For years now I have been a stroller stable kind of girl. I humbly accepted the fact that there was no one stroller that could truly do it all. Which is how my garage evolved into a stroller stable of sorts. There were the carseat friendly "systems", the mall cruisers and off road giants, the sleekly compact and impossibly lightweight city strollers for urban travel, the posh bassinet models for neighborhood strolls with an infant… Friends commented on my “problem” and I blithely explained to all that it was simply impossible for one stroller to do it ALL. How could a connosiour such as myself be expected to choose, to skimp, to limit myself to a single stroller that could hardly do all of what my many models could collectively do.
Well prove me wrong.
I’d like to introduce you the the Micralite Toro. The stroller that really can do it all. If it made margaritas, I might even marry it.
When we recently left for our road trip, I was faced with a very big dilemma. I could only bring one stroller with us. It had to seat my 5 month old and my oversized 3 yr old both comfortably, as either one might end up seated in it. It had to work in the city, on the beach, on hiking trails and everywhere in between. It had to work with our infant’s carseat. It had to fold and unfold in a flash. And it had to take up the bare minimum of space in our already overloaded minivan full of luggage and supplies for two adults and four children for two weeks time on the road! There was no contest. It had to be the Micralite Toro Newborn System.
The Seat & Bassinet:
One of the initial reasons we chose the Micralite to travel with was the versatile seating options. It works with our Maxi Cosi Mico carseat as a stroller system, and has an easy to adjust infant to toddler seat that is comfortable for a wide range of ages. The bassinet included in the newborn system is a roomy, generous and well padded one. It even works with the BabySense breathing monitor we use in our crib at home. We felt so good about this bassinet, that once we decided to bring this stroller on our trip, we also opted to leave the portable crib at home. The bassinet was our infant son’s travel bed for the entire trip and he slept quite peacefully. Two long straps on the side of the bassinet make it easy to carry from room to room and to transfer a sleeping infant from the stroller to the bedroom.
Another nice thing about this bassinet is that it is completely independent from the rest of the stroller. While our baby was sleeping in the bassinet, we could fit the stroller chassis with the infant to toddler seat and one of us could go for a stroll with our older son. There was no need to disassemble the bassinet to switch modes, as there is in other strollers we have tried.
The Toro seat is hammock style, formed by fabric that attaches around a metal hoop at the stroller frame’s core. It’s a compact seat and not the most padded, but the hammock style makes it very comfortable for children to sit in. We had no complaints from our riders who really represented either end of the stroller user spectrum. Leo, at 15 lbs and five months, was able to catch some z’s in the fully reclined position. Fox, on his 4th birthday at close to 40lbs, was able to rest his tired tootsies after many miles of city walking and was able to ride comfortly without having his long legs scraping the ground. The stroller provided ample foot clearance for even a tall toddler.
The Micralite stroller’s five point harness is easy to attach and does not pose any particular pinch problems. The cordura fabric is extremely durable and Micralite makes the ride even more comfy and fashionable when you add in their padded microfleece seat inserts, available in a wide variety of fabrics. I’m all for personalizing your ride and really love that they make it so easy.
A bumper bar on the outside of the stroller provides room to attach a snack tray such as the Sienna by Carry You. The bar does remove, if you have an older child that likes to get in and out on their own, or an inquisitive baby that does not like anything blocking his/her view of the world. The included hood provides decent sun coverage and ample rain covers are included with the stroller system.
Points go to this stroller also for the higher up ride, making it easy to roll kids to the café table and keeping them away from car exhaust fumes. The bassinet is closer to mom’s eye level and requires no bending and straining – something that c-section moms will be especially thankful for.
The newborn system comes with carseat adapter parts that accept both the Micralite bassinet and Maxi Cosi Mico carseats. Adapters for other carseats are also available.
The frame style of the Micralite strollers are unconventional. Unlike other strollers these are wider in the front and narrower in the back. The rear tires are large and air filled and the front tires are small swivelling wheels. The entire stroller is clearly well engineered. Rumor has it that golf caddies were the original inspiration for the design. It’s incredibly lightweight and yet extremely sturdy. Earlier models from Micralite were accused of being exceptionally tippy but this is not at all the case with the Toro. I would not advise hanging a lot of weight from the handles on any stroller of course, but life happens and my handbag or diaper bag often ends up there. It was not a problem with the Toro.
The storage basket beneath the stroller handles a sweater or two and a small bag. It’s adequate for a short outing, but not exactly one you’d want to rely on if you were out grocery shopping.
One of the greatest features of this stroller is the fold. Push and squeeze the lever in back and whoosh! It simply folds up into itself almost magically. No bending, stressing, pushing, or sitting on it. Once folded it stands upright alone. Note: the stroller cannot be folded with a carseat or bassinet attached, but it can with the seat attached. Unfolding is as easy as the fold. Simply press two levers at the top of the stroller and it slides open. Want to see more? Check out this Micralite Toro demo. Honestly, it does not get easier than this when it comes to folding and unfolding a stroller.
It takes some getting used to the look of the stroller. But it takes no time at all to get used to the amazing push and one pinky steering. This is one stroller that truly can turn on a dime. Tip it back and balance on the two rear tires and you will find that stairs, curbs, and common obstacles are easily bounced over and up with a minimum of effort. The rear tires perform like off road pros on snow, sand and ice. But attach the (optional) ATV front tires and you have a stroller fit for a true off road adventure. We turned our stroller into a sand dune buggy and hit the beach. It was enough to make onlookers goggle eyed and green with envy, and yes we loved every minute of it!
When strolling through an urban environment, the compact nature of the stroller is welcome. The precision steering makes shopping a pleasure and the lightweight and fast folding/unfolding action makes hopping on and off trains and trams, or squeezing into a crowded bistro, a breeze. We took this stroller on the Portland light rail system, and in and out of boutiques with not a single break in stride.
One of the only things we have seen criticized in the Toro stroller, is the lack of height adjustability of the handles. Some taller riders have complained of kicking the tires when walking with long strides. To combat this, we were advised to use the included hex wrench to adjust the tilt of the handlebars (sort of like you would adjust the handlebars on your old ten speed!). By turning the handlebars with the “horns” tipped up and back, my long legged 6ft husband was able to push this stroller without kicking any tires and without any complaints. In fact, he has declared this stroller his own, his favorite, his one and only. Quite the pronouncement from a man who’s been known to groan aloud at the mention of “another stroller!?”
My husband is lobbying to clear out the stables and keep only the Micralite Toro. It’s a tempting thought. With so many features to love, the Micralite Toro is about as handy as they come. About the only thing I cannot recommend it for is as a dedicated jogger. Then again, I did not test it for this, as don’t jog! Weighing only 18 lbs and at a base cost of $524 for the stroller and &699 for the Newborn Travel System, the Micralite Toro comes in at significantly less than the Bugaboo and other comparable luxury strollers. But in fact it is capable of doing far more.
- Light weight
- Extremely versatile
- Compact and easy fold
- Pricey (but may eliminate need for multiple strollers)
- Limited undercarriage storage
- Weight—18 lbs
- Folded Size — 39.5” x 16” x 16”
- Open Size— 38” x 29” x 24”
- Weight of Carrycot 9.92 lbs
- Recommended Age: Birth with carrycot or car seat adaptors to 4 years of age and or 40lbs.
Where to buy: For a list of recommended retailers, please check the Micralite Website.