Stroller Hunting

Tara found a good price for a Graco stroller online at Toys R Us, so we decided to check out the stroller and see if we could find a better price.

First we popped into Wal Mart, because, well, they’re cheap. The stroller there was $100 more than TRU, but the TRU one is on sale, so it makes sense. However, at WM, it was also bolted down, so we really couldn’t check it out all that well. But it looked nice enough.

We have a few requirements when it comes to strollers:

  • Tara can lift it in and out of the car on her own.
  • It folds down easily enough to fit into the back of the car
  • it’s a travel system(both stroller and car seat)
  • it’s not stupid expensive
  • it’s not crappy

And Graco is a good brand name when it comes to baby stuff so we thought we lucked out. Having been done with WM, we headed to TRU to see if they had a display model. Previously, when we went, they had a ton of them all out and ready to try, so hopefully they had this one.

And they did. So I tried it. Got the car seat out, no problem once you know how to do it 😉

Now to fold it down. So I grab the handle, push the button, kinda twist it, then pull it, then twist it OH it’s down. Cool. Now to get it back up, just twist(I think) then pull, then kinda heave, then yan OH it’s up, no, it isn’t, yes, yes it is.

The store person tried to help as well as she saw I was struggling(and you can only get away with the “i meant to do it that way” look for so long).

And she was having problems with it, and then said this: “Looks like the display model has had it, it’s usually easier than this”

Riiiiight. So the thing can’t hold up to a bunch of people doing to it what it was designed to do. My mind is made up on this one. And it did look nice.

But a different store person decided to be extra helpful and show us a few other models. The first of which was the Chicco Cortina. The store person took out the car seat and deftly folded down the stroller. Then reversed it almost as gracefully. These things claim to be single handed conversion, but that’s not really the case unless you’re about 7 feet tall, but that’s ok. The other hand is more for the final lock stage, and that’s fine by me. And it kinda folded upright, which I thought was cool. Light as a feather(ok, light as a 25lb feather) and easy to maneuver. Plus the wheels felt better.

As the store person was explaining a bunch of stuff to Tara, I played with it, and after a couple of minutes, I was almost as graceful has her in folding/unfolding this thing. And it was easy to move around and generally looked nice. Sure, it was about $200 more than the last one, but I’m starting to think you get what you pay for.

The sales person showed us another model, a whopping $10 more expensive, from Graco, and it still wasn’t as good.

In my mind, and I think in Tara’s, the Chicco was the new baseline for stroller comparison.

Now we just need the money to buy it 😉

Does anyone else that reads this blog and has kids recommend other strollers that we might not have run across? Any info would be helpful 😀


  1. Vanessa Fuller

    Don’t go for a travel system! Generally the strollers aren’t great for much beyond summer street and mall walking. Quincy might be out of our infant carrier by then but even if she isn’t I’m sure one of your other friends may be able to lend you one. I would just focus on finding a good stroller, one that can be manoeuvered one-handed and can turn on a dime because the world is not stroller friendly!

  2. Vanessa Fuller

    Yikes – I just checked out the price of the stroller that you looked at. For that price you could get a Bob stroller at Kiddytown, definitely a better buy. Check out Kijiji too if you find one that you love.

    1. SideKick

      Kijiji has a lot of used strollers going for very little, and I think that’s going to be our main source for looking. That, and the little consignment shops and whatnot.

  3. Sonya Cowper

    I completely agree with Vanessa. If you can borrow a car seat from someone, I would do it. I’d give ya ours, but NS vs Ont thing. You will only use the car seat for about 6 months till your little one will out grow it, maybe 8 months and then you need a new car seat. The strollers are huge! We bought a nice umbrella type stroller that we have been using exclusively since Gavin was 8 months old. Takes up little room in the trunk and we took it with us from NS to your wedding! 😉 Good luck picking out a stroller! Sure is fun looking!! 🙂

    1. SideKick

      It was fun until the options started piling up 😉

      I think I’ll just carry the baby everywhere 😀

  4. Jennifer Parker

    My Sister in law researched the crap out of strollers before she bought one. I’m just asking her what her opinion is and will let you know what she says. =)

    I found the graco kinda big and took up a lot of the trunk. Remember you’ll be hauling all sorts of things, so small and light is the way to go. Sometimes you need a different one depending on where you’re going or what you’re doing. My first instinct is a stroller frame that you can add a bassinet/carseat/stroller seat to. Much lighter and smaller. With the graco you’re pushing EVERYTHING around regardless if you’re using it. My SIL bought the Uppababy which is a bit pricey, but maybe you can find something with similar features. The bassinet is great because you can keep it by the bed at first! So it does double duty from the begining. It doesn’t look like there’s a carseat, but I know some brands DO have them.

    You can always buy a seperate convertable carseat that you can use from birth until 40lbs. The hitch being it stays in the car; no sneaking a sleeping baby in the house after a long ride with is always a nice break!

    I”d also get a good umbrella stroller. One with a canopy and understorage is a MUST. These are sooo much easier than big strollers while shopping! I can’t tell you how many times I”ve had to through the graco into reverse because I couldn’t fit down an aisle! I only use it for long walks or to the park now.


  5. ·

    This is what my sister in law sent me….

    Well, I think I have come to the conclusion that there just is no such thing as a “perfect” stroller, despite my trying to find it!

    I do love our uppa baby, but it doesn’t do everything I would have liked. Some of the features I love about it that I would recommend in a stroller are:
    – seat that faces forward or back, and reclines enough to use for a newborn
    – interchangeable seat, bassinet, infant car seat on the same frame (although to be honest, I only used the stroller with the infant seat a few times, so I would probably skip that feature in exchange for a good reclining seat that faces the rear)
    – smooth tires and turning, large wheels that can handle rougher terrain
    – nice large basket, big canopy, extra sunshade
    – adjustable handle
    – although we won’t be adding one, it has the option of adding a second seat

    The two things I really wish it did are fold smaller and more compactly and work as a jogging stroller. If I could find a stroller with a reversible seat that folds up small and works for jogging, I would say it would be perfect! That being said, of course you could just buy a separate jogging stroller. I believe there are quite a few on the market now that offer many of the same features as the uppa baby.

    Hope this helps!

  6. Vanessa Fuller

    Carrying the baby is a great alternative – I carried Simon and Miles far more than I used my stroller in the early months. I love our Ergo!

    1. Sonya Cowper

      We have the Baby Trekker!! I wanted the Ergo, but Gavin didn’t like it. Baby wearing was definitely the best for walking, especially in the winter.

  7. Matt

    We got our latest at Sears. They tend to have them on sale regularly. It’s a Graco… then again, so was our last. We’ve had no problems, although they do tend to be big. Robin did a lot of digging, but eventually came to the common conclusion… There is no perfect stroller, but there sure are some expensive ones. Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *