View Full Version : Advice on all-purpose stroller
06-16-2007, 07:47 PM
I've been researching strollers endlessly and can't seem to come up with a final conclusion! We're looking for a stroller for our 5 week old. We currently have a Graco Snugrider frame for his carseat and it works great for a run to the store/mall/etc. but we do a lot of trips to the dog park where there are gravel and wood chip flat trails, city parks with flat dirt paths and even our neighborhood lacks sidewalks. We most likely wouldn't use this stroller for jogging. So we're looking for something that can handle light terrain but also is reasonable to navigate through a store or in a non-outdoor situation.
I'd sort of narrowed down the field to the Bumbleride (which looks HUGE), Phil & Ted's Sport Buggy and the Valco Trimode. I have also been looking at the Bugaboo, but hesitate spending the money if there's something else out there that will do the trick. At this point, my thought is we'll buy this stroller and then an additional lightweight stroller for traveling later on down the road.
Anyone have any advice?
We've reconciled with the fact that it might be a bit heavy (they all seem to be around 20-25 lbs) and that it won't pack super small.
06-16-2007, 10:31 PM
We currently have a Phil and Ted, which my husband ADORES. It works great for trips to the mall AND for walks around our neighborhood where we off road quite a bit on gravel, sand, cracked pavement, and grass. We also take it to the nearby wooded park. It really is a great all purpose stroller. The steering is a dream, the fold is very easy, and the bonus is that you can add that second seat when and if you ever need to. Our youngest just turned one and usually rides in front, and our older two children take turns riding in back when they get tired.
I also looked at the Valco Tri Mode, and must admit I LOVE this stroller, but my husband liked the Phil and Ted so we went with it. Our main reasoning was that we needed a second seat that the kids could climb into without our help. The second seat on the Phil and Ted is low to the ground, whereas the Valco Runabout second seat sits up high. When we are walking two dogs and carrying the baby in the sling it is difficult to lift an older child up into the second seat of the Valco.
But, the Valco seems a little more plush and certainly has a better canopy and storage (when the second seat is in play) than the Phil and Ted. Our baby has always seemed comfortable in the Phil and Ted, and the straps keep him held in safely. Lastly, our Phil and Ted basket recently broke and customer service replaced it in a week without any hassle.
I would steer clear of the Bumbleride. The quality is NOT as good as the Phil and Ted or Valco. I had a chance to test drive the Bumbleride (both rocket and flyer) in person, they are BIG strollers. The flyer is really bulky too. The rocket was stylish, but didn't seem to offer much more than style. But, both Valco and Phil and Ted give you additional options (like that second seat).
Best of Luck
06-17-2007, 12:31 AM
Thanks so much for the advice, it is really helpful! I saw the Phil and Ted stroller in the store and liked it. The big thing with the Valco is that none of the stores here seem to carry it and I'm a little leery of buying a stroller sight unseen (though I've read lots of positive posts about it). The feedback on the second seat is great as well ... that's definitely a bonus in keeping the stroller for the long haul!
06-17-2007, 08:12 AM
I am kind of looking for the same kind of stroller, and I was wondering whether you've considered the Baby Jogger City Series at all. I've been toying with it, mostly because it has the most amazingly easy fold. I have, If you'd be intersted to hear your feedback on it, if you have, and why you thought the Valcoi and the Phil & Ted were begtter. Was it because of the second seat option or were there other factors that went into it?
06-17-2007, 11:13 AM
I saw the Baby Jogger City Series and test drove it in the store. I LOVED IT!!!!! Loved it 1000 times more than the E3. More padding than the E3, seat seemed wider and deeper, the steering was amazing, and that fold....well ya know.
They were just about to release a car seat adaptor for it when I tested it out. There were two reasons I didn't end up getting it first that it didn't adapt to fit the car seat (although it was promised that they were releasing a car seat adaptor bar, I didn't want to take the chance of getting it and having the release of the adaptor bar suddenly postponed). Second, I didn't have that second seat (this was baby #3 I was shopping for, and I really needed the ability to accomodate a second rider).
But, I would say if you have the opportunity to test drive one, DO IT!!! The headquarters is located where I live, and they even invited me by to look at the new models. They were so friendly and helpful. Many bike shops carry the BJCS, and I am sure they list where you can find it on the website. It is an unbelievable stroller!!!!
06-17-2007, 02:50 PM
I actually hadn't looked at the BJCS at all, but I just looked online and now I'm going to have to add a third stroller to the list I'm looking at! The 2nd seat hasn't been factor for us. The Valco seems to have lots of good reviews and comes with lots of extras that seem to be extra cost for others. The Phil and Ted seems like it would have the right profile to still maneuver in a store setting. Although now, I think I'll run up to REI and check out the BJCS! I'll let you know what we come up with.
06-17-2007, 04:24 PM
I can relate to your situation. My son is 8 weeks old now and we also have the snugrider frame and carseat but I wanted something else since our neighborhood has pretty terrible sidewalks and we also like to hit the park trails. After extensive research,we ended up with the Inglesina Zippy and are *very* pleased with our choice. It comes with straps to attach the carseat very easily but also reclines flat to accomodate an infant which I prefer. Though it is not a jogging stroller, it has slightly bigger wheels than regular strollers and also has suspension to make for a smoother ride. Finally, it features a simple one hand umbrella type fold and only weighs 17/18 lbs.
Hope this helps!
06-17-2007, 06:00 PM
My son is 6 weeks now. I had planned on getting the Trimode for a/t use and a Maclaren for malls/errands however DH won't let me buy another stroller right now :(.
