I need a lightweight, cost-effective stroller — what's your favorite?

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Photo by midnightcomm, used under Creative Commons license.
There are about 100 million strollers out there. I am four-and-a-half months pregnant with my first baby and all I want is a "normal" stroller. All I see are giant, two lane, SUV type strollers that cost around $600. I just want something that will allow me to walk with my baby and maybe let me pick up some vegetables at the market. Something compact, affordable, and functional from infant to baby that won't be hard to get up two flights of stairs to my apartment. Does this exist?

What are the strollers other Offbeat Mama's are using that don't require their own vehicle just to move them around? — Vivi
  1. I absolutely love my Baby Jogger City Mini, its not actually a jogger but it is so versatile. The thing that sold me on it was its ease of folding, and it is lightweight. Its a pain because any attachments (ie to hold car seat, child tray) cost extra but you can get a basic set up for $250 (car seat holder, and stroller) on amazon, less if you shop your local CL and get used.

    People that see me put my stroller in my trunk are amazed, you can do it one-handed and holding your child. Its 3 wheels but very manueverable. While many people are tempted to go with the ease of the combo car-seat stroller dealies, just think, you can only use that car seat for 6 months and then you are stuck with the matching set. The City Mini lasts longer overall and it really wasn't bad using it with a car seat.

    19 agree
    • I LOVE my City Mini. I used the Kidapotamous insert when my son was newborn with the seat in recline position and had no need for the car seat attachment. Worked great! I now own the double.

      5 agree
      • I agree! I used the city mini from birth (well, about three weeks) with my daughter, and it's worked fine because it reclines almost completely. I kind of miss being able to have her face me as I push her in it, but I can look at her through a window in the top. It also worked fine for my four-year-old niece when she visited us so it's VERY versatile!

        5 agree
    • I bought a $50 umbrella deluxe stroller from Walmart. It's more sturdy than very cheap umbrella strollers and can carry up to 50lbs. It's great and very space efficient. Drink holder area for mom too.

      5 agree
      • I probably own the same one as you. The Ignite? My only complaint is that theres not much space in the undercarriage, which only, matters because I don't have a car, for carrying groceries.

        4 agree
    • I second this suggestion. I did buy the car seat/stroller combo when my son was born & did not get a lot of use out of it. My son was (is) 98%tile height/weight, so he outgrew the infant car seat quickly. Then I was left with the stroller that had a few design flaws (in my opinion). I ended up buying a City Mini & *love* it. Great design, easy to fold & carry plus the sunshade on it is great. What I wish I did from the start – buy the carseat & the frame it can snap into (Snap n' Go? Is that what they're called?). That way, you can save your money for the stroller you really, really want & will use the most out of. I just felt the stroller that came with the combo was so pointless. Hope this helps!

      5 agree
  2. I agree. Got the city mini in black and I can load it into car with one arm while holding baby. It's 16 pounds as opposed to the 27 pound BOB or Britex. And it has good storage underneath for my bag and ergo (which gets used more than the stroller:)

    4 agree
  3. i absolutely second the city mini recommend. they didn't come out until my kid was about a year old, for the first year we used a snap-n-go frame with the carseat because it was cheap, gave us another year to figure out what we would need long term, and had a really good storage basket underneath. the city mini also has wheels that are very easily removed to make it fit in an overhead bin on a plane. also, if you do have one of these and fly with it, the check-in people might tell you it's a jogger and has to be checked, it is not, the wheel diameter is not jogger size and it's within regulation (hopefully no longer an issue now that they have been around longer).

    4 agree
    • it also lays nearly flat for napping and has hands down the best sun shade on the market, it's like being in a little tent with optional windows on top. when my daughter was still really little, i tucked an airplane sized pillow behind her for a better fit while sitting.

      4 agree
  4. Anyone with double stroller ideas? I have a 12 month old that I use a Becco Gemini with most of the time but he'll be 18 months when his little sibling is due so I think I'll need the flexibility of seats for both for groceries and stuff. we walk everywhere and live downtown.

    3 agree
    • We bought a Joovy Caboose which is a sit/stand stroller as a double stroller for our nanny share. The kids are 6 months apart so not exactly the same situation, but close. They don't recommend it for kids under 2 but you can do it before then (we did by a few months. However, if you wear baby out for the first few months (something you'll likely love doing anyway) then by the time baby is ready to sit up and watch the world, older sibling will be ready to sit and stand on the back and watch the world go by. And while you're wearing baby and the older is riding in the front seat it makes the best carting stroller ever with a huge basket underneath and plenty of room on the seat for stuff too. We have used it to carry home 20 packs of moving boxes from Uhaul without the slightest difficulty.

      The footprint is less than the BOB stroller, so a little larger than an umbrella, but not as large as a jogger. And it fits beautifully on the bus. Our nanny loves it and the kids happily take turns taking front and back. It can get heavy with 2 kids, but come on how can you have a 20 lb stroller with two 30+ lbs kids (total of 80lbs) and it *not* be heavy?

