Stroller Buying Guide
Strollers are an important product for parent consumers to bring their child along with them. A stroller should be selected based on the lifestyle of the parent. This guide aims to inform the parent consumer on the different kinds of strollers and features they should look for when buying a strollers.
Types of strollers:
Seat Carrier Frames:
These strollers don’t have a built in seat and instead allows parent consumers to attach a car seat for strolling. These strollers are ideal for infants and are relatively inexpensive. Parent consumers can just pop in their infant car seats with their child in tow and stroll around. The advantage of this type of stroller is that they are very lightweight and compact however due to their specific design for infants the stroller and specific car seat wont be suitable for a child beyond one year old.
These strollers are a combination of carriage and stroller. The main advantage of this type of stroller is flexible to be attached with a car seat or use the built in seat of the stroller and since these strollers are build with a weight capacity of forty pounds and up the parent consumer can use this for their child from infant to toddler. However these strollers come at a premium price and although they come in together with a range of features and accessories, the parent consumer would still need to procure a separate car seat for their child when travelling in a car.
These strollers combine a car seat and stroller, the parent consumer is given the flexibility of snapping on the car seat on the stroller or use the seat built in to stroll their child around. The main advantage of this stroller is the convenience and flexibility that it provides. However this stroller can be quite bulky and may be difficult to carry or move around in tight spaces or going up and down stairs.
These strollers are big enough to allow a sleeping space for the child, additional features include spoke wheels, compartments, and carry cots that can be removed and used as a bassinet. The main advantage of this type of stroller is that they are ideal for newborns and ideal for sleeping. However due to their spoke wheels these strollers are not very portable and may be difficult to handle in tight spaces or public transportation.
These strollers come in lightweight and heavyweight models. While they may come with several features to the delight of parent consumers, a lot of the heavyweight models are bulky and hard to manage.
These strollers are ideal for a child from six months and up. They are characterized by lightweight, an umbrella shaped handle and are sought after for their portability. However these strollers may skimp on certain features that provide comfort for the child such that these strollers may be slightly cramp, provide no recline functionality or no shock absorber system.
All Terrain Strollers:
These strollers are characterized by large three wheel bicycle like tires with the use of the front tire as a pivot point. These strollers are heavy duty. They can be used in any kind of terrain from smooth mall floors to rough dirt roads. These strollers are designed to carry a weight of up to one hundred fifty pounds. However due to the design of these strollers resembling jogging strollers, they are not meant for jogging and is inadvisable to use them with a child less than six months. The heavy duty designs of these strollers also make them quite bulky and the large wheels may make them difficult to stow away.
These strollers are designed for parent consumers who would like to go for jogs while taking care of their child. The features inherent in these strollers allow it to be durable for light jogs and provide comfort for both the parent consumer and child. These strollers can carry up to a weight of one hundred fifty pounds and feature a locked front wheel, braking mechanism on the handle and wrist strap to prevent it from getting away. However due to the specific function of these strollers there is less maneuverability and the tires have to be treated in the same manner as a bicycle tire and as such air pressure must me maintained at an optimum level. It is recommended to use this stroller for jogging purposes only if the child is at least six months old, it is around this time that the child would have developed natural neck support which would tolerate light jarring movement from a jog.
These strollers are built with two carriages lined behind one another providing parent consumers with maneuverability and the advantage of maneuvering in a small space as against a wide side by side stroller. These strollers often times come with features of adjusting seats for both carriages to face one another. However steering over curbs may be difficult and the rear passenger may have little leg room.
These strollers combine two strollers side by side. The advantage of these strollers is that they give both passengers with ample space and comfort. However moving around with this type of stroller may be difficult due to the width of the stroller.
In addition to different types of car strollers that are designed for particular age groups and needs of children, these strollers come in with a variety of features.
Restraint systems refer to the safety harness. Five point systems are ideal and ensure that the child is properly secure in the stroller. A three point system is composed of shoulder straps and a crotch strap. A five point system would have the additional benefit of leg straps. Additionally, parent consumers should examine the buckles of the straps. They should be easy to be operated by the parent consumers but difficult to operate by the child.
Different strollers come in with different wheels depending on the functionality. Parent consumers should investigate the wheels based on their needs. If they need an all terrain stroller then larger three wheeled strollers would be ideal, if it on smooth, even terrain then a smaller four wheeled stroller would be sufficient. Maintenance of the wheel would be essential as well. A large wheel would need to have an optimum psi maintained. Swivel of the wheels is also essential, to what degree maneuverability would the parent consumer need or if they are using the stroller for jogging then would they require a locking mechanism for the swivel or no swivel at all.
To what extent are the brakes functioning on the stroller, are they just on the rear. Another key question that a parent consumer should consider is the accessibility of the brakes. Strollers have foot pedals and handle access. The strength of the brakes should be considered as well, especially for strollers with a high weight capacity. The importance of these brakes especially strolling down an incline is essential. Another key consideration is in the case of foot pedals, how easy is it to brake with the foot pedal and if it is painful to the parent consumer who is strolling barefooted or wearing light footwear.
Other key features to consider are: leg holes (essential to have leg holes with a barrier to prevent slipping), canopy to block out sun, handle bars (adjustable handlebars for parent consumers of varying height), play tray, foot rest, cup holders/parent tray, boots, shock absorber (for child comfort in strolling), reflectors (for strolling at night), extra storage (compartments that can help parent consumers carry objects around), large shopping basket.
Parent consumers should not only be aware of the types and features of strollers. Proper handling is also crucial. Parent consumers should study the guidelines for their strollers and consult other parents, salespeople and their child’s pediatricians. A premium stroller is not useful if the handling is wrong.
In choosing a stroller, the parent consumer should take the above-mentioned descriptions in mind and also determine their kind of lifestyle and the special needs of their child. It is not necessary to spend a fortune on a stroller, other economical varieties are available that can perform the basic functions that are desired by parent consumers. Always make sure to consult with your child’s pediatrician to ensure that you are meeting the special needs of your child before procuring a stroller. It is also recommended for parent consumers to register their stroller with manufacturers in instances of defects or product recalls.