Ok, that sounds dramatic, but hear me out!
This weekend I bought another stroller. Making it the sixth stroller we’ve tried. Crazy? Maybe. But, I keep finding things that bug me about each one and I just haven’t been 100% happy with any of them yet. Also, all but one were either gifted, received for free through the blog, or were purchased with gift cards, so it’s not like I’ve gone out and bought all of them out of pocket. Including this new one – I used a gift card I received through some blog work. #winning
For some reason, finding the PERFECT stroller comes with a lot of pressure. At least for me. Walking with Adeline is a priority and something I genuinely enjoy doing as regularly as possible. And not even for just walking outside, but for being out running errands or strolling through the mall – having a great stroller can make or break your experience! And as much as I researched, and researched, and thought I made smart purchases, you can never truly know how you’ll like it until you take it home and use it. You truly have to match the stroller to your lifestyle. And I think I’ve finally found the perfect match.
Here’s a quick rundown on the strollers we have and/or have tried.
- Graco Fastaction Fold Sport Click Connect (travel system w/ snug ride click connect 35 car seat)
- Graco Snugrider Elite Stroller and Car Seat Carrier (car seat caddy)
- Cybex Balios M
- Evenflo Invigor8
- Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect
And here’s a quick rundown on why I would praise or poopoo all of them. (Photos do not correlate with my rave reviews)
The Graco Fastaction Fold Sport Click Connect we received at a baby shower and used as our travel system. LOVED it for the most part. It’s a lightweight stroller, easy to breakdown and open, folds down fairly compact, and worked perfectly with our car seat. It was great for walking, but obviously not jogging. However, I do feel like it is cheaply made, and the brake on one wheel broke fairly easily. I would still recommend it though, simply for walking during those first few months with baby.
The Graco Caddy was a must-have, and also a shower gift. 100% worth every penny. It is exactly what it sounds like, a caddy for your car seat. It weighs next to nothing, can be popped open with one hand super easily, and has decent storage. If you’re going to purchase one stroller for the newborn days, the caddy would absolutely be my recommendation. Seriously – in those early days, you won’t have the strength to lug around a heavy stroller and when baby is screaming and you’re rushing in and out and just want to crawl in a hole, you’ll be thankful for the simplest stroller in the world. However, since it’s just a caddy, you can only use it with your car seat, so eventually you’ll outgrow it.
The Cybex Balios M I received through a blog campaign. It is an AMAZING stroller. Like, amazing. It’s smooth, folds down very compact, has a million features and positions for baby, and is fairly lightweight. It has 4 wheels however, is made in Germany, and honestly, is way too complex for me. But even though it’s complicated, it might be my favorite stroller, even though I would never have purchased it myself. If that makes sense. It’s got so many bells and whistles and requires too much thinking when you’re in a hurry. (I’m not kidding when I say I look like an idiot sometimes trying to open and break it down)
The Evenflo Invigor8 jogging stroller is a complete piece of poop. Seriously – I can’t even find it online anywhere except for the Evenflo website. I purchased this as my first actual jogging stroller with a gift card and immediately regretted it the second time I took it jogging. It’s cheap, it’s bouncy, it feels awkward, has a terrible canopy, and is not worth your time. PooPoo rating = 0 stars.
The Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect stroller. Ah, the whole reason for this post. This is the stroller we exchanged the Evenflo stroller for. This is also actually the stroller I originally registered for before realizing it is a BEAST and I wouldn’t want a jogging stroller until later in the spring anyways. (Adeline was an Oct. baby) But before I tell you why I’m breaking up with it, I’ll sing my praises.
- It is very comfortable for baby, and has several recline positions. Adeline is always comfortable riding in it, and she has plenty of room.
- It is very smooth, and absorbs lots of bumps. I love “how it rides” and feel comfortable pushing it on all types of terrain. It truly is enjoyable to push because it is so smooth (which is always a huge plus with most jogging strollers)
- It jogs nicely. It really does, there’s no denying it.
- Our infant car seat can click right into it. (Although I’d never jog with her in her car seat, but still nice for walking when she’s already asleep)
- It has a huge storage bin, perfect for big diaper bags.
And that’s about it. So for all intents and purposes it does its job as a good jogging stroller. However, let me now give you the reasons why I am breaking up with it. Settle in with a good cup of coffee. This is a long, ragey list.
- It is FREAKING HEAVY. Seriously, it makes me angry how heavy it is every single time I lift it up into my trunk. I feel like I have a decently average amount of strength, but I’m to the point where I dread using it because it’s so heavy. There is no one-handed unfolding or gracefully loading this huge thing. Every time I lug it into my trunk I seriously question how badly I want to use it. Why does it need to be so heavy?? I have no idea.
