With Bean, we went simple and our choices suited our family perfectly. I had a single basic frame stroller when he was an infant, so we could pop out his car seat and put it in the frame without disturbing him. It was simple, light, and utilitarian. Not so attractive, but honestly I find those "travel systems" to be hideous as well as bulky and heavy.
When he outgrew the infant seat, we transitioned to the Maclaren Triumph. (Wow, this post is riveting already, isn't it?)
Anyway, this is a great stroller, in my opinion. Again light and easy to use, but this time a bit more stylish. My only complaint is that it doesn't have any cup holders. I need two: one for my decaf nonfat iced mocha with no whip, and the other for the maple bar that I
wasn't able to didn't even try to resist. If my drink has nonfat milk with no whip, the donut balances it out, right?
Now we have three kiddos under the age of three. It's absolutely critical that we have a good stroller -- or two? Not only for simple transportation, but also to haul our ginormous diaper bag and other sundries.
Right now we use the double version of the simple frame stroller. We went to a twins meeting recently; there were 11 other families and 11 other of these strollers. It's hard not to get this stroller if you are welcoming twins into your family.
But now the twins are getting older, and it's time to think past the infant car seats.
One obvious option is the double version of the Maclaren stroller I liked with Bean:
But I'm not entirely ready to pull the trigger on this purchase. Still no cup holders on this model, and with all these munchkins, my desire for coffee and donuts has now become a survival necessity. And I'm afraid this lightweight umbrella style will be crushed by our overwhelming traveling circus.
Here are my concerns and needs.
* Price. I am willing to spend a decent amount of money because I think it's worth it, and I can always search Craigslist if my perfect stroller is on the expensive side. But the $800+ ones are right out.
* Size. It *must* fit in my minivan without folding or removing seats. This is why I have a minivan, so everything in the world will fit inside easily. It's not because of its speed and maneuverability, obviously.
* Weight. I prefer a light stroller. Some of these double strollers weigh more than I do. I'm not a bodybuilder here, people.
* Convenience. Easy to open and close, as I might be holding a child. Also convenience of diaper bag storage, as large and accessible as possible.
* Comfort. I want my kids to be comfortable, and the ride to be relatively smooth. We will mainly be on hard floors (the mall) and paved walkways (the neighborhood sidewalk, the zoo, walking trails at the park, etc.).
* Style. I'm not a fashion plate by any stretch of the imagination. But not ugly, please. Also, I think I prefer the side-by-side. I'm ready to ditch the super-long in-line stroller, plus then the twins can interact. (Yes, I am still naive enough to think interaction will be a good thing.) (And the Phil & Ted's strollers seem so cruel to the lower twin, don't they? Makes too obvious who your least favorite is.)
To boil it down, my questions:
Can I get away with one stroller? Bean will most likely not ride in one, so I don't want to invest in a huge 3-kid stroller that I will hardly ever use. I will also still have the single Maclaren stroller, of course, that DH or my parents can push if we all go out together and need three seats.
If I only get one, do I need a more heavy duty stroller (e.g. a jogging stroller) as opposed to the deluxe umbrella stroller? I'm
probably definitely not going to be jogging with it, but I will be hard on whatever stroller I get.
Is there a stroller you would recommend? Does this Holy Grail of strollers exist?