      I would gladly give up both of our umbrellas for just this.

      3 agree
      • We've got a sit-n-stand too, although I didn't start using it until my youngest was out of the carseat and could sit up in the front stroller seat. I liked that the back jumpseat has a seatbelt that goes between the child's legs, so I could strap my daughter in if I needed to (see had a tendancy to want to jump off the stroller and walk while we were in the middle of crossing the street)
        The only thing I didn't like was how hard it was to turn with 2 kids sitting in it. When she got a bit older, my daughter preferred to walk and hold my hand, and just use the stroller when she got tired or we had to cross the street, but because the front baby sits so far forward, it puts all the weight at the front of the stroller and you can't turn it one-handed at all.
        We got ours used from a consignment store, which might have something to do with it, but I also didn't like how quickly the wheels started to squeak, no matter how well we tried to take care of them.
        Over all though, the sit-n-stand was still worth it. It enabled my oldest to walk when she wanted to, instead of being strapped into a big double stroller where I would have to stop and lift her out. She could just climb on and off on her own. It was also much easier than our big Graco double stroller to get on and off the bus, and fit much better, too.

        2 agree
    • Also look into the baby jogger city select–it's pricey, but you can use it with one or two seats, and face them in all kinds of different ways, so it'll be good for 2 kids or just one when the older one doesn't need to ride anymore.

      2 agree
      • I second the baby jogger city select mostly because you can use it as a single or double but lots of other reasons too. It is quite lightweight and narrow for a double and enormous basket. Check out the video (http://www.babyjogger.com/city_select_lp.aspx)

        Only caveat is that (besides the large initial expense) the seats it comes with are made for 6+ months, so you will have the added cost of purchasing/hiring a car seat or basinette while in the newborn stage (and these require another attachment). So, fantastic pram but an expensive option. Worth looking around for second hand.

        2 agree
    • Look at umbrella strollers. B/c I had twins, I ended up with the Maclaran double stroller, and it's awesome.

      I would also look into babywearing — slings, wraps, mei tais, etc. Very handy for the farmer's market, I found, when I only had one baby in tow.

      If you're going to drive a lot, I hear good things about Snap'n'go set-ups. I don't drive at all so I don't have personal experience here.

      2 agree
  5. I love the City Mini as well for all of the reasons Holly mentioned above as well as the large canopy. Tried the Joovy Kooper and loved its big canopy (I like to keep my babies covered!) but it wasn't as easy to fold and the front wheel sometimes got stuck in a weird way. Little frustrations add up, especially when you're a new, overtired mama. I also received a travel system as a gift with my first baby. If I had it to do over, I would buy a snap and go to use while my baby was in the infant seat. (Mine outgrew the infant seat weight-wise by 6 months.) And then have my city mini for everything after that.

    The good news is you can resell as well as buy strollers easily on craigslist. I wish I did this more with my kids in the beginning. There's so much barely used baby stuff out there that I could have saved a bundle on.

    2 agree
  6. I love my chicco London umbrella stroller. I went on a trip with the SUV type stroller when my son was 3 months, and sorely regretted it, picking up the chicco out of desperation on the trip. It was easy enough to take on the subway by myself (with no elevators), but substantial enough that it doesn't feel flimsy. It also has a reclining seat which is a must for little babies, and bigger ones who want to nap. Even has a small basket, and taller handles than most umbrella strollers.

    3 agree
    • Agreed! I have a Chicco Liteway stroller from target, and it can recline all the way. We used it from infancy on. It was the only way I could find at the time that reclined flat.
      I have a big stroller for use at our neighborhood trails that I got off of CL, but use the smaller one whenever I leave the house.

      3 agree
      • I also have a Chicco Liteway that I got when babies r us had a sale. We got it out of the box and then asked them to throw the box away for us so we wouldn't have to.

        2 agree
  7. I did a bunch of research on this for our upcoming kid, and found that the Maclaren brand are basically the nicest umbrella strollers you can buy. They're a little more expensive than your average umbrella stroller, but they have more features and are more durable – no sense paying $50 for a stroller if you'll have to replace it in a year.

    We picked the Maclaren Triumph, which is neither their cheapest nor their more expensive stroller. It has good reviews on amazon It goes for around $180 but look for sales – we got ours at BRU for $130.

    And just an FYI – most strollers do not recline all the way, so they can't be used for newborns, unless they can take an infant car carrier. I think the Maclaren Triumph can be used starting at 3 months.

