for a diaper bag, a couple of sweaters and even a toy or two. Additional storage on the seat backs catches all your smaller items – sunglasses, keys, sippy cup. (A beverage holder is also available)
There is a clever universal accessory mounting bracket on the front of this stroller that makes accedsorizing with belly bars, child trays and more, a snap. I should note that at this time the City Mini Double does not have a carseat adapter. There is a pram insert for use with infants under 6m. and Baby Jogger is working on a secure adapter that will allow parents to use their carseat with this double.
This stroller is hands down, the easiest double on the market to fold and throw into the back of your car. It almost has to be seen to be believed. Basically you grab two handles in the seat, pull up and viola! Folded! It’s such a pleasure that you will be spoiled for other stroller folds once you have experienced this. Once folded it is so compact and lightweight (even more so with the wheels released) that it is easier to take in and out of your vehicle than many lightweight single strollers. You will not hesitate to bring the double when it is the Baby Jogger City Mini.
I’m so in love with Quinny Strollers. I have been since I blamed the Quinny Buzz for making me get pregnant with my fourth child. I reviewed the Original Buzz last year and now I’m reviewing the updated Quinny Buzz 4. I’m thrilled to say that it just keeps getting better.
The new Quinny Buzz has 4 wheels instead of 3. It keeps the stroller more stable and more smooth. I felt the difference most when pushing the stroller up the curb. You know that moment when you have the front end up on the curb and you lift the back up? The weight of the stroller is resting on the front wheel for an instant… I would not say the stroller was exactly unsteady in a three wheel version, but I did feel like I had to really “watch it” on uneven terrain when performing this sort of maneuver. Or turn the stroller around and roll up backwards. With the four wheel version, I feel more secure and no need to back it up.
There is also an improved locking feature for the stroller when folded. Because this stroller literally unfolds itself, it’s reassuring to have a good lock when the stroller is folded!
The Quinny Buzz 4 stroller also comes with an additional larger seat cover, perfect for use with older toddlers. It is washable and durable and gives an older kiddo a slightly larger seating surface.
What Has Not Changed:
The smooth ride, the hydraulic “auto unfold”, the overall quality, stability and durability of Quinny, and of course, the good looks. The seat still can face forward or backward and the stroller is elevated, making it the perfect height to push right to the table when dining out. I love the modern lines, saturated colors and sleek styling that the Quinny Buzz team has stuck to over the years. The Buzz 4 also still works with the adorable and practical Quinny Dreami Carrycot and the Maxi Cosi Mico Carseat for those looking for a longterm travel system.
The Quinny 4 still comes with that ultra cushy neoprene seat cover that both my sons have adored. It’s the “nap stroller” of choice and sometimes I find myself wishing someone would push me around the mall in a big squishy reclining neoprene seat. That’s the life, huh? We can fit a fair amount of stuff in the underseat storage basket, however we’ve added on the excellent Buzz Box to our stroller frame. This integrated stroller bag is perfect for diapers, snacks, change of clothes etc. We’ve also added a cup holder. I recommend these dedicated accessories as they make this stroller even more pleasant for you to push and both can stay attached even when the bag is folded, making your life easier. No need to worry about whether you have diapers etc.
We’ve had a lot of strollers come and go over the years. I’m not one to suggest that there is one stroller that fits absolutely everyone. But I will tell you that the Quinny comes pretty close! Infant to toddler, rough terrain or smooth – this SUV of a ride is probably the single stroller that has seen the most use in our family. It’s parked in our dining room at all times, able and ready for action!