Understanding what makes a good stroller good and a bad stroller bad is extremely important when considering what stroller to buy for your child. here, we will dive into the key benchmarks to consider when purchasing a stroller. these are benchmarks that reviewers and users will often harp on for the safety of their child.
Obviously, the most important benchmark to consider when purchasing your stroller is its safety. Safety comes in many different shapes and forms in strollers. Oftentimes, safety can be determined by a couple key factors that are testable. For the sake of this post, we would like to highlight three key components of safety that are absolutely vital when purchasing a stroller.
Compactness: A stroller can be heavy, and even bulky. However, if the stroller has a narrow wheel base supporting a bulky, heavy chassis, you can be sure that the stroller will tilt and fall under its own weight and your child's weight. Safe strollers have a wide wheel base to support any top heavy or back heavy chassis. This prevents from stroller tipping and ensures sturdy design.
Closed Design: Besides head and face injuries, finger and hand injuries are the second type of injury most sustained by children in strollers. This is because a lot of strollers come with unfilled holes and crannies that babies are naturally attracted to. Babies being babies will find anywhere to stick their hands and fingers. One sudden jolt, and the baby's hand or finger can get stuck, cut, or even amputated. You want to be extremely careful that the stroller you purchase has a full or close to full closed design. Additionally, strollers with additional distractions for the child are perks such as toy steering wheels, bells, and whistles.
Materials: Obviously, the type of material the stroller is made from will determine the price range. So, your budget is going to largely shape what type of material your stroller is going to be. However, it is important to be impartial in this section and discuss what material really does make a stroller safe. For a little bit of history, umbrella strollers were originally invented in 1965 with an aluminum chassis and canvas seating. Those design materials have continued throughout the years, and even now in 2018 are the key components to an umbrella stroller. Umbrella strollers are obviously much cheaper because their narrow aluminum chassis combined with canvas yields for low costs. However, materials that make truly sturdy and strong chassis are full aluminum ones with high levels of cushioning to protect the baby during impact.
After considering safety, another key benchmark to consider is intuitiveness. The ease of use of a stroller oftentimes can shape how safe it is. The harder a stroller is to use, the more careless parents can be to oblige by the correct standards of usage. Here, there are four key components to become well-versed in when understanding how intuitive your stroller is: assembly, storage, fold/unfold, breaks. Let's start with assembly.
Assembly: A lot of parents and consumers think assembly and safety are two counteracting components of purchasing a stroller. Consumers oftentimes will assume that if the stroller takes a long time to assemble, it is safe, and vice versa, if a stroller takes a short time to assemble, it is unsafe. This correlation is not necessarily true. Bugaboo and Graco have led the charge in manufacturing extremely sturdy strollers that are unbelievably easy to assemble right out of the box. As they say, if you can't assemble it, you shouldn't use it.
On-Stroller Storage: Stroller manufacturers and companies want to make your life easier. If you're reading this, you're probably not only interested in buying a safe stroller but also interested in the stroller that can hold your new iPhone X, wallet, and maybe carton of milk. Well, there are strollers that exist for that very purpose. BUT, you have to be extremely careful that these additional and intuitive storage options are not being introduced while sacrificing the safety of the stroller. Storage options are oftentimes implemented to be in range of the guardian pushing the stroller. This means that storage and "extra baggage" are located on the back of the stroller within the guardian's reach adding weight. While additional storage options are nice, you want to be sure they are located in the correct areas on your stroller so that additional weight will make the stroller even sturdier. A stroller with a heavy purse and carton of milk on the bottom-back of the stroller is prone to tipping over.
Fold/Unfold: Where on earth am I support to store this stroller? American's garages are getting more and more filled with cars and sports equipment. So, when buying a stroller you may be considering how to fold it and store it. Umbrella strollers have been popular for this reason alone. Some bulkier strollers in Britax and Bugaboo's brand are equipped with simple disassemble options to store individual parts. But again, how intuitive is a stroller if you have to disassemble the entire thing every time you want to store it? Here, there is a tradeoff between fold/unfold capabilities and ease of use.
Breaks: And last but most certainly not least is the breaks. This is a pretty obvious one as a guardian you want to know where the breaks are and what wheels they are on. The strength of breaks is of paramount importance. But knowing how the breaks operate and in what situations they should be used is important.
The maneuverability of your stroller is largely dependent on a couple factors: diameter, number, and type of wheels, and suspension. When considering the smoothness of a stroller, you want to be sure that the front and back wheel sizes are proportional for both 3 and 4-wheel strollers.
Stronger and easy to maneuver strollers typically have 360-degree, full range of motion front wheel(s) and large (12+ inch) back wheels for stability. The maneuverability comes from the 360-degree wheels (possibly caster) up front and the stability comes from the large back wheels and widened wheel base.
Three and four wheel strollers generally serve different purposes. You'll find that 3-wheel strollers are usually jogging strollers that have a high level of stability and a lone full-motion wheel up front for easy turns. 4-wheel strollers have more control, but are harder to use on runs because of the jittery motion the four wheels can create in running movement. You should decide upon three or or four wheel based on the general uses of the stroller. Simply put, if you're gonna run with your child, go three.
Last is suspension. A stroll in the park with your child and you may run over a huge rock with the stroller. No suspension, and your child may hit other parts of the stroller and sustain an injury. Make sure the stroller can absorb impact and, like stated above, has cushioning on the inside to counteract these rough impacts.