    5 agree
    • Yes I was also going to suggest the Maclaren Triumph,we picked ours up for $130 as well online and it has been amazing, It's about 11 lbs I believe and once folded it has a nifty little back strap to sling over your shoulder to help you carry it upstairs . Very easy, very durable and it handles like a dream, but like amb said, it is not suitable for newborn use. Might I suggest babywearing your little one for the first few months until they are old enough for the stroller? We used a Moby wrap, which is about $40, can be wrapped in many ways and is suitable for use from preemies up through toddlerhood.That way, you could invest in one lightweight stroller that you can use when your baby is old enough.
      Good luck with your search 🙂

      2 agree
  8. i used a chicco C6 with my oldest boy until he was about 4. LOVED IT. but it finally broke when my hubs stuck it too close to the bendy part of a light rail train. they're under $80, fold up small, and have awesome colors. the only downside is the sunshade is a little small. this stroller is for kids 6 months and older.

    we got an aprica presto for this kiddo, it doesn't fold quite as small as the chicco but it's waaaaaaay smaller than a graco or bob stroller. it has a kickass sunshade and comes with a rain cover. we got it on clearance so it was also about $80. this one fits my 3 month old nicely and keeps him semi upright. not for newborns… i mostly wear him, but the stroller is good for long days out.

    2 agree
  9. In a fit of anti buggy (buggy – English slang for stroller) rebellion I have ordered a bolivian sling and nothing else for my soon to be born son. Am hoping that if I really need one someone will give one to me. There must be squillions of needing to be recycled strollers. As soon as I found out I was pregnant friends sent me links to the trendiest 'it' stroller. It really put me off. Am aiming on having a baby with minimal baby paraphernalia. It might be naive but I just moved from South America where baby essentials are a few bits of cloth!

    8 agree
    • I think the sling is a great idea! We were given a City Mini stroller and it is as great as everyone says, but we've only used it for afternoon walks so far. My son just turned 3 months old and he loves being carried in my sling or the Moby wrap! My husband also has a wrap and we trade off carrying him, especially now that he's almost 16 lbs! I expect to use the stroller more and he gets older/heavier, so I'm glad we have it, but I have loved wearing my baby everywhere!

      4 agree
    • I didn't get a stroller until I realized that I wanted to walk to the farmer's market for my groceries, and not drive. I only use it when I am shopping, and all the rest of the time, I babywear. My stroller is a $30 used baby jogger.

      2 agree
  10. I also agree with the City Mini nom – it's sooo easy to manueuver, especially one-handed.
    The basket underneath isn't huge (and on the pre-2011 models it's not the easiest to access), but you can unsnap the sides to make it easier.
    If you have a infant carrier, I recommend getting the adapter bar with the stroller. Makes life so much easier. I also strongly recommend getting the rain cover specific to the City Mini – it's got a zipper in the middle that means you can take your kid in and out of the stroller with the cover still on – or even just inzip it to give the kid some air once you're in a covered area.

    2 agree
  11. This question is so hard to answer for different people. First where do you live? Is there 6 months of bad weather and snow or is it at worst, a couple weeks? How do you get around your city? Are you a walker or driver?

    If you're not dealing with harsh elements, my honest recommendation for you is to pick up a graco infant car seat and grab this. You could likely fold this up and store it in your vestabule (provided other building neighbors don't mind) and just carry up your infanct car seat. I see plenty of people leave this downstairs with the car seat in it and they just carry their baby. That's going to be the easiest for you as long as the child is in the infant seat. The great thing about this is you're spending the least amount of money up front while you decide what will work best for you. When you sell your car seat, you can sell this too and get it out of the house in one go.

    I do not have a car, so I walk or bike everywhere, using public transit as little as possible. So I chose a big "SUV" Bob stroller because I know how bad sidewalks are in the winter here and how bad a lot of people are at shoveling them. Then get to the corner and the street plows have blocked in all the crosswalks. I absolutely could not get the wheels of that stroller frame through the snow for a full winter here, thus, I got a Bob for primary use and a more umbrella type stroller for summer occasional use. The Bob is a dream, pushes one handed (honestly one fingered) and turns on a dime. As heavy as it might be, getting up and down stairs is easy too, I go up backwards and pull it up, the big wheels are perfectly sized for going up and down stairs.

    It's really going to vary upon your personal needs, if I didn't live in Chicago or I was the type to drive everywhere and just needed something for mall shopping or sunny day strolls, I absolutely would have gone for the graco combo then found the right stroller once she was bigger and I knew how we functioned as a family.

    7 agree
    • Oh, and do some investigating where you live, there are some stores that have set up stroller obstacle courses for people to come in and try every type of stroller out in every ground condition they'll encounter. There's one in the suburbs here that I wish to GOD I had known about before buying any of our other strollers (we ridiculously have like 6 now only 4 we use :P) and it would have saved me from buying 2 of my mistakes. oish!

      2 agree
  12. i like my strollers and i've had a lot of them, being on on kiddo #3… i also love babywearing, but i have around a 2 hour limit on my wrap or Beco before i'm ready to put the kiddo somewhere else…

    my favourite umbrella stroller was a Maclaren Quest – lightweight at 12 lbs, folds up small, decent basket, usable from 3 months (the Techno is usable from birth)…

    i won't lie, though, love my Bugaboo Bee Plus more – bigger than an umbrella stroller but smaller than a standard with a lot of their features, 18.5 lbs, maneuvers like a dream, seat can face towards or away from you, has a car seat adapter, usable from birth…

    Angela: i got a Maclaren Twin Techno for my older boys and still use it all the time…

    2 agree
  13. I agree with starting out with a Graco carseat and a Car Seat Stroller Frame for the first year or so. The baby will be safe and snug in the carseat and there is tons of storage underneath for shopping. I walked the baby to get groceries several times a week this way. Then you have at least 6 months to figure out what stroller you may want for when the baby can sit up. It seems that everything we bought before the baby was born ended up not really working for the baby. Wish we would have waited to see what her needs were first before buying. We had bought a very expensive, deluxe stroller that she essentially hates and now we end up using the crappy $25 Toys R Us umbrella stroller!

