Stroller Recommendations

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions: Specific Brands Reviewed: Types of Strollers:

Accessories for Strollers:

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Stroller for 3.5-year-old to take on bus and BART

Nov 2005

I ride public transportation frequently with my 3.5 year old and I need a stroller to help expedite our trips to/from the stations but that I could fold up so it is small and unobtrusive on the train or bus. I have looked online and found the MacLaren Triumph which is definitely light but it's just not clear to me how small it folds up. Any recommendations for both small and light stroller? (Or, any tangential ideas on how to expedite what is a 10 minute walk for an adult but a 20-30 minute walk with a 3.5 year old to/from the BART station or bus stop?!) sharon

I highly recommend the siver cross micro -- helped me survive when I went back to school with no car and lots of very crowded bus and train rides. Try the link to see some reviews: A little expensive, much better built than the mclaren volo for about the same price. I fugured that without a car, I could really splurge on the stroller. I purchased mine online, didn't pay shipping or tax, and the stroller arrived in just 3 days..

The Maclaren Volo is even more compact and lightweight than the Triumph, especially if you don't get the ''accessory pack'' (seat cushion and sunshade). It's an umbrella stroller that folds to be quite narrow (a few inches wide) though still quite long (maybe 4 feet?). It also has a built in carrying strap. I still use it occasionally for my 3.5 year old -- it's sturdy enough to hold a child his size. I'm not aware of any other strollers that are more compact but that would still hold a 3.5 year old. Diane Fisher

Try the Mclaren Volo. It made out of mesh, so really light. Folds up rather small, and even has a strap for carrying it around. I highly recommend it. The only thing much lighter are the umbrella strollers, but they don't have storage and I have to hunch over to push them. anon

I highly recommend the MacLaren Volo Stroller. It is their lightest weight model (9 lbs.) and folds up easily even with the accessories (sold separately). Good for ages 6 mos to 3-4 years old (40 lb. weight limit). We've had ours for three years and it has weathered well . We've used it on BART, Muni, New York subway, and various airports. Worth every dollar. The accessory pack includes a sunshade, seat pad, and rain cover. I would recommend getting that too. Martha

I've been commuting by bus with my young children for 4 years now. Nothing folds up smaller than the Kolkraft stroller. Very light, very inexpensive. Stick it under the bus seat when not in use. anon

Combi strollers fold up really small and are v. lightweight, my model (Combi Savvy Soho Sport Stroller) is only 16lb and even has an integrated shoulder strap so that it is really easy to carry with a child in your arms. Other models come with a carrying case, and are even lighter at 12lb. It's easy to fold and unfold, a blessing when you're in a hurry to jump on the bus. I got mine at Albany Target for $69.99. I took it to Japan and was happy to see lots of Combi strollers there - Combi is the Graco of Japan - and it was very handy for use on public transport there. Japanese design is all about keeping everything as light and small as possible so these strollers might not suit you if you like lots of storage. Mine does not have a cup holder, snack tray or a large basket. It does have a safety bar at the front and a five-point harness. My 2 year old daughter loves it because the seat is low to the ground and she can safely climb in and out herself. Combis are sturdier than your average umbrella stroller, mine still looks great after a year of heavy use, and they're made of ''outdoorsy'' fabric that is lightweight, water and stain resistant. Plus, the seat is washable. Happy Combi Stroller User

I am a ''heavy lightweight stroller user'' as I travel a bit. I bought a Combi Savvy Soho almost 2 years ago, and it does fold very compactly to 14'' x 9'' x 38'' and weighs only 11 lbs. -- while still providing a sun canopy, small basket below, and a very useful carrying strap (great when carrying suitcases, etc., or tromping up and down stairs in subway/Metro stations). It has a ''near-full'' recline, and I've also appreciated that I can still get into the basket with my daughter lying down, which I couldn't do with many other models. The only downsides I've found with it are that it isn't the easiest stroller to steer over uneven surfaces and it can feel a little ''rickety'' at times, which some people might not notice but the carpal tunnel crowd should avoid. Since then, Combi's come out with the City Savvy model, which folds to the same dimensions, but offers a full recline and works with Combi's Connection infant car seat (it also comes with an infant boot). I wish I'd had that at the beginning. I recently reviewed these and a number of other travel strollers for my website, and I included the weights and folded dimensions of each stroller. If you want to take a look, they're at Good luck in your search! Shelly

