Choosing the right stroller for you and your child can be a confusing and potentially expensive task. Stroller prices vary tremendously, and it’s particularly tricky to know just what you’ll need if you’re about to become a mom for the first time and you don’t want to spend a fortune on something you may not use.
So, do you opt for a regular stroller or do you choose an ultra-lightweight, umbrella stroller?
In this article, we compare the two, enabling you to decide what would be the best choice of stroller for you and your child.
Table of Contents
Where to start
Before you begin stroller shopping, there are two important things to consider:
- What are your family’s needs?
- What’s your budget?
First of all, consider how many children you need to transport at one time and where you plan to use the stroller.
For example, do you intend to take your child with you on shopping trips around town, do you want to go jogging with your infant in his stroller, or do you want a lightweight stroller that folds away easily so that you can carry it?
Next, you’ll need to decide on your budget. Strollers vary in price from $20 right through to over $1,000, and you can find some super, high-quality strollers that won’t break the bank.
Once you know this and you’re armed with the information contained in the review articles on our site, stroller shopping becomes a breeze even for a novice!
So, what’s the difference between regular and umbrella strollers?
A regular stroller is typically used as your primary stroller for walking around your neighborhood, shopping, or running errands.
Instead of a heavy pram, most modern moms choose a regular stroller for a newborn. The seat in a regular stroller folds flat, making it safe for a newborn baby. As the baby grows, you can raise the seat back to a more upright position.
Regular strollers can be folded for easy storage and will fit into your car for day trips. Also, many regular strollers are compatible with at least one brand of child car seats.
You’ll also find plenty of storage space in the form of an underseat basket and a pouch for essentials such as diapers, bottles, etc.
An umbrella stroller is an ultra-lightweight, basic stroller that’s often chosen as a secondary stroller for when you need to travel light.
Umbrella strollers fold up easily (like an umbrella) and can be slung over your shoulder or carried using a handle.
There are two key differences between regular and umbrella strollers:
- Umbrella strollers are generally not suitable for newborns because the seat won’t fold flat. You would use an umbrella stroller for an infant who can hold their head upright independently, usually at around three months of age.
- Although umbrella strollers do have storage pockets, they are usually not as roomy as those you’d find on a regular stroller. That’s fine if you’re not going far, but could be a problem if you need to take diapers, bottles, and other baby paraphernalia with you.
Key features to look for when stroller shopping
Regardless of the type of stroller you’re looking for, there are a number of key points to bear in mind:
Stroller handle heights vary, so make sure that the handlebars are high enough to be comfortable, especially if you’re tall. Some strollers, like the Peg Perego Pliko Mini umbrella stroller, have adjustable, telescopic handlebars so that you can easily adjust them to the perfect height. You can read a full review of the Peg Perego Pliko Mini at this link.
If you intend to take your baby with you when you go shopping or visiting friends, you’ll need somewhere to put a full afternoon’s supplies. For that, you’ll want an underseat basket, cup holders, and maybe side-pockets too. Although you could hang a shopping bag on the back of the stroller, that could unbalance it, causing the stroller to tip over backward. The Maclaren Techno offers plenty of storage space, despite being a lightweight, umbrella stroller. See a full review of the Maclaren Techno at this link.
Most moms want to be able to fold their stroller so that it will fit neatly into the car. Look out for an easy-to-fold stroller that can be folded with one hand, locks into the folded position, and is simple to operate.
If you’re going to need to carry the stroller, you’ll want something lightweight. Umbrella strollers are generally lighter than regular ones.
Strollers that accommodate car seats are very popular. That’s a great innovation because it’s ideal if you can take a sleeping baby out of your car and pop him right into your stroller. Check out this review of Baby Trend’s travel system convertible strollers.
No matter what kind of stroller you buy, you’ll need to be sure that your child is safe at all times when he’s in the stroller. Look out for these key safety points:
- The stroller should have an adjustable, escape-proof five-point harness for total security.
- A single-action brake that locks both the back wheels is safer than individual brakes.
- Check the stability of the stroller. Look at the size and type of the tires, the quality of the materials used, and the overall locking mechanisms.
- If you have a newborn or a baby aged under three months, choose a stroller with a fully-reclining seat.
Wrapping it up
So, if you want a stroller for everyday use that’s lightweight, quick and simple to fold, and easy to carry, you might be best to look at umbrella strollers. If you need a stroller that has plenty of storage space and is safe for use with a newborn, you’ll need a regular stroller.
Check out our stroller review pages at the links included above to see full details of all the very best strollers available on the market today.