    4 agree
  14. We had a travel system, but we broke it trying to put it together. We replaced it with a $60 Jeep brand stroller frame that universally fits infant car seats. It is a lightweight, easy to maneuver stroller that folds easily with 1 hand. I love it. It's so simple, yet sturdy. I wrote a lengthy review on Amazon, if anyone is interested.

    3 agree
  15. This is a perfectly timed thread! I have put off buying baby gear on purpose, other than the car seat and the gift pack'n'play we got. I have borrowed numerous types of carriers (baby bjorn, Maya sling, Moby wrap) that have worked awesome for all stages of my son's growth, but he just hit six months and is close to 20lbs! I can no longer carry him for long without my back aching…

    We were just talking about getting a stroller, and when we looked at them during pregnancy Baby Jogger was also the brand we liked most. I still love cuddling with my son, but it may be time for me to give in to stroller-dom. On a side note, the movie Away We Go has an epic scene about strollers (self-mocking the "hippie families" of Berkeley), my husband and I inwardly laugh every time we think about it.

    3 agree
    • You should look into a carrier you can wear your 20 pounder on your back like an boba or ergo. When they get to heavy in the front time to switch to the back.

      2 agree
      • The Beco Gemini is still doing the job for my 21 pounds daughter. I find that it carries very well, with a large belt and crossed shoulder straps. It's been so easy to use a baby carrier instead of a stroller. I had no idea that it would be the case. In retrospect, I would have waited to buy any baby stuff other that a car seat till after my daughter was born. Even if all the marketing tells you that you will NEED it!

        2 agree
  16. I would recommend looking for a used stroller. Some of them are super expensive and I was surprised by the short time I used it. I used warps or slings to carry my daughter around town when she was younger and mainly just pulled out the stroller for longer trips. By the time she was 2 she walked everywhere and the stroller was used to carry the ridiculous amounts of stuff I always think I need and don't! Luckily my mom got my 2 strollers at yard sales and they were both super cheap and very nice. My favorite of the Jeep and Graco strollers was the Jeep because we did not have the best sidewalks where I lived. The larger tires were great for getting up big steps or down off of tall curbs. It was also 3 wheels and easier to steer.

    2 agree
  17. I am a nanny in Chicago and have used many different types of strollers. My favorite by far is the single Maclaren, which ever version. The Maclaren double stroller my employers currently have is horrible though. It takes two hands to open and close and is difficult to push. The single has been awesome. I think the shoulder strap and drink/wallet attachments are a must if you are an active person. (I've taken this on the el, metra, buses and haven't had any issues.) The smaller wheels make it less great for winters, but I usually switch to a good quality (good back support required!) backpack or carrier.

    I now care for a 1 and 3 year old and we often go without a stroller, putting the little one in an ergo (favorite baby carrier to this date). My current job is 3rd floor walk up, so the ergo has saved my life, only way to get baby and groceries up the stairs at the same time. Also have found that a backpack is the handiest diaper bag for active city people.

    But if you get one and hate it, I wouldn't be afraid to sell it and find one you like, because nothing makes an outing more unfun than hating the stroller the whole time you're out.

    3 agree
    • We have the UPPABABY g-lite, which is even lighter, cheaper, and shares many of the same features. I would definitely recommend it.

      2 agree
  18. I'm not a car user – transit and walking for me.

    Maclaren strollers were recommended to us by family friends whose stroller has been through 4 kids. It was a great recommendation.

    We got a Maclaren Quest as a gift and bought a Beco Gemini carrier. I used the carrier when she was too small for the Quest. She started in the Quest at 3 or 4 months-still a bit young, bus she loved seeing the world. Now that she's 9 months I still use the carrier for shorter trips, but as she gets heavier it's easier to put her in the stroller. Since we live in the city most of the walks are shovelled or salted so snow is a bit challenging, but not really an issue. The stroller is also great on subways. I can hold her on my arms and sling it over my shoulder to tackle stairs or streetcars.

    3 agree
  19. I know the BOB Revolution is opposite of what you say you're looking for, but I swear it's the best investment we made. Though we found ours used on craigslist and it was a little beat up looking (faded)…it still works SO great. You can go anywhere with it. Around town, the grocery store, trails…and it folds up and fits nicely in the back of our tiny car. If you start looking now I'm sure that you can find a good one for cheap on the internets. We've used ours everyday since she was born and she almost 3 now.