Stroller for 1-year-old - baby on the way

Nov 2005

We are looking for stroller recommendations. We have a 1 year old and plan to have more kids, so don't want to spend a fortune on a new (or new-to-us/used)stroller that we will end up replacing with a tandem in a year or two, BUT we would like to replace our stroller. We are looking for a compact stroller with large basket, tray for the child, reclining seat, large canopy, and easy maneuverability. It would be nice if it were lightweight and had a 5 point harness as well. What would you suggest? I was reading the recommendations made in the past, but it seems as though many of those stroller models are no longer made. Thanks! parent who loves to walk

For expert & thoughtful advice about strollers, go to The owners are local moms who are incredibly knowledgeable about all kinds of strollers! Good luck. JF This could actually go for either of the stroller questions in the newsletter. I have also been looking for the ''perfect'' small sized, full service stroller for our one year old. I have done a LOT of research, tested a LOT of strollers, and still haven't bought anything b/c I'm frustrated with what's out there.

The best thing I've come up with so far is the Chicco C5, which is cheaper than the Maclaren Triumph (somewhat comparable in features) but 3 lbs heavier. I think you get more for your $$$ with the Chicco.

For the other person looking for a small fold up, the maclarens fold up small but not SUPER small. For that I would highly recommend a Combi. You can check out their website, and see... but not only do they fold up like ''regular'' umbrella strollers, they also fold ''in half again'' -- i.e. the handle bar that the parent pushes folds over on itself. some models even come with a travel bag, which may or may not be helpful.

I myself am anxious to hear about other's thoughts. Although the maclaren is well-loved, I think it's not necessarily on the cutting edge.... and for the price... oy vey! k.

Stroller for Graco infant carseat

March 2005

Hi, we are expecting our first ''singleton'' baby (we already have twins) and need to pick up a stroller made for one. We already have a Graco infant carseat and would like to purchase a lightweight stroller that we can snap the Snugride carseat into. I'd like to compare a wide variety of strollers but I can't find information about non-Graco brands that the Graco infant carseat will snap into.

Can anyone advise me on strollers you used that took the Graco infant carseat and that you used once your baby was out of it too? I'd like to purchase just one stroller (it takes the infant car seat and is a good long term stroller too). The lighter the better as we'll use it for a couple of years but any advice on what you used and liked would be appreicated. Thanks, Mom of twins has to pick up all new stuff for just one now!

I used the Graco Snugride with a Peg Perego Pliko. Had to buy a $10 little converter bar for the front, which was switched back to the normal padded bar once baby was in the stroller itself. The system worked just fine.

We've had our Zippy Inglesina stroller for 2 years now and I'm still very happy with it. It's lightweight, easy to open/close, and when our daughter was first born, we used it with her Graco snugride infant carseat. The Graco seat won't snap right in, like it might with some strollers - instead the stroller comes with detachable straps that secure the carseat to the stroller. At first I thought these would be awkward to use, but they really weren't a problem at all. And the Zippy has other benefits that for us have certainly outweighed the slightly-less convenient carseat attachment.

I know you said you only wanted to buy one stroller for your singleton, but I have to say that our Universal Car Seat Stroller (about $45 at Rockridge Kids, maybe less elsewhere) was the best stroller we ever had and it was worth it to buy two strollers just to be able to use the Universal for 4 months! It takes a Graco seat (and just about all others) and is by far the easiest one-hand folder I've used (we have a Maclaren now). It's also very light and rides nicely. Once your baby is out of the car seat, however, you have to switch to a new stroller. Still Longing for the Universal Stroller

Reclining Umbrella Stroller

Feb 2003

I'm looking for recommendations on a stroller that will fold up like an umbrella stroller but is more comfortable for a sleeping baby (will recline). I have a 14 month-old; will be 16 months when we travel. Any opinion on the Daytripper? Thanks.