- It feels top heavy, and can easily flip. This is obviously not something common, but after having one scary experience with this…never again. One afternoon I was walking Adeline and Truckee and a neighbor approached Truckee which made her go crazy. I had her leash in my other hand but when she lept at our neighbor the leash snagged the stroller and instantly I found myself trying to keep the stroller from flipping over! It was literally up on tire, and was terrifying. Thank god Adeline was fully strapped in or she would have fallen out. Ever since then I’ve noticed how top heavy and unbalanced the stroller is.
- The front wheel swivel lock will randomly lock up. Talk about annoying, but also dangerous! On my last 2 mile walk with A, I had to stop and unlock it three times.
- The back wheels are HUGE. Like, HUGE. Yes, they’re basically bike tires, but they are the biggest tires I’ve seen on ANY jogging stroller. I just feel like they are obscenely large and in return, take up sooooo much space. Which leads me to…
- The stroller itself is just BIG. I feel like I’m pushing a bus sometimes, and said bus barely fits into the trunk of my small SUV. When it is in my trunk, it’s impossible to put anything else in there except maybe on top of it which then means we can’t travel with it.
- The canopy won’t stay fully expanded. It did for a while, but now it slowly pops back and I have to keep pulling it down.
- The parent console tray has a cell phone holder that won’t fit current iphones. This is simply a problem due to having a 2015 model I guess, but it still is annoying, ha! #firstworldprobs
- The stroller is made for jogging, and I’m not even using it for jogging like I thought I would. I swore up and down that I would LOVE running with Adeline and I needed a “jogging stroller” so I could take her with me all the time. Let me just be blunt here…I hate running with a stroller. It sucks and I do not enjoy it. Maybe someday I’ll be converted and love it, but for now I just don’t. I would rather do my running at the gym, or on my own. The stroller is so big and cumbersome, and the tires are so intense that it makes no sense for me to walk with it other than its’ smooth ride.
You see, here’s my thinking on jogging strollers. Unless you’re going to be running on a regular basis, training for marathons, traversing through gravel or grassy fields, or need to carry a ton of stuff with you on your glamorous outdoor adventure, you don’t NEED a jogging stroller with gigantic tires that weighs more than you and your baby combined. (Also, I refuse to pay 500 bajillion dollars for a jogging stroller I’m not even going to use for its intended purpose). I’m not using it for jogging, it makes me tired every time I fight with it, and I’m officially breaking up with it. Unless I plan to walk miles and miles and miles, in which case I might bring it out of storage.
So now you’re probably wondering which stroller I purchased over the weekend. This new stroller has solved all my problems and I am literally obsessed with it and so wishing it’s the stroller I had started with 16 months ago!!!!
The Baby Jogger City Mini!
Why oh why did someone not tell me about this glorious stroller when I was pregnant? Well mamas, I am hear to SHARE THE GOOD NEWS! The City Mini stroller is seriously the best thing to happen to my strolling life and I am so happy I finally purchased one! (With a gift card, again, because #winning)
The City Mini is SO lightweight. I can open and close it with one hand and it folds down super compact. It takes up hardly any space in my trunk now which means I will be able to easily travel with it. I could purchase an adapter and click-in my infant car seat. The canopy is huge and amazing and actually stays in place, and it has “peekaboo” holes so you can still see your child. The seat is comfortable, and has several recline positions. Adeline absolutely loved it from the very first time she rode in it. The tires are all high quality and durable, but not huge jogging stroller tires. The ride is still smooth, even though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a jogging stroller. The brake feels secure and safe, and the front wheel swivel lock can’t come undone on its own. The handle is at the perfect height, and I don’t feel like I’m slouching pushing it. And the stroller itself doesn’t feel like a bus! It’s the perfect size, really. It’s high quality enough for long walks and I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything. For the purposes of walking regularly on paved trails (which is really all we ever do), the City Mini is perfect. And I don’t want to curse at it every time I lug it around!
There is also the City Mini GT stroller, which is their version of a jogging stroller, although it’s not necessarily intended for jogging. It’s quite a bit more expensive, but doesn’t appear to be too much bigger, minus having all-terrain tires. I almost splurged for it, but my main motivation was finding a stroller that was smaller and as lightweight as possible, and I simply don’t need something that’s “all terrain” at the moment. (And also because my gift card wouldn’t have covered it, let’s be real.) When it comes time for us to have a second child, I will DEFINITELY be looking into purchasing the City Mini Double – I’ve heard great things about it as well!
WOW ok, if you’ve made it this far in my stroller rant I applaud you! Hopefully my honesty will help another mama or mama-to-be out there navigate the tricky road of finding the perfect stroller!