    1 agrees
  20. This: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3692931 It's under 20 pounds (and honestly feels even lighter than that when you get into the habit of hauling another human being and all his stuff around), has tons of storage space, is really easy to pop up and down, has elephants on it (!), and at $80, we don't feel bad abusing the heck out of it. Apparently the car seat will snap onto it for infant use, but since we had already been given a different brand of car seat, we just got a padded infant insert, and ba-zing. Cheap, easy, looks nice, and it's lightweight.

    1 agrees
  21. I say, go to your nearest second-hand baby store, bring a very heavy purse, and load up different kinds of strollers and push them around until you find one that fits you well. There are so many factors to consider– are you extremely short or tall? Do you need a place for a drink and a place for your bag to hang? Do you travel light? I ended up buying a used stroller at a baby consignment shop even though I had a new one given for baby's birth because the second-hand one was infinitely better suited to me.

    1 agrees
  22. I heartily recommend looking on CraigsList in your area (some states have a state-wide network, some cities have their very own) for strollers. You can contact folks and try out the stroller they're selling… AND you can get wicked nice, formerly expensive strollers super cheap!

    2 agree
  23. I'm so in love with my stroller, I have been WAITING for someone to ask me why I love it. AHA, you!

    Ok. I have a Baby Trend Travel System. It's a carseat, detachable base, and stroller.

    1. It only cost me $199 to get a carseat and stroller, and I'm still using it with a husky 16 month old.

    2. Awesome for newborns because the carseat can be clicked into the top of the stroller, instead of unbuckling and moving baby around. My son would sleep through entire trips because he never knew he was being moved.

    3. Awesome for newborns, again, because the carseat and stroller have opposing shades that, when they're used together, makes a little weather/windproof pod that baby can sleep in. (It even has a mesh screen so you can look in without opening it.)

    4. The how-tos of adjusting the different parts are really clear. Not super simple, always, but very obvious.

    5. It has fit my son from the time he was a 7 lb newborn, to now at 27lb and a mile and a half tall.

    6. The storage basket underneath was made by the same people who made Mary Poppins's bag, I swear. Diaper bag, purse, water bottle, blanket, jacket, shoes…

    7. Cupholders. Two of 'em.

    8. It's really agile and reasonably light. It's a jogger, so the wheels are springy and it's built to move well.

    9. It's collapsible, and therefore easy to put in the car.

    10. The handlebar adjusts up and down. Not a big deal to some, but I'm 5'9" and most strollers with non-adjustable handles were a little too low for me.

    11. I've found that this stroller has a secret gang sign… when other moms who have the same stroller see each other, there's a little smile-of-recognition, point-to-the-stroller, thumbs-up action that happens. (This may be the case with any good stroller, but it's happened to me THREE TIMES.)

    Alright. I'mma take a cold shower now. Damn it's a good stroller.

    1 agrees
  24. That baby jogger city mini is the closest thing to the stroller I loved the best (which I picked up at a second hand store, after they'd stopped making them. I cannot remember the name now, my kid is almost 6, we gave the stroller away long ago…).

    What I liked was that it had one wheel in front, folded up very small (we took it to Europe for a month) and was lightweight and had one bar instead of two handles (I could use one hand to wheel it, if I needed to walk with my then two year old and carry luggage in the stroller, like we did on our layover).

    We ended up with three strollers (that awesome lightweight one, a regular jogger stroller and a graco one that the car seat attached to) AND I have probably owned about 12 different baby carriers, as well! I mostly "wore" my kid, but sometimes a stroller is good.

  25. We have a Phil & Ted's Smart Buggy and love it. Easy fold, super smooth ride, very very compact. 290 for just the buggy, or 350 for buggy and bassinet. The front wheels are fully articulated, making skinny sidewalks and tight spots no problem.

  26. If I had to do stroller buying all over again I would get the snap and go that goes with whatever car seat you buy. There is no seat and instead the carseat snaps in.

    Then when your child is 4 months old go stroller shoping. There are a ton on this list that I or someone in my friends group have and all are good. City Mini is top of this line but at 400+ it should be. Once you have a real idea of how you will use it buy something of Craigslist if you can and save some money AND help the overwhealming amount of waste in the world.

    • This was my question!!

      For those who asked- We live in Northern Ontario (Canada), where craigslist is less used and online shopping is key. We are hoping to find something used (but are open to new if its the best) planning on baby wearing the first few months, but since my main mode of transportation is feet, it seems likely that a stroller may help when I need some errand type shopping done. All of the replies so far have been great, and have exposed us to strollers we have never seen before or heard of. Thank you everyone!!! And keep 'em coming.

  27. whatever you pick, look for it used first. I got a nice Maclaren from a local consignment shop for cheap.