I just purchased a Quest stroller for the purpose you talk about and it has only been a week but I am very happy with it. It is much more maneuverable than my other stroller and really very lightweight and easy to use. We have an 11 month old and I would not hesitate to travel with this stroller and I think my son could sleep easily in it but haven't tested this out yet. Very pleased with my Maclaren

I love the day tripper. McClaren makes such an excellent stroller for travelling. It turns on a dime, folds up neatly, and does recline plenty for a toddler to sleep. the recline feature is a little ackward, but not really a problem. daytripper mom

Just wanted to give some feedback on the MacLaren Daytripper stroller...I had a terrible experience with it and with MacLaren. After using it for a year it broke while I was on a long walk with my daughter. The metal tube connecting the tire to the stroller broke in half! This was after normal use, in fact the rest of it still looked brand new. As you can imagine, it was difficult to return home carrying a broken stroller and a two year old! MacLaren's customer service was HORRIBLE! No one called back after I left two messages and when I finally did reach someone, he implied that I was responsible for the damage and that if I mailed it to them they would ''look at it.'' I was so disgusted that I never bothered. Looking back, I am sure that the stroller was defective from the outset, since it tended to veer toward the right. I was surprised by the poor quality of the stroller and the awfull customer (dis)service, especially since MacLaren has such a good reputation and is a bit pricey. My $12 umbrella stroller, which I have had for 8 years, is better! It is still around and kicking. In any case, I would NOT recommend anything by MacLaren. Disgusted with MacLaren

I bought an in between stoller at Toys r Us for 39.00 when my daughter was 9 months old because her car seat stoller didn't allow her to sit up. It had a tray which she loved, a huge basket below which I loved, and it was very light weight. It fell apart by the time she was two. If I was to have another child, I might not buy this in between stoller, even though I can't complain about the price. FYI, the day tripper does not completely recline. But that never effected my daughter's ability to sleep. Deborah

I bought my Graco Metro Lite because it was part of the travel system that went with a carseat my friends were going to loan me. I thought it was a little cheap, but was on sale at Lullaby Lane, so I went for it. It is the best stroller. My daughter is almost a year now, and it's the only one I use. I bought a Combi stroller at a warehouse sale because it folded up smaller, and I never use it. The metro lite is light and maneuverable and has an adjustable handle for short or tall people. It fully reclines. I think it's just as good as many of the more expensive strollers. LK

Stroller for a 3-year-old

December 2002

I've got a very tall 3-year-old: She's at least 45 inches tall and weighs at least 45 lbs. Our last stroller, in which she barely fit and was not comfortable, was stolen, and I'd like to replace it. I don't need to use it often, only for long walking days (like going to the city for the day), so don't want to spend a fortune but do want something that won't be too small almost immediately. I would love recommendations from others who've dealt with this. Robin

I went with a wagon. They can ride in it, lay down in it, pull it, etc. It will also hold other stuff, either along with or instead of you child. Michelle

Parasol for Stroller

March 2002

Hi, Now that the sun's out I've been trying to find a parasol for our stroller. Does anyone know where one can be had (preferably second hand)? Many thanks! Noa

About a year ago I saw some at Rockridge Kids on College Ave and also at Toys R Us. If I recall coreectly they were fairly reasonable - in the $10-15 range. Carol

Lightweight stroller with an ample storage

May 2003

I'm looking to buy a lightweight stroller with an ample storage basket (enough to carry a small bag of groceries). I had a Combi Ultra Savvy stroller, but the mesh basket was way too small. I really like the Maclaren ''Vogue'' or ''Quest'' models because they are only 13 pounds, but I'm worried that the basket is not big enough. The Peg Perego models offer a bigger basket, but they weigh more. Does anyone have any suggestions? To those who have Maclaren or Peg Perego strollers, are you happy with your purchase? Janice

I LOVE LOVE LOVE our Graco CitiLite stroller. Only 10 pounds and has a large enough storage basket for my packed large diaper backpack. Very easy to fold and unfold with one hand. Cost about $75. Debbie

I sold my Peg Perego Pliko to buy a Maclaren Quest so Ive got experience with both.

The Pliko was great for groceries. I could accomdate a weeks worth of produce from the farmer's market using the basket and hanging a couple bags from the handles. (The hood also worked well for a baguette)

The Quest basket holds about as much as the Pliko's did, but the handles and hood are not as handy.

As far as other features, Im very happy with the Quest. I can do everything one handed--push, steer, open and collapse and its extremely light weight. It is a very parent friendly stroller.

