Let me preface this by saying, I am a babywearer. We babywear. When we had two and even three, we babywear. But, we do need a stroller. One is always left out or no one wants to be worn or we need a place to store the lunch and all the other crap we take out with us.
So, here is our life with strollers….
Not one is perfect for us. We have decided that it is one of those things that with three young children seems to be impossible to find everything we need/want in one.
When Gavin our first was born, this, JJ Cole Broadway was the most amazing stroller we could find. We loved it, used it, changed the colors of the awnings and used it more.
When Jake, number 2 came along we added the skateboard on the back for Gavin. But, Gavin wanted to sit and the skateboard started to sit. So, the search for a perfect double stroller began. I did keep this stroller in the garage forever. It was really hard for me to let go of. We sold it even after Avilene, number 3, was born to a family having their first.
Before investing a ton in a double, we found one on a buy sell trade page and ended up with the Contours Double Stroller… which that front and back configuration was incredible hard to push and really felt like it was a whole block long. I think we kept it for about 2 days. I have a feeling that we had a much older model as the ones I am finding on the internet now seem to be a bit smaller. Storing this one in the car was a huge joke as it was 3 pieces!! Who has a car that big? So, we sold it.
In here, we did receive a great Christmas gift a Radio Flyer All-Terrain Ultimate Comfort Wagon. While this was great, comfy and great for the kids… it was not foldable nor did it really fit in the car to use on the go. It was great for walks around the neighborhood. We did bring it to the zoo a few times, but it was just too big.
Then, we found a Kelty Kids Duce Couple on the BST page which I do not even see anywhere for sale anymore. This was okay, but did not fold up small and it took up our entire trunk. The front wheel didn’t move and since I do not run, the whole idea of an actual jogger stroller seemed silly. So, we sold it.
But then, I fell into the “the BOB is the best double out there”. Now, don’t get me wrong, the BOB is a great stroller. It is easy to maneuver, more expensive than any other double I could find. It had cup holders and the snack tray. It was semi easy to fold…but I couldn’t lift the darn thing. I scraped the car every single time I heave ho’d it into the trunk. (I am only 5 ft and it was near impossible for me to lift it with this little wire rope thing that closes it. It was also just BIG. When walking down the street or into a store, sure it fit through the door, but just barely. So, we sold it.
Then, we found a solution, the Phil & Ted. I LOVED it, it was small, single stroller imprint, easy to push and with a 1 year old and a 3 year old it was definitely very useful. But, when you put it into the car, it is two pieces. When the older kid gets up, the weight is weird. When the older kid wants to sit in the bottom… it creates a big issue. When you walk, you kick the bottom seat. I loved this stroller. We even got one for my mother-in-law because it really is fun, easy and people like to look at it. It technically has everything you need, but the taking it apart to fold it and the size limit of the bottom seat starts to become a problem. So, we sold it.
We started traveling and at this point Gavin, number 1 was big enough to run. Jake, number 2, wanted to run with big bro and maybe we only needed a single again… at least until everyone is tired when we are out and about. So, for travel, we invested in a gb gopockit stroller. I saw the videos of this stroller at mommy con and thought, yes! Finally, this is what we need. It is small, so small. Easy to fold and open. Super compact and really is a show stopper. We still have this stroller and use it often. We hooked little hooks onto the end of it, the stroller purse holder ones so we can hook this onto anything for storage. There obviously is no cupholder, and the bucket underneath is super small. If your purse or bag is heavy at all and you hang it on the back, it’ll flip the stroller and the sun visor really is pointless. Also, the back isn’t stiff at all and little ones do sink into the stroller in a weird way that makes it almost look uncomfortable and safe. The main problem we have with this is when more than one kid is tired, two weigh way too much to climb in together to make the trip more bearable.
Somewhere about this time of our life, we also bought a wagon to tote all the kids. This really is a great solution because you can haul groceries, toys, 3 car seats through an airport, 3 tired kids, and well, everything! The problem is the pulling. It is definitely functioning and perfect for 3 kids, but pulling uphill or in crowded areas is VERY different from pushing a stroller. It is great because it is compact and folds super small. The one we bought was a pretty cheap one though and I believe if we did it again, we would buy one with bigger wheels that was a bit more durable. It ended up breaking on us.
So… I went back in search of another double. I ended up purchasing the MacClaren Twin Triumph. This stroller got amazing reviews, it collapsed easy and pretty small. The kids strapped in well and were separate from each other. It was easy to push… when you were on nice roads. The problem we ran into was we moved to Tahoe. Mountains and not paved sidewalks. I tried taking this on a trail… HA! Definitely NOT usable for the trails. So, I returned this one.
Then, nope not done yet, we found a Babytrend Expedition Stroller. It was at the local resale store. This stroller was GREAT for trails and three kids. The third was able to actually either sit on the bottom platform or across the top by the handle bars. So, really this was perfect. It was wide and sturdy and could handle trails and roads, sidewalks and streets. The downfall once again was it was NOT compact. It folded in half and that was it. I truly can not travel with something this big. I couldn’t, at the time, fit it in the car with the third row up. (that is a whole nether story… three rowed cards are NOT practical with three kids, unless it is a minivan in our opinion. A double stroller and a trip to costco just isn’t possible with the ridiculously small amount of trunk space). This stroller worked for awhile until we knew we would be on the road again and realized that compact really was what we needed. So the search began AGAIN, and we sold it.