  28. We were looking for the same sort of stroller: Affordable, compact, lightweight. Something we could use for walking down to the market or take on the plane for vacation. I had a short list of about five different ones from various "Best Lightweight Strollers" lists on various websites, but then I saw a woman at Target using a small, lightweight stroller in the parking lot. She folded it up with one hand AND put in her car with one hand! I nearly fell over myself running over and asking her the brand. It was a Kolcraft Tour. $49 on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Kolcraft-Umbrella-Stroller-Adjustable-Canopy/dp/B001HD75I4/

    We read the reviews and ordered it. Thus far, we are very happy! It does what we need it to do as far as quick non-intensive trips. Some things to note: We tossed the lame cup-holder. It doesn't fully recline, but our son can snooze in its slightly reclined state. There's not an underneath storage area, but i've thrown shopping bags over the handles and that's worked perfectly well for small shopping. As I said, quick non-intensive trips. For anything longer or more complicated, we roll out the big $400 Chicco. For small stuff, we love love LOVE this tiny, cheap umbrella stroller!

  29. I have one word, ERGO. It's easy, it's light and it calms the baby. I use the Moby in the house and the Ergo outside because it provides extra support. We walk about 2 miles a day with it and it has yet to cause me a sore back. My babe is about 4 months old and I have yet to need a stroller. I use the Ergo at the store, too. It's also easy for breastfeeding! The only pain is the in and out of the carseat but really, how many places do you go with an infant? Ergo, Ergo!

  30. I totally second the recommendation for craigslist. We got a brand-new, still in the box Bugaboo Bee on CL for less than half of what it retails for (the woman had received two as gifts). It's actually perfect for our needs – we don't have a car, so we needed something small and light for taking the streetcar/subway – and we live on the 3rd floor of a low rise, but we wanted something that was good from birth, could face both ways, and had an adjustable handle. We weren't even looking at it originally since regular price it's way out of our range.

    That said, the Baby Jogger City Mini was our next option most likely if we hadn't scored such a great deal.

    We also looked at the Quinny strollers, and heard a lot of recommendations for the MacLarens. And a friend of mine just got a 'mama and papa' stroller that looks pretty cute, though I don't know how light it is.

    We also got a cheap-o frame on CL for plopping the car seat in for when we are getting rides or rent a car. We figure we can sell both that and the bugaboo on CL when we're done and recoup a lot of what we spent!

    • Oh, and seconding the baby wearing comments. We had a moby type wrap for the early months and now mostly use the ergo. Truly, we wear her most of the time, and almost exclusively in the beginning. She's 20 lbs now so I max out at like two hours but up until 6 or so months we would wear her all day. We used a stroller a fair bit on the super hot hot summer days though.

  31. I like the snap n go frame for when they're still in the "bucket " (infant seat I hate those things) or a Bjorn or wrap if you're going somewhere crowded like a street fair or farmers market. Then get a lightweight! umbrella. I find maclarens overrated, but like the chicco and even the cheapy $20 ones are awesome.

  32. I got the City Mini too, and it's wonderful. But I was also gifted an Emmaljunga Mondial, which is PRICEY and SWEDISH, but they can be very reasonable if you buy them second hand (my gifted one was gently used by a friend who had to bail on it when she became unexpected pregnant with her second!). I love that my tiny little 5-week old lady can lie down flat in it, and we're actually using it as her bassinett too, while she sleeps in our room, since it's so comfy and she's so used to it.

    But yeah, major props to the City Mini if you're looking for a super awesome, easy-to-fold, everyday stroller.

  33. I picked up a Peg Perego Vela for 50% off in the fall. The 2010 model was on sale to make way for the new-and-improved 2011 model (which actually had a feature I didn't want anyway).

    – It's only 16lbs (important for me since I'll need to carry it up and down metro steps since they don't have elevators/escalators at most stops).

    – You can use several kinds of infant car seats with it to use it like a travel system (including the graco snugride which we got).

    – Folds up small, since we don't have a lot of extra space in our house and it fits great in the trunk of the car. Also only need 1-hand to fold/unfold it.

    – Has all the extras included that you have to pay extra for with some systems like a basket underneath, a cup holder for mom, tray with cupholder for little one.

    – Very maneuverable with the 3-wheel design.

  34. The aprica!! They have three now, cadence, presto and the new flat. We have the hot pink one of the cadence version and its amazing! We usally use her trike, walk or ergo. However when we have used it only the best reviews super lightweight and a strap to carry on your stroller. Awsome colors. And its tall and super padded. Check it out!

  35. Sounds like you just want a basic umbrella stroller.

    We got a Britax B-scene because it has lots of under-seat space for groceries etc. But my baby's two months old and we used it for the first time today. I've been carrying the baby in my Moby wrap and LOVE that–the stroller just seems like a hassle in comparison. Although I have to say we have found it useful for one thing… we've taken the seat off and laid it flat on the floor with a soft blanket inside as a bassinet. 😉 My daughter's sleeping in it right now, in fact.

    I'd ditto some previous commenters and suggest waiting to buy a stroller until your baby's at least a month or two old. Then you'll have a better idea whether you want a travel system, umbrella stroller, wrap, etc.