The Pliko definitely required two hands for everything. But it had a much better range of recline options and I miss being able to completely close the hood. (And though I haven't heard a complaint, I think my 8 monther was more comfortable in the Pliko.) Good luck

PS I didnt look at the Maclaren Triumph but wish I had. I got all attached to the idea of 4 recline options with the Quest, But it turned out to be such a small range that 2 would have probably been fine. Susannah

I have a Peg Perego (Pliko) stroller and while I love how it rides and the fact that it is very lightweight, the storage basket underneath has already broken twice (and I have only had the stroller 7 months!). The basket is simply too flimsy to store more than a lightweight diaper bag. anon

It looks like you are more interested in imported higher end strollers, but we love our Graco Metrolite. It has a big basket (I often carry a bag of groceries and then some in it), it has a height adjustable handle and folds down very easily. It's also around a hundred bucks. We've had ours for 2 years and have had no problems. Jennifer

I didn't see your original post--so I am not sure what price range you are looking for but we bought the Babytrend Lite Rider and love it. It has a removable tray, reclines with one hand which is great when baby is sleeping and has a nice canaopy. It folds easliy and is much smaller to store than most lightweight strollers. The storage basket holds a minimum of a full grocerybag--we use it when we need to go to to the store for light shopping, we've been able to put two bags in there. The best part is the price--$39. They carry it at TOYS r Us. anon

Lightweight stroller for 4-month-old

May 2003

I've read the archived posts but every year there are design changes and I'd like some up to date advice on strollers. I have a STRONG 4 month old daughter and want to buy her a forward facing stroller (right now all we have is a carseat snap-in type where she faces mom...boring!). We want something light weight which folds up pretty small, but she is still small herself so it needs to be somewhat supportive. Also want something that handles well and with a lot of underseat storage (we walk to a nanny share so usually have 2 big bags). Mostly when we hike we carry her but would like something capable of some offroading. I have been doing some reading and think what I want is something like a Peg Perego Pliko, Combi Savvy, Graco Lite Rider, etc. Does anyone have any recent experiences with a stroller that fits my criteria that they can share? Also, any advice where I can actually try out more than just a couple of models at one time (I live in Rockridge)? Patty

We love our Zooper stroller, which is fairly light, folds nicely, is pretty rugged, is luxuriously comfortable for the child, and comes with all sorts of cool extras, like sunscreens and rain shields. The one downside is that the basket is tiny (like Maclarens); but you can hang mesh bags and other things from the handles pretty well. I'd also strongly recommend shopping at Rockridge Kids, where though they might not have as much on the floor as, say, Lullaby Lane, they only sell stuff that really works. Christopher

Hi Patty, I have been trying to sell my daughter's Graco stroller because we're moving and she's growing out of strollers (almost 3-y-o). It's either an earlier version of a LiteRider, or just very similar (bought in 2000). We haven't used it much because I needed something even more lightweight and easy since I use public transit almost daily, so it's still in great condition. It has a nice under seat basket and back pouch, as well as cupholders and trays for both child and adult. If you wanted something brand new, disregard, otherwise, get in touch with me! Jennifer

I have a 3 year old son, and we've been through several strollers. I would not recommend a Combi stroller. We went through two of their strollers, and both broke down easily and experienced problems. I've heard that they now make them with aluminum frames (ours were both plastic), and supposedly the aluminum frames would remedy the difficulties we experienced. We now own a MacClaren stroller, and we're much happier with it. It's very sturdy, and I wish we'd purchased one from the start. Kristin

Lightweight stroller that reclines fully

July 2002

I'm looking for recommendations for a good stroller that ideally will have the following features: fully (flat) recline, has 3 or more seat positions, light-weight (15 Lbs or less), has a large accessible basket and its pad can be machine washable. It also has to be less than $100.... Am I dreaming? :-) Thank you.