In any case, I've been using the trimode for errands/mall use too and I love this stroller to death. I do not find it to be too wide to use at the mall, and it steers very tightly- really about as tightly as any umbrella would. It is heavier to get in and out of the trunk but not much heavier than any other travel system style stroller, like the Chicco Cortina and the big Graco strollers.
The fold is pretty easy, it does take a couple steps but it's not complicated. It's not as easy as the BJCS but I thought it was easier to do the latching part, meaning the part that keeps the stroller folded up on the Valco compared to the BJCS.
I am tall and I find the Valco handle to be nice for me, the edge would go to the BJ for handle height though, it goes even higher.
The Trimode is very plush and comfy for baby, has a good canopy, and I can even fit the carseat in it, leaning it against the napper bar (which is included in the trimode but not in the BJCS) The trimode does sell an adapter bar for the carseat but I don't even need it. I use a Chicco Keyfit. It sits perfectly in there and is nice and solidly fit.
of course it rides like a dream on bumpy/hilly terrain. LOVE!
06-17-2007, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely check that out.
06-17-2007, 06:16 PM
Thanks for the feedback on the Valco! Really my only concern about this stroller is that there isn't anywhere in my area I can see it in person. I need to keep looking to see if I can find it here!
06-17-2007, 06:17 PM
Just a quick note about the Zippy. It is an amazing stroller on so many levels -- except if you're tall or have a long stride. Neither my husband nor I can use it - we get a backache and kick the wheels. We have a practically new one that we need to unload, so if you still want one and live in the New York area, we should talk offline. That said, if height isn't an issue, then the Zippy, while NOT an all terrain, might be smooth enough for your purposes. Although my Zippy (a 2006) doesn't have a full recline, and I beleive there's a separate bassinet for the truly wee ones.
06-17-2007, 10:57 PM
Thanks Laura. It looks like I might actually be able to see a Zippy in store in my area as well. Unfortunately, we're not in the NY area (we're in Seattle) but I appreciate the advice!
06-19-2007, 10:17 AM
we have the doible valco trimode and love it they also have great costumer service.my daughter lost a peice from the cup holder and they sent me the next day a whole new cup holder.i am very happy with it and it also has the optionn to grow with you.i also like that the rain cover and bar come atandered and it has a deep seat.the fabric is comfy and easy to clean. i actually ordered it online from kiwi-kid.com
06-19-2007, 03:36 PM
I have the BCJS with the car seat adaptor for my 4 month old. Love it, love it, love it. It's easy to remove the adapter bar (leaving the side supports) when I want to walk without the car seat. I live in the city & it's great on the sidewalks - easy to steer with one hand over bumps. Also fantastic to to be able to quickly fold the stroller when someone is waiting for my parking space. Talk about pressure! Highly recommend it. Only drawback so far is that I've had to order a double because I can't get my 3 1/2 yo DD out of the single! I never planned to spend this much on strollers in my lifetime but I'm so happy with BJ I am throwing more money at them.
06-19-2007, 07:04 PM
Not that I'm dying to go out and spend the $$ for a Bugaboo, but I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on its performance on flat trails, city park, etc.?
06-23-2007, 04:48 PM
Thanks to everyone for all of your advice! We ended up buying a Bugaboo Frog from Craigslist. And even though it wasn't the stroller I'd narrowed down in the first place, all of your advice was really, really helpful in helping me figure things out.
We did see the Phil&Ted Sport in store and liked that it had a low profile. But for a single stroller, we did like the Baby City Jogging Stroller ATS better. It was larger but just seemed sturdier and the suspension seemed a bit beefier than the P&T. All in all, it seemed like the quality was a little better and at a lower price ... of course, it doesn't look as cool ;) Then again, I'm sure it may be different taking them out in the real world rather than trying them out in the store.
We couldn't see the Valco anywhere in person so ruled that out.
The Mountain Buggy (we'd kind of ruled out anyway) looked like it could go ANYWHERE but seemed huge and had a much higher price tag for a no frills kind of stroller (it was nice that the Valco seemed to come with extras that needed to be purchased for others).
If we hadn't bought the Bugaboo, we would have definitely gone with the BCJS ATS. As it is, we aren't really joggers and wanted to try something that leaned a little bit more towards a standard type stroller ... thinking that if we hate it, we'll just re-sell on the Craigslist.
Again, thanks for all the advice, it really did help tons!
06-24-2007, 09:31 AM
I think you're going to need more than one stroller (sorry I know you didn't want to hear that!). I currently have an Inglesina Zippy, a BOB Ironman, a Maclaren Volo and a Phil and Ted's e3 (very similar to the new sport). Of all those strollers, the most "all purpose" of them is the Zippy by far. It's a good compromise between a stroller that you can take to the mall, fold easily, medium weight, fit in your trunk, and also, because of the suspension and the slightly larger wheels than a "mall" stroller, you can take walks around the neighborhood. The Phil and Ted's is significantly heavier than the Inglesina and I would not want to have to lug it in and out of the trunk. It also has no suspension/shock absorbers, which disapointed me, given the price, so it's not as smooth for the neighborhood. The only reason why I purchased it is because I'm expecting Baby #2, but I don't expect my toddler to always need to ride in a stroller. Of all the double strollers I saw, the e3 was the most "versatile". But if you only have one child, I think there are better options out there.
If you're set on only one stroller, I would not want a stroller that is more than 16-17 pounds TOPS and definitely get something with suspension for the neighborhood. If you want 2 strollers, then I would go with something really sturdy for the outdoors (Valco or Bob Revolution) and a lightweight stroller for the mall (Maclaren Volo or Triumph).
06-24-2007, 04:48 PM
You're absolutely right. We'll definitely purchase a lightweight stroller in the future. I've heard the Volo's really great!
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