  36. I recommend the Baby Jogger brand. Sounds like the City Mini might suit you well…

    I have a City Elite which I love! It was more than what i wanted to pay ($850+accessories down here in Perth, Australia) however I found it walking into a baby store and listing out our requirements (public transport, going across a hockey pitch as my partner plays every weekend, easy to fold and carry as we live 1 floor up, adjustable handles since i'm 5'4 and partner is 6'4).

    All that said, I loved the City Mini and wanted one however with the hockey pitch issue and the fact that my kidlet is BIG in height and weight (he made it look really small when he was only 5 months :/) it was never going to work for us as a long term pram solution.

  37. We have a Chicco Capri Stroller. It's normally $80, got it at Baby's R Us for $50. Some people will not like this because it is only forward facing, but we started putting our son into it at 2.5 months old. It reclines farther back than his carseat, with a five point harness, so we figured it was no problem. He loves it, it's about 8lbs, and it comes with a carrying strap attached to it. Good luck!

  38. We are currently shopping for a stroller set up that will accommodate a wide range of ages and needs of our foster children.

    The current favorite set us we are looking at is a wagon. One with real wheels, not the hard plastic ones, and some sort of raised side so Jr. has something to lean aganst. If they are young enough to wear, we will wear them and drag all the stuff in the wagon. If they are too big to wear they can alternate between riding in and pulling the wagon and if they are somewhere in the middle we can always toss the wrap into the wagon as something to sit on if they want to be down for a while. Meanwhile we have plenty of room to load up groceries and carry our stuff.
    I would imagine you could do this from day one and put the infant seat in the wagon if you needed to carry the car seat too, or just wrap your baby and pull everything else behind you.

    Plus, no one ever outgrows a wagon! As an adult I often wish I had a little red wagon to pull bags of dirt around the yard or haul all the grocery bags in on one trip!

    1 agrees
  39. I can only sing the praises of the stroller we purchased when my littlest was about 4 months old. On a whim we purchased the Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller. At the time we bought it in Walmart and it was about $50. We had a gift card so we went for it. It seemed to move really easy, it was easy to fold and lift with one hand, and is super light. But let me tell you, this thing is RUGGED! We have taken it on all kinds of ground and it holds its own! The basket underneath is perfect for us at the library or doing some light shopping. The littlest loves riding in it. We've had it for practically 2 years and it still looks pristine.

  40. This is probably not the most helpful. I fear that most things with baby-related STUFF end up eliciting a huge diversity of responses that mirrors the huge diversity of options that overwhelmed you online. I think that the person that asked more about your needs is honing in on what might help get better advice. It would be great if there were stars for different features: tall parents/short parents, city/surburban/rural roads, storage space or not, etc. Then it would help. As well as a budget.

    All that said, we had a bunch of stroller folks gave us (Graco travel system, Chicco something or another, Snap-n-Go). I used the Snap-n-Go for one post-partum appointment when the kid was super little. I used the Chicco one for a walk last summer when it was TOO hot to wear the kid. I used the Graco for a few more hot summer walks. And now we have a sport Ergo that breathes better and are hoping we can just use that this summer. He is 23 pounds now, and the Ergo is still all we ever use.

  41. Literally hours ago, I downsized from a ridiculously large Graco jogger (a gift from my husband's coworker along with a carrier and two carseat bases) to a Lamaze LS 50. We've gone for one walk so far to the post office and back and it's fantastic. Light enough that I can pick the whole thing up to get it down the front stoop, with enough structure to the seat that my daughter's back stays relatively straight–very important when she's in the 91st percentile for height and is super-sensitive to anything that makes her back curve, so all those cheap umbrella strollers with the "hammock" seats are out.

    The construction feels a bit cheap; the wheels quite literally snap on, and the canopy is rather useless for shading an infant. Also, the under-seat storage isn't really adequate for anything larger than my water bottle. Otherwise this thing is great, and I can fold it up one-handed, which means we'll soon be taking trips on the bus once again. I'm very happy with it.

  42. I use a bob revolution se stroller for home (I know, SUV stroller, but AWESOME!!) and a mclaren volo umbrella stroller for travel or quick trips at home. The latter is only useful past 5/6 months old though, as it has no recline, so you wouldn't be able to use it with a newborn. We just used a car seat attachment stroller thingy for the newborn phase and that worked well.

  43. The city mini is the standard of light weight? Those things are huge. Nothing beats 'cosco' Brand on amazon. $16 and 3 pounds. Narrow enough to fit through nyc subway turnstiles, it's a city mini for people who actually live in a city and commute without a car. It definately feels a little cheap – does not turn on a time,and gasp, no cup holders- but is extremely practical

  44. As somebody who worked in a baby store for 3+ years, if you are planning on going cross border shopping for your stroller, and end up getting a travel system (stroller & carseat & carseat base for the car), you need to remember that the car seat laws vary from country to country. Carseats intended for the Canadian market will ALWAYS have a red maple leaf sticker on them. You cannot use a US car seat in Canada. Doing so can result in a fine, arrest, or cancellation of your life insurance or car insurance. Although it is tempting to get a great deal on a travel system, if you ever get caught, there can be drastic consequences.