In a stroller, what we needed was
- a single footprint but that could hold enough weight that when all three were tired we could recline the seat and all three could climb in
- wheels that could do both paved and unpaved
- fold semi small
- good sunshade
- a cupholder
- a snack tray
- a big basket
- nothing uber flimsy
… doesn’t seem like we are asking for that much, WRONG!
I did write the Babyguy NYC and ask for advice on stroller with all of our wants etc but he is so busy and probably gets a billion messages that I never heard back.
We took a trip in April to Florida and I didn’t bring a stroller. It was HOT the kids tired and I didn’t want to take them anywhere because I can’t alone carry three ids when everyone is so ready for nap time and we have to trek from the other side of wherever we are to make it back to the car. So, I went to Target.
I found the Graco Pace Click Connect stroller at Target for $80 on sale. Perfecto. If I didn’t love it, it wasn’t a lot of money wasted, comparably. I just needed it to get me through the week. In the past, I was always pretty snooty about wanting “fancy” brand strollers and not the plastic ones from Graco or Chicco. (being honest here) This stroller surprised the heck out of me. There is a reason Graco has been making baby products for over 60 years. This stroller folded easy, was light enough to pick up with one hand. Sturdy enough for all three kids to pile in. The basket was big and it had both a kids and parents cup holder and snack tray (cell phone holder) We well exceeded the weight limit quite a few times and it held up perfectly. After about 5 months though, the wheels got wobbly from us really using it a bit too heavy then it says and well, we sold it.
As of about a month ago, this is where we stood. With our BIG trip coming up, I was determined to find a stroller to take to Asia with us that we could fold small enough to fit into the backseat of a taxi, light enough for it not to be a pain, small enough to fit in the crowded streets and strong enough to hold all three kids. I did borrow a friend’s single Bob. and I so loved that stroller but once again, it was BIG and just truly wouldn’t work on Asian streets and subways.
I had been watching youtube, facebook and Instagram stories from Zoe Strollers and had been eyeing them for over a year. I needed a reason to buy the stroller and give it a try. The XLC Best V2 was on sale so I bought it. I was so excited when it arrived. It looked like it folded small, reclined and had most everything that we were looking for. We took it for a test drive. Upon pushing this uphill it felt like it would snap in half. When Avilene fell asleep in it with the seat reclined, it fell over backwards. There is no cupholder, there is a pocket in the back that you can slip your phone into. The wheels can not handle boardwalk and stop. If your kid isn’t strapped in (ours tend to hop in and out) they literally fly out off the front. Forget about talking to someone on the phone, you can leave a message and they will get back to you within 3-4 business days and guess what… then get disconnected before you are given the chance to leave a message. I shipped it back. The best part about this stroller was the very LARGE sun visor over the top.
Upon looking back at our experience, since we love our goPockit so much, we went ahead and bought the gb Qbit Plus Stroller which is a little bigger than the pocket. It’s fine. It just wasn’t much different than the Zoe. It was sturdier for sure, but it just didn’t meet our needs. I so badly wanted it to work. When it folded up, super easily, it didn’t have a locking mechanism which made it awkward to carry as the wheels kind of bounced and it didn’t stay compact. Yes, I realize we are getting super picky here but at you know, close to $200 or more we really want to get what we want and need! I returned it.
So here we are with 4 days before our big trip. We have our gopockit which is perfect, for one kid. But we still have two others. And we know in Korea and in most countries, since we will not have a car, a lot of walking is in our future and we KNOW our kids will get whiney and tired and we NEED a place for everyone to sit so we can enjoy ourselves. We went by two different targets to test drive floor models.
I will say I was VERY close to splurging on a Graco Ready to Grow. Yes it was big, but my gosh, it CAN handle all three kids. But, I think back to the idea that on city buses and taxis etc, this will not work. It is not compact. But ugh, with one kids sitting In the seat and the two other piled on the back, I thought it would be PERFECT. But then again, there isn’t time to really test drive it and maybe on the sidewalk instead of in the store, it wouldn’t be an easy drive or ride and then, I would be even more upset at myself.
So, this is what I bought. The Chicco Liteway Stroller. Gavin can sit in the stroller and Avilene really can fit behind him if needed without it tipping backward. There is a parent cup holder and a pretty big basket. It folds easy and has a handle. (Although the wheels stick out weirdly when folded….GAH) It is maneuverable and has decent size wheels. The way the handles are set up, we can hang the gopockit off the back of it, or fit it in the basket underneath so we do have a place for the third kid should everyone be tired at once.
How crazy that in 5 years we have gone through 12 strollers and truly, still, haven’t found the most perfect one for us. It’s actually rather disgusting when you think about how much money we have thrown into this and yet, nothing has been the Perfect fit for us.
Which stroller have you found to work best for your family? Which one was the WORST lol. Which do you feel has solved all of your problems? Whey can’t we just build your own stroller somewhere to meet all of our needs?