Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stroller Junky

Did you know there was such a thing?

I did. I knew before I had kids. I raised my frugal eyebrow at anyone who spent over $100 on a stroller. I raised both eyebrows at anyone who owned more than one stroller. How many people REALLY use their jogging strollers for their intended purpose? (Don't get all offended. You know it's true.)

I'll take that plate of crow Proven├žal now.

We currently own four strollers. We are trying to sell one of them. We use two of them. We are keeping the fourth - the stroller frame that goes with our infant car seat - in case we have another baby. We used to own one more, but have since given it away.

But we have four strollers.

And now I'm kind of obsessed with them. You know that mama who studies your stroller as you walk by? I'm her. I can spot a fancy stroller on the street a mile away. I can't tell a 4Runner from a Tahoe, but if you need to pick out the UppaBaby in a crowd of Bugaboos, I'm your woman.

I wasn't always this way.

Our first stroller was the Graco Snap n' Go. It is designed to work with an infant car seat and was very handy when Natasha was little. It was also handy for Jeremy when we were in the U.S. He used it, without the car seat, to convey groceries home from the Ramstore a mile away. It's the one on the right.

This was our second stroller, bought during my judgmental it's-crazy-to-spend-more-than-$100-on-a-stroller days. It's a Graco Mosaic, and is actually a rather nice stroller. It has more features than your standard umbrella, but still folds up pretty nice and small. We paid $25 for it on Craigslist. It worked fine in the States, but here in Moscow, with the stupid perekhod ramps, it was not ideal. It now lives with my sister and niece in Virginia.

The king of umbrella strollers, this is a Maclaren Volo. No recline and the sunshade isn't great, but it only weighs 8 pounds and you can sling it across your back with the shoulder strap if you need to. Great for the Metro or any time I am going somewhere with just one kid (or when I'm taking a short walk and can wear Zoia in the Ergo).

This marvel is the Baby Jogger City Select. It was chosen after painstakingly careful consideration. As a single stroller, this baby is incredible. It fits on the ramps here (well, most of them), reclines, has a huge basket, pushes like a dream, etc. Have another baby? Add another seat! It's the fancy stroller du jour in the States. Unfortunately, I've found that the second seat adds a LOT of weight onto the front of the stroller, which makes it hard for me to get it up and down stairs. That's a problem in Moscow. Still, we love this guy and are sad to be selling it.

And our newest acquisition, the Phil & Ted Explorer. We bought this one to replace the City Select. The second seat is on the back, making it easier to get this thing up and down stairs. We had originally decided against the P&T because we thought the second kid would hate riding back there. Also you can't recline the second seat at all, nor the main seat when the second seat is in use. And you can't use the basket when the second seat is on, because that's where the kid's feet go.

As it turns out, none of these problems were deal-breakers compared with the biggest problem I have with the City Select - not being able to go up and down stairs for fear of capsizing and sending my babies flying.

I haven't totally gone off the deep end, though. I have sworn not to buy any more strollers. Though I really think that a double umbrella stroller would be super-useful for our R&R back to the States this fall ...



  1. You know, I had noticed that you had a problem :)
    Have you heard anything about the sit-n-stand type strollers? The only complaints seem to be that it doesn't work with a newborn carseat, but I'm past that anyway.
    I like the Joovy Caboose and the Baby Trend Sit-n-Stand.

  2. I am still in the "can't spend more than $100 for a stroller stage." We had a nice Evenflo travel system (bought for $99 at Big Lots) for our daughter and had been saving it for six years, in case we had a second baby. Then we got the Foreign Service call and got rid of it together with a bunch of other baby paraphernalia before we moved to the D.C. area. A couple of months later we got pregnant with our son and had to get baby stuff again (ugh). So the horrible mother that I am, I ended up getting pretty much everything second-hand, which was great money-wise but I have serious stroller envy when I go out in our oldish PegPerego (bought for $20 at a thrift store), especially when I see all these fancy, expensive new strollers all over the place. I am trying to resist and not buy another stroller because it really makes no sense but it's just sooo tempting.

  3. LOL. I know those strollers in the 2nd picture :) We still have our stroller with the infant insert, a $20 umbrella one, and the $30 jogging stroller I bought. And I only used that one as intended for about 4 weeks last summer. Maybe this year!?

    ps- my word verification is 'baller'. I feel like a baller indeed.

  4. We love our p&t stroller. We have a double umbrella and it is very convenient. And we have a single umbrella. And a snap and go. I am a stroller junkie too.


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