    In terms of lightweight strollers, I am a fan of the Peg Perego brand from Italy. Pricey, but worth it in my opinion. They're pretty light (the Pliko P3 comes in at just over 11 pounds), and all of their strollers can be used from infancy. The Pliko P3 has a smaller basket due to the folding mechanism (it has an umbrella stroller fold, but requires 2 hands), and the UNO's seat can be folded flat to be used as a bassinet and can be switched to facing in (baby facing you) or facing out (baby facing the world). They also have height adjustable handles.

    Alternately, Maclaren is a great brand, their strollers are great, but some models have less storage then others.

    As others have suggested, go into baby stores in your area and try things out! Bring your usual baby bag to see if it'll comfortably fit into the bottom basket or hang on the handles, and see if your baby likes it. One of the best customers I helped had a list of features that she wanted in a stroller. It made it MUCH easier for me to help her narrow down her choices and find a stroller and car seat that she loved.

    And a final piece of advice: if you are buying used, make sure that you check the EXPIRATION DATE of the car seat. Yes, just like food, car seats have an expiration date. The information will be located either on the box of the carseat/stroller combo, or on the car seat itself. All carseats that are sold/made/used in Canada have a 4 year expiry date. That means 4 years after the manufacture date of the carseat, you can't legally use it. This only applies to infant carseats, as other styles of car seats (infant/child, child/booster, infant/child/booster) all have different expiry dates. In terms of good carseat brands if you choose to go that route, are Graco (one of the top rated car seats in NA, and now the only infant carseat with a 32lb limit!), Peg Perego, Britax (taking Graco's spot as the top rated carseat, with many safety features that go above and beyond Transport Canada's regulations), and Baby Trend.

    Good luck finding your dream stroller! If you live in the Toronto/GTA area, I can recommend some great stores for strollers, and some great people I know!

  45. We are in the same boat. We are considering the Britax B-agile for our first child born later this summer. I want something light weight, easy to fold, and could accommodate an infant car seat if needed (still considering whether to get an infant car seat). This is very similar to the Baby Jogger City Mini – except we like it better when we tried them out at Baby R Us. My husband is tall, and when he tried to BJCM, he kept kicking the back bar/rear axle, but didn't have a problem with the b-agile because it doesn't have a back bar! You can search youtube on a video comparing the two.

  46. We really like our Quinny Zapp. We also had the coordinating infant seat, but we didn't use it as a travel system all that much because our son loved being worn. But it's a really nice, lightweight stroller that folds up smaller than others of its type.

  47. To be honest, I have got ours from a friend of mine for free, which makes me very happy! 🙂 but we can not have it in our apartament, as there is no room (42m), and we have to leave it downstairs, in the cellar. So, every time Ill be needing it, i should taka my baby, go downstairs, try to carry it upstairs, (no elevator) and take it outside. My solution? Manduca baby sling! You can carry your baby from 0 to 4 years with you, without needing a stroller.
    Grretings from Finland!
    🙂

  48. Re: all the babywearing comments: I make big babies and couldn't wear them much in the first few months b/c any extra weight made my sexy labor-induced hemmorroids worse. Not everyone gets them of course but I did. Twice.

    I wear my 24 lb 9 month old in an Ergo now but eventually my back hurts and it's a relief to be able to put him in a stroller. Also, I have 2 kids so when we're at the playground (where we practically live), it's easier to let the baby chill in the stroller (where he can't eat mulch) while I help my older child get on the swing or rescue him from a tall structure, etc.

    • have you tried the baby bjorn active? i want that one. it has lumbar support. i want to wear my baby, but both my mate and i have bad backs, and we were both bigger babies.

      • wrapping offers the most support for parents with back issuse because it is completely adjustable. try on lots of different carriers to find the best fit for you. A carrier that supports the baby from knee to knee takes the most weight off your back. and consider a hiking style carrier too.

      • Baby bjorn doesn't go up to as much weight as the ergo carrier and offers no were near the same support. Like a good backpack hte ergo has good shoulder support and takes most of the weight on hips. My bub is lean but long so on the heavier side so I agree with Aly. I love the closeness of carrying him and I don't realise the relief of putting him down until I put him down. Mum is lots more fun without so many aches and pains.

  49. i actually got one of those hefty graco $225 strollers on craigslist for $25! it will hold the car seat, and then down the road, the seat reclines. it's big, but it was DEFINITELY the right price!

  50. My mom gifted me a BEAUTIFUL Graco travel system. It was easy to put together– easy to open and close, and the pattern was very cute— i KNOW it wasnt expensive because we cant afford alot, the pattern color (to help you google it) was called Spree.

    Hope you find your niche!

  51. I made a huge baby (10lbs 9oz at birth, and about 30lbs now at 17months) and I hardly ever use a stroller. I wear her everywhere, esp if it's just a quick trip in and out of the store. On my back in a Beco, or wrapped for better, more even support.

    That said, I have The First Years Wave stroller, and it's not TOO chunky. But I really didn't use it nearly as much as I thought I might.

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