Sunday, November 12, 2006

Strollers

Adi and I went preliminary stroller shopping last night. The store was "Tzutzik", an old Haifa institution. Best of all it's a neighborhood store. Not our neighborhood, we had to drive, but NO MALL TIME REQUIRED!! They had quite a range of options!The salesman was informative and pleasantly low-pressure. He did not utter the words which always turn me waaaay off when uttered by Israeli sales people, namely:
"Kday lach!" (~it's worth it for you) and "Haval!" (~ a pity, or a shame).

There seem to be 3 big categories of strollers. In order of most to least expensive, roughly, they are:

FAMILY 1) Full 2-parts.


With these, you switch between the newborn baby bed-like thing and a sit-up thing later, on the same frame.
Pros: full-lie down capability for 1st 6 mo. + you get a little "bed" you can take with you.
Cons: price. More than you need?

At first I was least drawn to this family. But then we "test drove" some 3-wheel (aka "sport") models in this category and found them to be really, really light and agile which I liked A LOT, especially given that Haifa is full of stairs and crappy sidewalks. Examples:
The TFK buggster

and the slightly cheaper, Dr. Baby version (much bigger wheels)

FAMILY 2) Convertables.


The main idea here is that you can switch between front and back facing baby (towards parent at first, then towards world). You go from semi-reclined to full sitting as the kid grows. Huge range of prices here.
At first I was most drawn to this family because the one stroller that switches just seems logical. But then we drove the 3-wheelers mentioned above.

Pros: One solution. Nice, sturdy 4-wheel classic design. Fold to fairly compact.
Cons: Usually no full-recline for beginning. A bit heavy.

Examples:
Peg Perego Venezia Stroller . Awfully cute. Looks practical. A bit more pricey than others in it's class. These seem to be popular in my neighborhood. I get twinges of "stroller envy" when I see them. Why not? They're Italian. The knock-offs in this group are kind of weak-looking.

FAMILY 3) Combos.


The combinations, where the car seat fits into the frame. These are cheapest because you get car seat + carriage. We pretty much ruled these out though because of the dangers of shlepping your baby too much in the car seat. Plus it just doesn't seem right for our needs. Most stroller walks will probably be around the neighborhood, without car involvement.

Brands


It seems quite a few of the biggies are represented here. There's an Israeli company called "Dr. Baby" which seems to sell good knock-offs of some of the pricier brands. They don't actually make the strollers here, rather they're the same "guts" that sell under other brands like GRACO. You gotta see their "fashion photos" of high-heeled Mommies... Hm, now I see she has a smaller-wheeled 3 wheeler. That could be nifty.

If you have a stroller, can you please share:
1) If you have a small car, or intend to travel a lot by plane would you spend an extra $100 for more compact foldability?
2) Which "FAMILY" of stroller did you start out with? Are you still using it now, or did you switch as baby got bigger?
3) What do you love\hate about your stroller?
4) Do you expect to use your stroller with your next kid, or will you need to upgrade/refresh anyway?

2 comments:

Reuven said...

We had the Peg Perego. It was great in many ways, and the reversibility was certainly nice. However, the folding mechanism was less than ideal -- it generally required two hands, it's too easy to make a mistake and jam the thing, and you have to get it re-oiled every 6-8 months. My wife found it very hard to bring up and down stairs. I should note that I personally loved it; I found folding it to be relatively easy, even with one hand, and didn't think that it was too heavy. But you should consider how ready you are to bring it up and down the Haifa stairs.

And yes, you might use the stroller with more than one child. But you might not. It's hard to know at this point in time. We're on our third kid, and have a bunch of strollers -- a jogger, a double jogger, a regular stroller, and a tiny umbrella stroller for travel -- and we've had at least two or three others.

Not that it's a replacement for a stroller, but one of the best things we ever got (as a present, at that) was a Kelty backpack. As soon as our kids were able to sit up (about 6-8 months), I would walk around with them on my back. They loved it, I loved it, and it was very convenient when walking up and down stairs.

Anonymous said...

Zehava,

I obsessed endlessly about strollers before our son was born...and I know all about stroller envy!

I like our peg perego a lot (we have the pliko p3). It reclines to different levels, so the baby can lie down or sit up. I like that its pretty light but feels very substantial too - I feel like my baby is protected, and I can hang the diaper bag off the bag without worrying about it tipping over.

However, we don't have a car. When we borrow one, it is often helpful to have a more compact stroller - and we did, in fact, spend extra money. We bought the Maclaren Triumph for $150 - VERY light, but can't use it till baby is 3 months (ours is). We also have a graco stroller base that our carseat snaps into. These two are great options for car use and airplane travel.

b'hatzlacha,

Sara