You are probably dreaming to get a *good* stroller for under $100. We have the Combi brand (the Ultra Z or something like that), which is a GREAT stroller: it has 3 recline positions, weighs about 8 pounds and could easily accommodate an infant car seat until our baby was old enough to sit in it. They retail for about $300 BUT you can find last year's model on the web for $160-70. It is worth the price. All of our friends who had babies before us and bought the hugo heavy travel systems are envious. Irene

I have two strollers, a peg perego plikomatic and a cheap Kolcraft stroller which opens with one hand. I virtually NEVER use the PP. It's too big, heavy and annoying to open and fold. The Kolcraft truly opens and closes with one hand, folds completely flat and works just fine for what I use it for, which is not long walks for the most part, but short ones, and moving the child from one place to another. It seems comfortable enough for my daughter (who will soon be two). For a new baby you probably want something that reclines, or one of the travel systems. I think you should think of the stroller like a car seat... Different kinds of stroller for different ages. A reclining stroller or one of the ones where you snap the carseat in for an infant, and a smaller lighter one for older. Myriam

I have a mid-range Kidco stroller, which is a MacLaren knock- off. The design is good with the features you describe, but the components are a little cheaper than the MacLaren, so it isn't ideal. (For example, the seat is hard to recline.) I think mine cost about $150. I've seen them on sale on the web for less. Dana

I got a Graco Citilite stroller a few months ago and really like it! I got tired of my Graco travelsystem not fitting down the aisles of most stores and taking up too much room in the back of my Jeep. The Citilite weighs about 10 lbs, folds and unfolds easily, reclines (although not flat) and I can fit a pretty good size diaper bag on the bottom. When my daughter was younger, her infant carrier/car seat fit pretty snugly in the stroller. And my very large 3 year old fits in the stroller if necessary. I got it at babies r us for around $80.

You ought to be able to get a good umbrella stroller (preferably one that tilts back for napping, and with a sunshade) for under $100. They are very portable and all you really need--you can sling a plastic bag from the handles to carry stuff. Our fancy one stayed in the garage because it was heavier and more of a hassle. mary ann

Well, under a 1oo dollars I don't know, but I have a stroller that meets all your criteria otherwise: the Elan II from Kidco. It's a well-made European stroller (or so I was told) and the only places I have seen them is at Peek-a-Boutique (Castro and 24th) and CityKids (Clement) in San Francisco, but I am not really familiar with East Bay baby stores. At any rate, it is fairly light, it folds up easily like an umbrella stroller and it has several positions. It is very well built. However, it cost $169 last year when I bought mine, but I have been very happy with it. I researched strollers extensively, and this one was the only one I liked for all the reasons above. Good luck finding what you want/neeed. Anna

Older Reviews


I am expecting my first child in May and my parents have offered to buy a stroller for us. We will be returning back to Europe at the end of the Summer, when the baby will be 4 months old. Hopefully we will own a car, so I won't have to use the stroller on public transport. We are also not planning to have another child until the first one is at least 2 and a half. Does any one have any advice on buying a stroller that is suitable for a new infant right up to a two year old, that is suitable for all types of weather ( particularly Europes!) And is OK to pack in cars, take on airlines etc. Thanks

John: I suggest the Combi Savvy. This is a light (~6 lbs), compact, quality travel stroller. Our daughter used one from 6 months to 2 years, most of which time was spent traveling in Australia, Europe, etc. The stroller proved very durable despite its light weight and all the heavy camera bags and diaper bags we hung off it.. The original Combi did not recline fully and wouldn't work well for a newborn, but there is a new Combi model that does lie nearly flat and should be OK. Large wheels are a rather nice thing when abroad, given the cobblestone streets and so on. The Combi's wheels are only average sized. I believe the Aprica travel models have larger wheels, but have not used them myself. But you can do fine without large wheels -- we did. If you want maximum convenience at first, for very little $$ you can get a cheap little stroller into which your infant seat snaps. This is great as you don't have to take the baby out of the seat at all. You'll use it for a few months, and then get rid of it.

Rachel: In regards to buying a stroller, I have a Graco lite-travel that allows you to put the infant seat in the stroller. This worked fine when baby was in the carrier... I could look at him and he could see me. But now I don't use the infant seat and he can't look at me because he faces forward. I would suggest a carriage/stroller so you can face baby towards you or facing forward. Good luck

Paolo: I'm european and have been going back to France 2 times a year since my son is born. He is 2 years old now and I bought a stroller when he was 3 month old that I would really recommend : it is a Peg Perego (italian brand) model Plikomatic. It is like an umbrella stroller : easy to fold and to carry when folded (though heavier)but has nice features, is confortable and solid. It is reclinable almost flat, has a hood with a window and is still perfect for a 2 years old (actually, I've just had my second baby and switched to a double stroller by Peg Perego which is very good too ). For winter time you can buy a rain cover as an accessory or a leg protection kit. I have been able to travel with it very easily.The only inconvenient is there is no basket but you can attach like a net bag. Another tip : check Peg Perego web site to see what they have and what you want and maybe ask your parents to buy the stroller in Europe:: when I bought mine, the price in France was a little bit cheaper than in the USA. Good luck.

Ronnie: I've used over 6 different brands of strollers for my 2 kids. My overwhelming preference would be the Maclaren. It is an excellent urban stroller, with a short turn radius, long wearing (and replaceable) wheels that slide up stairs, high quality cloth, and a secure latch/harness (unlike the Combi). It folds well, and is lightweight. Peg Perego has an equivalent model, I think the Pliko. By the way, babies are content with a not complete recline, and prefer looking forward by 6 mo. Furthermore, by the time your child is 1 yr. a full-featured stroller is too heavy to lift with your kid.

Ann: I second the recommendation for the Combi Savvy. I have a bad back and it is light enough for me to lift (with my 2 year old in it!) when I have too. It is durable adn folds up well. I have taken more flights that I can count with it and it has been great. As to the Aprica, one note of warning--I was considering one when I went shopping for mine, and store personnel at very good store in the city said that they are always getting Aprica's in for repair, and that the Aprica's seem prone to break down a lot. (The Aprica cost more, and thus they were talking me out of the higher priced model, so I add double credit to their comments). Finally, I strongly second the idea of getting the Snap n Go to pop your car seat into in the first few months. Its cheap, and VERY convenient. Do that, and then get the Combi for your real stroller is my recommendation, for what its worth.

Regarding strollers - we got a Swedish brand (Emeljunga??? something like that...) and it lasted through both kids (now nearly 6 & 3 1/2) & still works fabulously. The front wheels, though, are fixed - to turn you sort of lean the way you want to go (does this make any sense???). Anyway, I guess it takes a little getting used to; my sister really didn't like it the couple of times she pushed it, but I didn't like the way the normal wheels worked. Also, this stroller could go anywhere - even over sand! We called it our off-road stroller. We were extremely happy with it. (I can't remember where we bought it - I think at a place in San Rafael near 3rd street.) -- L (6/99)

Our son (now almost 6) had a Peg Perego. A few plastic things broke on it, but the company would always send repacement parts. Structurally it held up great. We weren't aware of durability differences between the two brands-- we chose Peg Perego because it had better padding on the arms than the Aprica model we looked at. One other factor was the handle height and clearance for my own feet when pushing the stroller. If you're average height or taller, this can be an issue if you don't want to risk hitting the wheels with your feet. Fran (6/99)

One thing that made us choose the Peg Perego (I think we have the Avante model) is that it is very easy to fold up. There is a Swedish brand (Emmajunga or something like that) that is very well made but we couldn't figure out how to fold it up, no matter how many times it was demonstrated. McLaren is also a brand known for durability but it also didn't have the padding that the Peg Perego had. Yet another issue: how hard is it to remove the upholstery for cleaning? Pretty easy on our Peg Perego. (6/99)

I am the happy owner of a Peg Perego Amalfi. I was resistant when my husband selected it because I was convinced that it was too bulky compared to an umbrella type stroller, and that it would be too heavy compared to the light weight Aprica, Savvy, etc. Well to my delight it has proven to be very easy to get in and out of the trunk. My favorite features are 1) that it folds up towards you, not down to the ground. This means that I never have to bend over in the parking lot to pick it up! 2) That it clips shut when folded so you can lift it and get it into/ out of the trunk without it unfolding in midair. 3) That the handle bar is reversable so you can have the baby facing away from the sun no matter which direction you are walking. My husband talked me into this stroller initially because he thought it would be great for use at Pt Isabel where we walk our dogs. It does very well on the paved paths (The paving is in very poor condidtion... like many streets around here!) but we would never consider it for off road use on the dirt paths. As for the price... we found our stroller on line at iBaby for $150. It was in December so they were clearing out the last year models. The one drawback that I must mention is that there are an aweful lot of levers. This is fine for me and my husband because we use it all the time and know what each one does.... but for an occasional sitter it can be quite aggravating.